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 GGPier Luigi Maccalli landed with a military plane in Rome-Ciampino on the afternoon of Friday 9 October, together with Nicola Chiacchio, his fellow prisoner. Welcomed by Prime Minister Conte and the Foreign Minister Di Maio, he then completed the formalities at the Rome Public Prosecutor’s Office and at the Crisis Unit of the Farnesina (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). We were finally able to see him and take him to the SMA Generalate in via Della Nocetta in Rome on Friday evening, together with his sister’s family who came to welcome him.

In two days everything has changed for him: the torrent of emotions is likely to be even excessive. Fr Gigi thanks everyone for their prayers and for all that has been done for his release. He is physically fine, even though he has lost a lot of weight. He is also well mentally: lucid and more solid than ever in his Christian vocation and desire to be a missionary. He celebrated the Eucharist with us on Saturday 10 October morning: the first after a Eucharistic fast of over two years.

Now he will do the quarantine asked by the health authorities in his house in Madignano, diocese of Crema. He will have time to rest, eat well, and to let all these events settle. Later he will be able to visit the confreres in Genoa and Padua and resume contact with everyone.

We thank the Lord and the many persons who have prayed and waited for his return, starting with Pope Francis, his diocese of Niamey where he works, and with that of Crema from where he left as a missionary.

GG2A special thanks to the Crisis Unit of the Farnesina with all its collaborators on the ground: many other countries admire this organization which, once again,  in Pier Luigi’s case,  has worked with great humanity and great effectiveness. Thanks to the Government and to all of Italy who cheered on Fr. Pier Luigi Maccalli. We continue to pray for the other people who are still in the hands of the kidnappers and for justice and reconciliation in the Sahel countries

Fr Antonio Porcellato, SMA, Superior General

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