José María Vegas (Rusia)

The beatification of such a large number of Claretians tells me, first of all, that holiness is not something for some chosen few, but for all, also for me. The fact of their martyrdom awakens my awareness of the radical seriousness of the call of Jesus. It’s something that affects my life very seriously. The fact that their martyrdom was due to the fact that they were Claretian missionaries reminds me that our life is not primarily a profession or a series of “pastoral activities” but a willingness to give our lives for those entrusted to us (Jn 21:15-18). Martyrdom abruptly interrupted the plans of our brethren, and this tells me that our ways are often not the ways of God (cf. Is 55: 8), and while it is true that I have and need to plan, more important is to be open to the unexpected plans of God. Our brother martyrs mark the way, they teach us the radicality to which we are called. And if they did it by shedding their blood, I feel I have to do it, first, with the willingness to spill it if necessary, and if not, giving life in the day to day, sparing no efforts, not denying me anything that asks me the Congregation and the Church, living in the radical availability of the universal mission. In my case, the mission has taken me to Russia, a land of many contemporary martyrs, Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants. That is why the Claretian charism is well suited to this land full of suffering, also by faith. I ask the Claretian martyrs that Claret’s charism takes root here and that their blood be a seed of Russian Claretian vocations.