Tag Archives: martyr

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
martyrdom.”

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.

Is there a desire for God still present today?

A few days ago I recommended seeing “Of Gods and Men.” Last week I saw the film and I have still been thinking of the movie, the monks, the hard work of inter-religious dialog. The testament of Dom Christian de Cherge can be read here. I highly recommend reading what Prior Christian said and what others think. A group of friends took time to see the movie together. Two friends brought a perspective of the film to my attention recently. The following is an an answer to those who ask whether a desire for God is still present in our times. Angelo Scola writes: 

I believe that the worldwide success of the film on the Tibhirine
monks [U.S. Title: “Of Gods and Men”] reflects a burning desire in the men and
women of any latitude to meet the face of God; it therefore reflects the real
need we all feel for authentic witnesses who may help us keep our gazes focused
upwards.

Authentic witness is, in fact, not limited to “giving a good example”.
It shines in all its wholeness as a method for practically knowing reality and
communicating truth. It is a primary value, standing above any other form of
knowledge and communication – scientific, philosophical, theological, artistic,
etc.

Christian de Chergé.jpg

A luminous example of this method is offered by the very words which Fr
Christian de Chergé, prior of the Trappist monastery of Notre-Dame de l’Atlas
in Tibhirine, Algeria, wrote in his spiritual will [noted above], a good three years before
he was massacred with his monks:

“When the time comes, I would like to be able
to have an instant of lucidity that would allow me to ask for the pardon of God
and that of men, my brothers, while forgiving with all my heart those who may
have hit me… I cannot see how I could, in fact, rejoice in that this people I
love could be accused of my assassination. It 

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Christiani Iraquiae, orate pro nobis

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Remembering the women killed in El Salvador 30 years ago

4 El Salvador martyrs.jpgI was quite young when the 4 women were killed in El Salvador in 1980. They were killed months after the Servant of God Archbishop Oscar Romero was killed. Missionaries brutally killed for their faith Christ and service to the poor are part of the landscape of the proclamation of the Gospel. Since my high school days, I have kept these women in prayer, especially since Jean Donovan had a Connecticut connection. They were:

Sister Maura Clarke, MM
Sister Ita Ford, MM
Sister Dorothy Kazal, OSU
Miss Jean Donovan.
The Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers’ remembrance
The Maryknoll Sisters’ remembrance
The Vatican Radio story is here.

Saint Andrew, the First Called, martyr

St Andrew FDuquesnoy.jpg

Saint Andrew, pray for us.
Ask Saint Andrew to ask the Lord for the grace to carry the cross in humility, dignity and in the face of great opposition, opposition found within ourselves and from others. May he ask the Lord to bless the Bishop of Rome, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Scotland, Russia, the Archdiocese of Amalfi and for fish mongers, old maids and singers.

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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