The Martyrs of the Early Church… and Now… in 2015
The soil of Planet Earth is drenched with the blood of Judeo-Christian martyrs. Yes, the precious blood of innocent human beings is being shed daily throughout the world!
Why? It is because Christians and Jews are being slaughtered by Islamic jihadists. The jihadists, with guns and swords are forcing everyone to ‘convert’ to Islam or die as martyrs when they refuse to deny their Judeo-Christian faith.
These jihadists do this in obedience to the teachings of the Koran and Hadith and its prophet Muhammad. Daily, we hear reports (cf: www.jihadwatch.org ) of women being raped and used as sex slaves, children being cut in pieces and beheaded, and men being beheaded or shot in the head or burnt alive!
This is the ‘fruit’ of ‘Islam’. Islam breeds a ‘Culture of Death’, whereas Judeo-Christianity fosters a ‘Culture of Life’. This huge contrast between Death and Life, Islam and Judeo-Christianity is best examplified by the words of Jesus Christ, Son of God, in John 10:10:
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
While at university in 2000, I wrote “The Martyrs in the Early Church.” I include it here below. As you read it, bear in mind that you may someday soon have to make that extremely important decision and die a martyr’s death if Islamic jihadists attack on your soil.
Are you ready? Your best preparation is to intensify your prayer life. Pray to Mary, Mother of God, to put a stop to Islamic jihad. Mary did it many times before when Catholics appealed to her for help at the Battle of Lepanto ….. http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/culture/history/how-the-1571-battle-of-lepanto-saved-europe.html and Vienna, http://www.historyofjihad.org/austria.html , for example. She will do it again. Let us seek her most powerful intervention.
Pray also for all Muslims in the world so that they would come to know and have a personal encounter with Jesus Christ and experience His Love and Mercy.
Jesus said: “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life, no man cometh to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
To all Muslim jihadists I say: “Blowing yourself up to kill us innocent Christians will not make of you a “martyr”. Rather, it will make you before God Almighty, when you are judged, a “killer” of the most brutal kind, and destined for Hell, unless you repent. God says in the Word of God, “Thou shalt not kill.”
Love is the answer, not Islamic jihadic killing. The Word of God says in 1 John 4:18: “There is no fear in love: but perfect love castest out fear, because fear hath punishment; and he that feareth is not made perfect in love.”
If I should die at the hands of a Muslim, let me say beforehand: “I will pray God’s mercy upon ‘your’ soul, I will pray for you to encounter God’s awesome love through Jesus Christ crucified and risen from the dead! Amen. Alleluia!
Donald Andre Bruneau.
April 24, 2015, Feast of Saint George, Martyr.
Note: See link for life of SaintGeorge:
THE MARTYRS IN THE EARLY CHURCH
“The blood of the martyrs fructified the soil of the Church, and for one that fell, thousands were gained.” (1)
In the first four centuries of the Church, many Christians were ‘martyred’, under Roman rule. A martyr is a person who has given or exposed his life in testimony to the truth or relevance of the Christian faith.” (2)
As we proceed to examine “martyrdom” and the role it played in the early years of the Church we will begin by seeing why the Roman government persecuted the Christians. We will then get an overview of the first three hundred years of persecution. Afterwards, as we review some martyrdoms, we will examine what it was that gave the courage to the Christians to suffer and die for their faith in Jesus Christ.
Their martyrdom inspired other Christians to be martyrs. They needed this inspiration to face up to the punishments and tortures they would receive before their martyrdom. We will see also how this developed into a cult and veneration of the martyrs.
To do all this I will draw much upon the writings of ‘Eusebius’ who is an early Church historian, who was born about 260 A.D. and other sources as well. As we proceed to discover about ‘martyrdom’ it will be with a ‘critical awareness’ that the events recorded by Eusebius or other writers are not necessarily exactly as they happened at that time in early Church history.
A writer always writes from his viewpoint, being biased to some degree. To explain this I will quote several comments on Eusebius as a Church historian. “First of all martyrs and martyrdom were highly important to Eusebius in his own time and we shall see what he wrote about them and why.” (3)
Eusebius was also a witness to many martyrdoms in places such as Tyre in Egypt, and in the Thebias. He also put much emphasis on the torments suffered by the martyrs whether he found them in his sources or not. (4)
Emperor Constantine’s comments regarding Eusebius’s writings were that he found him to be modest and that there was ‘no exageration’ in his writings. (5) This lends credibility to Eusebius’s writings.
