By Chioma Ndife
The Supreme Catholic Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Francis, has bestowed papal blessing on Mr. Boniface and Mrs. Christiana Onyedibe while congratulating the couple for attaining the golden age in marriage.
Pope Francis conferred the papal blessings on the Onyedibes, Monday, January 4, at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Akwaeze, through the Chief Shepherd of the Catholic Diocese of Awka, his Lordship Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor, during the 50th wedding Anniversary and renewal of marital vows of the couple.
Fides gathered that the union between the celebrants who are indigenes of Umuezeani Village, Akwaeze, Anaocha LGA, Anambra State, is blessed with 11 children, of which one went into a religious life.
Leading in the 50th anniversary Eucharistic Celebration, Bishop Ezeokafor thanked God for his faithfulness which enabled the couple to scale through life difficulties and challenges that come with marriage.
He explained that marriage was for the collective goal and common good of those involved, noting that such must have been put in place for the couple to attain the golden age in the marital journey.
In his words, ‘Bearing Children should never be seen as the ultimate goal of marriage even though it is line with God’s directive for man to go into the world and procreate. Marriage is solely for companionship among those involved in the union. Marriage is for the two individuals concerned and no extra person should be added to the union of man and woman.
‘Patience is a very important aspect that should be involved to enable couples bear grievances whenever they arise. Bear in mind that two persons do not get mad at the same time,’ he stated.
Bishop Ezeokafor expressed optimism that the golden jubilee celebrants had love, respect and goodwill for the each other, which made it possible to have the blissful union which they had enjoyed.
Speaking to Fides, the Celebrant, Boniface Onyedibe, likened the journey of marriage to that which required patience and respect for God. He said that marriage came with a sweet sour taste, saying that couples should develop their own formula early in the marriage.
For her part, Mrs. Christiana Onyedibe described the marriage anniversary as God’s special gift to her family and thanked God for enabling her to celebrate it, noting that it was meant for few special individuals. She noted that their marriage had mostly been a happy union and thanked God for giving them the grace to survive the various ups and downs which their marriage encountered at various points.
Giving a brief account of the challenges she faced in her marriage, Mrs. Onyedibe advised young couples to develop the habit of embracing Christ Jesus and Mary at all times as they were instrumental to the attainment of success and effectiveness both in marriage training of her children.
Contributing, the celebrants’ daughter, Rev. Sr. Maria Chidi Onyedibe, linked the effective and qualitative training which she received alongside her siblings during their formative years to the peace, love, understanding and forgiveness that existed between her parents. She commended the manner in which her parents faced life challenges and prayed for healthier years for the celebrants.
The golden jubilee anniversary of steadfast love between Mr. Boniface and Mrs. Christiana Onyedibe attracted personalities from all walks of life both from Adazi-Nnukwu Community and beyond as they shared in the joy of couple. Notable among guests were the Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Prof. Charles Esimone; the Traditional Ruler of Akwaeze Community, Igwe Christopher Okpala; Ide of Awkaeze, Sir Ikenna Okafor among other numerous priests and Religious.