Pope's message for the murder of Fr Fausto Tentorio
Benedict XVI calls for " the renunciation of violence and the building of a just and peaceful society where all live together in harmony" in the Philippines. Fr. Fausto, " a good and faithful priest who tirelessly and courageously served the Filipino people for many years". Every day in Arakan, 2 thousand people visit his body, some travelling for over 5-12 hours. At evening wakes, the testimonies of those who knew him.
Arakan (AsiaNews) - "Distressed" by the death of Fr Fausto Tentorio, the PIME missionary killed on October 17 last in Arakan (North Cotabato, Mindanao), Benedict XVI has sent his condolences to the bishop of Kidapawan, Msgr. Romulo de la Cruz, to the faithful, family and confreres of the murdered missionary. In the message, signed by Card. Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, the Pope " hanks God for Father Fausto’s witness as a good and faithful priest who tirelessly and courageously served the Filipino people for many years".
Praying for the eternal repose of the missionary, he calls for " for the renunciation of violence and the building of a just and peaceful society where all live together in harmony" in the country and offers his blessing as " as a pledge of comfort and strength."
Comfort, hope, and even consolation is the experience of PIME missionaries and the faithful who come to Arakan, the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, where the mortal remains of the slain missionary are currently custodied. PIME Fr. John Vettoretto, a former collaborator of Fr Tentorio, tells AsiaNews: "Since October 17, at least 2 thousand people arrive per day to pay tribute to Fr Fausto. These include politicians, senators, congressmen and the media, but especially the people he helped over the years. There are people who have even faced a long journey starting out at night to get here after 5 or even 12 hours on non-existent roads, buses, any mode of makeshift transport".
They all spend hours keeping vigil over the coffin in prayer, while photographs of the priest and his commitment to the natives are displayed in the Church.
At the vigil, which is held every night at 5pm, between prayers, those who wish to are free to give their personal testimony of how Father Tentorio touched their lives. "We are slowly beginning to discover - continues Fr Vettoretto - all the good he has done not only in Arakan, but also far from here in Davao or Mati. These stories have the power to transmit the sweetness of his life laid down for others. They are a source of real comfort, and deeply move everyone who listens. "
One of them, Willyng, on of the parish pastoral leaders, explains how he was helped by the priest: "His peaceful, fraternal, intrepid, character encouraged me to put myself at the service of the Church and social commitment. If, Fr. Fausto had been less friendly, maybe I would have become apathetic, discouraged by the injustices. In him I found a friend and a pillar of support. "