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     Home > Audiences and Angelus >  2013-06-24 16:55:04
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Pope says going against current for sake of Gospel is martyrdom

24 June, 2013 - Have the courage to “go against the current” and don’t allow yourselves be robbed of hope by values that harm, like food gone bad. This was the exhortation of Pope Francis on Sunday, when he addressed some 80 thousand pilgrims and visitors who had gathered in Rome’s St. Peter’s Square, to recite the weekly midday ‘Angelus’ prayer with him. Speaking from his studio window overlooking the square, the Pope recalled Jesus’ words in Sunday’s Gospel: “Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.” He urged the faithful to follow the example of the martyrs in losing their lives for Christ, even if they do not suffer violence for their faith. “Both in the past and today, in many parts of the world there are martyrs, both men and women, who are imprisoned or killed for the sole reason of being Christian,” he said, noting that there are more martyrs dying violent deaths in modern times than in the early centuries of the Church. “But there is also the daily martyrdom, which does not result in death but is also a loss of life for Christ.” This “daily martyrdom” consists of people “doing their duty with love, according to the logic of Jesus,” Pope Francis stressed that there are fathers and mothers who put their faith into practice concretely by devoting their lives to the good of their families each day. “There are many priests, monks, nuns who give generously with their service to the kingdom of God and the young people who give up their interests to devote their time to children, the disabled and the elderly,” he stated. “Those who serve the truth serve Christ,” he underscored.
In this regard, Pope Francis recalled the figure of St. John the Baptist, whose feast was observed on Monday, June 24. Pointing to him as an example of a man who gave his life for the truth, the Pope said there are many persons, Christians and non-Christians alike, who ‘lose their life’ for the truth. One who serves the truth, serves Christ who said ‘I am the truth,” the Pope said. Pope Francis encouraged all, particularly the young, not to be afraid of going “against the current.” “Just as we don’t want to eat rotten food, we avoid rotten values which ruin lives and deprive us of hope,” the Pope added.


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