In many societies today, the utterance of a simple phrase, “I am a Christian,” is a crime punishable by death. So widespread is this persecution that Pope Francis called it a “third world war, waged piecemeal.” In To the Martyrs: A Reflection on the Supreme Christian Witness, Cardinal Donald Wuerl urges solidarity with today’s persecuted Christians and recounts the recurrence of martyrdom throughout Church history. His Eminence’s poignant insight into the spirituality of martyrdom will challenge all Christians to courageously emulate the steadfast commitment of those who have followed Christ—even unto death.
Yes, sometimes ‘silence is golden,’ but not when it comes to the widespread vicious persecution of our brother and sister Christians around the world. It’s time to shout in defense of these innocent people who are tempted to wonder why their co-religionists around the world—us!—are so quiet.
—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Let your heart be deeply moved as you read these pages. Cardinal Wuerl exercises an admirable form of pastoral care that brings together a depth of insight and a richness of historical witness to educate and inspire.
—Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus
Anyone interested in the future of the Church and in the enduring power of Christian witness ought to read this book.
—Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
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Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. He serves on the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Culture, and the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See. During his decades-long ministry as a priest, bishop, and cardinal, His Eminence has had the privilege of working with refugees and other Christians who suffer religious persecution.