Meeting a mother mourning a newborn baby and visiting young women rescued from forced prostitution are moments from the Year of Mercy that remain impressed on Pope Francis’s heart.

The Pope reviewed the Holy Year in a 40-minute interview aired last Sunday on TV­2000, a television station owned by the Italian bish­ops’ conference.

Describing a visit to the neonatal ward of Rome’s San Giovan­ni Hospital in September, he said: “There was a woman who cried and cried and cried standing by her two infants – tiny, but beautiful.

The third had died. She cried for that dead child while she caress­ed the other two.”

“I thought of the practice of gett­ing rid of babies before they are born – this horrible crime. They get rid of them because ‘it’s bet­ter that way’, because it is eas­ier, ‘it is a big responsibility’. That is a serious sin.”

He said: “This wom­an had three chil­d­ren and wept for the one who died; she was unable to console herself with the two remaining.”

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