Sunday 12th of May the pope proclaimed saints the 800 martyrs from Otranto. A beautiful story. Otranto is a very historical city where Christianity blossomed both in Art and culture (there was a school for those who wanted to learn Greek and Latin, they could also live there…for free) in 1480, Turks, after conquering Constantinople tried to attack Italy to get to Rome. Fleet got to Otranto under siege. Turks sent a message, if the city surrenders, all citizen won’t be killed. The chief of the city decided to resist against 18000 soldiers…..
Unfortunately after 15 days, had to surrender. Turks offered life to those who repudiate Christ. Antonio Primaldo, a dressmaker, said “Brothers until now we fought to defend our country and to survive and for our earthly lords. It is now time to fight to save our souls” so the city choose death just not deny their religion…. The next day 800 men were beheaded.
A good story, from other times. It’s unfortunately still very actual in too many countries across the globe. And in Africa too: Nigeria, Kenya….
John Paul II, talking about them said “martyrs left us two fundamental legacies: love for the country and authenticity of faith. A Christian loves his country and love for the country is a Christian virtue,
Today I thought about this during the Pentecost, talking about the Holy Ghost. It was the Holy ghost that made those people strong, years ago, and still does, for each one of us.
During these weeks in the parish we experienced Grace several times: Sunday the 5th of May here in Bozoum we celebrated the Confirmations, and today people whom are preparing for baptism celebrated one of the Catechumen steps.May the Lord open our hearts to the action of the holy ghost to become always better men, better women