Daniel Comboni, born in Limone, Italy, in 1831, knew at an early age that he would be a priest and missionary. His love was Africa, and in 1857, when God called him there, Daniel answered with all his heart and soul.
Serious setbacks should have worn him down, but they only deepened his determination. "The thought that one sweats and dies for the love of Jesus Christ and the salvation of the most abandoned souls in the world is far too sweet for us to desist from this great enterprise," he wrote.
St. Daniel devised a Plan not just to bring the Gospel to people who never heard it but also to prepare Africans to evangelize their own people - a revolutionary idea for his time. His motto, Save Africa with Africa, captures the essence of the trust he had in the African peoples.
Named the first Bishop of Central Africa in 1877, St. Daniel continued his faithful ministry until, at the age of 50, worn out and plagued by fever, he died, but not before founding the Comboni Missionaries and Comboni Missionary Sisters who today carry out their founder's charism across Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas. St. Daniel Comboni was canonized in 2003 and remains an inspiration to all who have a heart for mission.
Food for Thought from the Writings of St. Daniel Comboni
The cross is the one true comfort, because it is the hallmark of a work of God. (Writings #5559)
This is a word of God, and once it has been tried and purified in the crucible of suffering, of crosses and martyrdom, it will arise more vigorous and powerful than ever... (Writings #6339)
Therefore be constant in your generosity; always be joyful and, in every temptations to lack in faith or in any other, turn your mind to the Sorrowful Mother at the foot of the Cross. (Writings #176)
May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be with us and may we be faithful and joyful in consecrating our lives for the sake of His Glory. (Writings #1150)
... and with the Cross, my dearest Bride and teacher of prudence and wisdom, with the Blessed Virgin, my dear Mother, and with Jesus my All... I am the happiest of men and in the most desirable state. (Writings #1734)