"I am condemned as a priest, and I am glad to die for the faith in Christ," Father Marin Shkurti said after his death sentence was announced, on March 20, 1969, in Albania, led by the Communist Party with its theophobic Socialist ideology of death and destruction.
"I'm not afraid. Dom Dedë (Malaj) taught me to die with his own dying. You believe that with this 'revolution' you can defeat our Catholic faith, but do not forget that the Church draws new strength from our blood that is being shed. The Church you are destroying will be revived."
As he stood before his executioners, on April 1, 1969, he shouted, "You shoot me just because I'm a priest. I am innocent. Long live the faith in Christ! Long live Albania!"
VIVA CRISTO REY! RROFTE KRISHTI MBRET!
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THERESA MARIE MOREAU is an award-winning reporter who covers Catholicism and Communism.