AFRICA/EGYPT - Bishop Antonios Aziz Mina: Libya’s martyrs died with the name of Christ on their lips

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Cairo (Agenzia Fides) – The Copts slaughtered in Libya by jihadist of the so-called Islamic State died with the name of Christ on their lips. This was confirmed to Fides by Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Giuzeh. “The video of their execution – the Egyptian Bishop told Fides – was like a dreadful mise-en-scene staged to spread terror. Nevertheless, in that diabolic product of bloodthirsty play-acting and horror, some martyrs can clearly be seen to say at the moment of their barbarous execution ‘Lord, Jesus Christ!’. The name of Jesus was their last word. Like the passion of the early martyrs, they entrusted themselves to He, who moments later, would welcome them into his embrace. This was how they celebrated their victory, a victory of which no executioner could ever rob them. With that name, whispered at the very last, their martyrdom was sealed”.
In the meantime in Egypt the government has announced seven days of national mourning for Libya’s martyrs, and in various dioceses amidst fasting and prayers, the bishops and the faithful are thinking of dedicating a new church to them. The Premier, Ibrahim Mahlab, has made it known that the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has asked for a new church, built at the expense of the government, to be dedicated to the martyrs of Libya in the city of Minya, in a region from where most of the Copts decapitated by the jihadists hailed. A presidential decree has been issued granting compensation in money and a monthly pension for life for the families of the victims of Islamist terror. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 17/2/2015).