Pope Prays for Pregnant Vatican Receptionist Who Died

Before meeting with the president of Argentina on Saturday, Pope Francis stopped by the funeral of Miriam Wuolou, a Vatican employee who died along with her unborn child, to pray and leave a bouquet of white roses.

(photo: L'Osservatore Romano via CNA)

VATICAN CITY — Before meeting with the president of Argentina on Saturday, Pope Francis stopped by the funeral of Miriam Wuolou, a Vatican employee who died along with her unborn child, to pray and leave a bouquet of white roses.

“Before the celebration, the Holy Father went into the church to stand in prayer and in memory of the deceased, demonstrating his affection and his respect,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said Feb. 27. 

He said Pope Francis prayed in front of Wuolou’s coffin for 20 minutes before laying the bouquet and taking his leave.

Wuolou was the receptionist at the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, where the Pope resides. She was found dead in her home Feb. 19.

According to Italian news agency AGI, an autopsy showed that Wuolou, 34, who had suffered from severe diabetes, died due to a malfunction with her internal insulin pump, which controlled the level of glucose in her blood.

She was pregnant at the time of her death, in what doctors considered a “high-risk” pregnancy due to the severity of her diabetes. 

Her funeral service was held Saturday morning at the Roman parish of Santo Stefano degli Abissini.

After praying in front of her coffin, Pope Francis headed back to the Vatican, where he met with Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri. 

According to a statement from the Vatican, the cordial discussion focused on the good relations between the two countries, as well as common points of interest, such promoting an integral development, respect for human rights, the fight against poverty and drug trafficking, justice, peace and social reconciliation.

The positive contribution of the Argentine bishops’ conference and Catholic institutions in Argentina was also discussed, particularly in the areas of the promotion of human dignity and the formation of future generations, especially given the current economic climate.