Thursday was the feast of Saints Justa and Rufina, 3rd-century Christian martyrs. Why were they martyred? They refused to run their business in a way that violated their faith.
The sisters, born in Seville, supported themselves and many of the city’s poor by selling clay pots. When they refused to sell their products to be used in a pagan festival, the story goes, angry Romans responded by smashing their wares, effectively destroying their livelihood. Does this sound familiar?
After retaliating by overthrowing an image of the Roman goddess, Venus, they were brought before the local governor, who ordered them to be stretched on the rack. Justa died on the rack; Rufina was strangled to death. Both bodies were burned.
In an age where faithful Christian business owners like bakers, florists, and photographers are told to either get over their deeply held beliefs or lose their livelihood, the holy example set by Justa and Rufina over 1700 years ago is of exceptional importance.
Saints Justa and Rufina, pray for us all.