Monday, November 23, 2020
Com. of St. Felicitas
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 23

On July 10th, we celebrate the Feast of the Seven Holy Brothers and remember the children of St. Felicitas who were all martyred. Today on November 23rd, we commemorate their saintly mother, St. Felicitas who was also martyred for the Catholic Faith.

Fr. Francis Xavier Weninger in 1876 wrote the following practical considerations for the Seven Holy Brothers. They are worth repeating:

I. How happy a Mother was St. Felicitas who gave to heaven as many martyrs as she had sons! Her careful instructions in the true faith, her exhortations highly to venerate it, her encouragement to endure suffering and torments, her pious discourses of the great reward which the martyrs receive in heaven, made her children holy, and opened the gates of heaven to them. If she had lived and spoken as many mothers do at the present time, she would surely have brought up more than one to eternal misery.

Christian Parents! on your conduct, on your instructions, on your discourses, depends mostly the salvation or the damnation of your children. If they see that your conduct is not according to the laws of God and the Church, if they hear from your mouth nothing but lies, slander, unchaste or blasphemous words, if you speak to them more of dresses, dancing, gambling, theatres and other worldly pleasures, than of God and of virtue; how shall they become acquainted with the true spirit of Christianity, how shall they learn how to save their souls? Oh! be watchful of your conduct and your discourse, if you wish to bring up your children as servants of the Most High, as future inhabitants of heaven.

II. How happy were the sons who possessed so holy a mother! But what would have availed their mother's sanctity to them, if they had not followed her admonitions and commands?

Christian children! if God has blessed you with parents who are solicitous for your salvation, give thanks to Him. Pray for them, and receive their instructions and reproofs willingly and obediently, that one day, you may rejoice with them for all eternity in heaven. The seven holy martyrs rejoice now with their mother in heaven, and doubtless give her ceaseless thanks for the careful instruction she imparted to them; while she is not less happy that they followed her advice How many children may there be in hell who ceaselessly curse their parents for having allowed them too much liberty, for not having punished their faults, for not having kept them in the right path, or who even misled them to do evil by their discourse and example, and thus became the cause of their eternal ruin. Likewise there are parents who curse the disobedience, wickedness, and obstinacy of their children. If you, father or mother, desire not to be counted among these unhappy ones, follow the example of St. Felicitas and remember the admonition of the Holy Ghost : "Instruct thy son, by word and example and he shall refresh thee, and shall give delight to thy soul."(Prov. xxix.) And again: "Hast thou children? Instruct them, and bow down their neck from their youth." (Eccl, vii.) And you, my child, if you will not suffer during all eternity in hell, be obedient to the command of God, which is as follows: "My son "--my daughter--hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother." (Prov. i.)

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the merits and prayers of Your blessed Martyr Felicitas, whose feast we celebrate today, be our protection. Through Our Lord . . .


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