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Marist Bulletin - Number 229


Marist saints: The Year 2006 and our causes

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This coming year, 2006, will be special for our causes and it is good to be aware of this. Anniversaries and events are going to take place.


Four anniversaries are on the horizon:
1 - Brother François
He died at the Hermitage on the 22nd January 1881. We are thus approaching the 125th anniversary of his death. It is good to open to him all the doors of our prayer. In favour of Brother François we have already had a special year from the 6th June 2003 until the 6th June 2004. This was well received with many novenas and graces that were received. Let us maintain this for this Brother who caused so much growth in our Congregation.
2 - Our martyred Brothers in Spain
One hundred and seventy-two of our Brothers were killed in Spain. For most of them this occurred in 1936. Thus we are approaching the 70th anniversary of their martyrdom. These Brothers are mainly unknown among us and bring many marvels in the way they gave their lives for the Lord. There is a book that presents all of them: Our Models of Marist Sanctity, but it needs to be translated into Spanish, English and Portuguese.
3 - Brother Basilio
It is as if he was still living among us yesterday but however the 22nd January 2006 is the 10th anniversary of his death. The cause of Brother Basilio is advancing well: the diocesan process at Guadalajara is nearly finished and the rogatory tribunals are open in Spain: Madrid, Lerida, Valencia and Seville. A lot of initiatives will be taken in Mexico to mark this tenth anniversary.
4 - Our murdered Brothers at Bugobe
During the evening of the 31st October 1996, they were murdered in the Bugobe refugee camps in the Congo. Brothers Servando Mayor, Miguel Angel Isla, Fernando de la Fuente and Julio Rodríguez put themselves totally at the disposition of the refugees of Nyamirangwe-Bugobe. These four brothers called the refugees their real family. They gave themselves until the end, remembering the phrase of the Lord: There is no greater love than to give your life for those you love. Jn 15,13. Even if a shadow still hovers over their death, it is certain that for one year they had accepted a demanding life, in conditions of misery, violence and daily suffering. Our family can only be proud of such Brothers.


This coming year 2006 will also present some particular events for our causes.
1 - The beatifications
We are only waiting for the date of the beatification of Brother Bernardo. Concerning the group of Brother Laurentino and Virgilio, there are forty-six brothers and they were killed at Barcelona during the evening of the 8th October 1936. This cause is waiting to be studied by the cardinals and bishops. The work is going more slowly than expected. Probably this cause will be studied in February 2006. It is reasonable to expect the beatifications for the end of autumn 2006.
2 - The cause of Brother Eusebio
For this cause, Brother Mariano Santamaría is still working at finishing the book of demonstration of martyrdom. Our hope is to finish it in 2006 and to delivery it to the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.
3-The cause of Brother Henri Vergès
We can have the impression that this cause has been open for a long time, for this Brother enjoys great sympathy. But a cause is only opened when the responsible diocese constitutes the diocesan tribunal, in this case the diocese of Algiers. Archbishop Henri Teissier, archbishop of Algiers has appointed the Postulator General, (your servant). We are going to do all so that the cause may be opened in 2006. Brother Henri is in a group of nineteen martyrs: one Brother, six Sisters, four White Fathers, seven Trappist monks and the Bishop of Oran, Bishop Pierre Claverie. These last two have made the cause complex (we do not know who killed them) and long (they have written a lot).


The Postulation has produced support material to help us throughout 2006:
1 - A booklet which explains this year, presents some prayers and some thoughts from our models.
2 - A holy card with relic of Brother Basilio, in the form of a bookmark
3 - A calendar-bookmark which presents one of our models each month, with beautiful scenery and on the back some thoughts and prayers. Once each month is finished, you can detach this and use it as a bookmark for your readings.
4 - A booklet, (still to be produced) on the nineteen martyrs of Algeria as we are approaching the tenth anniversary of the martyrdom of the seven Trappist monks (friends of Henri) on the 21st may 2006 and of Bishop Pierre Claverie on the 1st August 2006.
5 - Celebrations and texts will appear on the web page throughout 2006.


There is no obligatory activity this year; all is left to the free initiative and feelings of each person. However, there is a call for us to create a spirit of greater openness to our Marist saints and a more active zeal for making them known among our young people. It would be good that if God gives us beatifications, our hearts are ready to joyfully and thankfully welcome them.

Br. Giovanni Maria Bigotto, Postulator General.

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