Share in the sufferings of the martyrs; Church Fathers Day 323

The historian Eusebius tells the story of a young girl, a holy virgin in Tyre, who came to speak with the Christians about to be martyred. The enraged gov­ernor arrested her and subjected her to hideous tortures—but she still stood firm.

Because this girl had endured this severe punishment and the combs without a word, and still survived, he again commanded her to offer sacrifice. She then raised her lips and opened her eyes, and looking around with a joyful coun­tenance in that time of her suffering (for she was charming in beauty and in the appearance of her figure), with a loud voice she addressed the governor:

“Why, sir, do you deceive yourself? Why don’t you see that I’ve found the thing I prayed that you would give me? I rejoice greatly in having been deemed worthy to participate in the sufferings of God’s martyrs. In fact, for this very cause, I stood up and spoke with them, so that by some means or other they might make me a sharer in their sufferings, so that I also might obtain a portion in the King­dom of heaven together with them—because as long as I had no share in their sufferings, I could not be a partaker with them in their salvation.

“So now you see how, because of the future reward, I stand before you right now with great exultation: because I’ve gained the means of drawing near to my God, even before those just men, whom just a little while ago I begged to intercede for me.”

Then that wicked judge, seeing that he became a laughingstock, and that his haughty threats were obviously humbled before all those who were standing in his presence, did not venture to assail the girl again with great tortures like the ones he had used before, but condemned her by the sentence he passed to be thrown into the depths of the sea. –Eusebius, On the Martyrs of Palestine

IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .

It’s mostly safe to be a Christian these days. But how might God be calling me person­ally to share the sufferings of the martyrs?

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, I pray you to give me the strength to bear what I must bear in my life, and let me have no reason to be ashamed of my conduct.


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