Eusebius stated about himself that he insisted on the ‘utility’ of his history of the Early Church and because of this he left some matters, some information out if he felt it was not useful or necessary, or because some items may not be edifying. For example, he explicitly states that it is not for him to describe the behavior of bishops while they are being persecuted. (6) He stated regards the bishops: “We resolved to tell nothing more about them than what we might use to vindicate the Divine Judgement.” (7)
‘Inferences’ also played a part in Eusebius’s discussion of the martyrs. Eusebius stated “In their time the persecution of us in some parts of the earth was ardently rekindled by popular violence in various cities and one can make the ‘conjecture’ from what happened in one nation that myriads of martyrs were prominent.” (8)
‘Myriads of martyrs’ meaning countless numbers, says Eusebius. So we can see from this there were many martyrs but exactly how many, we can’t be sure. So as we read the reports of Eusebius it is important to keep the aforementioned in mind in order to have a critical awareness. We shall now look at why the Roman government persecuted the Christians.
REASONS FOR PERSECUTIONS OF THE CHRISTIANS.
In a general way of speaking we can say that the Romans saw the Christians as political and social revolutionaries. The whole social fabric of Roman society was established on the notion of ‘piety’, which is that mixture of fear and love that children are expected to show towards their parents, parents towards the State, and finally the whole of Roman society towards the gods.
The Romans believed that when things were going well and were peacefull in the state, in the Empire, it was because they had the blessings of the gods. The Christians were accused of subverting this ‘pax deorum’ (divine peace) because they would not demonstrate their civic pietas towards the gods of Rome. Their unwillingness to offer sacrifices to the gods struck the Romans as being blasphemous and atheistic.
If Christians did not swear by the gods when entering the army or before giving testimony in court they appeared treasonus. If the Christians had been willing to make even the least gestures towards the gods, the Romans would have left them in relative peace. (9) It was in the latter part of the first century that persecution of the Christians began.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PERSECUTIONS.
The persecution extended, in greater and lesser degrees of intensity, for two-hundred and fifty years and this occurred throughout the Roman Empire. Under different emperors it was limited to particular times and places. During the whole time of the persecutions Christians lived in permanent insecurity and suffered the hostility of the people. Christians were looked upon as outlaws, always and everywhere, until the Edict of Milan. (10)
“Broadly speaking, Christians from A.D 64 to A.D 313 fared as followed:
First Century: 6 years of persecution, 30 years of toleration. Second Century: 86 years of persecution, 14 years of toleration. Third Century: 24 years of persecution, 76 years of toleration. Fourth Century: 13 years of persecution.
The Church therefore knew 129 years of persecution and 120 years of tranquility. All generations experienced the drama of martyrdom and had to be prepared for it.According to the data we have, and despite their incompleteness, the total number of martyrs may be calculated to have been at least one hundred thousand and probably less than two hundred thousand. (11)
THE MARTYRDOM OF POLYCARP
The account of Polycarp’s martyrdom is taken from the “History of the Church” by Eusebius. Eusebius declares that he gives account of Polycarps’s martyrdom based on a letter he received from the Church of God at Smyrna over which Polycarp had presided. Therefore this source of information would come from first hand witnesses, presumably. Polycarp was eighty-six years of age, a revered Christian leader in the Church. When it was discovered he was being sought out to martyr him, his friends encouraged him to escape and hide. We are told by Eusebius that Polycarp “remained with a few companions devoting himself night and day to constant prayer to the Lord…and three nights before his arrest, while at prayer he saw in a trance the pillow under his head burst into flames and burn to a cinder. He awoke at once and interpreted the vision to those present, opening the book of things to come and leaving his friends in no doubt that for Christ’s sake he was to depart this life by ‘fire’. (12) (#2) At this point I think it is important to bring to our attention that Polycarp was a man of ‘prayer’ who talked to God and God communicated with him through the vision he had. I suspect it is his ‘prayer life’ and ‘love for God’ that gave him the ‘courage’ to face up to his martyrdom.
