A Nigerian bishop claims to have been told by Christ in a vision that the way to rid his nation of the Islamist terrorist group, Boko Haram, is to pray the Rosary.
CNA/EWTN News is reporting that Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of the Diocese of Maiduguri in the hard-hit Borno state received a powerful message from Jesus late last year while in prayer.
“Towards the end of last year I was in my chapel before the Blessed Sacrament… praying the rosary, and then suddenly the Lord appeared,” Bishop Dashe told EWTN News April 18.
At first, Jesus said nothing, but extended a sword toward him which he reached out to take.
“As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary,” the bishop said.
Jesus then told him three times: “Boko Haram is gone.”
“I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation,” the bishop said. “It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.”
At first, he didn’t want to tell anyone what had happened but said he felt that “the Holy Spirit was pushing him to do so.”
He started with the priests of his diocese, and then told participants in a conference in Madrid, Spain which was dedicated to gathering ideas on how to preserve the Christian presence in nations where they are the most persecuted.
Bishop Dashe is no stranger to the violence of Boko Haram. His diocese is located in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno State, one of the worst hit areas. It was here that the terrorists seized more than 250 girls from a school in Chibok, most of which have never been seen again. Just last month, five suicide bombers killed 54 people and wounded hundreds in Maiduguri, where the bishop lives. In January, more than 150 people were slaughtered as they tried to flee to safety after the terrorists launched a killing spree in the towns of Baga and Doro Gowon, also located in Borno State.
The constant bloodletting has driven thousands of Catholics from their homes. In 2009, there were about 125,000 Catholics in the Diocese. That number has now dwindled to about 50 or 60 thousand.
Thus far, Boko Haram has caused the deaths of more than 6,000 people since 2009, with more than 1,000 killed in just the first three months of 2015.
For now, the Bishop is busy visiting hard-hit communities in what he calls a “consolation tour” to promote forgiveness and to spread devotion to the Rosary because he believes Jesus said it would help the people to heal and forgive.
“Maybe that’s why he did it,” said the bishop, referring to Jesus in his vision.
Bishop Dashe has a strong devotion to the Mother of God, who he affectionately refers to as “Mamma Mary” and knows that she is with them in their struggle against Boko Haram.
He also believes that one day his diocese will recover from the horror of these days, thanks to Mary’s intercession.
“These terrorists… think that by burning our churches, burning our structures, they will destroy Christanity. Never,” the bishop said during the conference in Spain.
“It may take a few months or a few years … but ‘Boko Haram is gone.’”
He later told EWTN News that “prayer, particularly the prayer of the rosary, is (what) will deliver us from the claws of this demon, the demon of terrorism. And of course, it is working.”
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