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Ignorant conception: Nun gives birth, didn't know she was pregnant

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Comes a story out of Italy of ignorant conception, about a young nun that gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Although the nun says she didn't know she was pregnant until after she delivered, it is not the same as claiming she didn't know how it happened, so it is doubtful there will be any immaculate conception claims (although there are sure to be a few jokes along those lines). And if having the child wasn't enough to gain international attention, the nun says she will call the child Francis, after the current pope.

AFP reported (via Yahoo News) Jan. 17 that a 31-year-old Salvadoran nun gave birth to a 9-pound baby boy in Italy this week. The nun, a member of the "Little Disciples of Jesus" convent in Campomoro. After having severe stomach pains, she was taken by ambulance to a hospital in Rieti, where she subsequently, much to the surprise of everyone (including the nun herself), gave birth to the baby.

"I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain," Italian news agency ANSA quoted her as saying afterward.

The nurses and hospital staff at the hospital reportedly attempted to keep the birth secret in order to protect the privacy of the nun, going so far as to sequester her away from other patients at the hospital. Still, news of the nun giving birth soon spread and became public knowledge. However, in hopes of keeping a modicum of privacy for the mother, the name of the nun herself has been withheld.

Don Fabrizio Borrello, a local pastor, told journalists that the nun planned to keep and take care of the baby.

Borello noted, according to BBC News, "I guess she's telling the truth when she says she arrived at the hospital unaware of the pregnancy."

As for her fellow nuns at the convent, they were "surprised" at the latest news concerning their sister nun. As surprised as the mother, it would seem.

But the nun's pregnant condition and the fact that she was unaware of her state is not unheard of, but it is rare. A 2012 CNN report noted that there is little in the way of studies on the subject but a Serbian study found that pregnant women who didn't realize they were pregnant occurs about one time out of 7,225 pregnancies.

But the 31-year-old nun now faces questions about the identity of the father. Some might joke that Pope Francis' now famous forays outside the Vatican at night might have included side trips (and she did name the child Francesco, which translates to Francis). Of course, she could take a vow of silence on the matter, but with her track record, there is no guarantee that she'll honor it.

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