March 30, 2017

St. Stephen of Mar Saba’s Poem on the Coming of Islam

Icon of the 21 Coptic Christian Martyrs of Egypt
Icon of the 21 Coptic Christian Martyrs of Egypt
officially recognized as Saints by the Coptic Church.

Later in his life, Saint Stephen of Mar Saba is believed to have suffered at the hands of the Umayyad and Abbasid Islamic dynasties, to whom many of his fellow monks lost their lives. His poem "Art thou weary, art thou languid?", demonstrates his courageous fortitude, singular devotion and trust in God.

Art thou weary, art thou languid,
Art thou sore distressed?
“Come to Me,” saith One, “and coming,
Be at rest.”

Hath He marks to lead me to Him,
If He be my Guide?
In His feet and hands are wound prints
And His side.

Hath He diadem, as monarch,
That His brow adorns?
Yes, a crown in very surety,
But of thorns.

If I find Him, if I follow,
What His guerdon here?
Many a sorrow, many a labor,
Many a tear.

If I still hold closely to Him,
What hath He at last?
Sorrow vanquished, labour ended,
Jordan passed.

If I ask Him to receive me,
Will He say me nay?
Not till earth and not till Heaven
Pass away.

Finding, following, keeping, struggling,
Is He sure to bless?
Saints, apostles, prophets, martyrs,
Answer, Yes!

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Prayer for the Persecuted Church

O great cloud of witnesses. O host of Angels and Saints worshiping God for all eternity! O holy ones in heaven above, Pray for us.

You who were once part of the Church on earth, you who were faithful servants of the Church Militant, you who suffered for the love of God, Pray for us.

In all ages, the Church is persecuted and hated. We pray, O Lord, through your holy Saints, that we may be blessed with the freedom to worship and adore you at all times. We pray that you may bless your Church throughout the world and me, personally, with your grace to persevere with love in the face of persecution just as You did on the Cross. Amen. Saints Perpetua and Felicity pray for us!

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