Saints for Us All
February 19, 2016 2 Comments
This Icon, of the 21 Coptic martyrs of Libya by Egyptian-American artist Tony Rezk, remember those 21 stalwarts of the faith, beheaded a year ago, by ISIS. This is something for all Christians, Here is the President of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, via Cranach.
And Pope Francis via The Catholic Herald.
[T]he blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard… 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. This is not to minimise differences, nor to turn a blind eye to them. However, in dying for Christ do such divisions among Christians retain real relevance? In dying for Christ one has become the perfect disciple, and enters a real communion with Christ’s Body in heaven.
And Archpriest Lawrence Farley says this on Pravimir.com.
Many have heard the dramatic story of the twenty-one Coptic Orthodox Christians working in Libya who were captured and beheaded by ISIS as part of their ongoing campaign of provocation and terror. What may not be as well known in the media is that all twenty-one were offered the chance to save their lives by embracing Islam, and that all twenty-one refused, confessing Christ and dying for Him as true Christian martyrs. Indeed, it appears that the Coptic Orthodox Church has already canonized them (i.e., declared them to be saints), and some ask what response the Chalcedonian Orthodox Churches should make as regards these courageous Christians. The question involves a look at the evolving practice of official canonization in the church.
People are most familiar with the process of canonization in the Roman Catholic Church, since the Roman communion is the best-known and largest church in the west. Over the years, that church has developed a complicated system and lengthy process which must be followed before anyone can be officially declared a saint. Previous to that, declarations of sainthood happened more informally and locally.
Whatever your flavor of Christianity, these 21 Christians died for our faith, and we should indeed honor them.