Pope Francis revealed his debt to a nun who saved his life by increasing his medication when he suffered from a lung condition at the age of 21. In a new book, I Fioretti di Papa Francesco (The Little Flowers of Pope Francis), the pontiff speaks of his gratitude to the nuns who worked in the hospital where he was ill as a young man.
"I am alive thanks to one of them," Pope Francis told Andrea Tornielli, a Vatican journalist who wrote the book. "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."
Pope Francis's lung illness attracted questions when he became Pope. His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned due to his failing health and inability to handle the job. Pope Francis reportedly had three cysts on his lung before part of it was removed. Mr Tornielli told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that the Pope's "health is good and he shows great stamina".
He also disclosed that Pope Francis once phoned a cleaning woman employed at Buenos Aires airport, who sought his support for her drug-addicted son. After receiving her message, which she had written on a table napkin and passed to one of his colleagues at the airport, the Pope told her he would pray for them.