Christians and Muslims can live together in peace, says bishop at funeral of slain Italian nun

.- The death of Sister Leonella Sgorbati, killed together with her Muslim bodyguard, Mohamed Mahamodu, who was a father of four, is evidence that “it is possible to live and die together,” said Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibuti during the funeral Mass for the slain nun.

Bishop Bertin, who is also Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, invited those attending the funeral, which included Christians and Muslims, to see the positive message that has come from the life of Sister Leonella, who dedicated her life to the poor.  

“Her life shows us that a new earth is possible, a new Somalia is possible.  I hope that Sister Leonella is the last martyr in Somalia,” he said.

The funeral Mass took place in Nairobi, Kenya, at the Parish of the Consolation, and the body of Sister Leonella was buried at the cemetery of the Sisters of Nazareth, in the suburbs of the city, in accord with her wishes.

At the same time the funeral was being held in Nairobi, Mass was also celebrated at the motherhouse of her congregation in Nepi.  “We wanted to commemorate this moment in order to unite ourselves with our sisters in Nairobi,” said Sister Gabriella Bono, superior general of the Missionaries of Consolation.

“For us it is a great gesture that tells us that it is possible to overcome barriers through the gift of self: she a Christian and he a Muslim.  Both shed their blood for Somalia,” said Sister Gabriella in reference to the killing of Mahamodu.  She underscored that their sacrifice “points to the paths of reconciliation and dialogue, with the certainty that uniting efforts, men and women of all religions can foster fraternity, reconciliation and peace.”

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