Vatican City, Jan 27, 2017 / 05:08 am
In a speech to Catholic and Oriental Orthodox leaders, Pope Francis pointed, as he often does, to the example of Christian martyrs from various Churches, saying that in their death, those killed for their faith bear witness not only to Christ, but also the unity he prayed for.
On the path toward full unity, "the martyrs show us the way," the Pope said Jan. 27. "How many times has the sacrifice of their lives led Christians, otherwise divided in so many things, to unity!"
Those who have given their lives in fidelity to Christ, no matter their rite or tradition, are already united, he said, adding that "their names are written in the one common martyrology of God's Church."
"Just as in the early Church the blood of the martyrs was the seed of new Christians, so in our own day may the blood of so many martyrs be a seed of unity between believers, a sign and instrument of a future of communion and peace," he said.