church of the martyrs

Stefano Maderno (1576-1636)
“The Martyrdom of Saint Cecilia” (1600)
Located in the Church of St. Cecilia, Rome, Italy

Tradition has it that the statue represents the position in which St Cecilia’s body was found.


Saint  Thérèse of Lisieux portraying Joan of Arc in a play written by Thérèse herself.  She also wrote several poems in honor of The Maid of Orleans.

To Joan of Arc
by Saint  Thérèse of Lisieux 

When the Lord God of hosts gave you the victory,
You drove out the foreigner and had the king crowned.
Joan, your name became renowned in history.
Our greatest conquerors paled before you.

But that was only a fleeting glory.
Your name needed a Saint’s halo.
So the Beloved offered you His bitter cup,
And, like Him, you were spurned by men.

At the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains,
The cruel foreigner filled you with grief.
Not one of your friends took part in your pain.
Not one came forward to wipe your tears.

Joan, in your dark prison you seem to me
More radiant, more beautiful than at your King’s coronation.
This heavenly reflection of eternal glory,
Who then brought it upon you? It was betrayal.

Ah! If the God of love in this valley of tears
Had not come to seek betrayal and death,
Suffering would hold no attraction for us.
Now we love it; it is our treasure. 

Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us.

Saint  Thérèse of Lisieux, pray for us

“Our father was a courageous man and he was never afraid to die for Jesus. He has put the same zeal in us. Our family will continue to serve God.”

These are the incredible words of Alisha, the son of Pastor Sultan Masih (pictured with his wife) who was shot and killed earlier this month outside his church in India.

so I’ve always sort of liked the idea that within the communion of saints there the Heavy Hitters, the Career Saints who are invoked widely and in situations of grave need—I’m talking your Catherines and Francises and Theresas, the Twelve Disciples and Michael; the Big Time Major League saints who intercede on behalf of so many, and so are always in conversation with the divine, case managers for the sick and dying and hurting and faithful of the world.

but that also means that there’s a bunch of saints hanging around who are just—minor holy women, lesser martyrs, incidental virgins, doctors of the church who never managed to find a publisher. They’re not prayed to very often, and rarely called on to manage the difficult cases; they have a lot of free time.

so what do you do, if you’re a saint with some free time on your hands? You answer all the not-quite-prayers, the “jesus, don’t turn red don’t turn red’ muttered by cab drivers and the “christ, can you just try it to see this from my point of view?” spat out by a furious girlfriend and all the “oh god please let me make this meeting in time” “please don’t let me fail” “I’m so tired I hope I can get home”

or maybe I just like the idea that every time you mutter “god, let me be okay” there’s some girl killed in 9th century for refusing to marry who falls into step beside you—and though no book or chronicle or living person remembers her name, she squints up at you and says with holy authority, “yeah, you’re going to be fine.”

July 10 - The Three Blessed Massabki Brothers, Martyrs

“In the year 1860, the Muslims in Damascus and the Druze in what is now Lebanon attacked and massacred thousands of Christians.

The Massabki brothers (Francis, Abdel Moati, and Raphaei), along with a large crowd of Christians, took refuge in the Franciscan monastery in Damascus, after the Muslims had set fire to the Christian neighborhood.

In the monastery, they were praying, asking for the intercession of the Blessed Mother, receiving the sacrament of reconciliation from the Franciscan Fathers, and receiving the Eucharist. Among the Franciscan Fathers were; Fathers Ruiz, Colta, Escanio, Solar, Alberca, Binazi, Fernadez and Colanda.  

Their Muslim assailants were able to enter the Franciscan Church and  demanded  that they abandon their religion. One of the brothers,  Francis, refused their demand and said:

“We do not fear the one who kills the body.  .  . a crown is prepared for us in heaven, we have our souls.  .  . and we do not wish to lose them, we are Christians and we wish to die as Christians.“

On the night of July 10, the three Massabki brothers, along with the Franciscan Fathers, were martyred in the Church before the altar by their Muslim attackers.

Pope Pius XI declared them blessed on October 10, 1926.”

May their faith and courage be an inspiration to us, and may their prayers be with us.  Amen.

Church of the Martys (Umra d’Sahdeh) - Simele, Iraq

The church was built to commemorate the victims of the 1933 Simele massacre in which around 3,000 Assyrians were systematically murdered by the Iraqi military & allied Arab/Kurdish tribes.

Today (August 7th) is the 82cd anniversary of the massacre.

The Banner of the Pilgrimage of Grace, an uprising by Roman Catholics against the establishment of the Church of England by Henry VIII and the dissolution of the monasteries set in motion by Thomas Cromwell’s suggested plan of asserting the nation’s religious autonomy and the king’s supremacy over religious matters.

