Showing posts with label Feastday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Feastday. Show all posts
Friday, December 25, 2020
Commemoration of St. Anastasia
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): December 25

All saints in Heaven surely were devoted to the Holy Mass yet only 42 are named in the Canon of the Mass. We would do well to pray to them and to especially honor them on their annual feastdays. And one of them is St. Anastasia.

In the 2nd Mass of Christmas, the Mass at Day Break, the Church on Christmas morning includes a Commemoration of St. Anastasia. This is her only inclusion in the Liturgy on this her feastday. However, we would be remiss to not consider her connection with our Lord, the Sun of Justice, on this Christmas Day. The New Liturgical Movement has published an article in the past on the connection of St. Anastasia and our Lord's Nativity. It will worth the read. 

Dom Gueranger writes on the 2nd Mass of Christmas and St. Anastasia:

In the very midst of her celebration of this mystery of the Birth of Jesus, the Church offers us another object of admiration and joy: it is one of her own children. Whilst solemnizing the divine Mystery of today's Feast, she commemorates in this second Mass one of those glorious heroines who preserved the Light of Christ within their souls, in spite of all the attacks made to rob them of it. Her name is Anastasia. This holy Widow of Rome suffered martyrdom under the persecution of Diocletian, and had the privilege of being thus born to eternal life on the Birthday of that Jesus for whom she suffered death.

She had been married to a Pagan of the name of Publius; himself also a Roman; who, being irritated against her on account of her great charities to the Christians, treated her with every sort of cruelty. She endured all with admirable patience; and when this heavy trial was removed from her by the death of her husband, she devoted herself to visiting and solacing the holy Confessors who had been cast into the prisons of Rome for the Faith. Being at length apprehended as a Christian, she was tied to a stake and burned to death. Her Church in Rome, which is built on the site where formerly stood her house, is the Station for this Second Mass. The Sovereign Pontiffs used formerly to say it here, and the ancient custom was observed in later times by Pope Leo XII.

How admirable is this delicate considerateness of our holy Mother the Church! Wishing to associate one of her Saints with the glory of this present Solemnity, on which the Virginity of Mary receives its triumphant recompense, it is a holy Widow that is chosen for this signal honour; that it might hereby be shown how the Married State, though inferior in merit and holiness to the state of Virginity, is not excluded from the blessings which the Birth of the Son of Mary merited for the world. There was a Virgin, St Eugenia, that might so well have been selected; for she suffered a glorious martyrdom under Galerian on this same feast, and in the same City as did the wife of Publius: but no—the preference is given to Anastasia, the Widow. This choice of the Church, which is dictated by her heavenly wisdom, and by the love she has for all her children, forcibly reminds us of a beautiful passage in one of St Augustine’s Sermons for Christmas Day.

'Exult, O ye Virgins of Christ! for the Mother of Christ is your companion. You could not be his Mother; but for his sake you would be Virgins: he that is not born of you, is born to you. And yet you remember his words: Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, is my brother and sister and mother. Now have you not done the will of his Father?

‘Exult, O ye Widows of Christ! for ye have vowed a holy continency to him, that made Virginity fruitful. And thou too, O nuptial chastity! you, I mean, that are faithful in the married state, you also may exult; for what you lose in the body, you do not lose in your hearts. ... Let your soul be virginal by its faith, for it is by her Faith that the Church is a Virgin. ... Jesus is Truth and Peace and Justice; conceive him by your faith, give him birth by your good works; in order that what the womb of Mary did in the Flesh of Jesus, your heart may do in the law of Jesus. Believe me, you yourselves are children of virginity, for are you not the members of Christ? Mary is Mother of Jesus, who is our Head; and the Church is the mother of you who are his members. Yes, the Church is, like Mary, both Mother and Virgin: she is Mother by her tender charity; and Virgin by the purity of her faith and holiness.'

But the Holy Sacrifice is about to commence. The Introit tells us of the Birth of Jesus our Sun of Justice. The brightness of his first rising is the presage of his mid-day splendour. Strength and Beauty are his. He is armed for victory, and his name is Prince of Peace.

Collect:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who devoutly keep the Feast of blessed Anastasia, Thy Martyr, may feel the effects of her pleadings with Thee. Through our Lord...

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Sunday, November 29, 2020
Comm. of St. Saturninus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 29

Today is the Vigil of St. Andrew the Apostle, traditionally a day of fasting on years when November 29th does not fall on a Sunday. In centuries past when today was a fasting day, the fast would have been anticipated on Saturday.

Today is also the Commemoration of St. Saturninus who is said to have been a priest who came to Rome from Carthage. At an advanced age, he was arrested for the Catholic Faith. After suffering long imprisonment and barbarous tortures, he was beheaded in the year 309 AD. Along with him, his deacon Saint Sisinius suffered martyrdom.

Writing on the two martyrs, the Monks of Ramsgate write in their Book of Saints the following brief account:

Roman Martyrs in the persecution under Diocletian and Maximian (about A.D. 303). They are associated with Pope Saint Marcellus and with Saints Cyriacus, Largus and Smaragdus. They were both very aged; but were not on that account spared the torture before execution. Saint Sisinnius was a deacon.

