Friday, October 29, 2010

Indian Church remembers Orissa’s martyrs on the second anniversary of the massacre

The Church in Orissa recalled the second anniversary of the death of Father Bernard Digal, who died a victim of violence of an anti-Christian pogrom at 46 years of age. 

In his homily Fr Ratikant Ranjit said that "Father Digal suffered for Christ and died for the glory of God. We pray for him and for others who have suffered and died in the violence in Kandhamal”.

Father Digal was attacked on the night of Aug. 25 by a mob of Hindu fundamentalists who beat him until he lost consciousness and left him in the forest for an entire night, until his driver found him. He was taken to the hospital of the Holy Spirit, in Mumbai for treatment. 

He was later transferred to St. Thomas Hospital in Chennai. After two months of suffering October 28, 2008 his lungs failed him lungs, he fell into a coma and died. His body is buried in Bhubaneswar, the capital of Orissa.

The pogrom in Orissa resulted in 93 deaths among Christians, and left about fifty thousand persons displaced, about 17 thousand have not been able to return to their places of residence. Father Ranjit also said that the Church in Orissa is grateful to Father Digal for his work as treasurer of the archdiocese, a promoter of vocations, parish priest and educator. 

"Father Bernard was a gentle person, a man for others. He knew how to adapt to any situation. That's why people loved him very much" Bishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar told AsiaNews.

SIC: AN/INT'L

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