An elderly Franciscan priest and his assistant were killed in a convent in Lima, Peru. Authorities suspect criminals who frequented his soup kitchen at a nearby church.
Fr. Linan Ruiz Morales, 80, was found dead in his first floor bedroom in the Convent of San Francisco at the heart of the Peruvian capital, Fides reports. His body had a series of cuts to the neck.
The priest’s 26-year-old assistant Ananias Aguila was also found dead with numerous stab wounds in the kitchen next to the church.
Their bodies were discovered early Friday morning. The priest’s room was ransacked and the safe was open and empty.
Fr. Ruiz, of Puerto Rican ancestry, discovered his vocation in New York where he grew up and entered religious life at the age of 27. In 1978 he arrived in Peru to promote the movement Encuentros de Promoción Juvenil. His ministry made him known and loved by many young people in Lima.
The priest had a passion for soccer and was a fan of the team Alianza Lima. He once spoke with the players to encourage them to pray and to remind them to go to church, Fides reports.
In recent years he devoted himself particularly to the poorest of the poor. His soup kitchen fed 1,200 children and elderly in need who came from all over the city.