Does “Love” and “Forgiveness” Apply to Abuse and Trauma?

@sakuramautoki asked:

When we Christians use words like “forgiveness” and phrases like “True love keeps no record of wrongs,” I find myself wondering how that would apply to certain contexts, namely with victims of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional/mental)? I wonder if we should even be using these words when speaking with victims/survivors of abuse and how it might come off as to them?

For example, when we say to forgive an abuser, what does that look like? Does that mean we forget the harm they did and pretend like everything is okay? Do we welcome them back with open arms? The same questions also apply to phrases such as “love keeps no record of wrongs”. I ask because as Christians it would be good to be mindful how these words and phrases can sound like and that we tend to throw these terms around much without thinking. What is your take on this?

Hey dear friend, I truly appreciate your heart and care in this question. I am with you absolutely 100% here. The Christian culture so easily falls into a martyr syndrome that unnecessarily risks our safety, and it so often assumes that “church people” have no pre-existing baggage that makes “love and forgiveness” an extremely painful endeavor.

The thing is, love must absolutely include truth, wisdom, boundaries, and grace for yourself. Love is not enabling, pampering, coddling, or letting someone off the hook—or it wouldn’t really be love at all. 

For those who have been abused or traumatized: Forgiveness doesn’t mean friendship. No one should ever be rushed into forgiveness for the sake of “getting right with God.” We need healthy boundaries. We need to recognize patterns of unrepentant abuse and gaslighting and manipulative language that will only guilt-trip you back into a vicious cycle. We can never mindlessly open the door again on an abusive relationship.

Many well-intentioned Christians try to act the part of a psychologist or social worker or therapist and have absolutely no idea about the real dangers of abuse, codependency, and compassion fatigue.

The other thing is that “Christian love” is overly romanticized, where if we just love enough, then we get the Hollywood montage of reconciliation and hugs and high-fives. But having been at the deathbed of many, many patients in the hospital, I hardly ever see it work out that way. Abusers will use up good will and spit it right out. Survivors of abuse have tried again and again to reconcile, only to find out that opening the door to their heart is no better than unlocking the cage of a pack of wolves.

It’s absolutely atrocious that preachers harp on forgiveness without listening to the stories of their churches. And still, Christians are slammed with the Bible to “forgive” because “it’s the Christian thing to do,” without any nuance for individual situations and without, you know, reading the rest of the Bible that says a lot of other stuff about abuse and trauma. God is for the victims, for the abused, for the survivors. God is for the exile, the foreigner, the despised, the despondent who crossed the Red Sea. Jesus told us to be as pure as doves and as wise as snakes. Pure, but wise. Wise, but pure.

There’s a destructive idea in Christian subculture that breeds a martyr-hero syndrome, at the expense of yourself, and eventually everyone else. I spent too many years consumed by the “sacrificial radical love” model of Christianity, which required that I pour out more than I had—but it only scooped out my guts and left me bitter and resentful and exhausted. I had to remember that only one person really did love all the way to death so that we wouldn’t have to.

My friend once asked me, “Are you trying to be like Jesus, or are you trying to be Jesus? Because you can’t be crucified for all these people. He already did that.” I had to re-work my idea of love and forgiveness to include self-care and proper distance.

When Jesus was dying on the cross and said, “Father, forgive them,” let’s notice that Jesus did not say, “Father, help me forgive them.” It was very specific wording. In other words, Jesus was concerned that his murderers would find forgiveness from God, but not necessarily that Jesus would “feel forgiveness” towards them. Jesus was deliberately not condoning the murderers’ behavior, but also concerned for the destiny of their souls.

This is a perfectly balanced love that cooperates with truth. Of course, Jesus did offer forgiveness to them, and to everyone else who was ever born, and we’re called to work towards such divinity. But no, we’re under no such illusion that we must befriend those who have hurt us or hurt the ones we love. Jesus may pour out unlimited grace from a cross, but each of us are finite beings, with limited resources, who must go to Jesus who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Since I’ve started working alongside social workers and psychologists, I was at first surprised how blunt and to-the-point they were. But they’ve seen hundreds, maybe thousands of abusers and victims, and they’ve heard all the excuses and rationalizations. They know that victims feel obligated to stick up for their abusers and that abusers will hijack language around forgiveness to be taken back. The medical staff’s sole goal here is to advocate for the victim. That requires tough talk, no bull-crap, no beating around the bush, but actual love that’s as sharp as surgery, for both sides. The victim needs to know it’s okay to call the police and get a restraining order and defend themselves. The abuser needs to know they’re actually an abuser and that “forgiveness” is not some cheap ace-card that glosses over all they did.

