15th AUGUST: BLESSED ISIDORE BAKANJA
HE FORGAVE HIS ATHEIST TORMENTOR
“Isidore Bakanja was born some time between 1880 and 1890 [in the former Belgian Congo]. He worked in a plantation run by a Belgian, an atheist who despised Christianity. Baptised in 1906 he took every opportunity to spread his Faith despite the prohibition orders of the plantation owner. He prayed the rosary daily and was devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose scapular he wore with pride. On 22 April 1909, the superintendent tore off his scapular and had him severely beaten and then hidden in the jungle so that he would not be spotted by the colony inspector.
However, Isidore crawled from his hiding place and was seen by the inspector who reprimanded the persecutor and personally treated Isidore’s wounds. However, these had become infected and he suffered greatly in the remaining four months of his life. He died on 15 August 1909 while forgiving his aggressor. He was beatified by St John Paul II in 1994.”
– From The Sisters of St Peter Claver calendar 2015. For donations to the Sisters of St Peter Claver and/or to enroll in Holy Masses please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .