The personal doctor of Pope Francis, Fabrizio Soccorsi, is dead.
The medical personnel reportedly died from health complications associated with coronavirus, consistent with the Vatican.
The 78-year-old physician, who was being treated for an “oncological pathology,” died at Rome’s Gemelli Hospital, consistent with Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
Pope Francis named Soccorsi his personal physician in August 2015, after not renewing the term of papal doctor Patrizio Police, who was also head of the Vatican’s healthcare services.
Since the pontificate of St. Pope John Paul II, the 2 positions had been tied together, but Pope Francis diverged from this tradition by choosing Soccorsi, a doctor from outside the Vatican.
As Francis’ personal physician, Soccorsi traveled with the pope on his international trips. During his visit to Fatima, Portugal in May 2017, Pope Francis laid two bunches of white roses before the statue of Mary Mary for Soccorsi’s daughter, who was critically ill and died the subsequent month.
Soccorsi trained in medicine and surgery at Rome’s La Sapienza University. His career included both practice and teaching, especially within the areas of hepatology, the gastrointestinal system, and immunology.
The doctor also did consult for the health and hygiene office of the Vatican City State and was a part of the council of doctors at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.