Pope Paul VI message during the canonization of Uganda Martyrs (October 18th 1964)
Pope Paul VI message during the canonization.
The Pope spoke of the respect and honor always accorded to martyrs from the earliest ages of the Church, of the feeling of horror and awe aroused by the story of their sufferings and of the triumph of their victory.
‘Life passes away, but faith lives on. Violence is pitted against valor and violence in prevailing is vanquished, while valor triumphs in defeat.’
His Holiness spoke of the meaning of martyrdom and of the marvel that Christianity should, through the providence of God, have taken such firm root in a soil so ill-fitted, according to human expectation, to receive it.
The seed of the Gospel should find an obstacle among thorns in such difficult ground, is sad but not surprising: but the seed should take root immediately and produce strong and flourishing plants by reason of the good qualities of the soil, is a cause for joy and admiration.’
After a tribute to the new saints and also to the Anglican Martyrs of Uganda, the Pope went on to speak of the effect of evangelization which implants, in the Christian religion, anew form of vitality which tends to release the spiritual powers and latent talents of the local population and so set people free, helping to give them a mature power of self-determination, and enabling them to express more fully, in their own idiom of art and culture, the special genius they have.’
Pope Paul IV’s tribute to the Anglican martyrs in his homily at the canonization.
“And we do not wish to forget, the others who, belonging to the Anglican confession, met death for the name of Christ.”