From the earliest days of Christianity, before Jesus’ followers were even known as Christians, men and women have been called upon to testify to what they have seen and experienced of God’s great love for all of us as it shines forth in the life, death and resurrection of Our Lord. We call those who witness with the total gift of their lives martyrs.
Today is no different. The martyrs of Libya and those who are dying in other countries around the world because they are Christians are a reminder that love and faith are risky. We pray for those who face this risk, that they may testify with courage and know the Father’s love in their hour of trial. And we pray that they will remember us when they meet our Lord.
Help for those left behind
As members of the wider community of faith, we may also feel called to make some offering of deeper support to the families of these martyrs. A program called Coptic Orphans works with poor families in Egypt.
Artist Tony Rezk, whose art is featured above, offers prints of his digital icons. A portion of the sale of the icon of the 21 Martyrs will go to support needy Christian families in Egypt.
Another group that is helping needy Christian families is Gather the Remnants.
The Vatican’s agency for humanitarian and pastoral support, Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA) is also active in supporting Christian communities in this time of need.
Help will certainly be needed as this campaign against Christians in countries around the world continues.