Invitation to prayer in memory of the 21 murdered Egyptian Coptic ChristiansFriday, February 20, 2015
Reactions and messages of condolence were issued around the world following the recent executions in Libya of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians. Pope Francis prayed for the victims during daily Mass on February 17 in the chapel of the Santa Marta Residence. The Holy Father invited those present to join him in prayer for “our brother Copts, whose throats were slit for the sole reason of being Christian, that the Lord welcome them as martyrs, for their families, for my brother [Coptic Orthodox Patriarch] Tawadros, who is suffering greatly.” In a statement issued February 18, the Catholic Coptic Patriarch of Alexandria, His Beatitude Ibrahim Isaac Sidrak, invited Catholics “to consider the tragic death of their Coptic Orthodox brothers from a perspective illuminated by faith.” He added that Egyptians were united in responding to the “bloody barbarism of the jihadists”.
In Canada, the Coptic community is holding a commemorative celebration and vigil on February 22, 2015, at 5 p.m. in the Canadian Coptic Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. His Eminence Thomas Cardinal Collins, Archbishop of Toronto, has asked all the parishes in the Archdiocese to pray that the souls of the 21 martyred Coptic Christians rest in peace. The Most Reverend J. Michael Miller, C.S.B., Archbishop of Vancouver, sent a message of condolence to the Coptic Orthodox community of Vancouver. The Church agency Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has published the text of an interview with the Most Reverend Youssef Aboul-Kheir, the Catholic Coptic Bishop of Sohag, Egypt.
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