The Romans tried to get him to deny his faith by asking him: “What harm is there in saying: ‘Lord Caesar’ and sacrificing? You will be safe then.” (13) Eusibeus relates that when Polycarp entered the arena to be martyred he heard a voice from Heaven: “Be strong, Polycarp, and play the man.” (14) Then it says, “No one saw the speaker, but many of our people heard the voice.” (15)
Was this God’s voice from Heaven to the godly man Polycarp encouraging him to martyrdom? It is credible, as it said ‘many of our people heard the voice’. When Polycarp was before the proconsul he was toldl: “I have wild beasts, I shall throw you to them, if you don’t change your attitude.” (16) Polycarp replied: “Call them.” (17)
When the governor said he would then have Polycarp destroyed by fire, unless he changed his attitude, Polycarp answered: “The fire you threaten burns for a time and is soon extinguished: there is a fire you know nothing about–the fire of judgement to come and of eternal punishment, the fire reserved for the ungodly. But why do you hesitate? What do you want?”(18)
Eusibeus goes on to tell us: “Then a shout went up from every throat that Polycarp must be burnt alive. For it was inevitable that the vision which appeared to him about the pillow should be fulfilled:he had seen it burning as he prayed, and turning to the faithfull with him he said prophetically: “I must be burnt alive”. (19)
The crowds immediately rushed to collect wood and built a pyre to burn Polycarp. When they were going to nail Polycarp to the instruments prepared for the pyre, he cried: “Leave me as I am: He who enables me to endure the fire will enable me, even if you don’t secure me with nails, to remain in the pyre without shrinking.” (20) What Polycarp had just said about being ‘enabled by God’ was no doubt a ‘witness’ to those who heard him.
Then Polycarp ‘prayed’ and in his prayer he thanked God for counting him worthy to be among the number of martyrs, and that he may take part in Christ’s Cup, to the resurrection of eternal life of both soul and body in the imperishability that is the gift ofthe Holy Ghost. After Polycarp finished his prayers, they lit the fire. (21)
Then the witnesses said:
“Then we saw a marvelous sight, we who were privileged to see it and were spared to tell the others what happened. The fire took the ‘shape’ of a vaulted room, like a ship’s sail filled with the wind, and made a wall around the martyr’s body, which was in the middle not like a burning flesh but like gold and silver refined in a furnace. Indeed we were conscious of a wonderful fragrance, like a breath of frankincense or some other costly spice. At last, seeing that the body could not be consumed by the fire, the lawless people summoned a confector to come forward and drive home his sword. When he did so there came out ‘a stream of blood’ that quenched the fire, so that the whole crowd was astonished at the difference between the unbelievers and the elect. To the elect belonged this man, the most wonderful apostolic and prophetic teacher of our time, bishop of the Catholic Church in Smyrna. For every word that he uttered was and shall be fulfilled.” (22)
I would like to emphasize a few things about Polycarp’s martyrdom. According to the witnesses who saw it, notice the shape of the fire ‘around’ his body, the wonderful fragrance, no smell of burning flesh, his body would not burn, and when he was killed with the sword, so much blood ‘streamed’ out that it extinguished the fire. This was no doubt very ‘inspiring’ to the believers and a mighty witness to the spectators, the unbelievers.
Eusibeus ends the story of Polycarp’s martyrdom by saying: “Such was the story of Blessed Polycarp. Counting those from Philadelphia, he was the twelfth to endure martyrdom at Smyrna, but he alone is especially remembered by all, so that even the heathen everywhere speak of him.” (23)
“Even the heathen everywhere speak of him” implies to us the great evangelizing effect the death of martyrs such as Polycarp and others had on the unbelievers to bring them to the faith.
THE MARTYRDOM OF SAINT PERPETUA
The following account of the martyrdom of Saint Perpetua is the ‘archetype’ of all later Acts of the Christian Martyrs: for it is not only an account of the trials and sufferings of the African martyrs, but it is also an apocalypse in its own right, reminiscent of the Book of Revelation and the Shepherd of Hermas.” (24)
“The ‘passio’ (of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas) has been held by most scholars as an authentic reflection of the persecution in Africa about A.D 200, even though one need not accept all the details, or even believe that the author is accurately quoting the words of the martyrs themselves. (25)
We will now hear parts of Saint Perpetua’s account of her lived experiences, written by herself, apparently just before her martyrdom. I will try to emphasize those parts which served to be ‘very inspirational’ for the Christians in her time.
