After sending a letter to Pope Francis requesting prayers for herself and the Filipino people, Senator Leila de Lima received a rosary from the Pope.
De Lima on Sunday expressed her thanks to the Pope; saying she cannot thank Pope Francis enough for his thoughtfulness.
“I’m deeply deeply touched by the Pope’s gesture,” she said.
The rosary which was relayed from the Papal Nuncio was handed to de Lima by the Philippine National Police (PNP) Chaplain.
De Lima said: “Last November 22, the PNP Chaplain personally handed to me a beautiful rosary from Pope Francis as well as the latter’s message coursed through the Papal Nuncio… According to the Chaplain, Pope Francis was able to read my letter and assured that he is praying for me.”
She added that the “gift” will constantly remind her that despite the political persecution she is experiencing right now at the hands of a “vengeful” President she “should keep the faith and fight tirelessly for the welfare of the Filipino people.”
This is the full text of the letter she sent to the Pope before her birthday in August:
Dear Papa Francesco,
I am Leila de Lima, a senator from the Philippines and a political prisoner who has been incarcerated for the past 173 days, by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The international community has been appalled by the brazen violation of human rights since Duterte waged his war on drugs. This August 27, I will turn 58 years old. Life’s journey has had its ups and downs, but I never imagined that my birthday would be spent inside a jail.
Papa Francesco, if I may be granted one wish, I hope that you will say a prayer for me and the Filipino people. Please bless me so I can have the strength to continue the fight against the injustice that is happening not only to me, but to thousands of Filipinos who are victims of extrajudicial killing.
I do not know when I will regain my freedom. Only Faith sustains me through this nightmare.
Please include me and the Philippines in your prayers.
God bless you Papa.
My heartfelt thanks,
Leila M. de Lima