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By Fr. George Rutler, Church Militant, February 15, 2020

The martyrs teach us what truly sustains happiness

The names of the Franciscan friars Berard of Carbio, Otho, Peter, Accursius and Adjutus are not as familiar as that of Francis of Assisi, who said that they had become the prototypes of what he called the Friars Minor. After his own failed mission to convert the Muslims of Egypt during the Fifth Crusade in 1219, he sent them on a similar mission to Morocco where they were tortured and killed in 1220. That was exactly 800 years ago. Clearly, Saint Francis did not spend his days talking to birds. Nor did he and his friars risk their lives to engage in meandering “inter-religious dialogue.” 


Dietrich von Hildebrand

This column is being published on the fifth anniversary of the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians. All martyrs believe, as did St. Peter when filled with the Holy Spirit: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). This perplexes flaccid minds and scandalizes the morally compromised, but it is the engine of heroic virtue.

Dietrich von Hildebrand wrote in 1967:

Enamored of our present epoch, blind to all its characteristic dangers, intoxicated with everything modern, there are many Catholics who no longer ask whether something is true, or whether it is good and beautiful, or whether it has intrinsic value: they ask only whether it is up-to-date, suitable to “modern man” and the technological age, whether it is challenging, dynamic, audacious, progressive.  ….

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