St. Faustinus and St. Jovita
St. Faustinus and St. Jovita were brothers who lived in Brescia, Italy. They were among the early Christian martyrs. The two brothers suffered during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian in the second century.
From the time they were young, Faustinus and Jovita were well-known for their great love for their religion. They also performed works of Christian charity. They helped each other do good for the people who needed them. The bishop of Brescia made them both priests. They began to preach everywhere, to both the rich and the poor. They spared themselves no sacrifice to bring many people to God. Because it was a time of persecution, it was easy to be afraid. But Faustinus and Jovita would not give in to fear of the soldiers even though these soldiers were actually putting many Christians to death.
When the emperor heard that Faustinus and Jovita dared to preach openly, he sent them to prison and had them tortured. He hoped that torture would silence them. But no matter what the two priests suffered, they would not promise to stop preaching about Jesus. They kept an attitude of prayer even in that terrible prison. In fact, they willingly offered up their sufferings to the Lord. Faustinus and Jovita encouraged each other to be courageous even if they, too, would have to die as martyrs for Jesus.
Both brothers remained true to their belief in and love for Jesus until they were martyred. The exact date of their death was not recorded. Their heroic witness, however, is a sacred memory and challenge to all of us.
Let us keep watch for opportunities to encourage and support our families in living out the Gospel.