It is a matter of great joy and satisfaction for me that 109 confreres who belong to the Claretian Congregation are going to be beatified on October 21, 2017 in Barcelona. I am proud of my Congregation which has produced so many martyrs for the Church who were ready to offer their very lives for their faith in Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. They had indeed option to renounce their faith and secure their lives, but they didn’t do it, but considered it a gain to die for Christ on account of their faith in him. They are worthy Sons of our Holy Founder St. Anthony Mary Claret for whom to pray, work and suffer for Jesus Christ and his holy Church meant a lot in his precious life. All the false promises of the enemies of the Cross and the Church could not make any impact on their lives, but they stood on their grounds to profess their faith in God and to give testimony of their ardent faith according to the definition of a Claretian, Son of the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary proposed to every member by our very Holy Founder St. Claret.
The Beatification of these Martyrs is an occasion for me to look into my own life to see whether the same ideals are also motivating me in my Claretian missionary vocation and life. Am I courageous enough to give witness of my faith in Christ in the circumstances I live in? I may not have a chance to face a ‘bloody martyrdom’ like these martyrs in my life, but a ‘white martyrdom’ renouncing daily whatever is contrary to the values of my faith, hope and love, mercy and justice in my daily life. I am aware that I live in a society where faith in Christ is dwindling day by day in many of those baptized who find it even ‘modern’ to live in a secular society devoid of Christian values which considers it even a shame to give courageous witness to their faith in Christ. They cannot identify with the stand of the Catholic Church on many issues of the modern world. Modern ungodly ideologies dominate them. It is my duty to live my faith courageously in these circumstances and to witness to it through my words and deeds. Here comes the importance of the Beatification of my Martyr-brethren who can intercede for me to live my faith in Christ with courage and conviction.