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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis meets with missionary who spent two years in captivity


The pope met with Pierluigi Maccalli, the missionary who was kidnapped in Niger in 2018 and set free in Mali last month. It was a very emotional meeting.

For the past two years, these people held a daily prayer vigil for the priest. This is how they reacted to his liberation.

It was nighttime, but we rang the bells. It felt like Easter.

During these two years, the pope followed the missionary's situation closely.

POPE FRANCIS
“I would like to join you in praying for your brother, Pierluigi Maccalli, kidnapped several months ago in Niger.”

The missionary recounted how last June, his kidnappers gave him a radio and the excitement he felt when he heard this pope's celebration on Pentecost.

POPE FRANCIS
“If we see Him as a God who takes things away, who imposes Himself, we will also want to impose ourselves: taking up spaces, claiming importance, seeking power. However, if in our hearts we have a God who is gift, everything changes.”

Now that he's a free man, they were able to pray together at the Vatican. This was the missionary's reaction to the pope's blessing.

JMB

Translation: CT