"I'm sure they feel the pain of their loss, but their loss is for themselves and for the world; I am sure that these four who have gone are in heaven," he said.
Witnessing the death of those in his presence was a very traumatic moment for him. "He didn't want to speak about that moment," Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay told CNA Sept. 14.
Cardinal Gracias had the opportunity to speak with Fr. Uzhunnalil soon after his arrival to Rome and was present when he met Pope Francis Sept. 13 after the Wednesday General Audience.
Pope Francis was himself very touched by Fr. Uzhunnalil's expression of faith in their meeting, Cardinal Gracias said. The Holy Father told the priest: "The whole world has been praying for you, everybody has been praying for you."
Fr. Uzhunnalil repeated over and over to the Pope that "Jesus is great, Jesus is great."
In the press conference Fr. Uzhunnalil recounted a detail from the day he was kidnapped. After the initial attack and killings, which took place while they were having adoration in the chapel, the attackers covered his head and locked him in a car, and then left to re-enter the chapel.
At some point later he heard them return open the door of the trunk and place something heavy near his feet.
His hands weren't tied, he explained, so he "lifted the cloth, just looked to make sure, and it was the tabernacle." He knew that it contained consecrated Hosts from the Mass he had celebrated the evening prior.
Although he did not have bread and wine with him in captivity, Fr. Uzhunnalil said he was still able to peacefully pray the Mass every day from memory. He said he would pray to God to spiritually give him the gifts of bread and wine for the Eucharist.
Another line he said he prayed frequently was: "One day at a time, sweet Lord. Give me the grace to live this day. I thanked God for that day. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not sure, so give me the grace to live this day."
While in captivity the Salesian lost more than 60 pounds, he said. But in the few days since his release has already gained back more than 11. He will, however, continue to remain in Rome for 8-10 more days for continued medical tests and recovery time before returning to India to see his family.
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"I thank in the name of the Lord God even my captors who have been understanding to me and have not hurt me," he said.
"It's God's intervention. And that is due to the prayers and sacrifices of all my brothers and sisters, all of you around the whole world, my own country, other countries, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, all men of good will. I'm sure each one has made sacrifices."
"I don't believe in arms," he continued. "The best weapon against any enemy is love, prayer, forgiveness."
Comments from Cardinal Gracias contributed by Elise Harris.