June 18, 2014

Youthful witness

Bernard Mizeki was a refugee from slavery who came to South Africa in the mid-19th century, and found more than a refuge — he found the faith. He became a missionary and catechist in Mashonaland, and suffered death at the hands of those opposed to the incursions of Europeans and Africans who supported the importation of a foreign religion. His body was never found, but a memorial was raised close to where he is said to have died as a martyr to the faith, and one who would not abandon those who had joined him in it. That memorial stands in testimony to this young man's willingness to testify.

The Collect
Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, your humble servants, a like faith and power of love, that we who rejoice in his triumph may profit by his example; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

ikon by Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

3 comments:

Kurt Huber said...

Thank you for this! Having gone on pilgrimage with the people of Mozambique to Mizeki's birthplace, he has become their saint, and a powerful witness.

Jesse Zink said...

Mizeki is one example (of many) of the way in which Christianity was spread through the unplanned and often forced migration of many Africans—through the slave trade, through economic changes, and more recently through refugee movements as a result of civil war. We give thanks for the way those who are displaced can find new resources and new hope in the Christian faith.

Tobias Haller said...

Thank you, Kurt, and Jesse. In re the means by which Mizeki was able to spread the Gospel, I'm reminded of Joseph: "You meant it for ill, but God turned it to good, for the saving of many..."