At the conclusion of his weekly General Audience, Pope Francis led the faithful gathered in prayer for several nuns who were recently kidnapped in Syria.
On Monday, Islamist rebels invaded the St. Thecla Greek Orthodox Convent in Maaloula, located near Damascus. They are reported to have abducted twelve nuns of the convent.
Archbishop Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Damascus, spoke to AsiaNews, saying that the whereabouts of the nuns are still unknown. “We can confirm that the nuns were forced to leave the monastery and follow these armed people,” he said.
Before leading the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square in praying the Hail Mary, the Holy Father appealed for the safety of the nuns and those suffering from the conflict in Syria.
I would now like to invite you all to pray for the nuns of the Greek-Orthodox Monastery of St. Thecla in Maaloula, in Syria, who were forcibly taken by armed men two days ago,” he said. “Let us pray for these nuns, these sisters and for all people who have been kidnapped as a result of the ongoing conflict. Let us continue to pray and work together for peace. Let us now entrust ourselves to Our Lady.” (J.A.E.)