• “We need Jesus!…He is our joy…without Him, the world and all it calls good, is poverty, wretchedness and woe! With Him, a wilderness is a paradise, a cottage a palace and the lowliest spot of earth a little heaven below” – Mary Winslow

TWO FEMALE DISCIPLES OF ORIGEN, NAMELY, RHAIS AND MARCELLA, BURNED ALIVE AT ALEXANDRIA, FOR THE FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST, ABOUT THE YEAR 204

Among the disciples of Origen, who became martyrs, there are also mentioned several women as faithful martyrs. However, we shall only refer to two of these, one called Rhais, the other Marcella, who suffered their faith and lives to be tried with fire, like gold that is refined.

Rhais was a catechumen, that is, one that was receiving instruction preparatory to baptism, and hence, had not yet sealed her faith with water; however, as Origen himself declares, she was baptized with fire, that is, burned alive.

Marcella was the mother of Potamiena (of whom the ancients speak in such commendatory terms, as having also laid down her life for the faith; but whom we pass over, on account of certain remarks which she addressed to Basilides, her executioner.) After insufferable and dreadful torments, she was burned by degrees, in great constancy, until she was reduced to ashes; and thus she exchanged this temporal for an eternal life. See the above-mentioned authors, as compared with Mellinus, fol. 57, Col. 4.

BASILIDES, WHO, FROM AN EXECUTIONER BECAME A CHRISTIAN, BEHEADED FOR THE NAME OF CHRIST, AT ALEXANDRIA, ABOUT THE YEAR 204

Not long after the death of Potamiena, who had died with the above-mentioned Rhais and Marcella, one of the executioners, named Basilides, who had brought her to death, was converted to the faith in Christ. Eusebius writes, “Being among his companions, and an oath being demanded of him on some special matter, he said, that he dared not swear at all, because he was a Christian, and did openly confess it before them. When they heard this, they thought at first, that he was joking; but when he persistently asserted it, and showed that he was in earnest, he was seized and cast into prison. When some of the brethren came to visit him, and inquired how it happened that he had become changed so suddenly, he fully satisfied them in regard to the. matter. Having heard this, they gave him the sign of the Lord, that is (as A. Mellinus explains it), he was baptized in the name of Christ. The following day he was beheaded for the confession of the Lord. Compare the preceding accounts concerning the disciples of Origen, with Eusebius, lib. 6, cap. 5, fol. 107, cot. 1, 2. Also, A, Mellinus, lst book, fol. 58, Col. 1, 2. Also, P. J, Twisck, Chron., 3d book, for the year 204, fol. 55; Col. 2, above. .Also, Introduction M. Sp., fol. 39; Col. 1.

(Martyrs Mirror)

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  • “God then opened my eyes to the great truths of the New Covenant that He had established in Christ. He showed me that He had given me the power of the Holy Spirit so that I would not live for myself anymore, but only for Him.” – Annie Poonen

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