Continuing his catechesis on apostolic zeal, Pope Francis reflected on the martyr—ultimate witness of the faith. He explained that these men and women did not act individually but as part of the vineyard of God, which is the Church.
The Pope recalled different martyrs throughout the Church's history and more recently modern martyrs in Yemen. He said that while it is often asked of only a few, all Christians must “be prepared to confess Christ before men.”
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH:
Dear brothers and sisters: In our continuing catechesis on apostolic zeal, we now turn to the
example of the martyrs, those men and women of every age, nation and tongue who have given their lives in testimony to the Gospel. In an outstanding way, the martyrs bore witness to the love that we celebrate in every Mass: the love that led Christ to lay down his life for us and that we in turn are
called to imitate (cf. 1 Jn 3:16). While all Christians must be prepared to testify to their faith in the face of persecution, martyrdom represents, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, “the highest gift and supreme proof of love” (Lumen Gentium, 42). Martyrs for the faith in our own time are even more numerous than in the early days of the Church. We can think, for example, of the two groups of Missionaries of Charity who assisted the elderly and disabled in Yemen, and were brutally killed during the ongoing conflict in that country. May the example of the martyrs continue to inspire our efforts to bear witness to the Gospel as we await the coming of God’s kingdom of universal reconciliation, justice and peace.