Vatican city: Salesians in the Bangalore province of India held a prayer vigil on 4 January 2017, for the safe release Rev. Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, who was kidnapped in Yemen on 4 March. Rev. Fr Joyce Thonikuzhiyil, Provincial superior, Bangalore, requested the 11 Salesian communities of South Asia to mark 4 January as “a day of prayer with an hour of Eucharistic adoration” for the purpose of “intensifying our prayerful efforts” for the safe release of the priest.
The day of prayer comes after a video-appealing of Fr. Tom was posted in You Tube on 26 December. Through the video the priest was appealing to Pope Francis, and bishops all over the world, for help: “Dear Pope Francis…as a father, please take care of my life... My health is deteriorating; I am in need of hospitalization soon. Please come to my help quickly.” The five minute video was the first communication from Fr. Tom since his abduction. The priest had overgrown hair and spoke slowly from a prepared script. “I renew my appeal for the freeing of all kidnapped persons in armed conflict zones, “the Pope said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The Indian government has reportedly had difficulty brokering for the priest’s release because of political instability in Yemen.
Courtesy: Global Catholic Network (EWTN)