Be a martyr, stand for justice, Thomasians told

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(Photo by Genielyn Rosario M. Soriano/The Varsitarian)

NOVALICHES Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani said standing up for justice is a way of showing martyrdom today, in a Mass commemorating the legacy of Thomasian martyrs at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church on Tuesday.

“Maybe while in Luzon, you can become martyrs not because you are explicitly Christians, but because you are defending your neighbor and are standing up for justice,” Bacani said.

Bacani urged Thomasians to emulate the martyrs’ greatness through their life of charity, courage and conviction.

“Let us bear and mind that true greatness does not come from the greatness of the intellect, not even from the greatness of accomplishments. True greatness comes through love,” he said.

He called the 15 martyrs of Spain, Japan and Vietnam as the “greatest and truest Thomasians” for offering their life for the faith.

“The greatest act and expression of love is none other than martyrdom… [T]herefore, they are the greatest Christians, and greatest Thomasians,” he said.

Human weakness not a hindrance to a holy life

Citing Blessed Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, Rev. Hilario Sicat, Jr., O.P. said human weaknesses should not hinder one’s pursuit to live a holy life.

“Our humanity, more than a curse, more than a weakness, is a gift from God. It can move us closer to Jesus. It can make a blessed, a saint, out of us, through God’s grace,” Sicat said in his talk titled “Martyred in Coat and Tie” at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building.

Paredes died disguised as a civilian due to the religious persecution in Spain in the 1930s.

He served as the Master of the Order of Preachers and a professor of the Faculty of Civil Law.

Paredes was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in October 2007.

His martyrdom, along with 14 other Thomasian martyrs, is commemorated by Filipino Dominicans every Nov. 6.

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