Today we celebrate St. Berard and companions, 13th century Franciscans who became the first Franciscan martyrs. In 1219, Berard departed from Italy with Peter, Adjute, Accurs, Odo and Vitalis. They went to many places but had only few converts. They brought their message of love, the message of Christ, to Morocco, where they were told to leave. They refused. So they were beheaded. We also celebrate MLK today, who brought a message of love to Memphis. There he too was killed. The same happened wth Christ: Jesus not only brought the message of love; he incarnated it. And he was killed for it. What we celebrate today is that none of these men died in vain. Their message–the message of Christ, the message of love–has been heard and embraced by billions and billions down through the centuries. And it is love that saves.