WITNESSES OF FAITH
This is the title of the booklet produced by Aid to the Church in Need (Malta) in collaboration with Sr. Yvonne Gera, a Franciscan Missionary of Mary who worked in Algeria for 22 years.
The book is about the 19 martyrs of Algeria namely Pierre Claverie, a Dominican Bishop;Marist Brother Henri Verges; Sister Paul Helene, a Little Sister of Assumption; Two Augustinian Missionary Sisters- Esther Paniagua, and Caridad Alvarez Martin; Four white Fathers- Jean Chevillard, Alain Dieulangard, Charles Deckers, Christian Chessel; Two Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles- Jeanne Little John and Denise Leclercq; Sister Odette Prevost, a Little Sister of the Sacred Heart; Seven Trappists- Fr. Christian De Charge, Bro. Luc Dochier, Fr. Lebreton Christophe, Br. Michel Fleury, Fr. Bruno Lemarchand, Fr. Celestin Ringeard and Br. Paul Favre-Miville.
These missionaries were murdered during the Algerian Civil war between 1994 and 1996.
Like many missionaries today, they lived and worked in a dangerous circumstance; when the civil war in Algeria was at its peak. They were given an ultimatum to leave the country or they would be targeted but according to Sr. Gera, they use to say, “the captain is not going to leave the ship while it is sinking” so they remained.
These martyrs had the option to leave but they found something worth dying for; the love of God and the flock entrusted to them. 22 years later, the Church has recognised their sacrifice and decided to honour them.
Their story is an inspiration for us and gives us the impetus to stand strong even in the face of life’s challenges.
There is a lot we can learn from the stories of their lives; their vocation, their work among the people of Algeria, their reactions to the death threats and their acceptance of martyrdom.
All these can be found in this book, “Witnesses of Faith”.
To request, a copy (copies) contact our office on 21487818 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.