Life is the most precious gift we hold in our hands. That is why, when we meet people who put that gift in second place, leaving first place to their Christian faith, we cannot remain indifferent. But what happens when those people are of our own flesh and blood? What happens when the Martyrs are members of our own family?
On the weekend of 16-18 December, in Pozuelo de Alarcón, a very touching gathering took place. Family members of the Spanish Oblate Martyrs and the Oblates shared these days that were loaded with emotion, faith and gratitude. The gathering, which was called “Keeping the memory of the Martyrs,” touched many a heart.
There were various objectives:
1. To bring together family members closely linked to the Oblate Martyrs.
2. To share experiences, feelings, information and objects related to the person of the Martyrs.
3. To gather firsthand testimonies of those close to the Martyrs in view of a documentary about the story of the Martyrs.
Judging from what was shared at the end of the meeting, where one could sense a unique joy, these objectives have been by and large achieved.
There were many moments to be highlighted: it was the first gathering for getting to know others who are united by the blood of the martyrdom of their loved ones; the pilgrimage to the House of the Martyrs; listening in small groups to the relatives’ story of veneration of their family martyrs; getting to know and celebrating the Eucharist in the big cemetery of martyrs in Paracuellos del Jarama; the exchange of material and information, various reports and moments shared in a simple and friendly way.
There should be special mention of the participation in the gathering of the Superior General of the Congregation, Fr. Louis LOUGEN, and two members of the General Administration, Frs. Cornelius NGOKA and Warren BROWN. It was a precious and important gesture that showed that the Oblates want to be with the families of the Martyrs from the “very heart of the Congregation.”
One can gather many conclusions from those days. Fr. David LÓPEZ summed them up: “The gift of the Martyrs has become a responsibility for us, family members and Oblates. We must make known the beauty of the witness of the Oblate Martyrs and of the layman, the father of a family, Cándido Castán.”
For that and for all that was experienced in those days, we must proclaim: “Praised be Jesus Christ and Mary Immaculate! Blessed Francesco Esteban and his companion martyrs, pray for us!” (http://nosotrosomi.blogspot.com.es/)