The Catholic Church in Benin City has issued a decree aimed at advancing the process for the beatification and canonization of 14-year-old Vivian Ogu, who was tragically shot dead on November 15, 2009, while resisting an attempted rape by armed men.
The issuance of this decree will authorize the submission of petitions both in favor of and against Vivian Ogu’s activities during her lifetime. These petitions will undergo a tribunal trial, and a decision on whether she may be recognized as a saint will be made by the leadership of the Catholic Church.
During a special mass addressing the public on this matter, Most Rev. Dr. Augustin Akubeze, the Archbishop of Benin, revealed that the Pope had included Vivian Ogu among the 25 individuals worldwide for whom the process of beatification and canonization would commence. This decision was made because Vivian lived an exemplary life and died a heroic death, choosing to be killed rather than be sexually assaulted.
Archbishop Akubeze encouraged all the faithful who could provide valid testimony, either in favor of or against Vivian’s reputation for martyrdom and holiness, to come forward and contact the Archdiocesan Curia. He also requested any manuscripts, diaries, letters, and private writings of Vivian Ogu, stating that those wishing to retain the originals could present authenticated copies.
Furthermore, Archbishop Akubeze directed that copies of the edict be posted on the doors of selected Catholic churches and other locations for a duration of two months.
The Chancellor of the Benin Archdiocese, Very Rev Fr. Dr. Michael Oyanoafoh, expressed the significance of this development, emphasizing that the cause of beatification and canonization was a challenging but worthwhile endeavour. He believed that following Vivian Ogu’s life example could bring about positive changes in moral values and society.
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