AsiaNews) - " We are delighted to know that the first Burmese Blessed will
be Isidore Ngei Ko Lat. The Holy Father is close to Myanmar and this first
Blessed is the sign of Pope Francis and the Holy See's love and attention".
This is how Msgr . Charles
Bo, Archbishop of Yangon , greets the news that the pontiff will declare
blessed the Servants of God, Fr
. Mario Vergara , a priest of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions
(PIME ) and Isidore Ngei Ko Lat, a lay catechist , martyred in Shadaw
(Myanmar) May 24, 1950 . Yesterday
Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate
the decree concerning their martyrdom . For
the Burmese prelate this event is "the most important for us this year".
Msgr. Phamo Soter , bishop of Loikaw and the son of a catechist father Mario, launched the diocesan cause for the case in in 2003, . The current Archbishop of Yangon has long been general secretary of the bishops conference and supported the work that has led the local Church to celebrate its first blessed .
Speaking to AsiaNews, Msgr . Bo described the "great joy and happiness," of the Catholic community, caught by surprise by a long -awaited announcement. A journey that began in May 2008, when the Catholic Bishops' Conference wrote a letter to Pope Benedict XVI to "humbly ask the Pope to authorize the study of the cause." The beatification of Fr. Vergara and his catechis , the bishops wrote , was a source of " encouragement" for the whole community to live" a faith more in line " with the gospel and to witness "in a brave and heroic" way. Even at the cost of dying because of hatred for the faith and give their lives "for the Gospel."
"This is the first Burmese blessed - adds the Archbishop of Yangon - which is why the Church throughout Burma , but in particular the Diocese of Loikaw , rejoices and celebrates a milestone of on its journey". " It is a first step - says Msgr . Bo - but many more have yet to be accomplished. We have many other martyrs in Myanmar, they deserve sainthood. And I will work hard to promote many more in the near future."
The prelate finally recalled the celebrations for the closing of the Year of Faith November 24 last, followed by a ceremony for the opening of another Jubilee year : "The 500 -year presence of the Catholic Church in Myanmar - he said - will conclude with a solemn ceremony November 23, 2014, the feast of Christ the King . " Archbishop Bo adds that the celebration of the Triduum for the five hundredth should be held in Yangon, with the final day "in the national football stadium. We have also invited the Holy Father - he says - and we are 70% sure he will come". "Throughout the year - he concludes - all dioceses will prepare themselves spiritually for the event. [We want ] to tell all the faithful and the government about the 500 years of history of the Church in Burma ."