“The Church is looking forward to this springtime of young people. We have confidence in you, we expect a lot from you, because we are fully convinced that…the changes and transformations that humanity and the Church require are in your hands,” said Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa Mendieta of Panama.
“Being holy leads us to break out of spiritual and material corruption, of all that which causes us evil and offends God,” he said. “A saint defends the defenseless – the unborn, but also the born child who is destitute, a saint defends migrants, seeks justice, prays, lives in and loves the community, is joyful and has a sense of humor, is always striving, breaks out of mediocrity, lives the mercy of God and shares it with his neighbor.”
Read more what the Archbishop said; https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/world-youth-day-kicks-off-with-message-have-the-courage-to-be-saints-27126
Early Christians expected suffering. Christ had died on the cross, so there was no higher honor than to imitate that death through accepting martyrdom (witness by one’s blood). The Jewish legacy portrayed, in writings such as the Fourth Book of the Maccabees, the glorious nature of death rather than renunciation of Israel; even without this, Christianity would inevitably have held the martyr’s death in high esteem. As the writer of 1 Peter expressed it, “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.” (4:16).
Nowadays Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. While Christian persecution takes many forms, it is defined as any hostility experienced as a result of identification with Christ. Christian torture remains an issue for believers throughout the world including the risk of imprisonment, loss of home and assets, physical torture, beheadings, rape and even death as a result of their faith.
Trends show that countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are intensifying persecution against Christians, and perhaps the most vulnerable are Christian women, who often face double persecution for faith and gender.
Every day we receive new reports of Christians who face threats, unjust imprisonment, harassment, beatings and even loss of family because of their faith in Jesus.
Watch it here; https://www.opendoorsusa.org/christian-persecution/world-watch-list/
Two bombs exploded at a cathedral in the southern Philippines on Sunday, killing 20 people and wounding scores of others, officials said.
The blasts occurred in the morning as people were gathered for Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, the capital of Sulu Province, said Col. Gerry Besana, a spokesman for the military. The bombs were believed to be homemade. He said one of the bombs exploded inside the church, while the other exploded in a nearby parking lot as congregants panicked and rushed outside.
Read full story; https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/27/world/asia/philippines-jolo-cathedral-bombing.html