VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI met on Wednesday with the woman who knocked him over at St. Peter's Basilica during Christmas Eve Mass, and he forgave her, the Vatican said.
Susanna Maiolo, a 25-year-old with a history of psychiatric problems, and her family met in a private audience with the pope at the end of his general audience, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Maiolo told the pontiff she was sorry, and Benedict inquired about her health and "wanted to demonstrate his forgiveness," Lombardi said in a statement.
The Vatican said no photos or video would be released of the meeting.
Maiolo, a Swiss-Italian national, jumped a security barricade in St. Peter's Basilica at the start of Christmas Eve Mass and pulled Benedict down when a security guard tackled her. The pope was not hurt.
Maiolo had tried to reach the pope in the same way during the 2008 Midnight Mass service but didn't manage to get to him. She has been treated at a clinic outside Rome since the incident.
The Vatican investigation into the incident continues, Lombardi said. A retired Vatican diplomat, French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, fractured his hip in the commotion and had to undergo surgery. Benedict visited Etchegaray in the hospital last week.