Sunday, September 24, 2006

Pope hopes death of Rosa Sgorbati, a missionary nun in Somalia who forgave her killers, will be "a seed of hope"

Pope praises slain Italian nun
POSTED: 11:22 a.m. EDT, September 24, 2006

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (AP) -- Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday praised an Italian nun for pardoning her killers as she lay dying from an attack in Somalia that may have been linked to worldwide Muslim anger over his recent remarks about Islam and violence.

Benedict spoke to pilgrims at his Castel Gandolfo summer palace where, on Monday, he will meet with ambassadors from predominantly Muslim countries in an effort to defuse tensions arising from a speech he gave Sept. 12 while on a pilgrimage in Germany.

Rosa Sgorbati, an Italian missionary who worked in a pediatrics hospital in Somalia under her religious name Sister Leonella, was slain in Mogadishu Sept. 17, the day that Benedict said he was deeply sorry his remarks had offended Muslims.

The pontiff has also stressed that the words he spoke, a citation from a Byzantine emperor in medieval times, did not reflect his own opinion.

Speaking Sunday about the need to overcome selfishness, Benedict cited the slaying of the nun in Somalia, where she had worked as a nurse.

"Some are asked to give the supreme testimony of blood, as it happened a few days ago to the Italian nun, Sister Leonella Sgorbati, who fell victim to violence," the pontiff said.

"This nun, who for many years served the poor and the children in Somalia, died pronouncing the word 'pardon,"' the pope told pilgrims during his traditional Sunday noon appearance. "This is the most authentic Christian testimony, a peaceful sign of contradiction which shows the victory of love over hate and evil."

See also, "Benedict XVI Mourns Nun Slain in Somalia":

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, SEPT. 19, 2006 ( Benedict XVI hopes that the death of Consolata Missionary Sister Leonella Sgobarti in Somalia will be "a seed of hope" for a better future.

The Pope said this in a telegram of condolence sent today to Mother Gabriella Bono, superior general of the Consolata Missionaries.

Sister Sgorbati, 65, was shot Sunday by two gunmen while crossing the road between SOS Hospital where she worked and the SOS Village where she and four other women religious lived.

She was rushed to the SOS Hospital and died shortly after, saying that she forgave her attackers.

And also, "Papal Telegram on Death of Nun in Somalia".


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