A nun has given birth in Italy after being rushed from her convent to hospital earlier this week with severe stomach cramps.
The woman, originally from El Salvador, said she had no idea she was pregnant after giving birth to a baby boy on Wednesday, local media have reported.
"I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain," Italian news agency ANSA quoted her as saying.
nun has named her child Francesco (Francis), ANSA reported.
The name is
hugely popular in Italy where St Francis of Assisi is the national
It has also experienced a resurgence in popularity due to Pope Francis.
nun belongs to the "Little Disciples of Jesus" convent in Campomoro
near Rieti, which is responsible for managing an old people's home.
have now begun collecting donations and clothes for the new mother, who
is expected to keep the baby, according to reports.
Petrangeli, the mayor of Rieti has asked inhabitants of the small city,
which has a population of just 47,700, to respect her privacy
The hospital staff have not yet responded to requests for a comment.
Nuns at her convent are said to be "very surprised" by the birth.