March 16, 1244-
At Montsegur, France- 225 Cathars were burned at the stake for the gnostic and dualistic elements of their beliefs. These “heretics” had been hunted down for more than a century by the Catholic church. And thousands had already been burned alive. They opted to be burned alive rather than renounce or abandon their faith.
This kind of Martyrdom, as in Cologne a full century prior, impressed an Abbey (Eberwin) so much so that he sent a letter to the Abbot of Clairvaux (Bernard) asking for an explanation. He wrote that the heretics were-
“… thrown into the fire and burned. What is more marvellous, they met and bore the agony of the fire not only with patience but even with joy. At this point, Holy Father, were I with you, I should like you to explain whence comes to those limbs of the devil constancy such as is hardly to be found even in men most devoted to the faith of Christ.”
Their theology was far older than the view of the Roman church. They saw that the Roman church had corrupted its own scripture and abandoned the beliefs and practices of the Early Church.
Like the original Christians, the Cathars were vegetarians, believed in reincarnation and considered the Old Testament god Jehovah to be a tyrant…
Baptism was by fire, not water.
They called themselves the friends of God and condemned the literalist Roman church as the church of the Anti-Christ. They claimed to be the living inheritors of the TRUE Christian heritage that had persisted in secret and which still had large numbers of adherents throughout the world.
[Jesus said:] “As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good news must first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the holy spirit. Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death; and you will be hated by all because of my name. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. (Mark 13:9-13)
Also on this day, March 16, in 2003 Rachel Corrie, a member of the ISM (international solidarity movement) was murdered in Palestine, by the IDF (israeli defense forces) while non-violently protesting the destruction of a Palestinian home. She was run over twice by an IDF Caterpillar D9R armored bulldozer. She was armed with only a megaphone, a bright orange fluorescent jacket. Conviction and Courage.
Two days prior to her death she is interviewed exposing Israel
and its own crusade against the Palestinian people.
This post is dedicated to the Martyrs of this day in history-
May they never be forgotten.