Martyrs are the true glory of the Church, writes Pope Francis in response to a letter from Friars Hanna and Father Louai, Franciscans sharing their testimony in Syria: “Nothing more than martyrdom can mark the characteristic way of the Christian who participate in the history of the salvation of humanity, “he says.
The Pope thanks the two Franciscans in a letter published November 28, 2018, by Vatican News in Italian: “I wish to share your suffering and to tell you that I am close to you and to your Christian communities so sorely tried by the suffering experienced in faith in Jesus Christ. How much suffering, what poverty, how great is the pain of Jesus who suffers, who is poor, who is driven from his country. It’s Jesus! It’s a mystery. It’s our Christian mystery. In you and in the inhabitants of beloved Syria we see Jesus suffering. ”
“Martyrs pursue the Kingdom of God, sow Christians for the future, are the true glory of the Church and our hope,” he continues. “Such testimony is a warning not to get lost even in storms. Often the sea of life reserves the storm, but existential swells come to us an unexpected sign of salvation: Mary the Mother of the Lord, stupefied, in silence, looks at her innocent crucified Son, who fills the life and the salvation of the people. ”
Pope Francis assures his prayers “that the unspeakable pain may be transfigured in the divine hope that the Apostle Paul confirms in the Letter to the Romans: ‘Who can separate us from the love of Christ? distress? anxiety? persecution? hunger? destitution? the danger? the Grave? Indeed, it is written: It is for you that we are massacred without stop, that we are treated as slaughter sheep. But in all this, we are the great winners thanks to the one who loved us.”
“I bless you with all my heart, as well as all the Christian families who are entrusted to your courageous custody,” concludes the pope.