After US Woman's Son Dies, the Vatican Calls

Stephany Nicolo got quite the unexpected voicemail
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2014 6:08 AM CDT
Vatican Calls US Woman After Son's Death
Pope Francis looks on during his meeting with President of Madagascar Hery Rajoanarimampianina at the Vatican, Saturday, June 28, 2014.   (AP Photo/Riccardo de Luca)

Pope Francis has offered an American woman a "big hug and a blessing" after the death of her son, according to a Vatican official. Stephany Nicolo, a devout Catholic from Wakefield, Mass., says she called the Vatican after her 25-year-old son, Eric, died from an epileptic seizure in May. Speaking with a Vatican representative, "I said, 'I don’t believe in God anymore,'" Nicolo, 58, told Fox News. "Why would he take my son?" She left her name and phone number but said she never expected a response. On Friday, however, she awoke to a voicemail that renewed her faith. "I couldn't believe it. I had to play it several times."

In the recording—which you can listen to here—the voice of an older man believed to be the pope can be heard before a Vatican representative offers his condolences in accented English, adding "We [will] try to talk to you again." "I've always loved my faith, but when your child is taken, you can't help but question it," Nicolo said. The voicemail "renewed my faith and belief in God." Meanwhile, "I want him to know I love him," Nicolo said of Pope Francis. "He has helped me so much in my time of grief. There are no words to describe what this phone call has done for me." It wouldn't be the first time Francis has dialed up his followers. (More Vatican stories.)

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