Brethren, Peace and Good to all of you in Jesus' name.
The earthly remains of the Archbishop Emeritus of San Juan, Luis Cardinal Aponte Martínez, were laid to rest in a crypt at San Juan's Metropolitan Cathedral yesterday, at 5 PM local. Previously, the Cardinal's remains had been taken to his native town of Lajas, to my native town of Ponce where he once was bishop, and back to San Juan so that the Puerto Rican Catholic faithful could say good-bye and "see you later".
Cardinal Aponte Martínez carved himself a huge place in the hearts and minds of Puerto Ricans and in our history. He was the first Puerto Rican-born bishop consecrated since the 19th century when he was made co-adjutor Bishop of my native city of Ponce, and then the first Puerto Rican Archbishop of San Juan. In 1973, Pope Paul VI made him a Cardinal.
His Emminence was beloved by the Catholic faithful of Puerto Rico, and well-respected by many non-Catholic Christians. He set an example of love for God and for His Church that others should follow. He spent his life sowing seeds that have grown through many generations of Puerto Ricans who have followed his example of humility, hard work, and dignity.
Cardinal Aponte Martínez is not really gone, for in the Lord there is no such thing as "absence." We'll see you later, Padrecito. We'll meet again, I'm sure.
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