SERVANT OF GOD MARTIN BENEDICT (1931-1986)

The Servant of God was born in Galbeni (Romania) in 1931 into a family of peasants. He attended elementary school in his hometown (1939-1945), entered our Seminary of Halaucesti in 1945 and attended classes there for three years.

Once the official persecutions of the Catholic Church began to take place and schools were nationalised, he completed his secondary school studies in Bacau, and enrolled in the University of Iasi, where he studied medicine and graduated in 1957.

He worked as a doctor in Raducaneni, Tatareni, Bacau and finally at the hospital of Onesti (from 1962 till his death).

In 1972 he was severely ill and suffered from intestinal disease, he had three operations within a few days. According to the doctors, he would live only for a short time. But he actually survived and lived for 14 years after that; everybody considered his life a miracle. His sister Varvara, a clandestine religious at the time, moved to the house where he was living.

After continuous contacts with our friars (especially fr. Gheorghe Patrascu) he decided to continue his preparation for religious life and priesthood. Under the guidance of fr. Patrascu, a provincial minister incognito, he secretly served his novitiate, took his temporary vows in 1976 and his solemn vows in 1979 (we do not know the exact date since there were no records due to the peculiar historical situation) and he was ordained priest on the 14th September 1980 by the Greek-catholic bishop Alexandru Tode, in Slanic Moldova.

During this period he continued his service at the hospital, trying not to be caught by the "Securitate" officers (the secret police) who would have taken severe measures and punishments if they had known he was a priest. He celebrated Holy Mass every day in his own apartment, where there was a little oratory. The faithful used to call him "the doctor who prays a lot" because of his continuous prayers and "our fatherly doctor" because of his goodness of heart and his passionate service. Not only did he take an interest in the bodily health of his patients, but he was also concerned with their soul, urging them to pray, to confess their sins and to regulate their married life. He particularly stood up against the practice of abortion and he supported the dignity of all human beings and their inalienable rights. He gave his contribution to build a few churches despite the hostility of the communist regime which was in power at the time.

During his pilgrimage to Rome in occasion of the beatification of the capuchin friar Fra Geremia da Valacchia, on the 30th October 1983 (during Holy Mass, he read, disguising himself as lay person, a few prayers of the faithful, and added some improvised reflections, that constituted a warning to all the audience) he was recognized as a priest by the secret police and he started being persecuted (he underwent episodes of arrests, interrogatories, attempts to poisoning and car drivers trying to run over him). These persecutions lasted till his death, 12th of July 1986.

One year after his death, the water of the well located next to his hometown dwelling started to have the smell and the taste of roses. In a very short time, Galbeni became a destination of pilgrimage, causing great worry for the "Securitate". However, all attempts to stop this flux of people failed. Rumours of miracles and inexplicable healings were spreading and people started to pray to Martin with great devotion and ask for his help and grace. His memory is still alive throughout the Province and in the hearts of its inhabitants.


PRAYER


Oh Holy Trinity,
we thank you for having given to the Church
your servant Martin Benedict
and for having called him to be a healer of body and soul.
With the love and patience that you gave him
he offered his whole life
to safeguard the human dignity and freedom,
and for the service of the sick and the poor.
Heal, we pray you, through his intercession,
the wounds of the soul and the body of those
who come to You with faith and love.
As you gave him a fervid love for the Holy Eucharist
and an invincible courage to face the adversities of this world,
in the same way, give us the grace, after his example, to be among the people
living testimonies of Your goodness,
and to walk with decision and enthusiasm in Your holy footsteps.
Moreover we ask you, Oh Lord, if it is according to Your will,
to glorify him among Your saints to Your praise and glory.
Amen.

Three Our Father..., Hail Mary..., Glory be to the Father...

Imprimatur, 27.02. 2007
Mons. Petru Gherghel, Bishop of Iasi



 

 

 
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