During Angelus, Pope Appeals for Nuns Kidnapped in Nigeria to Be Returned Home

On Sunday, Also Marking His 81st Birthday, Francis Also Thanks Faithful for Singing Happy Birthday

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«I join the heartfelt appeal of the Bishops of Nigeria for the release of the six sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, kidnapped about a month ago from their convent at Iguoriakhi,» Pope Francis has said, appealing: «I pray insistently for them and for all other persons that find themselves in this painful condition: on the occasion of Christmas, may they be able to return finally to their homes.»
Pope Francis made the appeal for the African nuns’ return this morning during his Angelus address today, one week before Christmas, inviting the faithful to join him in saying a Hail Mary.
After the dramatic appeal, Francis told the faithful in St. Peter’s Square of how grateful he was for those present singing him happy birthday, as today marked the Pontiff’s 81st birthday.
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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