School teacher Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa was beatified yesterday. He become the first person from the Southern African region to undergo the key step toward sainthood.
Daswa was stoned, burned and beaten to death after he refused to take part in witchcraft in the local community. He died on 2 February 25 years ago, the same day it was announced that Nelson Mandela would be released from prison.
Yesterday, a representative from the Vatican, Cardinal Angelo Amato, officially declared Daswa a martyr for the Universal Catholic Church.
John speaks to Archbishop Stephen Brislin, President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference about this event.
His greatness really lay in doing things in his ordinary life, as best he could. He was a good father, a good husband and a teacher and he tried to participate in the community he lived, as best he could.— Archbishop Stephen Brislin, President of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference
Archbishop Brislin said that it would take at least another 15 years for him to officially be a Saint. The process of sainthood now requires two miracles to be performed before the Vatican can consider the next step.
Brislin also confirmed that Pope Francis is coming to Africa in November, although not able to come to South Africa during that visit.