Notable quotations from Pope John Paul II and official teachings of the Roman Catholic Church
If we forget the Christians who sacrificed their lives to strengthen the faith, the present time ... would lose a precious element, since the great human and religious values would no longer be comforted by a concrete witness integrated into history.
Disciples of Christ are called to contemplate and imitate the many witnesses of the Christian faith who lived in the last centuries in the East and in the West, who persevered in their loyalty to the Gospel in situations of hostility and persecution, often to the supreme sacrifice of shedding their blood.
These witnesses are a convincing sign of hope...
They bring us a witness of the vitality and fruitfulness of the Gospel ... in the contemporary world.
They are truly a luminous beacon for the Church and for humanity, for they have made Christís light shine in the darkness.
They strove to serve Christ and His "Gospel of hope" faithfully, and by their martyrdom expressed their faith and love to a heroic degree, putting themselves generously at the service of their brethren.
They showed that obedience to the law of the Gospel brings forth a moral life and social harmony that honor and promote every personís dignity and freedom.
It is ... up to us to gather this rare and most precious heritage, this unique and exceptional patrimony ... to remind everyone of their supreme sacrifice.
(Source: Message for eighth Public Meeting of the Pontifical Academies, November 3, 2003)
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