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Apostolic Movement

Costa Rica shocked with the death of Marco Calzada, member of the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth

By: Enrique Soros

On July 2, 2022 Marco Calzada Valverde, an enthusiastic member of the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth, was murdered in Costa Rica. Their was a strong impact of his death on the Schoenstatt Family in Costa Rica, as well as on the Church and the country’s society, and the news quickly spread beyond the national borders.

His relatives, friends, and acquaintances: a committed young man

Many left their testimony about Marco’s life in different ways. This is what his “relatives, friends and acquaintances” expressed in a text addressed to the International Schoenstatt Family:

“It is with great sorrow that we inform you that Marco Calzada Valverde was assassinated on July 2nd. He was the leader of the pioneer Boys’ Youth of Costa Rica for two years. His younger sisters are in the Girls’ Youth (Cami in the Apostles of Mary and Luci in the Aliadas). His mother Gaby Valverde was an advisor to the Girls’ Youth Aliadas for several years and his father Mario Calzada was the Pioneer Coordinator.

A year ago, they answered a call from God to be a missionary family. We invite everyone to come together in prayer for the Calzada Valverde family, for their family @ignismundi, for the youth of Costa Rica @jmschoenstattcr and @schoenstattjfcr, for the Family of Hope @schoenstatt_costarica, and for the entire country.

His family, friends, and acquaintances: “Rest in Peace Marco! Intercede for us.”


The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica: profound grief

The Episcopal Conference of Costa Rica issued a communiqué in which it expresses “with deep sorrow our condolences to the family of the young Marco Calzada, who was murdered at the age of 19.

We know that Marco’s family is Catholic, missionary and that he participated in the Schoenstatt Youth. We elevate a prayer to God for the pain caused by this case and many others caused by growing violence which overwhelms the whole country. The lack of security in our country must be urgently addressed”.

Words of forgiveness from his father, Mario Calzada

Marco’s father surprised the whole country with words of forgiveness towards his son’s murderers. He publicly expressed that “we forgive, we love those who did it. We embrace their families. We ask the country, the criminals, the people to be conscientious”. And he continued: “Today our son is in heaven. We know he is there. We want to send a message of love and forgiveness. He taught us this. We have to pray a lot for these delinquents”, he added, mentioning the importance of the family as a promoter of the values that mark people’s lives.

Today is undoubtedly his Easter

Meanwhile, the priest Manuel Enrique Chavarría shared his feelings and gave a testimony about Marco: “Deeply moved by such an upsetting incident. I met and dealt with this excellent young man, Marco and with his family, at the 6:00 p.m. Masses on Sundays, at the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament, at the Dulce Nombre de Jesus National Shrine, in Barrio La Pitahaya; especially during 2019. I trust that his parents Mario Calzada and Gabriela Valverde’s faith in Jesus Christ will sustain them and his little sister”.

About the mission he saw in Marco, Chavarría added: “He accompanied the singing with his guitar, and secretly I wondered what great work the Lord would have for him… the priesthood? He was very educated, normal, natural, curious, and restless. He persevered in Schoenstatt’s Marian Movement. And the priest concluded: “It is his Easter today, without a doubt”.

Only a supernatural force would provide words of forgiveness

The journalist Glenda Umaña also echoed this difficult moment: “Only a supernatural force could put words of forgiveness in the heart of a father torn by the pain and suffering of his murdered son…

‘There is forgiveness, we pray for their families’, said Mario Calzada father of Marco Calzada Valverde, while he hugged his daughters, when he spoke last night to the Schoenstatt community of Costa Rica”.

And she closed: “May the cry of this father, torn by suffering, be heard in every corner and may we be inspired by Marco’s love and mission for the unprotected in marginal neighborhoods and for making known the mercy and the infinite sweetness of God”.

Up to heaven, Marco!

In turn, the publication Eco Católico shared under the title ” Up to heaven Marco!” its reflection: “A temple full of family, friends and close ones said goodbye this morning to the young man, Marco Antonio Calzada, who died after being stabbed in the Barrio Chino, in San José, on Saturday night…. Marco was a committed servant of the Church, he participated in the Schoenstatt Movement, was a missionary in different communities of the country, was a member of the Ignis Mundi Mission, played the guitar during the Holy Eucharist and was a student of Data Engineering”.

Blessed God for the gift of faith that sustains us

His mother, Gabriela Valverde, said in a text message: “Blessed God for the gift of faith that sustains us… He has been in charge of preparing us during this year to live this painful moment at his hand. Marco sang a song that says: ‘Lord, to whom shall we go if you are our life…? Lord, to whom shall we go if you are our love?” she recalled. And concluded: “Since God is the God of history who leads perfectly in his infinite love, even if we do not understand anything, but in fidelity, we accept his will? For the fruitfulness of the Ignis Mundi Mission”.

Through this link it is possible to listen to the words of Marco’s father in the farewell mass:


with your loved ones

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