VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Vatican-owned hospital Bambino Gesú made history on Tuesday (July 7) when it announced it had successfully separated conjoined twins brought to Rome from the Central African Republic.

“Ervina and Prefina have been born twice,” said the teary-eyed mother, Ermine, during the press conference on Tuesday.

“If we had stayed in Africa I don’t know what destiny would have awaited them. Now that they are separate and well, I would like for them to be baptized by Pope Francis, who has always cared for the children of Bangui. My little ones can now grow up, study and become doctors to save other children,” she said.

The twins were born in the town of Mbaiki, in the Central African Republic, joined at the

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