Fr. Mario Alexis Portella: Suffering with the Saints

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Image: Last Prayer of the Christian Martyrs by Jean-Léon Gérôme

By Fr. Mario Alexis Portella, Crisis Magazine, April 9, 2020

Fr. Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He was born in New York and holds a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. He is the author of Islam: Religion of Peace?—The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up (Westbow Press, 2018).

Fr. Mario Alexis PortellaThis year, due to the reaction to the coronavirus pandemic, in many parts of the Catholic world the faithful will not be allowed to partake in the Holy Week ceremonies; the liturgical celebrations will be carried out behind closed doors. While the world has been occupied with the spread of the coronavirus—especially since it appears to be the only tragedy covered by the mainstream media—one “pandemic” which has been all but put on the back burner should remind us of Christ’s passion, death and resurrection. It is the story of those who will never be able to attend Mass in church: the unforgotten Christians who have been and continue to be persecuted by Islamic jihadists.

In the village of Auno, 20 kilometers from Maiduguri, Nigeria, five people were killed by jihadists last Saturday. While the victims’ religious affiliation has yet to be determined, Islamists in northern Nigeria almost always attack Christians. Gunmen from the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) stopped some vehicles around 5:30 p.m. and attacked the drivers and passengers with machetes as they fled into the bush. “We have so far recovered five dead bodies and 14 people with severe injuries all from machete cuts,” militia leader Babakura Kolo told the AP.  ….

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