Do you remember the date of 13th February 2015? It was on this day that 21 Coptic Christians were martyred for their faith by ISIS. This event has been depicted in a sacred icon by the artist Nikola Sarić . Often, our experience of icons can be synonymous with historic events that seem far removed from our lives today. So it is an important and extremely powerful reminder of the sufferings of our Christian brothers to see an icon that depicts something so prevalent to our world today.

Speaking on the subject, Pope Francis said,

“They were killed simply for the fact they were Christians. The blood of our Christian brothers and sisters is a testimony which cries out to be heard,” said the Pope.  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.”

martires

Their names have also been released by the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los AngelesLet us not forget the power of names, especially when we do not personally know the martyrs. Each name signifies a life that was a gift from God and in turn, they gave their lives back to Him. Let us pray that we will not let our Christian brothers and sisters down in our own witness of faith, no matter how small the battles may be that we face. Let us pray for their families, that they will be comforted and strengthened. And finally, let us also pray for our enemies, including ISIS, that they will realise the reality of their violence and repent.

The list is as as follows:

Milad Makeen Zaky
Abanub Ayad Atiya
Maged Solaiman Shehata
Yusuf Shukry Yunan
Kirollos Shokry Fawzy
Bishoy Astafanus Kamel
Somaily Astafanus Kamel
Malak Ibrahim Sinweet
Tawadros Yusuf Tawadros
Girgis Milad Sinweet
Mina Fayez Aziz
Hany Abdelmesih Salib
Bishoy Adel Khalaf
Samuel Alham Wilson
A Worker from Awr village
Ezat Bishri Naseef
Loqa Nagaty
Gaber Munir Adly
Esam Badir Samir
Malak Farag Abram
Sameh Salah Faruq

The icon is on display in Germany and it is hoped that money can be raised for the families of those who were killed. You can read more about the icon here: Nikola Saric