A “Fortnight for Freedom” observance on this week’s 7 Quick Takes, featuring seven saints whose lives speak to people who live in times of persecution. As reprehensible as I find the secularization of the United States, it does not yet compare with the persecution seen in other parts of the world today.
Whether your livelihood is threatened because of your Christian values, or whether your very existence on this planet is at risk because of anti-Christian terrorists, you are not alone. We have limitless Saints who have gone before us. They pray for us. They inspire us to remain steadfast and faithful.
Here, in no particular order, are seven Saints who I find remarkable examples for unique reasons. Yes, it is an over-simplification of their lives and times. But, this is 7 Quick Takes; sorry, not sorry.
~ ONE ~
He is remarkable because he had an entire household dependent upon him. It might have been tempting, to keep his head down and not anger the king. Even though the king was wrong in trying to get an annulment for a marriage for which he’d already received a dispensation. With Thomas More as an example, you cannot use “I’m the primary provider” as an excuse to compromise on you principles.
~ TWO ~
In choosing between God and Caesar, Thomas had to go with God. Adversarial leaders of a nation needn’t be directly complicit in persecution. In the case of St. Thomas, the king complained about the priest being a nuisance, and the kings’ men took it upon themselves to rid the king of his inconvenience.
~ THREE ~
The first Christian martyrs, right? Childhood will not protect you from a tyrant. In order to hold his temporal power, a person in position of authority might kill ‘inconvenient’ children.
~ FOUR ~
Ah, another victim of politically motivated courts. And people you thought were your friends, feeding you to your enemies. I know some people doubt God taking sides in a battle. However, it doesn’t negate the “use a person for your own ends and then dispose of her” attitude of the French towards Joan.
~ FIVE ~
This woman did not die a martyr. She lived during the Spanish Civil War, where institutionalized persecution kept her from carrying out work that she felt called by God to do. She’s an inspiration to me because of the way she carried on trying to do God’s will, despite the anti-religious furor of her age.
~ SIX ~
(Including well-known names such as Edmund Campion, Margaret Clitherow, Robert Southwell, & Henry Walpole)
These martyrs experienced sham trials or no trials at all. Many (beyond these forty!) were accused of treason, as you can read in history books. But Queen Elizabeth I’s definition of treason? Attending Mass, saying Mass, participating in the Sacraments.
~ SEVEN ~
We hear about how the French Revolution was all ‘power to the people’ and all that. Apparently, the people were extremely threatened by 16 women who were praying, living, and working together in a religious community. This still scares some people, doesn’t it?
Thanks for hosting 7 Quick Takes Friday, Jennifer!