Beatification advances for ‘genuine martyr’ who resisted African witchcraft
Servant of God Benedict Daswa
Servant of God Benedict Daswa
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The conclusion of a five-year diocesan inquiry has advanced the beatification cause of a South African man who was murdered as a “genuine martyr” after a life of resisting witchcraft and condemning murderous witch hunts.

Servant of God Benedict Daswa belonged to the small Lemba tribe among the Venda people in the Limpopo Province in northernmost South Africa.

According to the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), he became a Catholic while training to become a elementary school teacher.

Realizing that common beliefs and practices concerning witchcraft were against his faith, he took a strong stand against them because he believed they led to the killing of innocent people accused of witchcraft activities.

Daswa also rejected the use of “muti” or medicines for protection against evil or for success in sports or other activities.

In 1990 he refused to give money for the purpose of “smelling out” witches. Days later, on Feb. 2, he was stoned and bludgeoned to death. He was killed four months before his 44th birthday.

“All the indications points to the fact that Benedict Daswa led a holy life and became a genuine martyr for the faith,” a statement from the SABC said.

The Diocese of Tzaneen opened an inquiry into Daswa’s death, concluding it on July 2, 2009. The investigation produced over 850 pages of testimonies from reliable witness to the life and death of Daswa.

Copies of the investigation were sent to Archbishop Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for Causes of Saints. The documents were signed by Bishop of Tzaneen Hugh Slattery, Sr. Sally Duigan OLSH, Diocesan Chancellor Fr. Andre Bohas MSC and Promoter of Justice Eddie O’Neill SDB.

Fr. Bohas was the postulator in Daswa’s beatification and canonization cause, which is the first for a South Africa-born Catholic.

According to the SACBC, prayer cards and a novena will be prepared to help people pray for favors through the intercession of the Servant of God Benedict Daswa.

A short biography and DVD will be produced to make him more widely known in South Africa and in other African countries.

The SACBC statement called Daswa “a role model to us all and a great witness to our faith.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20