Father Francis Xavier Weninger in his Lives of the Saints includes the following reflections for St. Saturnine, as he spells his name:

Saint Saturnine accepted the hard work allotted to him with cheerfulness, and performed it as well as he could, without manifesting sadness or impatience; he even praised the Almighty while he labored. God, who has created man for work, has also ordained that each station should have its own task. He graciously promises to recompense this work in the other world, if it is done rightly. Those do very wrong, who neglect what their station requires of them, and who are slaves to idleness. Those also do wrong, who become impatient with their work or even curse it. They lose their merit and the reward which they would have earned, had they performed their work with due patience. Should your task be burdensome, cheer yourself, after the example of Saint Saturnine, and call on God for aid.

St. Saturinus's feastday has the distinction of being the first saint entry in the Proper of the Saints in the Missal, since November 29th is often around the beginning of Advent, when the Church's new liturgical year begins.

Collect:

O God, who fills us with joy at the celebration of Your martyr Saturninus' heavenly birthday, grant that the merits of this saint may help us. Through Our Lord . . .

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Thursday, November 26, 2020
St. Peter of Alexandria
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Photo from SalveRegina.info

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 26

Along with St. Sylvester the Abbot and St. Leonard of Port Maurice, today we commemorate St. Peter of Alexandria. St. Peter, the Patriarch of Alexandria, was martyred because of his adherence to the orthodox and unchangeable teachings of the Catholic Faith in 310 AD. Eusebius wrote that St. Peter of Alexandria was "a divine model of the Christian teacher."

The Lives of the Saints by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. [1894] provides the following brief account:

St. Peter governed the Church of Alexandria during the persecution of Diocletian. The sentence of excommunication that he was the first to pronounce against the schismatics, Melitius and Arius, and which, despite the united efforts of powerful partisans, he strenuously upheld, proves that he possessed as much sagacity as zeal and firmness. But his most constant care was employed in guarding his flocks from the dangers arising out of persecution. He never ceased repeating to them that, in order not to fear death, it was needful to begin by dying to self, renouncing our will, and detaching ourselves from all things. St. Peter gave an example of such detachment by undergoing martyrdom in the year 311.

Reflection.—"How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!" says Our Saviour; because they are bound to earth by the strong ties of their riches.

 The Monks of Ramsgate in the Book of Saints, 1921 similarly write:

A learned and holy Prelate who governed the great Church of Alexandria in Egypt for twelve years in very troubled times. He had to face the dangerous schism of Meletius among his own clergy at the very time when the comforting and guiding of Christians in peril of death at the hands of heathen persecutors called for the exercise of all his energies. He seems to have been the first to detect the incipient heresy of Arius. Saint Peter was put to death by order of the Caesar Maximin Daza, together with other Christians (A.D. 311), and was succeeded by Saint Alexander, the predecessor of the great Saint Athanasius.

The Genuine Acts Of Peter, Bishop Of Alexandria, And Martyr, From The Latin Version By Anastasius Bibliothecarius may be read on EWTN.

Collect:

Almighty God, look upon our weakness and the heavy burden we carry because of our own deeds. Let the prayers of Your blessed martyr bishop Peter, in heaven, be our protection. Through our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020
St. Chrysogonus
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 24

St. Chrysogonus, a Greek Christian, was martyred under Emperor Diocletian at Aquileia at the beginning of the fourth century. He is one of the saints mentioned in the Roman Canon of the Mass: "...Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Lawrence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul, Cosmas and Damian..."

Who was St. Chrysogonus? The Catholic Encyclopedia summarizes:

"According to this legend, Chrysogonus, at first a functionary of the vicarius Urbis, was the Christian teacher of Anastasia, the daughter of the noble Roman Praetextatus. Being thrown into prison during the persecution of Diocletian, he comforted by his letters the severely afflicted Anastasia. By order of Diocletian, Chrysogonus was brought before the emperor at Aquileia, condemned to death, and beheaded. His corpse, thrown into the sea, was washed ashore and buried by the aged priest, Zoilus. In the legend the death of the saint is placed on the 23rd of November. In the actual Roman martyrology his feast is celebrated on 24 November; by the Greeks on 16 April."

Collect:

O Lord, hear our humble prayers. May the intercession of Your blessed martyr Chrysogonus free us from the guilt of sin which troubles us. Through Our Lord . . .

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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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Thursday, November 19, 2020
All Saints of the Order of Malta
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Today the Order of Malta keeps their Feast of All Saints of their Order, a feastday known as "All Saints of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta." This feast, like the various feasts of All Saints for other religious orders, commemorates both the known and the unknown saints of their Order who now possess the beatific vision in Heaven. 

Let us pray to some of these holy intercessors today ranging from Blessed Gerard, Founder and First Grand Master of the Order, St. Toscana, St. Nicasius, St. Nuno Alvarez Pereira, Blessed Charles of Austria, Blessed Alfredo Schuster of Milan, and all others with connections to this venerable order.

We pray especially for an end to the controversies that engulf the Order now, including the illegal prohibition of the Tridentine Mass a few years ago by the Master of the Order at that time. May they also be unwavering in fidelity to the Teachings of the Church on the impossibility of artificial contraception, especially in light of the scandal from a few years ago.

All You Holy Saints of the Order of Malta, pray for us!

Collect:

God, the source of all holiness and of varying forms of it that endow your Church and build up the Body of Christ, give us the grace to follow the saints of our Order in living for you alone by meditating on your law and by perfect self-denial so that we may come with them to the bliss of eternal life. We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

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Monday, November 16, 2020
All Saints of the Servite Order
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November 16th is the Feast of All Saints of the Servite Order. While not as well known as the Dominicans, Jesuits, or Carmelites, the Servite Order is illustrious in its own right. The Order of Servites is the fifth mendicant order, founded in 1223, and its primary ends are "sanctification of its members, preaching the Gospel, and the propagation of devotion to the Mother of God, with special reference to her sorrows."

