Remains of Catholic priest brought to Bangladesh

Dhaka, Bangladesh | AFP | Sunday 10/21/2018 - 14:31 UTC+5 | 194 words

Bangladesh on Sunday repatriated the remains of a Catholic priest who died in Italy last year but asked to be buried in the Muslim-majority country where he spent most of his life.

Father Marino Rigon will be interred at a village south of Mongla, a church official said, where the Italian missionary first settled in Bangladesh in the early 1950s.

Rigon had been bestowed citizenship — a rarity in Bangladesh — and decorated with war honours for treated wounded freedom fighters during the 1971 independence war.

He was also recognised for translating major works of Bengali literature into Italian.

His remains arrived Sunday at the port of Mongla where a crowd turned out to pay their respects, a Catholic priest in Mongla, Sarapin Sarker, told AFP.

“The government brought his remains back to Bangladeshi soil as a mark of respect to his dying wish,” Bangladesh’s foreign ministry said in a statement late Saturday.

Marino was born in Vicenza in 1925 but in 1953 relocated to Haldibunia village near Khulna, a coastal district on the Bay of Bengal.

He remained in Bangladesh for six decades, returning to Italy in his late 80s where he died in 2018.

sa/np/rox

© Agence France-Presse

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