Vatican City, May 2, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In a message sent to Bishop Salvatore Boccaccio of Frosinone, on the 17th centenary of the death of St. Ambrose, co-patron of the diocese, Pope John Paul II said the advance of secularism in societies formerly evangelized demands a heroic response of Christian sanctity.
In his message, the Pope recalled that “"In our times, secularism advances, threatening to lead societies of former evangelization to forms of agnosticism that constitute a real challenge for believers."
"In this context, the testimony of those who, out of fidelity to Christ and to the Gospel, have not hesitated to give their lives, acquires extraordinary eloquence. With their example, they encourage Christians to a courageous consistency to the point of heroism,” he said.
The Pope explained that, "Only those who are capable of following him to the end are able to place themselves without reservations at the service of man, the first and fundamental way of the mission of believers in the world."