Fr. Matthew Lamoureux, MIC

Yorkville, Illinois

Although I've only been a Marian for a short time, I've been blessed to meet many of my fellow Marians from other countries. I have experienced their strong sense of community, commitment to the teachings of the Holy Father, and love of Our Lady.

Those are some of the reasons I was drawn to the Congregation. I admire the Marians' devotion to Our Lady, their love of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, and fidelity to the Holy Father.

I've also noticed that this community isn't too individualistic. Everyone seems to look out for each another and help each other to become as holy as possible. It's really amazing to see how Our Lady has formed us as a community to become more like her Son.

I made many of these observations in 1999, during a visit to Poland to witness Pope John Paul II's blessing of the Marians' Shrine of Our Lady of Lichen and the beatification of the two Marian martyrs.

The faith of the Marian martyrs, beatified by the Holy Father in Warsaw, is a great inspiration. It was an awesome experience to be there for their beatification.

Like them, we should always be ready to defend our faith — and be ready to die for it. Their witness reminds us that we might be called to be martyrs — maybe not physically, but in one way or another to stand up for our faith, to sacrifice. Blessed Anthony and George really took a stand against evil and wouldn't let it conquer. With all of the evil in the world today, we're called to do the same.