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Vigil commemorating our modern-day missionary martyrs

03/04/2019: General House

Each year in Rome a prayer vigil is celebrated to remember our modern-day missionary martyrs. This year it took place on March 21, Missionary Martyrs Day. It was organized by various groups of the Diocese of Rome together with the Saint Egidio Community. Some members from our General House participated.

In 2018 forty missionaries met a violent death. The paraliturgy honoring them was preceded by a procession that began at the Basilica of Saint Anastasia, very near where the first Christian martyrs of Rome gave their witness to the Faith. Scripture passages, other readings, and praying the Missionary Rosary accompanied the pilgrims on their way to the Tiber Island and the Basilica of Saint Bartholomew, which was dedicated to the martyrs of the 20th and 21st centuries by Pope John Paul II.

There they viewed a video of Brother Jean Pierre Schumacher’s testimony; he is the only surviving witness to the massacre in Tibhirine, Algeria. Then the names of all the missionaries who gave their lives for the Gospel were recited. They gave their lives in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and Europe. As each name was was read, a candle was lit, as four crucifixes, representing the home continents of the deceased missionaries were carried in procession to the altar.

Br. Antonio Martinez Estaun, Postulator General

Foto: Comunità di Sant'Egidio

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