Youths reflect on exemplary Father Ribeiro

by | Jun 23, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Young people across the country have been challenged by the exemplary life of departed National Hero, Father Emmanuel Francis Ribeiro who was an unquestionable patriot.

Father Ribeiro died on June 17 and was buried at the National Heroes Acre on Monday June 21, 2021.

His contributions to national development have been extolled by the youth.

In a moving tribute to the late great Catholic Priest and Nationalist Hero of the struggle for Independence, ZANU PF Acting Secretary for Youth Affairs, Cde Tendai Chirau said Father Ribeiro`s legacy is a point of inspiration for many young people in Zimbabwe.

“If selflessness was a person, then surely this humble cleric of the Catholic Church was!” proclaimed Chirau.
As the youths of today, there are numerous key lessons to be learnt from the life lived by the late Father Riberio.
Such lessons include self-sacrifice, dedication to duty, being principled and always yearning for virtuous ties that bind.
On self-sacrifice Cde Chirau said;

“When Father Ribeiro risked his position in the church and national polity by sheltering and helping Cdes Robert Mugabe and Edgar Tekere, then fugitives of colonial law, to cross into Mozambique, he was oblivious of the mammoth revolutionary legacy ha was shaping for Zimbabwe.”
“Today we remember him for his literary acumen and passion for national history. He continued to adorn national libraries and our collective conscience,” proceeded Chirau.

Father Riberio`s life is a constant reminder to the youths of today to be principled and stand firm for what is right. His life teaches the youths to frown at personal glory but to yearn for virtuous ties that bind.

“A priest from the 1960s, Father Riberio, with all his experience, remained faithful to his vows, becoming one if the longest serving clergymen. Yet he remained humble, selecting to be served by those who came after him. His is Magnanimity personified,” he said.

Father Riberio was a prolific poet and music composer who courageously fought to have Catholic Church hymns sung in vernacular, which was an empowering experience for local parishioners.

He took the bull by the horns and led the way on composing the songs. Fruits of his travails are testimony of the freedom on the body of Christ.
Father Ribeiro fought for the preservation and protection for rights of the youths.

He showed his love for youths when he took personal risk by defending President Mnangagwa and pleading for his removal from death row.
Such was his compassion and love for the youths.