Bhopal: August 19, 2010. (PCP) Ecumenical Commission of the Catholic Conference of Bishops of India,(CCBI),has appealed to all Christian community members to remember the Indian Christian Martyrs on 29th August,(Last Sunday).
Ecumenical Commission, CCBI has send letters to all its regional, diocesan secretaries and heads of various denominations and ecclesial communities to celebrate the last Sunday as the Christian Martyrs’ Day. Commission in its Annual meeting, (11-13 January 2009), held at Jhansi had endorsed the proposal put by the Madhya Pradesh Region on behalf of the Isai Mahasangh which had started this movement in 2008.
Bishop Dr. Anil Cuto , (Bishop of Jalandhar), the Ecumenism Commission Chairman, said, “ we request all Christians belonging to all denomination to remember those died for the sake of their faith. The Catholic Church has a very dignified procedure to declare martyrs, saints etc. but what we expect is to remember the sacrifice made by people. It is not declaring somebody a saint but an effort to preserve their suffering and sacrifice as a heritage of the Christians. It can inspire many generations.”
Fr. Anbu svd, National Secretary to the Ecumenical Commission, told, “the Church is standing on the Blood of the Martyrs, we Want to honour them, the Christians who sacrificed their lives are from different denominations and ecclesial communities so it could be an ecumenical effort to unite the Christians towards their great sacrifice.”
Mr. Kurishinkal Josy , President, Isai Mahasangh (IMS) said , “the great sacrifice done by the Christians of Orissa has to be remembered by the people of India . So we started to celebrate Indian Christian Martyrs’ Day. We are happy that August month is chosen for the same because it is in this month most of the Christians scarified their life in Orissa. we will remember it as a day to recall all those Christians since St. Thomas , the apostle, who were killed while serving the Lord.”
In Madhya Pradesh, Isai Mahasangh has already started preparations for the celebrations across the state. Richard D’Silva , Media In-charge, said ,We have started and E-mail campaign to appeal all the Church leaders and people of good will to celebrate it with prayer, fasting, blood donation camps etc. He also said that Archbishop Dr. Leo Cornelio, Fr. Anand Muttungal and many Christian leaders have been constantly supporting our efforts. We express whole hearted gratitude to them and to Commission for Ecumenism, CCBI for taking up this cause of the people.”
Isai Mahasangh organizers say that Kandamal martyrdom and suffering is a symbol of Christian heroism so it must be made known to all through a very unique way.