- Sep 21, 2020
Is the juxtaposition of “the new martyrs” vs. “the old martyrs” in the Church really fair? It suggests that while martyrs used to be killed for hatred of the faith, they now die for “odium amoris” and other formulations of the canon law requirements for martyrdom. It may simply be that the “New Martyrs” seem “new” to us because of the novelty that their martyrdoms happened in the cultural context of our modern times.
Pope Francis will visit the Church of San Bartolomeo on Rome’s Tiber Island on Saturday in order to celebrate the memory of the Church’s contemporary martyrs. Although the total number of Christians killed each year for reasons linked to their faith is staggering, here’s a sampling of some of those who were killed in what St. John Paul II called ‘odium amoris,’ meaning ‘hatred of love.’
Pope Francis said, “that it would be very good if the places associated with Romero — his relics, the place where he was killed and where he was born — would become places of pilgrimage,” when speaking about Blessed Oscar Romero whose cause for canonization is being examined.
The assassination of Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande in 1977 is believed to have inspired Blessed Oscar Romero in his concern for the poor. Today Grande is inspiring another Salvadoran archbishop, Jose Luis Escobar Alas, who issued a pastoral letter March recognizing his country’s many martyrs.
Catholic authorities in El Salvador said Sunday that the Vatican is studying a possible miracle attributed to slain Archbishop Oscar Romero, which could lead to his canonization. Pope Francis was seen as bringing to a close a long standing argument between progressives and conservatives with Romero’s beatification.
El Salvador’s Catholic Church opened a special jubilee year dedicated to Blessed Oscar Romero on Aug. 15, as the search for a miracle attributable to the slain prelate, which would clear the way for declaring him a saint, goes on.