ROME: Congolese Chaplaincy Appeals for Canonization of Bl Anuarite and Bl Bakanja

VATICAN, DECEMBER 12, 2019 (CISA)-Congolese Nationals in Rome have appealed to Pope Francis for the canonization of Blessed Anuarite and Blessed Bakanja.

The plea was made December 8 during Mass at St Peters basilica in Vatican to mark 25th anniversary of the Congolese Catholic Chaplaincy in Rome.

Speaking on the behalf of the community, Sister Rita Mboshu Kongo, a Theologian and University Professor, made a special request for the canonisation of Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite Nengapeta and Blessed Isidore Bakanja.

“Holy Father, like a father in a family, we ask you not to tire of us. We are your children. Our dream is to see these two Blesseds, Anuarite and Bakanja, both martyred for their faith and fidelity to the Church; our hope is to see them enrolled in the canon of other Catholic martyrs. We wish to see them held up as models of faith for the universal Church,” said Sr. Kongo.

“On behalf of the whole Congolese community, we wish to express to you what comes from the depths of our hearts: Our joy is great to see that today, our dreams and our desires have become a reality. To our request to you, to be with us on 1 December to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our chaplaincy; the 25th anniversary of the beatification of Isidore Bakanja, Catechist and martyr, and also to celebrate with us the feast of Blessed Anuarite, this was your answer to us: ‘Yes, I will be with you and I will pray for you, but not for a long four-hour Holy Mass as you normally do,” Sr Kongo added.

Sr Kongo also made an appeal for peace in DRC denouncing the high number of deaths occasioned by the lawlessness in the country which has lasted for about 20 years.

“The genocide is taking place in total silence worldwide. From our point of view (as Congolese), this is not right, and it is offensive to us,” she said.

“Pope Francis … some of us here in the Basilica do not know where their relatives are, they do not even know if they are still alive or dead,” she added.

During the anniversary, Pope Francis celebrated in the Congolese rite officially known as the “Congolese Missal for the Dioceses of Zaire.”

Cardinal Frederic Etsou inaugurated the Congolese chaplaincy in 1994 following requests by Congolese nationals in Italy.