February Thoughts, Benedict Daswa, martyr for our Church

FEBRUARY OVERVIEW: “Love gives Life.”  God, the creator, is a lover and it is God’s love that is life-giving, creating life continually, sustaining and renewing what has been created. Our task and gift as human beings and life-givers is co-creation with God.
Our life-giving task is to nurture life in all its stages from conception until natural death. Loving human relationships of commitment and care are mirrored and carried forward in care for creation. Caring for rhinos and yet rejecting unborn human life and the needs of the destitute and poor is not fully lifegiving.
Reflecting on St Francis Pope Francis wrote in 2015 “Love is more powerful, love gives life, love makes hope blossom in the wilderness.”    This is a shortened overview.  Access the full overview on https://www.marfam.org.za/reflections-extracts-from-daily-thoughts-february/

February 1. Blessed  Benedict Daswa was a respected school principal and married man. He was the father of eight children and his mother was also part of the family. Benedict was stoned and then killed by fellow-villagers in Venda on 2 February 1990. They were jealous of his success and resented his opposition to witchcraft which was still practised in the area. One of his friends, also a principal, spoke about Benedict’s attitude toward family life, “When men were at a District meeting, Benedict said, ‘Men should help their wives, for example, if there is a baby at home and the Mother is busy, the Father should take care of the baby. The time has come for men to realise that we can do women’s work.’ Some men used to laugh at him, saying that he was overpowered by his wife.” He was beatified as South Africa’s 1st martyr in September 2015. The Pearl Jubilee of his death is being celebrated on 1 February 2020. His life and his death are ideal examples of life-giving love.

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. John 12:24-26.

Pope Francis: In difficult moments of history how often do we hear, ‘Today our country needs heroes.’ We ask, ‘Today what does our Church need?’ Martyrs, witnesses, everyday saints of ordinary life, lives lived coherently; but we also need those who have the courage to accept the grace to be witnesses until the end, until death. Martyrs are the lifeblood of the Church.” April 2017.

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