Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 28 July |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Stanley Rother
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope baptizes conjoined twins who were separated at Vatican hospital


Twitter | @fondbambinogesu

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/10/20

The amazing journey of the girls from the Central African Republic continues!

The amazing journey of little Ervina and Prefina continues: The twins were born conjoined and received the first-ever successful surgery of its kind in order to separate them. Now they have been received into the Church with the sacrament of baptism having been administered by Pope Francis.

At the time of their surgery, their mother reflected: “Ervina and Prefina were born twice. If we had stayed in Africa I don’t know what fate they would have had.”

Now the girls have been reborn through baptism.

The joyful news of their baptism was shared by Antoinette Montaigne, a Central African politician and former Minister of Communication of the country, who Tweeted the news (above). In the photo, taken in the Santa Marta chapel, we also see Doctor Carlos Marras, the head of neurosurgery at Bambino Gesù.

The little girls from the Central African Republic were separated at the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital on June 5. The operation was a grueling process, complex because the girls shared a skull and a large number of blood vessels — the technical term being “total posterior craniopagus.”

This type of operation has never been successfully completed before.

The little girls were given the opportunity to undergo the surgery at the Vatican hospital after the hospital’s president, Mariella Enoc, made a visit to the Central African Republic in 2018.

It took a year of study and preparation to prepare for the surgeries; there were three in total, with the last one taking 18 hours and 30 doctors and nurses.

“When you come across lives that can be saved, you have to do it. We can’t just look away,” Enoc said at a press conference on July 7, announcing the successful surgery.

See more here.

Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital

Read more:
Conjoined twins separated in complex 30-hour operation at Vatican hospital

More pictures of the girls and the preparation for the procedure are available at the statement from Bambino Gesù (in Italian).


Read more:
6 Astonishing things God promises through Baptism

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
J-P Mauro
Reconstructing a 12th-century pipe organ discovered in the Holy L...
Joachim and Anne
Philip Kosloski
Did Jesus know his grandparents?
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Philip Kosloski
This prayer to St. Anthony is said to have “never been know...
Cerith Gardiner
5 Ways grandparents impact our lives for the better
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.