By St. Alphonsus Liguori

The Christian religion had been for a long time persecuted in Persia, but during the reign of King Isdegerdes it had enjoyed a peace of twenty years. A certain bishop, named Abdas, set fire to a temple, in which was an idol worshipped by the Persians; and this circumstance gave rise to a fierce persecution of the Christians, since Isdegerdes, infuriated by the fact, gave orders that all Christian churches should be leveled with the earth, and that all his subjects should profess only the Persian religion.

James, overcome by the fear of losing his property and the honors he enjoyed at court, obeyed the iniquitous decree. But his mother and his wife, most exemplary Christians, who were then absent, having heard of his fall, wrote to him a letter, in which, after exhorting him to repair his grievous error, they said: “If thou wilt not return to the good path from which thou hast departed, we shall treat thee as a stranger, and separate from thee; it behooveth us not to have any communication with one who hath abandoned his God to please men, and to secure to himself the perishable things of this life, which will cause him to perish everlastingly.”

Praise the Lord

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