The Year of Witness and Martyrs

The Year of Witness and Martyrs
An Excerpt from the Pastoral Letter
of His Beatitude
Patriarch Bechara Peter Rai
The Year of Witness and Martyrs on the Feast day
of our Father, Saint Maron on February
9, 2017, and end it on March 2, 2018,
the Feast day of our Father, the First
Maronite Patriarch, Saint John Maron.

“The Year of Witness and Martyrs is a
special occasion to renew our Christian
commitment to witness to Jesus and to
be prepared to fulfill it even to the
witness of blood, so that hatred can be
conquered by love, war by peace,
enmity by fraternity, and injustice by
justice. It is a year that removes fear
from our hearts while we are witnessing
nowadays torture and persecution of
Christians. …
In the Year of Witness and Martyrs we
lift up our thoughts and our minds to
Massabki Brothers, Martyrs
Mary our Mother, the Queen of
Martyrs. We ask that this year be a
period of hope and perseverance, to
complete the work of salvation that
Jesus Christ has started and completed,
a work that Saint Paul describes as, "in
my flesh I am filling up what is lacking
in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of
his body, which is the Church"
(Colossians 1:24). May this year be an
incentive to follow in the footsteps of
our witnesses and martyrs, to collect
their heritage, a year to discover the
forgotten martyrs and the unknown, so
they can all intercede for us and be an
example for us to follow Christ and
witness to his love, in giving,
sacrificing, forgiveness and