Rome (Italy). The day of prayer and fasting in memory of the missionary martyrs, which is celebrated on 24 March 2021, is an invitation to remember the many missionaries called to give their life, thus concretely witnessing to the faith even to the point of martyrdom.
The word martyr, from the Greek màrtys, ‘witness’, has been associated since the early centuries with faithful witnesses who, following the example of Christ, face death so that others may have life. The missionary witnesses makes their life available so that grace may act and shine in it. Their life is intertwined with the life of the people they meet and serve every day, weaving together fraternity, like branches on the same vine that is Christ.
The Institute of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians is missionary. It accepts the missionary mandate of Jesus so that the Word of God reaches all peoples as the word of life, faith, and active citizenship. “Missionaries are the FMA sent ad/inter gentes, and all those who witness and proclaim Christ with generous commitment and daring in their own life environment and in the new frontiers of the mission.”
A space was inaugurated on the Blog ‘Go’ of Missions Sector, “Good Wine” , in which the testimonies of FMA missionaries ad gentes are presented who by giving their lives, daily perform the miracle of “good wine” for the lives of many young people, children, and families. The missionaries tell of the joys and difficulties of entering the new reality, the experiences that helped them grow in faith, the strong moments lived as missionaries ad gentes.
“What aspect has become more important for your consecrated life after having responded to the missionary vocation ad gentes?” “To live united to Him. The words of the Gospel have always struck me: ‘I am the vine, you are the branches and without Me you can do nothing’. If the branch comes off, it dies, dries up, and is thrown away. If He is not in me I can give my life, but it is of no use. If I want to help souls to know Jesus and be saved, I must be one with Him. This thought has always been my greatest desire.”
Remembering and celebrating the witness of missionaries who give their life every day, weaving it into a fabric of fraternity, means continuing to bear fruit in the FMA Institute, in the Church, and in the world.