- Feb 24, 2020
A Polish researcher has published the first study of religious practices among Christian prisoners at Auschwitz-Birkenau, as the 75th anniversary of the Nazi-run death camp’s liberation was marked in Israel and Poland.
A longtime effort of Kolbe Prison Ministries and Texas diocesan correction ministries, Kolbe prison retreats, named for the Polish martyr, offer incarcerated men and women the chance to experience God’s redemptive grace and mercy with a weekend featuring the sacraments, small-group sharing and more, organizers said.
Pope Francis’s ‘Mairoem hac dilectionem’ does not create another category of martyrdom, but an alternative category. Martyrs, for example, do not require a miracle for beatification; oblatio vitae cases still do. On the other hand, candidates for beatification are required to have lived a life of “heroic virtue.” The oblatio vitae category requires a life of “ordinary virtue,” which should be reasonably easy to demonstrate for anyone proposed for beatification.
By creating a new pathway to sainthood for the “offer of life,” meaning giving up one’s life for others, Pope Francis in effect has short-circuited a longstanding debate about many victims of contemporary anti-Christian persecution, which is whether their deaths were strictly for religious motives, and thus in keeping with the traditional test for martyrdom of being killed “in odium fidei,” or “hatred of the faith.”