By expanding sainthood, Francis reflects new realities of anti-Christian violence
Francis on Tuesday may unleashed a theological node that has long tried to venerate the memory of contemporary victims of persecution against Christians, which is: how to make someone who died for their faith, when, technically speaking, he or She was not really a martyr?
Traditionally, a “martyr” means a person who died for his religious beliefs that prove that they were killed in odium fidei or “hatred of the faith.”
Think of early Christians, for example, to die for refusing to sacrifice pagan gods or worship the emperor.
In this scenario, the motives of those who kill Christians must be explicitly religious, not political or economic or whatever.
Although there are still many examples of this type of martyrdom in the 21st century – for example, Christians in India who die for refusing to participate in the ceremonies of “convert” to Hinduism, or French father Jacques Hamel, an 85 year old man , A priest murdered in 2016 by two Muslim men professing allegiance to ISIS – in many other cases modern the traditional test does not match.
In 2011, two Catholic missionaries were killed in Burundi, Croatian Mr. Lukrecija Mamić and Italian secular Francesco Bazzani.
The massacre occurred during a attempted flight Kiremba convent of the Sisters of Charity in Burundi, where she lived and where Mamić Bazzani was a volunteer.
Mamić died immediately when thieves entered the convent, while Bazzani and another nun, Sister Carla Brianza, were taken hostage.
At nine miles away, they stopped and killed Bazzani, while Brianza escaped.
From a strict classical standpoint, his deaths, though tragic, would not qualify as “martyrdom.” The thieves attacked the convent because they thought there would be no elements to steal, and Mamić and Bazzani have begun.
Given the religious demographics of Burundi, there is a good chance that the killers themselves are actually Catholic.
However, the question to be asked: what did Mamić and Bazzani do in Burundi in the first place?
This particular corner of Burundi has been an epicenter of genocidal violence in Africa in the 1990s, and is also one of the most difficult corners of the world by the AIDS pandemic.
It is a dangerous area, largely outlawed and forgotten by the world, where sisters of charity and other religious groups are essentially isolated institutions that still have an operational presence in the region.
Mamić and Bazzani were professionals who should certainly know that there are much safer and more comfortable places to live and work well trained.
In addition to being one of the five poorest places in the world, Burundi is ranked by the index as DHL Global Connection Minimum Global 2012 140 countries surveyed. It has the lowest GDP per capita of any nation on earth and one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the world, mainly because of war, corruption, lack of access to education and HIV / AIDS Effects.
Despite these difficulties, Mamić and Bazzani decided to stay there, among some of the most exploited people in the world most forgotten and, because of their faith forces them to do so.
To use the language made popular by Francisco, they risked their lives, and finally abandoned them to serve the victims of a “playoff culture” in the peripheries of the world.
Before the process of sanctity on Tuesday by Mamić and Bazzani could be complicated by doubts about his claim to martyrdom. Now, however, there is another way.
In a motu proprio or legal act by Francis dated June 11, a third path to holiness was opened throughout martyrdom and “heroic virtue”, the two traditional requirements for Halo: Holiness owed “provision of life “,” In the cases in believers “were following closely the steps and teachings of the Lord Jesus, freely and willingly offered their lives for others and persevered unto death.”