Former Colombian hostage says John Paul II helped her regain her faith

.- The Colombian lawyer Clara Rojas, who was held hostage by the rebel group FARC for six years, attended Pope Benedict XVI’s Wednesday General Audience this week and recalled that during her years of captivity, she listened to John Paul II on a Catholic radio station, which helped her to regain her faith and to have the strength to carry on.

Speaking to the Efe news agency, Rojas, who was at St. Peter’s with her mother and her son, said she came to Rome to thank the Catholic Church for supporting her and to raise awareness that the FARC still holds some 3,000 people hostage, including some 25 soldiers.

Although she did speak personally with Pope Benedict, she said that “seeing him up close” was “emotional,” and that on Thursday she would be meeting with Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, president of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei. 

Rojas said she is convinced of the need to raise public awareness about the plight of the hostages in Colombia and that she hopes her meeting with the cardinal will bring more attention to the issue.  “The hostages need to know that we carry them in our hearts and that we are fighting for the release,” she said.

Recalling her experience during the years in which she was in captivity, Rojas said that in the jungles of Colombia she would listen to the voice of John Paul II on Catholic radio and that she often prayed the rosary with him. She regained her faith during those years, which she said gave her the strength to carry on.

Clara Rojas was kidnapped on February 23, 2002, together with Ingrid Betancourt 600 kilometers south of Bogota in an area controlled by the FARC. She was rescued on January 10, 2008 in the southeastern region of Guaviare.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: