Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Monday 12 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Teresa of the Andes
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope reflects on modern Christian persecution during his first visit to a catacomb

SS Francesco

Divisione Produzione Fotografica | © Vatican Media

Philip Kosloski - published on 11/05/19

On All Souls Day Pope Francis visited the Catacombs of Priscilla and offered a Mass in its small chapel.

On All Souls Day, a day in the liturgical calendar that is set aside to remember all the deceased, Pope Francis visited a Christian catacomb for the first time, celebrating Mass in the small chapel of the Catacombs of Priscilla.

He did so to recall the memory of the first Christian martyrs as well as reflect on the reality of Christians today who are persecuted for their faith and have to hide their Christianity.

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis said in his homily, “it reminds us of those who are persecuted for the faith – not only the ancient Christians, but Christians today, who have to pretend to have a party or celebrate a birthday in order to participate in the liturgy. The Holy Father recalled once again that there are many places, even today, where that is true; indeed there are even more Christians persecuted today than in the ages of persecution.”

He encouraged Christians to remain steadfast in their faith in the midst of such persecution, using the analogy of an anchor and a rope.

“[O]ur hope is in heaven, our hope is anchored there, and we, with the rope in our hand, support ourselves by looking at the bank of the river we have to cross.”Even if we can’t see the other side, we must cling to the rope, he said: “This is important, clinging to the rope!” Often, he concluded, “we  will only see the rope, not even the anchor, or the other shore… but clinging to the rope, you will arrive safely” on the other side.


POPE AUDIENCE

Read more:
Martyrs are everywhere today, says Pope Francis, and we should imitate them with our daily self-denials




Read more:
Pope praying in November: Dialogue and reconciliation in Mideast

Tags:
MartyrsPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
2
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
3
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
6
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
7
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.