A little over two years ago, a few weeks after her arrival in Haiti, Sister Agnès Bordeau gave her news on the website of her Congregation of the Sisters of Providence of Pommeraye (Maine-et-Loire).
“Faced with so much insecurity, difficulties and suffering that Haiti is experiencing, the temptation could be to return to France.
But I will try to trust God to achieve what he wants, ”she wrote in Spanish.
On Sunday, this 80-year-old Frenchwoman was kidnapped not far from Port-au-Prince at the same time as six other Catholic religious (including a Breton priest), victim of a gang demanding a ransom.
“It creates a shock wave,” says Sister Marie-Annick Caniou, 62, Superior General of the Congregation born two centuries ago near Angers.
She never stops praying for her protege.
"And also for the whole group kidnapped, we do not make a difference", she specifies.
“What will keep her going is her relationship to God, the strength of her life of prayer,” she continues.
She describes a globetrotter serving the underprivileged "in very good health", "optimistic", "energetic" and "very sociable".
"I knew they could kill me but I was not afraid"
It's just six decades since this native of Mayenne got involved in this international congregation, which today counts 300 nuns, including 200 French women, present in France, Africa, Central America, Vietnam and Madagascar.
Sister Agnès, a family worker by profession (responsible for helping households during a birth, hospitalization, etc.) is familiar with difficult missions abroad.
Haiti: what we know about the kidnapping of seven Catholic religious, including two French
On December 5, 2018, she joined the Caribbean island after thirty years in Central America, Honduras and Guatemala.
In 2010, she had recounted in the newspaper La Croix the armed attack in Guatemala which she had been the target with two Honduran sisters in their house.
One of the three attackers, only 15 years old, had pointed a pistol at his temple.
The thieves left with the equivalent of a hundred euros, abandoning their victims, hands and feet tied up.
"I knew they could kill me but I was not afraid," she assured the Catholic daily.
"A big heart and a good temperament"
Since moving to Haiti, where she has been in contact, among others, with young people in the context of humanitarian operations, she has been confronted with a "climate of violence".
“But there were no explicit threats,” emphasizes the Superior General.
In Peuton (Mayenne), the small village where “Agnès” was born, the 230 inhabitants crossed their fingers that she was very quickly freed.
Guy, 90, knows the native child well, “a farmer's daughter” with “twelve brothers and sisters”.
"She is super nice, very welcoming," he praises.
"Always with a smile, a big heart and a good temperament", continues his wife Victorine, admiring this traveler "with a cross around her neck and a gray dress".
She also remembers that in the past she played the harmonium in church during Sunday mass.
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“She is very close to people.
She always fought for the poor.
She left here very young, she came back every four-five years, ”says Roland, also living in Peuton.
According to a member of her family informed on Monday morning of the kidnapping, Sister Agnès had to "come back last year" but she finally "stayed there", in particular because "she is in good shape".
"She's a beautiful person," she sums up.