Remembering the extreme cold at times in my earlier life in areas where lakes froze, this poignant story resonates with me.
Many of us now know we all face these type of difficult and dark days ahead. The story was taken from a book in our library. But never have most of us even come close to this test. May we all be filled with the Holy Ghost to such a degree that when the times come for such an ultimate commitment, we’re unhesitatingly ready to give our all for Him.
May Jesus be praised for His mighty work throughout the ages!
The earliest account of this martyrdom is given by Basil, a church leader of Caesarea (370-379)…
During the reign of Emperor Licinius 1 (308-324) and near the city of Sebaste (present-day Sivas in Turkey), in Lesser Armenia, forty soldiers who openly confessed Christ where condemned by the magistrate in the dead of winter.
They were ordered to disrobe and walk naked onto a frozen pond on a bitterly cold night. Warm baths were set up by the pond for those confessors who would recant. Indeed, one these men finally did deny Christ and walked off the ice to the bath, leaving thirty nine.
A guard ordered to watch over the soldiers saw a supernatural brilliancy overshadowing the thirty nine. He at once made a proclamation of faith as a Christian, throwing off his clothes, and walked out onto the ice to join the remaining thirty nine. Miraculously, the number remained at forty!
At daybreak, the forty still showed signs of life even as their bodies were now stiff from the freezing temperature. To utterly destroy any evidence of the confessors, their still-alive bodies were brought to shore and burned. Later, their ashes were gathered and thrown into a river.
However, local Christians collected the remains as they could.
You may read the moving confession of a young African martyr here.
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Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
You may view our Archives here: AT THE BATTLE FRONT – ARCHIVES; Complete Archives; feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.