By Lourine Oluoch and Agencies
A Salesian missionary, Fr Tom Uzhunnalil who was kidnapped on March 4, 2016 was set free on September 12 after 18 months of captivity.
The Indian priest was kidnapped during an attack on a Missionaries of Charity home in Aden, Yemen, that left 16 people dead, including four nuns–one of them a Kenyan.
After being rescued the 57-year old missionary was flown to the Omani capital, Muscat, and then to Rome. A day after being released, the priest had an emotional meeting with Pope Francis.
According to a September 13 article published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the encounter took place at the Pope’s residence in the Vatican’s St Martha guesthouse immediately after the Holy Fathers general audience.
Photos of the encounter show an emotional scene as Fr Uzhunnalil bends down to kiss the Pope’s feet, after which the Pope tenderly gives the priest his blessing.
While Fr Uzhunnalil appeared with an overgrown beard in the majority of photos published during his time in captivity, he looked clean-shaven and dressed in clerical attires.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, Fr Uzhunnalil thanked the Pope, saying “(I) prayed for you