Monday, October 29, 2007

The Pope's Sunday Angelus-Martyrdom a 'realistic possibility' For All Christians

Yesterday the Pope had his regular Angleus remarks yesterday. This is Angleus is briefer than the ones that he usually gives. However it is still informative and interesting. Thanks to the Ratzinger forum for the translation and pic.

ANGELUS OF 10/28/07
Here is a translation of the Holy Father's words at Angelus today.

Dear brothers and sisters! This morning, here in St. Peter's Square, 498 martyrs killed in Spain during the 1930s were proclaimed Blessed. I thank Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, who presided at the celebration and I address my cordial greeting to the pilgrims gathered here for this joyful event.

The enrolment at one time of such a great number of martyrs in the Book of the Blessed shows that the supreme testimony of blood is not an exception reserved only for some individuals, but a realistic eventuality for the entire Christian people. These martyrs are men and women - very diverse in age, vocation and social condition - who paid with their lives for their loyalty to Christ and to his Church. We can well say of them the statements of St. Paul which echo in this Sunday's liturgy: "I am already being poured out like a libation," he writes to Timothy, "and the time of my departure is at hand. I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith" (2 Tim 4,6-7), Paul, detained in Rome, sees death approaching, and traces a balance full of acknowledgment and hope. He is at peace with God and faces death serenely, with the consciousness of having spent all his life sparing nothing in the service of the Gospel.

This month of October, dedicated particularly to missionary commitment, thus closes with the luminous witness of the Spanish martyrs, who join the martyrs Albertina Berkenbrock, Emmanuel Gómez Gonzáles and Adilio Daronche, as well as Franz Jägerstätter - all proclaimed Blessed in recent days in Brazil and Austria. Their example bears witness that Baptism commits Christians to participate with courage in spreading the Kingdom of God - if necessary, with the sacrifice of life itself.

Of course, not everyone is called to a bloody martyrdom. There is also a bloodless martyrdom, which is not less significant, such as that of Celina Chludzińska Borzźcka - wife, mother, widow and religious - who was beatified here in Rome yesterday. She typifies the silent and heroic testimony of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromises, fulfilling their duty and dedicating themselves generously to the service of the poor. This martyrdom of ordinary life is testimony that is even more important in the secularized society of our time. It is the pacific battle of love that every Christian, like Paul, should wage tirelessly - the path of spreading the Gospel to which we are committed till we die. In this daily testimony, may the Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs and Star of Evangelization, help and assist us.

Later, he greeted English-speaking pilgrims:

I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Angelus, including the group from the Oratory Prep School in Oxfordshire, England. The Gospel invites us to leave aside all arrogance and pride, and to walk in humility before God and with our neighbour. The Beatifications today remind us of the importance of humbly following our Lord even to the point of offering our lives for the faith. May your stay in Rome renew your love of Christ, and may God bless you all!

He had a special greeting for Spanish-speaking pilgrims:
I affectionately salute the Spanish-speaking pilgrims. In particular, I greet my brother Bishops from Spain, the priests, religious, seminarians and laymen who had the joy of participating in the beatification of a great number of martyrs of your nation in the past century, as well as those who are following this Marian prayer on radio and television. Let us give thanks to God for the great gift of these heroic witnesses for the faith who, moved exclusively by love of Christ, paid with their blood for their fidelity to him and to his Church. With their testimony, they illuminate our spiritual path to holiness, and inspire us to give our lives over as an offering of love to God and our brothers. At the same time, their words and gestures of forgiveness towards their persecutors impel us to work tirelessly for mercy, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. I invite you from the heart to further strengthen everyday the communion withion the Church, to be faithful witnesses for the Gospel in the world - feeling the joy of being active members of the Church, the true Bride of Christ. Let us ask the new Blessed Ones, through the Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs, to intercede for the Church in Spain and in the world. May the fecundity of their martyrdom produce abundant fruits of Christian life among the faithful and in families. May the blood they shed be the seed for blessed and numerous vocations for priests, religious and missionaries. God bless you!

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