At the conclusion of his June 14 general audience, Pope Francis recommended devotion to St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), whose memorial the Church celebrated the previous day.
Describing the saint as a “distinguished preacher and patron of the poor and the suffering,” the Pope told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square:
Dear young people, imitate the linearity of his Christian life; dear people who are sick, never tire of asking God the Father with his intercession for what you need; and you, dear newlyweds, compete in his school in knowledge of the word of God.
The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka said recently that there have been 190 incidents of anti-Christian violence since 2015, including at least 20 this year.
Muslims have also been subjected to attacks.
“The failure of the police to protect people subjected to violence is an abdication of the government’s duty to protect all citizens equally,” stated the National Peace Council, according to a June 5 AsiaNews report.
The council added, “The rise in verbal and physical violence has been accompanied by public statements that Sri Lanka is a Sinhalese and Buddhist country with the implication that ethnic and religious minorities have a lesser place.”
The nation of 22.2 million is 70% Buddhist, 13% Hindu, 10% Muslim, and 6% Catholic.
A Guatemalan bishop who has traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council emphasized that “people must have a right to migrate when their very lives are at stake, when their own country does not provide them with their basic right to live a dignified life.”
“A human being is worth more than money or than the international politics of countries who are only interested in their protecting own wellbeing,” said Bishop Álvaro Ramazzini of Huehuetenango. “I feel outrage when I consider that the poverty of so many people in Guatemala is the result of an unjust economic system. It must be reformed.”