“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. […] She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations” (Rev. 12: 1, 5a).
Our Lady of Victory, a great apse mosaic, welcomes the faithful to the Cathedral of Yaoundé. It is the work of Father Engelbert Mveng, S.I.. We have adopted this image of the Woman of the Book of Revelation with her son as the logo for the Pan-African Congress of Catholic Laity “Being Witnesses of Jesus Christ in Africa Today. Salt of the Earth ... Light of the World”.
The reasons for our choice of this logo are well expressed in the words of the Holy Father, pronounced during his trip to Benin for the consignment of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Africae munus: “In Mary, we have not only a model of perfection, but also one who helps us to realize communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. As Mother of Mercy, she is a sure guide to the disciples of her son who wish to be of service to justice, to reconciliation and to peace. She shows us, with simplicity and with a mother’s heart, the one Light and Truth: her Son, Jesus Christ who leads humanity to its full realization in the Father” (Benedict XVI, Visit to the Cathedral of Cotonou, 18 November 2011).
Father Engelbert Mveng (1930-1995) of Cameroon, Yaoundé, is one of the first African Jesuits. A true son of St. Ignatius and Africa, he was a great scholar who specialized in the field of history, anthropology, theology and archeology, as well as being on the forefront of inculturation. Fr. Mveng was a promoter of the African renaissance, a proven and effective educator, as well as an artist capable of communicating in images the spirituality of the peoples of Africa. He has bequeathed to us a rich artistic and intellectual patrimony.