Think back to when you were 12 years old, or try to imagine your life at that age. What are you doing? Perhaps you are attending school, playing outside, or in the worst case scenario, studying for a really hard test. Can you imagine any 12-year old standing in front of an emperor, challenging him by proclaiming their faith, knowing that they might be killed for doing so? I couldn’t even imagine an adult doing something this difficult but St. Abanoub, a 12-year old, witnessed for God with this utmost bravery, faith, and strength.
July 31st marks the martyrdom feast of this powerful saint, who we can all look up to and learn from. His journey to martyrdom started when emperor Diocletian started persecuting the Christians. Right then, St. Abanoub knew in his heart that he wanted to shed his blood for God. He gave all his money to the poor and went to the governor and openly confessed his faith to him. The governor tortured him severely but St. Abanoub stayed strong and held on to his faith. When the governor tied St. Abanoub up and sat down to eat and drink, the cup in his hand turned into stone. Then an angel came and freed St. Abanoub and wiped his blood! All the soldiers marveled and believed in Christ, which made the governor very angry so he ordered for all the soldiers to be killed thus they received the crown of martyrdom. Another time, the governor ordered for St. Abanoub’s hands and feet to be cut but an angel came down from heaven and put his hands and feet back in place and healed him. All the onlookers were amazed and became Christians so they also received the crown of martyrdom . St. Abanoub endured many more tortures but he held strongly to the faith and was never scared until he finally received the crown of martyrdom.
Let’s all pray that through St. Abanoub’s intercession, we may be able to become stronger in faith and more courageous, just like how he was to the end.