St. Daniel Comboni contemplated the pierced Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, from this contemplation his passion for Africa arose, since he understood that the heart of Christ also vibrated for Africa.

For Comboni to be involved in the world and the African reality demanded “a life of spirit and faith”, and this he asked of his missionaries. In his writings it can be read: “A missionary who does not have a strong sense of God and a lively interest in his glory and in the good of souls would lack the attitude for his ministry and would end up in a kind of emptiness and intolerable isolation” (W 2698).

His spirituality is based on four pillars:

The Pierced Heart of Christ the Good Shepherd

The contemplation of the pierced Heart of Christ, the Good Shepherd is the central theme of Comboni's spirituality. His conviction that assimilating the sentiments of this heart, that loved so much till voluntarily offering his life for humanity, makes him give his life with the same passion and dedication for the evangelization of Africa.

Love of the Cross

For Comboni, love of the cross is nothing other than to accept, embrace and assume the reality of the African peoples and to face the obstacles, difficulties and various situations that the mission demands. He identified himself in such a way with the Crucified One that Comboni sees any suffering as a link for apostolic fruitfulness. His love for the cross is the recognition that it is the only source of salvation for Africa.


His strong devotion to Mary is based on the conviction that she collaborates closely in the redemption of her Son for humanity and is the mother of all. She occupies an important place in the heart and prayer of Comboni because to her she consecrates her apostolic activities, her missionaries and the very work of evangelization of Africa. Apart from all this, he sees Mary as the model, guide, support and consolation of the missionary.

Saint Joseph

Comboni's devotion to St. Joseph is simple and profound. St. Joseph is the administrator, his treasurer, who intercedes for him in all financial situations. His trust in Divine Providence is manifested by trusting in the intercession of St. Joseph, since God himself entrusted to him the care of Mary and her son. In the same way, Comboni entrusts all his undertakings to St. Joseph.