The Persian Martyrs

(entered heaven in 345)

Dear Sal,

With spring in the air and summer around the corner, you are probably getting antsy.  We humans are part of this biosphere, and our bodies and emotions really do react to the change of weather and seasons, sometimes violently – just like the trees and flowers that burst out of their winter slumber with new buds.  You know from past years that it’s a time when you find it difficult to keep your good resolutions and stick to your priorities. It is the season when the world renews its worship of the “fun god”; but you, my dear niece, should take a lesson from today’s saints: have plenty of healthy fun, but prefer to suffer death itself before you let the “fun god” draw you into temptation.  The martyrs we commemorate today (we don’t know any of their names, but about 100 of them were decapitated in Seleucia, near modern-day Turkey) refused to worship the Persian sun god. The king, who believed his power depended on appeasing this god, left them in dark, damp, filthy, smelly dungeons for six months to see if they would change their minds. (That “semester” was probably not too fun.)  But they stuck to their guns, and emerged just as resolute in their proclamation that Christ alone was God as they had been when they went in. And they lost their heads for it. So ask them to say a little prayer for you as you go into spring exams, so that you don’t lose your head over something much less worthy than martyrdom. Much love, Uncle Eddy.


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