Witnesses to Hospitality: The Power of Faith


Today our Religious family is celebrating the liturgical memory of the 95 Brothers martyred during the 1936 civil war in Spain. By their martyrdom, these Brothers demonstrated that they had truly encountered Christ and had received from Him the grace of the martyrdom of blood: indeed, the word "martyr" comes from the Greek martyr, which means "a witness". Witnesses are people who have been present at some event or happening (that has taught them the learned the things they recount or report), and they bear witness not from hearsay or because they have read about them or from their personal deductions, but as a result of their own direct experience. By practising their hospitaller mission, our Brother martyrs served by the bedside of the sick in the manner inspired by the Gospel, imitating the work of Jesus, who heals, cures and saves. Their way of living hospitality was totally fashioned by their charismatic mission, taking the form of practical acts of mercy and love, convinced that whatever we do for others we do for Jesus: "in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me" (Mt 25:40). The anniversary we are celebrating is not only to recall their martyrdom, but to remind us all that practising the charism of John of God is not only an act of witness of a highly symbolic value, but of great human and spiritual value, which also entails total self-giving to the point of giving our lives for Christ and for our fellow brothers and sisters.

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