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Tag Archives: Roman empire

ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

ST JULIANA OF NICOMEDIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: FEBRUARY 16

Juliana, from Cumae in Campania, who was first mentioned in the “Martyriologium Hieronymianum”, suffered martyrdom in 304 during the Diocletian persecution. As a Christian convert, she refused to marry the pagan Senator Eleusius, which caused the anger of both her suitor and her pagan father Africanus. She was then detained, tortured and beheaded. In prison, she was said to have been exposed to a vision of a demon who pretended to be an angel of light and asked her to sacrifice to the pagan gods. Juliana recognised the deception and shouted: “Lord God of heaven and earth, do not leave me and do not allow your maid to perish.” She defeated the tempter who admitted to her that the devils suffer especially when Christians assist at Mass. St Juliana has traditionally been called for the safe delivery of women in labour and for protection against fever and infectious diseases.

PRAYER:

May blessed Juliana, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever pleasing to you by the merit of her chastity and by her trust in your power, implore for us your forgiveness, we beseech you, O God. Through our Lord…

 

 

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ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST AMBROSE, BISHOP, CONFESSOR, AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 7

Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, was the son of another Ambrose, a Roman citizen, and received a liberal education at Rome. Under the Prefect Probus, he was made governor of Liguria and Aemilia, and by his command, came with authority to Milan. When the Arian Bishop, Auxentius, died, the most violent disputes arose among the people about a choice of a successor.

“AMBROSE, BISHOP”

Ambrose came to the church in his official capacity, and urged upon the contending factions, in a long and powerful speech, the necessity of keeping the public peace, whereupon a child suddenly cried out “Ambrose, Bishop,” and the whole assembly took it up and unanimously called for his election. Whereupon he was baptised (for he was still a catechumen) and was admitted to sacred orders. Having ascended all the degrees of orders as prescribed by the Church, he was raised to the rank of Bishop.

DEFENDER OF THE TRUTH

In this office he strenuously defended Catholic truth and the Church’s laws, not only by word, but also in his writings. He converted to the true faith many Arians and other heretics, among whom he begot St Augustine in Jesus Christ. Having borne so many labours and cares for the Church of God, he died on the day before the Nones of April in the year 397.

PRAYER:

O God, you who have given blessed Ambrose to your people as a help for eternal salvation, grant, we beseech you, that we may be worthy to have him as our intercessor in heaven whom we have had as a teacher of life on earth.

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

 

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ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST NICHOLAS, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: DECEMBER 6

Nicholas was born in the famous city of Patara in Lycia. From infancy, he fasted on Wednesday and Friday. He kept up this custom during the rest of his life. Having lost his parents when he was a young man, he gave all his goods to the poor. A noble example of his charity is seen in the fact that he secretly gave money sufficiently for a marriage dowry for three girls who were in great peril of falling into sin.

HE WENT TO MYRA

After having made a pilgrimage to Palestine, inspired by God, he went to Myra, the metropolis of Lycia, which had lost its bishop by death, and with no dissent but with wondrous concord, he was selected by the provincial bishops.

A MODEL OF EVERY VIRTUE

During his episcopate he proved himself a model of every virtue. Contrary to the edict of Diocletian and Maximian, he had preached the truth of Christian faith, and he was cast into prison where he remained until Constantine became emperor. He took part in the Council of Nicea where the Arian heresy was condemned. After he had returned to his see, he died a most holy death at Myra [ca. A. D. 342]. His body was taken to Bari in Apulia, and is the object of universal veneration in that place.

PRAYER:

O God, you who made the holy Bishop Nicholas renowned for his countless miracles, grant, we beseech you, that by his merits and prayers we may be saved from the fires of hell. Through our Lord…

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

 

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ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST CALLISTUS I, POPE AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: OCTOBER 14

Callistus, a Roman, ruled the Church when Antoninus Heliogabulus was emperor. He instituted the four periods of the year which are known as Ember Days – days on which, in accordance with the apostolic tradition, fasting was to be observed by all. He built the basilica called St Mary across-the-Tiber and enlarged the ancient cemetery on the Appian Way, in which are buried many holy Priests and martyrs. For this reason, it is called the cemetery of Callistus. He reigned five years, one month and twelve days.

HE WAS CROWNED WITH MARTYRDOM

After a long imprisonment, during which he was starved and frequently scourged, he was thrown head-downward into a well. He was crowned with martyrdom under the Emperor Alexander and was buried in the cemetery of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, at the third mile-stone from the City, on the day before the Ides of October [222]. Afterwards his body was carried to the basilica of St Mary across-the-Tiber, and was placed under the high altar, where it is venerated with the greatest devotion.

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

PRAYER:

God of mercy,

hear the prayers of your people

that we may be helped by Saint Callistus,

whose martyrdom we celebrate with joy.

