Thursday, June 20, 2013

From The Friars eLetter: Unforgettable

A few months ago, during the celebration of one of the virgin martyrs of the early church, it struck me: “If not for her martyrdom, no one would know who this girl was.” Think about how many young girls there were in ancient Rome—how many there have been in all of history. How many of them are remembered today? Not a lot. Of those who are remembered, how many died before their fifteenth birthday? What makes these girls different? They went against the flow. They did not give in to the enticements of the world or to the threats of the power. They withstood powerful politicians and noblemen of great stature, whose names have long been forgotten. But the names of these young girls live on and their memory inspires millions, all because they were faithful to Christ and to the Christian life.

What if they had given in? What if Agatha and Agnes had surrendered to their suitors? What if Maria Goretti had accepted Alessandro’s advances, even out of fear or pragmatism, to save her own life? Then they all would have been forgotten. They would have been just another girl who gave in to the immoral desires of a man. We would not even know that they had existed. But, thank God, they had courage and resisted, and so won the glory of martyrdom. May they inspire us to do the same when we are tempted to surrender our faith in Christ!

+ Br. Ignatius Pio Mariae, CFR
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