June 20 is the feast of Saint Alban, an early English martyr. He is also the patron saint of refugees.
He was living in Briton when a Christian priest appeared on his doorstep, fleeing from persecution. He was very impressed by the prayer and holiness of the priest and received instruction from him. The local authorities began to suspect that Alban was harboring a Christian and searched his house. Alban had helped the priest to escape and had put on the priest’s clothes.
Alban was arrested and when his real identity was known he refused to renounce the Christian faith and was subsequently tortured and martyred.
But it all started with welcoming a stranger.
May we follow the example of Saint Alban – even risking imprisonment and death to save the refugees.
Today let us pray especially for the Chaldean Catholics arrested in Detroit who face deportation to a situation of intense violence and persecution.
Saint Albam, pray for them and for us.