Bl. Isidore Bakanja – (c.1885-1909)
Bl. Isidore Bakanja, a member of the Boangi tribe, was born in Bokendela (Congo) between 1880 and 1890. In order to survive, even as a boy, he had to work as bricklayer or in farms. He converted to Christianity in 1906.
He was working in a plantation run by a colonialist in Ikili and was forbidden by the owner to spread Christianity among his fellow‑workers. On April 22, 1909, the superintendent of the business tore off the Carmelite Scapular which Isidore was wearing as an expression of his Christian faith and had him severely beaten even to drawing blood.
He died on August 15, 1909 as a result of the wounds inflicted in “punishment” for his faith and which he bore patiently while forgiving his aggressor. He was beatified April 24, 1994.
Last content update 07/26/09