Victories of the Martyrs: Or The Lives of the Most Celebrated Martyrs of the Church
- ISBN-13: 9781499282610
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Apr 30, 2014
- Pages: 350 pages
- Dimensions: 0.88 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches
ST. ALPHONSUS was in his eightieth year when he wrote the VICTORIES OF THE MARTYRS, which appeared in the year 1776. He had just been relieved by Pope Pius VI of the burden of the episcopate, which weighed so heavily upon him, but not of the burden of his Congregation, which furnished him with a retreat that was most laborious. Moreover, he had to compose this work in the midst of the greatest sufferings, says Father Tannoia. The kingdom of Naples, he adds, received this new fruit of the zeal of our saint with general satisfaction; and in the opinion of Canon Fabius Massa, the Church was to derive the greatest profit from it, nothing being better suited, especially in those calamitous times, to strengthen the faith and to enkindle piety. But the reading of such a book is not less useful in our age, and will be so in every age. The constancy of the faithful will always be tried, piety will always be persecuted, by the enemies of Jesus Christ: All that will lire godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. Other sufferings will also not be wanting; for the road leading to heaven is sown with all kinds of tribulations: Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God. Such was the way in which our divine Saviour walked: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into his glory? And he himself informs us that his disciples and his servants should be treated as he was treated: The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his Lord. But he assures us that the trial will never be above our strength, and that he is ready to aid those that call upon him: And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able; but will also make with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it. Hence he wishes us to have unshaken confidence while we are in the midst of the most cruel anguish, since beforehand he has made sure our victory: In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world. He even wishes that at such a time we should be filled with joy while considering the eternal reward that he has prepared for the pains of a moment: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. And when we think of the love that our Saviour has shown us in all that he has done and suffered for us, our hearts are inflamed with gratitude and love towards him; we, then, desire to labor and to suffer yet more for his glory; we desire to sacrifice for him our lives, finding no other happiness than that of suffering and dying for God. Such are the sentiments that we admire in the athletes of the faith−sentiments with which we feel ourselves sweetly penetrated while reading the Victories of the Martyrs. This volume is a selection of the most beautiful examples drawn from the history of the martyrs of every age and place, after the time of the apostles, and taken from the best sources. We have carefully revised these sources in order to be able to establish the correctness of the narrative according to the intention expressed by the author in his preface. We have at times found it necessary, as was the case in the preceding works, to make certain corrections; we have even here and there added the name of a place or of a person, a date or some trifling circumstance, which the clearness and the interest of the narration seemed to us to demand. When, however, we did not follow the author literally, we only did so in order to render his thought more clear; and when the matter appeared to us to be of some importance, we added a note, so as to give to this good book all the accuracy that the readers might desire. In a word, we have done what we think the author would himself have done, and have written for our time and for those for whom our work is intended, without, however, confounding what is the translator’s with what belongs to the author, whose every word has always been sacred to us.
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