Nation and World News

Priest says Egypt’s Christians feel they could be martyrs at any time

The mother of one of the victims of an attack on a group of Coptic Christians that took place May 26 attended a funeral at the Sacred Family Church in Minya, Egypt, that same day.

CAIRO — Christians in Egypt "are getting to this idea that we could be a martyr at any moment," the spokesman for the nation's Catholic bishops told Catholic News Service.

The spokesman, Father Rafic Greiche, also lamented the number of children killed in an attack on a bus carrying Coptic Orthodox Christians to St. Samuel Monastery in southern Egypt May 26.

At least 26 people, many of them children, were killed when masked assailants attacked the bus. Dozens of others were injured.

Pilgrims by the thousands trek to Ugandan shrine to recall 22 martyrs

NAMUGONGO, Uganda — Walking more than 250 miles to keep a religious commitment is the least anyone can expect of Anna Aciro.

Aciro, 62, has walked the entire distance from Aru, a village in Congo, to the Uganda Martyrs Basilica and Shrine in Namugongo to honor the memory of 22 Catholic saints who lost their lives because of their faith from 1885 to 1887.

For Aciro, it's her second trek to the shrine, which is located near the capital of Kampala.

Feast: Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the three-month visit of Mary with her elderly cousin Elizabeth during Mary's pregnancy with Jesus and Elizabeth's with John the Baptist.

The story appears in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel (1:39-56). It recounts Elizabeth's Spirit-filled greeting, acknowledging Mary as "the mother of my Lord," and Mary's beautiful response, the Magnificat, which begins, "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord." Introduced by the Franciscans in 1263, the feast became universal in the 16th century.

Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Medicaid reimbursements will no longer go to abortion providers in Iowa

Gunmen take Catholic hostages; Philippines’ Duterte imposes martial law

Philippine government troops stood guard May 24 at a checkpoint along a main highway in Lanao del Norte province. Residents started to evacuate the town of Marawi after President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao.

MANILA, Philippines — Gunmen claiming to have links with the Islamic State group threatened to kill hostages, including a Catholic priest, who were taken from the southern Philippine city of Marawi May 23.

President Rodrigo Duterte imposed martial law across the entire Muslim-majority region of Mindanao late May 23, but ucanews.com reported that many, including Church leaders, characterized the imposition of martial law as an overreaction.

Pope announces new cardinals from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos, Salvador

The new cardinals, clockwise from top left: Cardinal-designate Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Cardinal-designate Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, Cardinal-designate Juan Jose Omella of Barcelona, Spain and Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary bishop of San Salvador, El Salvador

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis announced he will create five new cardinals June 28; the new cardinals-designate come from Mali, Spain, Sweden, Laos and El Salvador.

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