I was vaguely aware that Pope Benedict XVI recently visited Cyprus, but I missed this story about the martyrdom of Luigi Padovese, on June 3 of this year.Padovese was a bishop in Turkey. He cancelled a planned trip to the island of Cyprus, because Turkish authorities warned him his driver had become radicalized, and the bishop was afraid the driver would try to assassinate the pope. So instead, the driver killed him:
During the celebration of Bishop Padovese’s funeral Mass, the Turkish TV station NTV announced that the 26 year-old driver, Murat Altun, had confessed to killing the bishop. He died after being stabbed 25 times, eight of them in his heart, and was almost completely decapitated by Altun, who said he murdered Bishop Padovese because he had received a “divine inspiration.”
NTV added that Altun shouted “Allahu Akbar” a number of times after the murder, despite having presented himself as a Catholic.
Please remember the friends and family of Bishop Padovese in your prayers, and everyone who faces the possibility of martyrdom for their faith. Please also pray for everyone who feels called to murder others by “divine inspiration.”