.- Inspired by St. Paul’s conversion, a man whose wife and daughter were killed last month in a bomb attack at the Catholic cathedral in Kathmandu has forgiven the woman suspected to have carried out the attack. He met with the accused female bomber in a police station near the site of the attack.
Balan Joseph Palamootil, a Catholic layman of Indian background, was himself wounded in the May 23 bombing of Assumption Cathedral in the Nepalese capital.
According to Fides news agency, Balan forgave “in Jesus’ name” one Sita Thapa Shrestha, who is in police custody in connection with the attack.
“When I saw Sita, I was reminded of the story of Saint Paul, who persecuted Christians and I thought of how Sita might also have this same experience of conversion. So, I conveyed Christ's message of love and forgiveness to her,” said Balan.
Balan, a native of the Indian state of Kerala, gave his testimony during a public celebration recently held in the cathedral. There, many Catholic faithful and those of other Christian denominations had gathered to pray for the victims and for peace in Nepal.
He declared his decision to remain in Nepal to work for peace and reconciliation, Fides reports. Balan, who came to Nepal as a migrant 20 years ago, also said he will dedicate his life to his other two children, taking care of his family and all those he will meet.
He added that he will offer his testimony of a Christian life by following Christ as a layman.