Nigeria’s oldest Catholic priest, Monsignor (Col.) Pedro Ayodele Martins
of the Archdiocese of Lagos, has passed on. He died on Friday, May 16, at the age of 103 as a result of health complication. He had a been a
priest for 70 years .
A statement made available to City Pulse by the Archdiocese of Lagos stated, “With gratitude to God the giver of
life, we announce the passing away of Msgr. Pedro Ayodele Martins this
morning at the age of 103 years ’’
Born in 1911, the young Martins
was the second but first surviving child of Marcelino Domingo
and Regina Clarice Martins. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Patrick J
Kelly SMA of Benin City in present day Edo State on August 8, 1943.
After his Ordination, he then proceeded to the University College, Cork, Ireland.
his life-time, he filled many positions of responsibility, teaching at
St Gregory’s College in Lagos as well as ministering in several parishes
throughout the Archdiocese. He also served as Vicar General to the
immediate past Archbishop of Lagos, now Anthony Cardinal Okogie.
1970, he was made Monsignor. During his military career
he served with the Nigerian Armed Forces, rising to the position of
Head Chaplain to the Armed Forces. He served in the Congo and with many
Army formations in Nigeria.
Father Julius Olaitan, said Nigeria has truly lost a great man.
just lost a great Nigerian and a wonderful priest. Baba was there for us
all as a sign of God’s enduring love’’.
old age and frail nature, he was a courageous father who linked the
young to their history and sought to help everyone remain in touch with
sense of humour and spiritual guidance,’’ he said.
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