Saint Romanus

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Saint Romanus

Martyr
(† 258)

Saint Romanus was a soldier in the legion of emperor Valerian in Rome, at the time of the arraignment and interrogation of Saint Lawrence. Seeing the joy and constancy and the absolute silence of that holy martyr during his first torments, he could not understand how a creature of flesh and blood could be thus tormented without opening his mouth to complain. He was moved to embrace the Faith, and at that very moment, he beheld beside the Saint a young man of incomparable grace and beauty, who was wiping away the perspiration of the martyr’s face and the blood of his wounds. Addressing himself to Saint Lawrence, still on the rack, he asked to become a Christian. The Saint was untied and imprisoned, and later was able to respond to the pressing request of the soldier, who brought him in prison the water for his baptism.

Saint Romanus was summoned before the tribunal, for everyone soon learned of his conversion. He said fearlessly and joyfully, there as he had said elsewhere, I am a Christian! He was condemned and beheaded immediately, the day before the martyrdom of Saint Lawrence, on August 9, 258. The body of Saint Romanus was buried by a priest in a cavern on the road to Tibur, but his remains were translated to Lucca, where they are kept under the high altar of a beautiful church which bears his name.

Reflection: We are bound to glorify God by our lives, and Christ commands that our good works shine before men. It was the usual saying of the apostle Saint Matthias, The faithful sins if his neighbor sins. Each one of us should have zeal to instruct and edify his neighbor, by example first of all, and by words when fitting.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 9; Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints and other sources by John Gilmary Shea (Benziger Brothers: New York, 1894).

 

Sermon of St. John Vianney on Sin

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Sermon of St. John Vianney on Sin

Sin is a thought, a word, an action, contrary to the law of God. By sin, my children, we rebel against the good God, we despise His justice, we tread under foot His blessings. From being children of God, we become the executioner and assassin of our soul, the offspring of hell, the horror of heaven, the murderer of Jesus Christ, the capital enemy of the good God.

O my children! if we thought of this, if we reflected on the injury which sin offers to the good God, we should hold it in abhorrence, we should be unable to commit it; but we never think of it, we like to live at our ease, we slumber in sin. If the good God sends us remorse, we quickly stifle it, by thinking that we have done no harm to any body, that God is good, and that He did not place us on the earth to make us suffer.

Indeed, my children, the good God did not place us on the earth to suffer and endure, but to work out our salvation. See; He wills that we should work to-day and to-morrow; and after that, an eternity of joy, of happiness, awaits us in heaven. Continue reading

Saint John Vianney

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Saint John Vianney

Curé of Ars, Confessor
(1786-1859)

It has been said of more than one person, of more than one Saint, that they were the prodigies of their century. This is perhaps true of no one more than of the Curé of Ars. This man, who was so remarkably humble, for about thirty years saw the whole world, as it were, attentive to his virtues, the entire Christian world at his feet. He is certainly a marvel of the pastoral apostolate and sanctity.

Born three years before the French Revolution into a humble and profoundly Christian family, at Dardilly near Lyons, he was at first a little shepherd, occupied also with the cultivation of the land. From his earliest years he was noted for his candor, piety, love for the Blessed Virgin, and charity for the poor. He desired to become a priest and reached the altar through his piety rather than through his talents. Lack of schooling during the Revolution had made Latin grammar virtually inaccessible to his best efforts. The bishop asked, however, whether he was pious; and when he heard that he said his Rosary like an Angel, ordained him. Continue reading