Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias has appealed for prayers for the release of Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest abducted by unknown gunmen early March in Yemen. At the triduum leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday, the cardinal who is Archbishop of Bombay appealed on Friday for prayer and mercy to save the 56-year-old priest, kidnapped by suspected Islamic State group gunmen. The attackers stormed the Missionaries of Charity compound in Aden, March 4, slaying of 16 people at a home for the elderly run by the Missionaries of Charity (MC) nuns. Four of the dead were the nuns themselves. India’s bishops have also appealed to the government, calling for "urgent action" to secure the release of the Salesian priest.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Card Gracias, who heads the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) as well as the Latin-rite bishops of India (CCBI) noted that the Jubilee of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis is a "privileged moment". The prelate called on "prayer groups, parishes, religious institutes, chapels, monasteries and also private homes "to pray for Fr Tom. "I pray that each of us entrust Fr Tom to the Divine Mercy,” Card Gracias said. “I also ask you to pray that he may safely come back to us, and I encourage all of you to partake in his suffering. Let us ask that he may soon regain his freedom." “Saint Pope John Paul II said that only Divine Mercy is able to impose limitations on evil,” Cardinal Gracias recalled. Therefore, “Let us pray through Mary, Mother of Mercy also for those who perpetrated the barbaric killing of our 4 missionaries of charity and kidnapped Fr Tom,” he added. (Source:AsiaNews)