The 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.