June 18: Bernard Mizeki, Catechist and Martyr in Mashonaland, 1896
June 18, 2011 16 Comments
Welcome to the Holy Women, Holy Men blog! We invite you to read about this commemoration, use the collect and lessons in prayer, whether individually or in corporate worship, and then tell us what you think. For more information about this project, click here.
Bernard Mizeki was born about the year 1861 in Portuguese East Africa (Mozambique). In his early teens he escaped from his native land and arrived in Capetown, South Africa, where he was befriended and converted by Anglican missionaries. He was baptized on March 9, 1886.
In 1891 Bernard Mizeki volunteered as a catechist for the pioneer mission in Mashonaland, and was stationed at Nhowe. In June, 1896, during an uprising of the native people against the Europeans and their African friends, Bernard was marked out especially. Though warned to ﬂee, he would not desert his converts at the mission station. He was stabbed to death, but his body was never found, and the exact site of his burial is unknown.
A shrine near Bernard’s place of martyrdom attracts many pilgrims today, and the Anglican Churches of Central and of South Africa honor him as their primary native martyr and witness.
I Almighty and everlasting God, who didst enkindle the ﬂame of thy love in the heart of thy holy martyr Bernard Mizeki: Grant to us, thy 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 liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
II 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.
Preface of Holy Week
From Holy, Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints © 2010 by The Church Pension Fund. Used by permission.