Pope Francis View on Mission 9/9
In a book-length interview with Gianni Valente from Fides News Agency Pope Francis speaks about what has captured his heart: the proclamation of the Gospel in today’s world. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus”.
Over the coming days a number of short ‘digestible’ nuggets will feature in this blog.
Mission and martyrdom. You have often recalled the intimate bond uniting these two realities.
In Christian life the reality of martyrdom and evangelization both have the same origin, the same source: when the love of God poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit gives strength, courage and consolation. Martyrdom is the maximum expression of the recognition of and the testimony rendered to Christ, which represents the fulfillment of mission, of apostolic work. I always think of the Coptic brothers slaughtered in Libya, who quietly uttered Jesus’ name while they were being beheaded. I think of Saint Mother Teresa’s Sisters murdered in Yemen, while they were taking care of Muslim patients in a home for disabled elderly people. The sisters were wearing work aprons over their religious habits when they were killed. They are all victors, not “victims”. And their martyrdom, to the point of the shedding of blood, illuminates the martyrdom that everyone can suffer in everyday life, with the witness rendered to Christ every day. It’s what can be observed when visiting old missionaries in their nursing homes. They are often battered by the life they have had. A missionary told me that many of them lose their memories and no longer remember anything about the good they did. “But it does not matter”, he told me, “because the Lord remembers it very well”.
Yves Congar OP, the greatest ecumenist of the twentieth century, discovered his theological vocation when he was a young Dominican friar and
“I witnessed a traumatised population” the Cardinal said, adding that “it’s impossible to comprehend how human beings can behave like this towards
Former Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore, who moved to Canada shortly after his retirement in 2011, celebrates 60 years of priesthood on