Friday, October 25, 2013

The Gruesome Murder of Sister Afra Martinelli

 Afra Martinelli (1935-2013)

 A murder most cruel...

~ By Prof. Nduka Otiono, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow · Ottawa, Ontario.

On this day, Friday, October 25, 2013, this angelic missionary will be laid to rest in Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State. Italian by birth, "Sister" Afra Martinelli came to Nigeria and made her home here for years, embarking on charitable causes, deploying her resources and returns from an impressive Business Centre that served the community to supporting the sick, the hungry, the broken. Then one night recently insane marauders stormed the house of the 78 years old defenseless woman and mortally stabbed her in a most hideous armed robbery attack. She died a few days after at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital. My mum and the entire community have been shocked by one of the saddest events in missionary history in the country. So grave a murder that Pope Francis focused on it on the last Mission Day.

As reported on News.Va, the Official Vatican Network online, "On Sunday 20 October, after the Angelus with the numerous faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father recalled the celebration of World Mission Day with these words: "Today is World Mission Day. What is the mission of the Church? To spread throughout the world the flame of faith that Jesus has lighted in the world: faith in God who is Father, Love, and Mercy. The method of the Christian mission is not proselytism, but that the sharing of the flame that heats up the soul. I thank all those who through prayer and concrete help sustain the work of the missions, in particular the solicitude of the Bishop of Rome for spread of the Gospel. On this Day, we are close to all men and women missionaries, who work without making noise, and who give their lives. [Missionaries] like the Italian Afra Martinelli, who worked for many years in Nigeria: one day she was killed in a robbery; everyone wept, Christians and Muslims. They really loved her! She announced the Gospel with her life, with the works she accomplished, a centre of instruction; in this way she spread the flame of faith, she fought the good fight. Let us think about this our sister, and greet her with applause, all of us!

"Afra Martinelli was born in Civilerghe 78 years ago. She was a lay missionary, she was not linked to any religious institution, and had been in Nigeria for over thirty years, where he founded and directed the Regina Mundi Centre: a computer school and school for boys, in Ogwashi - Ukwu, in the diocese of Issele-Uku. On the morning of September 27 her collaborators found her in her room, seriously wounded in the neck with a machete, and most likely due to an attempted theft. Transported to the nearest hospital, she died on October 9, after several days of agony."

As we celebrate the life of Afra Martinelli and sing her quiet achievements, let us spare a moment to reflect on the frightening decadence that rules our dear homeland, and the increasing spate of hideous crimes that claims the young and the old. May the blood-sucking demons who attacked defenseless Sister Martinelli, and who are still roaming free in the world, meet a more vicious end! Ise... Rest in peace, Afra Martinelli. From ********

submit to reddit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sister Afra spent more than two decades in Ogwashi-Uku. She helped the poor, established a computer centre to serve the need of the people and gave employment to many. For her to have ended that way, is most unfortunate.

Between 2000 and 2003 I was co-ordinator of The Catholic Servants of Christ - a volunteer group she founded to take care of those abandoned because of old age or disability. And we also taught moral education in secondary schools.

Indeed the above photograph was taken by me. It is the only good photograh of Sister Afra I have.

I pray that all those who are involved in her death will somehow be exposed.

Rest In Peace, Sorella Afra

Mac Davis Ngwa