Rorate Caeli

Ecce ascendimus Ierosolymam
Lent is coming... - II

I was offered high positions in government and I was asked to give up my battle, but I always refused, even at the risk of my life. My answer was always the same: "No, I want to serve Jesus as a common man." 
This devotion makes me happy. I do not look for popularity, I do not want positions of power. I just want a place at the feet of Jesus. I want my life, my character, my actions to speak for myself and to say that I am following Jesus Christ. This desire is so strong in me that I consider myself privileged if - in my effort and my struggle to help the needy, the poor, the persecuted Christians of Pakistan - Jesus would accept the sacrifice of my life. I want to live for Christ and for Him I wish to die. I feel no fear in this country.

Many times, the extremists tried to kill me and imprison me, I have been threatened, persecuted and my family has been terrorized. The extremists, a few years ago, even asked my parents, my mother and my father, to dissuade me from continuing my mission to help Christians and those in need, otherwise I would be lost. But my father always encouraged me. I say that, as long as I live, until my last breath, I will continue to serve Jesus and this poor, suffering, mankind, Christians, the needy, and the poor.

I want to tell you that I find much inspiration in the Holy Bible and the life of Jesus Christ.The more I read the New and the Old Testament, Bible verses, and the word of the Lord, the stronger are my strength and my will. When I reflect on the fact that Jesus Christ sacrificed everything, that God sent His own Son for our redemption and our salvation, I wonder how I can follow the way of Calvary. Our Lord said, "Come with me, take up your cross and follow me." The words I love most of the Bible state: "I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me to drink, I was a stranger and you took me in, I was naked and you clothed me, ill and you visited me, in prison and you came to me." So when I see the poor and needy, I think that, under their appearance, Jesus is the one to meet me.

So I always try to be helpful, along with my colleagues, to give assistance to the needy, the hungry, the thirsty.
[Shahbaz Bhatti, Cristiani in Pakistan. Nelle prove la speranza (Christians in Pakistan: hope in tribulation), Marcianum Press, Venice, 2008 (p. 39-43)]
[Tip: Papa Ratzinger blog; text: Fondazione Oasis]


  1. Anonymous4:25 PM

    Based on his own words, AND the leaflets left by the Muslim Al Qaeda assassins at the scene of his murder, I appears highly likely Shahbaz Bhatti was an authentic martyr for the Faith. It appears Our Lord granted him this unique grace expressed in Bhatti's own words: This desire is so strong in me that I consider myself privileged if - in my effort and my struggle to help the needy, the poor, the persecuted Christians of Pakistan - Jesus would accept the sacrifice of my life. I want to live for Christ and for Him I wish to die.

    Yes, it is up to the Holy See to declare him as having died in Odium Fidei, but I have no doubt this man's soul is in the embrace of the hearts of Jesus and Mary.

  2. Anonymous5:28 PM

    It is too all inclusive to lable this holyman and martyr simply as a "Christian", as has been labeled in your column, and in the secular press. It should read "Roman Catholic"...not simply "christian". The reason is that the all inclusive use of "Christian" without stating "Roman Catholic" in many articles printed since this assasination might give a reader the impression that this brave and holy man was simply a Protestant, a member of one of thousands of evangelical, pentecostolist, or other bible-based Christian group which members can hardly be ranked or classified as martyrs or indeed vistims of persecution on anything else.

    So it is good to make know the Roman Catholic faith of this good man, singularizing him out from the rabble of others who claim to be "christians" of hundreds of so called "denominations".

    I honor the memory of this holy Catholic man as a new martyr, just as I do the many Egyptian Copts of Orthodox of Catholics who have been persecuted for the Faith.
    Pray for the holy Roman Catholic, Coptic, and Orthodox people who suffer persecution and have died for the Faith.
    They are all, indeed, in the "embrace of the hearts of Jesus and Mary".

  3. What a man! If there were a dozen of men like Shahbaz, the world would have been a better place.

    SB, pray for us and the suffering church in Pakistan

  4. This is not a 'column', second Anon. These are his words...


  5. Anonymous9:26 PM

    If his words quoted here are any indication, Shahbaz Bhatti was a truly holy man of God and, as Anon 16:25 says, an authentic martyr of the Faith. I'm pretty well blown away by his words and, above all, his example. We should keep our eyes and ears open for testimonies concerning this man's sanctity.

  6. There are Protestant Christian martyrs, second anon.--google End of the Spear. Many of them, in fact. We just don't have the ability to say for sure they're in heaven, as we do with our saints. Praise God for our Holy Catholic Faith!

  7. Beautiful. Just beautiful.

  8. SANTO SUBITO !!!!!

  9. What Pascendi said.

  10. Anonymous12:32 PM

    Rest in peace.

  11. "Prelates in Pakistan, Rome hail Bhatti 'authentic martyr'"

  12. Am I the only one uneasy at the article that Jordanes has linked to above?

    A martyr for inter-religious dialogue, instead for the Catholic faith? Really?

  13. Gratias7:41 AM

    RIP, Holy Shahbaz Bhatti. Blessed subito!

  14. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Sorry, we've decided to canonize the Qur'an- kisser instead.

    Peace and brotherhood from your pals in the Roman Conciliar Church.


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