Fernando Torres (Santiago)

It 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.