March 15, 2016

Last Letter of Missionaries of Charity Martyrs: "We Live Together, We Die Together with Jesus & Mary"

Missionaries of Charity Martyrs
Missionaries of Charity Martyrs, from L-R: Sr. Anselm, Sr. Reginette, Sr. Judith,
Sr. Marguerite.  Credit: The Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia.

The Italian bishops’ television network [TV2000] has made public the last letter of the five Missionaries of Charity who served the poor, the elderly, and the disabled at a care home in Aden, Yemen.

Four of the five sisters were martyred by Islamic terrorists in the March 4th massacre; the fifth survived and is now safely out of the country. An Ave Maria University Blog recounted the horrific attack:
On that day Islamic extremists stormed their home and executed them. The Superior of the home, Sr. Sally, M.C., fortunately was alerted by a gate attendant and was able to scurry to safety behind a door while she watched in horror the slaughter of innocent women. Not only were the Sisters killed, all 12 volunteers who worked with the Sisters in caring for the Muslim residents God had entrusted to them, were summarily killed, including the gate attendant.  Like the Sisters, they were shot at point-blank range.  The Indian missionary priest, Father Tom Uzhunnalil, a Salesian, who was in the ward blessing the sick when the terrorists entered, was bound and abducted by the killers. While Sr. Sally is now safely out of Yemen, Father Tom remains missing.
The Missionaries' last letter, sent in June 2015, reads in part:
Whenever we hear heavy bombing we kneel before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, begging the merciful Jesus to protect us and our poor and to grant peace to this nation. We never tire of knocking at the heart of God, trusting that there will be an end to it. While the war continues we calculate how much food will be enough. The bombings continue, the shootings is from all over and we use flour just for today. How are we going to feed our poor tomorrow? With loving trust and total abandonment, the five of us we run towards our halfway house, even when the bombardment is heavy.
We take refuge under trees sometimes thinking that this is the hand of God that protects us. And then we run again quickly to assist our poor who await us calm. They are very old, some are blind, others have physical or mental disabilities. Soon we begin our work by cleaning, washing, cooking using the last sacks of flour and the last of its oil bottles like the story of the Prophet Elijah and the widow. God can never be outdone in generosity as long as we remain with him and his poor people. When the shelling is heavy we hide under the stairs, all five always united. We live together, we die together with Jesus and Mary our Mother.
We pray for the souls of all those lost. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord. And let the perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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