For 1,600 years Iraq has been a land of martyrs

Diocese remembers the massacre of Christians in 409 AD, in which hundreds of people were beheaded for their faith. Archbishop Sako: the persecutions have not stopped "the story and the journey" of Christians, strong in the Holy Spirit and the Eucharist.

For 1600 years, Iraq has been "a country of martyrs", which finds in the “Holy Spirit and the Eucharist" the strength to bear witness to the faith “despite persecution”. So says Mgr. Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, on the eve of a week of celebrations to mark 1600 years since the massacre of Iraqi martyrs. A long series of past and present violence, but one which has not stopped "the sacred history of the Christians ... and their journey."

In 409 AD hundreds of Christians were beheaded for their faith. "Among them - said Msgr. Sako - a widow named Scirin-Miskenta, with two children, and general Tahmazgerd, who carried out the decree of the king, who ordered the massacre. "Seeing their faith, serenity and the trust of the widow - continued the prelate - Tahmzgerd converted to Christianity" and as a result was "beheaded later." Around 470, to commemorate the massacre of Christians, the bishop of Kirkuk Maruta "built a sanctuary” on the hill where "the martyrs were buried”.  The "Red Church", as it is called, junits Christians and Muslims and is now "the graveyard of the Chaldeans"; the relics of martyrs, custodied on the main altar, have always been a destination for the processions of the faithful.

To celebrate the anniversary of the martyrdom, the diocese has organized a series of events: on Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace; Thursday, hymns of the martyrs and a conference at the recently restored Sanctuary; on Friday Mass will be celebrated; on Saturday a play, staged by the choir of the cathedral and the church of St. Joseph. Under the slogan "true to our fathers in faith," Christians in Kirkuk want to "bear witness to the faith, love, trust and openness."

The history of violence and persecution against Christians has continued uninterrupted. Abductions, kidnappings, assassinations, fleeing families are the dramatic testimony of a "chain of martyrs - underlines Msgr. Sako - that continues. Our country is dotted with shrines to  martyrs that people constantly visit, it is a spirituality of martyrdom".  Christians find the strength to "remain faithful" in the "Holy Spirit, but also in the liturgy, especially the Eucharist." "In every Mass - added the archbishop of Kirkuk – we are called upon to make the sacrifice of Christ in our life, in his words; take, break, give ... Do this in memory of me: this is the sacred history of Christians and ... their journey”.

 

 



Source: Asia News

Comments

National Guardsman answered Allah's call to fight for Islamic State

Spc Hasan Edmonds of Illinois, and cousin Jonas Edmonds, were arrested on plans to join Islamic State terrorists in Libya. The FBI worries that more Americans will follow as IS spreads.

Catholic bishops intimidate priests in England and Wales

Nearly 500 priests in England and Wales signed an open letter demanding their bishops' adherence to Catholic doctrine on traditional marriage, in advance of october 2015 Vatican synod on family.

New audio of deadly arrest of college student

Family says autopsy shows drunk student was shot in the back by police officer.

European airlines switch to two-man rule following Germanwings crash

Thomas Cook, Virgin Air, EasyJet and Norwegian declared that they are switching procedures to require two persons at all times in jetliner cockpits. This follows post-911 procedure for U.S. airlines.

Book review: My Battle Against Hitler

Dietrich von Hildebrand was a German theologian who resisted Germany's National Socialism.

This page took 0.1211seconds to load