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Letter of the Brother Provincials of the four Marist Provinces with works in Spain

06/09/2013: Spain

Dear brothers and lay Marists, we, the Provincials of the four Provinces with works in Spain, invite you, in line with the recent letter of Br Superior General, to take an active part in the ceremonies of beatification of the 66 brothers and 2 lay Marists, to be held in Tarragona on 13 October. It is an occasion for offering thanks to God together for the gift of the new blessed and the witness of their lives. We encourage you to live this event from the standpoint of faith and of gratitude to our martyrs who, in coherence with their lives, gave them up in the name of the faith they professed. This is why they are today « Witnesses fo the faith », as expressed in the Marist motto of the beatification.

« The burning embers » - according to the expression of Br Emili Turú – which our martyrs have been and are, challenge us strongly about the style and the depth of our living the faith, about following Jesus and about our Christian and consecrated life. May this event rekindle the embers of our commitment and our consecration on the personal and community levels, and prompt us to give our lives for others, day by day, drop by drop, service after service, moment by moment. Brother Crisanto, first on the list, was more pained from having to be separated from his juniors than from having to die. He cared more for « others » than for his own life. The following of Jesus is linked to others. A faith without engagement, without the gift to others, is a faith closer to ashes than to embers.

We invite you, dear brothers and laity, to read and to celebrate on the basis of faith the testimonies of these 68 Marists of Champagnat, beginning with the three French brothers who, able to leave Spain, did not abandon their companions in community ; passing by the young brothers only 19 and 20 years old, who gave their lives from the simple fact of being religious, and finishing with the testimony of two laymen : Julián (Chinchón, Madrid) and Ramón Emiliano (Villalba de la Sierra, Cuenca), so identified with the brothers that they chose not to be separated from them at the risk of their lives.

The fact that the celebration is taking place in Tarragona rather than in Rome does not in any way diminish the importance of the event. We ask of you an effort to be there during that week-end in order to participate actively. Afterwards, there will be other celebrations in the respective provinces. We also invite you to take part in them, with the same interest.

We wish to thank very especially the brothers who have devoted so many hours, so much enthusiasm and work to organizing an event of this kind. We would not wish to forget those who have done so much since the beatifications of 2007, most especially Brothers Gabriele Andreucci, Giovanni M. Bigotto, Jorge Flores and Mariano Santamaría. A thousand thanks, Brothers !

May the Lord, our good Mother and Champagnat inspire our lives as they inspired those of our Marist martyrs right to the end.

Read more about the beatifications in Tarragona

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