On May 30 each year, the Crosiers in Africa celebrate the anniversary of the death of their 23 confreres, brutally murdered by the Simba rebels. Two were killed in Dakwa in November, 1964, and 21 in Buta on May 30, 1965.
The Crosiers killed in Buta were held hostage for 9 anguishing months before their deaths. According to an account of their martyrdom by Crosier Fr. Latin, just before their martyrdom, “they were barefoot, without their religious habits and treated very rudely. . . . A nurse from the hospital facing the prison testified two days later before the chaplain of the army how the missionaries were lined up in rows 300 meters from the police station on the right bank of the Rubi River and that, amid hellish screaming, they were massacred with lances, clubs and machetes.
After their death, they were thrown into the Rubi River and those who showed any sign of life received a final mortal blow. . . . In order to convince the Sisters of the massacre, a drugged Simba showed the Sisters, the women and the children a bloody leg . . . which they took in their hands. They venerated it as a relic. About 6:30 p.m. the Simbas left for the forest. The waves of the Rubi River took care of the remains of the martyrs: nothing of them was found later.”
THE MARTYRS OF BONDO 1964-1965
van Lieshout Kester Waldram van Wetten Vervoort Jansen Kruitwagen Godefroy
age: 31 47 47 45 40 58 52 52
Timmers van Heeswijk Vissers Verberk van Oort Verkuylen Verhoeven
age: 35 37 55 47 38 66 31
Ignoul Wouters Carremans Kraewinkels Beckers Snijkers Kuypers Schoenmakers
age: 57 59 55 43 49 37 40 47