The Italian missionary Fr. Giancarlo Bossi arrived back in the Philippines on Monday aboard a Philippine Air Lines flight from Hong Kong, following a five month absence due to his having been kidnapped.
Fr. Bossi was in the news last June after he was kidnapped by armed men, whom he later identified as Abu Sayyaf members, near the rural southern Filipino town of Payao.
During his month long captivity Pope Benedict said that “Fr. Bossi is in his thoughts and prayers everyday.” “We are hoping and praying that the Lord helps us.”
The same day that he was rescued, Fr. Bossi was asked what he would like to do now that he was free he replied that if his superiors let him, he would go back to Payao, a fishing town in Zamboanga Sibugay where he has been ministering. "I have to go back to Payao," he said. "My heart is still in Payao…. They say that a priest must also be a father and so as the father of my community it is my duty to return to my people, to my children.”
Upon his return to the Philippines, the Italian missionary priest said, “I am happy to be back.”
He told the Philippines Bishops’ Conference news service (CBCP News) he will await instructions from his superior, Fr. Gianni Sandalo, regarding his next assignment.
Though he hopes to go back to Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay, he said “it may not be that easy.”