The Italian Priest who had been kidnapped in Southern Nigeria last Thursday has been rescued. He was taken by a local criminal gang who had no affiliation with large terrorist groups. It is believed that they took him in order to gain a ransom for him from the government or Catholic Church. This is also the second time that he has been kidnapped in the last year. He says that though the time was tough, he praises God for taking care of him in his time of need.
2017-10-18 Nigeria (Crux) Father Maurizio Pallù, an Italian missionary priest who’d been kidnapped last Friday in Nigeria, was released on Tuesday just before midnight. Afterwards, he said that he’s seen the “great miracles” God performed to keep him alive.
“I’m fine, very happy!” Pallù told Vatican Radio on Wednesday, the day of his 63rd birthday. “The Lord has risen, he’s accompanied me, I’ve had moments of fear but I have to say that I really felt the help of the saints, the Virgin Mary, [and] of Carmen Hernandez [co-founder of the Neocatecumenal Way].”
The priest said that this is the second time he’s been kidnapped in the past year, but this experience was harder than the first one: “I have seen the great miracles the Lord has performed to keep us alive,” he said.
His liberation, Pallù said, “means that the Lord has a great plan for this country, because the devil is attacking it with great force to destroy God’s work in this nation.”
Both times he was kidnapped, Pallù noted in the interview, fell on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, October 13. The first time, “thanks to a miracle of the Madonna,” he said, he and his companions were released in less than two hours. This time they were taken on the eve of the feast, and kept for five days.
“As a matter of fact, I was going to Benin City where the Nigerian bishops celebrated the re-consecration of Nigeria to the Virgin Mary, and I wanted to be there on Oct. 13 for this great Eucharist,” he said. “Instead, I spent Oct. 13 in the forest and I received a sign of the maternal attention of Mary.”
According to his confreres of the Neocatecumenal Way, the priest seems to be in good shape. He will travel back to Abuja. He’s been asked to travel to Italy for a few days. According to his interview with Vatican Radio, he doesn’t want to do so but has agreed, only to then head back to the African nation immediately.
“I would like to stay here, because the devil is defeated by staying here, the devil is cowardly, he wants us to be scared but has chosen the wrong way because we are poor men and we are afraid but are supported by the grace of God,” he said.