Sometimes, we are so overjoyed with the pageantry of the celebration of the Nativity, we might forget the intense struggle of Christians to “bring” us the true faith. Christmas should be a time of joy and celebration, but let us not forget the struggles of past believers:
20,000 Martyrs burned in Nicomedia
Reading from the Synaxarion:
All these Saints, some 20,000 in number, were burned alive in the year 303, while they were gathered in church. This came to pass during the reign of Diocletian and Maximian. According to the Synaxarion, this took place on the day of Christ’s Nativity. Eusebius (Eccl. Hist. VIII, 6) says that, of the Christians then living in Nicomedia, all were slain by imperial decree – some by the sword, and others by fire, and that, because of their divine and inexpressible ardour, both men and women cast themselves into the fire.