MANILA, September 26, 2014 – You don’t need to die in a far-off foreign land to become a martyr of faith. Martyrdom can happen daily through “small acts” of sacrifice, a priest says.
Speaking at a symposium on September 24, organized in celebration of the Thomasian Martyrs’ Week, Fr. Louie Coronel, O.P. said modern-day martyrdom through small acts of sacrifice and giving is possible because “everyone is called to follow Jesus and to take up his or her cross.”
Called to be holy
Giving a talk on the theme “#Dugong Tomasino: Dugong Martir para sa Kapayapaan”, he said “Greatness is not determined by how we look nor from where we are from but from who we are,” also specifically referring to Thomasians who have “dugong Tomasino” (Thomasian blood) and who are called to be holy.
Coronel also highlighted the significance of the UST Martyrs’ Monument of eighteen Carillon bells, which symbolizes the victory of the Thomasian martyrs comprising three batches of Thomasians who were tortured and killed in Japan, Vietnam and Spain for defending the Catholic faith.
According to Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, “The bells are pointing to something, to God.”
The UST Martyrs’ Exhibit 2014 at Miguel de Benavides Library Exhibit Room is open to university students, faculty members and the entire Thomasian community and features paintings and pictures of the martyrs.
Martyred for faith
The university-wide prayer for the Thomasian Martyrs, which is being recited at the start of the first class of the day, began on September 22 and will end on September 26.
The University of Santo Tomas paid tribute to fifteen Thomasian martyrs: the martyrs of Japan, San Antonio Gonzalez, O.P., Sto. Domingo Ibanez de Erquicia, OP, San Lucas del Espiritu Santo, OP, Santo Tomas Hiojide San Jacinto, O.P. and San Guillaume Courtet, OP.; the martrys of Vietnam, Sto. Domingo Henares, O.P., San Vicente Liem dela Paz, O.P., San Jose Maria Diaz Sanjurjo, O.P., San Pedro Almato, O.P.; the martyrs of Spain, Blessed Buenaventura Garcia Paredes,, O.P., Blessed Jesus Villaverde Andres, O.P., Blessed Pedro Ibanez Alonso, O.P., Blessed Manuel Moreno Martinez, Blessed Maximino Fernandez Marinas, O.P., and Blessed Jose Maria Lopez Carillo, O.P.
Fr. Emilio Platti, OP presided over the celebration of the Word and Thomasian prayer for peace at the UST chapel on September 25.
The culminating activity is the procession of the images of the Thomasian Martrys and St. Lorenzo Ruiz around the university for the UST Martyrs’ Candle Walk in the afternoon of Sept 26 at the Martyrs’ Monument.
The Thomasian Martyrs’ Week is spearheaded by the UST Theological Society. (Vanessa M. Puno)