The last thirty-seven years seem to have flown by without Friar Martin BENEDICT, OFM Conv., a doctor and priest from Romania who passed away at the age of fifty-five. It was only on July 12, 1986, that he returned to the Father’s house. From the age of twenty-two, he had been continuously stalked by the communist regime and was severely persecuted in the last three years of his life.
In 1965, one of the informants working for the Securitate [secret police] said about Friar Martin: “He showed nothing provocative, except his faith.” It was indeed the faith of this “friar without a habit” that would become an annoyance to others, and later, cost him his life.
His greatest homily was his own life. He reminded everyone that loving God and loving the least among us are one and the same thing. Moreover, one cannot do one without doing the other.
On July 12, 2023, a commemorative event was held in Friar Martin’s home town of Galbeni, Romania. A Mass was celebrated, presided over by the Provincial Vicar, Friar Ionel-Iulian DUMEA. A Rosary was recited led by Father Adrian CHILI, the Pastor of the parish church in Galbeni. Friar Anton ACATRINEI led the recitation of a special prayer at the tomb of Venerable, in which members of the Secular Franciscan Order in Galbeni and Luizi Calugara, Romania, also participated.
Friar Eusebio BEJAN, the Postulator for the Cause of Beatification of Friar Martin, gave a beautiful reflection entitled “The Missionary in a Doctor’s Coat.” At the end of the day, Friar Eusebio presented a postage stamp that was issued in honor of Friar Martin.
May Venerable Friar Martin BENEDICT intercede with God for each of us and for our Order.
Friar Silvestru BEJAN