On July 11-12, 2021, the 90th anniversary of the birth, and the 35th anniversary of the death, of Servant of God Martin BENEDICT (1931-1986) were celebrated. Friar Martin was a physician and a member of the Province of St. Joseph, Spouse of the B.V.M. in Romania. The anniversary events took place in his hometown of Galbeni, Romania.
On the first day, the friars offered prayer at the house where the Servant of God was born, then celebrated Mass at the local church in Galbeni. The Most Reverend Iosif PĂULEȚ, Bishop of Iași, Romania, presided. During his homily, Bishop PĂULEȚ said, “I knew Martin BENEDICT personally when I was still a seminarian and also one of his patients. To me, he was a true spiritual father. Every morning after Mass, I would see him with an open book in his hand, kneeling and praying. I cannot express how beautiful it was to see an intellectual person like him praying on his knees before God…Admirable!”
The second day began with a historical and spiritual guided tour of the house of the Servant of God. Next, a large group of young people from Romania commemorated him with music and poetry performances. Singer-songwriter Ovidiu MIHESCILESCU composed a hymn for the occasion, entitled: “Friar Benedict.”
In the afternoon, a second guided tour of the house of the Servant of God was conducted. Then, a book by Friars Eusebio BEJAN and Silvestru BEJAN was presented. The book was entitled “Martin Benedict. Chronology, Documents and Testimonies.” Germina NAGÂȚ, a member of the College of the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives in Bucharest, stated, “This book is both a chronicle of an exemplary life dedicated to God, and an almost police-like reconstruction.”
Friar Martin had been stalked by the Communist secret service since he was twenty-three years of age. After 1983, he was persecuted, searched, interrogated, poisoned and subjected to harmful radiation. Friar Martin died on July 12, 1986, after suffering greatly at the hands of people who today are still alive and “mysteriously still innocent.”
The anniversary events ended in the evening, with Mass presided over by the Vicar Provincial, Friar Ionel-Emilian DUMEA. The Mass was followed by a procession to the cemetery where prayers were offered at the gravesite of the Servant of God.
Numerous faithful participated whole-heartedly in the celebrations.
Friar Silvestru BEJAN