15 February 2017

The 21 Martyrs of Libya

Today, the 15th of February 2017, is the two year anniversary of the martyrdom of 21 men on the Libyan coastline of the Mediterranean Sea. They were beheaded on account of their Christian faith by members of Da'ish, better known as ISIS. Just as their Lord Jesus was persecuted and murdered by a generation of vipers, these brothers were persecuted and murdered by another generation of vipers. Just as their Lord Jesus was resurrected and is now enthroned in Heaven, these brothers are in Heaven with Him, and on the Last Day they too will have glorified bodies. In Jesus we have a fine example of a man who suffered and entrusted Himself to God; in the 21 Martyrs of Libya we have a noble example of men who suffered and entrusted themselves to the Lord Jesus. All praise and glory to Him! Amen!

Martyrdom of Saint Romulus by Carlo Portelli.
Photo by Sailko. (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Of these 21 men 20 of them were members of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. The other man who completed this noble band of martyrs was a black man from Chad or Ghana named Matthew. He came from a non-Christian family but when he met these Coptic brothers and learned of their faith and saw it in action he became a believer in the true God. On the day he and they were going to die, he was asked by one Da'ish member if he wanted to deny Christ rather than suffer the fate of the Coptic brothers. His words were, "Their God is my God." In the row they were in at their beheading, he was in the centre, the place of honour.

Our 21 brothers were beheaded on the coastline. After their holy blood mingled with the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the world said it was a horrendous and nauseating sight, but I've never seen water so luminous and pure before! Our noble band of martyrs wore orange jumpsuits as if they were criminals, but now they wear royal garments that vindicate their righteousness. They were poor but now they are rich. Their last words on earth were "O Lord Jesus!" but now in Heaven they sing "Alleluia!"

May God give the 21 Martyrs of Libya admirers on earth every day of this year and all years to come!

No comments:

Post a Comment