On Friday 15 March, the 32nd Missionary Martyrs’ Day was commemorated. During the Way of the Cross “Martyrs of the earth” the power of being “brothers all” was experienced.

Many lay and consecrated people from various parts of the world, all in silence following the cross on which the missionaries present literally nailed the images of martyrs (from Oscar Romero to Dorothy Stang, from Ezequiel Ramin to Ines Arango).

Outside the walls of the General House of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Jeanne Antide Thouret, the traffic continued relentlessly, but above the hill, recollection reigned. The distance between the voracious city and the green garden of the Sisters of Charity seemed to reaffirm the distance between the City of God and the City of Men. And in that distance resounded the many testimonies of those who have spent their lives in the name of the Lord, especially in the Panamanian region.

How many are the ‘landless’ victims? How many martyrs have shed their blood trying to extinguish the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth? It was evident to all that what crushed their lives, like a bulldozer in the heart of the Amazon, was the advancement of a technocratic society incapable of looking beyond its own gain; as if the value of our ‘Common Home’ was merely economic and not linked to the richness of its native peoples and the biodiversity of its ecosystems, signs of the Lord’s living presence.

Pope Francis encouraged the launch of the Laudato Si’ Platform of Initiatives in 2021, and so at the 15 Stations of the Cross the many realities of the Common Home team prayed: Team Itinerant, Combonians, Laudato SI’ Movement, MISEREOR (German Catholic Bishops’ Organisation for Development Cooperation), Together for global justice, Centro Amazónico de Antropología y Aplicación Práctica, Réseau Ecclésial du Bassin du Congo, Caritas Internationalis, Pastoral de Pescadores, International Union of Major Superiors and International Panamazzonica Network.

Together towards Calvary, together on the way to the Risen Lord.

Alessandro Pucci