ROME — An elderly religious sister who worked for many years at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the papal residence, was at her congregation’s house recovering from surgery when she received an unexpected visit from Pope Francis.

The pope arrived at Rome’s Regina Mundi House July 28 and greeted Sister Maria Mucci, a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, as well as members of her congregation.

Since October, Mucci has been recovering from a delicate surgical procedure. Nevertheless, the elderly nun was in good spirits, especially after the pope’s visit.

“Just look! My illness has made all the sisters of the Regina Mundi House who met the pope happy,” she told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

In an interview with the newspaper, Sister Stefania, a fellow Daughter of Charity, said that Mucci took great pride in her work attending to the needs of the pope at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Before her surgery, Mucci “took care of the kitchen and was proud of personally preparing vegetables for the Holy Father,” Sister Stefania said.

According to Vatican newspaper, the pope spent some moments contemplating a relic belonging to his predecessor, St. John Paul II. The relic was the bloodstained shirt worn by St. John Paul during the assassination attempt May 13, 1981.

Francis also took time to greet the other members of the Daughters of Charity, as well as employees and guests staying at the congregation’s house before returning to the Vatican, L’Osservatore Romano reported.

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