Hi, reader friends! We have a special guest today and while I haven’t had a chance to read his story yet, I’m definitely eager to pick it up now that we’ve met! If you’re a fan of ancient Rome and/or the early church, Destitutio Quod Remissio looks like a winner!
Meet Marcus Servius
By his mid-thirties, Marcus Servius had it all. A Fourth Century AD Roman senator with wealth, prestige, and beloved wife. But, he was also a Christian in secret during a time of fierce persecution.
Everything he valued is stripped away, leaving him cold, dirty, and bitter. Vengeance is a sore temptation, and Marcus is intelligent enough to find his betrayer. But, he also knows his faith is one forged in forgiveness.
As a once prominent senator, what do you miss most about that life?
Marcus: I suppose a great many things now and again. On occasion, I wish for the succulent tartness of an oriental apple from the orchard I once had. Even the leaves and blossoms had an exquisite aroma about them.
More than anything, however, I miss my Cassandra. True enough, she was from an old and prominent family in Rome and brought much to the marriage, but I miss her. The way she would smile and hum a song as the servants helped prepare her hair. Her sharp wit in private during dinners with colleagues, whose nobility was more inherited than inherent.
If I could have one thing back from my old life, it would be to have her hand to hold in those dark hours when nothing seems certain anymore.
Beth: I like you already. That is a great answer!
If you could be an animal, which would you choose and why?
Marcus: No one has ever asked me that before. Not something I can say I’ve given great thought to…but if I had to choose, I think I would like to be an eagle. To soar over the lands of Rome and see her as the Lord and the winged creatures of His forming alone are able.
The rolling hills, fields of grain in the harvest, and all the people of Rome, those for whom I’ve never ceased from my desire to serve. In particular, all those of Father Benjamin’s flock. They have taken me in, though I did precious little to aid them in my former life.
Beth: We like to have a little fun now and then 😉 Flying would be an exciting experience, for sure!
What is your favorite food?
Marcus: As I mentioned, I do miss my oriental apples sorely, but I must say I’ve grown quite fond of the garlic focaccia loaves Olivia bakes. She’s the wife of the merchant Leondas, my patron of sorts during these days of my destitution.
They are not a wealthy family, yet I cannot say I have ever partaken of any bread so satisfying in all the days of my wealth. It was one of the first tastes of food I’d had since I fled for my life and found my home in flames.
Days of hunger perhaps sweetened it for me, but I like to believe the hunger only sharpened my appreciation for that which was already good. I like to think it of all the good I have discovered and been blessed to partake of since losing my station in life.
Beth: I’m going to need an apple and some freshly baked bread when we’re done here! Yum! ????
Do you have a favorite book?
Marcus: I must say, I’ve always found the writings of the Apostle Paul to be most meaningful. In particular, his epistle to the church in Colossae means a great deal to me in recent days.
His admonishment to “forgive as Christ forgave” has spoken to me. It keeps at bay my darker desires. The struggle is a daily one. Every day I find reminders of what I’ve lost. And the cruelty, the vile desires that would destroy all I still hold dear, I on occasion long to destroy myself.
In such hours, I recall those words and feel within that the Lord would not have me to give in. There is more to all this than I can readily see right now and I feel to give in would be to undo so much more than myself alone.
Beth: Excellent! That is an important reminder for us all! Keep running the race, friend!
What do you want readers to gain from your story?
Marcus: Hope. In the darkest hours of life, when all we cling to is ripped away, there is One holding all of it together. The same One for Whom all things are worth being lost.
Whatever my fate, I know my suffering has served a purpose. When suffering and hard times come for a reader, I would have them to remember the beauty and reward of bearing it all without forsaking the faith.
Pain won’t disappear, but you can bear it, will bear it, and the Lord will be revered as He should.
Beth: Amen and amen! Marcus, thank you so much for sharing your heart today. It has been a pleasure to meet you!
About the Book
Destitutio Quod Remissio by Brett Armstrong
For decades, Roman Senator Marcus Servius labored to become a wealthy and admired patrician man. But now, his world is shattered. After he is exposed as a Christian during a time of intense persecution, his home, wealth, and prestige are stripped from him. The most painful loss of all is that of his beloved wife, Cassandra. Destitute and wary, Marcus prays he will be delivered from his enemies’ hands as he struggles to realize a new path.
In desperate need of help, Marcus disguises himself and embarks on a dangerous journey to find Benjamin Truvias, the leader of a hidden church and the man responsible for Marcus’s conversion. After Benjamin offers aid, Marcus’s life finally finds needed direction. Yet, the more he helps the church through persecutions, the closer he comes to finding who betrayed him. Caught in a maelstrom of intrigue and deception, should Marcus discover the awful truth of who caused his fall, he must choose between vengeance and forgiveness–a decision that will affect the fate of all the believers in Rome.
Destitutio Quod Remissio is the timeless epic tale of a man’s struggle to rebuild his life amid ancient Rome after he loses everything he loves and his faith is tested in ways he never imagined.
About the Author
Brett Armstrong, author of the award-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire. Twenty years later, he is still telling stories though admittedly his philosophy has deepened with his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing.
His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind. He feels writing should be engaging, immersive, entertaining, and always purposeful. Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son.
Brett Armstrong has generously provided an ebook copy of Destitutio Quod Remissio for one Faithfully Bookish reader!
Any fans of Roman or early church history checking in today?
What do y’all think about Marcus and his story?
Are you adding Destitutio Quod Remissio to your tbr?