“The Church endures and abides when God’s holiness is spread among its members” Pope Francis says. In people like Bishop Adeodato Micallef OCD, Bishop Sylvester Carmel Magro OFM, and Bishop Emanuel Barbara OFMCap, who passed on to eternal life in January, the true beauty and greatness of the Church shines through. They were three Maltese shepherds who gave their lives to the flock put in their care.
As Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna said, these “martyrs without the shedding of blood” shepherded their flock with humility, great sacrifice and remained close to their people till the very last, even in times of danger and risk. Bishop Micallef lived through the horrors of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, Bishop Magro lived through the civil war in Libya and Bishop Barbara endured poverty in Kenya. With their strong witness of shepherds, these three Maltese missionary bishops were a gift of hope for their communities in Asia and Africa.
May the missionary spirit of these three Religious-order bishops, continue to flow through the hearts of our priests so that the Lord may choose from among them shepherds after his own heart.