“The108 Martyrs of World War IIcelebrate their feast day on June 12. They were Roman Catholics from Poland killed during World War II by the Nazis. The group consists of 3 bishops, 52 priests, 26 members of male religious orders, 3 seminarians, 8 religious sisters, and 9 lay people. When they were faced with death, they continued to save others and joyfully witness their love of God. One of these martyrs was Marianna Biernacka, who was born in 1888. When some German soldiers were killed by the resistance in Poland, the Nazis decided to shoot Polish citizens. Unfortunately, Marianna’s son and his wife were selected to be shot. Because her daughter in law was pregnant, Marianna begged the Germans to take her life instead. They agreed. Marianna was killed on July 13, 1943. Like Marianna, we should learn to make small acts of self-sacrifice daily, so when the opportunity presents itself we are ready, willing, and able to make a larger act of loving self-sacrifice. ” taken from http://www.coraevans.com
Marianna has given us the ultimate example of what it means to live out 1 John 3:16. She gave up her life for her daughter in law who was with child. Strength to act like this in moments of deep despair comes from God. Marianna was probably most like Jesus in this moment. If we follow Jesus we too seek to put others first. We have great love for others, closet to the kind God has for us. It’s because of Gods great love for us that we can shine in moments like these.
I believe those who have laid down their lives like Marianna, have not just laid down their lives for the person they died for. We know Marianna didn’t just give up her life for her daughter in law, but for God. I choose to think this great act of faith was for me too, her sister in Christ, because her legacy inspires me and others to press on in our faith in times of great distress.
The love this verse includes is almost unexplainable. One must be a follower of Christ to know it. Those who do not know Christ are perplexed by this and God uses moments like these to draw others towards Himself in love. The lives of the martyrs create new brothers and sisters in Christ. Their deaths are not in vain. Press on brothers and sisters! God sees; God is near and this too shall pass.