ASIA/LAOS - Fr.Mario Borzaga and Laotian catechist martyrs: the joy of Bishops and young people

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Phnom Penh (Agenzia Fides) - The Holy See has announced that it is recognising the martyrdom of Fr. Mario Borzaga (1932-1960), of the missionary of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI), and the lay Laotian catechist Paul Thoj Xyooj, killed in Laos in 1960 by the communist guerrillas Pathet Lao.
As reported to Fides, the news aroused great joy and emotion in the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Laos and Cambodia (CELAC), who are currently gathered in assembly in the Cambodian capital, until May 9. The four Apostolic Vicars of Laos (Ordinaries of the vicariate of Vientiane, Paksè, Luang Prabang, Svannakhet) expressed "satisfaction and unexpected joy": Even the catechist Paolo Thoj Xyooj, the first Laotian to be raised to the glory of the altars, is especially significant today.
Father Mario Ghezzi, PIME, deputy vicar of Phnom Penh, told Fides: "It is good news and we hope that soon even the second cause of Laotian martyrs, which includes other 15, among missionaries and local laity, can be successful.
The immense joy that this event arouses in the small Church of Laos and Cambodia, united in the same Episcopal Conference, will be shared concretely in August, when young Catholics in Laos and Cambodia will live together their Youth Day for the first time in Phomn Penh".
Borzaga, in fact, a young missionary, "is a model for many young people", remarked Fr. Angelo Pelis, OMI, Postulator of the cause of beatification of Borzaga and Thoj Xyooj. "The writings of Fr. Mario Borzaga arouse emotion and devotion in the laity, in young people and consecrated persons. The young especially are fascinated by the figure of the young missionary priest: there are thousands of comments and testimonies of graces obtained through his intercession. His fame for holiness and martyrdom is increasing day by day, as shown by the website, created in 2004". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 07/05/2015)