NEWS — 13 December 2013

By staff reporter

Pope Francis, who turns 77 this week, has said a nun saved his life at the age of 21 when she increased his medication for a lung condition.

The revelation is within the pages of new book, I Fioretti di Papa Francesco, (The Little Flowers of Pope Francis),by Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli.

The Argentine Pope speaks of his debt of gratitude to the nuns who worked in the hospital where he was treated as a young man.

“I am alive thanks to one of them,” Pope Francis said. “When I had lung problems in the hospital, the doctor gave me penicillin and antibiotics in small doses.

“The nun who was on the ward tripled that because she had an intuition, she knew what to do, because she was with the ill all day long”.

“The doctor, who was very good, spent his time in a laboratory, but the nun was living on the front line and talking with those on the front line every day.”

He reportedly had three cysts on his lung which led to part of the organ being removed. It led to questions about the state of the Pope’s health upon his election in March.

But Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said at the time: “This is not a handicap in his life. Those who know him have always seen him in good health.”

The book recalls the former Cardinal’s visit to the poorest district or favelas of Buenos Aires where he had dinner with the poor.

One of those with him told the book’s author Tornielli: “He looked me in the eyes and said to me: ‘I like to sit at the tables of the poor because they serve food and share with their hearts.’” -

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