Tag Archives: martyr

North American Martyrs

North American Jesuit Martyrs.jpg

Saint Isaac Jogues wrote, “My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings”

Saint John de Brébeuf, pray for us. 

Saint Isaac Jogues, pray for us. 

Saint Gabriel Lalemant, pray for us. 

Saint Anthony Daniel, pray for us 

Saint Charles Garnier, pray for us. 

Saint Noël Chabanel, pray for us. 

Saint René Goupil, pray for us. 

Saint John de la Lande, pray for us.

Saint Stanislaus, bishop & martyr

St Stanislaus, BM-2.jpgAs a child my sister, cousin and I were enrolled in St Stanislaus School (New Haven, CT) under the guidance of the Vincentians and the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth. The great bishop and martyr has been in my consciousness for some time and it was a privilege to make deeper connections with the saint when I was in Krakow a number of years ago. We Poles regard the sainted bishop and martyr Stanislaus as Poland’s Saints Thomas Becket and Thomas More who took a stand against societal and governmental injustice. Today, we’d use the term “speak truth to power” to capture what Stanislaus did in his native Poland.

The Collect for today’s Mass reads, “Father, to honor you, Saint Stanislaus faced martyrdom with courage. Keep us strong and loyal in our faith until death.”
Stanislaus was born July 26, 1030, educated in Poland’s capital city Gniezno and at Paris. His skills were recognized by the bishop of Krakow as he was appointed the archdeacon and preacher. In 1072, Stanislaus was elected bishop of Krakow. J. Michael Thompson’s hymn captures the life of Stanislaus:

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James Martin reviews “Of Gods and Men”

The culture editor at America Magazine Jesuit Father James Martin, reviews the stunning movie “Of Gods and Men” on Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. His comments are worth hearing.

Here is a previous post on “Of Gods and Men” with a few links to other pages including Prior Christian de Cherge’s testament.

Where Shahbaz Bhatti leading us now?

A few times in the last month I’ve mentioned the the tragic death of a brother in the Lord, Shahbaz Bhatti, a Catholic in Pakistan, a voice against oppression. His death should signal for us that religious freedom is not operative around the world as well as out-and-out persecution of Christians is a too frequent occurrence. Just read the end of the year stats on the deaths of people just because they are Christian published by the Vatican office of Evangelization of Peoples. We can’t under-estimate the our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world face just because they utter Jesus’ name as Lord and Savior: they face death and oppression daily.

In a recently published essay, “The Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti, Jesuit Father Luciano Larivera, explores the details of a  Christian’s murder by Islamic extremists. He writes in his summary, “On March 2, a commando of an Islamic terrorist group assassinated Shahbaz Bhatti, 42, the minister of Religious Minorities in Pakistan. He was a Catholic, and is already considered a martyr for the faith and interreligious dialogue. Let us quote the spiritual testament. As with the governor of the province of the Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, who was killed Jan. 4, Bhatti had fought for the abolition, or at least for the reform, of the law against blasphemy and the liberation of Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to be hung for insulting Muhammad. Pakistan is torn apart by numerous tensions and an internal power struggle. Religious violence and intimidation have weakened the Government’s action. The country needs the restoration of an effective criminal justice system, which also prevents and sanctions crimes against religious minorities. La Civiltà Cattolica (3859, 2011, II, pp. 81-90) carries the essay.

The UK’s Guardian carried this obit for Shahbaz Bhatti.

St Shahbaz Bhatti? — Paul Bhatti fills brother’s shoes

Some people are
suggesting that the Catholic bishops of Pakistan may petition the Pope to say
that the recently murdered Shahbaz Bhatti is a martyr. More will be known
on or after the March 25th meeting of the bishops. Bhatti was gunned down on Marc in Islamabad. 
Pakistan has about 2.5 Christians. 

Bishop Andrew Francis
of Multan: “Bhatti is a man who gave his life for his crystalline faith in
Jesus Christ. It is up to us, the bishops, to tell his story and
experience to the church in Rome, to call for official recognition of his

Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha of Lahore and president of the
Conference of Bishops said: “The murder of Shahbaz Bhatti means that we
have lost a great leader of our community who stood up for us and articulated
the concerns and fears of our people. We do not have a leader now. Our people
are quite down. They are fearful of the future.”

In the meantime, Paul Bhatti, MD, has been appointed by Pakistan’s Prime Minister to work with minorities, the same job his brother had.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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