MANILA, Sept. 24, 2012— Italian priest Fr. Giancarlo Bossi who was kidnapped in Mindanao in 2007 and was freed after 40 days in captivity died on Sunday in Italy.
The missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), who had been struggling with lung cancer for a year, died in the Humanitas clinic in Rozzano sul Naviglio in Milan.
“His health had weakened more and more,” the PIME said at its news website, www.asianews.it.
Bossi, who stayed in the Philippines for 32 years, was born in Abbiategrasso in Milan on February 19, 1950.
He entered PIME in Genoa in 1973, and took his perpetual vows on February 3, 1978 and was ordained a priest March 18, 1978.
Bossi was in the news worldwide last June 2007 after armed men belonging to breakaway group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front kidnapped him in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay.
During his month long captivity, Pope Benedict XVI made an appeal to his kidnappers and prayed for him.
After his release on July 10, 2007, Bossi was brought back to Manila and was never assigned back again in Mindanao.
Bossi then returned to Italy the following month where he had the opportunity to meet Benedict XVI during a gathering between the pontiff and the Italian youth in Loreto and spoke about his ordeal in the hands of his kidnappers.
“I felt renewed. My prayer became more vital and fervent. My availability to God more incisive. When faced with great difficulty, then you really experience the tenderness of God,” he said.
Upon his return to the Philippines in January 2008, Bossi said, “I am happy to be back.”
He then wanted to return to Payao in Mindanao where he was kidnapped, but the bishops stopped him.
Bossi settled at the PIME’s main headquarters in Parañaque for a year, before moving on to a mission in Western Mindoro. [RL/CBCPNews]