Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Feast of St. Marcellinus, Priest and Martyr, and St. Peter, Exorcist and Martyr
is today. There is information on them here.
It is also the feast of Pope St. Eugene I,
St. Stephen of Sweden, Bishop and Marytr,
St. Alexander, Martyr
St. Blandina, Martyr and St. Erasmus, Bishop and Martyr., who was one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

In that memorable persecution, when Blandina, a slave, was seized for confessorship, her mistress and her fellow-Christians dreaded lest, from her delicate make, she should give way under the torments; but she even tired out her tormentors. It was a refreshment and relief to her to cry out amid her pains, "I am a Christian." They remanded her to prison, and then brought her out for fresh suffering a second day and a third. On the last day she saw a boy of fifteen brought into the amphitheatre for death; she feared for him, as others had feared for her; but he too went through his trial generously, and went to God before her. Her last sufferings were to be placed in the notorious red-hot chair, and then to be exposed in a net to a wild bull; they finished by cutting her throat. Sanctus, too, when the burning plates of brass were placed on his limbs, all through his torments did but say, "I am a Christian," and stood erect and firm, "bathed and strengthened," say his brethren who write the account, "in the heavenly well of living water which flows from the breast of Christ," or, as they say elsewhere of all the martyrs, "refreshed with the joy of martyrdom, the hope of blessedness, love towards Christ, and the spirit of God the Father." How clearly do we see all through this narrative what it was which nerved them for the combat! If they love their brethren, it is in the fellowship of their Lord; if they look for heaven, it is because He is the Light of it.

Venerable John Henry Newman, C.O., An Essay in Aid of a Grammar of Assent


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