Vatican: Pope recalls 'Church of Martyrs' and asks for courage.
Vatican City, April 6, 2013 ( Ecclesia ) - Pope Francisco evoked today in the Vatican "Church of martyrs" of the XXI century and urged Catholics to courageously show their faith without compromise in society.
"To find martyrs one need not go to the catacombs or the Colosseum (Rome): the martyrs still exist in many countries. Christians are persecuted for their faith, in some countries the use of the cross is forbidden, those who do so are punished if they do. Today, in the twenty-first century, our Church is a Church of martyrs, "he said in his homily during the Mass at which he presided in the chapel of Santa Marta, where he resides.
The Argentine Pope warned of the need not to "cut" or "negotiate the faith," as if one could "sell it to whoever makes the best offer", because that would be the beginning of the "road of apostasy, not of allegiance to the Lord. "
Francis questioned those who place their faith "in rose water" and are "lukewarm," emphasizing again that "faith cannot be negotiated."
"There has always been in the history of God's people, the temptation to compromise a bit of faith" and do "as they all do," he continued.
According to the Pope, we must live the faith as "a gift that the Lord makes to all people" and ask to be "strong and courageous", especially at times when you need to "make it (the faith) public".
"May the Lord help us to guard the faith, take it on, to be men and women of faith," he concluded.
The first canonization of the current pontificate, scheduled for May 12, include the Italian Antonio Primaldo and about 800 lay companions, killed "in hatred of the faith" in August 13, 1480, in the city of Otranto, during a raid carried out by Turkish troops.
The Pope also approved on the last day 28, the publication of the decrees that recognize the martyrdom of 62 Catholics killed in the twentieth century because of his faith.
Pope Francisco: witness the faith with courage
Vatican City ( RV ) - Witnessing with the full courage of faith: this is the invitation Francisco this morning by Pope presided at Mass in the chapel of Santa Marta. In celebration attended an Argentine family and some religious of the Daughters of St. Camillus and the Daughters of Our Lady of Charity.
In his brief homily, the Pope said the readings this Sunday of Easter: the first Peter and John boldly testify before the faith of the Jewish leaders despite threats, while the Gospel risen Jesus criticizes the apostles of unbelief who do not believe in that claim to have seen him alive.
The Pope then makes this question: "How are you, our faith? Is it strong? When difficulties come, "we are brave like Peter or a little touchy?". Peter - remarked, silent faith, because faith can not be negotiated. "There has always been - said the Pope - in the history of God's people this temptation: to do "as everyone else," not to be "too hard". "But when we started to negotiate faith, sell it to anyone who gives more, on the path of apostasy, not fidelity to the Lord."
"The example of Peter and John helps us, gives us strength" - also reveals the Pope - but in the history of the Church there are many martyrs today, "because to see them is not necessary to go to the catacombs or the Coliseum: the martyrs are now living in both countries.
Christians - Pope says Francisco - are persecuted for their faith. Today, in the twenty-first century, our Church is a Church of martyrs, those who say like Peter and John: "We can not silence what we saw and heard." And that - he continued - "gives us strength, give us the strength to bear witness to the life and faith that we receive is the gift that the Lord gives to all people."
But this is a grace. The grace of faith. We ask for it every day. "... Lord protect my faith, make it grow, that my faith becomes strong, courageous, and help me at times - as Peter and John - I make it public. Give me courage. This - he concluded - would be a beautiful prayer to this day: the Lord help us to protect the faith, takes it forward, to be women and men of faith. So be it. "
free translation from: