He had a keen sense of the newness of the Christian condition. It was motivated by the attraction of the Catholic faith, liturgy, and patrimony. It was also informed by awareness of what a world without Christ can look like. In 1929, when Fr Cyprian was newly ordained, working in Onitsha, a smallpox epidemic broke out in his native village. The local people attributed the spread of the disease to evil spirits. A witch hunt began. Among those singled out was Fr Cyprian’s mother Ejikwevi. She was sequestered and forced to drink poison. We can only imagine the wound left by her cruel death in the heart of her son. It is all the more striking that Fr Cyprian’s faith was marked by determined trust in providence.
His monastic vocation matured gradually. He discovered the way of the monk in books; its radicality attracted him. He, who knew the extent of the mission field, was certain that evangelisation must flow from prayer. There must be, within the Mystical Body, women and men who offer themselves up to prayer unceasingly for the sake of all. He wished to make of his life this total immolation.
Source: Coram Fratribus