EMY – March: People living with disabilities

Topic for February: People living with disabilities
Saint of the month: Bl. Margaret of Castello

Blessed Margaret was born blind, with severe curvature of the spine; her right leg was an inch and a half shorter than her left, and her left arm was malformed. She never grew beyond 4 feet tall. Her parents kept little Margaret hidden away in their house in Metola in the Italian province of Umbria. She was 6 years old when the family travelled to a shrine at Castello, hoping for a miracle. When no miracle took place, Margaret’s mother and father abandoned her. Some women of Castello found the terrified child and took care of her. Later, a couple (Venfarino and Grigia) adopted her. At 15, she joined the Third Order of St. Dominic, which permitted her to wear the habit and take the vows of a nun.

Margaret’s disabilities did not make her bitter; rather, she became one of the most generous, sympathetic people in Castello. She nursed the sick, consoled the dying and visited prisoners. In the sufferings of her neighbours she saw the image of the suffering Christ. As for her own disabilities, she regarded them as a means to unite her pain with the pain Christ endured on the cross. Her courage, her patience and her deep religious devotion won her the affection of everyone in Castello. Continue reading “EMY – March: People living with disabilities”

Baptised and sent catechists

by Bp Jose Luis IMC

The diocesan commissioning of catechists is celebrated every year at the Cathedral during the month of February. This year was no exception. Even though it was a very hot day in Manzini, when I went into the church I found the place practically full with catechists coming from our 17 parishes.

As I was sharing with them during the homily, in this “extraordinary missionary year”, many might be wondering “where” and “to whom” God is calling them to go. Not them. They know. They have been called to be catechists and that is why they come together to be sent once again.

It is certainly a big challenge to accept to be a catechist as whoever sees them, sees our Church. It is to them that we entrust our children, young people and adults who prepare themselves to celebrate our sacraments. Continue reading “Baptised and sent catechists”

EMY – February: Praying for children

Topic for February: Children
Saint to contemplate: St Philomena (291 AD- 304 AD)

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” 1 Cor 6:19-20

Little is known about the life of St. Philomena. However, it is believed she was a Greek princess who became a virgin martyr and died at the age of 13. She was the daughter of a Greek king who converted to Christianity. When Philomena was 13-years-old, she took a vow of consecrated virginity. After her father took his family to Rome to make peace, Emperor Diocletian fell in love with Philomena. When she refused to marry him, she was subjected to torture. Continue reading “EMY – February: Praying for children”

Why do Catholics venerate relics?

by Fr W. Nkomo

With the relics of St Pope John Paul II on pilgrimage to places that have a link to him, seeing that our diocese in particular is one of them, I found it important to clarify some important elements on the tradition of relics.

What is a relic?

According to the Catholic encyclopedia “a relic is some object, notably part of the body or clothes, remaining as a memorial of a departed saint.” That is, physical objects that have a direct association with the saints or with Our Lord. They are usually broken down into three classes: 
Continue reading “Why do Catholics venerate relics?”