July 22, 2024
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LIFE STORY OF THE SERVANT OF GOD (SAINT IN MAKING) VIVIAN UCHECHI OGU

LIFE STORY OF THE SERVANT OF GOD (SAINT IN MAKING)
VIVIAN UCHECHI OGU
(1995 – 2009)

 

#ARCHBISHOP AUGUSTINE OBIORA AKUBUEZE, THE_ARCHBISHOP_OF_BENIN_CITY

#FR. STEPHEN DUMBIRI, DIRECTOR_OF_THE_VIVIAN_OGU_MOVEMENT.

#VIVIAN_OGU_MOVEMENT.

Vivian Uchechi Ogu was a 14-year-old girl who lived an exemplary holy life through her missionary works and died a heroic death by opting to be killed rather than being sexually defiled.

BIOLOGICAL BACKGROUND
Vivian was born in Benin City on the 1st of April, 1995 to the catholic family of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Ogu of Enyiogugu of Aboh-Mbaise Local government area of Imo State, Nigeria.
She was the second out of four children.

CHILDHOOD
Vivian attended Air Force Nursery and Primary School where she distinguished herself as the most intelligent pupil in her class.
She was a parishioner of St. Paul Catholic Church Airport Road Benin City., a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, the choir mistress of the children’s choir, and the president of the Holy Childhood Association in the parish, where she made a remarkable impact both at the parish and Archdiocesan level.

She was always found instructing and guiding other kids on the necessary of maintaining their purity and defending their virginity, even if it meant giving their lives.

WORKS
The Servant of God, Vivian Ogu Engagements in Pastoral activities at the age of Nine.

Vivian began to publicly demonstrate her zeal and courage in speaking to other children on the dignity of purity and virginity.
She had a self-determined goal to live an exemplary Christian Life, with which she inspired other young people to greater spirituality and love for humanity.

When the Holy Childhood Association (HCA) wad inaugurated in the parish of St. Paul in 2006, Vivian was unanimously elected as the first president.

As the president of the holy childhood association, at the age of nine years, she mobilized funds to pay the bill of many poor children in the Central hospital, Benin City. She organized several visits to orphanage homes where she touched the lives of so many poor orphans.
The Servant of God Vivian was quite young but very committed both at Church and School.
She joined the Sunday school community and later the choir.
Through her inspiration, the Parish council approved the children’s choir which grew from about twenty children to nearly sixty children at the time of her death.
This choir frequently won first place in the various musical competitions organized by the Holy Childhood Association, from 2007 right up to the most recent ones.

She almost always took part in special events organized by the Church, such as the yearly Children’s day celebration, the Annual children mission day, the Christmas carol service as well as the end-of-year Thanksgiving.
In addition she took part in almost all the activities in the parish community where the children are given the responsibility of organizing liturgical activities for the day, she will take either the reading or prayer of the faithful.
As a renowned preacher, she inspired and mentored so many children and even youths, especially in her parish and her School in following the path of holiness and defending the dignity of virginity, following the footsteps of St. Maria Goretti, her favourite saint, of who she always teach other children about.
At the age of thirteen, she already embarked on the development of her commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. She had reached the 16th chapter of that Gospel before her death.
Vivian played a prominent role in the yearly Teen Camp meetings which began in 2007 where they encouraged young people’s active participation in the Sunday Eucharist and further catechesis on the liturgy.

She was in Senior Secondary II in Greater Tomorrow Secondary School and the assistant prayer leader in her school before her death.

DEATH
On Sunday, the 15th of November, 2009, after preaching about purity, virginity, and martyrdom to her fellow children in the church in the morning, the opportunity came for her to put into practice what she preached all her life.

While at home that evening, three armed robbers came to rob her family and afterward took her and her elder sister to a nearby bush and attempted to rape them.
She kept telling her sister not to allow them, even if it meant they would be killed.
They were distracted by her insistency and in the process, her sister was able to escape.
Following the struggle with her assailants,
She vehemently refused and opted to be shot instead and indeed she was martyred and her body was found the following day.

GOVERNMENT HONOURS
Having learned the news of her heroic death, the government of Edo State granted the land where Vivian Ogu was martyred to the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin City.
Two years later, the local government council of Ikpoba Okha officially named the street on which she was killed โ€œVivian Oguโ€.
On the 17th of September 2019, the Edo State government launched the Vivian Ogu Sexual Assault Referral Centre which provides services and support to survivors of sexual assault in Edo State.

CATHOLIC HONOURS
Since the death of Vivian Ogu, the Catholic Archdiocese of Benin City has consistently celebrated Memorial Day for Vivian Ogu on the 15th of November every year.
The Vivian Ogu Movement was inaugurated in 2014 by the Catholic Archbishop of Benin, Most Rev. Dr. Augustine Obiora Akubeze with the task of:
Promoting the story of her exemplary life and heroic death so that many more may strive towards her heroic virtues and seek her intercession.
Preserving and developing the land where she was killed.

To celebrate the extraordinary missionary month in October 2019, the Holy Father Pope Francis asked for the biography of possible saint figures, canonized or not, to be used as heroic missionary examples for the whole world. Vivian Ogu was one of the twenty-five saint figures selected from the entire countries of the world.

Consequently, on the 26th of October 2019, the entire Catholic Church in Nigeria gathered at Vivian Ogu Animation Centre (VOMAC) for the national celebration of the extraordinary missionary month of October. The Holy Father Pope Francis was represented by the president of the Pontifical Mission Society, Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso.

VIVIAN UCHECHI OGU, PARY FOR US

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