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A Panegyric in Praise of the New Martyrs of Libya

Why did you not cry, pleading with those who are about to murder you, that they may free you? Why did you not acquiesce to their demands?

Did they not propose that you abandon your Christ? Wouldn’t they have had mercy on you had you accepted their religion?

Do you not fear death?! Whence did you acquire this courage?

What theological training did you obtain? From what seminary did you graduate? What monastery did you frequent? What clerical rank do you carry?

Tell me, how did you not resist death? I do not know your secret.

Did you see (Christ) transfigured? Perhaps you heard Him? Truly, I do not know. The only certainty is that when you decided to utter your last words, those sweet words were “Oh my Lord, Jesus Christ.”

I come to you weeping. I do not weep on your account, for men who received crowns do not warrant sorrowful tears. I weep because of you.

For when the light of your faith became manifest, my weakness became apparent before my eyes. And I realized that the veils of darkness do not obscure the vision of God. I realized that He searches the heart and the inner parts. I realized that He knows the faith that resides within each seemingly destitute and abandoned vessel. And I realized that I am not prepared or worthy of this gift which you have attained.

Intercede for us, O righteous men, that He may have mercy on us through your prayers. Ask Him that He may guide us on the way of your faith, so that we may come to know your mystery.

Translated by Dr. Mark Moussa

Posted by Fr. Moses Samaan

February 24, 2015