Church leaders, academics, poets and musicians get ready to celebrate the 100th birthday of Zimbabwe’s “leper saint”

Posted: 10 June, 2021 | Category: Current News Category: Features & Analysis Category: Uncategorized

The late John Bradburne – Roman Catholic missionary, lover of the poor and dis-advantaged, eco-warrior and  now a world – acclaimed poet


by Trevor Grundy

June 14, 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of John  Bradburne – known now throughout the world as Zimbabwe’s “leper saint.”

A mass commemorating his 100th birthday will be streamed on Radio Chiedza’s Facebook page  and a spokesperson for the John Bradburne Memorial Society (JBMS)  said that all are welcome to tune in and remember the life and times of the Englishman who might one day become  Zimbabwe’s first saint.

Later, Centenary celebrations will take place at the Holy Name of Jesus Church, Oxford Road, Manchester from 2pm on Saturday, September 29, 2021.

The British linguist, author and broadcaster, Professor David Crystal, said that apart from being a man who cared so greatly for the poor, John  Bradburne was an ahead of his time  eco-warrior and a poet who could be placed alongside some of the 20th century’s greatest,  including Gerald Manley Hopkins and G.K. Chesterton.

Professor Crystal said that Bradburne’s poems are being set to music by world class composers wuch as Frederick Stocken, Gareth Treseder, John Le Grove, Kim Porter and others.

The Bishop of Lancaster, the Right Reverend Paul Swarbrick will give a talk on the life and times of John Bradburne and the Bishop of Salford, the Right Reverend John  Arnold will be lead prayers for the soul of the departed missionary.

Meantime, JBMS has announced that His Imperial Highness Prince Ermis Sahie -Selassie has been appointed as the John  Bradburne Memorial Society’s  Royal Patron.

Prince Ermis was born on June 14 (same as Bradburne) in Addis Ababa.

He is the only son and heir of His Imperial Highness Prince Sahie -Selassie Haile Selassie and Her Imperial Highness Princess Mahisente Habte Mariam.