“It is with joy that we learn and that we confirm the release of Father Pier Luigi Maccali”, exclaimed on the official website of the Society of African Missions (SMA), Rev. Father Antonio Porcellato, Superior General of the said society of which Father Pier Luigi Maccali is a member.
This long-awaited moment was a one of joy not only for the members of the biological family of Father Pier Luigi Maccali, and for the community of Bamoanga of which he was the pastor, but also for the members of his religious family who for years was not weary of increasing the calls and prayers for the release of their confrere.
Let us recall that Father Pier Luigi Maccali was kidnapped in Niger on September 17, 2018, in the region of Bomoanga, about 150 kilometers from Niamey, the capital of Niger. A video sent to Avvenire, an Italian news outlet last April showed him still alive alongside Nicola Chiacchio, an Italian tourist who had also been kidnapped a few years ago, probably in Mali, while traveling in the region as a tourist.
This release comes after the liberation by the Malian authorities of more than hundreds of jihadists convicted or suspected over the weekend as part of negotiations for the release of Soumaïla Cissé, former leader of the Malian parliamentary opposition and a French humanitarian Sophie Petronin supposed to be in the hands of the jihadists.
We have to say that the prayers for the release of Father Pier Luigi have borne fruit and we can’t but only give glory to the Lord for him and for all the other people who have regained their freedom.
To that effect, a thanksgiving Mass was offered this morning by Rev. Father Antonio Porcellato.