Through our Lord…

 

 

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ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR

ST PAULINUS OF NOLA, BISHOP AND CONFESSOR – MEMORIAL: JUNE 22

Paulinus was born in the year of salvation 353, of a most illustrious family of Roman citizens at Bordeaux and he later attained senatorial dignity. He was made consul of Nola but, struck by a ray of the divine light, he resigned the consulship and returning to Bordeaux, he was baptised by St Delphinus.

HE DISTRIBUTED HIS MONEY TO THE POOR

Then he sold his abundant property, distributed the money to the poor and retired to Spain, where he was ordained a priest. When he returned to Nola, he built a monastery near the tomb of St Felix and entered upon a most strict monastic life with some companions.

HE BECAME A PRIEST AND FOUNDED A MONASTERY 

As the fame of his sanctity spread, he was elevated to the See of Nola. In the fulfilment of his office, he left wonderful examples of piety, patience, and above all, charity. He wrote many things pertaining to sacred doctrine and was highly praised for his eloquence and poetry. When Campania was laid waste by the Goths, he devoted all his resources to feeding the poor and ransoming captives.

HE SOLD HIMSELF INTO SLAVERY IN PLACE OF SOMEONE ELSE AND WAS TAKEN TO AFRICA

And after that, when the Vandals invaded the same region, since he had nothing more to give, he sold himself into slavery in place of the son of a certain widow, and was taken to Africa. At length, being given his liberty by the help of God, he fell peacefully asleep in the Lord at Nola.

PRAYER:

O God, who promised to those who forsake all things in this world for you a hundred-fold reward in the world to come and life everlasting, mercifully grant that, following closely in the footsteps of the holy Bishop Paulinus, we may look upon earthly things as naught, and long only for those of heaven. Who live…

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

 

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SS. NAZARIUS AND CELSUS, MARTYRS

SS. NAZARIUS AND CELSUS, MARTYRS

SS. NAZARIUS AND CELSUS, MARTYRS – MEMORIAL: JULY 28

Nazarius, baptised by the Pope St Linus, when he went into Gail, there baptised a boy named Celsus, whom he had first instructed in Christian doctrine. Afterwards they both went to Milan, where they spread the faith of Christ and, most courageously confessing Christ to be God, were beheaded by the prefect Anolinus. Their bodies were discovered by St Ambrose.

VICTOR I, POPE AND MARTYR

On the same day is commemorated Pope St Victor, who governed the Church in the time of the Emperor Severus. He confuted Theodotus Coriarius and wrote on the question of Easter. Crowned with martyrdom, he was buried on Vatican hill on the fifth day before the Calends of August.

INNOCENT I, POPE AND CONFESSOR 

On the same day there is recalled Pope St Innocent who, after condemning Pelagius and Caelestius, issued a decree against their heresy. His body was buried in the cemetery called “Ad Ursum pileatum” (Bear with the Cap).

PRAYER:

May the martyrdom of your Saints, Nazarius, Celsus, Victor and Innocent, give us courage, O Lord, and may it give us a help to counter-balance our weakness. Through our Lord…

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

 

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ST MARCELLUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST MARCELLUS I, POPE AND MARTYR

ST MARCELLUS I, POPE AND MARTYR – MEMORIAL: JANUARY 16

Marcellus, a Roman, was pope from the reign of Constantinus and Galerius to that of Maxentius. It was by his counsel that the Roman matron Lucina made the Church of God the heir of her property. On account of the increase in the number of the faithful, he established new titular churches in the city and rearranged their district boundaries. For this reason Maxentius was greatly angered and threatened severe punishments unless Marcellus gave up his pontifical office and offered sacrifice to the idols.

MAXENTIUS THREATENED SEVERE PUNISHMENTS

The pontiff strongly resisted him and was sent to a menagerie to take care of the beasts, which were kept at the public expense. Marcellus spent nine months there, visiting by his letters the churches he could not visit in person. From there he was rescued by some of his clerics and was given refuge by blessed Lucina, in whose house he dedicated a church, where he preached to the faithful.

HE WAS GIVEN REFUGE BY BLESSED LUCINA 

Then Maxentius ordered the wild beasts to be brought from the menagerie into the church and to be guarded by Marcellus. Sickened by the foul atmosphere and worn out by many hardships, he fell asleep in the Lord [A. D. 309]. His body was buried by blessed Lucina in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Salarian Way, on the sixteenth day of January.

PRAYER:

Eternal Shepherd, look with favour upon your flock. Safeguard and shelter it forevermore through blessed Marcellus, your Martyr and Supreme Pontiff, whom you constituted Shepherd of the whole Church. Through our Lord…

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

 

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