History of St. Daniel Comboni

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History of St. Daniel Comboni

St. Daniel Comboni was born at Limone on Lake Garda (Brescia ‑ Italy) on 15th, March 1831.

In 1849 he consecrates his life to Africa, thus setting in motion a project that will indeed lead him to risk his life many times in exhausting missionary journeys, starting from his first arrival in Africa in 1857.

On 31st, December 1854, the year of the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, he is ordained priest by Blessed John N. Tschiderer, Bishop of Trento.

Confident that Africans will become the leading agents of their own evangelization, he launches a project designed to “Save Africa through Africa” (Plan of 1864). Faithful to his motto: “Africa, or death!” despite all difficulties, he pushes ahead with his Plan by founding the Comboni Missionary Institute in 1867. He is a prophetic voice, proclaiming to the whole Church, especially in Europe, that the hour of salvation has come for the peoples of Africa.

Though still a simple priest, he has no hesitation in approaching the First Vatican Council to petition the Bishops that every local Church be involved in the conversion of Africa (Postulatum, 1870).  With unusual courage for those days, he is the first to bring missionary Sisters into the work in Central Africa, and in 1872 he founds his own Institute of Sisters consecrated exclusively to the missions: the Comboni Missionary Sisters.

His endeavors are great on other fronts too, for example in his tireless struggle for the abolition of slavery.  In 1877 he is consecrated Bishop and named Vicar Apostolic of Central Africa.

He dies in Khartoum (Sudan) in the late hours of 10th, October 1881, worn out by his toils and his crosses. On 17th, March 1996, he is Beatified by John Paul II in St. Peter’s.

On 5th, October 2003, he is canonized by John Paul II in St. Peter’s.