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Tag Archives: Catholic hermits and religious

BLESSED ANWARITE NENGAPETA: SHE STILL HAD THE STRENGTH TO SAY, “I FORGIVE YOU”

Blessed Anwarite Nengapeta, Virgin; Memorial: December 1

Anwarite Nengapeta was born in Wamba (Dem. Congo) in 1939. She joined the local Holy Family Sisters and took her vows in 1959, taking the name of Sr Marie Clementine.

In 1964 all the nuns of the Bafwabaka community were deported by the Simba rebels.

At night they were taken to a military house, where Colonel Olombe tried to force Sr Anwarite and Sr Bokuma to have sexual intercourse with him. Both refused categorically in spite of the violence to which they were subjected.

Sr Bokuma fainted, her arm broken in three places. Sr Anwarite continued to resist, saying she would rather die than commit a sin. Between the blows she had the strength to say: “I forgive you, for you do not know what you are doing.” In his anger the colonel had her stabbed many times with a bayonet and finally took out his revolver and shot her. She died a few minutes later. She was beatified by St John Paul II in 1985.

From: The Sisters of St Peter Claver, Bromley, Kent (Mission Calendar)

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ST ANTHUSA – A PANTHER LED PEOPLE TO WHERE SHE HAD DIED

ST ANTHUSA OF SELEUCIA, (THIRD CENTURY)

St Anthusa was ostracised by her pagan family for having become Christian. Originally from Seleucia in modern day Iraq, she had travelled to Tarsus (South Turkey) to secretly receive the sacrament of Baptism from the city’s bishop, St Athanasius. The latter was subsequently martyred as one of the victims of the persecution of Christians under the Roman Emperor Valerian (253-260).

Because her pagan family did not want to have anything to do with Anthusa since her conversion to Christianity, she journeyed into the wilderness and settled in a mountain cave. Henceforth she lived as a hermitess, spending the remaining years of her life in solitude, praying and doing penance, eating a purely plant based diet consisting mainly of herbs.

From time to time she suffered disturbing attacks by demons, but, firm in Christ, she always remained victorious and regained her tranquillity. After twenty-three years in solitude she died a peaceful death. Another hermitess called Polychronia learned of Anthusa’s death when a panther clamped his jaws onto the woman’s mantle and pulled her to the place where Anthusa’s body was resting. Polychronia gave her an honourable burial.

 
 

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