The Catholic Defender: The St. Bibiana Story
Today, we are living in very tough times. The economic chaos is being felt just about everywhere. The richer seem to be getting richer and the Middle Class seems to be dwindling. But more than all that, our Nation is losing it's way. Despite the vast technological advances, it seems like we are spiritually heading for another dark age. We are seeing much violence everywhere. On the street there is a new game where young men go about trying to knock out unsuspecting victims with one punch. This is the tip of the iceberg. Our Christian foundations are being threatened by our own Government. The Secular Humanist Movement (The Progressives) have effectively taken over the higher places of learning in our institutions, our Judicial System, and our political will. This is leading to a serious shortage of common sense. We are now seeing marriage being redefined for the acceptance of the Gay Agenda. Christians are being watched closely by the IRS and other Government institutions to keep the Faith at bay. In the Middle East there is terrible persecution and our Government is deathly silent. Pope John XXIII instituted the Feast of Christ the King to remind modern man that no matter how far advanced mankind moves forward technologically, Jesus is still King of all creation. That is a great reminder but who is really listening besides the Church?
On December 2, the Church remembers St. Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr. St. Bibiana was the daughter of a Roman knight growing up with nobility. She was raised in the Upper class in her time. Her parents, Flavian and his wife Defrosa were active in the Faith and all seemed to be going well until about 363 A.D. when (Roman Emperor) Julian the Apostate made Apronianus Governor of Rome. The Roman Emperor was wanting to revert back into the Paganism of the past Roman Emperors. That is why he is called "Julian the Apostate" and he appointed people to rule that would carry out his agenda. Consider "President" Biden and his many appointments throughout his Administration, the spiritual condition of our Country is not much unlike that of 363 A.D. when the persecution against Christians picked back up for a short period of time. We see the attack coming from Facebook and all our traditions being uprooted for a Secular State. Flavian, (St. Bibiana's Father) as a knight was a valiant loyal patriot serving his Family and Country, much like many of us have done in the United States military today. Because of his Catholic Faith, he was exiled and placed under extreme torture because he would not renounce his Faith. His beloved wife, Demetria, was beheaded leaving both their daughters destitute. St. Bibiana and her sister, Demetria lost all the comforts of nobility and placed in poverty. Because of the rich foundation of their Catholic Faith, they filled their time with fasting and prayer.
If I didn't know much about Flavian and Demetria, I have grown in my respect and admiration for them by the way their children carried themselves after their martyrdom. Remember Julian the Apostate's appointment to Governor of Rome, Apronianus? Demetria, St. Bibiana's sister was brought to the Governor where she was put to death right at his feet. She would not renounce her Catholic Faith. St. Bibiana lost both her parents and her sister because they would not renounce their Catholic Faith to these tyrants. Apronianus placed St. Bibiana in a house of prostitution, in the hands of a wicked woman called Rufina who was unsuccessful in breaking St. Bibiana. Rufina tried to seduce St. Bibiana through beatings and argument but to no avail. For the love of Jesus and Mary whom St. Bibiana would not renounce, Apronianus ordered St. Bibiana to be tied between pillars and terribly scourged until she died. Because of her saintly demeanor she had a great impact on her executioners. Her body was left for the wild animals but after two days, nothing touched her. She was then subsequently buried. This tragic story shows great strength and endurance and is a great reminder for us today. How important it is for us to stand up for the Faith. St. Jude writes, "Beloved, although I was making every effort to write to you about our common salvation, I now feel a need to write to encourage you to contend for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones".
St. Bibiana and her family valiantly contended for the Faith with their very lives. They are now part of that great cloud of witnesses who did persevere in running the race that lies ahead for all of us who are faithful. My heart was deeply touched in remembering the sacrifices made by St. Bibiana and her family who represents many of that time that suffered greatly for their faith in Jesus and His Catholic Church. We are living in strange times today, I am reminded of the fallen Catholic I met recently at Texas A&M who declares himself an Atheist. He was president of the student body and he is representing many today who are like Julian the Apostate. They are turning away from their faith and espousing Atheism and Paganism. I am reminded of the upper college class that I took that is trying to indoctrinate students to this wave of Atheism and hedonism. This is happening all across America today and I am seeing the impact everywhere. The Future is ours to make, are we going to continue on a crash course like Julian the Apostate with his agenda or will we lift high the cross and stand fast for the Faith? Our freedoms and liberty are at stake. Heaven has given us a peace plan if we will follow it. We have the Apostolic Tradition and the Word of God, we have the Sacraments, we have been given much! I am reminded of Joshua who writes, "Now, therefore, fear the Lord and serve him completely and sincerely... decide today whom you will serve... As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." "In an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation I helped you. Behold, now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2)