Saint Daniel Comboni brief life History
Date of Birth: 15 March 1831
Country of Birth: Italy in Europe
Place of Work: Khartoum, Sudan
Date of Death: 10 October 1881
Place of Death: Khartoum, Sudan
Saint Daniel Comboni Feast Day: 10 October
Beatification: By Pope John Paul IIon 17 March 1996 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
Canonization: By Pope John Paul II on 5 October 2003 in Saint Peter’s Square, Vatican City
Patron Saint of: 1. Missionaries, 2. Aid workers, 3. Comboni Missionary Sisters, 4. Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus
Educated at Father Mazza’s Institute in Verona, Italy, studying theology, medicine, and several languages. Ordained on 31 December 1854 in the diocese of Verona, Italy by Blessed John Nepomuk von Tschiderer.
Missionary to modern Sudan in 1857, but returned home in 1859 due to ill health. Taught at Mazza’s Institute 1861 to 1864.
Wrote on the need for aid in Africa, that the aid should be used to “Save Africa Through Africa”, treating Africans as adults in need of a hand, not children in need of guidance as was common in European thought of the day.
Travelled to France, Spain, England, Germany, and Austria to on fund-raising missions.
In 1867 at Verona, he founded the Istituto delle Missioni per la Nigrizia for priests and brothers, and the Istituto delle Pie Madri for women who were called to work in Africa; they became known as the Comboni Missionaries, and in 1894 became the Congregation of the Sons of the Sacred Heart.
He opened similar institutions in Cairo, Egypt, to acclimatize missionaries to Central Africa. Wrote to the 1st Vatican Council in 1870 on the need for Church’s involvement in African conversion. Pro-vicar Apostolic of Central Africa in 1872 covering Nubia, Egyptian Sudan, and the territory south to the Lakes (nearly 100,000,000 people).
He founded missions in El-Obeid (Kordofan), Khartoum, Berber, Delen, and Malbes. Vicar Apostolic of Central Africa, titular bishop of Claudiopolis, and Bishop of Khartoum in 1877.
He helped suppress the slave trade in the region. Contributed material for scientific works about the region, and of its geography; works on several dialects were based in large part on Daniel’s notes about the languages.
He spoke six European languages, Arabic, and several central African dialects. The Comboni Family continue their work today with priests, brothers and sisters ministering in hospitals, schools, and orphanages in 41 countries.