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Martyr (entered heaven circa 305)
OK, OK, I get the picture. You’re making good money, but the company you have to put up with in the factory isn’t made up of moral giants. You can always quit, you know, and find a job elsewhere. But I think that should be a last recourse. From what you describe, it’s not as if they are actively trying to get you to join in their despicable carousing, they are just vilifying you for being a coherent Christian. And that, my courageous young nephew, is a good thing. “Blessed are you when they persecute you…” our Lord said. Maybe you can draw some encouragement and inspiration from today’s saint, whose fidelity under fire bore wonderful fruit.
Alban lived in Britain during the late Roman Empire, when the religious persecution under Diocletian was devastating the Christian community all throughout Europe and the Middle East. He was a soldier, and an upright Roman citizen. Out of simple human decency, he gave shelter to a persecuted priest, whose example of virtue and convincing conversation soon converted him to the Christian faith.
At that point he begged the priest to change clothes with him in order to procure the prelate’s safety. The exchange was made, and sure enough, soon afterwards Alban was apprehended for being a priest and ordered to renounce the Christian faith. He wouldn’t. And so he became Britain’s first martyr, soon followed by two others: his would-be executioner (who was converted on the spot by Alban’s courage and eloquence and consequently refused to follow through with the execution) and the priest he had sheltered, who heard that Alban had been taken in his place and rushed to the judges to procure the latter’s freedom. All three martyrs are buried together, near the Cathedral named after St Alban.
So you see, if you can keep your heart focused on Christ and hold up under a little bit of mockery, like St Alban, you may find that God will be able to work some miracles through you too, for the benefit of his Kingdom and the salvation of your coworkers’ souls.
Your loving uncle,