rising in Eastern Europe even as it sets in the West.
It is the logic of the cross: Faith, hope and love grow stronger by sacrifice. When our brothers and sisters die for their faith, we remember that we can’t live without it.
The heroic witness of the Egyptian martyrs is already having this effect.
Yousef Shoukry’s brother Shenouda watched the video of his brother’s martyrdom.
“I saw that he had strength in his last moments,” Jones reports the 27-year-old man saying, adding that he saw “a heavenly light shining on his brother’s face, even after he was decapitated.”
“That consoled me,” said Shenouda.
CNN reports that Mina Aziz’s brother Hana took solace in the video, too.
“To the last moment, the name of Jesus was on their lips,” he says. “As they were being martyred, they were calling God’s name, saying, ‘God, have mercy on us.’ The entire village is proud.”
The entire Church is proud.
“The historical events linked to the figure of Constantine the Great could never have ensured the development of the Church as it occurred during the first millennium if it had not been for the seeds sown by the martyrs,” said St. John Paul II.
“In our own century the martyrs have returned, many of them nameless, unknown soldiers as it were of God’s great cause. As far as possible, their witness should not be lost to the Church.”
Their witness will not be lost. The Church will rise up stronger from their sacrifice.
We will show the world once again that love conquers death.
Tom Hoopes is writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.