Brave men and women who refused to recant their faith: the Scillitan Martyrs c. 180
The Scillitan Martyrs were seven men and five women from Scillium in North Africa who were arrested, taken to Carthage and brought before the Roman proconsul Saturninus. Speratus, their spokesman, was asked what he carried in his bag. He answered, “The sacred books and the letters of a righteous man named Paul.”
They were given one month to give up their Christian beliefs, but they refused and so were sentenced to immediate death by the sword. At hearing this, Speratus cried, “Thanks be to God.” They died around the year 180.
O God, who dost inspire us to confess thy holy name by the witness of thy martyrs: Grant that thy Church, encouraged by their example, may be ready to suffer fearlessly for thy cause, and to strive for the reward of thy heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
W H Frere (1863-1938), Parish Prayers (no. 590)
Originally published in Heroes of Our Faith by Patrick Sookhdeo (Isaac Publishing)