Martyrdom of Christians continues today, Pope reminds Sunday audience
CWN - April 15, 2013
“The age of martyrs is not yet over,” Pope Francis remarked in his homily during a Mass on April 15.
In fact, the Pope said, “the Church has more martyrs now than during the first centuries.” He encouraged the faithful to appeal to the Virgin Mary for protection against persecution.
Reflecting on the day’s Scripture reading, which described the trial of St. Stephen, the Pope said that it was “not a fair fight,” because the accusations against Stephen were lies. “Calumny aims to destroy the work of God,” he said. “Where there is calumny, there is Satan himself.”
The Pope had also spoken about persecution at his midday audience on Sunday, April 14. He called for prayers for the Christians “who suffer persecution, a great many, in many countries.” At the same time, he reminded the faithful that the original apostles “even saw their persecution as a badge of honor, that made them capable of following in the footsteps of Jesus and to be like Him, bearing witness with their lives.”
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