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During his morning Mass on February 17, Pope Francis prayed for the Coptic Christians who were beheaded in Libya.

“We offer this Mass for our 21 Coptic brothers, slaughtered for the sole motive of being Christians,” he said.

The Pontiff prayed “that the Lord will welcome them as martyrs” and also prayed for their families and “my brother Tawadros,” the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Quoting Psalm 31, he added, “Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to save me. For you are my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me.”