Martyrs – Witnesses of God’s Love

While the headlines celebrate the sacrifice of Archbishop Oscar Romero, the Church declared three other martyrs this week. Two were Conventual Franciscan Friars.

n201132_018Friars Michal Tomaszek and Zbigniew Strzalkowski served in Peru in the 1980s and were killed by guerrillas from the Shining Path Movement that terrorized the Peruvian people. To read more about the Friars and their heroic service, please visit the international Conventual Franciscan website by clicking here.

The other martyr was Father Alessandro Dordi, a diocesan priest from Bergamo. He was also killed in 1991 by the guerrillas.

Today when we use the word martyr, we’re speaking about those who have given their lives for the faith. But the original meaning, a witness, adds another dimension to our understanding.

By witnessing with their lives, martyrs show the true meaning of the Cross and Resurrection. Through their imitation of Christ, they challenge each of us to examine the Gospel message and follow in their path toward God.

“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." (John 12:24)