Brazil – Two new Servants of God: Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo

21 November 2016

(ANS - Campo Grande) - On 15 November 2016, on the occasion of the Feast of the Salesian Family in Campo Grande, Brazil, the Supplex libellus was officially presented, on behalf of the Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni SDB, asking Bishop Protogenes Luft of Barra do Garças (Mato Grosso – Brasile) to open the diocesan inquiry concerning the martyrdom of Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, Salesian missionary (1939-1976), and Simão Cristino Koge Kudugodu, a layman (Simão Bororo - 1937-1976).

The initial rites were celebrated in the courtyard of the mission where the killing of the two took place on 15 July 1976. Then all present entered the parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. During the celebration the Vice-Postulator, Fr Paulo Eduardo Jacomo, officially presented the request for the opening of the diocesan enquiry into their martyrdom to the Vicar General of Barra do Garças, Fr José Cândido da Silva,

The Provincial Fr Gildasio Mendes dos Santos and his Council attended the ceremony together with many Salesians, FMA, Salesian Cooperators, members of ADMA and young people. Members of the Bororo indigenous communities were also present, including some who knew Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo personally.

Rodolfo Lunkenbein was born on 1 April 1939 in Döringstadt, Germany. Reading some Salesian publications aroused in him the desire to be a missionary. He was sent to Brazil and did his practical training in the Meruri mission, where he stayed until 1965. He was ordained a priest in Germany on 29 June 1969, choosing as his motto: "I have come to serve and give my life." He returned to Meruri and was welcomed fondly by the Bororo people who gave him the name "Koge Ekureu" (Golden Fish). In 1972 he participated in the founding of the Missionary Indigenous Council (CIMI) and fought for the defence of indigenous reserves. On 15 July 1976 he was killed in the courtyard of the Salesian mission.

Simão Bororo was born in Meruri on 27 October 1937 and was baptized on 7 November. He was a member of the Bororo group that accompanied the Salesian missionaries in the first missionary residence among Xavantes, in the mission of St. Therese, (1957-58). He helped in the construction of the first brick houses for the Bororo families in Meruri (1962-64), becoming an expert mason and dedicating his life to this profession. He was mortally wounded in an attempt to defend the life of Fr Lunkenbein on 15 July 1976. Before his death he forgave his killers.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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