Our Superior reflects on the beatification of 60 Vincentian Family Martyrs at Vespers In the Basilica of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Dear Brothers and Sisters
With joy and gratitude, we are celebrating this Vincentian Jubilee Year that commemorates the 400 anniversary of the origin of our charism, a gift that was embraced by Saint Vincent de Paul, a unique witness of faith and charity in the Church.
From the time of 1617 the life of Vincent revolved around two words: charity and mission.Two words, two fundamental attitudes that help us to live our faith, two elements that throughout the centuries have maintained their dynamism and newness as a result of the faithful lives of many of the members of the Vincentian Family.
Today we are gathered here in the Basilica of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal in order to pray together and to participate, through the action of the Holy Spirit, in the priestly prayer of Jesus Christ. We have gathered here and now, united with the whole church that is on pilgrimage in Spain, we pray “from the rising of the sun to its setting”. We pray in a special manner as we raise up to the Father our gratitude, our praise and our admiration for the witness of love of the sixty members of the Vincentian Family … sixty men and women of varying ages but all of them faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, faithful to the point of laying down their lives in love.
Tomorrow they will be proclaimed “Blessed” and they are:
•24 Missionaries of the Congregation of the Mission, proclaimers of the gospel and apostles of charity;
•16 Missionary/Brothers of the Congregation of the Mission, collaborators in the evangelization of the poor, self-sacrificing and committed to God and to those most in need;
•2 Daughters of Charity dedicated nurses, ministering at the Holy Spirit Hospital in Santa Colma de Gramagnet (Barcelona) where, at the time of their martyrdom, they were caring for those persons afflicted with tuberculosis;
•5 diocesan priests, directors and spiritual animators of the Daughters of Charity and the members of the Association of the Children of Mary in various towns throughout Murcia;
•13 laymen and women, members of the Association of the Children of Mary of the Miraculous Medal in Madrid and Cartagena.
The narration of the biography and the martyrdom of these models of holiness and of these men and women who imitated Jesus Christ highlights the fact they that were courageous witnesses to the faith in the midst of persecution, models of catechists and prophets of charity in the various lay Vincentian associations. Among the priests and brothers and the laypersons that are to be beatified, there are apostles among the children and young persons, servants of the poor and promotors of the lay associations(the Children of Mary, Catholic Action, and Eucharistic Associations). Some priests were promotors of vocations to the consecrated life, promotors of forgiveness and reconciliation and organizers of the missionary activity of the Church.
Thank you, all of you who have participated in this liturgical celebration during these days of the Jubilee Year … indeed, this celebration is a wonderful culmination of the Vincentian Jubilee Year in Spain. May this celebration, through the action of the Holy Spirit, enable us to offer the fruits of the holiness of the Vincentian charism to the whole Church.
Translated: Charles T. Plock, CM Eastern Province, USA