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Rome Reports

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Pope visits the Church of the twentieth century martyrs

Pope Francis will visits this basilica this weekend. It is called Saint Bartholomew on Tiber Island, in Rome. ; It's a very special place in the center of Rome, guarded by the Community of San Egidio. Its six chapels guard "memories" of Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians murdered for professing their faith in recent decades. For example, there are letters from Protestant pastor Paul Schneider, who was murdered for preaching the Gospel in a concentration camp. There is also the rosary of Ceferino Gimenez Malla, a gypsy that was killed in the Spanish Civil War. You can also see the Bible of Shabaaz Bhatti, the Christian minister of Pakistan murdered for his work in favor of religious minorities. There are also relics of the Polish priest Jerzy Popieluzsko, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1984. Of the Latin American martyrs, Monsignor Romero's missile is preserved, and reminders of the pastoral Posadas Ocampo, assassinated by drug traffickers in Mexico, can also be seen. The last "memoir" that is preserved is the breviary of the French priest Jacques Hamel, ;which is opened to the final page he read before being killed in his own church by two terrorists acting on behalf of ISIS. Pope Francis will pray before them, reminding Christians that even today there are martyrs not afraid to lose their lives in order to defend their faith. ; JMB/JC RR SV- ;BN Up:FV