Unknown assailants brutally murdered and mutilated a Spanish missionary in the very workshop where she taught sewing to young girls, Pope Francis revealed in an audience Wednesday.
Sister Inés Nieves Sancho, 77, was found brutally decapitated Monday morning near her home in the village of Nola in the Central African Republic.
The Daughters of Jesus missionary’s body was found in the workshop where she would teach young girls how to sew, according to Vatican News.
Pope Francis revealed that sometime during the night, the assailants entered Sister Ines’ home, forcibly took her to her workshop, and there cut off her head and mutilated her body.
He saluted Sister Ines as a woman “who gave her life for Jesus in the service of the poor” and described her killing as “barbaric,” according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
The pope added that she was buried Tuesday morning.
— Catholic News Service (@CatholicNewsSvc) May 22, 2019
The attacker’s motives remain unknown, but the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano reports that investigators are looking into the possibility that Sister Ines was killed by an organ trafficking ring since the neighboring country of Cameroon experiences frequent organ trafficking, according to Vatican News.
Sister Inés reportedly spent several decades teaching the young women around her how to sew.
“I’m not alone,” she told another nun. “The young women are with me!”
As the Daily Mail reported, the Central African Republic has been plagued by violence since 2013, when the Christian former President Francois Bozize was overthrown by Muslim rebels.
Since then, thousands have lost their lives, nearly 650,000 have been forced to flee their homes and 575,000 have left the country, the Daily Mail reported, citing United Nations figures.
Pope Francis also referenced the death of a missionary priest in Mozambique’s coastal city of Beira.
The 34-year-old priest, who was the director of an institute for the blind in Beira, was stabbed in his home and died from his wounds in a hospital, according to Vatican News.
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