Our martyrs will be a protection when temptations will come to our daily life.

Alois Andelfinger (Deutschland)
Andelfinger-AloisFor me this beatification means that the Church is going to become richer and richer. There was a time in which many Christians were killed. Now there is a time in which they will be beatified. Such is the life of the Church: death and life go always together.

For me this beatification means also a big gift for the Congregation, for our growth as a community of disciples of Christ. It is a powerful and heavenly help for all of us. Our martyrs will be a protection when temptations will come to our daily life.

Juan Carlos Martos
MARTOS-Juan-Carlos-2I confess that martyrdom is one of the hinges on which many things of my vocation have revolved. The martyrdom of an uncle of mine, who was a priest, marked me from childhood. My mother, and also my uncles and aunties, told me many times his story. I never heard a word of hatred or vengeance against their executioners. Of my uncle Manuel, good man and martyr, I keep as a precious relic two coins that he kept in his pocket the moment they sacrificed him. On the other hand, the Claretians of the community of my native city, Jaén, were the first to be martyred in the Spanish war of 1936. How many times have I been able to walk through the orchard of the convent where those five Claretians gave their lives! Their misfortunes were forever imprinted on my soul.

Perhaps for this reason, it gives me a familiar shudder every one of the 109 stories of my Claretian brothers who are going to be beatified. In particular I am impressed by the tenacity and integrity of Brother Fernando Saperas in defending his chastity to such unbearable limits that he continues to magnetize to this day the neighbors of Tárrega, his hometown.

The martyrs confirm that my Claretian vocation – like their own – contains a force of salvation. I am, like them, a person capable of completing with my life what is lacking in the passion of the Lord. Perhaps I will never see myself in front of a murderous rifle, nor suffer the blows, mistreatments and scorn that they received with impunity. But I can never doubt that any gesture of love toward God or toward my brothers and sisters, however small and although no one notices it, is precious to expand the Kingdom. I collaborate to create a new world every time I give the best of myself.

Xabier Larrañaga (Euskal Herria)
Xabier-Larrañaga-Oyarzabal-2This new beatification makes me think and, above all, thank. They are our brothers. To reflection and gratitude is added that healthy pride of knowing united to people “like them”, heroes of faith in the God of Jesus Christ, sons of the Heart of Mary. It’s something that touches my family. I feel happy to be a member of this family. The martyrs, moreover, open us to hope. They tell us that there is always something more important than that which we consider essential. And they do not say it because they are tired of living, or because even nothing is better than life touched by suffering and despair. No, this is not the case. In the middle of life, and wanting to live and give themselves to others, these brothers make us see what makes them live. They open us to hope. But they are not “supermen”. I love the preface of Martyrs, where we pray: in your martyrdom, Lord, you have drawn strength from the weak. Strength comes from the weak, not from the self-sufficiency that is seen in so many Church projects. It is not even my faith, its sturdiness, that carries out the cause of the Kingdom, but the fact that God wants to count on it to “draw strength from the weak.” This beatification is a new opportunity offered by the Congregation so that we focus our attention on what truly counts. And when we think about it, let us consider not only what we know (our “qualities” and “charisms”), but our weaknesses and our fears as a matter of prayer. The Martyrs were not stronger than us. They knew they were weak, and so they told God. And that is wisdom and eloquence. Of the rest … God is responsible, and the fruit knows God.