Nigerian priest abducted on Christmas Eve: Prayer saved us
FREE Catholic Classes
A Nigerian priest who was kidnapped on Christmas Eve recalled his experience after Mass this week, saying prayer is what saved him.
Abuja, Nigeria, (CNA/EWTN News) - Father Cajetan Apeh, a recently ordained priest assigned to St. Theresa's Parish in Anam, was kidnapped along with the church's pastor on Dec. 24. The two priests were ambushed while returning from gathering supplies in preparation for the visit of Cardinal Francis Arinze on Christmas Day.
According to Vanguard Nigeria, Apeh described the four-day ordeal to the congregation after Mass on January 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The Mass took place at St. Joseph's Church in Enugu Ezike.
Apeh said the priests, who initially thought it to be robbery, were abducted by four Fulani herdsmen with AK 47s and left to survive with very little food and water.
"After searching and taking all our possessions, including some loafs of bread, they led us into the bush where two of us were given half a loaf of the wheat bread they took from us for four days before our release to our superior, who drove from Enugu to Anam on the instruction of the herdsmen," he said, according to Vanguard Nigeria.
He said they were not permitted to talk and we given only one sachet of water to share per day, and were not provided with adequate clothing to keep warm in the bitter cold.
By December 26, Apeh said, the health condition of the parish pastor had worsened. Because the herdsmen would not let him take necessary medication, his blood pressure was high and he was feeling weak.
Apeh said the kidnappers had tried to hold the priests for ransom and were communicating with their superiors.
"They asked us our bank account numbers and we told them that we had no personal bank accounts, that everything belonged to the church. They asked if I was married, I said no, because I am a Catholic priest."
Several authorities in Anambra, including the Police Mobile Force and Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad, had been involved with a massive search for the priests. As a result of the joint operations, the abductors were forced to release the two men on Dec. 27. Abeh said prayer was a major factor in their release, Vanguard Nigeria reported.
"Due to your prayers and those of others throughout the world, we were released to our superior who travelled to Anam from Enugu, unaccompanied by any policeman or security agent."
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
At the launch event for a new African Catholic news agency Saturday, a Kenyan bishop urged journalists to focus their work on the ... continue reading
An Iraqi church damaged and defaced by the Islamic State in 2014 was rededicated Thursday for the parish's celebration of the Feast of the ... continue reading
Catholic and other religious leaders signed a joint resolution Thursday encouraging the Pakistani government to adopt policies to protect ... continue reading
A 52-year-old Caritas volunteer helped rescue more than two dozen families from a recent flood in Karachi, Pakistan. Karachi, ... continue reading
Five years on from the conquering of Christian communities in Iraq by the so-called Islamic State, Christians in the country remain at the ... continue reading
by Catholic Online
- Prayer Requests Live for Friday, August 23rd, 2019 HD Video
- Christian filmmakers win right to sue against Minnesota human rights law
- Minnesota archbishop reflects on the significance of a pastoral heart
- Daily Reading for Monday, August 26th, 2019 HD Video
- New South Wales parliament delays final abortion bill vote
- Daily Readings for Saturday, August 24, 2019
- St. Bartholomew: Saint of the Day for Saturday, August 24, 2019
- Daily Reading for Sunday, August 25th, 2019 HD
- Prayer Requests Live for Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, August 24th, 2019 HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, August 23rd, 2019 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org
Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel
Learn the Catholic way
Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all
K-12 & Adult Education Classes
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education
Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.