Lebannon, 1991—Mary Khoury was 17 when Damour, her village in Lebanon, was raided by Muslim fanatics who were bent on converting everyone to Islam by force. She and her parents were given one choice: “If you do not become a Muslim you will be shot.”
Mary knew Jesus had been given a similar choice: Give up His profession of being the Son of God and the Savior of the world, or be crucified. He chose the Cross. So she replied, “I was baptized as a Christian and His word came to me: ‘Don’t deny your faith.’ I will obey Him. Go ahead and shoot.” A Muslim who had just killed her father and mother shot her and left her for dead.
Two days later the Red Cross came into her village. They found Mary and her family where they had been shot – she was the only one alive. But she was now paralyzed; the bullet had severed her spinal cord. Her paralyzed arms were extended and bent at the elbows, reminiscent of Christ at His crucifixion.
At first Mary was depressed, not knowing what she could now do. Then the Lord spoke to her and she knew what she must do with her paralyzed life. “Everyone has a vocation,” she said. “I can never marry or do any physical work. So I will offer my life to the Muslims, like the one who cut my father’s throat, stabbed my mother while cursing her, and tried to kill me. My life will be a prayer for them.”
—From “The New Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” by John Foxe, rewritten and updated by Harold J. Chadwick