A 31-year-old nun from the Italian city of Rieti has given birth to a baby boy after she was rushed to hospital following stomach pain. The baby has been named Francesco after the current pope, according to reports.

BBC, citing Italian media, reported that the general public has started collecting donations for the mother and her newborn son. But she is expected to get the boot from the convent for violating the vow of chastity.

The identity of the woman, who belongs to a convent near Rieti in central Italy that manages an old age home, has not been revealed.

"I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain," the woman was quoted as saying by the Ansa news agency. Another media report said the woman dismissed the doctors' notion that she was pregnant and rubbished it saying, "It's not possible, I'm a nun."

However, it has been reported that the nun got pregnant during her visit to El Salvador, where she is originally from.

The convent's mother superior, Sister Erminia, told the Telegraph, "It seems she was not able to resist temptation."

Reacting to the news, nuns at the convent told the media that they were "surprised" by the news of her pregnancy. Although they had noticed that the woman had put on weight, the nuns did not suspect her to be with child.

Local pastor Don Fabrizio Borrello told the media that the nun planned to take care of the baby."I guess she's telling the truth when she says she arrived at the hospital unaware of the pregnancy," Borrello said, according to BBC.