The Diocese of Tete, Mozambique, on Saturday (November 20)  began the diocesan phase of the beatification of two Jesuits for the cause of martyrdom.

The two priests, the Portuguese Sílvio Alves Moreira, and the Mozambican João de Deus Kantedza were killed in a scenario of much violence on the night of October 30, 1985, in the village of Chapotera, Diocese of Tete.

The Bishop of Tete, Dom Diamantino Antunes, explained to ACN that the incident that will now “be studied in full depth by a team appointed by the prelate”.

“That night, a group of armed men invaded the house where they lived, dragged them outside, took them to an isolated, cramped place and, with great violence, killed them with shots and using bladed weapons.”

For the Bishop of Tete “not many doubts remain” that “the reason they were killed was to do with their pastoral action” and this will now be evaluated based on the collection of documents and testimonies.

The bishop also emphasises that both priests “were committed to defending human rights, the population and the proclamation of the Gospel in the very difficult context of the Mozambican revolution of a Marxist-Leninist nature, and also in the context of civil war”.

For this process of beatification and canonisation to begin, it was also “very important the reputation of martyrdom” that the two missionaries gained over time among the Mozambican people.