ALFREDO MARÍA PÉREZ (SANTIAGO)

This beatification revives in my soul the feelings of my adolescence when I first met the martyrdom of the Claretians of Barbastro. Their enthusiasm for giving their life for Christ, their love for the Congregation, wishing that their blood would promote its growth. The presence of the maternal Heart of Mary, strong at the foot of the Cross, gave them the strength they needed. In their prison weeks, they were able to express their feelings and leave them written where they could: piano stool, a handkerchief… They helped me discover the vibrant Claretian vocation.

The 109 martyrs did not have the opportunity to express their love in writing, so reread the writings of Barbastro will help us to understand what they felt, with the same mood, the hundred and nine

The fact of a beatification of such a large group means, I think, means that this postmodern liquid society must be challenged because it is only interested in living the fragment: Now I think and feel this way, but within an hour I can think and feel different. The challenge is to show fidelity to a great ideal discovered, not only for a fragment, but for always and even giving life for Him.

And for those of us who are already living in the last stage of life, it is a challenge to accept, like them, the dispossession of our apostolic ideals, and the same life. To accept also our progressive “despoil”. Despoiling of physical forces that limit itinerant evangelization, divestment of responsibilities, of being valued by superiors and siblings, even if history proves that our opinions are still valuable. Very often they are not obsessions of and old man, but fruits of the experience. Pope Francis asks the elders not to be silent. To discern whether it is better to speak, or to see, to hear, and to remain silent. God alone is sufficient! Hand in hand with Mary.