The Holy Father's Message for the Beatification of the Spanish Martyrs of the Twentieth Century
Dear Brothers and Sisters, greetings!
I would like to express my heartfelt participation in the celebration which is taking place in Tarragona, in the course of which a large number of Pastors, consecrated people and lay members of the faith are being proclaimed Blessed Martyrs.
Who are the martyrs? They are Christians who have been “earned” by Christ, disciples who have learnt well the sense of that “love to the extreme limit” which led Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in installments, no such thing as portions of love. Total love: and when we love, we love till the end. On the Cross, Jesus felt the weight of death, the weight of sin, but he gave himself over to the Father entirely, and he forgave. He barely spoke, but he gave the gift of life. Christ “beats” us in love; the martyrs imitated him in love until the very end.
The Holy Fathers say: “Let’s imitate the martyrs!” We must always die a little in order to come out of ourselves, of our selfishness, of our well-being, of our laziness, of our sadnesses, and open up to God, to others, especially those who need it most.
We implore the intercession of the martyrs, that we may be concrete Christians, Christians in deeds and not just in words, that we may not be mediocre Christians, Christians painted in a superficial coating of Christianity without substance – they weren’t painted, they were Christians until the end. We ask them for help in keeping our faith firm, that even throughout our difficulties we may nourish hope and foster brotherhood and solidarity.
And I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin protect you.