Martyrs and Confessors
by John Holland
"Your princes distinguished themselves by the greatness and the success of their exploits: they conquered empires, overwhelmed nations, and subdued the ferocity of the wildest barbarians; but they had no success in their endeavours against our poor fishermen and labourers, simple and illiterate people, women and children. Their war against our religion nourished the immortal plant—from every branch they lopped off, a thousand sprouts arose."—Theoderet to the Persecutors of the Christians.
The powers of Hell are loosed: the Church must pass
Through Persecution's tenfold heated fires;
Consumed, devour'd, or trodden down like grass,
With hero-nerve, each martyr'd saint expires.
Thousands—ten thousands—seal'd their faith with blood;
A noble army—crown'd with glory now:
Thousands—ten thousands more—unflinching stood,
Till wearied the red hands that dealt the blow:
Thousands—ten thousands—fled the scenes of woe,
And bore the name of Christ to farthest lands,
Where Kings were seen in that great name to bow,
While shaking from their souls barbarian bands;
While Christian temples rose on hallow'd sites,
Where idol-altars once were serv'd with horrid rites.