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Brazil – Closing of diocesan inquiry into cause of martyrdom of Servants of God Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo

03 February 2020

(ANS - Meruri) - On 30 and 31 January, on the occasion of Don Bosco's feast day, the diocesan inquiry of the cause of martyrdom of the servants of God, namely Fr Rodolfo Lunkenbein, SDB, (1939-1976) and Simão Bororo (1937-1976) closed in the Salesian mission of Meruri, State of Mato Grosso (Brazil).

On the evening of January 30, the last session of the process took place, chaired by Msgr. Protógenes José Luft, bishop of Barra do Garças. The following were present: members of the tribunal, the Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, Fr Pierluigi Cameroni, the Vice-Postulator, Fr Paulo Eduardo Jácomo; Joao Bosco Maciel who collaborated in the diocesan phase; Fr Natale Vitali, Regional Councilor for America South Cone, Fr Gildásio Mendes dos Santos, Provincial of Brazil-Campo Grande (BCG); Fr Joseph Grünner, representing the Province of Germany; several Salesians and Daughters of Mary Help of Christians; the ADMA group of Meruri and members of the Bororo Indigenous community.

In front of the large picture of Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo were the boxes containing the documents of the Inquiry. In the context of a celebration of the Word and through readings recalled were the values of martyrdom, the testimony of faith, inculturation of the Gospel, defense of indigenous peoples made by Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo who with their blood sealed an alliance of fraternity and peace at the service of the Bororo people.

Extremely evocative were the signs and rites proper to the Bororo culture that accompanied this ceremony: songs, ritual dances, and two large pariko, headgear of macaw feathers worn on the forehead exclusively by men during the funeral rite. All those present were able to perceive that an event of great historical and spiritual significance was taking place for the Church of Mato Grosso, for the Salesian Family and the Indigenous community, in light of the recent Synod of Bishops on the Amazon.

On the morning of Friday 31 January, the solemn Eucharist took place on the feast day of Don Bosco, presided by the diocesan bishop in an atmosphere of joy and gratitude.

Fr Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo wrote, with numerous other martyrs, one of the most glorious pages of the Amazon. They participated significantly and meaningfully in the passion, death and glorious resurrection of Jesus, fighting, giving their lives to defend life, dignity and the rights of the Bororo people and of all indigenous peoples.

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