Catholic Church moves to canonise 14-year-old Nigerian Vivian Ogu killed for resisting rape

Vivian Ogu killed for resisting rape

The Catholic Church in Benin, Edo State on Saturday issued an edict that signals the beginning of a process that could lead to the beatification and canonisation of the late teenager Vivian Ogu.

Ms Ogu was shot dead on November 15, 2009, by armed men for resisting their attempts to rape her after robbing her family.

The issuance of the edict was to allow petitions for or against her activities while alive that would be further subjected to a tribunal trial before a decision on whether she could become a saint would be decided by the leadership of the Catholic Church.

At a special mass, the Archbishop of Benin, Most Rev. Augustin Obiora Akubeze, said Pope Francis included the late Ogu among 25 people all over the world to begin the process of canonisation, noting that she lived an exemplary life and died a heroic death by opting to be killed rather than being sexually defiled.

He added, “Since her reputation for martyrdom and holiness has continued to increase since her death, and after having been formally requested to open the Cause of Beatification and Canonisation of the Servant of God, bringing it to the attention of the ecclesial community, we invite all of the faithful who can give valid testimony to come forth and contact the Archdiocesan Curia at the Chancery, No. 30, Airport Road, Benin City with their information, whether favourable or contrary to the reputation of martyrdom and holiness of the aforementioned Servant of God.”

He said members of the public should bring any “manuscripts, diaries, letters and every private writing of the Servant of God. Those who wish to keep the originals may present an authenticated copy.”

Akubeze directed that a copy of the edict be pasted on the doors of selected Catholic churches and other places for two months.