An Unknown Female Martyr from Jerusalem
By Youhanna Nessim Youssef
Collectanea Christiana Orientalia, Volume 9 (2012)
Abstract: In the present article we edit the fragment of a text related to an unnamed female new martyr from Jerusalem from the time of John XIII. The text sheds light on an unknown period in the History of the Coptic Church.
Excerpt: “… and as she wandered] through the city streets, she cried out to the Muslims, declaring: ‘There is no religion other than the religion of Christ!’ thereby disdaining our religion.” So she was brought before the judge who questioned her actions. Yet, she did not deny her comments, but stood firm in her opinion. Wanting to rebuke her, he (the judge) ordered that she be beaten mercilessly. They [onlookers] begged her to submit to the Muslim religion, but she refused to submit to those who did not receive the Holy Spirit and all the more she continued declaring the Lordship and true divinity of Jesus Christ. And so she continued in her resolve […]. The judge decreed that in his opinion […] she deserved death by the sword, meaning she must be beheaded. So he sent his own swordsman to the governor of the city to declare his opinion on her case.
She [the saint] left the court rejoicing in her steadfast declaration of the truth and rejecting falsehood. She did not fear the terrible threats, but rather, she had no regard for the life that perishes, but instead looked forward to eternal life. She had no delight in revenge and refused temporal joy in search rather for eternal joy.