During a two-day police operation, six women religious were freed who were kept in captivity in Nigeria’s Edo state two months ago. The release of the sisters on January 6, 2018, created much joy to the Christian community and especially to their convent – the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus Convent in Iguoriakhi, from where they were kidnapped on November 13, 2017. Although the criminals were not arrested, sisters offered their gratitude and applauded the efforts of the authorities. Three of the women were professed nuns -Sister Roseline Isiocha, Sister Aloysius Ajayi and Sister Frances Udi, and the other three were aspirants. Sister Ajayi was released first, followed several hours later by the others.

As reported by Catholic News Agency, Mother Agatha Osarekho, remarked that “We are happy; to God be the glory. They are fine and are receiving some medical checkup in a hospital.” Fr. Kevin Oselumhense Anetor, a priest of the Diocese of Uromi, posted on Facebook thanking “all the men and women of goodwill who worked and prayed tirelessly behind the scenes for the release of our sisters. Nigeria’s bishops had decried the nuns’ kidnapping in December, calling it a product of the “agents of darkness.”

Holy Father Pope Francis also brought attention to the plight of the religious women, praying for them at his Dec. 17 Angelus address.