Vatican News - Vatican City
"Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite, a model for young people:" This is the theme chosen by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Diocese of Isiro-Niangara, in the province of Haut-Uele, for last weekend's celebration of the fifty-fourth anniversary of the martyrdom of Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite Nengapeta.
54th anniversary of Blessed Anuarite's martyrdom
The Bishop of Isiro-Niangara, Julien Andavo Mbia, presided over the Eucharistic celebration at the weekend. The ceremony was concelebrated by the Bishop of Isangi, Dieudonné Madrapile Tanzi. Also concelebrating were several priests. The Holy Mass took place on the site planned for the construction of a shrine dedicated to Blessed Marie-Clémentine Anuarite.
Bishop Julien Andavo urged thousands of the faithful gathered and especially young people to follow the example of Blessed Anuarite to be faithful and persevere in their journey of following Christ. He particularly urged young people to see in Anuarite, a model of steadfastness.
Pilgrims who joined the local faithful came from the towns of Watsa, Durba and Faradje, but also the dioceses of Dungu-Doruma, Wamba, Butembo and Bondo and even from Brussels in Belgium.
A martyr at the age of 25
Blessed Anuarite was a member of the Holy Family Sisters in then Belgian Congo today known as the Democratic Republic of Congo. She became a martyr at the age of 25 when she was killed during the anarchy that followed Congo’s Mulele rebellion led by Simba rebels, in 1964. As she was dying, she said to her assailants, 'I forgive you for you know not what you are doing.'
Ending violence against women
Traditionally, Blessed Anuarite is often seen as a woman who, if emulated, can restore reconciliation and honour to the DRC’s tainted image of violence against women and of endless armed conflicts.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
(Le blog du Diocèse d'Isiro-Niangara, additional reporting Paul Samasumo)