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29 November

Saint Saturnius

Marist Calendar - November

Why have hundreds of thousands of Christians been persecuted?



The century of martyrs

01/06/2019: General House

Today I want to present and invite people to read another book that has caught my attention: El siglo de lost mártires, Ediciones Encuentro 2019. The original was published in Italian in 2000. Andrea Ricardi the historian, and founder of the Comunità di Sant Egidio of Rome, has entered into the great archive of the Commission for New Martyrs, where letters can be accessed, indications, memoirs that, in these latter years have arrived from all parts of the world to Rome at the request of our Pope, Saint John Paul II. This book has beenwritten with the material obtained from that consultation. Given the little space taken up by Agios.Mar, I will limit myself to copying the text from the back cover. 


The XX century produced the declarations of human rights, but also hundreds of millions of victims slaughtered in genocides, civil and world wars, deportations, annihilations of ethnic groups, classes, religious or ideological groups, etc. 

In that context, Christians of all persuasions suffered martyrdom in unheard of numbers. This book tracks its history, framing it in its respective political circumstances: the martyrdom of the Armenians, in the Turkey of "the new Turks"; the orthodox Russians, in Soviet Russia; the Mexican Catholics, in the Mexico of the liberal revolution; the martyrs of Spain, in the anarchist and socialist revolution parallel to the civil war; Central Europe, under Nazi, Fascist and communist totalitarianism; the Christian minorities of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in revolutions and decolonization; not forgetting the unstable republics of Spanish America nor the "martyrs of charity." 

This martyrdom of colossal dimensions constitutes a decisive key to understanding the present and serves as a guide for the future, professing or not professing the faith of the victims. The author shares the vision of Saint John Paul II: in the weakness of those who gave their life forgiving,  confiding in a divine power that is the light of humanity amid the darkness in which each generation fights for good and freedom. 


Why have hundreds of thousands of Christians been persecuted? This book covers the history of Christians murdered in the XX century for their beliefs. The reading of these histories is already a deserved homage to its main characters. 


Brother Antonio Martínez Estaún, Postulator General 

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