15/10/2013 07:58 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 18:58 GMT

Pope Francis Gives Pensioner £170 After She Wrote To Tell Him She Had Been Mugged

Pope Francis has reportedly given €200 (£170) to an Italian pensioner who wrote to him claiming she had been mugged.

The Venetian woman, who is in her 80s, explained her purse containing €54 has been stolen as she made her way to hospital to visit her husband.

She added that the money had been lent to her by a friend, Italy's Quotidiano Nazionale reported.

Pope Francis is reported to have reimbursed the pensioner to the tune of €200

The Pope is said to have replied to the letter with a cheque for €200 - via local priest Fr Gianni Antoniazzi - in an envelope containing the seal of the Vatican Secretary of State.

According to the Catholic Herald, in it was a note signed by Pope Francis's new alms master Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, which said: "Please deliver in the manner it deems appropriate, the relevant amount to the lady in question, that it is a gift of His Holiness, who offers her his apostolic blessing accompanied by desired aid and divine comfort for her and for her husband."

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Fr Antoniazzi told the newspaper: "It is an extraordinary series of events: Francis knows not only how to interact with people, communicating brilliantly and infusing them with great hope, but also responds to personal requests."

The Pope is known for his personal touch, including his habit of surprising people with phone calls - including one to a rape victim in Argentina.

Earlier this month, Archbishop Krajewski was dispatched to Lampedusa armed with aid for survivors including a large tent, games for the children and phone cards to help them stay in touch with relatives.

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