When the Trappists of Atlas were martyred, I rejoiced.
I never thought martyrdom would be offered to our generation. This was before it became large scale, widespread in Africa and the Middle East. The monks of Tibhirine seem to me now to be proto-martyrs of the Jihadi terror. I left this comment on Fr. Martin's Facebook page with the story:
When this happened - before martyrdom seemed commonplace again, I was thrilled to know one could actually die a martyr in our age. How naive I was - so many in Latin America had already died as martyrs - and now everything that was hidden is being revealed. Praise God!I have sand from their grave, a dear Trappist Father sent it to me several years ago. It was from their first grave.
Here is the story, (translating from the French):
The decree of beatification of 19 “martyrs” killed in Algeria in the 1990s – including the seven monks of Tibhirine and the former Bishop of Oran Pierre Claverie – could be signed by the end of January.
“Honoring the 19 Christian martyrs means paying homage to the memory of all those who gave their lives in Algeria in the 90s,” commented the French Trappist monk Thomas Georgeon, “postulator” (lawyer) of the cause, in a interview to the online monthly Mondo e missionne, from the Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions.
“Each one of them has been a genuine witness of the love of Christ, of dialogue, of openness to others, of friendship and loyalty to the Algerian people,” he says, estimating that the file opened in 2006 had advanced rapidly. “The Algerian bishops hope that the beatification can be celebrated in Algeria, in Oran, diocese of Bishop Claverie,” said Thomas Georgeon, who was received in September by the Pope at the Vatican with the Archbishop of Algiers and the Bishop of Oran. […] - Aleteia
The vow of stability.
|How can we understand the profundity of this vow in the life of a monk? Perhaps the letter which Father Christian had thought to send on December 28th, 1993, to Sayah Attiya, head of the GIA and of the group of armed men who came to the door of the monastery on Christmas Eve, can reveal to us the meaning of this vow:|
«My Brother, allow me to address you in this way; man to man, believer to believer, (...) In the present conflict in which the country is living, it is impossible for us to take sides. As foreigners we are forbidden to do so. Being monks (ruhban) we are bound to the choice God has made for us, that of prayer and a simple life, of manual work, of welcoming and sharing with everyone above all with the poor (...) These principles of life are freely accepted by each of us. They bind us until death. I do not think God wills that this death should come through you (...) If, one day, the Algerians see that we are too many, then we will respect their desire to see us leave. With deep regret. I know that we will continue to love them, ALL of them, including you. When and how this message will reach you? It is of little importance! But today I need to write to you. Forgive me for doing so in my mother tongue. You will understand. And may the Only One of all life, lead us! Amin». - More here.