Friends and fans called him a “gentle giant,” a faithful “prayer warrior” and a Clark Kent whose superman power was helping people grow in holiness and faith.
The written comments were among the hundreds of condolence messages, prayers and stories submitted to an “in memoriam” page on the RegnumChristi.org website for Legionary of Christ Br. Anthony Freeman of Houston.
The U.S. seminarian, who was a third-year theology student at Rome’s Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, died unexpectedly at the age of 29. He was scheduled to be ordained a deacon July 7 in Houston.
He was found dead in his room April 2 after classmates realized he had not joined them for a scheduled outing. The university called Italian authorities, who were still conducting an investigation and autopsy as of April 4 to determine the cause of death.He’d had supper with the seminary community April 1 after serving as an acolyte that day at the Pope Francis’ Easter morning Mass, carrying the cross in the opening procession.
“They usually pick the tallest person” to carry the cross to give it prominence, and “he was tall and strong and to bear the cross was very symbolic” in hindsight, Legionary Father Aaron Smith told Catholic News Service April 4.
And please remember him and those who love him in your prayers.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…
UPDATE: The coroner has now determined he died of natural causes. Read the details here.