May 16, 2014 / 11:30 AM / 3 years ago

Pope cancels engagements due to cold, need to rest ahead of trip

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis has canceled his engagements for Friday because of a cold and will not make a planned visit to a Rome parish this weekend so that he can rest ahead of a trip to the Middle East next week, the Vatican said on Friday.

Pope Francis arrives to meet New Zealand's Governor General Jerry Mateparae during a private audience at the Vatican May 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gabriel Bouys/Pool

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said there were no worries about the health of the 77-year-old pope and everything was “tranquil”.

He said the pope was likely to resume his engagements on Saturday but that he would skip a visit to a sanctuary outside Rome that had been planned for Sunday so he could rest.

Francis is due to make a trip to Jordan, the Palestinian Territories and Israel May 24-26.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Catherine Evans

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