[ABOVE—Christian Martyrs’ Last Prayer, by Gerome [Public Domain]]
If one thing can be said to characterize the early church, it was the fervor of its converts. They spread the gospel throughout the known world within three centuries and transformed nations and an empire in the process. Their fervor sustained them through terrible persecutions.
In this part we look at several Christians who suffered under pagan persecution in the earliest years of the church. Faith and zeal such as theirs was contagious in their world. May it reach across the centuries to us, too.
Prisoners are listed chronologically by year of death.
Ignatius of Antioch (died c. 108) Writes Churches on His March to Death
Pothinus (died 177) Expires Under the Rigors of Prison
Blandina (died c. 177) Inspires Fellow Prisoners Under Terrible Tortures
Perpetua (died c. 202) Finds Prison a Stepping Stone to Heaven
Pamphilius of Caesarea (died 309) Translates the Septuagint Bible in Prison
Simeon, Bishop of Seleucia (died c. 343) on His Way to Prison Restores a Lapsed Christian