Here is a translation of the text of Francis’ video-message transmitted at the beginning of the beatification ceremony of 522 Spanish martyrs of the 20thcentury, which took place Sunday at Tarragona, Spain.
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Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning.
I happily join all the participants in this celebration, being held at Tarragona, in which a great number of pastors, consecrated persons and lay faithful are proclaimed blessed martyrs.
Who are the martyrs? They are Christians won by Christ, disciples who learned well the meaning of “loving to the end” that took Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in parts, in portions. Love is total: and when one loves, one loves to the end. On the Cross, Jesus felt the weight of death, the weight of sin, but he entrusted himself wholly to the Father and he forgave. He hardly spoke but gave his life. Christ goes before us in love; the martyrs have imitated him in love to the end.
The Holy Fathers say: “Let us imitate the martyrs!” We always have to die a bit to come out of ourselves, of our egoism, our wellbeing, our sloth, our sadnesses, and open ourselves to God, to others, especially the neediest.
Let us implore the intercession of the martyrs to be concrete Christians, Christians with works and not words; so as not to be mediocre Christians, Christians varnished with Christianity but without substance. [The martyrs] were not varnished; they were Christians to the end. Let us ask them for their help to maintain our faith firm, even if there are difficulties, and thus be leaven of hope and architects of brotherhood and solidarity.
And I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Holy Virgin take care of you.[Original text: Spanish] [Translation by ZENIT]