These are some testimonies I picked up from the Social Media
Hamba kahle Babe Ciccone. I thank you for raising us with my late brother and Bishop Ncamiso Ndlovu. You gave us the proper values a Catholic boy should demonstrate. We thank God that we have stuck to those values. You taught us to be soldiers to defend the Church from the wicked. Rest in Peace Father Ciccone. We still ensure that the legacy you left behind at "Christ the King" that of developing the parish is kept. I remember at the age of 10 years you formed for us young boys a sodality of St. Joseph. You brought a bundle of sticks to teach us about unity. Umhlaba kawunoni.
Passionate supporter of his hometown Soccer Team; Napoli! He was loyal to his team from when it was bottom, and stuck with it all the way to the top of Serie A. An awesome soccer player himself! I remember how he used to host soccer matches between teachers and students at St Joseph's. He would come blazing out of his office and steal the show in his blue and white track suits. And would score the best goals, while everyone was distracted, watching his fancy dribbling moves. A true legend. With a heart big enough to fit the world. In this case, our world. Already missing you Mfundisi.
Always working, always creating, always planning, reflecting, growing, improving, and doing all that was possible to build a truly effective, impactful and sustainable home for children and adults with special needs.
My mother regards herself as one of the first children of Fr Ciccone. At the age of about 13 years, she ran away from home where her step father, who had been in the II world war, had taken her out of school to herd the cattle so he could send all his 8 children to school. My mother ran away and went to "Christ the King Mission" to ask for help. The Nuns, the late Sr Doloris Manyoni and Sr Philipina Nkambule (may their souls rest in peace) were aware of my mother's hardship and suffering. Fr Ciccone had just been transferred from Manzini to Hlathikhulu (Christ the King Mission) in 1960. The two nuns negotiated with Fr Ciccone and begged him to please help this child. He was afraid, being a new arrival, that they (the nuns and himself) might be locked up for helping her. He then allowed the nuns to keep my mother at the Mission for a week to observe if the family would report a missing child, but no one did. On the 9th of June he wrote a letter in Italian to the Italian nuns Mother Claudia and Mother Victoria (may their souls rest in peace) requesting them to take this orphan and do the best that they can to assist her. He requested Mr Naude (may his soul rest in peace) the only transporter who ran a van like a taxi service to take her to Our Lady of Sorrows in Hluthi where these Italian Nuns were. Mr Naude took her direct to the nuns at Our Lady. Because of Fr Ciccone, my mother found a home and Christ in a deeper way for the next 9 years of her life.
To His Lordship, Bishop José Luis Ponce de León, the entire Diocese of Manzini, the St. Joseph Mission at Mzimpofu, the entire Catholic Church in Swaziland and Father Ciccone’s relatives locally and abroad. It is with deepest sorrow that the St. Joseph's Sodality of Christ the King - Hlathikulu extend their most sincere condolences for the passing on of Rev. Fr. Nkomiyahlaba Angelo Ciccone OSM.
He will be greatly missed for his enormous contribution to the Catholic Church as a Servant of Christ and Mary, a great giant of faith, a pioneer and educator, a great lover of joy, friend of the poor and the marginalised, champion of the vulnerable with special needs, a builder and a researcher of Swazi Culture.
May God give us all comfort and peace at this sad moment and may his soul rest in eternal peace.
Maduduza G. Zwane (Chairperson)
A MAN OF FAITH...
an angel was born in spring season,
it was the 28th of April,
the world came to a stand still,
Angelo is the name he was given,
a true Italian with an African heart,
being a missionary was his birth right,
he left home at just 25 years,
Africa was his destination...
He was a man with a golden heart,
he gave up everything he had just to be a Servite,
a true symbol of Mary the Mother of the Church.
He was friendly to the unfriendly world,
he had big shoulder to carry the disabled,
he fought a good fight,
the road has always been his biggest enemy,
he ended up being disabled but his heart was overpouring with love...
"when you were young, you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and lead you to where you don't want to go" John 21:18 ... that was his favourite passage in the Bible...
Saint Joseph's Mission was his dearly beloved home,
he rose the Swazi flag with love,
he brought hope when the tunnels were shuttered in darkness,
he gave what the world couldnt give,
an angel he was just like his name,
a proud citizen of Napoli he was,
how rich the soil will be with his body...
RIP NKOMIYAHLABA, PELEPELE, MALALEPHENDUKA, ENGLISHMAN, MSUKUSUKU...
The great man has fallen but his spirit will forever be remembered…