AFRICA/MALI - "What can we all do together to help Sister Gloria Cecília Narváez?": Edith Blais, her fellow prisoner keeps hope alive

Friday, 6 August 2021


Bamako (Agenzia Fides) - "What can we all do together to help Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez in the hands of the kidnappers for 4 years and 6 months"? writes the Canadian Edith Blais who shared 5 months of imprisonment in the hands of jihadists together with the Colombian nun of the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Mary Immaculate, and who managed to escape in March 2020 from the terrorist group GSIM (Group for the support of Islam and Muslims) who kidnapped her in Burkina Faso in December 2018.
The note sent to Fides through Fr. Pierluigi Maccalli, a priest of the Society for African Missions kidnapped by jihadist militiamen on September 17, 2018 and released on October 8, 2020, is full of hope and at the same time of concern for the fate of the nun of whom, after more than 4 years there is still no news.
"She shared everything she had with me", said the Canadian. "Sister Gloria helped me a lot during my imprisonment in the desert. She is a great woman and it saddens me to know that it is precisely this characteristic that brought her to this hell. She has dedicated her life to helping others, travelling to poor and dangerous countries to support women and to look after the health of young children who probably would not have survived without this kindness".
"I would like to share a true story, a truth that unfortunately still exists today" - writes Edith who wanted to share her brief reflection to make Sister Gloria's reality visible to others. "She She was working in an orphanage when a group of rebels broke in and demanded money. Unfortunately, the women who worked there did not have what the terrorists were looking for, living on next to nothing. Fearing that the attackers would harm her companions, she begged them to choose her if they wanted to hurt one of them, as she was the oldest of the four. They listened to her, and fled the orphanage taking her with them, heading into the desert on their motorcycles. It was a journey that lasted several days and will mark her forever. Sister Gloria is deeply affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and finds herself alone. Her suffering is great, but she remains strong and does not lose hope. She has always kept her faith in God, in life, in humanity.
The Canadian woman concludes her appeal by exhorting to continue "to keep alive the hope and story of Sister Gloria Cecilia Narvaez, so that humanity can think of her and carry her in their heart, as I carry her in mine". (GM/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 6/8/2021)