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Ursula - A Woman of Faith

by L.A. "Tony" Kovach

In our day, people often marry almost casually. While some no doubt give thought to their faith, and that of a prospective spouse before deciding to wed, it is also true that far too many fail to consider the possible spiritual consequences of marriage with a non-believer or with someone of a different faith.

In contrast to this modern backdrop is the story of Ursula.

Ursula was the daughter of a Christian English king in the 5th century A.D.. In those days, it was common for parents to choose their daughter's spouse, and also common to arrange marriages for political purposes. Ursula's life was to come into both of these situations.

The husband-to-be, was, however, a pagan prince. Ursula had no desire to wed a non-believer, and managed to get 3 years of delays in this proposed marriage that she did not wish. That alone was quite an accomplishment, and is a reminder to us that prayerful perseverence in a good cause often is rewarded.

However, all Christians are called by our Lord and Master to carry our own crosses. Finally, Ursula was compelled to make the journey across the North Sea, in the company of 10 ladies in waiting and a host of others in the entourage. They sailed up the Rhine River to what is modern Basle, Switzerland and went across the mountains all the way to Rome. Upon arrival, Ursula again refused to wed the pagan prince. During her journey home, her decision not to jeapordize her faith cost her this earthly life. The Huns massacared Ursula and her party near modern Cologne, Germany, at the order of the enraged pagan leader.

This story could seem strange to us today. But in Ursula's day, there was also a clash between secular, pagan values and the values taught by Christ's Church on earth. Jesus told his followers, and is telling us today as well - "If you follow my teachings, then you will truly be my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." In heaven, we truly are freed from the problems and pains we often endure in this world.

We might think it a high price to pay to die for the Faith which Jesus shared with the Apostles, and which has been handed on down the centuries to us today. But in many parts of the world, that is exactly what is risked daily - to be martyred for faith in Christ. In nations such as the Sudan, Pakistan, Nepal, China and elsewhere, to live as a Christian, or to share the Catholic faith can mean unemployment, imprisonment or death. Ursula is among the heavenly host, where there are no more tears, only eternal joy! Did she make the right choice: potentially risking her soul if she married a pagan, or dying young to have eternal life? It is questions like this that tell us how much we truly believe, and should spur us to deepen our faith through prayer, the sacraments, spiritual reading and Spirit filled living.

We should thank God for the example of courage that Ursula, and others like her, give us, and pray that if we are put to the test, that we too will witness to the Truth that is in Christ, with all that we have and are - in order to be rewarded eternally! Amen.

Click here to read the story of St. Xavier!

Would you like more stories like the one above? Hey, we are volunteers - we need enouragement, so Contact us!


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