Friday, June 29, 2012

Priest executed by Mafia recognized a martyr.

Don Giuseppe Pino Puglisi, martyr.
Rome - A Sicilian priest who was murdered by the Mafia in 1993 was declared a martyr by Pope Benedict XVI, a step toward sainthood, the Vatican said in a statement on Thursday.

The pope authorised the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints to issue a decree naming Giuseppe Pino Puglisi a martyr, "killed in hatred of the faith in Palermo".

Puglisi, who was known as an outspoken opponent of organised crime, was gunned down in front of his home.

He had worked in Palermo's Mafia-controlled Brancaccio neighbourhood, trying to help youngsters stay away from the Mafia.

He publicly addressed the problem of organised crime and his murderer later declared that when he fired a bullet in the nape of his neck the priest said with a smile, "I expected this". - Source

Praise God!  Don Pino's death reminds us that martyrdom is truly possible for us in our day, in our modern cities, our neighborhoods, our front yards.  Ah!  To be worthy to die for Christ!  Pray for us Blessed Guiseppe Pino Puglisi, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ, with Our Lady and St. Jospeh, pray for us now and at the hour of our death. 

I think it was Bl. Charles De Foucauld who said, "Live each day as if you are to die a martyr's death tomorrow."  With a smile, Don Puglisi greeted his assassin, "I expected this."

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful story. Having been under threat myself with gun revenge possibility after jumping a man on the street who robbed my house, I'm not gentle like the priest and I sleep with motion detectors and a tactical shotgun at that address after his parting warning. But I admire this priest's gentleness issuing I suspect also from Church law on clerics not spilling blood ( Aquinas had an article on it in the ST). Wonderful.
    I wouldn't follow his way...but I admire his calm. I pray for my thug each month but I'm very ready for him....and I grew up with thug danger as a way of life. Wonderful priest though and his work among the boys lifted my day.
    There are more of his type in Italy and a Bishop in Central America brokering peace between gangs. Wonderful men.


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