After his condition took a turn for the worse, he wrote to Pope Francis asking to move forward his ordination date. Fr. Livinius had first entered religious life with the Order of the Mother of God in Nigeria ten years ago and had made his final vows in September.
The pope’s reply came on March 31 that the seminarian could be ordained the following day, Holy Thursday, according to Vatican News.
Bishop Daniele Libanori, an auxiliary bishop of Rome, ordained Fr. Livinius on April 1 at the Medica Group Casilino Hospital.
“As a priest, you will be joined with Jesus to make your body an offering pleasing to God. Our priesthood, indeed, reaches its peak when together with the bread and wine, we know how to offer all of ourselves, the things the Lord has given us, and our very lives,” Bishop Libanori said in his homily.
The new priest began his ministry right away by giving his blessing to doctors and nurses in the hospital. He died on April 23 after praying the Divine Mercy chaplet with his superior, another priest, and a young man discerning his vocation.
Following his funeral, Fr. Livinius’ remains will be transferred to his hometown in Nigeria, where he will be buried. The Angelicum will host a memorial Mass for the young man on May 3.
Fr. Carbonaro, the superior of the community that hosted Fr. Livinius during his time in Rome, reflected on what he had learned from the late priest’s witness.
“I have thought a lot about my priestly life: Livinius may not have had the opportunity that I had to proclaim the Gospel and serve the people of God, but the Lord chose him in this very special priesthood by uniting them with him,” he said.
“It makes me think a lot about praying and giving thanks for the priceless gift we have received out of love and only out of love. I am sure that his offering, combined with that of Christ, will do good to the Church and for the priests called to fall in love with their ministry … We are grateful to Pope Francis for this gift of fatherhood and tenderness.”
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