Homeless woman gives birth outside Vatican, gets offer of home

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VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - A homeless woman gave birth on a cardboard box just outside St. Peter's Square early on Wednesday in near-freezing temperatures and later received an offer of one year's hospitality in a Vatican institution.

Police said the 35-year-old Romanian woman had gone into labor at about 2.30 a.m. in an Italian square just meters (yards) away from the Vatican.

An Italian policewoman, Maria Capone, helped deliver the baby, a girl, and her colleagues covered both with their jackets until an ambulance arrived.

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Homeless woman gives birth outside Vatican, gets offer of home
ROME - OCTOBER 23: The picture shows an aerial view of St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican walls and gardens on October 23, 2007 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
Pope Francis listens to a speech during a special audience he held for members of the FOCSIV Italian Catholic volunteers, at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1754: St Peter's Basilica, Rome, and the elliptical piazza and colonnades designed by Bernini (1598-1680). From Nouveau Voyage d'Italie, 1702. Copperplate engraving. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
Pope Francis celebrates a mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Oct. 5, 2014 to open the extraordinary Synod on the family. Pope Francis on Sunday opened a two-week meeting of bishops and cardinals from around the world aimed at making the church's teaching on family life — marriage, sex, contraception, divorce and homosexuality — relevant to today's Catholic families. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis meets Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, during a private audience at the Vatican, Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Maurizio Brambatti, Pool)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 04: A cardinal arrives at the Paul VI hall for the opening of the Cardinals' Congregations on March 4, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The congregations of cardinals will continue until all cardinal electors have arrived in Rome, whereupon the College will decide on the start-date of the Conclave to elect a new Pope. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
View of the interior of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, Nov. 23, 1963 during Mass celebrated by Cardinal Benedetto Aloisi Masella for President John F. Kennedy and for cardinals and bishops who died during the past year. Pope Paul VI is at left, seated on throne. (AP Photo/Mario Torrisi)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - APRIL 24: A general view of St. Peter's Square during the Easter Mass held by Pope Benedict XVI on April 24, 2011 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
This picture shows the headquarters of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) the Vatican's bank on February 18, 2012 at The Vatican. erman financier Ernst von Freyberg was named the new president of the Vatican bank on February 15, ending a long vacancy after his predecessor at the secretive institution was unceremoniously sacked. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Franciswalks to the altar during his grandiose inauguration mass on March 19, 2013 at St Peter's square at the Vatican. Pope Francis swept into St Peter's Square on Tuesday to greet throngs of pilgrims before a sumptuous ceremony in which Latin America's first pontiff will receive the formal symbols of papal power. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
A seagull flies in front of St Peter's basilica on January 22, 2013 in Rome. AFP PHOTO / TIZIANA FABI (Photo credit should read TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 25: Pope Francis delivers his Christmas Day message from the central balcony of St Peter's Basilica on December 25, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The 'Urbi et Orbi' blessing (to the city and to the world) is recognised as a Christmas tradition by Catholics with the Pope Francis focusing this year on the peace in the world. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
St Peter's Square, Rome, 20th century. Saint Peter's Square, or Saint Peter's Piazza, is located directly in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the papal enclave withiin Rome. (Photo by The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - APRIL 20: People gather as Pope Francis holds Easter Mass in St. Peter's Square on April 20, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis is attending the Holy Week for his second time as a Pontiff. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 4, 2014 at sunrise shows the St Peter's basilica in Vatican. AFP PHOTO / VINCENZO PINTO (Photo credit should read VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets the crowd from the popemobile during his weekly general audience on December 3, 2014 at the Vatican. Photo Credit: Gabriel Bouys, APF/Getty Images
