By Sr. María Fuentes, SHM
Recently, we attended the beatification of over a hundred martyrs from the religious persecution that took place in Spain at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a very beautiful ceremony and very well prepared. Before the celebration of the Holy Mass began, we prayed a Rosary accompanied by testimonies of several martyrs who were going to be beatified. The entire celebration was full of reverence and the words of Cardinal Angelo Amato helped us penetrate into the mystery we were celebrating. There is no doubt that such an event as this one has been an immense grace for the diocese in which it took place, as well as for the entire Church. And yet… yet?... Well, yes. There was a “yet,” and not a small one at that. A “yet” which had to do with the quantity, condition, and attitude of those present. [I mention] quantity, because there were many empty seats. Having in mind that we are speaking about 115 martyrs and that a large number of those present were relatives of those being beatified, there were very few others. That is the truth… Not even the seats reserved by the organization were filled.
By Sr. Elvira Garro, SHM
Saint Justin, philosopher and martyr, was born into a pagan family in Flavia Neapolis (Nablus), Samaria, around the year 100. He searched for the truth for a long time as he wandered throughout the different schools of traditional Greek philosophy, until he finally found the Christian faith. He is the most important Apologetic Father of the second century.
By Sr. Ana María Cabezuelo, SHM
On March 7, 203, saints Perpetua and Felicity died as martyrs in Carthage (África).
During the persecution of Emperor Severo, there were five catechumens who were arrested in Carthage: Revocatus, Felicity, Saturninus, Secundulus, and Vivie Perpetua.
This last one was a young mother, only 22 years old. She was legitimately wed and had a little boy only a few months old. She was from a very rich and esteemed family.
Felicity was Perpetua's young maid servant.She was pregnant and while in prison, gave birth to a little girl who had to be raised by the other Christians.
Also with them, was the Deacon Saturno, who had instructed them in the faith and had prepared them for baptism. He did not want to abandon them, and as they had not taken him prisoner, he presented himself voluntarily.
By Sr. Gema Díaz, SHM
Stephen means “crowned” (ste: crown). He is referred to as the “protomartyr” because he was given the honor of being the first martyr to shed his blood in proclaiming his faith in Jesus Christ.
"Blessed are you, Stephen, who by proclaiming your love for Christ while on earth, obtained the crown of martyrdom and the possession of the Glory of Heaven with Him for whom you died. Grant that we may obtain from our Lord, Jesus Christ, the same grace of imitating you in your love for our enemies, thus allowing us to give our lives, forgiving them with all our heart."
By Fr. Rafael Alonso
"As Jesus walked along the shore of the Seas of Galilee, He saw Simon Peter..."
The apostle St. Peter is often mentioned in the New Testament: in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Letters of St. Paul. His name appears 182 times. We know that he was born in Bethsaida, a small town on Lake Tiberias. He moved to Capernaum, where he was a fisherman along with John and James, sons of Zebedee. They had established a sort of fishing business together. There is evidence enough to assume that Andrew (Peter’s brother) and possibly even Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist and had therefore prepared their hearts for the arrival of the Messiah. Peter was a bit primary, impulsive, astute yet simple, struggling with his abrupt and temperamental character, but with a heart open to the truth. Christ would transform him in his character, through suffering.
By Sr. Emma Haynes S.H.M.
“Full of love, you sink your gaze into mine. And bend your ear to my quiet words. And deeply fill my heart with peace. Your body mysteriously permeates mine. And your soul unites with mine: I am no longer what once I was.You come and go, but the seed That you sowed for future glory, remains behind.”
By Fr. Dominic Feehan, SHM
Ellen Organ or “Little Nellie of Holy God” was particularly dedicated to the Eucharist, which she loved in a special way. Her life story inspired Pope Pius X to admit young children to Holy Communion.
By Sr. Isabel Jordán, SHM
Fire, sword, and apostolic zeal are what most characterized the man destined to become one of the main pilars of the early Church, although obviously not by his own merits. This magnanimous soul was able to set afire with the Holy Spirit an entire empire abounding in vice, idolatry, and corruption.
By Fr. Felix López, SHM
On August 14, 1941, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, Conventual Franciscan and Martyr of Charity, died in the concentration camp of Auschwitz. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the heroic offering of his life, by taking the place of a fellow prisoner who was condemned to die of hunger. In the following article, we would like to summarize his life and apostolate, by concentrating on a few testimonies of those who lived with him during the last months of his life. These testimonies permit us to discover his greatness of soul, his heroic charity, and his unconditional love for the Immaculate, all of which were the source of the final oblation of his life.
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