There is another oblate martyr: Bishop Benjamin de Jesus OMI who was murdered in front of Mt Carmel Cathedral in Jolo on 4th February 1997.
Bishop Ben would go around Jolo and the whole diocese always with a smile and a greeting of peace on his lips. He would listen endlessly to the cry of his people, Muslims and Christians alike.
Two weeks before the bishop was martyred, a devoted woman came to tell an Oblate of her vision. She said, “Father, I have seen a vision. I’ve seen throngs of people in the clouds and they were carrying lighted candles. They surrounded someone who was dressed in white robe.” Then, the lady asked innocently, “What does that vision mean, Father?” The priest did not know what it meant but he wanted to be polite with her and so he explained that perhaps what she saw in her vision was the Last Day of Judgment as told in the book of Revelations and depicted by artists in some of those medieval paintings. When she left, he forgot everything about that encounter. But during the wake Bishop Ben, that same woman approached him again and said, “Father, do you remember the vision I told you about”? He was temporarily suspended. He looked at her and said, “Yes, I remember.”
If indeed it was God’s will that Bishop Ben would die, then, we believe it was not without purpose. Bishop Ben’s death has moved many peace advocates throughout the country to work even more for peace to reign in the Philippines. His dream of a harmonious relationship among Muslims and Christians has inspired the hearts of a new wave of dialoguers. Bishop Ben’s martyrdom became a symbol of dialogue and peace.