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Pope honors new martyrs, says Satan foments persecution

April 24, 2017

Pope Francis presided at a Liturgy of the Word on April 22 in honor of the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The liturgy took place at the Basilica of San Bartolomeo all’Isola in Rome, where the Sant’Egidio community maintains a shrine to modern martyrs.

“Since we are saved by Jesus, and the prince of the world does not want that, he hates us and encourages persecution, which from the time of Jesus and the birth of the Church continues to this day,” the Pope preached. “How many Christian communities are being persecuted today! Why? Because of the hatred of the spirit of this world.”

The Pope added:

How often, in difficult moments of history, have we heard it said: “Today our country needs heroes.” Likewise, we can ask, “Today what does our Church need?” Martyrs, witnesses, that is, everyday saints of ordinary life, lives lived coherently; but we also need those who have the courage to accept the grace to be witnesses until the end, until death.

All these are the living blood of the Church. They are the witnesses who carry forward the Church; those who witness to the fact that Jesus is risen, that Jesus is alive, who witness to Him with coherent lives and with the strength of the Holy Spirit they have received as a gift.

 
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  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2017 12:30 AM ET USA

    I'm glad that Pope Francis keeps bringing up Satan as the" troublemaker". Satan and his cronies will spend eternity in the fires of Hell.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Apr. 24, 2017 8:56 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis is obviously correct in charging Satan with being the force behind persecutions. It is hard for us who are currently living in relative peace, to grasp the severity and scale of persecution in affected countries. Having said that, it's a shame he diluted powerful remarks with off-the-cuff nonsense about "concentration camps".