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Monday, January 19, 2015
Feast of Ss. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum

Let the just feast, and rejoice before God: and be delighted with gladness. * Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered: and let them that hate Him flee from before His face. (Psalm 67:4,2 from the Introit of Mass)

Even though these holy saints lived and suffered marytrdom nearly 2,000 years ago, we would do well by recalling their holiness each year on their feastday of January 19th.  It is a modern error to regard only the most recent saints or most recent events as applicable to us - we can learn from the lives of all of the saints from all times.

The following lesson is given in the office:

Marius Persa, nobili loco natus, cum Martha conjuge pari nobilitate, et duobus filiis Audiface et Abachum, Romam venit Claudio imperatore, et Martyrum sepulchra veneraretur. Ibi Christianos in vincula conjectos fovebant, et opera ac facultatibus suis sustentabant, et Sanctorum corpora sepeliebant. Quam ob rem comprehensi omnes, cum nec implorum minis nec terrore commoverentur, ut diis sacrificarent; primum fustibus debilitati, deinde funibus attracti, tum admotis candentibus laminis combusti, et ungulis ferreis excarnificati sut. Postremo præcisis manibus, et ad collum alligatis, ducti per mediam urbem, via Cornelia ad tertium decimum ab Urbe milliarium, in eum locum, qui Nymphe dicebatur, necantur: ac primum Marthæ, quæ virum ac filios ad supplicia pro Jesu Christi fide constanter perferenda, vehementer fuerat cohortata; mox ceteris in eadem arenaria cervices abscinduntur, eorumque corpora conjiciuntur in ignem. Quæ semiusta, Felicitas matrona Romana nobilis colligenda et in suo prædio sepelienda curavit.
Marius, a Persian of noble birth, came to Rome, under the emperor Claudius, to venerate the sepulchers of the martyrs in the company of his wife Martha, a noble lady, and their two sons Audifax and Abachum. There they ministered to the Christians in prison, maintaining them both by their wealth and their own personal service, and buried the bodies of the saints. They were all accordingly arrested, and since they could not be induced by fear or threats to sacrifice to the gods, they were first beaten with clubs, then dragged about with ropes, burnt with hot iron plates and torn with hooks. Lastly their hands were cut off and tied about their necks, and they were led through the city and by the Via Cornelia to the place called Nymphe, thirteen miles from Rome, where they were put to death. The first to die was Martha, who had earnestly exhorted her husband and sons to bear their suffering with constancy for the faith of Jesus Christ. Then the others were beheaded in the same sandpit, and their bodies were thrown into the fire. Felicitas, a noble Roman matron, took them when they were half burned and buried them in her own estate.


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