Perpetua was martyred apparently around the year 203 A.D. which would be the first year of Hilarian’s procuratorship of Africa, temporarily serving as governor on the death of Minucius Timianus. (26)
Saint Perpetua was a newly married woman and her parents were alive and she was a catechumen. She was about twenty two years of age and had an infant son. (27) The following is an account of her ordeal according to her own ideas and in the way ‘she herself wrote it down’. After Perpetua was put in prison, she relates: “Then my brother said to me: ‘dear sister, you are greatly privileged; surely you might ask for a ‘vision’ to discover whether you are to be condemned or freed. Faithfully I promised that I would, for I knew that I could speak with the Lord, whose great blessings I had come to experience.Then I made my request and this is the vision I had, “I saw a ladder of tremendous height made of bronze, reaching all the way to the heavens, but it was so narrow that only one person could climb up at a time.” (28)
Having gained the top of the ladder Perpetua saw an immense garden and a grey-haired man in a shepherd’s garb. He said he was glad she had come and gave her a mouthful of milk after which all who stood around her said ‘Amen’. At the ‘Amen’ her vision finished and she told her brother that she knew they woould have to suffer. (29) Sentence was passed on Perpetua and her friends. They were condemned to the beasts and she says “we returned to the prison in high spirits.”
She also relates the following as regards letting go of her baby: “But as God willed, the baby had no further desire for the breast, nor did I suffer any inflammation; and so I was relieved of any anxiety for my child and of any discomfort in my breast. (30)
Here we see by her testimony how God was looking after Perpetua even to the point of relieving her anxiety for her baby and the discomfort that would be caused by the baby suddenly no longer breastfeeding. This again is another example to the Christians that God will be ‘with them’ in their martyrdom.
The day before Perpetua was to fight with the beasts she had a vision. In this vision she saw herself fighting with an Egyptian and defeating him and then walking towards the Gate of Life. She then awoke. (31) She then says: “I realized that it was not with wild animals that I would fight but with the Devil, but I knew that I would win the victory.”(32)
We see here that God through the means of ‘visions’ gave the martyrs the assurance that they would win the victory, in other words not deny their faith and die a courageous death. One of Perpetua’s friends, Saturus, had a vision which he shared with Perpetua. This is what he said to Perpetua aboit the vision:
“This is what the Lord promised us. We have received His promise! While we were being carried by these four angels, a great open space appeared, which seemed to be a garden, with rose bushes and all manner of flowers. The trees were tall as cypresses, and their leaves were constantly falling. In the garden there were four other angels more splendid than the others. When they saw us they paid hommage to us and said to the other angels in admiration: “Why, they are here! They are here! (33)
Again we see God, through this vision inspiring Perpetua and her friends not to give up, showing them the other life they will be going to as their reward for keeping the Faith and dying a martyr’s death.
Perpetua was put in the arena with a mad heifer which tossed her on her back. Afterwards she was struck on the bone and screamed. (34) “She then took the trembling hand of the gladiator and guided it to her throat. It was as though so great a woman, feared as she was by the unclean spirit, could not be dispatched unless she herself was willing. (35) Then the writer goes on to give his very edifying and inspirational comment:
“Ah, most valiant and blessed martyrs! Truly you are called and chosen for the glory of Christ Jesus our Lord! And any man who exalts, honours, and worships His glory should read for the consolation of the Church these new deeds of heroism which are no less significant than the tales of old. For these new manifestations of virtue will bear witness to the one and same Spirit who still operates, and to God the Father almighty, to his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom is splendour and immeasurable power for all the ages. Amen.” (36)
The aforementioned is probably one of the prime ways the early Church used to inspire its followers to stand firm when tested for their faith, to the point of martyrdom. These written testimonies of the martyrs were probably well circulated among the early Christians and was certainly very edifying as we can see from the accounts of Saints Polycarp and Perpetua. The early Christians needed to be encouraged as they would never know the day when they would be denounced as a Christian and have to appear before the Roman courts with the choice of denying their faith or standing firm in their confession as Christians and thus going through horrible tortures.
PUNISHMENTS AND TORTURES OF THE CHRISTIANS
There was many different forms of punishments to which a convicted Christian might be sentenced: there was crucifixion, burning, decapitation, tortures, being thrown to the beasts in the arena, exile and forced labour in the mines. The whole purpose of this torture was to get the Christians to deny their faith and to denounce other Christians so they could be sought out. (37)
Eusibius, Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, was a Christian historian and testifies to the events of the persecution of Diocletian. He is the principal source for the history of the primitive Church, especially in the ten books of his Ecclesiastical History. Eusebius gives the following description of torture during the Diocletian’s persecution:
“Why should I now make mention by name of the rest or number the multitude of the men or picture the various sufferings of the wonderful martyrs, sometimes slaughtered with the axe, as happened to those in Arabia, sometimes having their legs broken, as fell the lot of those of Cappadocia, and on some occassions being raised on high by their feet with heads down and, when a slow fire was lit underneath them, choking to death by the smoke sent out from the burning wood, as visitied upon them in Mesopotamia, sometimes having their noses and ears mudtilated, and the other limbs and parts of the body cut to pieces, as took place in Alexandria. Why should we rekindle the memory of those in Antioch who were roasted on hot grates, not unto death, but with a view to a lingering punishment, and of others who let their right hand down into the fire sooner than touch the abominable sacrifice.”(38)
As we can see with all of these tortures, there was a great ‘need to inspire’ the Christians to face up to martyrdom with great courage and hope.
