Rome (AsiaNews) – An international day of prayer exactly a month after Fr. Giancarlo Bossi was abducted, so that “the Lord will give him abundant courage, hope, and patience,” but also for his abductors, in the hope that “God will touch their hearts and they will repent.”
The proposal was launched by the Superior General of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), Fr. Gian Battista Zanchi, in a letter to the missionaries of the Institute spread throughout the world. He invited the various PIME communities in Asia, Africa, America, Europe, and Oceania to gather for a “special day of intense prayer” for Fr. Bossi, to be held on July 10.
Everyone who wishes to participate is also invited to this moment of prayer, which will be held in the various houses of PIME. The Superior General will be the main celebrant at a Mass in the Generalate in Rome at 8:30 in the evening. For the location of the different houses of the Institute, click here
Fr. Giancarlo Bossi was abducted last June 10 in the vicinity of his parish in Payao, in the southern province of Mindanao. So far, despite the efforts of the Italian and Filipino governments, and despite the extensive search operations conducted by the Filipino army, neither the reason for the abduction nor the identity of the abductors is clearly known.
All the members of the Institute, the Superior General writes, “together with the family, friends, and parish of Fr. Giancarlo, are waiting with hope for the news announcing his liberation. However, we have to say that, as of today, no one has claimed responsibility, nor do we know why he was abducted.”
For this reason, Fr. Zanchi writes, “initiatives and manifestations at different levels asking for the liberation of Fr. Giancarlo are most welcome,” but at the same time, “prayer should not be forgotten: we are in the hands of God.”
Recalling the episode of the imprisonment of St. Peter, and of the “unceasing prayer” which the first Christian community offered for his liberation (Acts 12:5-7), the Superior General emphasized that it was precisely this prayer that was answered with the dispatch of an angel [to free Peter].
So it is, Fr. Zanchi concludes, that “our unceasing prayer, united to the prayer which is rising from every part of the world, will also be heard. Fr. Giancarlo will soon return, to the joy of his dear ones, to our joy, to the joy of the people of Payao, and to the joy of all those who have believed in the power of prayer and who have, in various ways, done all they could for his liberation.”