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Friday 16 April |
Saint of the Day: St. Bernadette Soubirous
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Venerable Esther Paniagua Alonso and Venerable María Caradad Álvarez Martín

Martyrs of Algeria

ESTHER AND CARADAD;

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Religious Sisters and Martyrs (d. 1994)

Their story

+ Esther was born in Izagre, Spain, in 1949, and entered the Augustinian Missionary Sisters at the age of 18.

+ Trained as a nurse, she was assigned to serve in a hospital in Algiers, Algeria. She had a special love for the disabled children she served there.

+ Maria Caridad was born in Santa Cruz de Salceda, Spain, in 1933. She entered the Augustinian Missionary Sisters in 1955. She spent more than 30 years in Algeria, serving the poor and the elderly.

+ Sisters Esther and Maria Caridad were murdered by Muslim fundamentalists of the Armed Islamic Group in the Bab-el-Oud neighborhood as they were making their way to Mass.

+ These two women were recognized as martyrs along with 17 other Algerian martyrs on January 26, 2018. The Martyrs of Algeria will be beatified on December 8, 2018. Among the martyrs to be honored are the Trappist monks of Tibhirine.

Spiritual Bonus

On this day, certain dioceses and religious communities celebrate a special feast in honor of the Most Holy Redeemer. The feast honors the grace of redemption offered by Christ and was first celebrated in Venice in 1576 in thanksgiving for the end of a plague that was ravaging the city.

For reflection

The souls of the Saints are rejoicing in heaven, the Saints who followed the footsteps of Christ, and since for love of him they shed their blood, they now exult with Christ for ever.”—Entrance Antiphon for the Mass in honor of Several Martyrs

Prayer

May the sight of the great number of your holy Martyrs gladden us, O Lord, making our faith stronger and bringing us consolation by the prayers of them all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal Missal: Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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