Franciscan Sister, Gloria Cécilia Narvaez, who was held captive for a period with SMA Fr Pierluigi Maccalli, has – after 4 years and 8 months – been freed by her kidnappers (GSIM – Group to Support Islam and Muslims – a group linked to Al Qaida). This happy event took place on Saturday, 9 October 2021. In June 2021, it was reported that the Colombian government had ended its efforts in Mali to get Sister Gloria released. Thankfully other governments, particularly Mali, continued their work and this has, at last, bore fruit.
At the time of his liberation, Fr Maccalli asked for prayers for Sr Gloria who was in very poor health at the time he last saw her. It is not known how her health is now. Sr Gloria was a missionary in the Koutiala, Mali area for several years before her kidnapping. The kidnappers intended to seize two other younger sisters but Sr Gloria persuaded them to take her in their place.
The Mali head of state, Colonel Assimi Goita, assured his people that his government would not let up in its efforts to free all those, both Malian and foreigners, who have been kidnapped in this part of west Africa. Archbishop Jean Zerbo on Bamako confirmed her release, having prayed for her release and he thanked the Malian government and others for all they had done to get Sr Gloria released.
As we give thanks to God for Sr Gloria’s release let us redouble our prayers for all those still held captive, not only in west Africa, but throughout the world. May the hearts of their kidnappers be softened so that the women and men of faith and peace can return to their communities and families.
For more information see also this article published in La Croix – Read More