Friday, March 06, 2015

This is interesting ... Martyred by Turks

The Martyrdom of St. Irene the Virgin Martyr of Lesbos.

"St Irene was the twelve-year-old daughter of the village mayor, Basil. 
The cruel Hagarenes cut off one of her arms and threw it down in front of her parents. 
Then the pure virgin was placed in a large earthen cask 
and a fire was lit under it, suffocating her within. 
These torments took place before the eyes of her parents, 
who were also put to death. source

How St. Irene's grave and the earthen cask in which died were found.

St. Irene, the Newly Appeared Martyr of Lesvos (ca. 1451 – 9 April 1463) is an Eastern Orthodox saint martyred by Turkish soldiers with her companions Sts.Raphael and Nicholas on Bright Tuesday (April 9) of 1463, a decade after the Fall of Constantinople.
In 1959, workers found the holy relics of St. Raphael of Lesbos as they cleared rubble to build a chapel, and shortly thereafter St. Raphael, along with Sts. Nicholas and Irene, started appearing to many Lesbos residents and told them the stories of their lives. After St. Irene revealed to the residents of Lesbos the place of her grave, her holy relics were discovered on March 12, 1961 in the clay cask in which she was martyred. - Source

My thoughts.

The Turks massacred these Christians over 500 years ago - in much the same way ISIS is slaying Christians today.  How curious.  

What I find intriguing is that the relics of these saints were only discovered in 1959, and the stories of their martyrdom miraculously revealed.  (St Irene's relics discovered in March, 1961.)  The saints appeared separately to different people, asking to be remembered and venerated, and honored by a chapel.  Save for the greater glory of God, why did they suddenly seek to be remembered?  God only knows.

Yet could it be that their witness would soon become important for us today - when the threat of Islamic terrorism once again threatens the Church in the East, Middle East and Africa?  Just thinking out loud here...

Although I still have to wonder how some can claim Islamic terrorists are not Muslim, when the history of Islam is filled with violent persecution, enslavement, and the extermination of Christians? 

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"There is also the superstition of the Ishmaelites which to this day prevails and keeps people in error, being a forerunner of the Antichrist...
"From that time to the present a false prophet named Mohammed has appeared in their midst. This man devised his own heresy. Then, having insinuated himself into the good graces of the people by a show of seeming piety, he gave out that a certain book had been sent down to him from heaven. He had set down some ridiculous compositions in this book of his and he gave it to them as an object of veneration." - St. John of Damascus (8th c.)

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