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Witness of martyrs emerges from Nazi death camps, Pope tells audience

August 10, 2009

Christian martyrs give the world a glimpse of "the true face of God and the true face of man," Pope Benedict XVI told his Angelus audience on August 9. Speaking to a crowd in the courtyard of his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, the Holy Father called special attention to Sts. Maximilian Kolbe and Edith Stein, whose feasts the Church celebrates this week. These 20th-century martyrs, he said, bore witness to the faith against the "contemporary nihilism" of the Nazi regime that ultimately killed them. The concentration camps in which they were confined and executed, the Pope said, showed "the hell that comes to earth when man forgets God, and when He is replaced" by ideological systems that attempt to change human nature.

 
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