VATICAN - The first blessed in South Africa: Benedict Daswa, family man, killed for the Gospel

Monday, 14 September 2015

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - "A new Blessed is being proclaimed in South Africa. Samuel Benedict Daswa was a family man killed in 1990 - just 25 years ago because of his fidelity to the Gospel, recalled Pope Francis during the Angelus on Sunday, September 13 -. In his life he always showed great consistency, courageously taking on Christian attitudes and refusing worldly and pagan habits. His testimony helps especially families to spread the truth and charity of Christ. And his testimony joins the testimony of so many of our brothers and sisters, young, old, children, persecuted, driven out, killed to confess Jesus Christ. We thank all of these martyrs and Samuel Benedict Daswa, for their witness and ask them to intercede for us".
Born on June 16, 1946 in the village of Mbahe in a non-Christian family, Benedict Daswa was baptized at the age of 17. He become an elementary school teacher and then a primary school headmaster. At 30, he got married and had eight children. He was a catechist and animator of the liturgy in the parish. In 1990 a storm hit the roof of his village and many huts went on fire because of the lightning. The village leaders thought that the natural phenomenon was the result of witchcraft, and decided to turn to a shaman in order to find those responsible of witchcraft. Benedict firmly opposed in the name of his faith, trying to convince others. A week later a group of villagers attacked and brutally killed him while he was praying. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 14/09/2015)