Anna Romano has not been lucky with men in her life. After suffering a tumultuous marriage and divorce at a young age, the 35-year-old was convinced she had found the man of her dreams earlier this year. In June, Anna became pregnant. Rather than reacting with excitement, the man revealed that he was already married and already had a child with his wife. He demanded that Anna terminate the pregnancy by having an abortion. Anna, in turn — exhibiting admirable courage and strength — refused, and told the man she had once loved to get out of her life.
In her turmoil, Anna wrote to Pope Francis and explained her struggle. She was suddenly and unexpectedly a single parent, and the person who should have been by her side (the father) was never coming back.
As the Daily Mail records,
Anna added how she was ‘in a desperate and anguished state’ and that she was writing to Pope Francis because she had ‘no-one else to turn to, after being left humiliated and betrayed.
Speaking from her home she added: ‘I addressed the letter simply to Pope Francis, the Vatican and put it in the post. I didn’t even send it recorded delivery. I didn’t really expect to get a reply…
After receiving her letter, the Holy Father went above and beyond to reach out to Anna. The Pope called her cell phone while Anna was on vacation from her job as a shop worker, and commended her for choosing life for her child in spite of difficulties. Anna remembers the call, saying:
…but then out of the blue when I was on holiday I had a phone call from him.
‘The number was from Rome, with a 06 dial code, and as soon as he started speaking I recognised 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.
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 Holy Father then offered to personally baptize the child after he or she is born.
He reassured me and said a child was a gift from God, a sign of Divine Providence and that I would never be left alone. He said that as Christians we should never be afraid.
He told me I had been very brave and strong for my unborn child. I told him that I wanted to baptise the baby when it was born but I was afraid as I was divorced and a single mother but he said he would be my spiritual father and he would baptise my baby.
Pope Francis has repeatedly demonstrated his love for the unborn and his admiration for the courage of women like Anna. As a Cardinal in Argentina, he exhorted priests to support women who, despite being pregnant out of wedlock, make the courageous decision to raise their children and bring them up in faith. Anna concluded, “that telephone call has changed my life.”