of the Tongue Screw
Wens, mother and disciple, was arrested and imprisoned during
the harsh persecution of the sixteenth century. She was one of
the fugitive Christians, called Anabaptists, later called Mennonites.
Maeyken longed to hold
her children again in her arms. But she refused to give up her
faith in Jesus, the source of her salvation and security.
The day of her execution
arrived. Maeyken was led to the town square and chained to a
stake. She was unable to sing or testify because of the tongue
screw which was painfully clamped on her tongue. When the fire
was set, her 15-year-old son, Adriaen fainted. He and little
Hans had come to watch.
Later Adriaen returned,
kicked through the ashes and found the tongue screw. This symbol
of their mother's faith and courage was passed on to the generations
The tongue screw meant
to silence her testimony, still gives witness to her fervent
faith and courageous commitment today.
See Mirror of the Martyrs by John S. Oyer and Robert S.
Kreider (Good Books, 1990) pp. 52-53,
and The Bloody Theater or Martyrs Mirror by Thieleman J. van Braght (Herald
Press, 1977) pp. 980-982