Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi
Igboezunu, 1903-January 20, 1964, Leicester
Nigeria’s first blessed, was beatified by Pope John Paul II on March 22, 1998 at Onitsha. He was born in 1903, in Igboezunu in southern Nigeria in the Igbo tribe, the actors in the 1967-70 civil war of Biafra. Iwene (this is the first name) was sent to school by the missionaries, who were in Nigeria since 1890. At nine years was christened with the name of Michael. Overcoming the opposition of parents in 1925, he entered the seminary at Igbarian, becoming a priest in 1937 in the Cathedral of Onitsha. Appointed parish priest in Dunukofia, he engaged in a vast work of evangelization, allowing many to overcome superstition and perceived injustices in the name of religion. From 1945 to 1949 he was pastor at Aguleri. Following the desire of the bishop of the diocese have a monastic Tanso father went to England, entering in 1950 nell’abbazia Trappist Mount St. Bernard. In 1952 he was admitted to the novitiate, becoming one Cipriano issuing in 1956 his perpetual vows. In 1964, when traveling to Cameroon to lead the new monastic community, he was struck by an aortic aneurysm on January 20 that brought him to the hospital death of Leicester.
Roman Martyrology: In the monastery of Mount Saint Bernard in Leicester in England, blessed Cipriano (Michael) Iwene Tanso, Cistercian priest was born in the region of Onitsha in Nigeria, yet the child professed, against the wishes of the family, the Christian faith and was ordained a priest, with great zeal, he devoted himself to the pastoral care, as long as made monk deserved the crown of his holy life with a holy death.
SOURCE: Santi e Beati