Freed Colombian hostage Íngrid Betancourt will get her wish to meet with Benedict XVI when he receives her in audience Sept. 1 at Castel Gandolfo.

Betancourt was rescued from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia in a daring mission July 2. She had been in captivity since February 2002. Betancourt, a dual French-Colombian citizen, had been a candidate for the Colombian presidency.

Immediately after her liberation, she expressed a desire to meet with the Pope. She says her faith helped her to survive years of captivity and humiliating treatment.

According to a communiqué from the Betancourt family, she will also meet with the president of Italy and the mayor of Rome.

The Pontiff met with Betancourt’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, last February.

Lourdes visit

Earlier this year, soon after her release the Betancourt family travelled to Lourdes to give thanks for her liberation.

Betancourt had previously told journalists that she “tried to maintain dignity” by meditating and praying, despite being bound and beaten by her captors. She said she had made a rosary from buttons and old string during her captivity.

VATICAN CITY, AUG. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org)