Martyr Fr. Santoro felt called to work as a missionary in Turkey where he was killed, Bible in hand.
“Keep us united in our diversity,” he said, “not so united that it stifles diversity, not so diverse that it suffocates unity.”
In particular, Father Santoro had a heart for the poor and the exploited, always advocating on their behalf. He soon became a reference point for many people, and with all the attention, he also began to receive threats. In fact, three months before his murder, Father Santoro’s telephone was tapped by the Turkish police.
On February 5, 2006, while kneeling in his church in Trabzon, he was shot twice from behind by 16-year-old Oğuzhan Akdin.
May his heroic legacy of dialogue and compassion live on long after his martyrdom.