Bishop's Martyrdom Must Become Seed of Love

Author: John Paul II


Pope John Paul II

4 August 1996

Once again tragic events call for us to be united with the sorrow and prayer of the Church in Algeria.

You know that last Thursday Bishop Pierre Claverie of Oran was the victim of an unjustifiable and inhuman attack in that same land where he had spent part of his life serving the small Catholic community and cultivating an ever deeper friendship with many Muslims.

His death cannot remain a cause for sorrow alone, although this is great. His martyrdom must become the seed of love and a reason for hope.

In the face of a violence that respects no one and nothing, Algeria needs artisans of peace and brotherhood more than ever. May God enable Christians and Muslims to take up and imitate the witness of Bishop Claverie!

May the Lord grant the Bishop of Oran the reward reserved for his faithful servants, inspire courage and perseverance in our Catholic brothers and sisters and give all the citizens of Algeria hope and true peace.


Let us pray for this courageous Pastor

2 August 1996

Deeply saddened by the tragic death of Bishop Pierre Claverie of Oran, I would like to be with you in your grief and to assure you of my fervent prayers for this courageous Pastor, who was so faithful to the people entrusted to his care. He was able to witness to the Gospel to the point of giving his life. May God grant him and his fellow victim to see the light in his kingdom of peace! For the Church in Algeria, once more cruelly attacked, a new page is added to the martyrology. I implore the Lord to make this the occasion of a new impetus for her and for the Algerian people whose hopes and sufferings she wishes to share, towards a society where man is no longer mocked, where violence no longer has a foothold and where differences can contribute to the common good. I cordially grant my Apostolic Blessing to the Bishops of Algeria, to whom I again express the assurance of my fraternal support in this new trial, to the faithful of the Diocese of Oran, to the whole Christian community in Algeria, to the families of the deceased and to all those stricken with grief.

Taken from:
L'Osservatore Romano
Weekly Edition in English
7/14 August 1996

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