How gratifying it is to see the prayer support and familial affection that is a bedrock of our faith. The members of a Spanish convent have rallied to the defense of a Pakistani Christian woman in solitary confinement:
“I feel very close to Asia Bibi, to her suffering, as a sister in Christ” writes Sister Mary Immaculate Perez to Fides, abbess of the nuns from the Franciscan Monastery Conception of Escalona in Toledo, near Madrid (Spain). The community of cloistered nuns in Escalona was among the first to promote a spontaneous prayer campaign for Asia Bibi, and adheres to the special day of prayer for the victims of the blasphemy law in Pakistan, which will be celebrated worldwide on 20 April. For this reason the nuns have been called “the guardian angels of Asia Bibi.” Today the Mother writes a Letter to Fides, and through the “Masihi Foundation,” would like Asia Bibi, who is in Sheikupura prison, to receive it for Easter.
“We want to send a brief message of consolation to Asia. Since the beginning we have been following her case with great interest and affection,” said the nun, speaking also on behalf of her sisters. “We see with great concern that those who have defended Asia, as the Minister Shahbaz Bhatti or the Governor Salman Taseer, paid with their lives in defense of the Gospel. We confide them to the Lord, together with their families.”
Picture the women who have chosen seclusion praying for the woman secluded against her will, who in turn has turned her own cell into a little monastery. In turn, all of us joined for this intention — moral support for a woman jailed for her Christian beliefs — have a special bond within the Mystical Body.
The Spanish nuns are spreading word about their special day of prayer for Asia, April 20th, during which they will “put everything under the protection of the Virgin Mary, our Mother.”
When she was informed of the initiative, Asia responded, bursting into tears and said she was “very happy because the world would pray for her.” Contacting Fides, through the Masihi Foundation, which provides her legal assistance, Asia said. “I am grateful to the Masihi Foundation for organising such an event, which gives me hope to go on living. I feel loved by the Catholic Church and all Christian communities around the world. I am proud to be the daughter of a community that is so loving and merciful.” Despite her illness, fasting and physical weakness, her morale is high “through faith in Jesus Christ”: “I would like to send a message of peace and love to all the world. I want to say thank you to every sister, every brother, every nun and priest who prays for me, and especially to the Holy Father. I hope with all my heart that this Lent and all the prayers may bring me freedom and happiness to my family.”
Let’s remember the date and join them in this intention!