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Martyrdom

Speaking about matters of faith

Sunday’s First Reading (Acts 7: 55-60)

‘Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at God’s right hand. ‘I can see heaven thrown open’ he said ‘and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ At this all the members of the council shouted out and stopped their ears with their hands; then they all rushed at him, sent him out of the city and stoned him. The witnesses put down their clothes at the feet of a young man called Saul. As they were stoning him, Stephen said in invocation, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

Westminster Genocide debate - write to your MP now!

When will the West listen?

A motion is to be put before the UK Parliament next week calling on the House to recognise that Christians and other minority groups in the Middle East are facing genocide.


The terror being wrought by ISIS is well known to all, though the fact that it is mainly targeted towards Christians is not so well documented in the West.


This is an opportunity for the UK government to take a stand against ISIS by declaring their actions to be a genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities.

Pope Francis: Church needs consistent witness


Pope Francis has urged people to more consistent in their faith, even to the point of martyrdom.  During his morning homily at Casa Santa Marta on Thursday the pope described the true Christian witness as someone who is “consistent” in what he says, what he does, and what he has received, namely the Holy Spirit. 


He continued: “It is the witness of our martyrs today – so many! – chased out of their homeland, driven away, having their throats cut, persecuted: they have the courage to confess Jesus even to the point of death.

Pope Francis sends special envoy to Glasgow for St John Ogilvie Mass

Pope Francis has sent a special envoy to Glasgow to celebrate a special Mass for the 400th anniversary of St John Ogilvie's martyrdom.
 
The Mass will take place in St Andrew's Cathedral on Tuesday 10th March at 7.30pm and the pope will be represented by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, the former Archbishop of Westminster.
 
In his homily, Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will tell the congregation that: "St John Ogilvie and the martyrs remind us that there is a line that they will not cross and that faithfulness to Christ is non-negotiable even at the cost of their lives.

Huge Catholic Youth Event in Scotland Aims to Unite in Solidarity with Persecuted Christians

 
Aid to the Church in Need, an organisation which helps persecuted Christians around the world through prayer, information and action, is inviting Catholic High Schools and Universities from all over Scotland to gather in Carfin on 11th June in a show of solidarity with persecuted Christians.
 
The event, which will take place at Carfin Grotto near Motherwell, is expected to be the largest ever gathering of young Catholics in Scotland.
 
Beginning with the midday Angelus, the event will then play host to a programme of Adoration, music and guest speakers.

Pope Francis Urges Catholics to Preserve the Faith

 
During his recent trip to South Korea Pope Francis urged all Catholic people to preserve the faith and to never be tempted to water it down.
 
The pope said, "We today can find our faith challenged by the world, and in countless ways we are asked to compromise our faith, to water down the radical demands of the Gospel and to conform to the spirit of this age.  Yet the martyrs call out to us to put Christ first and to see all else in this world in relation to him and his eternal Kingdom.

Dwelling on the Word of God: not a hair on your head will be lost (Wednesday 27th November 2013)

 
From today’s Gospel (Luke 21:12-19)
 
‘You will be hated by all men on account of my name, but not a hair of your head will be lost. Your endurance will win you your lives.’’
 
 
Jesus, in today’s Gospel, gives us another warning.  This time he speaks of how we will be persecuted in his name and that even close family members will betray us!  Some of us may even be put to death!  Yet, our all-loving God tells us that, despite this, not one single solitary hair on our heads will be lost.

Dwelling on the Word of God: Dying with a certain faith (Wednesday 20th November 2013)

St Bartholomew was skinned alive for his faith
 
From today’s reading (2 Maccabees 7:1,20-31)
 
‘I do not know how you appeared in my womb; it was not I who endowed you with breath and life, I had not the shaping of your every part. It is the creator of the world, ordaining the process of man’s birth and presiding over the origin of all things, who in his mercy will most surely give you back both breath and life, seeing that you now despise your own existence for the sake of his laws.’’
 

Dwelling on the Word of God: Rejecting Christ (Thursday 31st October 2013)

Taken from today's Gospel (Luke 13:31-35)
 
‘Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused! So be it! Your house will be left to you. Yes, I promise you, you shall not see me till the time comes when you say:
‘Blessings on him who comes in the name of the Lord!’
 
 
After a few days focusing on the letters of St Paul today we turn back to the words of Jesus in the Gospel.

Walk the Streets of the World and Proclaim your Faith in Christ says Pope Francis on World Mission Day

 
 
Pope Francis has released his message to the world for World Mission Day 2013.  In it he speaks about how faith “needs our personal response” and that it is a gift that we cannot keep to ourselves but must share.  He said “if we want to keep it only to ourselves, we will become isolated, sterile and sick Christians.”
He also speaks about the missionary task of Christian people to “walk the streets of the world with our brothers and sisters, proclaiming and witnessing to our faith in Christ and making ourselves heralds of his Gospel.
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