St. Juliana Falconieri, St. Philip Benizi, St. Anthony Pucci, and others are canonized members of the Servite Order. The Seven Holy Founders of the Servite Order are remembered together with their Feast on the Universal Calendar on February 17th.

Today, besides calling to mind all of all Servites saints, we pray for their intercession for all of us on this earth but especially for the members of their Order. Today is also a good day to learn more about the Black Scapular, which comes from the Servite Order which began in 1255 and was sanctioned by Pope Alexander IV. This scapular honors the Seven Sorrows of Mary. It is one of 17 approved Scapulars in the Church.

All You Holy Servite Saints, pray for us!

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Saturday, November 14, 2020
All Saints of the Carmelite Order
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Continuing the trend of various All Saint Days for religious orders, November 14th is the Feast of All Saints of the Carmelite Order. Like other major religious orders, the Carmelite Order is blessed with many saints and blessed. It is thanks to the Carmelite Order that we have the Brown Scapular.

Who are the Carmelite Saints? The Order of Carmelites answers:

They are hermits of Mount Carmel who “lived in small cells, similar to the cells of a beehive, they lived as God’s bees, gathering the divine honey of spiritual consolation.” They are mendicants of the first medieval communities, who discovered the presence of God in the events of ordinary daily life and especially seeing God in his brothers and sisters. They are teachers and preachers, missionaries and martyrs who searched for the face of God among the people. They are nuns who have contributed to the growth of God's people by their mystical experience and especially through their fervent prayer and contemplative life. They are religious, who showed us the face of Christ through their apostolate in hospitals or schools, especially in the mission lands. They are laity, who were able to embody the spirit of Carmel and lived that spirit in the midst of the people. Simon Stock, Andrew Corsini, Albert of Trapani, John of Cross, Teresa of Ávila, Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Edith Stein, Titus Brandsma, Angelo Paoli and countless saints and blesseds of Carmel together with Mary, the Mother of Carmel, are now singing a song of praise to the Father in Heaven.

St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Teresa of Jesus, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, and many others have reached Heaven through the Carmelite Order. 

Today, besides calling to mind all of these saints, we pray for the intercession of all Carmelites - known and unknown - that they especially intercede for all Carmelites on this earth. May everyone in the Carmelite Order - including the many Carmelite Third Order members - grow in sanctity, stay true to the authentic Catholic Faith, and persevere to the end.

Litany of Carmelite Saints:

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ hear us. Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.

God, the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.

God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us,

Holy Mary, Pray for us. (* denotes to repeat Pray for us)

Queen of All Saints, *

Mother, Ornament of Carmel, *

Saint Joseph, Protector of Our Order, *

Our Holy Father, the Prophet Elias, who by thy prayer and contemplation laid the foundation of our Order on Carmel,*

Saint Eliseus, who through thy disciples didst preserve the spirit of Elias on Carmel, *

St. Telesphorus, watchful guardian of the Church, *

St. Anastasius, invincible amid the most fearful torments, *

St. Gerard, who didst die a glorious martyr’s death for the spread of the Faith, *

St. Angelus, glorified with the triple crown of Confessor, Virgin and Martyr, *

St. Peter Thomas, great servant and imitator of Mary, who adorned thee with all virtue, and strengthened thee in martyrdom, *

Blessed Dionysius of the Nativity, invincible soldier of Christ and His holy martyr, *

Bl. Redemptus of the Cross, who through thy holy zeal hast earned the martyr’s crown, *

St. Dionysius, zealous believer in the Mystery of the Holy Trinity and the defender thereof, *

St. Serapion, renowned for thy virtue and sanctity, and for thy wisdom and knowledge, *

St. Spiridion, great lover of evangelical simplicity, *

St. Cyril of Alexandria, vigilant defender of Mary, Mother of God, *

St. Albert, our most wise lawgiver and director, *

St. Andrew Corsini, wonderful peacemaker and despiser of worldly honors, *

St. Hilarion, admirable for thy life of prayer and mortification in solitude, and for thy power over evil spirits, *

St. Berthold, who didst unite the dwellers on Carmel into one ecclesiastical Order of Mary, *

St. Brocard, great zealot for the observance of religious discipline, *

St. Cyril of Constantinople, eminent for virtue, wisdom and learning, *

St. Simon Stock, privileged servant of Mary, *

St. Albert of Sicily, exalted model of unspotted purity, *

St. Avertanus, example of perfect obedience, *

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church, and sure guide in the mystical life, *

Bl. Franco Lippi, outstanding for severe mortification and holy silence, *

Bl. Romaeus, model of humble monastic virtue, *

Bl. Angelus Augustine, marvel of eloquence in preaching the Word of God, *

Bl. John Soreth, burning with love of the primitive observance, *

Bl. Aloysius Rabatha, model of holy and severe penance, *

Bl. Jacobinus, renowned for thy profound meekness and great humility, *

Bl. Bartholomew Fanti, burning with love for Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, *

