Interview with Dr. José Antonio Benito Rodríguez

On the left: Dr. José Antonio Benito R. and the teamEnzian. On the right: Dr. José Antonio Benito with the Queen of Saints.

It is a great joy to have the great historian José Antonio Benito Rodríguez, doctor of the University of Valladolid, professor at the Faculty of Pontifical and Civil Theology of Lima, coordinator of the Bicentenary Commission of the Peruvian Episcopal Conference, who has been living in Peru for 30 years. Also because he was one of the speakers at the 1st International Congress on the Servant of God Frederick Kaiser, presenting the theme: “Peru, a land of sadness, and the contribution of the Servant of God Frederick Kaiser”.

  1. How did you get to know the person of the Servant of God Frederick Kaiser? As a result of an interview in my programme “El Puente” of PAX TV with two sisters of the Congregation Missionaries of Jesus, Word and Victim.
  2. What virtues would you highlight from his life? I was always captivated by the responsibility with which she lived her priesthood, her identification with Christ, her evangelising passion, with a charming simplicity and joy. I am impressed by his ability to listen to the “call” of the Andes, his closeness to the priests, his great appreciation of Peru, his trust in the Heart of Jesus and Holy Mary, his synodality in seeking the collaboration of the laity, especially women, his giant and universal heart.
  3. Do you think that Frederick Kaiser is a saint? Yes, it was his aspiration, he wanted it for all his people and he always tried to live it personally and for all those around him.
  4. Have you received any grace through his intercession? I consider it a grace to have visited Caravelí, to be able to pray at her tomb and to feel the contagious joyful family life of her daughters, Missionaries of Jesus, Word and Victim.
  5. After the 1st International Congress on the Servant of God on Frederick Kaiser, what fruits do you expect from the Congress? A greater knowledge and experience of the way of life inspired by God in Monsignor Kaiser on the part of the Church and society, especially Peruvian society.
  6. Has the Congress contributed something to your spiritual life? The passion for Sacred Scripture and the zeal to evangelise among the most abandoned sectors of the population.
  7. Would you like to see another Congress? Of course I would. A congress is a great opportunity to pray, to reflect, to share about the Founder Monsignor Kaiser and his favourite work, the MJVV congregation. It is a time to give thanks, to examine oneself and to launch oneself into the knowledge, the living and the multiplication of the charism given to Monsignor Kaiser and his daughters.
  8. What is your opinion about the process of canonisation and beatification of the Servant of God Frederick Kaiser? I am very happy and thankful for all that is being done and I pray that we will soon enjoy his beatification and canonisation.
  9. Do you know the foundation MJVV (Missionaries of Jesus, Word and Victim) of the Servant of God Frederick Kaiser? What do you think of it? Yes, I know it and it gives me great pleasure to see it flourishing and multiplying so strongly. It seems to me a real miracle to see so many vocations in the midst of so many problems in the consecrated life. I see it as a prophetic foretaste of what Pope Francis is indicating for the Church, the joy of evangelising, the passion for mission, a Church going out to all the existential peripheries of our time.
  10. Surely you are aware of the upcoming documentary “The Apostle of the Andes” by the Enzian film crew, what do you think about it? What are your expectations for this documentary? Not only am I aware of it, but I have also had the privilege of hearing, seeing and feeling the professionalism of the great team led by Rubén Enzian. They have first-hand knowledge of the life and work of Monsignor Kaiser and are achieving a vivid and complete image of the person, both humanly and spiritually, as well as of the living work that the MJVV represent. I am sure that it will serve to get to know better the life, mission and work of our dear Monsignor Frederick Kaiser.
  11. What message would you give to the faithful devotees of the Servant of God Federico Kaiser? That the ensantado Peru has been enriched by the fabulous personality of Monsignor Federico Kaiser, who gave the best of his religious life to biblical, vocational, evangelising pastoral work both in the capital of Peru, Lima, and in the deep Peru of the sierra of Caravelí. His humble and joyful life is an invitation to live the Gospel in the here and now of our world.                                                                                                                                                               We thank Dr. José Antonio Benito R. for his valuable contribution, his time and dedication, but above all for his words that reflect his affection for Peru, a land of sorrows, as Pope Francis called it during his visit in 2018, especially the founder of the Missionary Sisters of Jesus, Word and Victim, the Servant of God Monsignor Federico Kaiser Dépel.

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