What I went through had a pur­pose, says ab­ducted priest Fa­ther Tom

DNA (Delhi) - - INDIA -

Thiruvananthapuram: Ker­ala priest Tom Uzhun­nalil, re­cently freed af­ter be­ing ab­ducted by Is­lamic mil­i­tants 18 months ago, has said what he went through “def­i­nitely had a pur­pose” as he thanked all those who helped in his re­lease.

In his first video mes­sage af­ter be­ing re­leased on Septem­ber 12, Fa­ther Uzhun­nalil said he was “happy, strong in mind and soul” though he needed to re­cu­per­ate.

“I am sure God will put me back to what­ever mis­sion he wants...He has a pur­pose in our life,” the Sale­sian priest is heard say­ing in the mes­sage from the Vat­i­can, where he is re­cov­er­ing af­ter be­ing freed.

“What I went through def­i­nitely had a pur­pose. I have re­ceived the prayers and love of you all. He has ul­ti­mately an­swered. I am free,” he said in the video be­ing tele­cast by lo­cal news chan­nels.

He said he was fine and had no ma­jor ill­nesses, other than di­a­betes. “I have been happy, strong in mind and soul. Still I need a lit­tle more re­cu­per­a­tion from my phys­i­cal weak­nesses... No ma­jor ill­ness, other than my di­a­betes,” he said.

He said he was grate­ful to God and to ev­ery­body for their love, con­cern and prayers.

“God is great. His love is ev­er­last­ing and his mercy def­i­nite. May God bless each of you and all those in­volved in mak­ing this day pos­si­ble,” he said.

The Catholic Church, po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and fam­ily mem­bers of Fa­ther Uzhun­nalil had ear­lier thanked the govern­ments of India and Oman for the ef­forts taken to se­cure his re­lease.

Catholic Bish­ops Con­fer­ence of India (CBCI) Pres­i­dent and Ma­jor Arch­bishop of Syro Malankara church Base­lios Car­di­nal Cleemis Catholi­cos and Bishop Theodore Mas­caren­has, CBCI Sec­re­tary Gen­eral, said the church was grate­ful to the gov­ern­ment of India and all con­cerned for the steps taken to se­cure his re­lease.

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