Her name is Pastora Mira Garcia and through acts of Christian love and forgiveness in the face of hatred and violence, she has become one of Colombia’s best-known women of faith as her nation is still grappling with the aftermath of decades of unrelenting violence. The past 60 years saw an armed struggle involving Marxist guerillas, government troops and extreme right-wing militias. By the time a controversial peace deal was struck with the largest guerilla group in 2016, by some estimates as many as 900,000 people had died in the conflict and seven million Colombians were displaced.
In September 2017, when Pope Francis visited the country, Pastora was chosen to address the Pope and the nation at large to give a testimony of her commitment to Christ’s commandment to “love one another”. She tells her story in an interview with the Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need. From the beginning, it has been the charism of the charity to promote reconciliation and forgiveness.
Image above: Pastora Mira Garcia is known as a woman of great faith in Colombia.