CBCP to flock: Help find, tell stories of ‘new martyrs’ | Inquirer News
Murdered for their faith

CBCP to flock: Help find, tell stories of ‘new martyrs’

/ 05:40 AM December 02, 2023

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The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines. (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is calling on the faithful to help the Church discover and document the lives of more Christians who were persecuted and killed for their religious convictions.

It’s a search for “new martyrs” of the faith, who will be given due reverence as part of the Church’s Jubilee celebration in 2025.


Msgr. Bernardino Pantin, the CBCP secretary general, said the bishops had asked all the dioceses, religious congregations, and the various CBCP commissions for help in “gathering the data of Filipinos or foreign missionaries who had been murdered for their faith.”


New commission

The initiative is in response to Pope Francis’ creation of a special commission in July that would look into the modern-day killings of Christians and celebrate them as new martyrs of the 21st Century, Pantin said in his homily at the Manila Cathedral on Nov. 29. The newly formed body is called Commission of New Martyrs-Witnesses of the Faith, which will be under the Dicastery for the Causes of the Saints.

“Here in our country, we also have our share of the faithful who have died for the faith,” Pantin said during the annual “Red Wednesday” Mass, which was held in memory of Christians who remained devout in the face of death.

The names and documentation to be gathered in the Philippines will be sent to Rome where the jubilee festivities will be held in 2025.

The search is not limited to Catholics, Pantin stressed, but open to people of “all Christian confessions.”

“Let us not take our religious freedom for granted but rather cherish and defend it, standing in solidarity with those who suffer for their faith,” he said

250M persecuted

The observance of Red Wednesday is part of the mission of Aid to the Church in Need, a charity group that provides support for Christians being persecuted across the globe.


To mark the occasion, cathedrals and parish churches in the country are lit in red during Mass, which offers prayers for the more than 250 million persecuted Christians.

“In our prayers today, let us remember those who have given up their lives for the faith and lift up before the Lord those who continue to experience persecution,” Pantin said. “May we also be inspired by their faith and resilience in our own walk with Christ.”

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TAGS: Catholic, CBCP, Church, martyr, Persecution

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