martyrdom · Miracles

Miracles of the 21 martyrs of Libya performed for their village and families

The miracles didn’t stop, even after the massacre. The little son of Samuel (the elder) fell to the street from the third floor, and his arm was broken in several places. When he regained consciousness, he claimed his father had caught him, and a few days later his x-rays showed not a single fracture. Samuel’s sister, who entered the door barefoot in a stained jellabiya, confessed that for three days following the death of her brother she had fought with God: “I blamed God!” But then a bright light had appeared in the heavens, Samuel’s face shining brightly from within. “After that, twenty-one crowns appeared around the light. From then on, I didn’t complain anymore.”

Sameh’s son, who fell ill and began vomiting after his father’s death, also saw him again: Sameh had laid his hand on the child’s head and said, “It’s going to be all right,” and the boy had immediately felt well again.

Ezzat’s mother, a stout woman who had borne seven other children and had a noticeably spirited eloquence compared to most of the people I met here, suffered a severe stroke a while after her son’s death. Ezzat and Saint George had come to her in a dream; her son had laid his hands upon her, and she had been healed.

A childless Muslim woman came to Issam’s mother for help – local Muslims often ask their Coptic neighbors to pray for them: “Your God listens to prayers and works wonders.” She gave the woman one of Issam’s shirts. Maybe the woman wore it when she lay with her husband – who knows? In any case, after fifteen infertile years, she became pregnant twice while in possession of the shirt.

The martyrs had often saved children falling out of windows: after his death, Luka, too, had caught his two year- old nephew, saving him after he fell from the fifth floor.

This served as confirmation – not just for the families, but also for their neighbors and many others in the surrounding countryside – that the martyrs were indeed now with Christ. Their steadfastness had led to their sanctification (this is why they were portrayed wearing crowns) and they now served as mediators of divine grace for their fellow human beings on earth.

All of which is why their families didn’t care to remember the grief, pain, and fear they felt during the men’s captivity, nor the tears unleashed by the news of their deaths. In fact, they all went out of their way to avoid leaving me with the impression that the decapitation of their sons, brothers, and husbands had caused them any misfortune. Naturally, they were depressed while awaiting news, as they had been kept in the dark and could only prepare for the worst. But when they saw the video and knew with certainty what had happened, their confidence had returned: “We now have a holy martyr in heaven and must rejoice. Nothing can harm us anymore.”

Ref: The 21 – A journey into the land of Coptic Martyrs (Martin Mosebach), p. 90 – 91

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s