ROME — Seated before a casket covered with flowers, Pope Francis attended the funeral of his personal physician, Dr. Fabrizi Soccorsi, Jan. 26.

The funeral Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, at the Church of Santa Maria Regina della Famiglia, which is in the Governor’s Palace inside Vatican City.

Soccorsi, 78, had been admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital Dec. 26 because of cancer, according to the Italian Catholic agency SIR.

However, he died Jan. 9 of “pulmonary complications” caused by COVID-19, the agency said, without providing further details.

Soccorsi had been the pope’s personal physician since 2015. He had also served as an adviser for the Vatican’s health services department and a consultant-physician to the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes.

He had been head physician of the hepatology ward in Rome’s San Camillo-Forlanini hospital and director of its department of liver diseases, the digestive system and nutrition; he also taught immunology at the municipal and regional medical schools.