Blessed Clementina Anuarite Nengapeta
Feast Day is December 1
Kinshasa (Fides Service)- Clementina Anuarite Nengapeta was born in 1939 in Wamba, in what was Belgian Congo at the time. Her parents were followers of traditional African religions. She was baptised with her mother and was educated by the Sisters of the Child Jesus at Nivelles.
She entered a local religious congregation, the Holy Family Sisters and made her profession on 5 August 1959 and served with humility, diligence and love as a sacristan, assistant cook and primary school teacher.
In 1961, less than a year after reaching independence, the country was plunged into chaos of civil war started by secessionists in Katanga. An intervention of UN troops suppressed the uprising but tension remained and exploded with the revolt of the Simba in eastern Congo.
On 29 November 1964 Sr Anuarite was taken hostage by Simba guerrillas and taken to Isiro in the north east of the country. The rebel leader tried often to violate her vow of chastity but she firmly refused his advances and chose to “die rather than commit a sin”. During the night of 1 December 1964, after being brutally maltreated, Sr Anuarite was killed but not before she found the strength to forgive her murderer with these words: “May God forgive you, and I forgive you because you do not realise what you are doing”.
Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Anuarite martyr on 15 August 1985, during his second visit to the country (Zaire at that time).