Brazil - The cause of Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo: a great event of both Church and Congregation

17 January 2018

(ANS - Meruri) – On January 31, in Meruri, the diocese of Barra do Garças, Brazil, opens the diocesan inquiry into the martyrdom of the Servants of God Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, Salesian priest, and Simão Bororo, a layman, killed on July 15, 1976, in the courtyard of the Salesian mission of Meruri. Their cause of martyrdom is a living sign that God has blessed the Congregation and the Church with His love and grace, especially in Brazil.

"Incredible how this cause has struck the hearts of so many people in the Mato Grosso Province, in Salesian Brazil and in the Church. The example of faith and love for the Kingdom of God of Fr Rodolfo and Simão is truly a sign and a call to renewal and missionary ardor," comments Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General for the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family. "Father Rodolfo and Simão are part of that long line of Catholic missionaries and indigenous people murdered as they accompanied, evangelized and fought alongside the Indians for their rights. The struggle for the defense of the earth, of the peoples that inhabit it and its immense natural, cultural and spiritual riches, has been and is still fertilized by the blood of martyrs."

For the opening of the diocesan process, the Provincial of Brazil Campo Grande (BCG), Fr Gildasio Santos, addressed a message to his confreres, to the educative-pastoral communities and to the Salesian Family, inviting them to live this gift with participation. He also emphasized how Fr Lunkenbein and Simão lived a true encounter with Jesus Christ, sealed a deep alliance in blood by giving themselves: "a covenant of hearts and dreams in missionary lands."

On the occasion, the writings of Fr Lunkenbein shall be discussed; in his letters, homilies and other interventions, he showed his missionary heart and the prophetic power of the Gospel in promoting justice and solidarity. In his last writings, allusions to death often appear: "Even today, a missionary must be willing to die to do his duty. The help you give us shows that you have clearly understood what it means today to be a Christian: to sacrifice oneself with Christ, to suffer with Christ, to die with Christ and to win with Christ for the salvation of the whole world of our neighbor." (Letter to his countrymen dated 11.08.1975).


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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