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Monday, September 14, 2015

The Pope remembers the first Catholic martyr of South Africa

Vatican City, 13 September 2015 (VIS) – After today's Angelus prayer, the Pope mentioned that today in South Africa Samuel Benedict Daswa, the Catholic Church's first martyr in that country, is proclaimed blessed. A primary school teacher, Daswa was stoned to death in 1990 in Tshitanini, a village in the province of Limpopo, for attributing a fire affecting some huts to lightning and not to the forces of evil, and for refusing to pay for the services of a sangoma to end the storms. “In his life, he always showed great coherence, bravely assuming Christian attitudes and refusing worldly and pagan habits. May his witness especially help families to spread Christ's truth and charity. His witness joins that of many of our brothers and sisters, young and elderly, children, persecuted, cast out and killed for confessing Jesus Christ. We thank all these martyrs for their witness, Samuel Benedict Daswa and all of them, and ask them to intercede for us”.

He concluded by greeting teachers from Sardinia in precarious working conditions, and expressed his hope that the problems of the world of work “be faced taking into full consideration the family and its needs”.

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