Catholic World News

Christian martyrs are suffering today, Pope reminds congregation

February 06, 2015

Christian martyrdom is not a thing of the past but a current reality, Pope Francis reminded his congregation at daily Mass on February 6.

The Pope called attention to “the martyrs of our times: men, women, children who are being persecuted, hated, driven out of their homes, tortured, massacred. And this is not a thing of the past: this is happening right now.” He said that it is good for Christians to remember not only the martyrs of the past but those who suffer today.

In his homily, the Pope reflected on the life and death of St. John the Baptist. He observed that although he was “the greatest man born of woman,” St. John the Baptist became “small, so very small,” at the end of his life. In the end he died “under the authority of a mediocre, drunk, and corrupt king, at the whim of a dancer and the vindictive hatred of an adulteress.”

However, although he experienced a “slide into nothingness” from the perspective of the world, St. John remained true to his vocation, the Pope said. He concluded by saying that he prays about the end of his own life, “that this annihilation is as similar as possible to that of Jesus Christ, to his annihilation.”


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