St. Porcarius and Companions
In the fifth century, a large abbey for monks was built off the coast of Provence, which is southern France today. It was called the abbey of Lerins. The abbey was filled with many holy monks. By the eighth century, the community of Lerins was made up of monks, novices, students and young men interested in becoming monks. There were over five hundred men.
Around 732, Abbot Porcarius had some kind of a revelation or premonition. The monastery was about to be attacked by barbarian invaders. Abbot Porcarius packed all the students and thirty-six of the younger monks onto a boat. He sent them off to safety. Because there were no more boats, he gathered the remainder of the community around him. Nobody complained about being left behind. Instead, they prayed together for courage. They asked the Lord for the gift to forgive their enemies.
Soon Saracens from Spain or North Africa landed their ships. They attacked the monks, just as the abbot had predicted. The monks prayed and encouraged one another to bravely suffer and die for Christ. The attackers pounced on their prey and killed all but four who were carried off as slaves. St. Porcarius and the monks of Lerins had become brave martyrs for Jesus.
If I am in a position of leadership, do I see my responsibility as one of service to others?