“I was lost, and have been found. I was dead, and I am alive again.” These were the words of gratitude expressed by Fr. León Douyon, a Catholic priest from the town of Ségué in the diocese of Mopti, in Mali, after having been liberated on 13 July this year from captivity at the hands of a group of rebels.
In his first public message, given during Sunday Mass on 18 July in the church of Our Lady of the Annunciation, Sévaré, the priest told his faithful that “I did not think I would ever see you again”, after having been abducted on 21 June this year along with “four of my parishioners” on the highway between Ségué and San.
A few hours after the abduction, the other four hostages were released, and a prayer campaign began both within and outside Mali.
“Everything is the work of Grace. Ever since that day you set in motion a chain of prayer. Every one of you, through the Rosary and other prayers, called upon God our Liberator”, said Fr. León.
“Thanks to your prayers and blessings on every side, you now have me once again among you to continue with the mission of Jesus Christ. Thank you again and again for everything you have done for me”, said Father León repeatedly, who subsequently sent a message, explicitly thanking the benefactors of ACN for their prayers.