A prayer for a priest abducted by ISIS

"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace be with you! We are still in shock from the brutal murder of the four Missionaries of Charity and 12 collaborators in Aden on March 4. We pray for the repose of their souls. At the same time we implore the four martyrs to intercede for Yemen and for the whole Middle East that peace may come and violence cease.

Since March 4, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian priest, who has been serving in Yemen for several years, has been missing. Since the day he was kidnapped we do not know what has happened to him or where he is. There is still hope that he may be freed. As we are celebrating the Passion and Resurrection of Our Lord, I ask all of you to pray for Father Tom, especially during the adoration hours on Maundy Thursday after the celebration of the Last Supper Mass. United with Jesus, with Father Tom and many others who are persecuted we pray: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). We pray that the same angel who comforted Jesus may give strength to all who are in danger and strengthen them in the hours of darkness.

I wish to express my solidarity and compassion with all who are affected by the events in Aden: the family members, the Missionaries of Charity, the Congregation of the Salesian Fathers, and not least the patients of the home and the few Christians remaining without a shepherd during this time of trial. We pray for the conversion of the evildoers and make our own, the prayer of Jesus on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). We believe that Golgotha is not the end. Jesus is the Christ, the Risen Lord who lives and reigns forever. In Him I wish you all a very Happy Easter.

Bishop Paul Hinder
Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia
Abu Dhabi, March 22, 2016

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