Bl. Nonius Pereira, loyal servant and devotee of Mary, *

St. Euphrasia, perfect example of obedience, *

St. Euphrosina, wonderful lover of purity, *

St. Teresa, illustrious reformer of Carmel, full of heavenly wisdom, *

St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, victim of crucified love, *

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, teacher of the “Little Way” and Patroness of the Missions, *

Bl. Frances of Amboise, noble by birth, but nobler in virtue and steadfast confidence in God, *

Bl. Jane Scopelli, perfect model of prayer and mortification, *

Bl. Archangela, most tender in thy love for Jesus and Mary, *

Bl. Mary of the Incarnation, lover of real meekness, *

Bl. Anne of Saint Bartholomew, one with Teresa in the reform of Carmel, *

Bl. Mary of the Angels, like to the angels in innocence and purity, *

Bl. Jane of Toulouse, admirable for love of solitude and prayer, *

Bl. Therese and Companions, martyrs for Christ in the French Revolution, *

St. Teresa Margaret, great venerator and humble disciple of the Sacred Heart,*

All ye holy Virgins and Matrons of Carmel,*

All ye holy men and women who by thy virtues have given glory to Carmel, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world: Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, all ye Saints of Carmel: R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: Almighty and merciful God, Who dost rejoice us by the memory of all the Saints of the Carmelite Order: grant that, inspired by their example and merits, we may live for Thee alone in the continual observance of Thy law and in the perfect abnegation of self, and that we may attain to perfect happiness with them in heaven. Through Christ Our Lord.  Amen

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Friday, November 13, 2020
All Saints of the Augustinian Order
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November 13th is a day of multiple feasts. The Benedictines keep today as the Feast of All Benedictine Saints. The Dominicans keep today as All Dominican Souls since yesterday was All Dominican Saints. In the Universal Church following the traditional calendar, today is the Feast of Saint Didacus, the namesake for San Diego. And in some places today is also the Feast of St. Frances Cabrini, the American saint.

Today is also for the Augustinian Order their Feast of All Augustinian Saints. There are dozens of saints and blesseds of the Order.

St. Fulgentius, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Clare of Montefalco, St. Nicholas of Tolentine, St. Thomas of Villanova, and others now see God face-to-face in Heaven along with St. Augustine and his mother, St. Monica. 

May Our Mother of Good Counsel pray for all of us, especially for all who are members of the Augustinian Order on earth. And may we pray to all of these Augustinian saints to keep the Order of St. Augustine faithful to Christ and Tradition.

Collect:

Omnipotens sempiterne Deus, qui no omnium Sanctorum Ordinis nostri merita sub una tribuisti celebritate venerari: quaesumus; ut desideratam nobis tuae propitiationis abundantiam, multiplicatis intercessoribus, largiaris. Per Dominum.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2020
St. Mennas the Wonder Worker
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Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Mennas, 6th-century icon from Bawit in Middle Egypt, currently at Louvre; One of the oldest known icons in existence.

Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 11

Happy Martinmas! In addition to the festive celebration of St. Martin of Tours before the start of the Advent fast, we also call to mind today the life of St. Mennas. St. Mennas was an Egyptian, who was martyred c. 295 AD under Emperor Diocletian. He was one of the most popular saints in the early Eastern Church.

The Catholic Encyclopedia lists the following account of his life and legacy:

Menas, a Christian and an Egyptian by birth, served in the Roman army under the tribune Firmilian. When the army came to Cotyaeus in Phrygia, Menas hearing of the impious edicts issued against the Christians by the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian left the army, retired to a solitude in the mountains and served God by fasting vigils and prayer. During the celebration of a great festival Menas appeared in the midst of the populace in the circus, and fearlessly professed his faith. He was led before the prefect Pyrrhus, cruelly scourged, put to torture and finally beheaded. His body was brought to Egypt and the martyr was soon invoked in many needs and afflictions. The fame of the miracles wrought, spread far and wide and thousands of pilgrims came to the grave in the desert of Mareotis between Alexandria and the valley of Natron. For centuries Bumma (Karm-Abum-Abu Mina) was a national sanctuary and grew into a large city with costly temples a holy well, and baths. A beautiful basilica was erected by the Emperor Arcadius. The cult was spread into other countries, perhaps by travelling merchants who honoured him as their patron. As a result of various vicissitudes the doctrinal disputes and the conquest of Egypt by the Arabians under Omar in 641 the sanctuary was neglected and ultimately forgotten. During 1905 Mgr C.M. Kaufmann of Frankfort led an expedition into Egypt which made excavations at Bumma. He found in a vast field of ruins, the grave, the well and thermae, the basilica, the monastery, numerous inscriptions on the walls imploring aid through the intercession of the saint, and thousands of little water pitchers and oil lamps. The rich finds are partly in the Museum of Alexandria and Cairo, and partly in Frankfort and Berlin. The monsignor published an official report of his expedition in 1908, "La découverte des Sanctuaires de Menas dans le désert de Mareotis". His feast is celebrated on 11 November.

Collect:

O Almighty God, grant that we who celebrate the birthday of Your blessed Martyr Mennas, may be made stronger in our love of You through his intercession. Through Our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 10, 2020
Com. of Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 10

Along with St. Andrew Avellino, we commemorate today Sts. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha. These courageous martyrs of the early centuries of Christianity are commemorated together because their relics are preserved in the same church in Rome.

