Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

The Scandal of the Virgin Martyrs

By Mike Aquilina ( bio - articles - email ) | Dec 14, 2022 | In Way of the Fathers (Podcast)

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In Greek and Roman epics, the heroes are men who conquer by violence. But in early Christianity the epic heroes were often heroines—specifically those who had suffered violence rather than submit to a patriarchy that despised them for what they were. The virgin martyrs refused to conform to society’s idea of womanhood. In a time of demographic winter, they refused to marry and bear children for the good of the empire. They consecrated their lives to Christ instead. Thus they were seen as a threat to traditional family values. What would happen to the world if all women began to behave like Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, and Anastasia?


St. Ambrose, Concerning Virginity

St. Jerome, Letter 130

Mike Aquilina’s website

Mike Aquilina’s books

Theme music: Gaudeamus (Introit for the Feast of All Saints), sung by Jeff Ostrowski. Courtesy of Corpus Christi Watershed

Mike Aquilina is a popular author working in the area of Church history, especially patristics. He is executive vice-president and trustee of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, a contributing editor of Angelus (magazine) and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History Series from Ave Maria Press. See full bio.

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