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Prepare yourselves for martyrdom –Pope Francis tells Seminarians

The Holy Father, Pope Francis has urged Scottish Seminarians Rome’s Pontifical Scots College to be everly willing and ready to give-up their live for the sake of the growth and proclamation of the true figure of the Gospel, in an audience to honor the 400th anniversary of when the first seminarians in Rome made an oath to Pope Paul V to return to Scotland and carry out their priestly ministry.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow during the audience reminded everyone once again the wonderful story of the oath made in 1616, one year after the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie, a Scottish Jesuit killed for refusing to deny his faith during the time of the Reformation in Scotland.

“Those events four centuries ago, the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie and the swearing of the Mission Oath, helped to settle the identity of the Pontifical Scots College as a seminary," Archbishop Tartaglia said.

“We too are living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel. I urge you to have that same selfless spirit as your predecessors did," Pope Francis said in during the audience.

With a total recall of the oath made by the seminarians in 1616, Pope Francis was convinced and as he voiced out that the present seminarians’ independent return to Scotland and preach the Gospel “was born of a martyr’s blood."

“The ‘yes’ proclaimed by the 16 men 400 years ago was eloquent not simply for their good intentions, but rather because they persevered and prepared themselves in every way, returning to Scotland to face the hardships that awaited them, even if it meant becoming martyrs themselves," the Holy Father added.

Pope Francis further encouraged them saying; “give yourselves generously to your priestly formation," so that they “will honour the history and sacrifices we recall today."

“You will also become in this moment a sign to the Scottish people, especially the youth, if you encounter them in their everyday lives, if you reach out to those who are furthest from Christ. Show them, each and every one, that God is always with us and that his mercy endures forever," Pope Francis concluded.


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