The Catholic Church in Benin City, Edo State capital, issued an edict on Saturday to support the beatification cause of 14-year-old Vivian Uchechi Ogu, who was tragically shot dead on November 15, 2009, by armed men while resisting their attempts to rape her after robbing their family.

The issuance of the edict is a crucial step in the process, allowing petitions both for and against her activities while alive.

These petitions will be further examined during a tribunal trial before a decision on her potential canonization as a saint is made by the leadership of the Catholic Church at the Papacy.

During a special mass to formally announce the process and invite members of the public to submit their petitions, the Archbishop of Benin Diocese, Most Rev. Dr AugustineAkubeze, shared that the Pope had included the late Vivian among the 25 people worldwide to initiate the process of canonization.

Archbishop Akubeze highlighted that the late Vivian lived an exemplary life and died a heroic death by choosing to be killed rather than being sexually assaulted by her attackers.

“Her reputation for martyrdom and holiness has continued to grow since her death, and after being formally requested to open the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the Servant of God and bringing it to the attention of the Ecclesiastical Community, we invite all the faithful who can provide valid testimony to come forth and contact the Archdiocesan Curia at the Chancery, No. 30, Airport Road, Benin City, with their information, whether favourable or contrary to the reputation of martyrdom and holiness of the aforementioned Servant of God,” Akubeze announced.

He urged members of the public to bring any “manuscripts, diaries, letters, and every private writing of the Servant of God. Those who wish to retain the originals may present an authenticated copy.”

Archbishop Akubeze directed that copies of the edict be displayed on the doors of selected Catholic churches and other locations for a duration of two months.

Speaking on this development, the Chancellor of the Benin Archdiocese, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. Michael Oyanoafoh, said, “Something real and wonderful has transpired today. The cause of beatification and canonization is not an easy journey; it demands a lot of sacrifice, diligence, and fact-finding.

“It presents a significant challenge to us regarding the kind of moral life we lead, especially in this period where society seems morally broken down.

However, if we can follow the life of this young girl, our lives will change, our community will change, our state will change, and we will begin to lead better lives.”




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