Pope Francis sends 80-year-old money after she is mugged on a bus

He habitually telephones those who write to him to offer wise words, support and guidance.

But lately Pope Francis has been offering followers more than just a sympathetic ear after he sent 200 euros (£170) to an elderly woman who told him she had been mugged on a bus.

The Venetian woman, in her late 80s, had written to the Pope saying that her purse containing 54 euros has been stolen as she travelled to visit her sick husband in hospital.

Much to the surprise of the local priest, a mysterious letter arrived at a parish near her home last week.

Clergyman Don Gianni Antoniazzi said he hands shook as he opened the envelope sealed by the Vatican Secretary of State.

The priest said he was ‘overwhelmed with emotion’, adding: '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. '

A note signed by Francis’s new alms master Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, 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.'

The priest then cashed the cheque and presented the money to the disbelieving parishioner.

The move comes a week after the Pope sent funds to each survivor of the Lampedusa shipwreck that claimed the lives of 300 migrants.

He also sent each one a phone card to enable them to call relatives back home or in Europe.

Francis yesterday announced that he would auction his Harley Davidson motorbike to collect funds for a hostel for the homeless.

The Harley was presented to the Pope in June this year when he addressed a group of 35,000 bikers.

-Adapted from Daily Mail

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