Pope from Castel Gondolfo: Pray for Martyrs

pope-and-mosul.jpgWell, not necessarily for martyrs to come. No, the Holy Father has retired to his retreat for a week of rest and prayer for his special intention:

This day, which is usually dedicated to prayer and fasting, falls on the first day after Easter. The pope cheerfully suggested, given the festive atmosphere, not to fast, but to pray: “To remember and pray, but perhaps not to fast, for these our brothers and sisters – bishops, priests, religious men and women, laity – who died in 2007, while carrying out their missionary service, is a duty of gratitude for the entire Church, and an encouragement for each of us to bear witness in an increasingly courageous way to our faith and hope in Him who on the Cross conquered forever the power of hatred and violence with the omnipotence of his love”.

One imagines the fear, turned to courage, that the first disciples must have known. If Jesus was crucified, might they be too if they acknowledge Him? And many were martyred. St. Stephen? Herod beheaded St. James the Greater in Jerusalem.

It is not too different today. To be a witness is to accept the possibility of martyrdom. The slaying of the Chaldean Archbishop just before Easter is a stark reminder.

Please pray for persecuted Christians the world over.


One Response

  1. Thanky fer linking to my Good Friday post ’bout the crucifixion.

    Check the newest BACK Porch rant on Obama.

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