By Francesca Merlo
Pope Francis has sent a telegram for the death of Nadia de Munari, an Italian lay missionary of Operation Mato Grosso who died last Saturday after suffering a violent attack on Tuesday night. Nadia was attacked in her room at the "Mamma Mia" educational centre she ran in Nuevo Chimbote, Peru.
The Pope's condemnation of the violence
Pope Francis' telegram was sent as the community gathered for Nadia's funeral. Signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, on behalf of the Pope, and addressed to the Bishop of Chimbote, through the Apostolic Nuncio in Peru, in it the Holy Father reiterated his firmest condemnation "for this new and unjustifiable episode of violence, which is added to the many others in which missionaries have lost their lives while performing, with self-denial, their service to the Gospel and assistance to the most needy and defenseless".
Prayers for Nadia and closeness to parents
"While offering prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of this volunteer and entrusting her to the intercession of the Mother of God," the Pope expressed his "paternal closeness to her parents, family members and relatives. He assured his remembrance in prayer and his blessing upon all those participating in the ceremopny in Peru ,and upon those who will participate in the funeral when Nadia's body will be finally brought back to Italy.
The funeral was presided over by Bishop Angel Francisco Simon Piorno of Chimbote, the Peruvian coastal city where the 50-year-old volunteer from Vicenza (in northern Italy) worked. She ran 5 kindergartens and an elementary school: a service beneficial to more than 500 children from the shanty town of Nuevo Chimbote, which welcomes migrants in search of a living, who come down from the very poor villages of the Andes. All the Italian missionary priests of Omg present in Peru and many others concelebrated. Many children assisted by the missionary were also present.
The last goodbye
The days seem long for Nadia's family and community, as they await for clearence for her body to be returned to Schio, in Italy, where Nadia was born. They wait, in order to be able to give Nadia her last earthly farewell and burial after she spent more than half of her life in Latin America, at the service of the those in need.