Monday, 13 September 2010

Forgiveness of One's Enemies

As I was surfing the Internet today, I came across the story of a certain Fr Juan Alsina. The latter was a Spanish Catholic priest who spent the last years of his life working in Chile.

Like many other Catholic priests working in Latin America during the late 1960s/early 1970s, Fr Alsina was very dedicated to improving the welfare of the hundreds of poor people that he met during his missionary work. During those times, several Catholic priests did not shy away from criticising the devastating impact of the capitalist economic model on countless communities.

Instead of being showered with praise, Fr Alsina was punished for his noble deeds. A few days after the Pinochet coup in September 1973, he was arrested and taken to a bridge for execution. Just before he was shot, he told the 18-year-old soldier who was going to kill him, "Please do not blindfold me...shoot me as you stand in front of me because I want to see you as I forgive you!"

Fr Alsina was only 31 years old when he was killed.

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