SOUTH AFRICA: Pope Awards Couple the Benemerenti Medal

By Odiwuor Opiyo

DURBAN, JUNE 3, 2022 (CISA) – Johnny and Myrna Cane, an elderly couple from St Joseph Parish Morningside in the Catholic Archdiocese of Durban, South Africa, joined the list of many other benevolent Christians who were awarded the Benemerenti Medal for their good service to the Church by Pope Francis.

In the company of a few parishioners who visited the couple’s home, Fr Brett presented each of them with a medal on June 2.

“We are incredibly proud of Myrna and Johnny, who have both worked tirelessly for the Church.  When they were well, they were found at the Parish at 5.30 am to prepare for early morning Mass. They did this for years,” read part of a post on the Parish’s Facebook page.

Johnny who for years worked for the Society of St Vincent de Paul has been battling failing health conditions in recent days while his wife, Myrna, is his primary caregiver.

Johnny’s works were collecting food, groceries and other items from stores, packing, delivering and distributing them to poor families far and wide.

“Our heartfelt congratulations to them both for this award and a massive thanks to them for all they have done for our Parish and beyond.  What an incredible witness to Discipleship,” read the congratulatory message of the parish to the couple.

The Benemerenti Medal, originally established as a military commendation for soldiers in the papal army was transformed in 1925 into a civil decoration and is today, an award by the pope to members of the clergy and laity for their service to the Catholic Church.