Uncle Eddy's E-mails -- June 14
Saint Valerius and Saint Rufinus,
(entered heaven in 287)
Well now, congratulations on a VERY successful
sophomore year. I can only hope and pray that your remaining years will be as fruitful. I have to
admit, though, that I am not so much impressed by your academic and musical successes – I think you
could achieve those in your sleep (you have a lot of natural talent there). On the other hand, the
progress you have made in the Catholic Student Center is truly remarkable. God has blessed your
faith and perseverance. Now, however, I have to issue a warning (that's one of the things uncles are
No authentic Christian
endeavor is free from difficulties and obstacles. You didn´t have too many this year, and maybe you
won´t have to face them next year, but if you continue to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and
his Apostles, sooner or later he will award you with the blessings of persecution, of some kind or
another. So, without being morbid, you should at least prepare yourself sufficiently so that you
aren’t surprised. Contemplating the example of today’s saints may help.
Valerius and Rufinus were business partners in
Soissons (northern France). They worked for the Imperial government, collecting and accounting the
taxes for their area. They were Christians (this is the third century, so the Empire is still mostly
pagan, and plagued by intermittent persecutions of Christians – it was officially illegal to be a
Christian by this time), as they evidenced most convincingly by their personal piety and spiritual
discipline (especially fasting), as well as their fairness and generosity (they were well known
In the unending ebb
and flow of Imperial politics, one Emperor by the name of Maximian Herculius had to wage war against
some Gaulish (i.e. French) rebels called the Bagaudes. Having subdued them, the Emperor left Rictius
Varus in charge of the Province, ordering him (among other things) to eliminate Christianity. Thus
began one of the many waves of violent persecution.
When the wave reached Soissons, Valerius and Rufinus took refuge in the woods, but somehow they were discovered, condemned, and beheaded, right there on the road into the city. Their happy and prosperous lives came to a glorious but painful conclusion.
I don´t know if our
Lord will be calling you to spill your blood for love of him, but he will definitely allow some sort
of opposition to plague your Christian efforts – it's the only way to purify your heart even more
and lead you to the heights of holiness, which coincide with the heights of happiness. It's nothing
to get alarmed or upset about, but I don't want you to be naïve either. Don´t let yourself be caught
by surprise. If you do, the devil may spring his favorite trap on you: discouragement, the first
step to infidelity. Don´t say I didn’t warn you.
Your loving uncle,
Join the new media evangelization. Your tax-deductible gift allows Catholic.net to build a culture of life in our nation and throughout the world. Please help us promote the Church's new evangelization by donating to Catholic.net right now. God bless you for your generosity.
|Print Article||Email Friend||Palm Download||Forums||Questions||More in this Channel||Up|
Write a comment on this article|