The Catholic Church will commence the beatification process tomorrow in Benin City, potentially leading to the canonization of 14-year-old Vivian Ogu, who was tragically killed by armed men in 2009 while resisting their attempt to assault her.
To provide some context, suspected armed robbers invaded their home, forcing the young Vivian into a nearby bush where she courageously resisted and, tragically, was fatally shot.
At a recent briefing, Very Rev Fr. Stephen Dumbiri, the Director of the Vivian Ogu Movement (VOM), together with VOM members and Vivian’s parents, announced that Most Rev. Dr. Augustin Obiora Akubeze, the Archbishop of Benin City, would issue an edict inviting the public to share their testimonies about Vivian’s life. These testimonies will undergo review by a tribunal to determine whether she exhibited exceptional virtues or not, based on the feedback from the public.
Dumbiri explained that VOM initiated the Supplex Libellus process, formally petitioning the Church’s leadership for canonization. The Catholic Church appointed Christiana Marinelli, an expert on the cause of saints based in Rome, as the “postulator of the cause.”
Furthermore, Dumbiri revealed that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria granted approval to open the cause for the “beatification and canonization of Vivian Ogu,” highlighting the significant pastoral benefits this would bring to the Church in Nigeria.
He said “The Archbishop is now set to issue an edict on Saturday the 7th of October, 2023 at Holy Cross Cathedral during a mass by 10.00am. The edict to be issued will call on the public to come forward with testimonies whether positive or negative, on the life of Vivian Ogu that could be of good value either for or against the cause.
“It is important to note that the Archdiocese is pursuing the cause for the beatification and canonization of Vivian Ogu not just because she was killed for refusing to be raped but because of the great impact she made in the life of so many youths as well as her zeal for the Lord before her death.
“On March 29, 2014, the Archbishop of Benin City, Most Rev. Augustine Obiora Akubeze, inaugurated the Vivian Ogu Movement, with the task of making known the story of her exemplary life, preserving and developing the land where she was killed, collecting testimonies of people about her virtues and about potential miracles, for the promotion of the cause of beatification and canonization of Vivian Ogu.”
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