“Cause for joy”: Catholic Bishops in Bukavu Province on Planned Beatification of Four Martyrs in Uvira Diocese

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Uvira

The planned beatification of four Congolese martyrs, who include three members of Xaverian missionaries and a Priest, scheduled to take place on August 18 in the Catholic Diocese of Uvira in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) sparks joy, members of the Provincial Episcopal Assembly of Bukavu (ASSEPB) have said.

In December 2023, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of Fr. Luigi Carrara, Fr. Giovanni Didonè, and Fr. Vittorio Faccin, all Italian-born Xaverian Missionary Priests, who served in the DRC.

They were martyred by anti-religious guerrillas in the Kwilu Rebellion in 1964. 

Credit: Xaverian missionaries

Meanwhile, Fr. Albert Joubert, a local Diocesan Priest born to a French father and African mother, was killed alongside the three Xaverian Missionary Priests.


In their April 14 collective statement in which they decry “endemic insecurity”, ASSEPB members view the planned beatification as a sign of the dynamism of the people of God and the heroism of Priests and women and men Religious amid DRC’s security challenges.

“We give thanks to God for the gift of joy and life He continues to gratify our local Churches,” the Congolese Catholic Church leaders say.

Credit: Xaverian missionaries

They note that “many happy events have been celebrated, and others bear witness to the vitality of our Dioceses,” including the planned beatification of the four martyrs.

In a statement issued March 29, the Local Ordinary of Uvira Diocese, Bishop Sébastien-Joseph Muyengo, announced that Fridolin Cardinal Ambongo is to represent Pope Francis during the August 18 event.

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“Today, our country in general, especially in the eastern part, is becoming a land of martyrs. It's painful, but for us Christians it's a cause for rejoicing, when the Church recognizes the heroism, resilience and fidelity of our entire people, through the compatriots it elevates to the ranks of the Blessed and the Saints,” Bishop Muyengo said.

“In celebrating the planned beatification of these four martyrs, who will be officially named under the title of Blessed Albert Joubert and companions,” the Local Ordinary of Uvira said, “It  is a testament to unwavering faith, resilience, and the ultimate sacrifice made by individuals dedicated to their mission.”

Credit: Xaverian missionaries

Frs. Carrara and Didoné, together with Brother Faccin were killed on 28 November 1964, in Baraka and Fizi, two locations in Uvira Diocese. 

A military jeep halted at the Baraka Church, and amidst the chaos, Br. Faccin was commanded by a rebel leader to board the vehicle. His refusal led to a tragic outcome, as he was ruthlessly shot. 


Fr. Carrara, who was hearing Confessions, emerged from the church and; rather than comply with the assailants, he knelt by his fallen brother. His unwavering solidarity cost him his life, becoming another victim of the senseless violence.

Credit: Xaverian missionaries

A few hours later, in Fizi, the same fate befell Frs. Didoné and Joubert. The rebel squadron arrived in Fizi, and the leader knocked on the door of the mission, killing Fr. Didoné in cold blood when he came to the door, and shortly afterward doing the same to Fr. Joubert.

Fr. Luigi Carrara

Born in 1933, Fr. Luigi Carrara was known for his courage and deep faith. As a missionary in Baraka, he devoted himself to the education and spiritual care of the local community members.

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Credit: Xaverian missionaries

Fr. Giovanni Didonè

Fr. Giovanni Didonè who was born in 1930 distinguished himself for his tireless service and love for those most in need. Working at Fizi, he became a pillar of support and spiritual guidance for many. 

Credit: Xaverian missionaries

Fr. Vittorio Faccin

Born in 1934, Fr. Vittorio Faccin was known for his compassion and dedication to the sick and less fortunate.

 Credit: Xaverian missionaries

Fr. Albert Joubert

Fr. Albert Joubert, a Diocesan Priest, served hand in hand with the Xaverian Missionaries. His apostolate in Fizi and his martyrdom alongside Giovanni Didonè highlight his commitment to the mission and his courage in the face of adversity.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.