Being a Christian in the Age of Rome was a dangerous proposition..
In the 3rd Century A.D. Emperor Claudius the Second issued an edict directing that young people were not to be married. He reasoned that married men might be reluctant to risk their lives in battle if they had a wife (and presumably children) to live for.
firm in his belief that everyone who wished to be joined in holy (and monogamous matrimony – polygamy was not uncommon in his time) in a ceremony sanctified by God should have the right to do so – even if it directly contradicted the Roman Law.
The Bishop secretly married many couples until he was eventually found out and sentenced to death in the year 269 A.D. His death was administered in not one, or even two, phases – but three. He was beaten, then stoned, and finally decapitated.
A little over 200 years later, in 496 A.D., his dedication – and sacrifice – to his faith was formally recognized by Pope Gelasius 1.
As you enjoy reading your Valentine’s Day cards and nibbling on chocolates from a heart-shaped box, take a moment or two to remember a man who sacrificed his life on the Altar of Principles in accordance with his Christian faith.
How many of us are as stalwart in our faith?
**Originally Posted on 14 Feb 2018**