During Sunday's (April 10) Regina coeli prayer, Pope Francis appealed for the immediate release of Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil, SDB, who was taken captive on March 4 during the murderous terror attack on a home for the elderly operated by the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen. Uzhunnalil, 56, was a Catholic priest from India rumored to be heading toward crucifixion by radical Islamists on Good Friday. No one publicly has unequivocally stated his whereabouts.
During the March 4 attack, four religious sisters of the congregation founded by Blessed (soon-to-be Saint) Teresa of Calcutta were slain, along with a dozen other people at the facility.
Read prior coverage about the priest's abduction in The Gospel Herald:
The specific appeal for the Salesian missionary priest immediately followed a general appeal for the immediate release of all persons taken captive in war zones.
"In the hope given us by the Risen Christ," said Pope Francis to the crowd of pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, "I renew my appeal for the liberation of all persons seized in areas of armed conflict: in particular, I desire to remember the Salesian priest, Tom Uzhunnalil, kidnapped at Aden in Yemen this past March 4."
Uzhunnalil was a priest from Bangalore, India, who dedicated his life to serving the poor and disadvantaged around him, according to Catholic Online.
Salesians have been pressuring government officials for answers for the past month.