One day after his release from captivity, Salesian Fr Tom Uzhunnalil met with Pope Francis.
According to the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, the pope welcomed Father Uzhunnalil at his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, on 13th September.
Arriving before Pope Francis, the Salesian knelt before him and kissed his feet. Visibly moved by the gesture, the pope helped him up and kissed his hands, the Vatican newspaper said.
Before blessing Fr Uzhunnalil, the pope embraced him and said he would continue to pray for him as he had done during his imprisonment.
Fr Uzhunnalil was kidnapped on 4th March 2016, from a home for the aged and disabled run by the Missionaries of Charity in Aden, Yemen. Four Missionaries of Charity and 12 others were murdered in the attack.
According to Oman’s state-run news agency ONA, Fr Uzhunnalil was ‘rescued’ on 12th September by Oman authorities ‘in co-ordination with the Yemeni parties’.
Picture: Salesian Fr Tom Uzhunnalil, who was released on 12th September after having been kidnapped 18 months ago in Yemen, is anointed by Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican on 13th September. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).