5th anniversary of the beatification of the 19 martyrs of Algeria

December 8, 2023 6:01 am

Today, 8 December 2023

“Welcoming the other as if he were Christ.”

On 2 December 2018, Pope Francis wrote a letter on the occasion of the beatification of the 19 martyrs of Algeria. In this letter, he wrote: “Through the Beatification of our 19 brothers and sisters, the Church wishes to bear witness to her desire to continue working for dialogue, harmony and friendship. We believe that this unprecedented event in your country may trace in the Algerian sky a great sign of fraternity addressed to the entire world.”

A great sign of fraternity. It is the sign of prayerful hospitality and hospitable prayer that unites this group of 19 men and women.

A hospitality that went beyond simply making a part of the building available to guests. It was a hospitality based on the Rule of Saint Benedict which welcomes every guest who knocks at the door as Christ himself. This is why Father Christian could echo a quote from the Abbot of Landevenec: “The monk, it is Christ who remains; his guest, it is Christ who passes.”

How different the world would be if we were all so hospitable to each other, without exception, and to Creation! This topic of hospitality is very topical in a world torn by polarization, war and violence, but also in a Church in search of synodality.

(From the «Opening of the Colloquium for the 5th anniversary of the beatification of the martyrs of Algeria» in Madrid, Dom Bernardus, Abbot Genereal OCSO)