Nun released nearly five years after kidnapping in Mali thanks God

Nun released nearly five years after kidnapping in Mali thanks God File photo of Sr Gloria Cecilia Narváez Argoti. Credit: Vatican News

Sr Gloria Cecilia Narváez Argoti, a missionary who was abducted in Mali in February 2017 and held for nearly five years before finally being released on October 9 of this year, posted on Twitter thanking God and all those who have made her new-found freedom possible.

Sr Gloria said, “I want to lift up my thanksgiving to God on this day because I have felt him close to me during this captivity” and offered her gratitude to “His Holiness Pope Francis, to the Italian government, to the Italian intelligence agencies, to the Malian authorities, to Cardinal Zerbo”.

Armed men kidnapped Sr Cecilia, a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate and a Colombia native, in Karangasso, about 90 miles south of San, February 7, 2017. The men demanded that Sr Cecilia hand over the keys to the community’s ambulance. The vehicle was later found abandoned. Three other sisters were present at their house but escaped without being taken hostage.

According to Malian sources, a judge in the country indicted four individuals in relation to the kidnapping in April 2017.

Sr Cecilia had served in Mali for 12 years before her abduction. Her community operates a large health center in the country, as well as a home where they care for some 30 orphans between one and two years of age and also teach literacy to some 700 Muslim women.

In July Sr Cecilia identified the group then holding her as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin, a militant Islamist group in West Africa and the Maghreb.