Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The Martyrs of Abitina

During the persecution of the Roman emperor Diocletian which started in 303 AD, many Christians were called to make the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. A particular group of 46 believers in Northern Africa refused to stop meeting and partaking of the Eucharist. They freely admitted to their persecutors that they would not stop celebrating the Lord's Supper.
Their life would mean nothing to them if they could not have Christ in the Eucharist so they willing gave up their lives.
They were arrested at the liturgy and sent to Carthage for examination. Saturninus was a priest, and with him suffered his four children, Saturninus and Felix, readers, Mary, a virgin, and Hilarion, a young child. Dativus and another Felix were senators. Other names from this group are: Thelica, Ampelius, Emeritus, Rogatian and Victoria, a holy virgin of undaunted courage. The child Hilarion, when threatened by the magistrates while his companions were being tortured, replied: 'Yes, torture me too; anyhow, I am a Christian'. They all died in prison.

It really made me think when I prayed in Mass today, "Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread," how much we take for granted our freedom to celebrate Mass! The early Christians had interpreted the Lord's Prayer to mean the "Bread from Heaven" and the Eucharist became the center of their liturgy from the earliest times. They were willing to die for their belief in the Eucharist and many were persecuted for being cannibals! So the next time, I feel a bit reluctant about getting up for daily Mass, I will try to remember the North African martyrs who died for their chance to receive Christ in the Lord's Supper.

Saint Saturninus , You were willing to die for your desire to keep the Lord's Supper. I ask you to pray to Jesus to give me more and more appreciation of His presence with us in the Mass. Thanks for your prayers on my behalf.


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