Missionaries Killed

EUROPE/ITALY - March 24, Missionary Martyrs Day: "Voice of the Word"

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Rome (Agenzia Fides) - Thirty years ago, the Missionary Youth Movement of the Italian Pontifical Mission Societies decided to celebrate every year a "Day of prayer and fasting in memory of the Missionary Martyrs". The date chosen was March 24, the day of the assassination in 1980 of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero of San Salvador, who was canonized on October 14, 2018. From Italy, the initiative has spread over the time to other countries. This year, Missio Italia has chosen "Voice of the Word" as the theme for the XXX Day. "The voice of the martyrs, which is the Voice of the Word, of God made man to show his closeness to the fragility of life, has always been a seed, a sprout for Christian communities", explains Giovanni Rocca, National Secretary of Missio Youth , "It is no coincidence that the first saints of the Church were martyrs, heralds of the liberating Gospel of Christ, pillars of the faith that we still proclaim today. Like the Nazarene raised on the cross, the martyr, in his weakness, remains faithful until the last moment to the promise received and returned to God: peace, justice and hope for all the peoples of the Earth". Explaining the theme, Rocca pointed out that in addition to the attention we want to pay to people who suffer martyrdom, "of whom the missionary is called to be the spokesperson and the amplifier", there is also "a dimension linked to silence in death that we would like to unravel". "Indeed, if death, as we experience it on a daily basis, is often accompanied by silence and pain, there are situations in which this is not the case. Let us think, for example, of armed conflicts, persecutions, crime, terrorism, phenomena that move, that creep in silence, to then translate into bombs and the cries of those who are subjected to them. This deafening noise only stifles the already weak and frightened voice of those who are oppressed". Another death that makes noise is that of Christ nailed to the cross, "emblem of the martyrdom which makes the earth tremble", and even when the tomb is walled up, "this voice, which is an echo of the creative voice of the Father, is not silent". "The missionary martyr does not lie in the tomb, but is more alive than ever in the women and men who have heard the Good News of Jesus from his voice". As usual, Missio Italia presents several suggestions for the animation of the Day, available on its website: reflections, the scheme for the missionary Via crucis and for a prayer vigil, five films to be used for a cineforum ...
The gesture of solidarity that traditionally accompanies the celebration of Missions Day this year concerns the renovation of the youth ministry center of Mapuordit, in the diocese of Rumbek, South Sudan. On the occasion of Missionary Martyrs' Day, almost a year after the publication of the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis "Antiquum ministerium" with which the ministry of catechist is instituted (May 10, 2021), Agenzia Fides will publish a Special dedicated to the Catechist Martyrs. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 23/3/2022)


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2011 - THE NAMES OF PASTORAL WORKERS, BISHOPS, PRIESTS, MEN AND WOMEN RELIGIOUS AND LAY CATHOLICS, KILLED IN THE YEAR 2011

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