The Pope's Prayer for a Murdered Religious Sister

June 04, 2019
Sister Ines Nieves Sancho (center).

While he was greeting French-speaking pilgrims gathered at St. Peter's Square, for the May 22, 2019 audience, Pope Francis spoke of the savage murder of Sr. Ines Nieves Sancho, a 77-year-old missionary religious who was found beheaded on May 20 in front of her convent in Nola, Central African Republic.

The Holy Father stated, “Sr. Nieves gave her life for Jesus, serving the poor.” This French-Spanish sister belonged to the congregation of the Daughters of Jesus based in Tarn, France.

After a time of silent prayer, the pope prayed a Hail Mary with the faithful for the murdered sister.

According to L'Osservatore Romano, the missionary was in charge of teaching girls to sew. She was savagely murdered and mutilated.

Fr. Isaiah Koffia, vicar general of the diocese of Berberati, told AFP, “Some strangers entered through the back gate and dragged her into the bush behind the house in order to cut her throat. They did not take anything at all, it looks like they just came to kill her.”

Authorities mentioned the possibility that the murder had been committed as part of a sorcery ritual designed to attract good fortune in an area known for its diamond deposits. When it is not Islam, paganism also knows how to spill the blood of Christians.