Yesterday was the First of the 12 Days of Action, also known in Unitarian Reform as International Family Day in honor of Saints Maris and Martha, a married couple from the ancient Persian aristocracy, and their sons Audifax and Abakhum.
According to legend, this family immigrated to Rome to give aid to persecuted Christians, including providing proper burial for those martyred.
For this offense, they were tortured and, when they refused to turn away from Christianity, executed: the men were beheaded and burned while Martha was drowned in a well.
This holy day is particularly honored for bringing together peoples of different cultures, nationalities, and social circumstances; for commemorating a marriage based on a mutual sense of mission; and for exemplifying (in the fire/water imagery of their martyrdom) the symbolism of complementary virtues so central to “Tap Root” Christianity’s moral system, yet usually glossed over in what could be called Shallow Root and even Deep Root churches.
Remember this day their bravery in the face of oppression, and their devotion to each other, to their convictions, and to universal justice.
[This is a repost from an earlier Feast of the International Family]