Stories of Saints and Martyrs - Jetta S. Wolff

St. Symphorian

Aug. 22; A.D. 179

There were many more brave men and women who suffered death for their faith about this time. Wherever there was a Christian Church—in Italy, Gaul, Greece, or Britain, it was all the same—men were called on to deny or suffer. To one young man, named Symphorian, of high birth, great things were promised, if only he would worship the Roman gods. But he was firm: he scorned the temptation. Then the judge said he must be beheaded. As he walked along outside the city, led by soldiers to his death, there was heard a cry from the walls, "My son!"

The soldiers stopped. Looking up, they saw the mother of the young man gazing down upon him. What a moment! But no, it was not in weak sorrow that the mother called her boy. Listen to the words she spoke:

"My son, remember the living GOD, and stand fast to the end. Lift up thy heart, and look to Him Who is King in the heavens. Fear not; they will not take thy life this day, they will but change it for the better one."

Were not these grand last words to hear from his mother?

Bravely then the young man knelt, and bowed his head to the stroke of the sword. He was buried near the spot where he died, and in after times a church was built over the place where he was believed to lie.