Sources of the Vatican confirmed the Holy Father's positive reaction, who received the information in his room in the Gemelli Polyclinic in Rome.

The Holy Father called for her liberation Feb. 13.

"While I continue to pray for peace in the Middle East, I make a profound appeal for the liberation of Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena and all those kidnapped in Iraq," the Holy Father said on that occasion.

The journalist, 56, was kidnapped Feb. 4 close to the University of Bagdad after having spent a few hours in a Shiite refugee camp.