MANILA, Sept. 28, 2012— About a thousand mourners have attended the funeral in Italy of Father Giancarlo Bossi, a former kidnap victim in Mindanao.
In a ceremony held last Tuesday, Bossi’s coffin was carried to the parish church in Castelletto di Abbiategrasso in Milan, the missionary’s hometown.
Since the area was too small for the all the faithful attending the funeral service, the function was reportedly held outside the church.
Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, also sent a message that was read during the Mass.
The cardinal remembered Bossi as a “man of faith, strong and happy, generous and free, a missionary of the Gospel, a helpful and tireless frontline operator.”
The missionary from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) succumbed to lung cancer last Sunday in the Humanitas clinic in Rozzano sul Naviglio, also in Milan. He was 62.
Bossi became well known around the world after a breakaway group of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front abducted him in Payao, Zamboanga Sibugay in June 2007, where he worked as a missionary.
When his captors released him after 40 days, he came back to Italy for a short period where he also met Pope Benedict XVI.
He eventually returned to the Philippines where he had spent some 30 years of his life working as a missionary, however, lung disease forced him back to Italy in late 2010.
The PIME said many Filipinos also attended the funeral, accompanied by their community’s chaplain. [CBCPNews]