Will British missionary be a saint?
A BRITISH missionary who was murdered by Robert Mugabe’s fighters in 1979 has been nominated for sainthood.
John Bradburne, pictured, was killed by guerrillas when he refused to flee the leper colony he was running in what is now Zimbabwe as the 15-year civil war was nearing an end.
Now nearly 40 years after his death, bishops in Zimbabwe have put his name forward to the Vatican for consideration for sainthood.
He is one of a group of British Roman Catholics being considered, and could follow John Henry Newman – regarded as the father of the Victorianera Catholic revival in England – who will be canonised in Rome later this year. Mr Bradburne was shot after he refused to leave his patients, and his body was found near his settlement months before the end of the war to overthrow white rule in Rhodesia. Up to 25,000 pilgrims attend a memorial service at the site each year. The first stage of his sainthood process involves an inquiry by the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe to establish that he lived a virtuous life and was doctrinally sound.