It was on January 13th, 1889 that Bro. Benedict Kantwerg, O.S.B. and Bro. Petrus Michl, O.S.B. were killed at Pugu, near Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In the course of the years, other missionaries gave their lives for the Gospel, especially during the Maji Maji Uprising in the early 1900.
Pugu was the first Benedictine monastery of our Congregation outside of Europe. The faithful of the region consider these missionaries as martyrs and every year they gather at Pugu to honor their memory. This year, His Eminence Polycarp Cardinal Pengo of Dar es Salaam was the celebrant of the Memorial Mass with Abbot Pambo Mkorwe of Mvimwa Abbey delivering the homily. Also in attendance were Abbot Placidus Mtunguja of Ndanda Abbey and Prior-Administrator Silvanus from Peramiho Abbey. Religious, priests and laity attended in large numbers.
Monks of Mvimwa Abbey provide pastoral ministry at the Shrine of the African Martyrs even though the Church has not yet declared these missionary monks and sisters as saints.
Let us pray that, through the intercession of the African Martyrs of the Missionary Benedictines of the Congregation of St. Ottilien, the Church in Tanzania will be blessed with deep faith and vocations, and also all our monasteries of the worldwide Congregation will continue to be beacons of hope and faith in today’s society.
January 13, 2018
Br. Tobias, OSB