The Catholic Encyclopedia lists the following account of their lives:

"Tryphon is said to have been born at Kampsade in Phrygia and as a boy took care of geese. During the Decian persecution he was taken to Nicfa about the year 250 and put to death in a horrible manner after he had converted the heathen prefect Licius. Fabulous stories are interwoven with his legend. He is greatly venerated in the Greek Church which observes his feast on 1 February. In this Church he is also the patron saint of gardeners. Many churches were dedicated to him, and the Eastern Emperor, Leo VI, the Philosopher (d. 912), delivered a eulogy upon Tryphon. About the year 1005 the monk Theodoric of Fleury wrote an account of him based upon earlier written legends; in Theodoric's story Respicius appears as Tryphon's companion. The relics of both were preserved together with those of a holy virgin named Nympha, at the Hospital of the Holy Ghost in Sassia. Nympha was a virgin from Palermo who was put to death for the Faith at the beginning of the fourth century. According to other versions of the legend, when the Goths invaded Sicily she fled from Palermo to the Italian mainland and died in the sixth century at Savona. The feast of her translation is observed at Palermo on 19 August. Some believe that there were two saints of this name. The church of the Hospital of the Holy Ghost at Rome was a cardinal's title which, together with the relics of these saints, was transferred in 1566 by Pope Pius V to the Church of St. Augustine."

May we endeavor to keep the memory of these martyrs alive when so many no longer hear of their heroic witness to the Faith.

Collect:

May we always be worthy to celebrate the feast of Your holy Martyrs, Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, O Lord, so that through their intercession we may be sheltered under Your gracious protection. Through Our Lord . . .

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Thursday, November 5, 2020
All Saints of the Society of Jesus
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Modena - The painting of Madonna with the child among the Jesuit Saints in church Chiesa di San Bartolomeo from the 19th Century

November features, in addition to the universal All Saints Day kept on November 1st, various days dedicated to all saints of certain religious orders or countries. See the Feastdays Page under November for a listing of many of these.

November 5th is the Feast of All Saints and Blesseds of the Society of Jesus. This "All Saints Day" for the Jesuit Saints is kept to honor the many remarkable saints which grace their order. While the modern-day Jesuits have lamentably fallen far from their founder and often advance heresy and sin, we should still invoke the holy Jesuits that preceded them. May these holy and saintly Jesuits pray for restoration and cleansing of their Order.

Since the founder of the Jesuits, St Ignatius of Loyola, was canonized in 1622, there have been 52 other Jesuits canonized. Some of these holy Jesuits include:

  • St. José de Anchieta
  • St. Robert Bellarmine
  • St. Francis Borgia
  • St. John de Brébeuf
  • St. Edmund Campion
  • St. Peter Canisius
  • St. Peter Claver
  • St. Claude de la Colombiere
  • St. Peter Faber
  • St. Aloysius Gonzaga
  • St. Roque González
  • St. Alberto Hurtado
  • St. Isaac Jogues
  • St. Stanislaus Kostka
  • St. Ignatius Loyola
  • St. Paul Miki
  • St. Joseph Pignatelli
  • Blessed Miguel Pro
  • St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
  • St. Francis Xavier

Collect:

Grant us, we ask, o Lord, by the intercession of the blessed Father Ignatius and of all the Saints who have served under the banner of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, with him as their leader, so to serve Thee with a perfect heart; that after the course of this life, we may merit to share in their glorious end. Amen.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Commemoration of Ss. Vitalis and Agricola
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): November 4

Along with St. Charles Borromeo, the Church today celebrates Vitalis and Agricola by commemorating them at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. St. Agricola converted his slave St. Vitalis and went with him to martyrdom at Bologna C. 304 AD under the persecutions inflicted by the order of Emperor Diocletian.

The Catholic Encyclopedia writes:

Martyred at Bologna about 304 during Diocletian's persecution. Agricola, who was beloved for his gentleness, converted his slave, Vitalis, to Christianity; they became deeply attached to each other. Vitalis was first to suffer martyrdom, being executed in the ampitheatre. By his tortures and by flattery the persecutors sought in vain to win over Agricola, whom they finally crucified. Both martyrs were buried in the Jewish graveyard. In 393 St. Ambrose and Bishop Eusebius of Bologna transferred the remains of the martyrs to a church. Ambrose took some of the blood, of the cross, and the nails to Florence, placing these relics in the church erected by the saintly widow Juliana. On this occasion he delivered an oration in praise of virginity, with special reference to the three virgin daughters of Juliana. His mention of the martyrs Agricola and Vitalis in the first part of the oration is the only authority for their lives ("De exhortatione virginitatis", cc. i-u, in P.L., XVI, 335). The feast of the two martyrs is observed on 4 November. In 396 other relics were sent to St. Victricus, Bishop of Rouen, and, about the same date, to St. Paulinus of Nola and others.

Collect:

O Almighty God, may the intercessory power of Your blessed martyrs Vitalis and Agricola aid us who celebrate their feast today. Through our Lord . . .

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Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Within the Octave of All Saints
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We are currently in the Octave of All Saints, another casualty in 1955 that few people know of or spiritually celebrate anymore. This is a Common Octave meaning that the days within (i.e. Days 2-7 which are Semidouble) yield to all Double and Semidouble feasts but have precedence over Simple feasts. The Octave is commemorated daily at Lauds, Mass, and Vespers when a higher feast occurs except if the feast is a Double of the First or Second class in which case the Octave is not commemorated.

