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 1854, when God called him there, Daniel answered with all his heart and soul.
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 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 the mission. We celebrate his feast day every October 10.
St. Daniel’s Timeline
- 1831 — Daniel Comboni is born March 15th at Limone on Lake Garda in Italy
- 1849 — Consecrates his life to Africa
- 1854 — Ordained a priest by Blessed John N. Tschiderer, Bishop of Trento on December 31st
- 1857 — Makes his first trip to Africa but returns to Italy because of extreme challenges from climate and disease
- 1864 — Launches a project designed to “Save Africa through Africa,” with full confidence that Africans will become the leading agents of their own evangelization
- 1867 — Founds the Comboni Missionary Institute
- 1870 — Approaches the First Vatican Council to petition the Bishops that every local Church be involved in the conversion of Africa
- 1872 — Founds the Comboni Missionary Sisters and has no qualms about bringing them to Africa to work shoulder-to-shoulder and heart-to-heart with him
- 1877 — Is consecrated bishop and named Vicar Apostolic of Central Africa
- 1881 — Dies in Khartoum (Sudan, Africa) in the late hours of October 10th, worn out from sickness and never-ending ministry
- 1995 — Is recognized for the miraculous cure of an Afro-Brazilian girl, Maria José de Oliveira Paixão that came about through his intercession
- 1996 — Beatified by John Paul II in St. Peter’s on March 17th
- 2003 — Is recognized for the cure of a Muslim mother from Sudan, Lubna Abdel Aziz, a miracle worked through his intercession.
- 2003 — Is canonized by John Paul II in St. Peter’s Basilica on October 5th
The Missionary must be prepared for everything: for joy and sadness, for life and death, for embrace and abandonment, and I am ready for it all.
History in North America
- 1939 — Fr. Edward Mason arrives at the harbor in New York City
- 1947 — Acquire property in Cincinnati to house Sacred Heart Seminary, which would become the Comboni Mission Center
- 1949 — Arrive in California to care for Native American Mission of San Antonio de Pala and Santa Ysabel
- 1950 — Arrive in Monroe, Michigan which will house a novitiate for several years
- 1956 — Arrive in Montclair, New Jersey to start mission center
- 1962 — Arrive in Quebec, Canada and eventually move to Kitchener, Ontario
- 1970 — Accept care for Holy Cross Parish in Los Angeles
- 1985 — Comboni Mission Center opens in La Grange Park, Illinois
- 1990 — Mission Promotion Center opens in Covina, California
- 1993 — Establish Comboni Lay Mission Program
- 1998 — Accept Hispanic Ministry for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and establish Su Casa Hispanic Center for Hispanic immigrants seeking a better life
- 2010 — New Jersey community closes Montclair house and moves to St. Lucy Parish in Newark
- 2016 — Accept care for Sacred Heart Parish in San Bernardino, California