Sts. Perpetua and Felicity. | Credit: National Catholic Register files

10 little-known facts about the early visionary St. Perpetua and her companion St. Felicity

Mar 7, 2024

As the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Perpetua and Felicity on March 7, here are some interesting things to know about these early martyrs.

A lamb is wreathed in flowers during a special Mass for the feast of St. Agnes at the Basilica of St. Agnes Outside the Wall on Jan. 21, 2014. | Credit: Paul Badde/CNA

The Origins of St. Agnes, Child Saint and Martyr

Jan 21, 2024

Although not much is known about the life of St. Agnes, there are many stories passed down since her martyrdom in the fourth century.

St. Arcadius. | Credit: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Today the Church honors 3 groups of martyrs as Christians worldwide continue to face persecution

Jan 12, 2024

On Jan. 12, we honor the feast days of several martyrs and groups of martyrs at a time when there are more martyrs than ever.

Painting of St. Stephen’s martyrdom. | Rembrandt

St. Stephen: Visiting the Spot Where the First Martyr Died

Dec 26, 2023

A chapel of one form or another memorializing Stephen’s martyrdom has existed at the site since at least the fifth century. 

Pope Francis at the Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, Angelus and martyrs beatified in Seville on Nov. 18, 2023. | Credit: Youtube Vatican News / Archdiocese of Seville

Pope Francis Calls for Applause for 20 Martyrs of Spanish Civil War Beatified in Seville

Nov 20, 2023

At Sunday’s Angelus, Pope Francis called for applause for the 20 martyrs beatified in the Seville cathedral on Nov. 18.

Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square on June 28, 2023. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican to Collect Stories of Christian Martyrs Killed Since 2000

Jul 5, 2023

The Vatican announced Wednesday the creation of a commission to research and catalog the stories of Christian martyrs from the third millennium.

Pope Francis receives relics of the Coptic martyrs from Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, May 11, 2023. Pope Francis also announced that the 21 men will be added to the Church’s official list of saints. | Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis Adds Coptic Orthodox Martyrs to Liturgical Book of Saints

May 11, 2023

Pope Francis said Thursday that the Coptic Orthodox martyrs killed by ISIS in 2015 will be added to the Catholic Church’s official list of saints. He also received a relic of the martyrs’ blood as a gift.

Relics of Sr. Mary Daniel Abut and Sr. Regina Roba Luate were solemnly introduced in the altar of the new African martyrs in the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on 23 May 2022. Credit:

Relics of Two South Sudanese Nuns Introduced in Altar of New African Martyrs in Rome

May 24, 2022

The relics of two South Sudanese Catholic Sisters who were among five people killed following a road ambush in August 2021 have been placed in the sanctuary of the new African martyrs in a church in Rome.

Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne were guillotined for their faith on July 17, 1794. Photo illustration.

Pope Francis Opens Special Process to Canonize 16 Carmelite Martyrs of French Revolution

Feb 25, 2022

At the request of the bishops of France and the Order of Carmelites Discalced (OCD), Pope Francis agreed on Feb. 22 to open a special process known in the Catholic Church as “equipollent canonization” to raise the 16 Carmelite martyrs of Compiègne to the altars.

Four martyrs are beatified at a Mass in San Salvador, El Salvador, on Jan. 22, 2022. Camilo Freedman/APHOTOGRAFIA/Getty Images.

Pope Francis Honors Newly Beatified El Salvador Martyrs for their "heroic example"

Jan 25, 2022

Father Cosme Spessotto, Father Rutilio Grande, and two lay companions were declared blessed.

Two vehicles carrying the remains of Sr. Mary Daniel Abut and Sr. Regina Roba parked in front of St. Theresa’s Kator Cathedral of South Sudan’s Juba Archdiocese where their Funeral Mass was held before being laid to rest 20 August 2021. Credit: Fr. John Lo'boka Morris, Apostles of Jesus/Juba

Two Slain South Sudanese Catholic Sisters Laid to Rest in Juba, Eulogized as “our martyrs”

Aug 20, 2021

The two South Sudanese Catholic Sisters who were among five people killed following a road ambush earlier this week have been eulogized as martyrs.

Notices highlight the death of Rosario Livatino in 1990. Credit: Rosario Livatino Study Center.

How a Martyr Killed by the Mafia in Italy Inspired a Generation of Catholic Lawyers

Jan 9, 2021

Soon-to-be Blessed Rosario Livatino was a Catholic judge brutally killed by the mafia in Sicily in 1990. Today his legal legacy lives on through the work of a center in Italy dedicated to issues of life, the family, and religious freedom.

Pope Francis gives his Angelus address June 8, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media/CNA.

Do Not Fear Persecution, Violence: Pope Francis to Catholics

Jun 21, 2020

Pope Francis on Sunday encouraged Christians to fear sin, not the hostility, violence, or persecution they may face when sharing the Gospel with the world.

Thomas Heine-Beldern, President of Aid to the Church in Need

“2019 one of the bloodiest for Christians in history”: Head of Global Catholic Charity

Jan 3, 2020

The President of the international Catholic pastoral charitable organization, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Thomas Heine-Beldern, has described the just ended year, 2019, as a year with a significantly high record of attacks targeting Christians across the globe, including Africa where Christians have been murdered in West Africa.

Pope Francis gives the Angelus address during Advent 2016. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

St. Stephen's martyrdom shows 'true meaning of Christmas,' Pope Francis says

Dec 27, 2019

The death of St. Stephen, the Church’s first martyr, teaches Catholics to renew their commitment to charity and self-gift, part of the meaning of Christmas, Pope Francis said Thursday.

Catacombs of Priscilla. Credit: Vatican News.

Pope Francis Celebrates All Souls' Day Mass in Rome Catacombs

Nov 2, 2019

Pope Francis celebrated Mass Saturday for the souls of the dead in Rome’s Catacombs of Priscilla, saying the place of a Christian is in the safety of the hands of God, whatever the outside circumstances might be.