Pope Francis waves at the end of a meeting with the Pauline family (Paolina family) in occasion of the centenary of its foundation by Don Giacomo Alberione, on Novembre 27, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. Pope Francis heads to Turkey on Friday, it will be the first papal visit to Turkey since the now-retired Benedict XVI went there in 2006 against a backrop of anger in much of the Muslim world over comments which appeared to link the Prophet Mohamed to violence. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 26: Pilgrims leave the St. Peter's square at the end of Pope Francis' general audience on November 26, 2014 in Vatican City. (Photo by Baris Seckin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 23: Pope Francis waves as he leaves St. Peters Square at the end of a canonization mass on November 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pontiff canonized six new saints two from Kerala (India) Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal, and four Italians: Amato Ronconi, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Nicola da Longobardi and Ludovico da Casoria. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 23: A general view of a canonization mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peters Square on November 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pontiff canonized six new saints two from Kerala (India) Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal, and four Italians: Amato Ronconi, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Nicola da Longobardi and Ludovico da Casoria. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - NOVEMBER 23: Pope Francis waves as he leaves St. Peters Square at the end of a canonization mass on November 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pontiff canonized six new saints two from Kerala (India) Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Eufrasia Eluvathingal, and four Italians: Amato Ronconi, Giovanni Antonio Farina, Nicola da Longobardi and Ludovico da Casoria. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - OCTOBER 06: Australian Cardinal George Pell arrives at the Synod Hall for the opening of the Synod on the themes of family on October 6, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. The two week General Assembly will discuss the 'The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of the Evangelization'. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - JUNE 29: Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell (C) attends the mass and imposition of the Pallium upon the new metropolitan archbishops held by Pope Francis for the Solemnity of Saint Peter and Paul at Vatican Basilica on June 29, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Francis delivered the homily at Mass in St Peter's Basilica on Saturday morning, to mark the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles and Patrons fo the city of Rome. In his remarks following the Gospel reading, the Holy Father focused on a particular task of the Petrine ministry, which is to strengthen, or confirm, all the faithful. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI is introduced by Cardinal George Pell, right, during the ceremonial welcome at Government House as part of World Youth Day in Sydney Thursday, July 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Greg Wood, POOL)
Interior of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome', 1750s. Panini, Giovanni Paolo (1691-1765). Italy, Roman School. Found in the collection of the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg. (Photo by Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images)
Interior view of St. Peter's Basilica during a solemn mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II at the Vatican Sunday, November 10 1996. The Pontiff, and priests he invited from around the world, celebrated their golden ordination anniversaries with a solemn mass inside St. Peter's Basilica and a joyous festival of music on the basilica's steps. (Ap Photo/Domenico Stinellis)
Faithful fill St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, April 27, 2014. Pope Francis has declared his two predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints in an unprecedented canonization ceremony made even more historic by the presence of retired Pope Benedict XVI. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Pope Francis holds the hand of a disabled child during an audience granted to catholic groups in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, June 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis, second left, leaves at the end of the funeral service of Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
From left, the tapestries of Eufrasia Eluvathingal, Amato Ronconi, Antonio Farina, Kuriakose Elias Chavara, Nicola Saggio da Longobardi and Amato Ronconi are displayed on St. Peter's Basilica during their Canonization mass celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 19: Pope Francis during his Inauguration Mass on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The inauguration of Pope Francis is being held in front of an expected crowd of up to one million pilgrims and faithful who have crowded into St Peter's Square and the surrounding streets to see the former Cardinal of Buenos Aires officially take up his position. Pope Francis' inauguration takes place in front his cardinals, spiritual leaders as well as heads of states from around the world and he will now lead an estimated 1.3 billion Catholics. (Photo by Europa Press/Europa Press via Getty Images)
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"I think it was close to zero," Capone told Italian television.

"The baby regained color on her face after we covered her," another policeman said.

The head of Pope's Francis' charity office, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, later visited the woman and baby in a hospital a few blocks away and offered her one-year's free accommodation in a Church-owned apartment, the Vatican spokesman said.

He said Krajewski knew the woman and her partner, also a Romanian, because they use showers and food services the Vatican has started to help the growing number of homeless in the area.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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