Melania Trump reveals she is Catholic: The First Lady shares her faith with the world after meeting the Pope as the first Catholic to live in White House since JFK
Her spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham confirmed that to DailyMail.com on Wednesday, hours after Pope Francis blessed a rosary for her at the Vatican.
Mrs. Trump did more than just show up for a Papal audience.
She spent time in prayer at the Vatican-affiliated Bambino Gesù (Baby Jesus) Hospital, and laid flowers at the feet of a statue of the Madonna.
She also prayed in the hospital chapel and read to a young Greek boy in need of a donor heart – holding his hand in the Intensive Care Unit while camera shutters snapped.
The almighty may have heard her.
‘Upon landing in Belgium, I learned a young boy and his family who had been waiting for a heart transplant was informed that the hospital has found a donor,’ she said in a statement.
‘I read a book and held hands with this special little one just a few hours ago, and now my own heart is filled with joy over this news.’
The first lady later tweeted about the development with the hashtags ‘#Blessings’ and ‘#Faith.’
In another tweet, she sent ‘blessings to all’ after her Papal audience.
Mrs. Trump told Pope Francis at the Vatican that she was looking forward to going to the hospital ‘for the bambinos.’ She later called the visit ‘very moving.’
‘To spend time speaking to and coloring with children who have such a positive spirit despite illness was an amazing gift,’ she said.
‘The time I spent with the little ones in the Intensive Care Unit is something I will never forget, and I will pray for each of them daily.’
It’s unclear when Mrs. Trump became a Catholic. The president is a life-long Presbyterian, and they were married in a Florida Episcopal church.
Growing up as the daughter of a Communist Party member in rural Slovenia, her family maintained the outward appearances of being atheists, according to people in her childhood village of Sevnica who spoke to DailyMail.com in late 2015.
Accordingly, Melania and her sister were not baptized and did not make their First Holy Communion with other children their age.
It’s still not clear when Mrs. Trump was baptized into the Catholic faith. Grisham did not immediately respond to a question about that detail.
But the Trumps have been in a reflective religious mood since arriving in Saudi Arabia last Saturday. That frame of mind persisted throughout their time in Israel.
The president addressed 55 world leaders from Arab and other Muslim-majority nations in Riyadh, imploring them to be part of ‘a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.’
In Jerusalem he visited the famed Western Wall, slipping a written prayer between the centuries-old stones as custom permits.
He ‘marveled at the monument to God’s presence and man’s perseverance,’ he said Tuesday in a speech at the Israel Museum.
‘I was humbled to place my hand upon the wall and to pray in that holy space for wisdom from God,’ Trump told an audience of Jewish officials.
‘This city, like no other place in the world, reveals the longing of the human heart – to know and worship God.’
Trump issued a proclamation on Wednesday calling for a national ‘day of prayer for permanent peace’ on May 29, the upcoming Memorial Day holiday.
‘On this ceremonious day, we remember the fallen, we pray for a lasting peace among nations, and we honor these guardians of our inalienable rights,’ he said.
‘I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer. I urge the press, radio, television, and all other information media to cooperate in this observance,’ Trump added.