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Santa Marta: Martyrdom as a Service and Mystery

February 08, 2019. Life Has Value By Giving it in Love

“Life has value only in giving it, in giving it in love, in truth, in giving it to others, in daily life, in the family.”

These were the words of Pope Francis in his February 8, 2019, homily at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican, reported by Vatican News.

The Holy Father cited the example of John the Baptist, noting the martyrdom of John, the greatest man born of a woman, is a great witness to the fact that life has value only in giving it to others “in love, in truth, in daily life, in the family.”

The Pope said that John knew he had to diminish and annihilate himself to the point of death because Jesus must grow.  The forerunner of Christ denied he was the Messiah but showed Jesus to His disciples and gradually faded away until he was extinguished and beheaded in the dark and lonely cell of the prison.

The Pope described martyrdom as a service and mystery which entails the very great gift of life.  He met a violent end because of “human attitudes that lead to taking away the life of a Christian, of an honest person and make him a martyr,” the Pope said.