“The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard,” said Pope [Francis] . It makes no difference whether they be Catholics, Orthodox, Copts or Protestants. They are Christians! Their blood is one and the same. Their blood confesses Christ.''As the world struggles to once more comprehend the savagery being inflicted on people through out the Middle East by people with a very warped understanding of the Islamic faith, Pope Francis reminds us all once more of the ecumenism of blood. No matter what our denomination those who die in odium fidei are witnesses for Christ - martyrs in the oldest understanding of the term.
Over at Patheos, Elizabeth Scalia names the martyrs who have been killed in the most recent tragedy. The naming and recollection of our martyrs goes right back to the beginning of the church with the account of the martyrdom of St Stephen in the Acts of the Apostles. The recollection of names ensures their memory and that their sacrifice and witness is not forgotten.
Let us ask these new martyrs for their prayers:
+Holy Martyr Milad Makeen Zaky, pray for us, and for the whole world,
+Holy Martyr Abanub Ayad Atiya, pray for your ISIS murderers,
+Holy Martyr Maged Solaimain Shehata, pray for their salvation,
+Holy Martyr Yusuf Shukry Yunan, pray for the release of their all their captives,
+Holy Martyr Kirollos Shokry Fawzy, pray for all in the path of ISIS,
+Holy Martyr Bishoy Astafanus Kamel, pray for the displaced, for those made refugees by ISIS,
+Holy Martyr Somaily Astafanus Kamel, pray for the protection of our Holy Lands and our history,
+Holy Martyr Malak Ibrahim Sinweet, pray for those who act now in resistance against ISIS,
+Holy Martyr Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros, pray for those in immediate danger from forces of evil,
+Holy Martyr Girgis Milad Sinweet, pray for those infected with the virus of hatred and extremism,
+Holy Martyr Mina Fayez Aziz, pray for families being challenged, throughtout the world, by ISIS,
+Holy Martyr Hany Abdelmesih Salib, pray aid workers may draw together, unmolested, to give assistance,
+Holy Martyr Bishoy Adel Khalaf, pray for the targeted clergy and religious of the Near East churches,
+Holy Martyr Samuel Alham Wilson, pray for all people of good will, in every religion, every nation,
+Holy Martyr Whose name we do not know — you “Worker from Awr village” — pray for those in leadership, whose names we know all too well, that their motives may be purified of political intrigue, and for their salvation,
+Holy Martyr Ezat Bishri Naseef, pray for Jews, throughout the world, chosen of God and so despised,
+Holy Martyr Loqa Nagaty, pray for the “two lungs” of Christianity, East and West, to breath together,
+Holy Martyr Gaber Munir Adly, pray for the illumination of that which is All-Good,
+Holy Martyr Esam Badir Samir, pray that in beholding it, we will wish to serve it,
+Holy Martyr Malak Farag Abram, pray for the generation in power, that their egos may be put aside and their hearts might be opened to the Way, the Truth and the Life,
+Holy Martyr Sameh Salah Faruq, pray for the generations to come.
O New Martyrs, through a malevolent force as old as Eden you now number among the ancient holy ones; keep us particularly in your prayers, as once again we are focused on the mysterious lands where humanity first came into being, and into knowing, and where all will finally be revealed. Pray that we may put aside all that is irrelevant to the moment and, looking forever to the East, prepare our spirits for the engagements into which we may be called, whether we live amid these places of ancient roads and portals, or in the most modern of dwellings.
Mary, the God-bearer, pray for us,
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us,
Saint John the Forerunner, pray for us,
All Holy Men and Women, pray for us.
But it is not just these 21, we should remember all those both Christian and non-Christian who have died in this conflict.
ICN - Pope offers Mass for martyred Coptic Christians, condemns arms trade
Vatican Radio - Pope at Santa Marta: Slain because they were Christian
Vatican Radio - Egypt mourns Coptic Christians beheaded in Libya
Vatican Radio - Bishop Martinelli vows to stay in Libya with his flock
The Catholic Herald - After beheading Coptic Christians, Islamists say they will ‘conquer Rome’ next
The Daily Telegraph - The Middle East is red with the blood of Christians
Washington Post - Pope Francis denounces ISIS beheadings: ‘Their blood confesses Christ’
Aleteia - "Their Blood Cries Out To The Lord," Says Pope Francis of Beheaded Copts
The Independent - Egypt's Coptic Christians: Who are they – and why have then been targeted by Isis in beheading video?