Seven years ago today, Dorothy Stang, an American Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, was martyred in the Amazon as a result of her work with the landless poor there. When two hired gunmen met her on a muddy path they asked if she was carrying a weapon. In reply, she took out a Bible and began to recite the Beatitudes. "Blessed are the poor in spirit...blessed are the peacemakers." Then she was shot. This video shows some of her generous spirit and the love that the people had for her. The first few minutes are particularly affecting, and will remind you of so many of the women religious who have a passion for the Gospel and for the poor.
There are many kinds of martyrs recognized by the church, besides those who are killed specifically for their faith: for example, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe, who volunteered to die in place of a stranger at Auschwitz. May Sister Dorothy rest in peace, and may she one day be recognized as a martyr by the universal church.