Pope Francis Recommends Witness of Martyrs saying "The cross of Jesus is the cross of all and it is the cross of the Church as the body of Christ, which follows him to the point of sacrifice." FULL TEXT

Clementine Room
Friday, October 14, 2022
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
Mr. Vice President of the nation, his wife,
dear brothers in Christ:
I thank Msgr. José Luis Escobar Alas, Archbishop of San Salvador, for his kind words, and optimists —over there too much—, and all of you for the courtesy you have shown in organizing this pilgrimage to the tomb of Pedro, to thank God for the beatification of the martyrs Rutilio Grande García, Cosme Spessotto, Manuel Solórzano and Nelson Rutilio.
The martyrs, we all know, are "a free gift from the Lord", as Blessed Cosimo Spessotto affirmed, the most precious gift that God can give the Church, because in them that "greatest love" that Jesus showed us is actualized on the cross. His blood is not joined to that of the Savior simply by virtue of the imitation of the disciple to his master, or of the servant to his Lord, but it is a form of mystical union, which the Fathers have seen represented in the drops of blood that covered the body of Jesus in Gethsemane (cf. Saint Augustine, Exposition of Psalm 85). These drops, like rubies embroidered on the seamless mantle of Jesus, are precious jewels for which we give thanks first of all to God. He is the one who summoned them to this fight, who gave them the strength to achieve victory, and who presents them to us now for our edification and as a path to follow, because the problems did not end, the fight for justice and for the love of the villages follows. And to fight, words are not enough, doctrines are not enough, which is necessary, but they are not enough; Testimonials are enough, and that is what we have to follow. That is why I say that they are a gift for our construction, an immense gift, both for the pilgrim Church in El Salvador and for the universal Church, and their meaning will always remain in the mystery of God.
This reality can and must be deepened in our communities. It is interesting to note that the first fruit of the death of the blessed was the restoration of unity in the Church. This fact was highlighted by Saint Óscar Romero at Father Rutilio Grande's funeral mass, March 14, 1977, when he wrote excitedly how "the clergy huddles together with their bishop", assuming that it is in this testimony of unity that "the faithful understand that there is an illumination of faith that is leading us, [...] a motivation of love». I felt the life of these martyrs very much, I lived it a lot, I lived the conflict of pro and con. And it is a personal devotion: at the entrance of my study I have a small painting with a piece of the bloody alb of Saint Óscar Romero and a small catechesis by Rutilio Grande, to remind me that there are always injustices that must be fought for, and they led the way.
Saint Óscar Romero concluded his homily by saying: "Let us understand this Church, let us be inspired by this love, let us live this faith and I assure you that there is a solution to our great problems." There's a solution. It seems to me that this could be a good itinerary to “ruminate” in prayer this word that, through the blood of these witnesses, God has pronounced to the Church of El Salvador. Our realities are surely not those of that time, but the call to commitment, to fidelity, to put faith in God and love for one's brother first, to live in hope, is timeless, because it is the gospel, a gospel alive, which is not learned from books, but from the lives of those who have transmitted to us the deposit of faith.
In these moments in which we are called to reflect on the synodality of the Church, we have in these martyrs the best example of this "walking together", since Father Grande was martyred while "walking towards his people" (cf. Saint Óscar Romero , Homily March 14, 1977). That is what each one of you, bishops, priests and pastoral agents, ask the Lord today, to be like that “priest —Rutilio— with his peasants —Blessed Manuel and Nelson—, always on the way to his town to identify with them , to live with them” (cf. ibid). That same message appears in a homily by Father Rutilio, when he says that this walk together cannot be satisfied with a "walk" to discover new things, it is not a walk. No. A walk to the saint in an image of devotion, for example, but implies, above all, assuming the testimony of faith, hope, love that this saint left us in his life.
The message of these martyrs calls us to identify ourselves with their passion which, as we have said, is the actualization of the passion of Christ in the present moment, embracing the cross that the Lord offers each one of us personally. And this project of the journey, of the spiritual journey, of prayer, of struggle, sometimes has to take the form of denunciation, of protest, not political, never, always evangelical. As long as there are injustices, as long as the just claims of the people are not heard, as long as in a country there are signs of immaturity in the path of fullness of the People of God, our voice must be there against evil, against lukewarmness in the Church, against everything that separates us from human dignity and from the preaching of the Gospel.
The cross of Jesus is the cross of all and it is the cross of the Church as the body of Christ, which follows him to the point of sacrifice. Let us encourage each other, let us think of those who are in difficulty in our town: the poorest, the prisoners, those who cannot afford to live, the sick, the discarded. And let us thank God for being able to walk with the strength of faith to serve our people. May God bless you and may the Virgin take care of you. Thanks.
Source: Vatican.va with Screenshot