Sudanese Woman Condemned to Hang Flies to Italy, Meets With Pope Francis

PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.
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A woman sentenced to death for marrying a Christian flew to Italy today and met privately with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Meriam Ibrahim, 27, was sentenced to be flogged and hanged to death in Sudan for marrying a Christian and converting from the Muslim faith to Christianity.

PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.
LOsservatore Romano/AP
PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.

Ibrahim's story drew international outrage from people across the globe as it went viral on social media under the "#savemeriam" hashtag with world leaders condemning the harsh sentence.

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Ibrahim, who was raised by her Christian mother, was eight months pregnant at the time of her sentence and has since given birth. The woman is married to a U.S. citizen.

The Associated Press reported that the pope met with Ibrahim and her family once they landed.

PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.
LOsservatore Romano/AP
PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.

The Vatican said the pontiff had "a very affectionate" meeting with Ibrahim, her husband and their two small children.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pope "thanked her for her faith and courage, and she thanked him for his prayer and solidarity" during the half-hour meeting.

PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.
LOsservatore Romano/AP
PHOTO: Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim with her husband Daniel Wani and two small children in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican on July 24, 2014.

Ibrahim and her family flew on an Italian government plane -- accompanied by Italian minister Lapo Pistelli -- to Rome's Ciampino airport.

Pistelli posted a photo to Facebook showing the group with the caption, "With Meriam, Maya, Martin and Daniel, in a few minutes of Rome. Mission accomplished."

Italy and the United States worked together to secure the woman's release.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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