The last century has been defined by Pope Benedict XVI as a time of martyrdom, because the number of Christians who gave testimony to their faith by giving their life in martyrdom was so high. Conspicuous and tragic is the number of those who spilt their blood for Christ in the year 2005.
On March 24, the day of prayer and fasting instituted by John Paul II to remember all those who gave their life for Christ, the Order remembered all the friar martyrs of the 800 years of our history. The most recent death was that of Angelo Redaelli, OFM, in the Congo. We here give the list, probably incomplete, of the Friars Minor who offered their lives for the proclamation of the Gospel in recent years:
- Kevin Lawlor (Australia), killed on June 25, 1986 in Uganda;
- Msgr. Salvatore Colombo (Italy), killed in Somalia on July 9, 1989;
- Pietro Turati (Italy), killed on February 8, 1991 in Somalia;
- George Gashugi (Rwanda), killed on April 18, 1994 in Rwanda;
- Francesco Piccinini (Italy), died of malaria on January 25, 1998 in the Republic of the Congo;
- Vjeko Curic (Bosnia), killed on January 31, 1998 in Rwanda;
- Fabian Thon (Australia), killed on August 16, 2001 in Papua New Guinea;
- Manus Campbell (Ireland), killed on May 21, 2003 in South Africa;
- Angelo Redaelli (Italy), killed on September 12, 2005 in the Republic of Congo Brazzaville.