Commentary on the Gospel of

Paulson Veliyannoor, CMF - Claretian Publications Philippines

The Take Over

I have often marveled at the grace with which every Christian martyr, without exception, has approached their death; the powerful words they speak which stun even their opponents. One of my most favored groups of young martyrs, my elder brothers in faith, are the 51 Claretian martyrs of the “martyr seminary” in Vic (Spain), nearly all of them being late teens or young adults. They had the choice to opt out of martyrdom; but they didn’t. They had the choice to hate, but they wouldn’t. And the kind of words they spoke in their last moments! They wrote to the Congregation: “We all die happy with no regrets or misgivings.  We all die praying to God that our blood not be shed in vengeance.” It is humanly impossible to speak so. That gives out the truth: at such moments, even for the weakest of us, the words will be given. It will not be we who speak, but the Spirit of Christ. There is no doubting it.


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