In a heartbreaking report from Fides, the Mother Teresa Sisters killed in Aden were described as being loved by the locals and admired for their love of serving those most in need, regardless of their faith. Bishop Paul Hinder OFMCap, Vicar Apostolic for Southern Arabia, told Fides, suggests this could be the root of the hatred, “diabolic hatred”. The affection the locals had for the Sisters could be the precise reason behind the massacre last Friday in the port city of Yemen. Four Catholic Sisters serving at Missionaries of Charity, which was founded by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, were slaughtered together with 12 other helpers and the elderly and disabled people whom they assisted at the Mother Theresa Home. Photos show that the Sisters were wearing kitchen aprons at the moment of the killing over their religious habit.
Bishop Hinder confirms that nothing is known of the whereabouts of Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was at the residence when the terrorists attacked. The Bishop said, “We imagine he is still being held by the assailants, Yemen bureaucracy keeps searching for him but so far with no result.” The only survivor, Missionaries of Charity local Mother Superior, Sister Sally who is also an Indian from Kerala is preparing to depart.
A year ago when country war broke out between government troops and Huthi rebels, Bishop Hinder remembers discussing with the Sisters the risks of remaining in such a dangerous scenario.
“They told me there was nothing to discuss: they would not leave whatever happened, because they wanted to stay with the people entrusted to their care. It was clear that on the part of the Sisters this was no exhibition of heroism, it was purely their desire to follow Jesus Christ. I respected the Sisters’ decision, and am convinced that their martyrdom will bear fruit also for the lives of other Christians living in the Arabian peninsula”.