On May 16, 2023, the General Curia of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, in collaboration with the Embassy of Romania to the Holy See, hosted a conference entitled, “ Faith, Charity and Martyrdom: The Venerable Martin BENEDICT and the History of the Conventual Franciscans in Romania.” The event took place at the Friary of the Twelve Holy Apostles in Rome.
The event was conducted to celebrate the Decree of Heroic Virtues of Friar Martin BENEDICT (1931-1986), physician and priest, which Pope Francis promulgated on December 17, 2022. The conference was moderated by Mr. Gianni CARDINALE, a reporter from the Italian daily newspaper Avvenire.
After the opening remarks from Ms. Adina LOVIN, the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of Romania to the Holy See and Friar Carlos TROVARELLI, the Minister General, a series of lecturers spoke. His Eminence Cardinal Marcello SEMERARO, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, spoke on the theme “ The Venerable Martin BENEDICT: Physician and Conventual Franciscan Priest.” Friar Silvestro BEJAN spoke on the theme, “ St. Francis of Assisi, the Franciscan Friars and Romania.” Friar Eusebio BEJAN spoke on the theme, “ The Conventual Franciscans in Romania: Between the Rule of St. Francis and the Rules of a Regime.” Finally Dr. Germina NAGÂȚ, a member of the National Council for the Study of the Archives of the Securitate of Bucharest (CNSAS) spoke on the theme, “ Martin Benedict: Martyrdom, Memory and Devotion.”
The event ended with the presentation of a commemorative postage stamp dedicated to the Venerable Friar Martin BENEDICT. The stamp is being issued by Dr. Luminița TONCU, Director of Promotion for Romfilatelia in Bucharest, Romania. [Romfilatelia is the institution responsible for issuing postage stamps in Romania.]
We conclude with the meaningful words that Friar Carlos spoke in his initial greeting: “ It is a duty and an honor to remember the brave people who have gone before us—people who have sacrificed their lives for the good of others.”
Friar Silvestro BEJAN