“Rejoice, all you Martyrs and be glad for your reward is great in heaven”
Dear Martyrs of Easter Sunday,
You received the palm of martyrdom at St. Sebastian’s Church Katuwapitiya, St. Antony’s Church Kochchikade and Zion Church Batticaloa on Easter Sunday. It is more than two months since you left us. We realize that we do not have to pray for you, but pray with you and intercede through you.
We join with you, in prayer. ‘Forgive them Father, for they did not know what they did’. They did a foolish act. Yes the bombers thought they would go to heaven straight. No never, no such thing is written in the Bible or in the Quran. We cannot commit suicide and go to heaven. Instead they sent hundreds to become Martyrs. It is an unbearable tragedy to all of us. It was a humanly unbearable experience for all of you.
We are mourning as you are no more. We now realize that we are also called to rejoice! As now, together with the Martyrs of Mannar we have Martyrs of Katuwapitiya, Martyrs of Kochchikade and Martyrs of Batticaloa. We also remember those who went for “Easter Breakfast” in the three Hotels. They too were celebrating their first Easter meal – the Easter breakfast.
We are mourning as you are no more. We now realize that we are also called to rejoice! As now, together with the Martyrs of Mannar we have Martyrs of Katuwapitiya, Martyrs of Kochchikade and Martyrs of Batticaloa. We also remember those who went for “Easter Breakfast” in the three Hotels. They too were celebrating their first Easter meal – the Easter breakfast
Dear Martyrs as you enjoy eternal bliss do not forget your loved ones, back home shedding tears as you are no more for them. Ask the Merciful Lord to give them the graces they need to bear the cross that comes to us in different forms, at the moment mourning for you their very dear departed.
Dear Martyrs ask the Lord to grant: True Lasting Peace to our Country. Ask the Holy Spirit to shower down the SEVENFOLD GIFTS on all of us SRI LANKANS.
- For our Political Leaders, so that they understand and comprehend that true leadership means to give humble service to the citizens who have elected them. They have to uplift our country and live up to their call by following the Principles of Good Governance.
- We citizens have become suspicious of the Muslim Community, give us the grace to clearly understand and fathom the good Muslims who believe in God Almighty calling Him Allah, with whom we can collaborate to live in harmony.
- Touch the hearts of the Muslims brothers and sisters who have been led astray with radical wrong teachings and bring them back to the fold.
“The Blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church” A quote from Tertullian, a Second Century Father of the Church from North Africa. A sentiment that gives hope, that Martyrs bring new life to the Church. It does apply to us in Sri Lanka today. We are a very small percentage of Catholics. Since Easter Sunday 2019, all citizens in the country are truly sympathetic towards us, concerned about us, looking up to us. The whole Catholic /Christian world sent us sympathy messages starting with His Holiness Pope Francis and Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, all prayed for our country and they continue to pray for us. The Sri Lankan Diaspora living in different countries had organized special “Requiem Services”, and people from all Nationalities and Religions joined them to pray for this small nation in the Indian Ocean
All citizens are very much edified with the true leadership taken by His Eminence Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith and all the Bishops of the Sri Lankan Catholic Church. For the first time some were astonished to have a glimpse in the TV news bulletin and become aware of the number of Bishops who are shepherding and caring for all the sheep in the remotest corners of the island nation. Some heard for the first time, others have heard but never saw it in action. The forgiving words of Jesus from the Cross: “Father Forgive them for they know not, what they do” repeatedly reminded.
The whole world is with us: The Blood of the Martyrs is truly the seed of the Church in Sri Lanka. We will cling to our Faith. You have set an example of expressing our faith on April 21, Easter Sunday Morning.
“Alleluia! Sing to Jesus, His the Scepture, His the throne, Alleluia His the triumph, His the victory alone.
Hark! The sounds of Holy Zion Thunder like a mighty flood. Jesus out of every nation hath redeemed us by His Blood.”
This appeared in the “Messenger” – Catholic Weekly (2nd June 2019)
Sr. Bernadette Fernando SCC