Maria, of Monjou
It has been always true, that they who will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. So was it with this eminelty pious woman.
Having, according to the requirement of Scripture, on a profession of faith in Jesus, been baptized, and become a member of the body of Christ, and having for a long time conducted herself with holy consistency in the church and towards society in general, the hatred of the ungodly displayed itself. The magistrate of Monjou had a great dislike to this poor widow, and at length cast her into prison. There she lay confined for more than a year; and though she had to pass through many sufferings, she cheerfully bore them. Constantly did she exhort the pious to walk in love, and abide firmly by the covenant of Jesus Christ. She was herself always diligent to present her body a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, that her soul might be built up as a spiritual house, well adorned inwardly with the word of God.
The magistrate, in every possible way, tempted her for three days, but could not induce her to renounce her faith. She firmly resolved to abide in Christ. The magistrate entreated her to go to what she considered the erroneous church (Catholic Church); he even promised that if she would do so, he would release her, and give her support for a year. However, she would not consent to his proposal, but said that she would abide with Christ, and was willing to resign her life for him. She was therefore condemned to be drowned.
When she went towards the water, she sang with a cheerful heart, and rejoiced that so happy an hour had arrived. Thus, like her Lord, she went as a sheep to the slaughter. She remembered the testimony of Scripture, "They shall kill you, and think they do God service." Going along the road she said, "I have been the bride of an earthly bridegroom, but today I hope to be the bride of Christ, and with him to inherit his kingdom."
When they approaced the water, one of the dissemblers said, "O Maria, repent, or it will not be well with you." They kept her by the side of the water nearly three hours, hoping they might persuade her to recant, and to follow them; but her only reply was, "I abide by my God; proceed in the business for which you are come here. The corn is in the straw, and it must be threshed. In like manner the word of God has begun to work, and it must be perfected." She then partially uncovered herself, and went cheerfully to death, saying, "O heavenly Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." She was then driven into the water, where she died, witnessing to the truth of the gospel with her last breath, and greatly encouraging the believers in Christ who witnessed the affecting scene.