Sri Lanka Easter bombing victims could be on their way to beatification

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This was the moment a suicide bomber attacked a church in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday in 2019.

Since then, there has been an ongoing investigation to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice. Some world leaders have called on the Sri Lankan government to act. And on the third anniversary of the bombings, Pope Francis made his own appeal.

POPE FRANCIS
I don't want to end without calling on the authorities of your country. Please, for the love of justice, for the love of your people, let it be made absolutely clear who was responsible for these acts. This will bring peace to your conscience and to your homeland.

Almost 5 years later, the Catholic community has not forgotten the more than 200 people killed in two churches bombed on that day.

CARD. MALCOLM RANJITH
Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka

We have built a special cemetery in Kotahena or Nigambo. We had to buy a piece of land and make a cemetery because the cemetery—we have the Catholic cemetery—was overloaded, overfilled with bodies and we could not bury all of them there.

There's also a memorial in one of the churches destroyed that Easter Sunday.

CARD. MALCOLM RANJITH
Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka

There's a special monument inside the church—an area that had been set apart and all the names are transcribed in boards and in a stone tablet that we built in the church of St. Sebastian.

Many people have been going to the memorials to pray for the intercession of these men and women. Cardinal Ranjith says they are examples of the modern-day martyrs Pope Francis often describes.

CARD. MALCOLM RANJITH
Archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka

So they gave their lives because the attackers attacked out of hate for the faith—odium fidei, they call it. So that's how it is because they hated the Christians, they carried out this attack on these innocent people. They were killed. But they came to the church. So for us, they are martyrs. That's why we are promoting their cause.

With the 5 year anniversary on April 21, the path is open for these men, women and children to start on the road to sainthood in the Catholic Church.

KG

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