31-year-old Livinius Esomchi Nnamani, who suffers from Leukemia, has become one of the latest Nigerians to be ordained to the Catholic priesthood following the approval of Pope Francis.
According to reports, Livinus had written to the Holy Father requesting to move forward his ordination, and was granted his wish on 1 April.
It was gathered that Bishop Daniele Libanori, an Auxiliary bishop of Rome, ordained Livinius a priest at the Presidio Sanitario Medica Group Casilino Hospital in Rome.
Reports have it that Fr. Livinius began his vocation journey in Owerri, Imo state, in Southeastern Nigeria, when he entered the Order of the Mother of God, aged 20.
Briefly after his first vows, Livinius was diagnosed with Leukemia, setting off a challenging period of therapies and treatments for the young religious. It was disclosed that two years ago, he was sent to Italy in search of better healthcare and to continue his studies.
However, despite that the painful transfusions and targeted treatments, a determined Livinius continued his studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, better known as the Angelicum, and pronounced his final vows last September.
Due to his deteriorating health, He started to spend longer periods in hospital, and his desire to complete his formation to the priesthood began to look more precarious.
In view of this, a determined Livinius made the decision to write to Pope Francis, asking him to bring forward his ordination and the reply came quickly on 31 March. The Church’s leader, Pope Francis gave his permission and Livinius was ordained a priest the following day.
During Livinius’s homily, Bishop Libanori said “With this gift, God the Father wants to sustain you so that you can fully live the trial to which he called you.”
“As a priest, you will be joined with Jesus to make your body an offering pleasing to God. Our priesthood, indeed, reaches its peak when together with the bread and wine, we know how to offer all of ourselves, the things the Lord has given us, and our very lives.”
As of the time of filing this report, it was stated that Fr. Livinius has begun his priestly ministry at the Casilino hospital, where he gives his blessing to the doctors and nurses who care for him and other patients on a daily basis.