Holy Chapel Paris

We Can Do Nothing Else (((Homily )))

by Father Brian J. Soliven on Sunday November 22, 2020

It's the year 303AD, emperor Diocletian sits on the throne of Rome when a brilliant idea enters his head. He decrees that “the sacred texts and holy testaments of the Lord and the divine Scriptures be found, so that they could be burnt; the Lord’s basilicas were to be pulled down; and the celebration of sacred rites and holy reunions of the Lord were to be prohibited” (Acts of the Martyrs, I). Thus began one of Christianity's worse persecutions. A group of 49 Christians who would become known as the Martyrs of Abitene, defy the emperor and secretly meet at a clandestine Mass in the private home of Octavius Felix. Soldiers burst in and arrest everyone. What happens next would galvanize the rest of us.