MARTYRS are ordinary persons doing extraordinary things for the common welfare. This was a description given by one of the best spiritual thinkers of our time. Are there still martyrs today? The answer is....

Yes, there are still martyrs today. There are people who have themselves martyred for a useless cause. They are wastes. These are people who make themselves martyrs of technology and other forms of materialism. Many young people today will die for computer games and call centers. Many young people will offer their lives for their supposed-to-be loved ones. There are those who would enslave themselves with large salary but be martyred by loneliness and separation from family. I call this a waste of martyrdom.

Yes, there are still martyrs today. These are people who are really willing to die for the common welfare. There are still people who would stand by their principles and are ready to defend their principles and philosophies. There are people who would sacrifice the little that he has for the greater glory of the many. There are martyrs who are always ready to defend others. However, it is only quite a handful and cannot even surpass the number of our fingers.

There are people who are ready to offer again and again their lives for the common good. Take the case of the Apostles, all they had to do was to renounce their belief on Jesus and take a greater path of life, but they did not. They ended giving up their lives for the faith. The saints were ordinary persons who placed God and their belief ahead of them. They led extraordinary lives for the good of the Church. St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod are martyrs of the faith. They gave up their secular lives for the life of the Church. There are many such Saints that have done this act.

Jose Rizal is another hero or martyr in the Philippines. Rizal gave his life in exchange of his negation of the Spanish rule in the country. He wrote novels and articles to open the eyes of the Filipinos against the oppression of the Spaniards. He was very brave in giving his life for the Filipinos. We also have Bonifacio and the other heroes of our history. They have offered their lives for the good of the community and the nation.

Mons. John Su of St. John's Institute was a martyr for discipline. He was my mentor and my spiritual director during my journey in life. He had shared to me a lot of wisdom from life to environment. Now, in my work as Director of Student Affairs, I apply the strictness and the gentleness of Mons. Su in dealing with students with problems. Mons. Su was both a strict and gentle person. Like Mons. Liu, he was a person of principle and prayer. I had a personal encounter with him when I was in my third year high school at St. John's. I told him, I felt some calling for the priesthood. He then guided me all the way until I entered the diocesan seminary but he wanted me to be among the pioneers of the Chinese missionary society that he was putting up at that time. This is now the Lorenzo Ruiz Missionary Society (LRMS).

In a way for two years, he shared to me his experience as a young seminarian fleeing the communist rule in China and arriving in the Philippines to continue their religious studies. He was then ordained in the Philippines and was requested by then Bishop Yap to administer to the Chinese Catholics in the diocese. He then had started his early missionary life. With Mons. Liu, they built the character of the young people of Negros. I am one of those whom he really developed. Happy anniversary, Monsignor Su.

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St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, Pope St. John Paul II, Mons. John Liu and John Su, Fr. Cornelio Moral, OAR, Manoy Bill, and Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.