#RedWednesday 2023 - Break the Silence: Courage to be Christian
On Wednesday 22nd November, His Excellency Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia and Archbishop John Wilson joined with Aid to the Church in Need UK and esteemed guests to celebrate Mass for #RedWednesday2023 in St George's Cathedral. The theme was 'Break the Silence' which centred around solidarity and action on behalf of persecuted Christians, especially those in Africa.
The ACN National Director and Apostolic Nuncio present Margaret Attah with the first ACN 'Courage to be Christian' Award
St George's Cathedral was dramatically lit in red, both internally and externally, for the Aid to the Church Red Wednesday Mass on 22nd November 2023, reminding those present of the sacrifice of martyrs that have gone before us in both contemporary and ancient times, giving their lives for love of the Lord. It also served as a reminder that persecution of Christians still exists, and the ongoing need to taking action to break the silence by standing in solidarity with those who suffer for their faith. It was a particularly special occasion because it marked the first presentation of the charity’s newly inaugurated ‘Courage to be Christian Award’.
The award was presented to Mrs Margaret Attah, a nurse who lost both legs and the sight in one eye when a bomb went off in St Francis Xavier Church in Owo, Ondo State on Pentecost Sunday in 2022. Boko Haram later claimed responsibility for the atrocity. Over 70 people were severely injured and 41 lost their lives, including 6 children. In his opening address, Archbishop Wilson explained:
"The Holy Father, Pope Francis has reminded us that the Church today has more martyrs now than during the first few centuries. These words resonate deeply with us as we gather together. We give thanks for the witness and work of Aid to the Church in Need and we hear again Pope Francis’ call to prayer and solidarity with the suffering".
Dr Caroline Hull, National Director of Aid to the Church in Need said
‘Margaret is really receiving the award on behalf of all those who not only endured this terrible ordeal, but through the power of Faith are learning to live with their life-changing injuries’.
The Apostolic Nuncio, HE Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia, added that
‘Religious freedom is of the utmost importance and ACN UK is doing a wonderful service by honouring those who show such extraordinary commitment to their faith in the face of persecutionReligious freedom is of the utmost importance and ACN UK is doing a wonderful service by honouring those who show such extraordinary commitment to their faith in the face of persecution’.
Please pray for all Christians who suffer persecution for their faith around the world. You can prayerfully support our brothers and sisters by joining the Aid to the Church in Need campaign to storm heaven with prayer by pledging a Decade of the Rosary
ACN UK would also greatly welcome donations to their work, which seeks to raise £100k for Africa by the end of this year. To find our more visit https://bit.ly/AfricaChallengeACN
courtesy of Marcin Mazur / CBCEW