Africa: How the World Lit Over 5,000 Candles for Seminarian Murdered in Nigeria

No fewer than 5,741 candles were lit from South Africa to Afghanistan and the United States of America to Colombia, for a seminarian, Michael Nnamdi, who was murdered by kidnappers in Kaduna.

Speaking at the funeral mass for Michael, on Tuesday the at Good Shepherd Seminary, Kaduna, Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah said immediately the date for the seminarian's burial was approved, people from all over the world lit candles, making him ask "what message does God have for this country?"

He said Germany alone recorded 3,305 burning candles.

According to the Catholic Bishop, "the national and international reactions to the death of this young man have made me step back and ask what message God has for our country. Michael is the first Seminarian to carry the mark of this brutality and wickedness.

"Priests have died in the hands of these wicked human beings. Michael was only a Seminarian in his first year of training. I had seen him in his cassock which he wore in my presence, not with pride but with dignity.

"Why would the tragic death of a young man such as him elicit such an unprecedented level of emotions here and around the world?

"Maria Lozano, a staff of the Aid to the Church In Need, an organisation dedicated to the cause of the persecution of Christians around the world, called me frantically immediately after the news of the kidnapping of the Seminarians went out.

"The next day, she sent me an emotional voice message to say that she heard that Michael was an orphan and that since the kidnappers will be looking for money might his life be in danger if they realise that he is an orphan? Could she mobilise especially mothers to become parents for him, to keep him and others in their hearts and to continue to pray for him? Maria remained with us emotionally and requested information about the burial.

"When the Archbishop approved the date of the burial, I passed the information to her immediately. By the next day, February 5th, she sent me a message to say that when she asked people around the world to light a candle for Michael on the date of his burial, 2,436 persons from Afghanistan, Pakistan, United States of America, Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Madagascar, South Africa, Congo, Mali, Spain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia responded.

"Germany alone had a total of 3,305 persons in a matter of hours. In light of this, I wondered, who are we to mourn? Who are we to refuse this crown of honour and glory? We ceased to mourn for the seminarian thereon."

On the significance of the incident concerning the seminarian, Kukah said: "Your Grace, my brother Bishops, Rev Fathers, Rev. Sisters, and all the good people of God, I, therefore, bring you only greetings and praise to God from all of us in Sokoto Diocese. This is a solemn moment for the body of Christ.

"This is for us the moment of decision. This is the moment that separates darkness from light, good from evil. Our nation is like a ship stranded on the high seas, rudderless and with broken navigational aids."


Read the original article on Vanguard.

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