Sister Roxana Rodriguez, a Salvadorean nun serving in Italy, gave birth to a 7.7 pound baby boy last week — and was as surprised about the news as everyone else.
“I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain,” the 31-year-old nun was quoted as saying at the hospital, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. Upon feeling the acute pain, Sister Roxana was rushed to San Camillo de Lellis hospital in the town of Rieti, which is 50 miles north of Rome.
“I will definitely take care of my baby because he is a gift of God,” Sister Roxana told social worker Anna Fontanella. “I called him Francis in honor of our South American pope. However, I am very worried about the commotion that this has stirred up. They are talking about this, not only in Italy but in my own country, and I am afraid to return there.”
Sister and son are said to both be in good health and doing well.
Naturally this sounds like nunsense to us. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) But it does beg the question: How did Sister — who as part of the Little Disciples of Jesus Order took a vow of “chastity, poverty and obedience” — get pregnant? Just like everyone other woman in the world, and not like the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Daily Mail reports that Father Benedetto Falcetti, a priest at the nearby St Michael’s church in Rieti, said, “It all happened last spring, around March or April time when she was back in El Salvador to get her passport renewed. She has not said who the father is but I understand he is an, shall we say, old flame of hers from when she was younger. At some stage I expect she will tell the father that he has a son and they will be reunited but I don’t know when that will be.”
Since the news broke, the hospital has been inundated with calls and gifts. But — no surprise — not everyone is happy about the news, particular the other nuns in her order. The Daily Mail contacted the convent, and one nun who asked to remain nameless said, “No we [will most] certainly not be going to visit her. What she has done is not right at all. She has betrayed her vows. She will not be coming back here.”
Sister Roxana has written a letter of apology to the order’s mother superior general Elvira Petaraca, and she does plan on keeping the baby.
Watch the report above for more info.