Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Feast of Blessed Isidore Bakanja

Happy Feast of Blessed Isidore Bakanja. At the National Shrine of Saint Jude, we have a beautiful icon of this holy man (see below).

Blessed Isidore Bakanja was born in 1888 in a fishing community in the Congo. He was baptised on 6 May 1906 and from that day he wore faithfully the Carmelite scapular.

He was working in a plantation run by a colonialist who did not want Christianity to be spread. By wearing the scapular and showing everyone his faith, Blessed Isidore was flogged several times. In 1909, the superintendent of the business tore off the scapular and severely beat him. He died on 15 August 1909 as a result of the wounds inflicted in "punishment" for his faith and which he bore patiently while forgiving his aggressor.

He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on 24 April 1994.

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