“Migrants and Refugees—Men and Women in Search of Peace” (Pope Francis, World Day of Peace, 2018).
On March 24, 2018, inspired by the message above, priests, religious men and women and lay persons gathered at 4:00 p.m. near Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, to celebrate the Day of Missionary Martyrs. From Castel Sant’Angelo they processed down Lungotevere Boulevard. After the prayer march, they celebrated the commemorative Mass for Blessed Oscar ROMERO, at 6.30 p.m., in the church of Santa Maria della Luce in Rome’s Trastevere section.
A few days later, in the middle of Holy Week, bishops, priests, religious and lay people gathered together with members of the Sant’Egidio Community to commemorate those who gave their lives as witnesses of charity and who gave their lives for the Gospel. It is important to mention that representatives of several other churches and religions were present as well. The celebration took place on Tuesday, March 27th at 6:30 p.m., at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere. A Liturgy of the Word was presided over by His Eminence Mac Cardinal OUELLET, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. “We commemorate the martyrs to restore hope and peace to all: it is our challenge to love more,” the Cardinal said during his homily.
In the same spirit of commemorating the martyrs whose light and strength help humanize the world, Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, OFM Conv., led fraternal discussions about the martyrs of Pariacoto. These discussions took place in March at various formation and mission animation events. Among them was a meeting with the Provincial Secretaries of the Federatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO); a meeting with the “Magnificat” community in Kolumna, Poland; with other religious communities; and with refugees in Rome.
Reflecting on martyrdom leads us to Jesus, the culmination of God’s history of love and care for humanity. Therefore, commemorating the martyrs means opening one’s heart and eyes for a more humane future, for a Church that increasingly conforms to the spirit of the Gospel.
Friar Jarosław WYSOCZAŃSKI, Secretary General for Mission Animation (SGAM)