Saturday, 1 July 2017

# Saints

First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

"Nero's torches", Henryk Siemiradski, 1876
The 30th of June is an optional memorial of the First Martyrs of the Church of Rome.

Between 64-68 AD, the Roman Emperor Nero persecuted Christians where a great number died. This was to be the first of a number of persecutions the early church will face. The first martyrs were called Protomartyrs of Rome, some being burnt as living torches in the Emperors gardens, some were crucified and some fed to wild animals. Before Saints Peter and Paul were martyred, many had already died. They were known as "Disciples of the Apostles... whom the Holy Roman Church sent to the Lord before the Apostle's death." Their witness for the faith, caused many converts to be won and the Church to grow and spread. Their blood was the seed of the Church.

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