Italy is in an uproar following revelations that a Catholic nun gave birth to a healthy child in the city of Rieti. It was on January 14, after a 32-year-old nun from El Salvador complained of “strong abdominal pain,” that an ambulance took her from the Little Disciples of Jesus convent to a local hospital where she gave birth. “I didn’t know that I was pregnant; I had severe abdominal pain” said the new mother, according to Italian media reports.
The baby was delivered overnight on January 14 when the expectant mother was taken to emergency services from the convent, which also serves as a hospice for the elderly poor. The nuns at the convent decided to call an ambulance when one of them complained of severe stomach pain, not knowing of her pregnancy. It was at the San Camilo de Lellis Hospital in Rieti that she gave birth to a boy weighing a healthy 7.7 pounds. Astounded, one of the nuns reportedly said “How is this possible? We could not imagine something like this.”
The nun/mother is currently recovering, and has received clothing and other gifts from the convent and others. Mother Superior Herminia of the Little Disciples of Jesus affirmed that the Salvadoran nun had done this “on her own.” The leader of the convent added, “She did not know how to resist temptation but has done no harm to anyone. I don’t understand why so much attention has been focused on this story.”
The newborn boy was given the name 'Francis' in honor of the present Pope. Mother and child will continue to live at the convent. According to local reports, the nun will soon meet with the local bishop to decide whether to remain a nun or return to life as a lay woman.