Martyrdom is actual

Be sure to check out Sancte Pater for a moving entry about the Catholic pastoral workers and missionaries who were killed during the year of Our Lord 2009.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Norah says:

    May their souls and the souls of all the Faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

    Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord and may Perpetual Light shine on them. may they rest in peace. Amen

    Those who feel so inclined could have a Mass said for these martyrs.

  2. vincentuher says:

    These names and their stories should be taught to all Catholic children in whatever form of Catechesis they receive.

    When I read these names, I wonder if one of the Sundays in Ordinary Time (say, for example, the last Sunday of October) could not be designated for All Martyrs of the Church who perished for Christ in the year previous.

  3. Oneros says:

    A theological question: what qualifies one as a martyr?

    If you read the Bios, many of these men were killed simply during robberies.

    If you’re robbed for money but just so happen to be wearing clerics does that really make you a martyr?

    Some might say they were killed “in the line of duty” maybe (especially if they were missionaries who willingly went into a dangerous area)…but is this really dying “for the faith”?

    Also, it is interesting to note in the bios how many priests in Latin America are STILL exported from Spain, which some would take as saying something about neocolonialism.

  4. Joan M says:

    Oneros said: “Some might say they were killed “in the line of duty” maybe (especially if they were missionaries who willingly went into a dangerous area)…but is this really dying “for the faith”?”

    Of course it is dying for the faith. Priests and others who willingly offer themselves to give witness to the faith and are killed “in the line of duty” – what else are they but martyrs?

    I am astonished that you would question that. What do you think their “line of duty is”?

  5. Jack Hughes says:

    Joan M

    I think what Oneros meant ( he can correct me if I’m wrong) is that it appears that many of these cases seem to be a case of straight robbery + murder where the vicitim happened to be a priest/religous rather than a case of the murderers actively singling out the victim based on the fact that he/she was a Catholic (such as was the case witht the Roman Persecutions)

  6. TravelerWithChrist says:

    We are all called to be martyrs. We are called to defend our faith no matter what.
    It is easy to defend when nobody persecutes us, but it is more difficult when society is against it, and we are facing criticism, or much worse (which may be the case for the martyrs listed).
    Let us pray for all who are facing persecution against the faith.

  7. Melania says:

    Well, it does show that it’s not a safe, easy thing to do to be a missionary. Missionaries face, as did the early saints, threats of robbery and murder as well as the out-right anti-Christian persecution that we see in India today. Their courage and generosity are humbling for us individually and a glory of the Church. Indeed, their stories should be told to children as well as to the adult faithful … a nice counter-weight to the sex abuse scandal. I’m grateful for their lives. They risked all for Christ.

  8. eulogos says:

    A large number of these appeared to have been killed by those who opposed their efforts for the poor. Some seem to have been just robberies, but when you look at the stories, so many of which involve many stabbings, one wonders if demonic hatred for the servants of God were not involved. Even if the murderers were just looking for money, I think seeing the pattern here we might wonder whether the evil one did not suggest to them these particular victims.
    I don’t know if we can say that all are technically martyrs; if they were where they were because they were doing Christ’s work in what they knew was a dangerous place, which seems to be true of many of them, there is an argument for it.
    But if a priest happened to be killed in my safe little hometown, I would say he was a murder victim but not a martyr, unless there were some reason to think he was killed because he was a priest.
    Susan Peterson

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