Holy Faith in the face of death

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Our Lord, upon hearing the centurion say “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under my roof; but only say the word, and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:8), Our Lord replied “Amen I say to you, I have not found so great faith in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10)

This shining example of Holy Faith the centurion displayed brought numerous graces to him, the greatest of which was the complete healing of the centurion’s servant.

When we are looking at other times throughout history where Holy Faith was on full display, the martyrs of the coliseum provide dozens of wonderful examples.

In the chapter 17 of the book Martyrs of the Coliseum, Saint Prisca provides us a glimpse of strength and fortitude, which are two pillars of Holy Faith.

The begining of chapter reads:

Claudius was Caesar, he issued a new and most impious edict to the whole world, that the Christians should offer sacrifice to the gods or be put to death.

He ordered his presidents and judges to carry out his law, that he might destroy
the worship of the Christians

Saint Prisca, age 11, “was adorned with the grace of God and the most perfect purity of morals“.

The ministers of the Emperor said to her “Our Emperor Claudius has commanded you to sacrifice voluntarily to the gods.

This was Saint Prisca’s response…

First let me enter the holy universal Church, that I may commend myself to my Lord Jesus Christ, and then we will go in peace. It is necessary that, in the name of our Lord, I confound your unworthy Emperor, and assist in the triumph of Jesus.

Saint Prisca was eventually ordered to be led to the Temple of Apollo that she might sacrifice to him. The Emperor ordered all who had gathered round to watch what she was going to do.

Saint Prisca said:

Glory be to Thee, O glorious Father! I invoke Thee, I implore Thee, cast down this motionless and dumb idol, the vile emblem of falsehood and corruption; but do Thou, Lord, hear me, a sinner, that this Emperor may know how vain is the hope he has placed in his idols, and that he ought to adore no other god but Thee alone.”

When she had prayed thus, there was immediately a great earthquake, so that the whole city was shaken; the statue of the god shook, and fell to the ground; in like manner the fourth part of the temple was destroyed, and overwhelmed a multitude of people, together with the priests of the idol.

What Faith! What a shining example of Holy Faith in the face of death. Saint Prisca, pray for us.

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