She was sixteen, a gentle thing. She came to know the One who loved her more than life. From that moment on she chose to follow Him, this one name Christ. But there was a problem. She had to tell her parents of this love. They were Muslims living in the Middle East and Islam does not allow for such a love, has never known such love and cannot comprehend it.
Her parents thought that they could beat it out of her, this love that gripped her soul. They tried. They kept her in her room for days, starving her between the beatings. But she would not recant – for she knew a love far greater than the temporary pain. And then she died.
Why did they kill her? Because of hate. Why did she not succumb and renounce her Christ? Because of love. Scream, abuse, deride, condemn – it is all for naught if Christ’s love has firmly gripped a heart. Love is the great combater and the tyrants of this world well know it . . . Christ is their greatest fear.
Artwork: St. Veronica by Paul Delaroche