JOHANNESBURG AUGUST 25 2015 (CISA) – Benedict Daswa will officially be declared blessed on September 13, 2015, the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) has announced.
“We invite as many as possible of the faithful to be present at the beatification ceremony. It is our wish that those who cannot come to the ceremony be united in spirit and prayer with those present at Tshitanini,” the bishops said in a statement to the “People of God of Botswana, South Africa and Swaziland.”
According to statement, signed by president of the SACBC and archbishop of Cape Town Stephen Brislin, the declaration will be done by Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints at the Vatican, on behalf of Pope Francis.
The beatification will take at Tshitanini near Thohoyandou in the province of Limpopo, the home and place of martyrdom of Benedict.
The Church of Our Lady Assumed into heaven at Nweli will serve as the temporary resting place of the mortal remains of this martyr.
“From now on the first of February will be celebrated as his feast day,” the bishops’ said.
Benedict Daswa was a committed lay Catholic whose passion for the truth led him to openly and very publicly oppose the belief and practice of witchcraft. This courageous witness to the faith led to his martyrdom; he was ambushed and killed by a mob in 1990.
The cause of beatification commenced on June 10, 2008. Pope Francis approved a decree that recognized martyrdom on January 22, 2015 paving way for his beatification.
“We encourage all the faithful to imitate Benedict Daswa by living their Catholic faith with courageous and humble commitment. Pray to him and make novenas to him, asking for special graces and favours and even miracles,” the bishops encouraged.
“We ask God to bless the peoples of Southern Africa on the occasion of the beatification of Benedict Daswa and we invoke the prayers and patronage of our Mother, Mary, Queen Assumed into heaven,” the statement concluded.