“Friar Casimir was visiting our community of El Carbon in San Esteban. I remember a group of us men met him in the neighboring community. Some of us were on foot and some on horseback. After greeting Friar Casimir, he got on his horse and we accompanied him to our community” (excerpted testimony from El Carbón, a village in the Municipality of San Esteban, Olancho Department, Honduras).
The friars of the Provincial Custody of Mary, Mother of Mercy in Central America continue to collect documentary and testimonial evidence on the life, mission and witness of Friar Casimir CYPHER. The search is ongoing in the communities of Gualaco and San Esteban in Olancho Department, Honduras. These were places where our confrere worked as a missionary and where he gave his life on June 25, 1975, in the service of a Church that was being persecuted for proclaiming the Gospel.
From May 1 to 25, 2023, two members of the Custody of Central America, Friar Javier Ernesto GUERRA and the Vice Postulator, Friar Juan Alonzo PAGOADA ACOSTA, visited the communities where Friar Casimir faithfully gave witness to the Gospel. While there, they collected and documented testimony from the people who once knew Friar Casimir.
During their visit, they had the opportunity to interact with local communities, church groups and movements, and the media. They also took part in liturgical celebrations. In each location, they announced the state of progress of the diocesan preliminary process of the cause for Friar Casimir, the importance it has for the faithful and for the good of the pilgrim Church in the Diocese of Juticalpa in Olancho.
It continues to be noted, based on witness testimony, that Friar Casimir enjoys a reputation for holiness and is considered a martyr in the Church of Honduras. To strengthen the diocesan process, the communities pledged to pray for its advancement. They promised to promote the life and mission of Friar Casimir, to identify more witnesses, and to collect documentary evidence and other signs that Friar Casimir’s fame of holiness, and his reputation as a martyr, is steadily growing.
We are grateful for the hospitality, simplicity and helpfulness of the families we met. The life and testimony of Friar Casimir remain in the minds and hearts of those who once knew him. Today, they hope that the Church will value this faithful witness, and promote him in the Church of Honduras as a model of following Jesus.
Friar Juan Alonzo PAGOADA ACOSTA, Vice Postulator