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June 6, 2024 — Of all the saints and heroes of the faith we have in our Catholic tradition, it can be difficult to spiritually connect with martyrs. Maybe that’s part of the point of martyrs, to trouble us a bit in a holy way, to remind us that sometimes faith in Christ can mean literally laying down one’s life for one’s friends. The martyrs invite us to reflect on the depth of my own faith commitments, and whether we’d share their steadfast courage if we were in their shoes. Does faith come first in my life, or only when it’s convenient?

Today’s guest is the perfect person to ask about Christian martyrdom and what we might learn from the stories and witness of individual martyrs. Fr. Peter Nguyen, SJ, is a theologian and a scholar of Christian martyrdom, and he has devoted much of his career learning and writing about martyrs. A Jesuit priest who spent this past academic year at Marquette University as the Reverend Francis C. Wade, SJ, Chair, Fr. Nguyen spoke to host Mike Jordan Laskey recently about two martyrs who gave their lives during World War II: Fr. Alfred Delp, SJ, and Edith Stein, who is also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Both Delp and Stein died as part of the resistance to Nazi Germany. Fr. Nguyen thinks it is worthwhile to engage with their legacies today, even as the details of their lives might challenge us and make us uncomfortable. Learn more about Fr. Nguyen and his book on Alfred Delp, SJ.

AMDG is a production of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States.

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