31st October 1996, four Marist Brothers gave their lives to make Marcellin Champagnat's dream come true in African lands. Their names were Julio Rodríguez, Fernando de la Fuente, Servando Mayor and Miguel Ángel Isla. This year 2021 marks the 25th anniversary of his murder.
It happened in the border region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) and Rwanda. Shortly after the tribal genocide in Rwanda, many people had run away from the country, and it was decided to open a community of Marist Brothers in the Bugobe refugee camp. These four brothers, chosen from the Marist General Administration in Rome, came from different places, but they shared a common mission: to serve the thousands of refugees who populated the camp.
“That Jesus who had summoned them without their knowing each other, invited them to decide, as a community, if they were willing to take the risk of remaining in the field. And they chose to stay”, says Brother José María Ferre, a spokesman for this situation in the Spanish media for 25 years.
They chose to live their fraternity with the refugees in the camp, to be brothers to those people and not to abandon them, brothers to the end. "The martyrdom of our four brothers is a cry for peace, compassion, solidarity and brotherhood in the face of violence, discrimination and hatred that are still alive in our world", says José María Ferre. On this 25th anniversary we honor his memory and remember all the victims of unreason.
We wanted to celebrate this anniversary with two new songs: "They loved to the end" and "Of bread and dreams", available in Spanish, English and French: