Future Saint: He Took A Stand Against Witchcraft

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Who was Benedict Daswa?

Benedict Daswa grew up in a traditionalist family belonging to the small Lemba tribe who live mainly among the Venda people in the Limpopo Province. He became a Catholic, while training to become a Primary teacher. Benedict soon realised that the whole area of witchcraft was against his Catholic faith. From then on in his private life and also in public he took a strong stand against witchcraft because he said it led to the killing of innocent people accused of witchcraft activities.

Benedict also rejected the use of muti or medicines for protection against evil or for success in sport or other activities. It was this stand against witchcraft which eventually led to his death. A few days after refusing to give money for the purpose of "smelling out witches", he was stoned and bludgeoned to death on 2nd February 1990, Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Presentation of the Lord. He was just four months short of 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.

The next stage will be to prepare prayer cards and a novena to enable people to pray for favours through the intercession of the Servant of God. The South African Conference of Catholic Bishops plan to produce a short biography and DVD to make Benedict Daswa more widely known in South Africa and in other African Countries, as a role model for all the faithful and as a witness to the Catholic faith.

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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