HOW CHRISTIANS WERE INSPIRED TOWARDS MARTYRDOM
The following insights on the exhortations to martyrdom are given by Origen. “Origen was a layman who was born in Egypt, probably at Alexandria, about 185 A.D., of parents for whom the ideals and practice of Christianity were the only concern in life.”(39)
“Origen’s ‘Exhortation to Martyrdom’ was composed about 235 A.D. in order to provide solace for his great friend and patron, Ambrose and the presbyter, Proctoctetus, both of whom had been thrown into prison. It is therefor a ‘most sincere’ and ‘moving’ document.(40)
“Origen states: The saint has a special sense of honour and wishes to give a recompense for the benefits conferred on him by God; and so he looks around to see if he can do anything for the Lord in return for all he has received. He finds that for a man of good intentions that there is nothing to counterbalance, as it were, these benefits of God–except a martyr’s death.”(41)
For the Christian it was only a martyr’s death that could pay back God for all He had done for him. Origen goes on to speak of the great reward prepared for martyrs: “I would wish you then, during the whole of the present trial to remember the ‘great reward’ prepared in Heaven for those who are persecuted and mocked for justice’s sake and the Son of man.”(42)
Martyrs were admonished to persevere during their persecution knowing that if they did they would achieve their salvation. Origen’s final word here is:
“If we wish to save our soul so as to receive it back better than a soul, let us lose it in martyrdom. For if we lose it for Christ’s sake, laying it before Him in dying for Him, we shall achieve for it its’ true salvation.”(43)
This belief is also confirmed by Tertulian: “Who does not desire to suffer…that he may from God ‘obtain complete forgiveness’ by giving in exchange his blood. For that secures the remission of all offenses.”(44)
The early Christians were greatly encouraged to pray and read the scriptures to prepare for martyrdom: “That the day of our struggle is already approaching, we should not cease to be instant with all the people ‘in fastings, in prayers’. For these are heavenly arms, which make us to stand fast and bravely to persevere. These are the spiritual defences and divine weapons which defend us.”(45)
Another great source of encouragement which we believe was passed unto the Christian community was letters written by prisoners and confessors (those who had endured intense torture and lived). “Some prisoners even managed to keep a journal, in order to preserve every last detail, discovery or testimonial of those days that they considered to be days of an intense experience of communion with Christ.”(46)
“The confessors for their part, were tireless in writing their communities letters of encouragement, depositions concerning what had happened with themselves in prison. How the ‘power of the Spirit’ had been made manifest in them to martyrdom.”(47)
The power of prayer was stressed: The confessors also formed community and gathered often to pray, wherein they found the strength to bear up under torture, and to discover a source of grace in their tribulations.(48)
And last but not least was the martyrs’ ‘intense love of God’. “Christians were so permeated with the presence of God that to deny the faith caused them more torment than would physical suffering. It would have been to deny my King that saved me.”(49) They did not do it as an obligation, a duty, but as an act of love, an act of friendship.”(50)
To conclude in regards to what inspired the martyrs, we speak of ‘hope’. “There was a deep ‘eschatalogical’ awareness in Christians. Hope was a virtue intensely lived and not merely individually but collectivelly. Hope in the world to come, in a new Heaven and a new earth, which had already begun with Christ’s resurrection, was their hallmark.”(51)
But not all kept the faith. For those who denied their faith, the ‘apostates’, they were given a certificate called a ‘libellus’. Most of those who apostasized were wealthy and could not let go of the material things of this world. However, the Christian community encouraged and was very merciful towards the apostates.
“Indeed the community had a principle: never give up on someone who had fallen. There was always the possibility of recovery.”(52) For those who died martyrs there was a deep respect and admiration. This developed into the cult and veneration of martyrs.
CULT AND VENERATION OF MARTYRS.
