Burundi: Martyr of the poor

Antonio Bargiggia, 43, was shot and killed on 3 October at a roadblock in Gitega province, his body dragged out of the jeep and left lying on the road. The motive has not been established. A member of the association “Friends of the Poor” of Milan and for twenty years a lay missionary in Burundi, Brother Antonio lived north of the capital Bujumbura in Buterere, where he was project director in the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). He gave his life among the poorest, AIDS sufferers, prisoners and displaced people. In a generous life and a tragic death, Antonio witnessed to the full gift of oneself without limit. In the words of a friend, «His death was the death of just a body because he was already ‘dead’ to many things in order to live fully the love of Christ. He became so poor among the poor as not even to hold onto his own life, but to be ‘one thing only’ with his neighbour, that is, with God.» May his martyrdom help bring peace to the Burundi he loved. [HL00101]