Be “models, living witnesses” of Faith to Children: Angolan Catholic Archbishop to Parents

Archbishop Zeferino Zeca Martins of Angola’s Huambo Archdiocese. Credit: Radio Ecclesia

Archbishop Luzizila Kiala of Malanje Archdiocese in Angola has urged parents in the Southern African nation to live a life that offers their respective children an opportunity to embrace and nurture their Christian faith. 

In his homily during the annual pilgrimage to the Shrine Our Lady of Muxima, Archbishop Kiala said, “Parents should be a mirror or model of Christian faith to their children so that they can discover Jesus Christ in their parents' behavior.”

“Apart from being models, parents should be living witnesses so that their children can discover Jesus Christ in their behavior,” the Angolan Catholic Bishop emphasized during the October 29 Eucharistic celebration that brought together close to 20,000 pilgrims.

He underscored the need to found families on Christian faith, saying, “The family should be a domestic church, an authentic school of prayer, a living witness of prayer that can help children grow in the education of the faith.”

“Only in a school of prayer, in a living witness of prayer, can children be educated and grow in the faith,” Archbishop Kiala said during the pilgrimage that was held under the theme, “With Mother Mary, let us care for and protect our children.”


“Jesus present in the midst of the family, through the power of self-giving, can help parents” bring up their children in Christian faith, “adult and active faith”, the Catholic Archbishop of Malanje further said.  

Reflecting on the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Archbishop Kiala underscored the need to go beyond prayers, “loving her and imitating her”.

“Being a devotee of Mary is not enough to pray,” he said, and continued, “It must mean loving her and imitating her, entrusting our lives to her and those of all men and women, contemplating her as a model of holiness, fidelity and full Christian living.”

The Angolan Catholic Archbishop, who started his Episcopal Ministry in August 2013 as Bishop of Angola’s Sumbe Diocese went on to highlight virtues that the people of God “must” learn from the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“We must learn from her to love, to be poor and humble, to have the capacity for availability and surrender to God,” he said, and further urged the pilgrims “to learn from our mother to be men and women of the Gospel and of a life full of God.”

More in Africa

Considered by many to be the most popular place of pilgrimage and worship in Angola, the Shrine of Our Lady of Muxima is located some 130 kilometers from the country’s capital city, Luanda.

Every year, the Shrine attracts local and foreign pilgrims. In the local Kimbundu language, “Muxima” means heart, a name given to the Shrine due to its prime location in the middle (heart) of the province. Muxima sits on the edge of the Kwanza River.

The village of Muxima was occupied by the Portuguese in 1589; they built a fortress and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição da Muxima. The Shrine has been a popular place of devotion to our Lady from one generation to the next.

The Marian pilgrimage received a boost when Angola’s Diocese of Viana was created in 2007, inaugurating a new phase in the history of the Shrine.

João Vissesse is an Angolan Journalist with a passion and rich experience in Catholic Church Communication and Media Apostolate.