Pope: imitate martyrs, don’t be “painted” Christians

by | Oct 14, 2013 | Pope | 1 comment

romereports(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video message on Sunday marking the beatification of 522 Spanish martyrs who were killed during the anti-Christian persecutions of the 1930s.

Please find below the full text of the video message in English translation.

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings.

I would like to express my heartfelt participation in the celebration which is taking place in Tarragona, in the course of which a large number of Pastors, consecrated people and lay members of the faith are being proclaimed Blessed Martyrs.

Who are the martyrs? They are Christians who have been “earned” by Christ, disciples who have learnt well the sense of that “love to the extreme limit” which led Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in installments, no such thing as portions of love. Total love: and when we love, we love till the end. On the Cross, Jesus felt the weight of death, the weight of sin, but he gave himself over to the Father entirely, and he forgave. He barely spoke, but he gave the gift of life. Christ “beats” us in love; the martyrs imitated him in love until the very end.

The Sainted Fathers say: “Let’s imitate the martyrs!” We must always die a little in order to come out of ourselves, of our selfishness, of our well-being, of our laziness, of our sadnesses, and open up to God, to others, especially those who need it most.

We implore the intercession of the martyrs, that we may be concrete Christians, Christians in deeds and not just in words, that we may not be mediocre Christians, Christians painted in a superficial coating of Christianity without substance – they weren’t painted, they were Christians until the end. We ask them for help in keeping our faith firm, that even throughout our difficulties we may nourish hope and foster brotherhood and solidarity.

And I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Sainted Virgin protect you.

1 Comment

  1. Ross

    I find Pope Francis’ “painted” Christians to be so reminiscent of St. Vincent’s: “To be a Christian and to see our brother suffering without weeping with him, without being sick with him! That’s to be lacking in charity; it’s being a caricature of a Christian; it’s inhuman; it’s to be worse than animals.”

    And what does effective compassion have got to do with martyrdom? Wrote St. Ambrose, speaking of forms of martyrdom: “You were tempted by the spirit of avarice to seize the property of a child and violate the rights of a defenseless widow, but remembered God’s law and saw your duty to give help, not act unjustly: you are a witness to Christ. Christ wants witnesses like this to stand ready, as Scripture says: ‘Do justice for the orphan and defend the widow.’ You were tempted by the spirit of pride but saw the poor and the needy and looked with loving compassion on them, and loved humility rather than arrogance: you are a witness to Christ.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This