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Tag Archives: Martyrs

ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR

ST ERASMUS OF FORMIA, BISHOP AND MARTYR – FEAST: JUNE 2

Originally from Antioch, St Erasmus (St Elmo) became Bishop of Formia, Campagna, Italy. To lie low during Emperor Diocletian’s persecution of Christians (c. 303), he fled to Mount Lebanon, living a life of prayer and penance. Throughout this time he was miraculously fed by a raven.

The Bishop was tracked down and sent to Diocletian, imprisoned, and freed by an angel. After having converted many more souls he was discovered once more and martyred by being disemboweled. Some sources report that this was done by winding his intestines on a windlass.

“ST ELMO’S FIRE”

St Erasmus is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and invoked against gastrointestinal illnesses such as cancer and Crohn’s Disease. His intercession is asked by soldiers and sailors, too; the blue static electrical discharges which would sometimes appear on the masts or riggings of their ships (“St Elmo’s Fire”) was seen as a sign of his protection.

PRAYER:

O God, who gladden us each year by the feast of your holy Martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus, graciously grant that, as we rejoice in their merits, we may be inspired by their example. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

 

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ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST PEDRO POVEDA, PRIEST AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: JULY 28

Pedro Poveda was born in Linares, (Jaen), southern Spain, in 1874 and was ordained priest in Guadix (Granada) in 1897. It was there that he began apostolic work among the people of the cave district.

Later he was named Canon in the Basilica of Covadonga in the north. From there, in 1911 he founded The Teresian Association, which received pontifical approval in 1924. In Jaen, and later Madrid, he continued to be actively committed to the cause of education and to the disadvantaged in society. He died a martyr for his faith on 28 July, 1936. He was canonised in 2003.

PRAYER:

Lord our God, You gave Your priest Saint Pedro Poveda the gift of encouraging lay Christians in their call to make Christ present in the world, through education and culture; You gave him the grace of sealing his life with martyrdom. Through his intercession grant us the courage to announce the Gospel openly, bearing witness to it and confessing our faith. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(with ecclesiastical permission)

– from a prayer card

 

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ST CORONA, MARTYR

ST CORONA, MARTYR

St Corona, feast day May 14 (SS Victor and Corona) was a 16-year-old Christian who was martyred for her faith in Damascus in the second century.

St Corona stood up publicly for Victor, a Roman soldier who was being tortured because he had converted to Christianity. For this act she died a horrific death.

She was tied to two palm trunks that had been bent to the ground and when they whipped back up her body was torn to pieces. She is invoked by treasure hunters and people who play the lottery. Recently, her prayers to the Divine Physician are requested by those affected by Covid-19.

 

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SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS

SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS

SS NEREUS, ACHILLEUS, DOMITILLA THE VIRGIN, AND PANCRATIUS, MARTYRS – MEMORIAL: MAY 12

The brothers Nereus and Achilleus were eunuchs who served Flavia Domitilla. They were baptised with Domitilla’s mother, Plautilla, by St Peter, and the brothers persuaded Domitilla to consecrate her virginity to God.

Because of this, Aurelian, who had been engaged to her, accused them of being Christians, and they were banished to the isle of Pontia.

THEY WERE ACCUSED OF BEING CHRISTIANS 

To force them to sacrifice to idols, they were scourged and then taken to Terracina where they were beheaded after being racked and burned. Their disciple Auspicius brought their bodies to Rome and they were buried on the Ardeatine Way.

Flavia Domitilla, who had received the veil from blessed Pope Clement, was also banished to Pontia. After a long imprisonment she was taken in chains to Terracina where the judge ordered her lodging set afire.

THE PAGAN JUDGE ORDERED HER LODGING TO BE SET ON FIRE

She and her foster sisters, the virgins Theodora and Euphrosyne, thus died gloriously on the Nones of May in the reign of Trajan. The deacon, Caesarius, buried them.

Pancratius [St Pancras], who was born in Phrygia of a noble family, was baptised at Rome when a boy of fourteen. In the reign of Diocletian and Maximian, he was apprehended, and after he firmly refused to sacrifice to the pagan gods, offered his neck to the executioner and was martyred. A lady named Octavilla secretly buried his body on the Aurelian Way.

PRAYER:

May the holy feast of your Martyrs, Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancras, ever comfort us, we beseech you, O Lord, and make us worthy to serve you. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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SS. JOHN AND PAUL, MARTYRS

SS. JOHN AND PAUL, MARTYRS

SS. JOHN AND PAUL, MARTYRS – MEMORIAL: JUNE 26

The brothers John and Paul, Romans, gave to the poor of Christ the riches left to them by Constantia, Constantine’s daughter, whom they had piously and faithfully served. Being invited by Julian the Apostate to enter his household, they boldly said that they had no wish to be in the company of one who had forsaken Jesus Christ.

THEY HAD NO WISH TO BE IN THE COMPANY OF ONE WHO HAD FORSAKEN JESUS CHRIST 

On this account, a period of ten days was fixed for them to be induced to sacrifice to Jupiter. When they most steadfastly refused to commit such a crime, by order of Terentianus, the judge, they were beheaded in their own house and merited the palm of martyrdom [A.D.362]. Their glorious passing was made public by the unclean spirits who were tormenting the bodies of many, along whom was the son of Terentianus, who, being troubled by a devil, was freed at the sepulchre of the Martyrs. By this miracle, both he and his father believed in Christ. The life of the blessed Martyrs is said to have been written by Terentianus himself.

