The Scillitan Martyrs were a group of twelve North African Christians (seven men and five women) who were executed for their beliefs on July 17, 180. Their names were Speratus, Nartzalus, Cintinus (Cittinus), Veturius, Felix, Aquilinus, Laetantius, Januaria,Generosa, Vestia, Donata, and Secunda. They were an example of the strength and vigor of the Church in Africa in the 2nd century. The martyrs take their name from Scilla (or Scillium), a town in Numidia (present day Algeria). The Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs are considered to be the earliest documents of the church of Africa.
Speratus, their principal spokesman, wrote that they had lived a quiet and moral life, paying their dues and doing no wrong to their neighbors. However, when called upon to swear an oath to the emperor, they refused. The proconsul of Scillium asked the seven men and five women what has caused them to rebel against worshipping the emperor. They replied, “the books and epistles of Paul, a just man.” The emperor was seemingly unimpressed but not particularly upset, and so he gave them thirty days to reconsider and recant, but they all refused. Their trial and execution took place in Carthage under Governor Vigellius Saturninus, who was the first persecutor ofChristians in Africa.
· Jesus sent the apostles out two-by-two instead of sending them alone. What are the advantages of doing something with a buddy?
· What does the Gospel tell us was the result of the disciples’ missionary work?
· Is it easy or hard to talk about Jesus to those who don’t know him? Why?
· The Martyrs of Scillitan were asked to worship the emperor instead of Jesus. Why is it wrong to worship anyone other than Jesus?