The Beatification of the 109 Claretian martyrs is for me the recognition of a firm YES to the end. When I think of these brothers who, as young men, stood firm in their generous response to God, bearing the torment of martyrdom, I am deeply moved.
In these young people, the yoke of a difficult political context that threatened the faith and the inner desire to give life for Jesus was harmoniously combined. The YES of these brothers was the cornerstone that subtly held both factors. The martyred surrender speaks to me of a heart moved and founded by the YES of God that made possible the generous surrender of them. Inside was the strength of a YES much greater than the self, the YES of God expressed in his love and his call.
The firmness with which they gave their life speaks of a heart that knew how to rest in the gratuity of God. In the hands of those young men was the generous surrender. In their heart the sweet and comforting voice of God that repeated: everything is gift. This voice moved them deeply in consolation and freedom.
Martyrdom is the expression of the grace of God and of a life based on convictions. They were young, there was still a way to go, but in their hearts, there were very clear and firm convictions. Their martyrdom is the convincing testimony of a life offered to God and to the brothers.
Our brother martyrs are a palpable interpellation for those who, like me, are taking the first steps in the missionary life. We are moved to renew our generous YES founded on the gift of God and to found our missionary life in the evangelical convictions to offer us daily, every day, in the service of the Kingdom as children of God and brothers of all.