A NUN is facing expulsion from her convent after becoming pregnant and giving birth to a baby boy.
Sister Roxana Rodriguez (33) was apparently unaware that she was expecting a child when she was taken to hospital in Italy with severe stomach pains late on Tuesday.
Her son, who she named Francesco in honour of Pope Francis, was born in the town of Rieti, 50 miles north of Rome.
Until she gave birth, Sister Roxana is said to have believed that the swelling in her abdomen was related to poor digestion.
She had also lost track of her menstrual cycle.
When doctors conducted an ultrasound examination and told her that she was in the advanced stages of pregnancy, she is reported to have screamed: "I can't give birth – I'm a nun."
After she gave birth to a baby boy weighing nearly 9lb, she told a social worker: "I will definitely take care of my baby because he is a gift from God."
She added: "However, I'm very worried about the commotion that this has stirred up. How do I feel? More like a mum than a nun."
Father Benedetto Falcetti, the head of the regional branch of the Catholic charity Caritas, said that Sister Roxana appeared to have become pregnant when she returned home to El Salvador in order to renew her passport.
"It was the rekindling of a childhood flame," he added.
The baby's father is believed to be back in the nun's home country.
Italian bishop Delio Lucarelli said that Sister Roxana would have to leave the Little Disciples of Jesus convent where she has lived at Campomoro, which is near Rieti.
The head of the convent, Sister Erminia Pusceddu, added that she (the nun) "did not know how to resist temptation".