Filomena Lamberti is an Italian woman who has endured violence and abuse from her husband for 35 years. She says that the primary cause of the misunderstanding between her and her husband is jealousy.
According to the 58 year-old, it was the fear of the possibility of her son imitating his father’s violent actions that made her decide to file for divorce. She says that initially, her husband accepted the request. But on the night of April 28, Filomena was informed otherwise. During her sleep, her husband walked into the bedroom and doused her face with a bottle of acid.
Now severely disfigured and having undergone 25 different surgical procedures, Filomena says a personal letter from the pope givers her the strength to keep moving forward. She received the letter on June 11 last year, after she sent the Supreme Pontiff a copy of her book entitled, Another Life: It’s Not a Romance, It’s the Courage to Testify.
See the transcript of the Supreme Pontiff’s letter for Filomena below:
“Dear Filomena, It terrifies me to think of the cruelty that disfigured your face, offending your dignity as a woman and as a mother …” With these heartfelt words, Pope Francis wrote to a victim of domestic abuse, a wife and mother who was disfigured with acid by her husband, reported the daily La Repubblica this week.
“I ask your forgiveness, taking upon myself the burden of a humanity that doesn’t know how to ask forgiveness of those who, in the prevailing indifference, live daily offended, trampled upon and marginalized,” he said to the Italian woman. “I pray for you so that the courage you’ve shown with singular beauty will become a blow against indifference.”