St Faith and Companions

Virgin and Martyrs (entered heaven in the third century)

Dear Phyllis,

I am glad you took the time to write.  Nothing pleases the devil more than Christians who try to struggle all alone.  I wish I was there with you so we could talk over your difficulties in person, but email is better than nothing, I guess.  

To be completely honest, I can’t help marveling at the parallels between your current situation and the martyrdom of today’s saint.  There you are, heading up your Compass Chapter, pursuing your noble goal of promoting chastity on campus this year, and suffering mockery and verbal abuse because of it – and the school year has only just started!  You can see that the devil is not happy with your efforts to bring healthy relationships back into fashion. I think your discouragement, however, is unmerited, and that’s where the parallel with today’s saint comes in.  On the surface, it may seem as if you aren’t making any progress at all – students continue behaving as they always did. But underneath the status quo, you can be sure that your example and your efforts are shoring up the moral courage of many peers.  

St Faith seemed to fail as well – on the outside.  She was an extraordinarily beautiful young lady from southwest France, a Christian, and unfortunate enough to be brought before the Roman governor and ordered to worship the Roman gods.  Dacian (the governor) tried to persuade her gently at first, flattering her beauty and charming her vanity (sound familiar?), but she only answered him with repeated professions of her love and exclusive dedication to Christ and his Kingdom.  The longer he tried to convince her, the more courageous her answers became, and the more irate the governor grew. Finally, when she explained that the pagan gods were devils, the magistrate exploded in a fit of rage and had St Faith chained to a brass bed, which was then placed over a fire pit.  The fire was kindled and made as hot as possible by adding oil and other kinds of incendiary material. As she thus burned to death for worshipping the true God, the onlookers exclaimed their indignation at Dacian’s cruelty – to torture and kill such a beautiful and promising young lady merely because of her faith in one God.  Her witness, in fact, gave the bystanders courage to profess their own faith boldly, and to refuse to burn incense to the false Roman gods, such that the enraged Dacian apprehended them and had them martyred as well, by beheading them.

St Faith’s faith, put into action and shown to be true even amidst the most horrendous difficulty, fed the faith of her companions, such that God was glorified and the Kingdom advanced in ancient France.  Do not doubt, my fervent young niece, that your efforts too will kindle and feed fires of faith in those who witness them. Guaranteed.

Your devoted uncle, Eddy

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