first before I go there..check this out: Scroll to the very last page and check out the dates of the feasts.....
Look at September 11th...... Coptic New Year....Feast of the Martyrs
http://www.copticchurchreview.com/Coptic/Home_files/volume 6 No. 4.pdf
A martyr is somebody who suffers persecution and death for refusing to renounce, or accept, a belief or cause, usually religious. to top it off this is New Year's day in the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria
“For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake.” Philippians 1:29
"If the martyrs of the whole world were put on one arm of the balance and the martyrs of Egypt on the other, the balance would tilt in favor of the Egyptian" - Tertullian, North African Church Father (Quoted from "Among the Copts", p142, John H. Watson, Sussex Academic Press, 2000)
Feast of Coptic Martyrs:
Ironically, the attack of September 11 occurred on the same day that Coptic Orthodox Christians, throughout the world, were commemorating the "Feast of Nayrouz", which honors the memory of the martyrdom of Egypt's Christians throughout the centuries. The Coptic calender bigins on the first day of Thout, called "Nayrouz" a Persian word, meaning "the beginning of the year," which coincides with September the eleventh five centuries, when Gregorian calender replaced the Egyptian (Julian after adoption from Alexandria)in 1582. It commemorates the start of the tortureous rule of Diocletianus, in memorial of tens of thousands of Coptic martyrs. His reign is considered the era in which the church offered absolute witnesses to Christ, when the souls of martyrs departed to paradise and kept shining as bright stars therein.
The Bloodiest Persecution:
Diocletianus, whose household was full of Christians, suddenly changed his attitude towards Christianity and initiated the longest and bloodiest persecutions against the Church. Lactantius informs us (De mort. persec., IX) that Diocletian acted on the advice of a council of dignitaries in which Galerius played the principal part. It was in A. D. 303, the nineteenth year of his reign, and the third of Peter Alexandrinus as Bishop of Alexandria. Egypt and Syria (as part of the Diocese of Orient) were directly under the rule of Diocletian. This general outbreak had been preceded for three years at least by a more or less disguised persecution in the army. Eusebius says that a certain magister militum Veturius, in the sixteenth year of Diocletian, forced a number of high rank officers to prove their loyalty by the usual test of sacrificing to the gods of the empire, on penalty of losing their honours and privileges. Many "soldiers of Christ's kingdom" cheerfully gave up the seeming glory of this world and a few received death "in exchange for their pious constancy" (Euseb., "Hist. eccl.", VIII, iv; (New Advent)
Heroic Faith, of total devotion:
The Coptic Synaxarium and the Lives of Saints are full, but yet represent only a fraction of that roll of heroic sacrifice. Few examples may, however, be illuminating.
St. Sophia, a native of ancient Memphis, in Middle Egypt, was martyred at the time of the seventh patriarch, Omenius (129-151). Her body was later removed to Constantinople by Emperor Constantine I, the Great (313-337); and the famous cathedral Hagia Sophia was dedicated to her.
St. Demiana, daughter of a governor of the northern delta, established a nunnery with 40 virgins, and all were massacred by Diocletian. The site of her nunnery and martyrdom is currently inhabited by nuns and is a favorite pilgrimage center.
St. Catherine of Alexandria was martyred at the time of Maximinus in 307, and the famous monastery at Mount Sinai still bears her name. An important pilgrimage center that is associated with miraculous cures is to the South-West of Lake Mareotis. It is the reputed birthplace of St. Mina, a martyr of the third-to-fourth century period. The Church and town at that site were excavated in 1905-1908; and a monastery in his name was built under Pope Kyrillos IV.
So profound was the impression of the persecution of Diocletian on Coptic life and thought that the Copts decided to adopt for the church use a calendar of the martyrs, the "Anno Martyri."
Martyrdom of St. Maurice& Theban Legion:
St. Maurice is a Coptic saint from Thebes(Upper Egypt). He enlisted in the Roman army and was gradually promoted until he became the leader of a legion (6000 soldiers)in Thebes,“Theban Legion". During the reign of Emperor Maximian (286-305), the Roman Emperor for the Western Empire, the Berbers invaded the western borders of the Roman Empire. Maximian asked for the help of Emperor Diocletian, the Roman Emperor for the Eastern Empire. He sent the Theban Legion lead by Maurice to suppress the revolt of the Berbers. The legion camped on the western border of the empire. The defense center of the legion was around Agauman, close to the city of Lausanne in Switzerland. When the legion through its leader where asked to offer sacrifices to the idols, they refused confessing in public their Christian faith. Emperor Maximian was disturbed by this religious mutiny of the legion, leader and its members. He ordered the torture and killing of one tenth of the legion’s members, thinking that the rest would be terrified. But St. Maurice encouraged the soldiers to confess their Christian faith. As a result, the emperor who moved close now, ordered another tenth to be tortured and killed. During their torture, a miracleous spirit overwhelmed the others who started confessing their faith in Christ. St. Maurice wrote a letter to the emperor declaring the legion’s loyalty to him, while strictly observing their Christian faith, refuting any rebelling against his authority as emperor. As a proof of this, the members of the legion represented back their weapons. The emperor was angered by St. Maurice’s perseverance and the loyalty of the legion’s members to him and their Christian faith. He ordered that St. Maurice be tortured and killed, along with the members of the legion. Thus St. Maurice and all of his legion were martyred in Lausanne and aroud, called to date St. mauritz.