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Rosary plays important role in hostage rescue in Colombia

.- The recitation of the Rosary has become, for an increasing number of Colombians, the secret behind the new phase the country is entering.  Many Colombians also view the Rosary as the "secret weapon" that made the recent rescuing of 15 hostages possible - without a single shot fired.

According to Lidia Rios, spokeswoman for the Legion of Mary in Medellin, thousands of Colombians have been praying the Rosary for years for the release of the numerous hostages being held by rebel groups.

“We have prayed a lot to the Lord and to the Blessed Mother that this rescue would be successful, and we are not going to stop now. We are and will continue praying for this intention,” Rios told CNA in reaction to statements by President Uribe, who said shortly after the rescue that the operation “was guided in every way by the light of the Holy Spirit, the protection of our Lord and the Virgin Mary.”

Rios believes President Uribe’s success in combating violence in Colombia is due to “the devotion and commitment he has to Jesus and Mary.” She added that she believes Uribe has escaped attacks from his enemies thanks “to the Lord and the Virgin Mary, who have saved him and continue to watch over him, because he always prays to them and he is working hand in hand with the Church.”

“Thanks be to God we are beginning to see some hope in Colombia, and that is what all of the hostages who have been freed think,” Rios said.

Former presidential candidate, Ingrid Betancourt, who was among those rescued and in the past had said she was a non-practicing Catholic, told reporters her rescue was a miracle of the Virgin Mary. “I am convinced this is a miracle of the Virgin Mary,” she said.  “To me it is clear she has had a hand in all of this,” Betancourt said after six years in captivity.

Clara Rojas, who was her close political advisor and was kidnapped along with Betancourt, was freed several months ago and told reporters that during their captivity, “We prayed to her a lot.  We prayed the Rosary, and we said that when we were free, we would thank her.”

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