In that kind of love, people are held accountable and responsible, because that sort of love is for the very best of each person, not to trap them or trick them, but to help them heal. So for the abused, it will mean empowering them with boundaries and the ability to say “no.” It will mean re-framing their religious obligations to “forgive.” It includes safety and boundaries and self-care. And perhaps one day, it includes the hopeful possibility of reconciliation, whether on this side of life or the other.


bunnyismybestie  asked:

What are your head canons with Martyr Logarius?

OKAY LET’S GET THIS DONE, sorry for the wait, Bunny TwT

First of all I want to say that I firmly believe Logarius was not designed with the idea of him being the leader of the Executioners. Most of the optional bosses and areas in the game feel like content that was created before the story was completely defined by the developers and got partially scrapped. Yes, I’m looking at you suspicious fade to black that looks a lot like a deleted cutscene that was supposed to play after the activation of the Altar of Despair! …but my headcanons are, of course, based on what we currently see in the game and on my idea that the Healing Church took over an already existent cult, which once again would explain why all the big events took place in the course of Laurence’s lifetime (according to my other theory :P). He did not build all the cathedrals overnight, just redecorated them with more accurate representations of the ‘Gods’ who were Great Ones from the start.

This religion and its institution, which I’m simply going to call ‘the Church’,  were part of the legacy of the Pthumerians the same way Cainhurst was.


This, would also explain why Gascoigne and Viola’s music box plays a song dedicated to a Pthumerian god-child. Just like many other aspects of Yharnamite culture, that particular piece of music was handed down across the centuries untill the humans adopted it as a traditional, ancient song (perhaps for the same reason why they named their city after a long dead queen bearing a name with classic roots?). Its original significance was lost, not only to humans but to the Pthumerian descendants themselves, in a similar way to how the Elves in the Dragon Age setting don’t know a single thing about their own history and traditions after centuries of slavery.

So, we finally get to Logarius! Who is he? A Pthumerian, for sure, and probably a member of the not-so-healing Church. He and his executioners were the military force of the chantry of the time the same way Ludwig’s hunters will later be for the Healing Church. The Executioners were not Vileblood Hunters at the time, because well, the Vilebloods didn’t exist before someone Laurence brought the Old Blood to Cainhurst, and they accepted both Pthumerians and humans in their ranks. I imagine the two races living side by side back then, the same way they do (though not that peacefully) when our hunter arrives in Yharnam and encounters tons of enemies that I believe to be Pthumerians or at least, hybrids, such as the Church Giants, the Snatchers and of course, Logarius himself who even wields the exact same weapon as the Pthumerian Elder we fight in the dungeons. 

The Chapel Dweller is PROBABLY a Pthumerian too, one of the very few “sane” ones. (And by sane I mean non-hostile :P)

The Sinister Pthumeru Ihyll Root Chalices description reads:

The bell-ringing woman appears to be a mad Pthumerian.
The Pthumerian monarch was traditionally a woman who assumed a name with classical roots.

If Chime Maidens are considered _mad_ this means that not all Pthumerians are like them, or at least were. Am I right? XD

Long story short, Logarius was this Pthumerian dude who used to lead a heroic crusaders-like army, possibly the very same that inspired Ludwig’s ideals…

Radiant Sword Hunter Badge:

These hunters, also known as Holy Blades, are what remains of an ancient line of heroes that date back to a very early age of honor and chivalry. (which could possibly date back to the times of Queen Yharnam since we encounter actual Pthumerian Knights in the dungeons.)

…and who, like everybody else at the time, didn’t know that the Gods he and the humans worshipped were in fact Great Ones.

The reason why his Executioners will later become Vileblood hunters could also be because the Cainhurst people, were HIS people, or at least the closest to what Pthumerian civilization used to be. Seeing them corrupted by tainted blood and turned into something ‘vile’ would probably justify his hatred for them.

Or perhaps the Healing Church offered him a higher salary :P who knows.


Women cry during the funeral for those killed in a Palm Sunday church terrorist attack in Alexandria Egypt, at the Mar Amina church, Monday, April 10, 2017. Egyptian Christians were burying their dead on Monday, a day after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in coordinated attacks targeting Palm Sunday services in two cities. Women wailed as caskets marked with the word “martyr” were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels.
(AP Photo/Samer Abdallah)


Lamenting Mourning Women
Tomb (TT55) of Ramose
c. 1411-1375 BCE, Thebes.