Monday, October 10, 2005

Saint Daniel Comboni


From a Homily of Pope John Paul on Daniel Comboni:

From the time of his priestly formation in the institute founded by the Servant
of God Nicola Mazza, Daniel Comboni felt called to give his own life to proclaim
the Gospel in the land of Africa. This awareness stayed with him throughout his
life and supported him in his missionary labours and pastoral difficulties. He
felt comforted in this dedication by the words he heard from Pope Pius IX:
'Labora sicut bonus miles Christi pro African' ('Work like a good soldier of
Christ for Africa' Scritti, n. 4085).

The modernness and boldness of his
work were expressed in the preparation and formation of future priests, in the
tireless promotion of the missions by his writing and publishing, in the
founding of two institutes one for men, the other for women exclusively
dedicated to the mission 'ad gentes', by struggling for the abolition of the
terrible slave-trade and by actively working 'for the rebirth of Africa through
itself'. These insights of the new blessed produced great fruit for the
evangelization of the African continent by paving the way to the consoling
growth of the Church in Africa today (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in
Africa, nn. 3338).

'Leading humanity to the light of eternal life':
Daniel Comboni's ideal continues today in the apostolate of his spiritual sons
and daughters. They still maintain strong ties in Africa, particularly in Sudan,
where their founder spent a great part of his energy as a tireless evangelizer
and where he died at a young age, worn out by his labours and illness. The
unconditional trust he had in the power of prayer (cf. Scritti n. 2324) is
effectively expressed in the 'Cenacles of missionary prayer' which are being set
up in many parishes and represent a significant way to promote and renew
missionary spirituality. "