PRAYER:

We beseech you, almighty God, that on this feast-day we may have the double joy of celebrating blessed John and Paul, true brothers who obtained eternal glory through one faith and one martyrdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, MARTYR

ST FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, MARTYR

ST FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN, MARTYR – FEAST DAY: APRIL 24

Fidelis,born at Sigmaringen, a town in Swabia, of the honourable family of Rey, acquired considerable reputation as a lawyer. But, finding that the legal profession was full of dangers, he abandoned it, and enlightened by the divine call, asked to be admitted into the order of the Capuchin Friars Minor.

HE JOINED THE CAPUCHIN FRIARS MINOR

After his wish had been fulfilled, his observance of the Rule was such as to make him a wonder and an example to all. Having great devotion to the Virgin Mother of God and to the Rosary, he asked God that he might die a martyr for the Catholic faith, a request which he obtained.

HIS NOBLE PRAYER WAS ANSWERED 

Chosen superior of the missions recently established in Rhaetia [Grisons] by the Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith, he spared no labour in converting many heretics to the faith of Christ and thereby incurred the envy of evil men. And thus, on April 24, 1622, at the church of a place called Sevis, he was killed by blows and wounds inflicted by heretics, who, pretending to have been converted, had deceitfully asked him there. He thus consecrated with his own blood the first-fruits of the martyrs of his renowned congregation.

PRAYER:

O God, who graciously willed to set blessed Fidelis afire with seraphic love and to honour him, who preached the true faith, with the palm of martyrdom and glorious miracles, we beseech you, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us in faith and charity that through your grace we may be found worthy to be faithful to you even unto death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son…

 

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ST JOHN ROBERTS, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST JOHN ROBERTS, PRIEST AND MARTYR

ST JOHN ROBERTS, PRIEST AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 10

St John Roberts, born in Trawsfynydd, Wales, converted from Protestantism as a young adult and, after being received into the Catholic Church, first entered the English College at Valladolid in 1598, and, after a year there, made his novitiate at the great Abbey of St Martin at Compostella. His studies completed he was ordained, and set out for England at the end of 1602.

HE HAD A GOVERNMENT SPY ON HIS CASE

Having a spy on his case, he was, over the space of several years, banished, and re-entered England, time and time again. During his undercover spells in England, he ministered to the plague-stricken faithful in London. On 2nd December, 1610, he was arrested while celebrating Holy Mass. He was taken to Newgate in his vestments. He was found guilty of being a Catholic priest and hung, drawn and quartered on 10th December, 1610, at Tyburn.

PRAYER:

Almighty and eternal God,
you gave to blessed John
wisdom in defending the Catholic faith and courage in facing a martyr’s death:
listen to our prayers
and send us an ever greater harvest
of faith, hope and love.
Through our Lord…

 

 

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BL. JAMES THOMPSON, PRIEST AND MARTYR

BL. JAMES THOMPSON, PRIEST AND MARTYR

BLESSED JAMES THOMPSON, PRIEST AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 28

Bl. James Thompson, studying for the priesthood at Douai, fell very ill in 1580 and was ordained – he was barely able to stand – by dispensation from Rome. He recovered and was sent back to England to the mission. He was arrested in York for being a priest and hung at Tyburn on 28th November 1582. Whilst hanging, he was seen to distinctly beat his breast and afterwards to make the Sign of the Cross.

Blessed Fr Thompson, pray for us.

 

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ST CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 25

Catherine, a noble virgin of Alexandria, joined an ardent faith to her studies of the liberal arts. When she saw many Christians seized for punishment by order of Maximin, she approached Maximin himself and boldly declared that faith in Christ is necessary for salvation.

HE TRIED TO TURN HER AWAY FROM CHRIST

Astonished at her wisdom, the tyrant ordered her to be kept in prison. Then he summoned learned men from everywhere to try to persuade her and to convert her to the worship of idols. But the opposite effect happened.

THE OPPOSITE EFFECT HAPPENED

For many of these men were convinced by the most wise arguments of Catherine, embraced the faith in Christ, and would not have hesitated to die for it. Wherefore Maximin tried, first by flattery, then by torments, to turn her away from her belief; but when he saw that these had no effect, he ordered her to be beheaded.

PRAYER:

O God, who gave the law to Moses on Sinai’s height and through your holy angels miraculously placed there the body of blessed Catherine, your Virgin and Martyr; grant, we beseech you, that by her merits and intercession we may reach that towering eminence which is Christ. Who with you…

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ST JOSE SANCHEZ DEL RIO, MARTYR

ST JOSE SANCHEZ DEL RIO, MARTYR

ST JOSE SANCHEZ DEL RIO, MARTYR – MEMORIAL: NOVEMBER 20 

Jose Sanchez del Rio of Zamora Diocese, Mexico, was arrested by Church haters in 1928. The soldiers cruelly tortured him, saying that, if he renounced the Faith, he would be released. Jose kept calling, “Viva Cristo Rey! Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!” and was eventually shot. He was canonised by Pope Francis on 16. October 2016.

PRAYER:

O God, who permit us to celebrate the memorial of St Jose Sanchez del Rio, grant that we who know how courageously your holy Martyr has confessed the Faith, may experience his intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ…

 

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