Telemachus the hermit of the East, devoted his life to prayer: in serenity of heart, knowing the wonder of the intimate presence of the Almighty God at the heart of every day. Then God wrenched him away to alien Rome, to greed and cruelty, to people baying for the blood of other human beings, like jackals lusting for their prey. There in the Coliseum he witnessed gladiators struggling with each other, taking each other’s lives, for the sport of the crowds. Casting fear to the winds, Telemachus ran out to the centre of the arena and struggled with them, trying to keep them from hurt or death, and was himself hurt and done to death as a result.

Emperor Honorius looked on, bewildered and aghast at what he saw, and from that day decreed that the bloody games should take place no more. Telemachus changed history, saved lives, laid down his own life to encourage others to find serenity of heart, and ever since has been revered as a martyr.

Lord of serenity, show us how we may bring Your peace into the lives of others and be agents of change in the places where You bring us, regardless of our own comfort and desires. Amen.