The Feast of Blessed Iwene Tansi

The Feast of Blessed Iwene Tansi


Phil. 2:1-11, Mt. 13:44-46. The Church in Nigeria celebrate today as a national Feast day of Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, Patron of Nigerian Priests. Iwene Tansi was born in Nigeria in 1903 and brought up by the Spiritan missionaries. Trained as a teacher and a catechist, he worked in these capacities from 1919 to 1925 and rose to become headmaster of St Joseph Catholic School in Aguleri. His work was quite satisfying but at a point, the young Tansi felt there was something more he could do for God. He enrolled to be a Priest and was admitted to the Seminary where he spent twelve years from 1925 to 1937. He was ordained in December 1937 and worked in four parishes in the area that is now covered by the Catholic dioceses of Awka and Ekwulobia. As a Priest, Tansi was said to live a very austere life, traveling over long distances by bicycle and on foot. With deep love for God, he was drawn to monastic life and sought permission from his bishop to enter the monastery. Impressed by his decision, Bishop Charles Heerey sent him to St Bernard Monastery in Leicester, England, to join the Trappist monks.

Tansi lived the monastic life with great faith and humility. Absorbed in prayer, he was a living example of patience and charity. Early in 1964 he was diagnosed with aortic aneurysm and died two weeks later on 20 January 1964. Today's first reading confirms the kind of life he lived: "There must be no competition among you, no conceit; but everybody is to be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so that nobody thinks of his own interests first but everybody thinks of other people’s interests instead." The Parable of the Hidden Treasure and "The Parable of the Pearl in today's Gospel show the infinite value of the Kingdom of God. The farmer and the merchant found pearls of great price, took advantage of the opportunities and would not allow such opportunity to elude him. To enjoy the reign of God is like a fortune of unparalleled value which is worth making sacrifices for. Like the farmer and merchant who took advantage of the unique opportunity, we are challenged to cease the opportunity of the 'Reign of God' found within us to do all that is necessary to obtain it. To discover Jesus amounts to coming across the most precious of all treasures, the finest, priceless pearl. We are called to abandon everything else, risk what is so dear to us and become good followers of God.

May the Lord grant us strength in our weakness and help us to walk in the newness of life! Amen!! Good morning and have a pleasant day!!!

Our Social Media