Story of youngest Marathon victim inspires a local plea for peace
By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Northborough – As he reflected on the aftermath of the devastating Boston Marathon bombings, Ernie Rivard, a pastoral assistant at St. Rose of Lima Church, said he was particularly moved by the story of the youngest victim, little 8-year-old Martin Richard.
“I saw two images that especially struck me,” Rivard said. “One was of him making his first Communion and the other was of him holding a sign that said ‘No more hurting people. Peace.’”
Those two pictures, Rivard said, align with the Eucharistic message of the Easter season, of which Christians around the world are still celebrating. And the theme of peace is one that many prophets have preached throughout time.
“I thought Martin’s words on his sign were very powerful,” Rivard said. “Here is a little boy who has died yet his voice rises prophetically, asking for peace.”
To honor those words, Rivard created a poster, titled “A Living Prayer for Peace,” that features the photo of Martin holding his sign. Also on the poster are the words of some well-known prophets including Jesus Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador, who was assassinated in 1980. The poster has been placed in the church’s lobby since last week.
The reaction from the parishioners has been “very reflective,” Rivard said.
“I think the reaction has been reflecting on the beauty of his innocent life and the reaction to our own failures,” he mused. “Have we spoken powerfully enough on the issue of peace?”
Rivard noted that after creating the poster he had it enlarged at the Office Max store in Marlborough.
“They were so touched by it, they said, that they didn’t charge me for it,” he noted. “It moved people even before it was displayed.”
The poster will be on display for the next week or so, Rivard said. The church is located at 244 West Main St.
Click on the poster to see a full size image.
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