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Rome Reports

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Pope Francis remembers 21 martyrs killed by ISIS in Libya

It was Feb. 15, 2015. These terrifying images from Libya shook the entire world.

The pope calls the world to remember this day. He highlighted the unshakable faith of the 21 martyred Coptic Orthodox Christians. He did so in this video message for the day of modern martyrs.

“That day they were also baptized with blood. They are our saints, saints of all Christians, saints of all Christians denominations and traditions. They are those who have blanched their lives in the blood of the Lamb, they are those... of the people of God, the faithful people of God.”

He condemned the tragedy carried out by religious extremists and highlighted that these martyrs “had gone to work abroad to support their families.”

“[They] not only seek to bring home bread, but to bring it home with the dignity of work. And these men bore witness to Jesus Christ. Their throats slit by the brutality of Isis, they died saying, 'Lord Jesus!', confessing the name of Jesus.”

He thanked the bishops and priests of the Coptic Church who taught them to grow in the faith.

“And I thank the mothers of these people, of these 21 men, who 'nursed' them in the faith. They are the mothers of God's holy people who transmit the faith 'in dialect,' a dialect that goes beyond language, the dialect of belonging.”

On this day for modern martyrs, the pope thanked Tawadros, pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, and Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, for promoting this event.

The meeting seeks to remember the witness of persecuted Christians of today, so their memory can be an example for the future.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: CT