Pope Francis greets well-wishers as he leaves hospital

STORY: The pontiff greeted well-wishers and light-heartedly told reporters "I wasn't frightened, I'm still alive".

The 86-year-old was taken to Rome's Gemelli hospital three days ago after complaining of breathing difficulties.

His medical team has said he responded well to antibiotics.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed on Friday that Francis was expected to take part in this weekend's service for Palm Sunday - a major event in the Church calendar that kicks off Easter week celebrations.