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Hello? Pope Francis here: Distraught woman shocked by pontiff’s sympathy call

- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2013

A distraught pregnant woman in a self-described state of "anguish" wrote an desperate letter to Pope Francis to pour out her heart's troubles – and was shocked when her phone rang, days later, displaying a dial code that hailed from Rome.

"As soon as he started speaking," said Anna Romano, 35, in The Daily Mail, "I recognized the voice as his. I was just so surprised that he had telephoned me. He said that he had read my letter and he wanted to speak to me personally about it and reassure me that someone was worried about me."

Her letter, addressed simply to "Pope Francis, the Vatican," she said, contained a woe-filled tale of her poor luck with men and her current situation – that she was pregnant and had just discovered her latest love interest, the father of her baby, was married and had a child. He ordered her to have an abortion, she said.

She wrote to the pope: "I told him that I would not have an abortion and told him to get out of my life." She also wrote that she was "in a desperate and anguished state" with "no one left to turn to, after being left humiliated and betrayed."

The pope told her on the phone that he would baptize her baby if she wanted, The Daily Mail reported. He also said the baby was a "gift from God, a sign of Divine Providence and that I would never be left alone," Ms. Romano said. "I was just so surprised that he had telephoned me. He said that he had read my letter and he wanted to speak to me personally about it and reassure me that someone was worried about me. We were only on the phone for a few minutes but my heart was filled with joy. As we spoke, I was rubbing my tummy at the same time."

The pope's reach-out was just the latest in a series of one-on-ones he's been credited with conducting with various members of the public, The Daily Mail reported. And so far, he's built a reputation as a more compassionate and down-to-earth pope than his predecessors. Vatican officials, meanwhile, don't learn of his touches of kindness until after the fact, they say.

But his compassionate touch is endearing him with the world.

Ms. Romano said: "I don't know the sex of the baby but if the pope does baptize it and it's a boy I have no doubt of his name – Francis."

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