August 24, 2014 -
“MARRIED FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST"
This is a story of ADRIAN and his young bride, NATALIA, who lived about the year 298 A.D. It is a story of faith and devotion to our Lord. When Maximillian was persecuting the Church, he ordered his army to gather all the Christians in the city of Nicomedia. One day he passed a group of 23 of them, heavily chained, being led to prison. He ordered them brought to trial at once.
One by one they were charged to deny Christ or suffer the consequences, yet they stood firm. They showed so much courage during the torture, that an idolater named Adrian suddenly sprang into the middle of the court and cried out: “Write me down as a Christian also, that I may be numbered with these warriors of Christ.” The emperor burned with anger. He ordered Adrian chained and consigned to prison. Adrian had been married just 13 months to a young Christian believer, Natalia. Her pious example had first drawn his heart to Christ.
Upon hearing the news, Natalia hurried to the prison and flung herself at the feet of her husband. She implored the other Christians to encourage Adrian and teach him the way of truth. While there, she tended to the wounds of the 23 confessors. For 7 days she ministered to their needs. When women later were forbidden to enter the prison, Natalia cut off her hair, dressed herself like a man and came for admittance. Other women followed her example, that they might care for fellow Christians.
But orders came for the execution of the martyrs in the dungeons and so it fell that Natalia was present when her husband died. She stood as a tower of strength in this hour of crisis. Stationing herself beside her Christian husband, Natalia said to him, “Servant of Christ . . . put your hand to mine.” Her dying husband stretched out his hand and groping for hers, caught it in a final embrace.
God grant that young people TODAY, so restless in their search for meaning in their lives, may turn to Jesus Christ, Who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.”