February 1. Blessed Benedict Daswa, South African martyr.  If I give away all I have and deliver my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing. At the time of his murder there was serious division within the community of the village of Mbahe where Benedict was a teacher and respected member of the village, contributing with love to the life of the community.   There were those who believed in the magical power of sangomas to stop the dangerous lightning storms experienced at the time, and there were those who had rejected those beliefs and had adopted Christianity.  Benedict was also a loving husband and father and a lay minister in the church he built. Was it jealousy or witchcraft that was behind his brutal murder when he refused to act against his Catholic beliefs?  He was stoned, stabbed and killed, so gaining the crown of martyrdom.  Becoming an eco-friendly family:  How can you be an example of a loving eco-friendly family in your community?  

If I speak the tongues of men and angels but have not love I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal, If I give away all I have and if I deliver my body to be burned but have not love I gain nothing.  1 Cor 13:1-3. Pope Francis: Today what does the Church need? Martyrs, witnesses, everyday saints of ordinary life, lives lived coherently, but we also need those who have the courage to accept the grace to be witnesses until the end, until death. Martyrs are the lifeblood of the Church.”  April 2017.

Also see www.marfam.org.za/family matters/family year planner for an overview of February themes.