Bernal V. & Mendez P., Lawyers Day in Panama

Justo Arosemena Quezada, jurist, governor in the Colombian era, father of our nation.

This Lawyers Day

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

Today, August 9, is commemorated in our Panama, the 206th birthday of Don Justo Arosemena Quesada, Father of our Nation, consecrated jurist and, above all, a great Panamanian.

That is why I consider it propitious, when greeting the lawyers on their day, to reproduce the prayer “Our Father Don Justo” by the distinguished educator and first rector of the University of Panama, Octavio Méndez Pereira:

“Our Father, Don Justo, who art in the heavens of spotless example: Well mentioned be your name!… Not for the concealment of guilty intentions, nor for the routine of memory without emulation, but as a watchword hidden away from a Better Panama.

Come to us, at last, the Republic, ‘a shrewd and cordial one’ because you suffered. Your will of justice and decorum, love and duty be done, with which you gave birth in America to another homeland without a master.

The bread of the Panamanians, the usurped land, the security that we lost, teach us to rescue it, because you said that a people that did not own its own property could not have freedom or justice. Give us the sense of the earth and the horizon, you who were a master of wing and root.

Forgive us, Oh, Father Don Justo!, our old debts of self-sacrifice and public zeal, the submissive laxity with which we contemplated your undone ideal for so long; not having known how to always be, in your image and likeness, tenacious in faith and in longing, sure that triumph is always given to the entire effort.

Forgive us our anger, just as we forgive those who turn their anger against us; but watch that all passions fertilize in a nobler Panama.

Don’t let us fall, Father Don Justo, into the temptation of mercenary comfort or unworthy patience. Deliver us from the evil of living without spirit and without desire for the Nation, without commitment to greater justice for all, attentive only to individual benefit.

Make us one, cordial and sagacious, because the Homeland that you conceived is so.”


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