In 1980, Benedict married Shadi Eveline Monyai, a Lutheran who was then received into
full communion with the Catholic Church. They had eight children, the last being born
four months after his death. Benedict believed that helping his wife with the children and
doing household chores were part of his marriage commitment. He told people, “You
should assist your wife with her household chores”, and taught his children to help in the
home. He also trained them to work hard, both at school and in his orchard.
The family prayed together each evening. This family prayer time, which included the
reading of Scripture as well as family prayer, was a true “domestic Church”. As family,
they always attended the Sunday liturgical celebrations. Benedict instituted the “Daswa
Day” around the Feast of Christmas. The family and all their close relatives used to
spend the day together during which as Christmas gifts, each child received useful
school materials for the coming year.
Word of God
”For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the
two shall become one flesh”. This mystery is a profound one, and I am saying that it refers
to Christ and the Church; however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the
wife see that she respects her husband. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger,
but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Ephesians 5, 31-32; 6, 1-4)
Deepening of Faith
Mothers, do you teach your children the Christian prayers? Do you prepare them, in
conjunction with the priests, for the sacraments that they receive when they are young:
Confession, Communion and Confirmation? Do you encourage them when they are sick to
think of Christ suffering, to invoke the aid of the Blessed Virgin and the saints? Do you say
the family rosary together? And you, fathers, do you pray with your children, with the whole
domestic community, at least sometimes? Your example of honesty in thought and action,
joined to some common prayer, is a lesson for life, an act of worship of singular value. In
this way you bring peace to your homes. (FC 60)
Reflection How do I relate to my spouse, my children?
Do we pray together as a family? How often?
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Lo, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. (Psalm 128, 1. 3-4)