The post-confirmation group were studying history of religion. The catechist led the discussion. “St Stephen is the first Christian martyr, stoned to death for his bravery and conviction about his beliefs. In today’s world there are many people killed because of their religious beliefs, in other parts because of politics, race or ethnicity. Over 4000 Christians were killed last year. Quite recently in the Middle East ethnic groups such as the Kurds have been persecuted and thousands were killed. Only weeks ago, on Easter Sunday an attack in Sri Lanka on Christians in churches and hotels killed over 250 people. What is a true martyr? Would you really be prepared to die for your beliefs?”
Stephen said to the people and the elders and scribes, ‘You stiff-necked people, you always resist the Holy Spirit.” They were enraged and cast him out of the city and stoned him. Acts 7:51-8:1.
Pope Francis: Faith means believing in God, believing that he truly loves us, that he is alive and that he is mysteriously capable of intervening, does not abandon us and brings good out of evil by his power and his infinite creativity. It means believing that he marches triumphantly in history with those who are called and chosen and faithful. EG278. Holy Mary, pray for us