Set in the Roman Empire during the reign of the notorious persecutor of Christians, Emperor Diocletian (a.d. 303), The Purple Mantle is a moving story of faith and heroism amidst a society plagued by confusion and fear. Greek Orthodox author Aliki Kafetzopoulou (reposed on February 24, 2005) has woven a rich historical tapestry full of spiritual depth, presenting a vivid picture of the intense circumstances in which the ancient Christians lived, and a close-up, immediate view of the exploits and contests of the early martyrs, through which the faith of Christ triumphed.
This story brings to life the choices faced by people very much like ourselves—between the comforts and grandeur of this world and the eternal joy and glory of the world to come. In a certain respect we make these choices daily even now—for example, when we choose television over spiritual reading and prayer, and when we choose the ease of material possessions and the accumulation of wealth over charity and acts of mercy. Yet, in a very literal sense, we may someday be forced to make the same choices as did many of the characters of the story, at the risk of our very lives.
Although written especially for young adults, this historical novel is of interest to people of all ages. Carefully tracing the spiritual awakening and growth of a young man and woman, it places in striking relief the essence of all Christian life.