Pope Francis used a wheelchair in public on Thursday for the first time since a new flare-up of pain in his knee that has limited his ability to walk.
At an audience with a group of nuns in the Vatican's general audience hall, Francis, was wheeled to his seat on the stage. An aide then helped him out of the wheelchair and onto his seat.
The 85-year-old has had to cancel or curtail activities several times over the past month because of the pain in his right knee.
Before Thursday, he had managed to walk the 10 metres (yards) or so from the side entrance of the stage to his seat at the centre, albeit with help from aides.
Several times over the Easter period last month, Francis attended but did not preside at Masses in St. Peter's Basilica. In each case, he delegated an archbishop or cardinal to say the Mass while he sat through the service and also read his homily while seated.
The pontiff has said doctors have told him they will be giving him an injection to help the movement of his joints. It is not clear if that therapy has begun.
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