As a young seminarian, I met Fr. A. Cremonesi oinly two times:
1 . The first time, in July 1947, at Khothamo a Karenni village. I was sent with my companion Mosè Buri to go and give the mails of Fr. A. Cremonesi who at that time was the parish priest of Khothamo. He lived in a poor Bamboo house. An Eldery Karenni Lady was his perpetua.
2. The second time, I met Fr. A. Cremonesi at Loikaw in June 1948. he was at that time our extraordinary Confessor. He gave us a monthly retreat or recollection. His sermons were Short, Sweet and Simple, They remain in my mind up to this day: FAITH, HOPE and LOVE or CHARITY. The fundamental Theological Virtues.
Faith: without it we cannot please God.
Hope: without it we cannot have anything from God.
Charity or Love, with it we must love God and our neighbours. Ubi caritas et amor, ibi Deus est. Fides, Spes et Caritas, major harum Caritas.
Besides the Fondamental Theological Virtues Faith, Hope and Charity or love, you must have also the other fundamental virtues. They are: Obedience, Humility, Poverty and Prayer life.
Obedience: as a young seminarian, you must obey your superior now, and as a priest, you wil have to obey your bishop and other lawful superiors. Obedient man (or priest) will speak of victory.
Humility: Deus superbis resistit, humilibus autem dat gratiam. Be humble with your superiors and equals, and God will love you.
Poverty, when he spoke of this poverty, I remember his poor bamboo house at Khothamo which was not better than the houses of his faithfull..
Prayer life: a priest is a man of prayer. So you must have this spirit, you must have this prayer life from now. If you are a seminarian of prayer today, tomorrow you will become a priest of prayer.
3. From June 1948, I never met Fr. A. Cremonesi any more. Because he was recalled by Bishop A. Lanfranconi to be parish priest of Donoku.
When the troubles came, Fr. A. Cremonesi could escape or go away from Donoku to Toungoo to save his life. But he did not go. He preferred to be with his beloved faithful of Donoku, remained there, and was killed by the soldiers. Here, he proved himself to be a good pastor. A good pastor laid down his life for his sheep. He loved his Christians till the last moment of his life
4. Evaluation: For me, Fr. A. Cremonesi is a martyr of Charity. In caritate dedit suam vitam pro suis dilectis filiis.
5. The news of his death came to us in General College, Penang. Malaysia in the month of June 1953 by the Rector of St. Teresa’s Seminary Fr. Luigi Bignamini.
+ A. Than Em.
Camp Yangon, 19 July 2004