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South Africa's first martyr

2015-05-03

Benedict Daswa was an ordinary South African who belonged to his country's Catholic minority.  In 1990, he was murdered for opposing witchcraft. He left behind a mother, wife, and eight children. His family recently found out that Pope Francis has recognized Daswa's martyrdom. 

JEAN JULES GHASSEM 
Postulator General, Benedict Daswa
"The fact that a child of the country is recognized for his virtues and his martyrdom will help bring together men and women from the country's different races, religions, and faiths.”

A young Catholic friend helped Daswa convert to Catholicism. Although witchcraft is fairly common in South Africa, he was opposed to it. One day, after refusing to help pay a wizard to bring rain, Daswa was murdered in his car.

JEAN JULES GHASSEM 
Postulator General, Benedict Daswa
"With his courage and fidelity to the Catholic faith, Benedict Daswa is a model for the entire population of South Africa.”

Born in 1946, Daswa was a pioneer in his country. He tried to save thousands of children from weapons and guerrilla forces.

JEAN JULES GHASSEM 
Postulator General, Benedict Daswa
"He was a well-respected man in his city, Benedict Daswa was considered a leader. He was certain that sports greatly influenced kids' upbringings. So he created a football club for them.”

He was known as "Tshimangadzo,” which translates to "miracle.” He is recognized as a martyr for opposing witchcraft and because he was killed out of hatred for the Catholic faith. The South African will become the first blessed and martyr from his country.


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