Their last words were “Ya Rab Yasou!” I watched the video, and I cried, and I repeatedly did the sign of the Cross. On that day, my mind fixed on the phrase: “My Lord, Jesus!”
It was believed that St. Mark, the Evangelizer of Egypt, came from Jewish parents in Pentapolis, present day Libya. As St. Mark was dragged in the streets of Alexandria to be killed, he would see Christ in a vision and would repeat the words “My Lord, Jesus!”
These terrorists have done the Christian world a favor, by showing us the last words of these 21 brave soldiers of Christ. Truly, these are the children of St. Mark! May their prayers and the prayers of St. Mark be with us all! Amen!
One note also, and it is a difficult note. Let us pray also for our enemies. I am reminded of St. Stephen who prayed that the Lord may not lay this sin of stoning against his stoners. Let us also pray that the Lord may forgive them, soften their hearts, and give them the enlightenment of the road to Damascus: “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Let us pray and fast for our enemies and hope that these brave Coptic souls may have had some impact to heal their killers’ blindness and hardness of heart.
Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of all ages! Amen!
I am breaking from my retreat to write with tears a tribute of honour and veneration to our newest martyrs, the 21 martyrs in Libya. These valiant men have offered themselves as a living sacrifice as a testimony before the whole world and all nations.
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