Decree of Martyrdom

Dr Edmund O’Neill sdb, Promoter of Justice, signs document to accompany Diocesan Inquiry material

Early in 2013 the Diocese of Tzaneen was notified that the relator, satisfied with the Positio, had completed the Positio by adding the Introduction. After being printed it was taken to the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints in April 2013. On 15 October that year copies were sent to a panel of nine theological consultants for careful study. They met at the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome on 9 October 2014 to table their reports and cast their votes. The outcome of this voting was unanimous that Benedict Daswa had died a true martyr of the faith. On 13 January 2015 the Ordinary Congress (cardinal and bishops) of the Sacred Congregation met to discuss and vote on the Report of the theological consultants. Their vote was positive. During the afternoon of Thursday 22 January 2015, Pope Francis, meeting in private with the Cardinal Prefect of the Sacred Congregation recognised the martyrdom of Benedict Daswa and ordered the promulgation of a decree attesting to this. The Decree of Martyrdom was issued by the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints four days later on Monday 26 January 2015. Bishop Joao Rodrigues, on behalf of the January 2015 Plenary Session of the Bishops of Southern Africa, sent to Rome a suggested date and venue for the beatification ceremony during which the Venerable Benedict Daswa will be solemnly proclaimed “Blessed Benedict Daswa”. The Beatification Ceremony took place in Tshitanini, a village of the Parish of Thohoyandou, Diocese of Tzaneen, on Sunday 13 September 2017. Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints officiated at the ceremony, and as Legate of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, read the Apostolic Letter in which Benedict Daswa was proclaimed, “Blessed”.