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Beatification of Br. Bernardo and the group of Laurentino, Virgilio and the other 44 martyr confreres

28/10/2008: General House

This Tuesday 21 October 2008 I went to the Vatican Secretary of State to retrieve the two Apostolic Briefs for the Beatification of Brother Bernardo and the group of Laurentino, Virgilio and the other 44 martyr confreres. It was a little moment of joy for the postulator but also for the entire Marist family, even more so for the warm welcome we were given at the Secretary of State.

In itself this fact could be of secondary importance, if it did not remind us of our ideal of becoming saints by welcoming God’s love and receiving humankind through love, service and self-giving. Our Founder said to us:
“To become a Brother is to commit oneself to become a saint!”

The two Apostolic Briefs are also a true reminder that our Marist sanctity runs wide and deep and it is expressed on a daily basis: through the smile of a child, the welcome he is given, his growth and intelligence, the chances that open up for his future, the proclamation of Christ to the youth; Marist sanctity is told in a thousand gestures and shades, in fidelity and patience and the typically Marist qualities of simplicity, in a Marian environment that offers the youth the heart, intelligence and genius of the Mother of Jesus. The sanctity of our family is infinitely greater than the Marist models we wish to bring to canonisation. But these models, Brothers, urge us to live it every day.

The Brief of Beatification is the last act of the beatification process: Diocesan phase, Roman phase, Decree on the martyr, Ceremony of beatification.

It is a white book bound in a light cream leather cover.

The Book contains a short biography of the martyrs, the historical circumstances of their martyrdom and it recalls the path of the cause until the day of beatification.

It is all written by hand, with the downstrokes and upstrokes of old, when quills and ink were still in fashion. The text is in Latin on a light creamy shade of parchment paper. The overall impression is of a work of high craftsmanship.

It is an Apostolic Act, and therefore issued by the Pope himself; his name, Benedict XVI, is on the opening page of the text. And at the end the signature is of the Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

And the second group of Spanish martyrs, the one of Brother Crisanto amounting to 66 brothers and 2 laypeople, is already on its way to beatification.

It is though us, today, Marist brothers and laypeople, that the sanctity of our family comes true, in our gestures of true humanity and through the centrality of the Lord Jesus in our lives.

______________
Br. Giovanni Bigotto, Postulator

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