Sermons on Passages of the Psalms: Chiefly Preached in the Oratory of S. Margaret's, East Grinstead

J.T. Hayes

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J.T. Hayes
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Dec 31, 1871
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Daughter of a noble Roman family, Agnella had heard tell of the vain beliefs and foul practices of the Christians. Everyone knew that they murdered infants and drank their blood from silver vessels. They venerated a criminal who died ignominiously on a cross. They worshipped a god with the head of an ass. What good person wouldn’t despise such a vile sect? Yet Agnella had experienced of the rites of Aphrodite herself, and knew perfectly well the shameful behavior encouraged by her own gods. 

When Diocletian Augustus declared in AD 303 that all men and women must offer sacrifice to the immortal gods or be punished, Agnella’s father, Marcus Acilius Dolabella, præfect of Histria, was quick to put the emperor’s command into effect. Little could he imagine that the death of a single elderly slave from his own household would not only upset his plan, but also lead his own daughter down a path where her actions would provide seed for the burgeoning Christian Church. 

Hearkening to the ancient and authentic acts of early Christian martyrs like Saints Perpetua, Felicity, Agnes, Lucy, Cecilia and Crispina,The Daughters of Pola is a beautiful novella written in the learned yet captivating style of John Mason Neale. Cleverly crafted as a sequence of personal letters among the characters during the Great Persecution, the story follows Agnella as she discovers that holding fast to the truth demands a heavy cost and the courage of a gladiator who stands alone in the arena. 

This edition of a classic originally written in 1861 includes a new preface to help introduce the historical aspects of the tale to modern readers, a brief biography of the author, and three beautiful antique illustrations by Giovanni Piranesi showing the impressive Roman ruins of the city of Pula as they existed in the 18th century.

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