21 October 2017 was a memorable day for the Claretian Congregation globally. On this day, 109 Claretian Martyrs who gave witness to their faith heroically were beatified in Sagrada Familia (Holy Family) Basilica in Barcelona by Cardinal Angelo Amato, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints as the representative of the Holy Father Pope Francis.
The beatification of 109 Claretian Missionaries is not just an event reserved to the Congregation of Missionaries, Sons of the Heart of Mary (Claretians), another jewel more in the martyrial treasury, but rather an ecclesial event. They are martyrs of the Church. They are martyrs for everybody. The Church has always been attentive to the voice and testimony of its martyrs. Martyrdom has been a constant in the history of the Church because from the testimony of those who gave their life for the Gospel of Jesus was born, with the power, the adherence to the community of believers.
On October 21st and 22nd, the Claretian communities in Sri Lanka together with the priests, Religious and lay faithful around their communities celebrated Thanksgiving Masses to mark this important ecclesial and congregational event.