“So many Christians in the world, in Europe, today are persecuted and give their lives for their faith; or they are persecuted with white gloves, that is to say, they are left aside, marginalised”. Pope Francis made these off-the-cuff remarks in his catechesis today, referring to the audience that he had granted to the Byzantine-rite Eparchy of Mukachevo in St Peter’s Basilica before the start of the general audience. “These people have been persecuted and have suffered so much for the Gospel, but they have not negotiated their faith”, he exclaimed off the cuff. “Martyrdom is oxygen in the life of a Christian community”, he continued off the cuff: “There are always martyrs among us, and this is a sign that we are walking in Jesus’ footsteps”. “It is a blessing from the Lord that there are men and women among the people of God who bear witness through martyrdom”, the Holy Father remarked.