The Beatification of our 109 new blessed Claretian Martyrs helps us to a deep understanding of our missionary vocation.

Fernando Torres (Santiago)
fernando-torresIt is said that Spain is a very strong country because its inhabitants have been trying for centuries to destroy it and they have not got it. The times of our martyrs were those times of internal struggles, of civil wars, in which ideologies, senseless hatreds and many other utopian passions and dreams are mixed, which are sometimes the cause of the worst imaginable oppression.

My Claretian brothers were caught in the midst of all those passions, shots and hatreds. Most of them just wanted to be missionaries and to announce to their brothers and sisters the Gospel of Mercy. Their deaths had no political sense, they were the result of hatred and ignorance. But that does not detract anything of value from those of my brothers who gave their lives in fidelity to their missionary vocation. Where many can see a nonsense, I am made clear the light of the self-oblation, the life offered with generosity. Did they do it from a way of thinking that maybe many today do not share? It’s possible. But that does not detract from their generosity, their dedication, and their fidelity.

I do not know if I would be able, as they were, in case I had to live a similar situation. But they are there, their example, their testimony, and they encourage me to continue working in the congregation in what life has been putting me ahead. Thinking about them, I will try to be more generous with my time, more devoted to the service of the Gospel, more faithful to the call on this missionary journey that I started so many years ago. I do not know if I can live up to it. But their example encourages me to try, to keep trying, not to give up.

 

Gustavo Alonso (San José del Sur – Argentina)
Alonso-Taborda-Gustavo-AmadorAlonso-Taborda-Gustavo-AmadorFor the fourth time, we Claretians have the opportunity to celebrate the beatification of our martyr brothers. And, this time, in an unusual number. These celebrations refer us to the martyred experience of our Holy Founder, the Missionary Claret.

I believe that updating this memory helps us to a deep understanding of our missionary vocation. Servants of the Word, we understand that this service demands, along with the verbal announcement, the testimony of our way of life. And, also, given the occasion, the giving of our life. An offering that, in an extraordinary way, made so many Sons of the Heart of Mary in Spain in 1936 and also expanded to other territories, such as Mexico and the Philippines.

Martyrdom is always the grace of the Lord. It is especially so for a Congregation sent to evangelize around the world. That is why we feel invited to celebrate this grace in our brothers Martyrs.

 

Paulson Veliyannoor (North East India)
PaulsonFor me, the beatification of my brothers is an affirmation and reminder that it is possible to remain “missionaries to the end” and shall I say, “to the end and beyond“? It is an invitation for me to honor my commitment to God and to His people, come what may. It is an inspiration for me to know that if my brothers have walked the path of joyful fidelity to the Gospel until their last breath, I too can do the same, in dynamic equivalency, in the given circumstances of my life. It is a spiritual challenge, in these modern days of dictatorship of relativism, fragility of commitment, narcissistic narratives, and survival at the cost of the other, beckoning me and my fellow Claretian brothers as well as other people of good will, to live out the Gospel mandate for lasting commitment, service to life, inclusive loving, and ministering in the margins. If and when chips are down and the going gets tough, I hope the witness of my brothers will serve me as nourishment and I can re-discover the fire that burns within every Claretian, the fire of God’s covenantal love that never fails, but redeems and renews my being.

To know more: http://www.109cmf.org