Brazil – A special day for Meruri Salesian community, celebrating 45th anniversary of martyrdom of Fr Rudolph Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo

16 July 2021

(ANS - Meruri) - At dawn yesterday, 15 July, the Salesian community gathered in the Meruri cemetery, where the tomb of the martyrs Fr Rudolph Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo is located. Fr Ricardo Carlos, Provincial of the Brazilian Campo Grande Province (Salesian Mission of Mato Grosso - BCG), led the prayer of thanksgiving to God the Father for the gift of martyrdom He gave to the Church of Mato Grosso, the Salesian Congregation and all the BCG Province.

“Martyrdom is not the fruit of a personal plan, but a gift from God, accepted however with freedom and joy. Like Jesus who, while feeling the bitterness of the chalice, anguished by the weight of suffering, offered himself 'freely to the passion' (Eucharistic Prayer II), so too Fr Rudolph Lunkenbein and Simão Bororo, who worked until the moment they delivered their lives, went courageously towards the supreme sacrifice,” said Fr João Bosco Monteiro Maciel, BCG Provincial Secretary.

Fr Walter Bini, BCG Provincial at the time of the martyrdom, in 1976, added that Fr Lunkenbein, "before giving his life all at once and suddenly, spent every day in the routine work of the Mission, which could only be sustained by great love and total consecration. In this way, the priest faced hatred and injustice, trying to resolve everything in peace and dialogue until the end. Simão, not afraid of violence and force, ran to defend his brother, the shepherd, his friend.”

Earlier in the morning, Fr ​​Carlos planted a jabuticaba tree in the inner courtyard of the Meruri Mission, as a sign of life for the 45th anniversary of the martyrdom of Fr Lunkenbein and Bororo. He then presided over the Eucharistic celebration in the community chapel in memory of the Servants of God. The Mass was also concelebrated by other Salesians from the work and from neighboring communities, such as Fr Andelson Dias de Oliveira, Fr João Bosco Maciel, Fr Euller da Silva, Fr Miguel Paes da Silva, Fr Joseph Tran Van Lich, Fr Beatus Volkmar Tola, Fr Douglas Chrystiano Silva Souza and Fr José Marcos de Oliveira.

Devotion to the servants of God is very strong in the region due to the example left by the two, especially by Simão Bororo who, according to witnesses, like Jesus, forgave his killers and died praying for his enemies. “Simão gave his life to defend his missionary brother, who was sacrificed for the life of his Bororo brothers. And so with the blood of the two, an alliance of friendship and peace has been sealed between the Salesian Mission and the Bororo people," added Fr João Bosco Maciel in the proposal of a special celebration for this day sent to the whole Salesian Family.

Euclides Fernandes Brites


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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