“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” -Tertullian
True faith has always been a source of blessing, salvation, and a beautiful life. At the same time, this faith was sealed in a great way by the blood of those who wore it. Proof of this can be found in the pages of countless books that highlight the lives of martyrs, one of which is “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” by John Foxe.
The fierce zeal of Catholics was always fueled by the zeal of Protestants to demonstrate a life lived according to Scripture. The greed, mockery, inhumanity, and impertinence of the popes did not go unnoticed, and when true faith rose to speak of justice it was oppressed, beaten, tormented, but by no means killed. The words that were extinguished on the lips of the martyrs were: “Certainly they can kill the body, but in no way can they touch the soul…”
John Foxe, also a Protestant, felt rejection and humiliation, wishing to document stories of martyrs, beginning with the first churches and continuing with the hundreds of Protestants martyred during the reign of Queen Mary in England in the 16th century.
The book is written to provoke a strong call to true faith. Having a great impact immediately after its publication in 1563, “Foxe’s Book of Martyrs” celebrated the lives and martyrdom of English reformers. It continues to influence the reader’s life, because its reading calls into question the courage of conviction. True faith has been, is, and will always be a choice of life and death.
The thirteenth century was one of the bloodiest times when Catholicism killed everything that was not in accordance with their paganism and customs. The famous Inquisition – the great proof of cruelty and inhumanity made the names of many ordinary people become labels as heroes of the faith. “In those days the cave was a palace, the stone – a bedding of down and the wild roots were delicious.”
John Huss, before being persecuted, stated, “What I have learned with my lips I now seal with my blood.” Young, old, women, men, all were sealed with one characteristic: Courage for Faith.
Now we no longer live in those times, as if there is more tolerance, the religious struggle in most countries is not so obvious… On the other hand, it is as if the true faith is gradually being lost. We can no longer hide behind the phrase, “Now we have a different context,” because now is the right time to be strong for the truth. Christian, where are you going? Are you ready to stand firm for the treasures found by true faith?
“He is not a coward who gives what he cannot keep, that he may gain what he cannot lose” -Jim Elliot
Translated by Didina Vicliuc