Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych was an Archbishop who lived in a town in modern-day Belarus in the 17th century. At that time there were three kinds of Christians living in the area: Lithuanian Calvinists, Eastern Orthodox Christians, and Ukrainian Greek Catholics. These brothers and sisters in Christ did NOT get along. In fact, hatred of the Catholics, and Archbishop Josaphat in particular, was so strong that one night a mob of men, women and children broke into Josaphat's house, They beat up his servants. They broke into his bedroom. Someone knocked him on the head. Someone else split his head open with an axe. The mob stripped off his clothing and dragged his naked body through town. They weighted him with stones and threw him into
the Dvina River. It was not a great day to be Catholic.
Right now, people are being dragged from their homes, beaten, killed or exiled because they are Catholic. Today the perpetrators are usually not other Christians but the hatred and violence are the same. Pray for persecuted Christians in the world!
I've never been beaten up for being Catholic, or exiled, or threatened with death. Not so far. But when we became Catholic we experienced hatred and rejection from other Christians that came as a huge shock. Our best friends told us we were now "an abomination" and cut off their friendship. A close relative of mine told me we were now "on the side of satan" and refused contact for almost a year. People in whose homes we had dined now avoided us in the grocery store.
Jesus said to expect persecution in this life. I would rather be liked.
Today we are reminded - expect it. Expect to be disliked because you dare to believe that marriage is only possible between one man and one woman. Expect to be hated because you believe that life and personhood begin at conception and euthanasia is just another name for murder. The list goes on and on. As our culture sinks into the toilet it is only going to get worse. Be ready. And be ready for the blessings that come from being faithful in hard times: Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
St. Josaphat, pray for us!
I am a Catholic wife, mom and grandma. In 1995, after Bible college and a few years as an Evangelical Missionary, I was received into the Church at the Easter Vigil. These are my personal musings on Scripture, prayer, and living close to Jesus.