Once upon a time there was a man who was alive.

Location: Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States
St. Cuthbert and Disciples in a Boat


From the Martyrdom of Polycarp:

Then, the proconsul urging him, and saying, "Swear, and I will set thee at liberty, reproach Christ; "Polycarp declared, "Eighty and six years have I served Him, and He never did me any injury: how then can I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? "

There was great faith among the saints of the early Church- though they held only parts of the New Testament and oral traditions, and were beset by persecutors and the subtler dangers of deadly heresy. Yet they held fast to Christ and hope in Him, even to the point of death by fire and sword and beast. The same is true in many lands to-day, where martyrs still live and die. The Church is still washed in the blood of its martyrs, though we in the West are unscathed and too often go at unawares.


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