Nengapete, Marie-Clémentine Anuarite, Bl.

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Baptized Anuarite (Anawarite or Alphonsine), martyr of the Congregation of the Holy Family; b. Dec. 29, 1939, Matali, Wamba, Belgian Congo, Africa; d. Dec. 1, 1964, Isiro near Kisangani, Zaire. Anuarite was baptized with her mother and sister. In 1954 at the age of fifteen, she entered the Congregation of the Holy Family at Bafwabaka and was professed (Aug. 5, 1959) as Sister Marie-Clémentine. Ten years later the Congo, which had gained its independence four years earlier, was in turmoil. General Olenga's rebels, who had assassinated Bishop Wittehois of Wamba (Nov. 26, 1964), arrived at the convent on Nov. 29, 1964, to conduct the nuns and orphans to Isiro for safety. Soon after their arrival, Sisters Marie-Clémentine and Bokuma were separated from the rest for the pleasure of two colonels. When Mother Kasima protested, Colonel Yuma Deo threatened to kill all thirty-four women and children. Sister Marie-Clémentine offered herself as the victim, but refused the advances of Colonel Olombe. After being brutalized, she was shot in the chest but lingered in pain for another day. She was immediately revered as a virgin martyr and formally beatified at Kinshasa, Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), by John Paul II, Aug. 15, 1985.

Bibliography: n. l. m. malamba, Dix propos autour d'une béatification (Lubumbashi 1987). Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1985):923. L'Osservatore Romano, Eng. ed. 36 (1985): 78.

[k. i. rabenstein]