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Aleteia
Wednesday 25 November |
Saint Catherine of Alexandria

How a kind word from Pope Francis saved a woman's life

© Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 09/11/17

A remarkable encounter with a woman who had suffered an acid attack changed everything:

Consuela Cordoba planned to end her life with a doctor’s help under Colombia’s euthanasia laws, however when she met the Pope to ask permission he refused to give it.

“You are very brave and very pretty,” he told her, prompting her to change her mind on the spot.

Consuela was injured in 2000 when her ex-partner Dagoberto Esuncho threw acid in her face.

“I had perfect teeth, I was very pretty. But now, I’m destroyed,” she said in a 2012 interview.

“I’ve thought about committing suicide. I say to myself, why live? With a life like the one I have, what for?”

She has undergone 87 operations and needs tubes in her nostrils to breathe. She can also over eat liquid food and has to wear a mesh body suit at all times. After she was diagnosed with a brain infection recently, she and her doctor agreed to end her life on September 29.

But read what happened.

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