Pope meets Meriam, thanks her for her courageous witness of faith
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - During a friendly meeting, which lasted about half an hour in a serene and tender atmosphere, the Pope thanked Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag for her testimony of perseverance in the faith.
The Holy See Press Office director Fr Federico Lombardi confirmed rumours that the pope might greet the Sudanese woman who had been in prison for months.
After her release, Meriam flew to Italy today. In Rome, at "1 pm, at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Holy Father Francis received Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag," the Holy See Press Office statement said, "the Sudanese Christian woman jailed in recent months."
"Meriam was accompanied by her husband Daniel Wani and their two small children, Martin a year and a half, and Maya, born in prison two months ago." They were accompanied by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli.
Thanks to the good offices of the Italian government, Ms Ibrahim was able to leave Sudan for Italy. From here, she and her family will move to the United States.
"The meeting lasted a little less than half an hour and took place in a very serene and affectionate atmosphere."
"The pope thanked Meriam and her family for the courageous witness of perseverance in the faith. Meriam was grateful for the great support and comfort received from the Pope's prayers and from many other believers and people of good will."
With this gesture, Fr Lombardi said, "the Pope wanted to show his closeness, concern and prayers for all those who suffer for their faith and especially for Christians who suffer persecution or restrictions on religious freedom".