Italian police hunting three men who forced entry and locked up mother superior at Castel Gandolfo.
Italian police are looking for robbers who stole thousands of euros on Christmas Day from a convent close to the Pope’s summer villa in Castel Gandolfo.
According to reports, three unmasked men aged between 30 and 40 forced a window at the Pius XII Insitute in the Alban hills south of Rome just after midnight on Christmas Eve.
The noise awoke the sisters and when the mother superior confronted the robbers, they grabbed her and walked her to her bedroom where she was forced to hand over 5,000 euros ($6,000) from the convent’s cash box.
They then grabbed her mobile phone and locked her in her bedroom before escaping through holes cut in the fence at the back of the convent’s grounds. An accomplice was waiting outside with a getaway car.
The Italian daily Il Messaggero said the sisters, who run a local school, were in "a state of shock".
Italian police have carried out forensics at the institute and acquired footage of surveillance cameras in the area that might be useful in tracking down the robbers.
Diane Montagna is Rome correspondent for Aleteia’s English edition.