Today is the feast day of Blessed Ghèbre-Michael of Ethiopia. An intense hatred for the Catholic Church prevailed in Ethiopia during his lifetime. A typical declaration from the authorities, referring to some statement that would be heretical in the eyes of the Catholic Church, would be something like: “If this formula is not accepted I will break the necks of the offenders and cut off their feet.”
But people like St. Justin de Jacobis and Bl. Ghèbre-Michael would not subscribe to heretical formulas no matter what the threat. Both were imprisoned because of their rejection of heresies. St. Justin was treated better than Bl. Ghèbre-Michael… there was a very special hatred of Ghèbre-Michael and the schismatics felt that if they could get a renunciation of the Catholic faith from him, they would score a great victory.
He was persecuted and escaped many traps, was imprisoned and ultimately died of exhaustion after daily increasing tortures. He never gave in to his torturers.
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“The truth will make you free”
by James Cahalan
COLLOQUE No. 10, Journal of the Irish Province of the Congregation of the Mission