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Roman basilica honors contemporary martyrs

July 18, 2012

The basilica of St. Bartholomew in Rome has amassed a collection of items paying tribute to the recent victims of anti-Christian violence, including Archbishop Oscar Romero of El Salvador; the Solidarity chaplain, Father Jerzy Popieluszko; and the Pakistani Catholic political leader Shahbaz Bhatti.

Responding to the challenge issued by Pope John Paul II in 1993 to honor the martyrs of our own days, the basilica has collected personal items to keep alive the memories of those who died for the faith. The building has sections honoring the victims of Communism, Nazism, and civil wars in Mexico and Spain.

Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant pilgrims have visited St. Bartholomew to pray and to see Bibles, vestments, and religious objects that belonged to Christian witnesses killed in Iraq, Somalia, and Algeria.


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