Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc’s spirituality remembered at requiem mass
Friends, family and colleagues of Inquirer editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc paid tribute to her on a late Sunday afternoon at a requiem mass held at The Heritage Park in Taguig City.
The spiritual side of Magsanoc was highlighted at the mass by officiating priest, Msgr. Manny Gabriel, a family friend.
“This is the question that people ask: Where is Letty getting her creativity, her fearlessness, her sense of compassion…Where does she get all this? I can only surmise this certain kind of spirituality is a spirituality that stems from the Blessed Mother,” he said in his tribute during the homily.
It has been a tradition of Magsanoc’s family to honor Mother Mary in a month-long devotion every month of May. Members of the family gather and celebrate every Sunday of May, Gabriel explained.
Last May, Magsanoc was the ‘hermana mayor’ in the family and led the celebrations.
“This spirituality of Letty is what enables her to look at every human being, every human situation and be able to understand it on the perspective of faith,” he said.
Magsanoc is remembered as an icon in Philippine journalism. She is known for her commitment to press freedom during the days of Martial Law, which led to the birth of the Philippine Daily Inquirer 30 years ago. In 1991, she was named as editor in chief of the broadsheet that has achieved so much in the past decades because of its compelling and timely stories and reporting.
With these accomplishments, Gabriel noted Magsanoc’s “prophetic role” as a Christian — a man of God, immersed into people’s lives and speaks of the word of God.
“During Martial Law, all things published by Mr. and Ms., all the insights that are generated from the experience of repression at that time. It took a woman of courage like Letty to put everything in right there into the open,” he said.
He said the bishops at that time were also prophetic, in a way that they would confront the system of martial law and the corruption that was happening.
“Letty’s contribution to our Philippine history is that she guided Inquirer during those years when people have to be reminded where we came from… to remind humanity that somehow we had to be a working for a just, humane society and no other system should repress our rights as people and or us to establish a society of justice and love,” he said.
“I’d like to believe that the charism of Letty as a person and as a believer lies in that capacity to discern as a prophet,” Gabriel said.
Magsanoc was “faithful to her mission” to the very end, the priest said.
“Her prayerful life sustained her capacity to work even in the late hours of the night. Her going to church everyday gives her the strength that despite her sickness she can see things clearly nothing is blurred,” he said.
Magsanoc died on Thursday, Christmas eve, at St. Luke’s Global City Medical Center in Taguig City due to cardiac arrest.
“Pope Benedict XVI, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, he said that in God’s plan there are no coincidences. Everything feeds into a purpose, a design. I wonder if her passing away on December 24, when walang services ang funeral parlors and they have to wait…that timing was perfect — she was with her family and at the same time people will always remember that Letty gave her life on the birthday of Christ. She gave herself fully,” Gabriel said.
“That is her birthday gift to Christ. It is the Christ that is the reason for her life, for her vocation as a journalist, for her role as a wife and mother. It is the Christ that is the center of her faith,” he added.
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