Young Michael 3: Primus and Felician (or The Martyrs Mirror)
April 14, 2012
I grew up in a Mennonite home. Subsequently, I went to a Mennonite elementary and high school. Well, it was from fourth grade on, but that still counts. A little backgrou on the Mennonites: The Mennonite religion falls under the Anabaptism movement…in short, they reject infant baptism because the belief is those who want to be baptized must be able to proclaim their faith from their own mouths, essentially voiding infant baptisms, because babies can’t talk for themselves, you know?
Funny story. I was at my wife-then-girlfriend’s house when I met her aunt for the first time. I was sitting on the couch watching television and she walked in, we made pleasantries and she continues onto the kitchen where she asked “Is he allowed to be watching television?” She assumed that Mennonite = Amish. I was waiting for her to ask where my horse and buggy was. I’m sure it didn’t help that I was watching Antique Roadshow….Aaaaaaaaaaanyway…
The Mennonites also believe in non-resistance, as it not fighting back. Back in the 16th century, there was this book written by this Dutch dude name Thieleman J. van Braght and the book was called The Martyrs Mirror. According to Wikipedia, the full name of the book is The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror of the Defenseless Christians who baptized only upon confession of faith, and who suffered and died for the testimony of Jesus, their Saviour, from the time of Christ to the year A.D. 1660.
To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. But, it’s Wikipedia, so don’t quote me.
The book is an account of Christian martyrs, mostly Anabaptists, who were tortured and persecuted for their beliefs. In my seventh grade Bible class, we were studying portions of the book, and were asked to do a creative project, recreating one of these stories from the book. You know, your classic diorama situation. However, we were given some creative freedom with this project, so I took it and ran. Sadly, I didn’t get a great grade on it because I ended up choosing a story that was WELL outside of the time period that we were studying about (the book also included accounts from people that weren’t necessarily Anabaptists, since they were from years and years before, but the author felt that they exemplified Anabaptist qualities so they were included).
I made a coloring book. That’s right. A coloring book about dudes that got murdered for their beliefs. And that was awesome. I believe the software I used was called Creative Artist, but my memory is pretty fuzzy on it. Enjoy, and if you want, print for your kids! ;D
For your consideration: Primus and Felician by Greener’s Books