Valiant Sacrifice of Ones Life to Save Others
By Formosa Award News Group (Originally in Chinese)
In May 2010, by the seaside near Goa, India, Father Thomas Remedios Fernandes was enjoying a picnic with a group of his fellow parishioners. Suddenly, they heard calls for help and when they looked around to see where they were coming from, they saw three young people struggling in the turbulent waves. Without regard for his own safety, Father Fernandes dove into the water to rescue them. He succeeded in saving them all. However after he brought the third person back to shore, he collapsed of exhaustion on the beach. He was immediately taken to the hospital but unfortunately later passed away.
Father Fernandes’ funeral mass was held on June 6. Upon learning of this unfortunate incident, Supreme Master Ching Hai expressed Her heartfelt condolences and asked our Association members to attend the funeral. She also honored Father Fernandes with the Shinning World Hero Award and offered a US$3,000 monetary contribution to help with any necessary expenses.
Father Fernando, who works in the same parish, accepted the Award on behalf of the deceased Father Fernandes. He also conveyed his deep gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her contribution to humanity and for Her loving concern towards Father Fernandes. The Fernandes family members also extended their sincere appreciation to Master and prayed for God to bless Her for Her compassionate endeavors.
Supreme Master Television conducted an interview with friends and family, who all stated how profoundly touched they were by Father Fernandes’ boundless love. When he was alive, he always tried his best to assist the needy both materially and spiritually. He especially spent more time with the young parishioners, guiding them on the correct path when they were confused and in need of help. Father Fernandes’ motto was: “Love your enemies more than you love yourself.”
Though Father Fernandes is no longer with us, his shining example of love and bravery will continue to inspire people for a long time to come.