Brief History of Octaves:

By the 8th century, Rome had developed liturgical octaves not only for Easter, Pentecost, and Christmas but also for the Epiphany and the feast of the dedication of a church.

After 1568, when Pope Pius V reduced the number of octaves (since by then they had grown considerably), the number of Octaves was still plentiful.  Octaves were classified into several types. Easter and Pentecost had "specially privileged" octaves, during which no other feast whatsoever could be celebrated. Christmas, Epiphany, and Corpus Christi had "privileged" octaves, during which certain highly ranked feasts might be celebrated. The octaves of other feasts allowed even more feasts to be celebrated.

To reduce the repetition of the same liturgy for several days, Pope Leo XIII and Pope St. Pius X made further distinctions, classifying octaves into three primary types: privileged octaves, common octaves, and simple octaves. Privileged octaves were arranged in a hierarchy of first, second, and third orders. For the first half of the 20th century, octaves were ranked in the following manner, which affected holding other celebrations within their timeframes:
  • Privileged Octaves
    • Privileged Octaves of the First Order
      • Octave of Easter
      • Octave of Pentecost
    • Privileged Octaves of the Second Order
      • Octave of Epiphany
      • Octave of Corpus Christi
    • Privileged Octaves of the Third Order
      • Octave of Christmas
      • Octave of the Ascension
      • Octave of the Sacred Heart
  • Common Octaves
    • Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the BVM
    • Octave of the Solemnity of St. Joseph
    • Octave of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
    • Octave of Saints Peter and Paul
    • Octave of All Saints
    • Octave of the Assumption of the BVM
  • Simple Octaves
    • Octave of St. Stephen
    • Octave of St. John the Apostle
    • Octave of the Holy Innocents 
Traditional Catholics still attached to the pre-1955 Missal will be familiar with the above list of Octaves. We can live out this forgotten Octave by adding to our daily prayers the Collect from All Saints Day:

Collect:

Almighty and eternal God, through Your grace we honor the merits of all Your saints in the one solemn feast of today. Grant us the abundant mercy we ask of You through this army of heavenly intercessors. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ . . .
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Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Sts. Sergius and Bacchus & Sts. Marcellus and Apuleius
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): October 7

In addition to the great celebration of Our Lady of the Rosary, today's liturgy includes a Commemoration of Pope St. Mark in addition to a Commemoration of Ss. Sergius and Bacchus and Ss. Marcellus and Apuleius. The 1960 Breviary retains the Commemoration of St. Mark but moved the Commemoration of these holy martyrs to October 8th.

The following is taken from their account in the Roman Martyrology:

"In lower Syria, the holy Martyrs Sergius and Bacchus, noble Romans, who lived under the Emperor Maximian. Bacchus was scourged with thongs that tore his flesh; he died in his torments confessing the name of Jesus. Sergius, forced to wear shoes with nails piercing his feet, remained firm in the faith and was beheaded. At Rome the holy Martyrs Marcellus and Apuleius abandoned Simon the Magician, whose disciples they had been, to follow the teaching of St. Peter. After the martyrdom of the apostles they themselves obtained the same crown under the ex-consul Aurelian and were buried near Rome."

The Catholic Encyclopedia also bears witness to their lives and mentions how these saints, whose names are surely forgotten by nearly all today, were honored since ancient times:

"Their martyrdom is well authenticated by the earliest martyrologies and by the early veneration paid them, as well as by such historians as Theodoret. They were officers of troops on the frontier, Sergius being primicerius, and Bacchus secundarius. According to the legend, there were high in esteem of the Caesar Maximianus on account of their bravery, but this favour was turned into hate when they acknowledged their Christian faith. When examined under torture they were beaten so severely with thongs that Bacchus died under the blows. Sergius, though, had much more suffering to endure; among other tortures, as the legend relates, he had to run eighteen miles in shoes which were covered on the soles with sharp-pointed nails that pierced through the foot. He was finally beheaded. The burial-place of Sergius and Bacchus was pointed out in the city of Resaph; in honour of Sergius the Emperor Justinian also built churches in honour of Sergius at Constantinople and Acre; the one at Constantinople, now a mosque, is a great work of Byzantine art. In the East, Sergius and Bacchus were universally honoured. Since the seventh century they have a celebrated church in Rome. Christian art represents the two saints as soldiers in military garb with branches of palm in their hands. Their feast is observed on 7 October. The Church calendar gives the two saints Marcellus and Apuleius on the same day as Sergius and Bacchus. They are said to have been converted to Christianity by the miracles of St. Peter. According to the "Martyrologium Romanum" they suffered martyrdom soon after the deaths of Sts. Peter and Paul and were buried near Rome. Their existing Acts are not genuine and agree to a great extent with those of Sts. Nereus and Achilleus. The veneration of the two saints is very old. A mass is assigned to them in the "Sacramentarium" of Pope Gelasius.:

Collect:

May the blessed deeds of Thy holy martyrs Sergius, Bacchus, Marcellus, and Apuleius plead for us, O Lord, and may they make us ever burn with love for Thee.

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Saturday, September 19, 2020
Vigil of St. Matthew
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Commemoration (1954 Calendar): September 20

In addition to the Feast of St. Eustace, September 20th is also the Vigil of Saint Matthew. If this Mass is celebrated, the vestments are violet. Otherwise, the Vigil is commemorated at the Mass of St. Eustace.

Traditionally the feasts of all the apostles, which were Holy Days of Obligation in previous times, were preceded with a vigil. It has been kept in the Church from ancient times and is mentioned in the Martyrology of St. Jerome.

