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Italian priest Giancarlo Bossi, former kidnap victim in Mindanao, dies

Italian missionary Giancarlo Bossi, who stayed in the Philippines for 32 years and was abducted in Mindanao in 2007, died in Italy Sunday at age 62.
Bossi died Sunday morning in the Humanitas clinic in Rozzano sul Naviglio in Milan, Catholic news site reported.
He had been struggling with lung cancer for over a year and his health weakened, the AsiaNews report said.
The missionary was dubbed the "gentle giant" by friends for his athletic and stout stature. He returned to Italy after his abduction in Mindanao.
Bossi was born in Abbiategrasso in Milan on February 19, 1950.
He entered PIME in Genoa in 1973, and took his perpetual vow on February 3, 1978 and was ordained a priest March 18, 1978 by Msgr. Aristide. Pirovano.
"Destined for the Philippines, he spent - with some short interludes in Italy - about 32 years in his adopted home," AsiaNews said.
Bossi, who had stayed in the Philippines for some 30 years, was abducted on June 10, 2007. He was freed July 19 following appeals by the faithful.
His abductors were members of a breakaway group from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Even Pope Benedict XVI made an appeal to the kidnappers to free him.
After returning to Italy, Bossi met with the Pope and met with Italian youth in Loreto, where he spoke about his almost 40 days with his captors.
"They treated me well and I prayed for them," he said of his captors.
Bossi also said he felt "renewed" during his 40-day captivity.
The missionary returned to the Philippines in January 2008 and wanted to return to Payao in Mindanao where he had been kidnapped, but bishops did not allow him to do so.
He stayed in Parañaque for a year then moved to Western Mindoro. — RSJ, GMA News