A TRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL HEROES OF TIMOR LESTE

A TRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL HEROES OF TIMOR LESTE

Don Bosco Fatumaca, 12 November 2020

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF THE EVENT

The historical event that is National Youth Day in Timor Leste dates back to November 12, 1991. On this day, thousands of young Timorese people were tortured and killed by the Indonesian troops in Santa Cruz (Cemetery), Dili. This event was a continuation of the largest demonstration to occur in Timor Leste against the regime of the late Indonesian president Suharto. That said demonstration was held in Tasi-Tolu, Dili, during the visit of his holiness Saint Pope John Paul II. In addition to the many events that happened in Timor Leste, another one was against human rights; these two huge events caught the eye of the international community that the human rights in Timor Leste is being coerced, threatened, and violated. Amidst the cruelty and the violence from the Indonesians that the Timorese faced in those moments of struggle; the Timorese, especially the youth, continuously fought bravely for the freedom of their land. The Catholic Church played a huge role as well in these times through their contribution in the whole process of the liberation of the state. Many of the Timorese Clergy and the religious brothers and sisters were tortured and killed out of their nationalism and sheer love of the Timorese people and of their beloved country. Bishop Belo also played a big role in the process, hence earning the title, “The voice of the voiceless.” Fast forward to 1999, Timor Leste got it’s freedom through a popular election, and its independence was restored in 2002.

CELEBRATION OF NATIONAL YOUTH DAY IN PRESENT DAY NOVEMBER 12, 2020 IN FATUMACA, TIMOR LESTE

In respect of National Youth Day, November 12 is honored annually as a national holiday for public and government offices and schools. On this day, the government encourages each school to organize a Mass with a special intention to pray for the young people who were martyred on the fateful day of November 12, 1991. In Colégio Dom Bosco Fatumaca, being a private school, the activities and the classes pushed through as normal and in the evening, the educative community comprised of The Salesians, Novices, The Salesian Aspirants and the Technical School Students organized a special rosary to pray for the martyrs and the heroes who courageously sacrificed their lives for liberation of Timor Leste.

The rosary was held in the basketball court, and each mystery of the rosary had a specific intention which were all intertwined and interconnected to the heroes, and given that we are still in the month of November, there is also an intention for all the souls who are still in purgatory– that through this special prayer, the Good Lord may receive them in His Eternal Kingdom.

LIVING THE SPIRIT OF THE HEROES AND COURAGE FOR THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF TODAY

In the same event, the rosary was also offered for the Timorese youth of today that they may live the spirit of the heroes in studying hard and praying harder for the better future of Timor Leste and that they may bring this beloved land we call home to be a more developed and progressive country just like others in the globe. There was a mass right after the rosary which was held in the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians in Fatumaca, presided by the Rector of the Community: Reverend Father David Sávio, SDB.

by: Father Jolino Vieira SDB

Happy National Youth Day!