Amazing Facts About Blessed Iwene Tansi
By: Martin Nchedo Umeatuegbu
_This brief Commonitory is dedicated, first to the Order of Cistercians of Strict Observance ( *OCSO* ) where Fr. Tansi became a monk; second to the seminarians and priests of Blessed Iwene Tansi Major Seminary, Oñitsha, in honour of his Diocese of Ordination; and third, to Missionary Daughters of Michael Iwene Tansi, ( *MDMIT* ), founded by Sr. Susana Amaka Obineli._
Historical accounts from his hagiographers, such as Msgr Emeka Nwosu, Elizabeth Isichei etc show that he was a Diocesan Priest, and by the request of Archbishop Charles Heerey, CSSp, he became a Cistercian Monk with Fr Clement Ulogu. Hence, our Blessed has a double crown of Priest and Monk.
Fr Tansi was a man of great suffering. He had a sight problem at childhood, such that he used only one of his eyes to see the remaining years of his life. He was a man of great penance – he used to lay his bare back on gravels saying the Rosary for conversion of sinners; transferred his wealthy food to the hungry. It was Fr. Tansi that baptized Francis Cardinal Arinze alongside Fr. Hilary-Mary Anisiobi, a renowned Mariologist. Now by God’s grace, the same Cardinal Arinze worked on his cause for Canonization which he began after the testimony of Tansi’s Abbot (superior of monks) Beltrame Quattrochi, that he led a life of heroic virtues as a Cistercian Monk.
Fr Tansi is a Thaumaturgus [a wonder-working]. God did many miracles through his prayers. One of his lifetime miracles was the healing of a mad man in his hometown, Aguleri, in the supposed “evil forest”, which was given to him by the village to build a Church. One of his miracles after death which led to his Beatification was healing of a lady named Philomena who was diagnosed of cancer. Now one great miracle is needed to proclaim him a Saint.
Blessed Michael Iwene Tansi was a great Marian devotee. He was consecrated to Our Lady through the Scapular and was faithful in wearing this. He received our Lady’s reward of not suffering eternal fire of Hell to those who wear her Scapular perseveringly. His life encourages us to do same, while he advises us too to get back our Scapular and wear it if we have stopped wearing it because of fear. Among the books Fr. Tansi wrote are : *Irrational Love* and *The Royal Way of the Cross*. These books are recommended to everyone to buy and read same.
Fr Tansi’s Body rests now in a transparent glass at the right hand of the sanctuary inside the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha. A pious society has been formed in his honour under the name, *Tansi Solidarity Movement* . A Shrine has been built in his honour too at his hometown, Aguleri, in Anambra State, Nigeria. The foregoing therefore means that the Church recommends devotion to Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi. Many religious and prayer articles like medals, are available in his honour at the Tansi Bookshop at Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity, Onitsha. His name, *Iwene* can be used for Baptism, Confirmation, Religious Professions, as well as invoked among the Saints to pray for us. Therefore the Church says to us: ” *Go to Tansi* Pray to him for to him God refuses nothing”.
His Feast Day is celebrated annually in January 20. While other places around the Catholic world observe it as *Memorial* the Church has given the Nigerian Catholics to celebrate it as a *Feast*. With prayers, it is possible that something good can come from Nigeria, and Blessed Iwene Tansi’s holiness of life is a proof of this. May God complete this long expectation of his Canonization. Amen.
Pray for us O Blessed Iwene Tansi…