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I am a Third Order Franciscan of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The honor of the persecuted Church

An emotional account of how Catholics in communist Romania held fast to their faith despite persecution and humiliation drew resounding applause from some 240 participants at the world Synod of Bishops.

Romanian-rite Archbishop Lucian Muresan of Fagaras-Alba Iulia underlined the great hopes of the Catholic community despite past hardships and present challenges. According to information released by the Vatican, his Oct. 6 talk, four days into the synod sessions, was the first to draw applause from the bishops who were gathered at the Vatican for three weeks to discuss the role of the Eucharist in the life of the church.

People's hunger for the bread of God could not be quashed, not even when the church was brutally repressed from 1948 to 1990 by the communists, Archbishop Muresan said.

It's stories like this that always provide a sense of perspective to my own faith experience and force me to ask whether I would behave so honorable in similar surroundings. Yet, I beleive that the Archbishop points to the key for all people - a devotion to the Eucharist. If we place our trust in Christ, he promises us the grace to see us through any persecution whether that comes from obvious threats or hidden temptations to apathy. I believe that this is why the resurgence in piety among the young is concomitant with the rise in devotion to Eucharistic adoration.


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