Have you experienced being judged because of your beliefs?
Are there times that you find it hard to even make the sign of the cross in public?
That was my experience when I started here in the Middle East.
The authorities in this Muslim country prohibit Christians like me from practicing my faith.
I was the opposite of St. Nemesius.
St. Nemesius was glad to suffer for the faith.
Around the year 250, he was arrested for theft in Alexandria.
Even though he cleared himself of the charge, he was still persecuted upon the discovery that he was a Christian.
He confessed his faith and was imprisoned with thieves, receiving punishment twice as severe as the others’.
Nemesius, along with four others, had their limbs wrenched and disjointed violently.
They were then burned alive, except for Dioscorus, their 15-year old companion, because he was so young.
In this internet age when Christians are bashed for their faith in comment sections and slandered on social media, St. Nemesius’ shows us that everything — even injustice — suffered for God’s sake becomes a seed for the faith.
Today’s saint reminds us that our faith actually grows even stronger amid our sufferings.
St. Nemesius held on to St. Peter’s words: “But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” (1 Peter 4:13)
Our God is a God who always brings about a greater good.
May we, like the martyrs of our faith, find the peace of Christ even in our worst sufferings!
1. How do I react when people openly criticize my beliefs?
2. When were the moments in my life when I almost gave up believing in Him?
1. Commit to reading about the life of a saint every day. Ask God for the grace to help us believe in Him in the face of criticism and persecution.
References for further reading:
Have you ever wondered why Catholics pray with saints? Let’s unbox: