VATICAN – Pope Francis believes witnessing in times of persecution “can bear much fruit for the faith”. And invites to pray for the proclamation of the Gospel in China

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VATICAN – Pope Francis believes witnessing in occasions of persecution “can bear a lot fruit for the religion”. And invitations to wish for the proclamation of the Gospel in China

Wednesday, 24 Might 2023

Rome (Agenzia Fides) – Witnessing to the Gospel in occasions of persecution “can bear a lot fruit for the religion”. That is attested by dozens of witnesses and martyrs who confessed their religion in Christ in unfavorable circumstances and in occasions of persecution. Saints like Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon, the primary native priest of Korea and a martyr for the religion, re-proposed right this moment by Pope Francis are among the many figures of “exemplary witnesses” who “train us apostolic zeal”. The Bishop of Rome devoted the brand new catechesis of the cycle devoted to the fervour for the proclamation of the Gospel to the Korean martyr saint, pronounced throughout right this moment’s normal viewers, Wednesday 24 Might. The Pope additionally recalled that the primary proclamation of the Gospel in Korea was the work of the laity: “It was the baptized laity who transmitted the religion, there have been no monks, as a result of they’d none. Then, later… however the first evangelization was finished by the laity. Would we – requested the Pontiff – be able to one thing like that?”
About 200 years in the past – Pope Francis recalled when presenting the determine of Saint Andrew Kim – “the Korean land was the scene of a really extreme persecution: Christians had been persecuted and annihilated. At the moment, believing in Jesus Christ in Korea meant being able to bear witness even unto loss of life”.
On this context, Andrea Kim needed to undertake stratagems even to speak along with his brothers in religion. To acknowledge different Christians – the Pope recalled – “first, there was a beforehand agreed upon signal of recognition: You’ll meet with this Christian and he could have this signal on his outfit or in his hand; And after that, he would surreptitiously ask the query—however all this below his breath, are you a disciple of Jesus?” Since different folks had been watching the dialog, the saint needed to communicate in a low voice, saying just a few phrases, essentially the most important ones. So, for Andrew Kim, the expression that summed up the entire identification of the Christian was “disciple of Christ.” “Are you a disciple of Christ?”- however in a gentle voice as a result of it was harmful. It was forbidden to be a Christian there”.
The Christian – the Pope identified, ranging from the occasions of the lifetime of Saint Andrew Kim – “is by nature one who preaches and bears witness to Jesus. Each Christian group receives this identification from the Holy Spirit, and so does the entire Church, because the day of Pentecost. It’s from this Spirit that we obtain the fervour, the fervour for evangelization, this nice apostolic zeal; it’s a present of the Spirit Who provides”. “And even when the encircling context just isn’t favorable—just like the Korean context of Andrew Kim—it doesn’t change; quite the opposite, it turns into much more priceless. St Andrew Kim and different Korean believers have demonstrated that witnessing to the Gospel in occasions of persecution can bear a lot fruit for the religion.
Within the concluding a part of his catechesis, Pope Francis additionally recounted the time when, as a younger seminarian, with a view to secretly welcome Catholic missionaries from overseas, Saint Andrew Kim needed to stroll within the snow, with out consuming, for therefore lengthy that he fell to the bottom exhausted, risking unconsciousness and freezing. At that time, he immediately heard a voice calling him to rise up and begin strolling once more. “Listening to that voice, Andrew got here to his senses, catching a glimpse of one thing like a shadow of somebody guiding him. This expertise of the good Korean witness” continued the Bishop of Rome “makes us perceive an important facet of apostolic zeal; specifically, the braveness to get again up when one falls”. Even saints fall, the Pope recalled, and this has occurred “from the earliest occasions: Consider St Peter: he commited an awesome sin, however he discovered power in God’s mercy and received up once more”. Regardless of how tough the scenario could also be – the Pope continued – “we should not hand over and we should not forsake pursuing what is crucial in our Christian life: specifically, evangelization”. Impressed by the instance of the good saints, every of us can, “in our personal small means” can “evangelize the household, evangelize pals, speak about Jesus, however speak about Jesus and evangelize with a coronary heart stuffed with pleasure, stuffed with power. And this – the Pope concluded “is given by the Holy Spirit. Allow us to put together to obtain the Holy Spirit this coming Pentecost, and ask Him for that grace, the grace of apostolic braveness, the grace to evangelize, to all the time carry the message of Jesus ahead”.
In concluding the Viewers, Pope Francis additionally recalled that right this moment, Might 24, is the World Day of Prayer for the Catholic Church in China, coinciding with “the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assist of Christians, commemorated and invoked within the shrine of Our Girl of Sheshan, in Shanghai”. On this event, the Successor of Peter needed to “supply an assurance of my remembrance and specific my closeness to our brothers and sisters in China, sharing of their joys and hopes”. The Pope needed to handle “a particular thought” to “all those that undergo, pastors and devoted, that within the communion and solidarity of the common Church they could expertise comfort and encouragement. I invite everybody” added the Pontiff “to lift their prayers to God that the Good Information of Christ crucified and risen could also be proclaimed in its fullness, magnificence, and freedom, bearing fruit for the nice of the Catholic Church and all of Chinese language society”. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 24/5/2023)



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