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Father Andrea Santoro

Fr. Andrea Santoro a 60-year-old Italian priest who was part of the Vatican's "Fidei Donum" program, which sends priests to help in the missions for a fixed period of time. In the afternoon of Feb. 5, the Italian priest was shot twice while he was praying in his parish, St. Mary Church, in the Black Sea coastal city of Trebizond.

Father Santoro, from the Diocese of Rome, had been serving in Turkey for about 10 years,

Murdered Priest's Letter to Benedict XVI

"A Visit of Yours Would Be a Consolation"

Here is a translation of a letter dated Jan. 31 and written to the Pope by Father Andrea Santoro, the Italian missionary who was shot and killed last Sunday in his parish church in Trabzon, Turkey.
Benedict XVI directed that the letter be published in the Italian edition of L'Osservatore Romano. According to the Pontiff, the letter "reflects the zeal, faith and love that beat in the Don Andrea Santoro's heart."

Content of Fr. Santoro’s letter to
Pope Benedict XVI
Rome, January 31, 2006

Holiness:

I am writing to you in the name of some Georgian ladies of my parish, St. Mary's in Trabzon (Trebisonda) on the Black Sea, Turkey. They dictated it to me in Turkish, I have translated it for you exactly as it came from their lips and I give it to you on the occasion of my visit to Rome. I am don Andrea Santoro, a Fidei Donum priest of the Church of Rome in Turkey, in the Diocese of Anatolia, resident here for the past 5 years. My flock is made up of 8/9 Catholics, many Orthodox of the city, and Muslims, who make up 99% of the population. You, Holiness, are both the Bishop of my native diocese (Rome) as well as Bishop of my diocese of destination, as it is an "Apostolic Vicariate." In virtue of this double title, I give you the letter of the three Georgian women.

* * *
Dear Pope:

We greet you in the name of all Georgians.

We ask God to give you health in the name of Jesus.

We are very happy that God chose you as Pope. Pray for us, for the poor, for the miserable all over the world, for children. We believe your prayer reaches God directly. Georgians are very poor, they have debts, they have no homes or work. We are without strength.

At present we live in Trabzon and work. Pray that God will bless us and create in us a new and pure heart. We do not forget the Christian life and we try to be a good example for Turks in the name of God so that through us they will see and glorify God.

We have many things to say and recount, but, "Inshala" [God willing], if you come to Trabzon, we will be able to speak face to face. Your coming will be a joyful celebration. We pray and hope that God will give you health, peace and a Christian life. We kiss your hands. We will be happy if you reply and send us a photo with your signature.

You, as an ordinary father, pray for don Andrea and Loredana [an Italian volunteer who works in the parish], that God will give them strength and that through them the Church will grow and multiply in Trabzon.

[Signed:] Maria, Marina and Maria

In the name of the other Georgian Christians, we invite you to Trabzon on the occasion of your coming visit to Turkey in November.

* * *
Holiness:

I join these three women to truly invite you to visit us. It is a small flock, as Jesus said, which tries to be salt, leaven and light on this earth. A visit of yours, even if brief, would be a consolation and encouragement. If God wills … nothing is impossible for God.

I greet you and thank you for everything. Your books served me as nourishment during my theology studies. Bless me. And may God bless and assist you.

Don Andrea Santoro
Fidei Donum priest of the Diocese of Rome in Turkey,
Diocese of Anatolia, city of Trabzon on the Black Sea,
St. Mary's Church

Source: www.zenit.org

 
LIVES OF THE SAINTS

MAY 1
ST. JOSEPH THE WORKER
This is St. Joseph's second feast day on the Church calendar of celebrations. We honor him also on March 19. St. Joseph is a very important saint.

MAY 2
ST. ATHANASIUS
St. Athanasius was born around 297 in Alexandria, Egypt. He devoted his life to proving that Jesus is truly God.

MAY 3
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES
Both of these saints were part of the original group of Jesus' twelve apostles.

MAY 4
BLESSED MARIE-LEONIE PARADIS
Blessed Marie-Elodie Paradis was born in the village of L'Acadie in Quebec, Canada. It was May 12, 1840.

MAY 5
ST. JUDITH OF PRUSSIA

St. Judith lived in the thirteenth century. She was born in Thuringia. This was in what is now central Germany. She wanted to model her life on the example of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.

MAY 6
BLESSED FRANCOIS DE MONTMORENCY LAVAL

Blessed Francois was the first bishop of Quebec City, Canada. He was born in 1623 in a small town in France.

MAY 7
BLESSED ROSE VENERINI

Blessed Rose was born in Viterbo, Italy, in 1656. Her father was a physician. Rose entered the convent but returned home after a few months.

MAY 8
BLESSED CATHERINE OF ST. AUGUSTINE

St. Catherine was born on May 3, 1632, in a little village in France. She was baptized the same day.

MAY 9
BLESSED NICHOLAS ALBERGATI

Blessed Nicholas was born in Bologna, Italy. Nicholas' family could afford to send him to the university where he began to study law.