“Small pieces of bone or blood (of martyrs) were, for those who possessed them, imbued with a spiritual force that could produce miracles through the intercession of the saint to who they belonged.”(53)
“When the cult of relics came to its full height during the Middle Ages, many great churches owed their sanctity and renown simply to the presence of important relics.”(54) The Council of Trent concurred and added long ago that relics could be honoured, since through them many benefits are granted to men by God.”(55)
As we have seen in using historical sources such as Eusibius, who lived during the persecutions we can believe we are given a relatively accurate picture of it. As Emperor Constantine said about Eusibius, that he was modest and did not exagerate in his writings. However, we must still be conscious that everyone writes from his bias. Also we have the journals of the martyrs themselves, such as St Perpetua and the eyewitnesses as regards the martyrdom of St Polycarp which greatly add to the authenticity of these martyrdoms.
They found their strenght in God, through the power of the Holy Spirit in prayer and the support and prayers of their community. Missionary Graham Stains and his two sons were burnt alive by a band of about thirty Indians in India on January 23, 1999. According to the World Evangelical Fellowship there has never been as many martyrs as there has been in the 20th Century.(56) Graham’s daughter has a poster her dad loved. On it is inscribed the words: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress.” If we had to face martyrdom one day, would we be able to have the fortitude of the likes of these martyrs? Is the Lord ‘our Rock, our Fortress?’.
Donald Andre Bruneau,
April 24, Feast of Saint George, Martyr. http://www.stgeorgegreenville.org/OurFaith/Saint%20George.html
- A.J O’Rilley, The Martyrs of the Colesium (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books, 1987), 14. 2) William J McDonald, New Catholic Encyclopedia, (New York:McGraw-Hill Book Co. VOL. 15,, 1967), P.312. 3) Robert McQueen, Eusebius as Early Church Historian, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980), 121. 4) McQueen, Eusebius, 122. 5) McQueen, Eusebius, 165. 6) McQueen, Eusebius, 24. 7) McQueen, Eusebius, 24. 8) McQueen, Eusebius, 37. 9) Lawrence Cunningham, The Meaning of Saints (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1980), 10. 10) Ivo Lesbaupin, Blessed are the Persecuted: Christian Life in the Roman Empire, (Maryknoll, N.Y.:Orbis Books, 1987), 13. 11) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 13,14. 12) Eusebius Caesariensis, The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine (New York: New York University Press, 1966) 169,170. 13) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 171. 14) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 171. 15) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 171. 16) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 171. 17) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 171. 18) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 172. 19) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 172. 20) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 172. 21) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 173. 22) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 173. 23) Caesariensis, The History of the Church, 174. 24) Herbert Musurillo, The Acts of the Christian Martyrs, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972), XXV. 25) Musurillo, The Acts, XXVII. 26) Musurillo, The Acts, XXVII. 27) Musurillo, The Acts, XXVII. 28) Musurillo, The Acts, 111,113. 29) Musurillo, The Acts, 111,113. 30) Musurillo, The Acts, 115. 31) Musurillo, The Acts, 119. 32) Musurillo, The Acts, 119. 33) Musurillo, The Acts, 121. 34) Musurillo, The Acts, 131. 35) Musurillo, The Acts, 131. 36) Musurillo, The Acts, 131. 37) Yvo Lesbaupin, Blessed are the Persecuted: Christian Life in the Roman Empire (Maryknoll, N.Y..: Orbis Books, 1987), 22. 38) Lesbaupin, Blessed are, 23. 39) Origenes, Prayer; Exhortation to Martyrdom, (Westminster, M.D.: Newman Press, 1954), 3. 40) Origenes, Prayer, 10. 41) Origenes, Prayer, 168. 42) Origenes, Prayer, 143. 43) Origenes, Prayer, 152. 44) D. Riddle, The Martyrs (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1931), 32. 45) Riddle, The Martyrs, 47. 46) Yvo Lesbaupin, Blessed are the Persecuted: Christian Life in the Roman Empire (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1987) 28. 47) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 28. 48) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 28. 49) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 35.
- 50) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 36. 51) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 38. 52) Lesbaupin, Blessed, 27. 53) Joan Cruz, Relics (Huntington, IND.: Our Sunday Visitor, 1984), 5. 54) Cruz, Relics, 5. 55) Cruz, Relics, 5. 56) The Ottawa Citizen, February 13, 2000. ‘Killers Watch Martyrs Roast’.
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