Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Tuesday 03 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Martin
home iconChurch
line break icon

There will always be martyrs, says Pope Francis


Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/11/19

Praises Ukrainians who risked their lives to give future generations "an eloquent witness of firm faith, of living faith, of Catholic faith"

Pope Francis says that the fidelity of the martyrs is a gift from the Lord and that the Christian community will always have martyrs among us.

Francis said this as he continued his reflection on Acts of the Apostles and the ministry of St. Paul on his way to Rome, in chains for the Gospel.

The pope said at the general audience that before arriving with the pilgrims from all over the world, he had met with a group from a Ukrainian diocese.

“How this people has been persecuted! How much they have suffered for the Gospel! But they did not negotiate their faith. They are an example,” he said.

Francis noted that martyrdom is very much a reality today.

Today in the world, in Europe, so many Christians are persecuted and give their lives for their faith, or are persecuted “with white gloves,” that is, they are set aside, marginalized…

But martyrdom, he continued, is “the air we breathe in the life of a Christian, of a Christian community.”

There will always be martyrs among us: this is the sign that we are walking along the way of Jesus. It is a blessing from the Lord, that there may be among the people of God, someone who gives a witness of martyrdom.

When Francis met with the Ukrainian pilgrims, he remembered the martyr Blessed Bishop Teodor Romža, “who in the darkest moments of your history was able to guide God’s people with evangelical wisdom and courage; a tireless man, following the example of Christ the Good Shepherd, to the point of giving his life for his flock.”

And he went on to praise all the ordinary people, the “ancestors, grandparents and grandmothers, fathers and mothers” of these pilgrims:

who in the intimacy of their homes, and often under the watchful eye of the hostile regime, risking their freedom and their lives, transmitted the teaching of the truth of Christ and offered to future generations, of whom you are representatives, an eloquent witness of firm faith, of living faith, of Catholic faith.


Read more:
In Lviv, Ukraine, a modest apartment is a shrine to the faith of martyrs

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 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
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.