November 13th, feast of our three Bulgarian martyrs.
A Shared Holiness
The feast of our three martyrs is approaching and
once again we are called to reflect on the meaning of their witness, on
the importance of this event, today, for the entire Assumption Family.
It is necessary to acknowledge with gratitude that
the “Mission d’Orient” (Mission in Eastern Europe) is the fruit of
self-giving of numerous priests, brothers, and sisters (coming first of
all from France and, then, particularly from the Province of Lyon, which
extended well beyond the borders of France) and that this mission to
Eastern Europe continues its history thanks to the generosity of the
Province of France.
Among them, there are some who have risked and continue to risk their lives in the service of the Gospel.
There are some there who have been imprisoned and been beaten by the police.
Likewise, the history of Assumption in Latin America guards the memory of brothers who were imprisoned and killed because of their faith.
Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov, and Josaphat Chichkov invite us
“to spread far and wide the Catholic spirit, open to all people.”
They are at the side of our founding brothers in the Philippines and in Togo. They are there in a special way at the side of our brothers in Communist Vietnam.
These fathers are the living source of unity and
communion for all of Assumption. We could make of November 13 a feast
which recalls the Assumptionist missionary spirit, a spirit which “impels
us....to go wherever God is threatened in man and man is threatened as
image of God.”
The presence of our three Bulgarian martyrs among us is a life-giving
source where we can find the strength, the courage, and the faith
necessary to keep on being founders and witnesses to Christ in the world.
Their faces remind us of the faces of all those brothers, sisters, and lay
friends in the Assumption Family who have given and continue to give their
lives for the common good, for the coming of the Kingdom of God.