Sub-Saharan Africa, 19 February, 2021 / 10:01 pm (ACI Africa).
A statue of Mary Help of Christians, which arrived in Benin at the beginning of this month, is a fulfillment of the desire of Fr. Antonio César Fernandez, a Spanish member of the Religious Institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) who was killed in Burkina Faso two years ago, SDB officials have said in a report.
The Tuesday, February 16 report obtained by ACI Africa indicates that prior to his death, Fr. Fernandez had, in a visit to his home country, expressed the desire to have a statue of Mary Help of Christians like the one at the Salesian House, Cordoba in Spain in the pre-Novitiate community in Benin’s Diocese of Porto Novo.
“The Salesian community of Córdoba saw the possibility of sending this blessed statue and thus fulfilling his wish - a desire that came to fruition also thanks to the organization of the trip by the Salesian Mission Office of Madrid, Misiones Salesianas,” SDB officials say in the February 16 report.
The Statue of Mary Help of Christians arrived in the Salesian Community in Benin’s Diocese of Porto Novo on February 1, and was “welcomed with great joy and much-awaited for by Salesians, young people, and street children.”
To the members of the 161-year-old Religious Institute serving in Spain, the statue “represents a significant tribute to the memory” of Fr. Fernandez who had been a missionary in Africa for 37 years.