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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

“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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About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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