Novena to Blessed Benedict Daswa
We are encouraging people in all the Dioceses of Southern Africa (SACBC region) to pray for the favours and graces they need during the nine days prior to the Feast on 1 February. This novena will commence on 23 January and conclude on 31 January. We also invite people to make three acts of kindness each day of the Novena in remembrance of the three acts of charity which Blessed Benedict performed the day he was martyred.
BAPTISED IN CHRIST – The eldest of five children, Tshimangadzo Samuel Benedict Daswa was born on 16 June 1946, in the village of Mbahe near Thohoyandou. Growing up in the African Traditional Religion, he belonged to the Bakali clan of the Lemba tribe, who regard themselves as descendants of the Jews. They live mainly among the Venda tribe but are also found among the Northern Sotho and Tsonga tribes in the Province of Limpopo, South Africa. As a high school student Tshimangadzo took instruction in the Catholic faith from his catechist, the late Father Benedict Risimati. He was greatly influenced by this man of deep faith and as a result chose Benedict for his baptismal name. He made his own the motto of St Benedict, “Pray and Work”, which inspired his whole life as a Christian. On 21 April 1963 he was baptised by Father Augustine O’Brien MSC and received his First Holy Communion. Three months later he was confirmed by Rt Rev Abbot/Bishop F C Van Hoeck OSB, Bishop of Pietersburg Diocese. After completing High School, Benedict trained as a Primary School teacher.
Word of God – We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. (Romans 6,4-5)
Deepening of Faith …since Baptism is a true entry into the holiness of God through incorporation into Christ and the indwelling of his Spirit, it would be a contradiction to settle for a life of mediocrity, marked by a minimalist ethic and a shallow religiosity. To ask catechumens:”Do you wish to receive Baptism?” means at the same time to ask them: “Do you wish to become holy?” It means to set before them the radical nature of the Sermon on the Mount:”Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”(Mt 5,48). (NMI 3)
Reflection – What does the baptism I have received mean to me? Do I really wish to become holy, as God is holy?
Prayer – You guide me along the right path for the sake of your name. Even when I walk through a dark valley, I fear no harm for you are at my side; your rod and your staff give me courage. I will dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come. (Psalm 23, 2b-4.6)
O Blessed Trinity,
I believe that you dwell in me through my baptism.
I love You, I adore You and I worship You.
I give you thanks for Blessed Benedict,
Whom you chose to bear witness unto death for his faith
In Jesus Christ, my Saviour and my Lord.
Almighty Father, You filled the heart of Blessed Benedict,
With great love and zeal in building up your kingdom.
You gave him the courage and the strength
To stand up for his faith without fear, even the fear of death.
Loving God, keep me free from all deeds of darkness.
Protect me from evil spirits and the powers of evil.
Make me a true apostle of life in my family and in society.
May Your light, O Lord, shine upon me and through me.
Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Blessed Benedict,
I ask that I may follow his example
Of always being ready to forgive in a Christian spirit.
You know all about my many problems and worries
And my great fears when I look to the future.
I draw strength and courage from the life of Blessed Benedict.
I come to You now, Lord, and through his intercession
I ask for this very special favour………
(mention your request/s)
if it is according to Your will.
Help me always to follow the good example of Blessed Benedict.
By daily prayer and regular attendance at Church,
Help me to love You, O Lord, above all things
And to love others as You love me.