Seek Mary’s Intercession to End “scourge of oppressing women”: Archbishop in South Africa

Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale during the Ministry and Vocations Fair marking the Archdiocesan phase of the World Meeting of Families. Credit: ACI Africa

The Catholic Archbishop of South Africa’s Johannesburg Archdiocese has called on the people of God in his Episcopal See to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary to end violence against women, “especially by those who claim to love them”.

In his homily during the Vigil Mass to mark the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Patron Saint of South Africa, Archbishop Buti Joseph Tlhagale also urged the people of God under his pastoral care to model their lives after Mary in making themselves available to God. 

“This month is the month that celebrates the dignity of women… As we honor Mary, our mother, perhaps we need to deepen our faith and our trust in her intervention. So that the violence committed against women, especially in our homes might disappear,” Archbishop Tlhagale said during the August 19 Eucharistic celebration. 

He called on the congregation at Christ the King Cathedral of Johannesburg Archdiocese, the venue of the celebration, to “pray to gather strength, to oppose the scourge of oppressing women, especially by those who claim to love them.”

The South African Archbishop regretted the fact that perpetrators of domestic violence are mostly those who claim to love the victims.


“The worst thing is to be violated by somebody with whom you live in your house, to be disrespected by your own partner, to be debased by somebody who at one point or another in your life claimed to be somebody who loves you,” he said, adding that some women do not want to leave their homes because of their children.

Archbishop Tlhagale underscored the need to seek Mary’s intercession and explained, “Mary has performed many miracles which are not written in the Bible. These miracles that happen from generation to generation and throughout the world have not always been written down or registered for us to know and yet we do know that many are healed through her intervention.”

The 74-year-old Catholic Archbishop invited the people of God “to look at Mary as a model to follow in giving ourselves completely to God” and to “be totally open to God, and to be keen to do God's will.”

He acknowledged with appreciation the humble state of the Blessed Virgin Mary, saying, “Mary is noted for her humility; in the hymn Magnificat, Mary recognizes that God has done wonders for her, that God has recognized her loneliness and He raised her from the dung heap to becoming the Queen of the Universe.”

Mary, the South African Archbishop added, “recognized this singular privilege of being a humble servant of God.”

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Sheila Pires is a veteran radio and television Mozambican journalist based in South Africa. She studied communications at the University of South Africa. She is passionate about writing on the works of the Church through Catholic journalism.