“Today you will be with me in Paradise.”

This is my dear friend Benita Manglona. She is a longtime resident of Yigo and parishioner of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. She was born and raised in Rota, but moved to Guam decades ago as her family grew.

Benita’s father was the mayor of Rota. As she explains in this Good Friday reflection she gave at the church’s service yesterday, back in those days in Rota, politics were so thick it was unthinkable to even speak to anyone from the opposing camp. But her mother did. She treated everyone with kindness, even if they hurt her, her husband, or her children.

Benita talked about forgiveness and the example her mother – who has since left this world into Paradise – gave her in her reflection of one of the “Seven Last Words” of Christ as he hung dying on the Cross:

“Today, you will be with me in Paradise.”

The proclamation from Christ on the Cross was His response to the repentant thief who was crucified next to him, Dismas- now a saint (San Dimas), who at the last minute despite a lifetime of sin and injustice, saw the face of God crucified next to him, recognized Him as the Lord, and asked Him for forgiveness:

“Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Here is her full reflection.


  • Doris L.G. Tolentino

      04/11/2024 at 4:52 AM

    Want to thank Benita, a cousin to me, for sharing her story of her beautiful mother and talking about forgiveness. Such an inspiration about faith, strength , and hope and her dedication and love for God and family. Si Yuus Maase. Rest In Peace for your beautiful Mother and Aunt.

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