Acts of The Early Martyrs by Frair Fastre


By studying the Lives and the Acts of the Martyrs, the sincere Christian can most easily learn to appreciate the living and life-giving influence, which the Sacred Heart of Jesus exercises on His Church. What else, save his continued abiding in her, could have bestowed upon her children that heroic fortitude amidst the danger, the hardships, the tortures of persecution which the combined malice of the world and of hell has never ceased to stir up against them? He, who said, "You shall be witnesses unto Me... even to the uttermost part of the earth," (Acts i, 8,) had before said, "When they shall deliver you up, take no thought how or what to speak: for it shall be given you in that hour what to speak." (Matt. x, 19.) Hence the faithful followers of the Man of Sorrows wre filled with consolation, and abounded with joy amidst all their tribulations. And why? because the more they were hated by the world, the more they became conformed to the image of the Son of God: the more closely were they united to the true source of all comfort, the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Herein, then, lay the principle of the superhuman strength and courage of the Martyrs. And, whether we view them looming up before us, grand and majestic forms, in the distant ages of early Christianity, or study them amidst the trials of modern times, the same Spirit animates their generous souls, and makes them sourn alike the transitory joys of earth, and the cruel persecutions of its rulers, for the sake of Him who loved them first. In every age the Church has had her Martyrs, and so it shall, doubtless, continue to be; that at no tme she may cease to exist exhibit the vitality infused into her by her divine Founder, and that her chilfren, inspired by the noble example of their Brethern, may ever be ready, if God so wills it, to bear witness, in like manner, to the Faith that is in them.

Although, in compiling these Acts, the "Acta Martyrum" of Dom. 1 Ruinart have chiefly been followed, much has also been drawn from other sources. They were first published in the "Messenger of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, A Monthly Bulletin of the Apostleship of Prayer," a periodical which every Catholic family should endeavor to patronize, if the interests of the Heart of Jesus, the well-being of the members of one's household are, as they should be, an object of anxious solicitude to parents or guardians.

May the reading of these pages continue to be, as it has already been in the past, a source of edification, and an incentive to spiritual fervor and Christian heroism.
ST. XAVIER COLLEGE, Cincinnati, Ohio.


1 Dom.=Dominican, a Catholic monk order known for their discipline that gave Western Civilization the Scientific Method

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