Pope: The service, prayer and faith that Stephen preaches are not in vain

May Mary, Queen of Martyrs, help us bear witness to Jesus, the Pope said on the liturgical feast of St. Stephen the First Martyr.

The Pope recalled that the day after Christmas was the feast of St. Stephen the First Martyr, “a man of impeccable reputation who served at tables and gave alms.” – It is because of this generous honesty that he cannot but testify to what is most dear to him: his faith in Jesus, which arouses the anger of his opponents who kill him by stoning him without mercy – he said, adding that the execution was witnessed by a young man Saul, persecutor of Christians.

He then compared the completely opposite attitudes of Saul and Stephen: the persecutor and the persecuted, the fundamentalism of the young Pharisee and the condemned man. But, as he noted, “despite appearances, there is something great that unites them: thanks to Stephen’s testimony, the Lord is already preparing in Saul’s heart, even though he does not know it, a conversion that will lead him to the great to become an apostle. Paul Service, prayer and faith “that Stephen preaches, especially his forgiveness at the time of death, are not in vain.”

He emphasized that today, two thousand years later, the persecution continues: “There are still, and there are many, those who suffer and die to bear witness to Jesus, as well as those who are punished at various levels for acting in accordance with the Gospel, and those who struggle every day in silence to be faithful to their good duties, while the world ridicules them and preaches otherwise.

Martyrdom is not wasted

The Pope pointed out that martyrs for the faith also seem like losers, but today we see that this is not the case. “Now, as then, the seed of their sacrifice, which seemed to die, germinates and bears fruit, because God continues to work miracles through them to change hearts and save people,” Francis said.

He encouraged us to reflect: “As I care for and pray for those who in different parts of the world are still suffering and dying for their faith, I seek consistently, gently and confidently to testify to the Gospel, I believe that the seeds of good will bear fruit, even if I don’t see immediate results.”

Finally, the Pope added: – May Mary, Queen of Martyrs, help us bear witness to Jesus.

Source: Do Rzeczy