I have connections with Our Lady of Margam near where I live. I have attended the Mass and received their newsletter, click here if you are interested in taking a look at their website. SEE HERE.
What I found in the Margum Newsletter
An article was posted in the Our Lady of Margum newsletter, which caught my attention. The article was all about recognising the non-catholic martyr of the 21st Century.
I appreciate the idea of celebrating and recognising 21st-century martyrs and saints. In the Free protestant Church, which I am a part of, does not regularly acknowledge those who give their lives for Jesus Christ.
For those of you who don’t know, the Free Church is all Protestant Churches and traditions apart from the Anglians, commonly known as The Church of England. However, the Anglians do routinely celebrate martyrs and saints, but the Free Church usually does not. Free Protestant Church does not regularly celebrate passed martyrs or Saints within their official liturgy either.
As a Protestant Free Church minister of word and sacrament, I have never seen any official liturgy acknowledging those executed because they refuse to deny Christ. I think this is such a loss to the Church. Acknowledging such people brings us the absolute seriousness of keeping the faith and the possible consequences of doing so.
In modernity, Protestant Christians of all sorts are watering down the Gospel to the point that it has lost its power to save a soul from the power of sin and death. SEE HERE. and HERE.
In my own life and ministry, I am examining this very thing and revisiting the nature of my Church tradition and my call to ministry. The Holy Spirit is challenging me regarding the ‘fluffy’ or ‘woolly’ theology, which is a steady diet of modern protestant Christianity, particularly in the charismatic and liberal camps, and please note that I have lived and worked in both.
I have seen for the longest time that, sadly, Christianity has become no more than a ‘spiritual’ community-based organisation that seeks to put bums on seats and fails to concern itself with the grave matter of sin and the salvation of souls. Recognising the martyrs and Saints’ past and present brings home to each of us how important it is to learn what sin is and its dire consequences. I will write more about this in future posts and how this thinking challenges me SEE HERE.
Below is an excerpt from an article from the Catholic Pillar about a modern-day martyr who is not Catholic. Matthew Ayariga is one of only 21 people officially recognised as 21st-century martyrs by the Coptic Orthodox Church (which is not Catholic) and the Catholic Church.
For the very first time, Pope Francis has joined with the Coptic Orthodox in this recognition, and I speculate that it maybe because of the doctrine of Divine Mercy- I don’t know- to learn more about Divine Mercy, click & SEE HERE.
Now, dear Christian, at this point, you may be thinking, ‘What on earth does all this have to do with me?’ Well, the death of a brother or sister in Christ profoundly affects us all, even if we have never met them- SEE HERE.
Today, I challenge you in love, as the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, has been and still is challenging me to work out our salvation with fear and trembling seriously, SEE HERE.
An EXERT FROM The PILLAR
With his inscription in the Roman Martyrology, Matthew Ayariga will be listed among the saints and blessed recognized by the Catholic Church. The feast day of the 21 martyrs is expected to be Feb. 15, the day they are remembered in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
A gruesome propaganda video released by Islamic State in February 2015 showed Ayariga and his colleagues dressed in identical orange jumpsuits as they were led along a beach by towering black-clad figures.
The 21 were lined up facing away from the waves, each with an Islamic State member behind them. As they were forced to their knees, the camera panned across them, showing Ayariga kneeling serenely in front of the leader, the only one of the terrorists not dressed in black.
The workers — many of whom were clearly praying in their final moments — were then simultaneously beheaded.
The five-minute video depicting their murder described the 21 as “people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church.”
It was said that the militants had questioned Ayariga about his faith before his death, no doubt wondering what linked him to a group of Egyptian Christians. Ayariga reportedly told them simply that “their God is my God.”
After the Islamic State was driven out of Sirte, local authorities said they had located the construction workers’ bodies. DNA tests confirmed that the remains were indeed those of the martyrs.
Twenty of the bodies were flown on May 15, 2018, to Egypt, where they were greeted with the nationwide ringing of church bells. They were laid to rest in a shrine dedicated to their memory.
But Ayariga’s body remained in Libya.
In 2019, a delegation requested that Ayariga “be joined with his Coptic brothers in their final resting place.” The Libyan government agreed, and his remains were transferred to Egypt in September 2020. The martyrs’ families were quoted as saying: “Our joy is complete.”
If this excerpt has caught your interest, click HERE to read the full article.
May God bless you all and keep you safe
in your witness for Christ our Lord and saviour.
Lord, so great is our love for you
That even though we walk in a world
where speaking your name can mean certain death
Your faithful still speak it
And speak it all the louder.
Help us work for a world where all may speak their creeds
And pray their prayers
Without fear of violence.
Hear the prayers of those who abide with you
in dangerous times
and in dark valleys,
And who die with your name on their lips.
Draw them quickly to your side
Where they might know eternal peace.
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Remember to live life on purpose, in Hope. Faith and Love
Paula Rose Parish💕
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