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New Website Launched Ahead of Beatification of South Africa’s First Martyr

Cardinal Angelo Amato to Preside Over Beatification Ceremony of Benedict Daswa on September 13th

A new website has been launched ahead of the beatification of South Africa’s first martyr recognized by the Catholic Church.

Benedict Samuel Tshimangadzo Daswa, who was martyred on February 2nd, 1990, will be beatified on September 13th.

According to Fides, the new website (www.daswabeatification.org.za) presents the life of the soon-to-be Blessed.

Following a series of strong storms that raged in the area of his native village in February 1990, the local people thought that these phenomena were due to acts of witchcraft. The council of elders therefore decided to consult a “healer” and the villagers were asked an individual contribution of 5 Rand to pay for his advice. Benedict said that thunderstorms are natural phenomena and refused to give his contribution to pay a sorcerer, thus arousing the anger of many residents.

On February 2nd, 1990, the car Benedict was traveling in was blocked with a road ambush by some individuals. He managed to escape on foot, and hid in a house. But faced with the threat to kill the woman who hid him, Benedict gave himself to his captors, entrusting his soul to the Lord. He was stabbed to death and his body covered with boiling water.

In January of this year, Pope Francis authorized the promulgation of the decree which recognizes the “martyrdom of Tshimangadzo Samuele Benedetto Daswa (Bakali), lay, killed in hatred of the Faith, on February 2, 1990, in Mbahe (South Africa)”.

Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside over the beatification ceremony which will be held on September 13th at the Benedict Daswa Shrine, in Tshitanini in Limpopo Province.

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