By James Blears
Jubilation has greeted the announcement that Colombian born Franciscan Nun Sister Gloria Narvaez is free, finally ending an ordeal sustained by her immense courage, faith and fortitude.
It`s finally over and with a joyous outcome. The official statement comes from Mali`s Presidency who praised her never wavering bravery.
Sister Gloria, who's a missionary, was abducted by Jihadi gunmen, on February 7th 2017 at Koutiala, close to the border with Burkina Faso, 400 kms from the Capital of Mali. She was held for four years and eight months in captivity.
The Archbishop of Mumako, Jean Zerbo, confirms Sister Gloria is safe and well. He said: "I thank the Authorities and good people, who have brought about her release. We have prayed long and hard for this day." Two Europeans who escaped last year, confirmed Sister Gloria was still alive. Then in March, her brother received a letter via The Red Cross, written and signed by her.
There`s an Islamist insurgency in the North of the Country, which is a former French Colony, and kidnappings have become part of it.
Dressed in yellow robes, Sister Gloria has met with Mali`s Interim President Assimi Goita. A photo shows her smiling and with her hands clasped together tightly.
That says it all.
Pope greets Sr. Gloria
The happy ending of Sr. Gloria's release was coronated on Sunday morning when Pope Francis himself greeted her in the Vatican.
Their meeting took place before the celebration of Holy Mass for the beginning of the Synodal process in St. Peter's Basilica.