Another Lesson From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

As I continue to listen to Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, I keep coming across these amazing pictures of what a Life lived out for God amongst an adverse cultural climate looks like. Most of the Martyrs are individuals, dying alone for their faith. However, this was not always the case as the following example shows:

“Felicitatis, an illustrious Roman lady, of a considerable family, and the most shining virtues, was a devout Christian. She had seven sons, whom she had educated with the most exemplary piety. Januarius, the eldest, was scourged, and pressed to death with weights; Felix and Philip, the two next had their brains dashed out with clubs; Silvanus, the fourth, was murdered by being thrown from a precipice; and the three younger sons, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martial, were beheaded. The mother was beheaded with the same sword as the three latter.”

As I heard this I though how on earth do you raise you kids up in such a way that they not only all are converted, which is really up to God to do, but also to have such a robust faith that they are willing to die for it? I thought of much of what American Christianity is and what it should be and was convicted of fact that I may not be able to raise kids like that. I mean, think about it; the kids didn’t all die at once. It started with the eldest being pressed to death by weights then the next two got clubbed followed by one boy being thrown off something. the three youngest get beheaded and then you the parent get killed with the same sword. Really, what do I do with this? I don’t even have categories for this kind of thing if I am honest with myself.

Hearing this account was really humbling. I want to be the kind of man who God would use to raise up that kind of family. I want to be the kind of husband who ministers to his wife in such a way that she could be a “Felicitatis.” Let us pray to this end. Let us ask God  that He would not only give us lasting, generational legacy, but that it might be strong enough to endure, even in the face of suffering and death.

Lastly, remember that the church grows as a result of these kinds of “tragedies” happening and we would do well to embrace life’s travails with joy in hope that God might use them to build his kingdom and glorify His name.

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  1. Good food for thought. You may or may not know, but Christian Audio’s free download this month is: “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs.”

    http://christianaudio.com/free_download.php

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