Saint Danny.

Yesterday I attended Danny Martinez’s funeral.  Three years ago he was Special Olympics New Mexico’s Area 3 Athlete of the Year.  Danny and his family are from Alamogordo.

The Immaculate Conception church was filled with Danny’s family and friends.  There were people of all walks of life, all ages, and all races.  As much as we mourned his death-we celebrated his twenty-nine years of  life.  “A beautiful life that came to an end.  He died as he lived, everyone’s friend.”

As I listened to the priest I realized he was using Danny to help the rest of us think about our own lives.  He told us that day in and day out when we intentionally use what God has given us to make our world a much better place – we are recognized as Saints.  He went on to say that although Danny faced challenges and some pretty difficult life circumstances, his gift was that no matter what, he was always happy, and because he was always happy – he made everyone around him happy!  

After sharing that thought, with a smile on his face, the priest announced we were  all there to honor Saint Jose Daniel Martinez.  And then he said this – “If Danny were standing here beside me right now, he would tell me “Father, do not make me a Saint” – and I would tell him, “Danny, I didn’t make you a Saint – YOU made you a Saint.”

I drove home revisiting fond memories of my friend and the thousands of Special Olympics athletes that have touched my life in ways I can’t even explain.  I think they are all Saints and when given the opportunity, they are eager every day to make all corners of the world a better place.

1 Comment

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One response to “Saint Danny.

  1. Anthony Bradway

    The Otero County delegation will never forget Danny. He was a friend to all of us. We will always remember his smile, laughter, strength, and courage. He will be missed. As we compete everything will be done in the memory of Danny.

    If I could say one thing about him it would be “he was a true champion!”

    Anthony Bradway
    Otero County Delegation Coordinator.

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