Kavieng - "The defense of the sacrament of marriage as a way of conjugal holiness was the main motivation that led to the beatification of Peter ToRot", said Mgr. Rochus Tatamai MSC, bishop of Kavieng - Lorengau and president of the Episcopal Conference of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, on the occasion of the celebration of the silver Jubilee of the Blessed and martyr, raised to the glory of the altars 25 years ago, lay and first blessed of Papua New Guinea.
In his homily, the Bishop spoke at length about the life and martyrdom of Peter ToRot, pointing out to all the faithful as an "example of Christian life" to follow. From his story, the Bishop drew useful ideas for catechists, talking about the sacrament of marriage and family life, and focusing on the relationship between faith and culture.
The Jubilee Mass was a moment of great devotion and participation of the faithful: the choir and a group of young women led the offertory procession with a traditional dance and melody of the Duke of York Islands, in the province of eastern New Britain . Participants also included a large group of faithful from the parishes of the archdiocese of Port Moresby and members of various religious congregations. The main Jubilee celebrations took place in the village of Rakunai on Friday 17 January 2020, and were coordinated by the "Blessed Peter ToRot Foundation Inc", a lay organization founded in 1996 to promote the life and work of the Blessed and to support the archbishop of Rabaul in the cause of canonization.
The presence and message of the Blessed also crossed the borders of Papua New Guinea and arrived in Australia: on January 19, Cardinal Ribat blessed a chapel dedicated to Peter ToRot in the Shrine of Our Lady help of Christians in the Marian Valley, in Brisbane.
Blessed Peter ToRot, catechist in the village of Rakunai on the Gazelle peninsula, eastern province of New Britain, was killed by the Japanese in 1945, towards the end of the Second World War, for refusing to stop his catechist and witness of the faith activities. In particular, ToRot defended the sanctity of marriage, thus challenging the practice of polygamy, authorized by the Japanese. Pope John Paul II officially declared him a martyr on January 17, 1995 during the beatification ceremony in Port Moresby. >>