Today is a worthwhile day, in years when the Vigil does not fall on a Sunday, for us to fast and abstain from meat as we prepare to celebrate St. Matthew's feastday. In years when the Vigil falls on a Sunday, before the advent of the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the fast would be anticipated on Saturday, the day prior.

Luke 5: 27-32 (the Proper Last Gospel today at the Mass of St. Eustace if a second Mass for the Vigil is not offered):

At that time, Jesus saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom; and He said to him, "Follow Me." And, leaving all things, he rose up, and followed Him. And Levi made Him a great feast in his own house; and there was a great company of publicans, and of others, that were at table with them. But the pharisees and scribes murmured, saying to His disciples, Why do you eat and drink with publicans and sinners? And Jesus answering, said to them, "They that are whole need not the physician: but they that are sick. I came not to call the just, but sinners, to penance."

Collect:

Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that the august solemnity of blessed Matthew, Thine apostle and Evangelist, to which we look forward, may increase both our devotion and our salvation. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ: Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God.

Image Source: Tridentine Mass Society of Madison

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Monday, August 17, 2020
Octave Day of Saint Lawrence
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This painting is in the parish church of Montreal in southern France. Taken by Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP

Today is the Octave Day of St. Lawrence, the illustrious martyr. For a history of Octaves including the history of the Octave Day of St. Lawrence, which is a simple octave, please see Zephrinus.


Like all of the most important feasts, that of St. Lawrence was traditionally celebrated with an octave; the octave day has a proper Mass, like the octave of Ss. Peter and Paul, sharing only the Epistle and Gospel with the feast day. The introit of this Mass is taken from Psalm 16, which is also said at Matins of St. Lawrence: “Thou hast proved my heart, and visited it by night, thou hast tried me by fire: and iniquity hath not been found in me.” The words “visited (my heart) by night” refer to the Emperor’s threat to torture Lawrence for the length of the night, to which the great Levite answered, “My night hath no darkness, but in it, all things shine brightly in the light.”

Collect:

Grant us, we beseech Thee O almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our evil dispositions, as Thou didst grant blessed Lawrence to overcome the fires of his torments. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
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Sunday, August 16, 2020
St. Roch, Patron Saint Against Sickness
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August 16th is kept in some places as the Feast of St. Roch, the patron saint against sickness and epidemics. Today is also the Feast of St. Joachim, the father of the Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Roch was a citizen of Montpellier in the South of France, who devoted his life to the serving of the plague-stricken. On their behalf, God enabled His servant to work many miracles. He died in 1337 AD and has since been venerated as the special advocate of the sick.

Numerous brotherhoods have been instituted in his honor. He is usually represented in the garb of a pilgrim, often lifting his tunic to demonstrate the plague sore, or bubo, in his thigh, and accompanied by a dog carrying a loaf in its mouth. The Third Order of Saint Francis, by tradition, claims him as a member and includes his feast on its own calendar of saints, observing it on August 17.

The following is taken from CatholicTradition.org:

Born at Montpellier towards 1295, he died in 1327. His father was governor of that city and at his birth St. Roch is said to have been found miraculously marked on the breast with a red cross. Deprived of his parents when about twenty years old, he distributed his fortune among the poor, handed over to his uncle the government of Montpellier, and in the disguise of a mendicant pilgrim, set out for Italy, but stopped at Aquapendente, which was stricken by the plague, and devoted himself to the plague-stricken, curing them with the Sign of the Cross. He next visited Cesena and other neighbouring cities and then Rome. Everywhere the terrible scourge disappeared before his miraculous power. He visited Mantua, Modena, Parma, and other cities with the same results. At Piacenza, he himself was stricken with the plague. He withdrew to a hut in the neighbouring forest, where his wants were supplied by a gentleman named Gothard, who by a miracle learned the place of his retreat. After his recovery Roch returned to France. Arriving at Montpellier and refusing to disclose his identity, he was taken for a spy in the disguise of a pilgrim, and cast into prison by order of the governor, where five years later he died. The miraculous cross on his breast as well as a document found in his possession now served for his identification. He was accordingly given a public funeral, and numerous miracles attested his sanctity.

In 1414, during the Council of Constance, the plague having broken out in that city, the Fathers of the Council ordered public prayers and processions in honour of the Saint, and immediately the plague ceased. His relics, according to Wadding, were carried furtively to Venice in 1485, where they are still venerated. It is commonly held that he belonged to the Third Order of St. Francis; but it cannot be proved. Urban VIII approved the ecclesiastical office to be recited on his Feast. Paul III instituted a confraternity, under the invocation of the Saint, to have charge of the church and hospital erected during the pontificate of Alexander VI. The confraternity increased so rapidly that Paul IV raised it to an archconfraternity, with powers to aggregate similar confraternities of St. Roch. It was given a cardinal-protector, and a prelate of high rank was to be its immediate superior. Various favours have been bestowed on it by Pius IV [C. Regimini, March 7, 1561], by Gregory XIII [C. dated January 5, 1577], by Gregory XIV [C. Paternar. pont., March 7, 1591], and by other pontiffs. It still flourishes.

