Pontifications

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Faith and Prayer: The untold side of Ingrid Betancourt’s hostage drama

posted by David Gibson

Ingrid Betancourt.jpgThe dramatic rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and others held hostage by Colombia’s FARC thugs riveted the world for days (which is an eternity of sorts in media years). But a signal aspect of her captivity–and her survival–was her intense devotion. She prayed the rosary on beads she made during her six years in the jungle, and she says God saved her from bitterness during her captivity:

“To be a hostage places you in a situation of constant humiliation,” she told Pelerin, a French Christian weekly. While captive, pronouncing the biblical words “bless your enemy” was “magic,” she said. Now, she is asking Colombia’s leaders to do likewise. “We have reached the point where we must change the radical, extremist vocabulary of hate, of very strong words that intimately wound the human being,” she said in an interview Monday on Radio France International.

(Here is the original interview, for the Francophone readers.)
On her return to Paris (she is a French native who was running for president of Colombia when she was kidnapped), Betancourt prayed at the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, and earlier in the day she prayed at Saint-Sulpice, the great Left Bank basilica (that also figured prominently in “The Da Vinci Code”–but let’s not go there).
Hers is a remarkable story, only half-told, or heard.



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Mamie Dec

posted July 11, 2008 at 11:15 am


Ingrid Betancourt’s story is so important in today’s world. She has triggered something deeper in my belief’s because of her ability to love in such a condeming, humiliating captivity. Asking for forgivemess of her captor’s is like John Paul’s forgiveness of his attempted assasinator.
I love the Catholic Church. I love Jesusus Christ the Almighty Savior. I love his Mother, Mary, and I believe the rosary is what helped Ingrid Betancourt.
I will try to live out my belief’s and point to God, just like Ingrid Betancourt.
God save the world.
Mamie Dec



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Ann Olivier

posted July 11, 2008 at 10:05 pm


Ingrid Betancourt sounds like a saint for our times. What an extraordinary Christian.



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Fr Michel Nault

posted July 12, 2008 at 1:36 pm


Even before hearing about her faith life I was deeply moved by Mrs. Betancourt’s presence in the interviews on television. She was so peaceful and radiating such gentleness I had no doubt that the Lord was with her. I am so touched to hear about her faith experience. Thank you Ingrid for your witness of faith. L’Abbe Michel Nault :)



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Kathy Kelley

posted July 19, 2008 at 9:52 pm


Ingrid, you are very clear in your presence and grace at this time that you understand from a higher spiritual place. Bless you and your future work…….you are such an inspiration.



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