Pope recognises Martyrdom of Myanmar missionary

20 March 2019
Pope recognises Martyrdom of Myanmar missionary
Fr. Alfredo Cremonesi. (1902-1953). Photo: PIME Missionaries

Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of an Italian missionary killed in Myanmar, according to the National Catholic Reporter.

Fr. Alfredo Cremonesi, a member of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, worked nearly 30 years in the mountains of Myanmar, then known as Burma.

Born in 1902, the priest went by boat to Burma to serve the Karen people living in isolated villages. He survived the same difficulties as the people when Japanese troops occupied the nation during World War II and he refused to leave when Karen troops launched a rebellion against the new government formed when the nation achieved independence in 1948.

The conflict included government attacks on the villages where Cremonesi lived. In 1953, soldiers shot him and others, believing they were part of the Karen resistance.