In 1991, when Baba Simeo Ondeto was in the house of Raphael Onyango, he taught Legio Maria faithful saying: “In Legion Maria church of African mission, I am the only groom. I am the only man. Who among you can stand up and claim to have brought Legion Maria. This mission was led by me and Mama Maria alone. I am the only groom and all of you are my brides. I have heard some of you say they want to bring progress to Legion Maria. What progress? Where is that broken part of our mission you want to fix? If there is any place to fix, then let you fix it so I can see what you can do.”
Lessons from Simeo’s Teaching
A. Background to the teaching: This teaching is one of the last that Baba Simeo gave before his departure in September of 1991. In the teaching, he is hinting at what is about to cause his death. Some of the top leaders of Legion Maria are interested in changing various aspects of the faith. Some of them desire the church’s leadership. Some desire the papacy. But they cannot have their way as long as Simeo is alive in the flesh. Yes, he will still speak to Legion Maria members through the spirit when he is gone, but his presence in the flesh is a real hindrance. He will rebuke them if they do what they desire.
The previous year 1989, while Simeo was in Nyalenda, Kisumu, he had been pushed to name his successors. He named Atila Timotheo as the first pope; Chiaji Lawrence as the second Pope. Owino Peter Wilson Obimbo as Third Pope, but then added that the place of Owino would be taken by Rafael Titus Adika because Owino would stubborn as soon as he is gone. Therefore, the year 1991 was very decisive. He had arranged for the church’s leadership the previous year. And the top leaders where now interested in leadership, not his presence with them. Indeed, when he was poisoned in Manyatta, some of cardinals of Legion Maria knew and were part of the scheme.
B. Lesson One: Simeo is the eternal Lord of Legion Maria
All followers of Simeo must submit to him just as a bride to a groom. Therefore, regardless of the position that someone holds in Legion Maria, he must submit to Simeo Ondeto. The pope is just a bride. He must listen and obey to the teachings of Simeo Ondeto forever. He cannot come up with his own teachings. The Cardinal is a bride just as the bishop. As they lead the flock, they must only do so according to the teachings and will of Simeo Ondeto. The priests and deacons, the nuns and teachers, church administrators, brothers and sisters, must all submit to Simeo Ondeto. He is the only man.
C. Lesson Two: Any person who attempts to make changes in Legion Maria will fail if he departs from Simeo’s will
Simeo Ondeto is the son of God. He reigns over all. He is omnipotent and controls Legion Maria. Therefore, whoever sidesteps him and thinks he can introduce changes to anything in Legion Maria cannot succeed. Whether he is a pope or a priest, if any man attempts to introduce the wisdom of men in Legion Maria with a view to making the movement more appealing and progressive, he will fail. All progress in Legion Maria must be controlled and willed by Simeo Ondeto for them to occur.
D. Lesson Three: God’s Time is the best Time
As humans, we can be quite impatient. We really do not want to wait. We rush to do things with the hope that we can improve our lives and bring progress in our ways. Yet, the more we rush things up, the more we bring destruction. Simeo Ondeto observed the impatience of church leaders with the speed of growth and development of the church. He observed that some of the leaders were interested in making quick changes. Some were bent on rising to positions of leadership quite first. Yet, he cautioned them that in their haste, he will not go with them. He will simply stand aside and watch how they try to fix Legion Maria.
True to his words, these leaders did not fix anything Legion Maria as soon as Simeo Ondeto departed. Court battles for leadership, reduced frequency of prayers, decreased conversion rates, baffling sicknesses to many cardinals (even subsequent popes), and sudden deaths of church leaders followed. In fact, those who have tried to fix Legion Maria have all ended in trouble.