CHURCH OF MARTYRS
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My Name’s Sake." ~ Matthew 24:9
Church of Martyrs
As the Church grew in Egypt, it became known as the Church of Martyrs. Beginning in the year 202 AD under the reign of Septimus Severus, the Coptic Church suffered severe repression and persecution, with the influential School of Alexandria forced to close, and its dean, Saint Clement forced to flee.
The repression towards Christianity continued under the reign of the Roman Emperor Decus who issued an edict to re-establish the Pagan State religion at any cost.
In 257 AD, Emperor Valerian issued edicts to destroy the Church, Pope Dionysius was arrested and sent to exile.
In 302 AD, the Roman Emperor Diocletian began what was to be the most severe persecution towards Christians. He dismissed every soldier in the army who refused to worship the Roman Gods.
Determined to crush Christianity in Egypt - 800,000 men, women, and children were Martyred for their Belief and un-wavering Faith in Our Lord & Saviour and King of Us All - Jesus Christ, the Logos.
In Commemoration of these Martyrs, the Coptic Orthodox Church begins its calendar (NAYROUZ) from 284 AD - which is the year that Emperor Diocletian became the Emperor and Commenced His Reign of Persecution against Christians.
The Coptic calendar is known as the “Year of the Martyrs” (NAYROUZ) (or Anno Martyrum - AM) with this year 2020 as the year 1736 - 1737 A.M.
Even to this present-day and age, the Holy Coptic Orthodox Church still presents her Sons and Daughters as Living Beacons of Light to the Whole World under all sides of persecution, evil and hate. The Coptic Church still has Great Martyrs – her Holy Children – in which, through their un-wavering and Strong Faith in Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ – have they given their lives willingly and un-renouncing the Name & Love of their Holy Redeemer & Saviour.
The 21 Coptic Martyrs of Libya
“And they Overcame him by the Blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their Testimony, and they did Not Love their lives to the Death.” ~ Revelation 12:11
The Blood of these Holy Saints & Martyrs still continues to “Water” this Earth with their Sacred Blood - to this very day and age. Because of a HOLY ZEAL & TRUE FAITH that is as OLD as the Ages – received from Jesus Christ and His Holy Apostles and given unto us from generation to generation. Yet as each and everyone of us is called to be a "Saint" - these Holy Martyrs were Fortified and Strengthened by Christ in their unshakeable and ardent Faith in Him to the Ever-Lasting Life.
Iconostases - The 21 Coptic Holy Saints & Martyrs of Libya
Our Coptic Orthodox Church lives by the Work of the Holy Spirit inside of her. Her pages are written in Time and through History - Her story is one of Pure Faith and Zeal, and is of Her Martyrs and Saints which comes from the Fruits of the Spirit. We are amazed how Our Fathers, Mothers, Holy Saints & Our Martyrs withstood their sufferings - even till the edge of the Sword.
Iconostases - The Palm Sunday Martyrs
How they were un-shaken in their Faith, how they Conquered through Christ. How their Honoured Blood, which was shed - Destroyed the Weapons of Evil, Hate and the Ruler of this World – through their Strong FAITH in Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.
Martyrdom is the story of Christianity from its inception. It is a story of spreading the Holy Gospel all over the world. The witness of the Martyr's Blood was Greater than any teaching or preaching even to this day.
Martyrdom is a Deep FAITH and Conviction in Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ - which he gives to some for the Glory of His Holy Name.
It is founded on strong spiritual principles from which Coptic Christians from all levels, cultures and throughout the ages have held onto. That Faith, even if tested and or was presented with "Choosing" either this Vain World and or "Renouncing" their Holy GOD and Lord - Jesus Christ, then they would choose to be Martyred for the Sake of HIS HOLY NAME & that of TRUTH.
Even as early as the Third Century, a quote attributed to Tertullian declared, "If the Martyrs of the Whole World were put on one arm of the balance and the Martyrs of EGYPT on the other, the balance would tilt in favour of the Egyptians."
"The Blood of the Martyrs is the Seed of the Church." ~ Tertullian
May their Holy Prayers and Intercessions with be with Us All - and Glory be to Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. Forever... Amen.