MAY 10
ST. ANTONINUS

St. Antoninus lived in the fifteenth century. Even as a boy he showed that he had good sense and will power.

MAY 11
ST. IGNATIUS OF LACONI

St. Ignatius was the son of a poor farmer in Laconi, Italy. He was born on December 17, 1701.

MAY 12
ST. NEREUS, ST. ACHILLEUS AND ST. PANCRAS

Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who died around 304. They were probably Praetorian guards under Emperor Trajan. We know little else about them.

MAY 13
ST. ANDREW FOURNET

St. Andrew Fournet was born on December 6, 1752. He was from Maille, a little town near Poitiers, in France. Andrew's parents were religious people.

MAY 14
ST. MATTHIAS

St. Matthias was one of Our Lord's seventy-two disciples.

MAY 15
ST. ISIDORE THE FARMER

Saint Isidore was born in 1070, in Madrid, Spain. His parents were deeply religious. They named their son after the great St. Isidore, archbishop of Seville, Spain.

MAY 16
ST. UBALD

St. Ubald lived in twelfth-century Italy. He was an orphan raised by his uncle, a bishop. Ubald was given a good education.

MAY 17
ST. PASCHAL BAYLON

St. Paschal, a Spanish saint, was born in 1540. From the time he was seven, he worked as a shepherd. He never had the opportunity to go to school.

MAY 18
ST. JOHN I

St. John I was a priest of Rome. He became pope after the death of Pope St. Hormisdas in 523. At that time, Italy's ruler, Theodoric the Goth, was an Arian.

MAY 19
ST. CELESTINE V

Peter di Morone was the eleventh of twelve children. He was born around 1210 in Isernia, Italy. His father died when he was small.

MAY 20
ST. BERNARDINE OF SIENA

St. Bernardine of Siena was born in 1380 in a town near Siena, Italy. He was the son of an Italian governor.

MAY 21
BLESSED EUGENE DE MAZENOD

Blessed Eugene was born in France in 1782. He became a priest in 1811. Father Eugene was sensitive to the needs of the poor and he ministered to them.

MAY 22
ST. RITA OF CASCIA

St. Rita was born in 1381 in a little Italian village. Her parents were older. They had begged God to send them a child. They brought Rita up well.

MAY 23
ST. JOHN BAPTIST ROSSI

St. John Baptist Rossi was born in 1698 in a village near Genoa, Italy. His family loved him. They were proud when a wealthy couple visiting their town offered to educate him. His parents knew the couple and trusted them.

MAY 24
ST. DAVID I OF SCOTLAND

St. David was born in 1080. He was the youngest son of St. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and her good husband, King Malcom.

MAY 25
VENERABLE BEDE

Venerable Bede, the English priest, was famous as a saint, a priest, a monk, a teacher and a writer of history. He was born in England in 673.

MAY 26
ST. PHILIP NERI

St. Philip Neri was born in Florence, Italy, in 1515. As a child, his nickname was "Good little Phil." He was always so jolly and friendly that everyone he met loved him.

MAY 27
ST. AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY

St. Augustine was the abbot of St. Andrew's monastery in Rome. Pope St. Gregory the Great chose him and forty other monks for a mission dear to his heart.

MAY 28
BLESSED MARGARET POLE

Blessed Margaret was born in 1471. She was the niece of two English kings, Edward IV and Richard III. Henry VII arranged her marriage to Sir Reginald Pole.

MAY 29
ST. MAXIMINIUS

St. Maximinius was a bishop who lived in the fourth century. It is believed that he was born in Poitiers, France. As a young man, he heard of a saintly bishop of Trier, in Gaul.

MAY 30
ST. JOAN OF ARC

St. Joan was born in 1412. Her hometown was Domremy, a little village in France. Jacques d'Arc, her father, was a hard working farmer.

MAY 31
THE VISITATION OF MARY

Visitation means "visit." The Archangel Gabriel told the Blessed Virgin Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was going to have a baby.

 
ABOUT ARCHANGELS
SAINT MICHAEL
St. Michael the Archangel Story
History of St. Michael the Archangel Prayer
St. Michael the Archangel Prayers
St. Michael the Archangel Apparitions
The Chaplet of St. Michael Archangel
Novena to St Micheal the Archangel
Litany of St. Michael the Archangel


SAINT GABRIEL

St. Gabriel Prayer

SAINT RAPHAEL

St. Raphael Prayer
 
PHOTO OF THE MONTH


Tour of the Relics of the Passion
(International Center for Holy Relics)
www.HolyRelics.org

 
REFLECTIONS

“Jesus’ Baptism”

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John’s baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the “baptism” of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus’ baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God’s suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father’s will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God?

 
NEWS ARCHIVE & ACTIVITIES

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Holy Relics of Advent in Hawaii
Miles Christi Women's Retreat

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The Sacrament of Marriage
Bishops Shield Pope Against BBC Assault
Much Work Remains in Many Areas

Vatican Appeals for Least Developed Countries

MAINPAGE ARTICLE
Immaculate Conception of Mary
Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini

Feast of St Jude the Miraculous Saint
Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima


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