CNA Staff, May 20, 2021 / 14:00 pm
Pope Francis has said that the blood of 21 martyrs killed by ISIS on a Libyan beach in 2015 is “a seed that will bear rich fruit for Christian unity.”
In a May 10 letter to the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, the pope said that the men's deaths had touched the lives of Christians around the world.
Referring to those who have suffered in Christ’s name, he wrote: “Among this ‘cloud of witnesses’ (Hebrews 12:1), I call to mind particularly the 21 Coptic martyrs killed on Feb. 15, 2015, whose blood is not only the ‘seed of Christians,’ but also, I am deeply convinced, a seed that will bear rich fruit for Christian unity.”
“Thanks to their powerful witness, many Christians in our world have come to realize that the ranks of the martyrs include not only saints of the early Church depicted in ancient icons, but also men and women of our day, our contemporaries. They too are saints, saints of every Christian tradition.”