Friday, March 6, 2015

Commemorating our past to secure our future: The Feast of 42 Martyrs

Today, on the 1,170th feast of the 42 Martyrs of Amorium, we remember those Rûm, who were martyred for their refusal to be Arabized. On March 6th, 845 A.D., 42 Rûm hostages of the Abbasid Caliphate were beheaded for refusing to convert to Islam. Taken hostage by Caliph al-Mu’tasim, a Turko-Arab, after the 838 A.D sack of Amorium, the capital of the Anatolic Theme (Province) of the Romaiic Empire. They were taken to the city of Samarra in Arab-occupied Mesopotamia. Where they stayed until their execution.

These 42 men stand as a shining example of Romaiic bravery and patriotism in the face of death. They did not shame their ancestors, and embrace a foreign culture in order to save themselves. Instead, they chose a noble end to a life full of freedom. Where has this Romaiic bravery gone? As we celebrate this holy day, our brethren in Syria are facing extermination at the hands of al-Nusra. ISIL is at the gates of Lebanon, nearing the Rûm villages of Ras Baalbek and al-Qaa.

Operation Antioch asks all Rûm on this day to look inside themselves, and ask, what would those 42 Martyrs say to you in the face of today's fear?

Apolytikion of 42 Martyrs of Amorion in the Fourth Tone 

Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion of 42 Martyrs of Amorion in the Fourth Tone 

Ye who contended on earth for Christ's glory, and were shown forth as godly crown-bearing Martyrs, have been vouchsafed to dwell in Heaven joyously; for since ye brake all the snares of the enemy's cunning by your suff'rings and the blood of your tortures and woundings, ye ever send down freely from on high loosing of sins unto all them that honour you.