The Blood of a Blessed Martyr – Br. Lucas Hall

Br. Lucas Hall

Feast of St. Alban

Today we mark the feast of St. Alban, the first martyr of Britain. In the third century, Christians were subject to various persecutions in the Roman Empire, and the story goes that the then-pagan Alban, living in Roman Britain, hosted a Christian priest in his home who was fleeing persecution. Impressed by the priest’s devotion to prayer, Alban joined him, and converted. When it came to light he was hiding the fugitive priest, Alban donned the priest’s robes and went to death for him. He refused to partake in a pagan votive offering, saying, “I worship and adore the true and living God, who created all things.” For this, he was beheaded on a hilltop at the town that now bears his name.

I must admit, I cannot speak solely of Alban today. Partially, it’s because this early Church martyr calls to mind the Church’s general age of martyrdom, when the experience of persecution necessitated developing a theological understanding of the concept. But it’s more personal than that. You may know that we brothers take initial vows for a  few years before taking life vows. Today is the anniversary of my initial vows. And earlier this week, the anniversary of my life vows, was the feast of Bernard Mizeki, another martyr. By happenstance, or something more, I cannot encounter these martyrs without thinking more broadly of their witness to the vocation of the Church, my own included. Read More