Rome (Agenzia Fides) - "True priest and true doctor". This is how Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints, wanted to highlight the salvific mission of Venerable Martin Benedict, during a conference held on May 16 in Rome, at the General Curia. of the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, organized by the Embassy of Romania to the Holy See and the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Blessed Martin Benedict (1931-1986), having manifested
from an early age his vocation to enter the Order of Friars Minor Conventual, had to wait until 1976 to make his temporary profession and then his solemn profession in 1979, because of the persecutions of the communist regime, which had already produced legislation in 1949 placing the activities of the Catholic Church under strict control. In the meantime, Martin Benedict devoted himself to the care of the sick, first in the hospital of Raducaneni, and then in the hospital of Onesti. In fact, he graduated as a doctor in 1957 in Iasi. His vocation as a doctor and as a religious was exercised in the care not only of the body but also of the mind and soul of the people entrusted to him, urging them to conversion and to prayer. All this without being discovered by the regime's fearsome secret police, the Securitate, which had been monitoring him since 1954, as reported by Dr. Germina Nagâț, member of the National Council for the Study of the Bucharest Securitate Archives (CNSAS).
On September 14, 1980, Martin Benedict was ordained a priest by the Greek-Catholic bishop Alexandru Todea in Slanic Moldavia. But during the pilgrimage to Rome for the beatification of the Romanian Capuchin Jeremiah of Wallachia, on October 30, 1983, he was recognized as a priest by the Securitate, which considered him a "Vatican spy" and began to persecute him with arrests, interrogations, attempted poisonings and car accidents. Paradoxically, the holiness of the life of Blessed Martin emerges precisely from the dossiers of his persecutors, as he continued to serve the people entrusted to him despite the persecutions, which ended with his death on July 12, 1986.
On December 17, 2022, Pope Francis proclaimed him Blessed with the following motivation: "Professed priest of the Order of Conventual Minor Friars, he heroically lived his dual vocation as doctor and religious priest in a context of clandestinity. Despite his poor health, he knew how to practice the medical profession with generosity. He was detached from the things of the world, constantly seeking the will of God". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/5/2023)