John Bradburne could be Britain’s first new saint in 50 years

In life, John Bradburne was a British soldier, leper colony missionary and poet. In death, he could become Britain’s first new saint in 50 years.

Bradburne, whose father was an Anglican clergyman, converted to Catholicism in 1947. His experiences as a soldier in World War II are said to have influenced his conversion.

He initially hoped to become a monk, but in 1969 he visited a neglected leper colony in Zimbabwe.

He decided to stay to help. He remained until 1979 when he was kidnapped and killed by guerrillas during Zimbabwe’s civil war. He was 58.

Bradburne’s intercession is supposed to have cured a Scottish man who had a brain tumour. He is also reported to have worked miracles before he was killed.

Blood was seen dripping from his coffin at his funeral, although no blood was found inside the casket when it was checked.

Crowdfunders have raised US$28,000 to help with their bid to have a Vatican investigator verify the claims.

Bradburne’s niece, Celia Brigstocke, is leading the campaign to beatify her uncle. Others supporting his cause include his publisher, linguistics experts and the man who wrote the London 2012 Olympic opening ceremony.

Archbishop Robert Christopher Ndlovu of Harare has petitioned the Holy See for Bradburne’s beatification and canonisation.

He is now waiting for a postulator to be appointed to look into Bradburne’s life.















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