Keralite Catholic priest Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil met Holy Father Pope Francis on 13th September,2017, in Vatican, a day after his release from Islamic State terrorists. Fr. Tom met His Holiness Pope Francis at Santa Marta residence, after which the priest told reporters of his 18-month ordeal in Yemen. Fr. Tom expressed his gratitude to Holy Father Pope Francis by touching his feet and kissing on his hands while His Holiness hugged the priest and told that he was praying for him during his captivity.

As per the media report, the reason why Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil has been taken to Vatican is because of his need for rest and recuperation, as his health has to be taken care of. Fr. Tom, who was rescued on 12th September, with the intervention of the Oman government, was abducted by Islamic State terrorists in Yemen, in March 2016.

Fr. Tom Uzhunnalil expressed his immense joy and gratitude to Holy Father Pope Francis, Oman government and everyone who offered prayers for him and worked tirelessly for his rescue.