AFRICA/MADAGASCAR - In prayer for the victims of the tragic accident of Ampasimanjeva: the Bishop of Farafangana immediately on the spot

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Moramanga (Agenzia Fides) - "It was Msgr. Fulgence Rabemahafaly who promptly communicated to me the news of the accident in which five people lost their lives", Msgr. Gaetano Di Pierro, bishop of Farafangana told Fides, who immediately went to the scene. The missionary bishop was referring to the tragic accident that occurred in Ampasimanjeva, in the diocese of Manakara, on Tuesday, December 27. The vehicle in which there were nine people, engaged in the Ampasimanjeva mission, suddenly left the road on the way back from a pilgrimage to Vohipeno. "According to what Bishop Rabemahafaly told me, continues Msgr. Di Pierro - Dr. Martin Randriatiana, doctor and director of the Ampasimanjeva Medical Foundation hospital was driving, and Father Didier Razafinjatovo, Brother of Charity, was seating next to him. The doctor's wife, Dr. Nivo, four Sisters of Charity and two brothers, were all sitting in the back were also involved".
"Upon our arrival, we stopped at the scene of the accident where the police informed us that the doctor and his wife, Father Didier, as well as two Carmelite Sisters of Charity, Sister Justine Lalao and Sister Marie Louise, had died. The others were in precarious conditions and were all transported to the Salle d'oeuvre of Tanambao Church, Manakara", explained the bishop. "We immediately went to the room where the doctors with the help of the nuns were taking care of recomposing the bodies. Then I went to the hospital to visit the wounded: a Brother was still in a state of confusion, while the other was asleep. One of the sisters was fully conscious and told us what had happened, while the other was in a coma".
Bishop Di Pierro also confirmed that the Fathers of Ambalapahasoavana were already on site and agreed on what to do. "They will celebrate Masses. Many sisters from the city were already there, as well as many people ready for the Vigil. After praying a little on the spot, we returned to Farafangana.
The Prelate concluded with an invitation to pray for the deceased, for their congregation, for the diocese of Fianarantsoa and for their families.
Bishop Di Pierro has been a missionary in Madagascar since 1975. Always involved with the local population, among his many initiatives, he has also published translations of the Bible, catechism and breviaries in Malagasy. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 29/12/2022)