An Italian Franciscan missionary, Fr Angelo Redaelli, 40, was stabbed to death by an angry mob after he accidentally knocked down and killed a little girl who ran out in front of his mission vehicle as he drove through a village in northern Congo. Fr Ernesto Brezza, a member of the Lombardy Friars Minor province, said: "Fr Angelo had been on mission in Congo only two years but was already part of the community. His death was due to the tragic circumstances: in no way can his murder be taken for an act of hostility towards the Catholic missionaries." "In recent months Fr Angelo was working mainly in Mekua parish north of Owando not far from where the tragedy occurred" said Fr Ernesto. "Besides pastoral work and catechesis he was particularly dedicated to caring for abandoned children. When the accident happened he was on his way to the local school for catechists." In a telegramme of sympathy to the Franciscan fraternity Bishop Ernest Kombo of Owando praised Fr Angelo's pastoral work particularly for children most disadvantaged. A spokesman said: "the entire diocese is grieving." Fr Ernesto said Fr Angelo's body will be flown to Italy on 15 September and at the request of the family and the Franciscans the funeral will be held in Turate in the province of Varese where this evening there will be a prayer vigil for the repose of the soul of Fr Angelo. Source: Fides
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