Saturday, July 18, 2020
Sts. Symphorosa and Her Seven Sons
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): July 18

It is rather remarkable when one considers the number of martyrs that the Church commemorates in the Liturgy; and yet, sadly so many were removed from the Universal Calendar as part of the modernistic changes to the Liturgy over the past few decades.

Yet for those who keep the traditional liturgy, we find in these heroes remarkable examples of courage, fortitude, and a willingness to suffer absolutely anything - including horrific tortures and death rather than compromise with error, encourage sin, give bad example, or engage in sexual sins. Most of the martyrs were murdered not because they were Christians (and Catholics of course) but because they refused to engage in adultery or drop offerings of incense grains in a bowl to statues. How many Catholics today would agree to such small matters with the intention of later confessing them? How many would actually rather die than drop a few grains of incense in a bowl and pretend to worship a dead statue as divine?

Willingness to suffer death - and a cruel torturous one at that - and a willingness to see one's own children tortured rather than commit the smallest mortal sin should excite in all of our hearts a desire for deeper conversion, more missionary endeavors, and a willingness to do the Lord's will in all things.

According to early chronicles, St. Symphorosa and her seven sons, whom she instructed in the Christian Faith, were martyred at Trivoli, near Rome, circa 120 AD during the reign of Emperor Hadrian. Their story comes just days after the feast of the Seven Holy Brothers, the sons of St. Felicitas.

From the Roman Martyrology:

At Tivoli, in the time of the emperor Adrian, St. Symphorosa, wife of the martyr St. Getulius, with her seven sons, Crescens, Julian, Nemesius, Primitivus, Justinus, Stacteus, and Eugenius. Their mother, because of her invincible constancy, was first buffeted a long time, then suspended by her hair, and lastly thrown into the river with a stone tied to her body. Her sons had their limbs distended by pulleys and bound to stakes, and terminated their martyrdom by different kinds of death. The bodies were subsequently taken to Rome, and were found in the sacristy of St. Angelo in Piscina,under the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IV.

Collect:

O God, who has granted us the grace to celebrate the birthday of Your blessed martyrs Symphorosa and her sons, grant that we may also share their eternal happiness in heaven. through our Lord . . .

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