Collect:

O God, who are glorious in the glory of the Saints, and to all those that flee unto their protection, grantest the salutary effect of their petition; by the intercession of Thy blessed Confessor Roch, grant to Thy people, who hold forth their devotion in his festivity, that they may be delivered from the sickness of that plague which he suffered in his body for the glory of Thy name, to which may they ever be devoted.
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Thursday, August 13, 2020
St. John Berchmans
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August 13th is kept in some places as the Feast of St. John Berchmans. 

The following is taken from CatholicTradition.org:

St. John Berchmans was born the eldest son of a shoemaker in 1599 at Diest, Belgium. At a very young age he wanted to be a priest, and when thirteen he became a servant in the household of one of the cathedral canons at Malines. After his mother's death, his father and two brothers followed suit and entered religious life. In 1615 he entered the Jesuit college there, becoming a novice a year later. In 1618 he was sent to Rome for more study and was known for his diligence and piety, and his stress on perfection even in small things. That year his father was ordained and died six months later. John was so poor and humble that he  walked from Antwerp to Rome. He died at the age of 22 on August 13. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death; he was canonized in 1888 and is the patron saint of altar boys.

Although he longed to work in the mission fields of China, he did not live long enough to permit it. After completing his course work, he was asked to defend the "entire field of philosophy" in a public disputation in July, just after his exit examinations. The following month he was asked to represent the Roman College in a debate with the Greek College. Although he distinguished himself in this disputation, he had studied so assiduously that he caught a cold in mid-summer, became very ill with with an undetermined illness accompanied by a fever, although some think it now to have been dysentery, and died a week later. He was buried in the church of Saint Ignatius at Rome, but his heart was later translated to the Jesuit church at Louvain.

So many miracles were attributed to him after his death at the age of 22, that his cultus soon spread to his native Belgium, where 24,000 copies of  his portrait were published within a few years of his death. He was known for his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and to Our Lady, to whom he composed a Chaplet in honor of her Immaculate Conception.

Collect:

Lord our God, you invite us always to give you our love, and you are pleased with a cheerful giver. Give us a youthful spirit, to be like Saint John, always eager to seek you and to do your will. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Taken from Supplement to the Divine Office For the Society of Jesus.

Indulged Prayer from the Raccolta:

Saint John, angelic youth, sweet-scented flower of innocence, stalwart soldier of the Company of Jesus, ardent defender of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, whom the all-wise Providence of God hath set forth as a light and pattern, in order that He might reveal in thee the treasures of that holiness which consisteth in the devoted and holy fulfillment of the common duties of life,  I earnestly beseech thee to make me ever constant and faithful in observing the duties of my state of life, pure in heart, fearless and strong against the enemies of my eternal salvation, and cheerfully obedient to the promptings of God's holy will.

By thy singular devotion to the loving Mother of Jesus Christ, who looked upon thee also as her dear son, obtain for me the grace of a fervent love for Jesus and Mary, together with the power of drawing many others to love them in like manner. Wherefore, dear Saint John, I choose thee as my special patron, humbly beseeching thee to make me zealous in the things that pertain to the praise of God, and to assist me by thy mighty help, to lead a life filled with good works. Finally, when the hour of death cometh, do thou, of thy loving kindness, cherish in me those motions of humble confidence, which at the moment of thy departure from this world to thy mansion in the skies, as thou didst lovingly clasp to thy breast the Image of Jesus Crucified, together with Mary's Rosary and thy Book of Rules, impelled thee to utter these sweet words: "these three things are my dearest possessions; with these I am content to die."

Pray for us, Saint John, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Grant, we beseech Thee O Lord God, unto Thy faithful servants, to copy the pattern of innocence and faithfulness in Thy service, wherewith the angelic youth, John, did consecrate to Thee the very flower of his years. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Sunday, August 9, 2020
St. Emygdius, Patron Saint of Earthquakes
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Listed in the back of the missal for feastdays in some places is the Feast of St. Emygdius which is kept on August 9th. Back in 1903, the Archbishop of San Francisco ordered Masses to be said in his honor.

The Monks of Ramsgate in their 1921 "Book of Saints" write:

Said to have been a native of Germany who, converted to Christianity and coming to Rome, was consecrated Bishop by Pope Saint Marcellus and sent as missionary to Ascoli in the Marches of Ancuona, where he was put to death under Diocletian (A.D. 303 or 304). His relics are in great veneration, and many miracles have been wrought at his tomb.

The following account is taken from Catholic Restoration:

Raised a pagan, Emygdius converted to Christianity some time near the end of the third century. He then travelled to Rome, where he tirelessly worked to convert other pagans. Emygdius willingly risked his own safety to promote his faith. He once stormed a temple and destroyed a statue of Aesculapius, the Roman god of healing. This act angered many Romans, who clamoured for retribution. Although some records say Emygdius turned to Pope Marcellus for protection, it is now believed that Emygdius probably received help from Marcellus’s predecessor named Marcellinus.

The Pope ordained Emygdius, made him a bishop, and then sent him to Ascoli Piceno, a region just northeast of Rome. Once again, Emygdius eagerly spread the Word of God and converted many. But in 304, the bishop was swept up in the persecution of Christians carried out by Emperor Diocletian, who ordered Emgydius and several of his companions to be beheaded.

Emygdius became particularly venerated in Italy. He was said to offer protection against earthquakes, and Catholics in other areas prone to quakes also turned to him for protection. In 1863, the Vatican approved a request from Catholics in California to name Emygdius the patron saint of what is now the Los Angeles diocese. Several statues of the saint still stand in California, and several parishes bear his name.
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