Pope Francis Appoints Nurse Who Saved His Life as Personal Assistant

Pope Francis named the Vatican on Thursday nurses who he said “saved my life” to become his personal health assistant, a new role for his papacy.

The appointment comes as the 85-year-old Pope suffers from knee pain that has forced him to cancel numerous events, and after he admitted last week after a trip to Canada that he should slow down or even start think about retirement.

“The Holy Father has appointed Massimiliano Strappetti, nurse coordinator of the Health and Hygiene Directorate, as his personal assistant,” the Vatican said in a brief statement.

Strappetti is widely known as a nurse at the Vatican Hospital, who was hailed by the Pope in an interview last year for convincing him to undergo surgery for an intestinal infection.

“He saved my life!” The dad told Spanish Radio Cope after the July 4 operation, adding that the nurse had worked there for three decades and was “a person of great experience.”