Fifteen months ago Father Luigi Maccalli, a priest of the Society for African Missions was kidnapped in Niger, in September 2018. Many people continue to keep his memory alive despite these long months of silence:
“They would all like you back at home to be able to hug you, think you safe and in good health, to be with you. Someone said he would like to be able to stroke your beard. Everyone misses you Father Gigi, to those who were lucky to have met you, but also to those who knew you less”, writes Lucia Pavan, a layperson who frequents the SMA community of Crema.
The letter to Fides continues: “There exists a “communion of lives”. And your life is involving and questioning the lives of many people, near or far today. There is a thread that unites us. Sometimes we do not see it, we do not notice it, but we are all tied to each other. And what happens to me always brings meaning and a question to those around me, and vice versa. No one knows what you are experiencing. There are moments in life when we can only rely on the Lord. And today, Father Gigi, we want to believe that even in this moment the Lord is acting through your life as a missionary father where you are “.
From Niger one day Padre Maccalli wrote to his friends: “Hope is the African virtue par excellence and many are those who hope for a different future”. “You never wanted all our attention – says the community that awaits him and pray for him -. And s we entrust you to the Lord, together with every man who is deprived of his freedom and dignity. Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his cell in Auschwitz wrote: I believe that God can and wants to give birth to good from everything. This is why he needs men who know how to use everything for the best purpose. Father Gigi, we ask the Lord to guard you, to give you strength and a lot of hope”.