The memorial of the Claretian Martyrs reminds me of the “hour” in the Gospel of St. John. I have read that in that Gospel two times are distinguished. The first part, when the hour has not yet come, Jesus reveals himself through symbolic signs or gestures. In the second part, when the hour comes, the revelation occurs in the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ, time of his glorification. Our friends and brothers welcomed the “hour” to which they understood that God invited them and drank, taking the sip, of that chalice. Their testimony is eloquent. Without speaking, without uttering, without their voice resounding, the outcome of their life moves visibly and seduces: whoever loses his life for the sake of Christ will find it. In the antiphon In Paradisum it is sung that the martyrs receive, upon their arrival, the soul of the deceased, and that the angels and Lazarus lead him or her to eternal rest. The God who scatters the proud, who brings down from the throne the mighty, who exalts the humble, avails himself of the help and companionship of Lazarus and the martyrs as credible supporters and powerful intercessors. Who is this God who chooses the weak to shame what is strong? I like to remain in silence and prayer these days – remembering the Claretian Martyrs – with these words that, I believe, have come true in them: “I offered myself without reaching out to receive the favor; I offered myself in health and in pain to all, and in such a way that death has found me with nothing but love.” Death found them like this. I do not think they endured it. I think they hugged it. And they did it with nothing but love and forgiveness.