Heroes of the Faith – The filial Bond

By Not Known

One of the worst fears of many parents is to attend their own child’s funeral. But what if you watched your seven sons die before your eyes because you were Christians and also knew that you were next?

Would we stay loyal to Christ?

Felicitas was a wealthy Christian widow who lived in Rome. She was born in AD101, had seven sons. May people were converted through her charitable deeds. These deeds and the conversions attracted attention. Pagan priests complained against here to Emperor Marcus Aurelius and a trial date was set.

Are our lives so distinctly Christian as to attract attention and even hostility for Christ’s sake?

A public official tried to persuade Felicitas and her sons to abandon Christ. He failed. According to tradition, the first son was whipped and pressed with weights until he died. The next two had their brains beaten out with clubs. The next was thrown from a height to his death. The last three sons were beheaded. As each son died, Felicitas was offered the pardon of her own life if she renounced Christ. She refused. And so, aged 65, this Christian widow was behaded with the same sword that was used again her youngest sons.

What price would we pay for Jesus?

Our families can be causes of division in the faith and even Jesus had troubled family relationships at time (eg. Mat 10:34-38; 12: 47- 50). However, for most of us, our families are the one group of people who we can most count on to stand by us in all circumstances and to love us at all times.

Imagine them the feeling of Felicitas as her sons suffered on her account. Had she renounced her Lord, they, and she, may well have lived. Instead, like Mary, her soul was pierced on their account (Luke 2:35). This mother was made of an inner steel that was tougher than the sword used against her sons and herself.

 How firm is our resolve to maintain our confession in Jesus?

Few of us are likely to be tested in the manner of Felicitas. However, we will all be tested if we are faithful to the Lord. May we be as resolute as this noble hero of the faith and keep Jesus in absolute first place in our lives.

David Burke