St. Lucius

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St. Lucius, Pope and Martyr

A.D. 253.

ST. LUCIUS was a Roman by birth, and one of the clergy of that church under SS. Fabian and Cornelius. This latter being crowned with martyrdom, in 252, St. Lucius succeeded him in the pontificate. The emperor Gallus having renewed the persecution of his predecessor Decius, at least in Rome, this holy pope was no sooner placed in the chair of St. Peter, but was banished with several others, though to what place is uncertain. “Thus,” says St. Dionysius of Alexandria, “did Gallus deprive himself of the succour of heaven, by expelling those who every day prayed to God for his peace and prosperity.” St. Cyprian wrote to St. Lucius to congratulate him both on his promotion, and for the grace of suffering banishment for Christ. Our saint had been but a short time in exile, when he was recalled with his companions to the incredible joy of the people, who went out of Rome in crowds to meet him. St. Cyprian wrote to him a second letter of congratulation on this occasion. 1 He says, “He had not lost the dignity of martyrdom because he had the will, as the three children in the furnace, though preserved by God from death: this glory added a new dignity to his priesthood, that a bishop assisted at God’s altar, who exhorted his flock to martyrdom by his own example as well as by his words. By giving such graces to his pastors, God showed where his true church was: for he denied the like glory of suffering to the Novatian heretics. The enemy of Christ only attacks the soldiers of Christ: heretics he knows to be already his own, and passes them by. He seeks to throw down those who stand against him.” He adds in his own name and that of his colleagues: “We do not cease in our sacrifices and prayers (in sacrificiis et orationibus nostris) to God the Father, and to Christ his son, our Lord, giving thanks and praying together, that he who perfects all may consummate in you the glorious crown of your confession, who perhaps has only recalled you that your glory might not be hidden; for the victim, which owes his brethren an example of virtue and faith, ought to be sacrificed in their presence.” 2 1
St. Cyprian, in his letter to Pope Stephen, avails himself of the authority of St. Lucius against the Novatian heretics, as having decreed against them, that those who were fallen were not to be denied reconciliation and communion, but to be absolved when they had done penance for their sin. Eusebius says, he did not sit in the pontifical chair above eight months; and he seems, from the chronology of St. Cyprian’s letters, to have sat only five or six, and to have died on the 4th of March, in 253, under Gallus, though we know not in what manner. The most ancient calendars mention him on the 5th of March, others, with the Roman, on the 4th, which seems to have been the day of his death, as the 5th that of his burial. His body was found in the Catacombs, and laid in the church of St. Cecily in Rome, where it is now exposed to public veneration by the order of Clement VIII. 2

Note 1. Ep. 58. Pamelio.—61. Fello. p. 272.
Note 2. Ep. 67. Pamelio.—68. Fello. in Ed. Oxon.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume III: March.
The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

St. Casimir

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St. Casimir, Prince of Poland

A.D. 1483.

ST. CASIMIR was the third among the thirteen children of Casimer III., king of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter to the emperor Albert II., a most virtuous woman, who died in 1505. He was born in 1458, on the 5th of October. From his childhood he was remarkably pious and devout. His preceptor was John Dugloss, called Longinus, canon of Cracow, a man of extraordinary learning and piety, who constantly refused all bishoprics, and other dignities of the church and state, which were pressed upon him. Uladislas, the eldest son, was elected king of Bohemia, in 1471, and became king of Hungary in 1490. Our saint was the second son: John Albert, the third son, succeeded the father in the kingdom of Poland in 1492; and Alexander, the fourth son, was called to the same in 1501. Casimir and the other princes were so affectionately attached to the holy man who was their preceptor, that they could not bear to be separated from him. But Casimir profited most by his pious maxims and example. He consecrated the flower of his age to the exercises of devotion and penance, and had a horror of that softness and magnificence which reign in courts. His clothes were very plain, and under them he wore a hair shirt. His bed was frequently the ground, and he spent a considerable part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. He often went out in the night to pray before the church-doors, and in the morning waited before them till they were opened to assist at matins. By living always under a sense of the divine presence he remained perpetually united to, and absorbed in, his Creator, maintained an uninterrupted cheerfulness of temper, and was mild and affable to all. He respected the least ceremonies of the church: everything that tended to promote piety was dear to him. He was particularly devout to the passion of our blessed Saviour, the very thought of which excited him to tears, and threw him into transports of love. He was no less piously affected towards the sacrifice of the altar, at which he always assisted with such reverence and attention that he seemed in raptures. And as a mark of his singular devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he composed, or at least frequently recited, the long hymn that bears his name, a copy of which was, by his desire, buried with him. His love for Jesus Christ showed itself in his regard for the poor, who are his members, to whose relief he applied whatever he had, and employed his credit with his father, and his brother Uladislas, king of Bohemia, to procure them succour. His compassion made him feel in himself the afflictions of every one. 1 Continue reading

St. Kiaran

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St. Kiaran, Bishop and Confessor

[Called by the Britons, Piran.] AMONG the Irish saints who were somewhat older than Saint Patrick, the first and most celebrated is Saint Kiaran, whom the Irish style the first-born of their saints. According to some he was a native of the country of Ossory, according to others, of Cork. Usher places his birth about the year 352. Having received some imperfect information about the Christian faith, at thirty years of age he took a journey to Rome, that he might be instructed in its heavenly doctrine, and learn faithfully to practise its precepts. He was accompanied home by four holy clerks, who were all afterwards bishops, their names are, Lugacius, Columban, Lugad, and Cassan. The Irish writers suppose him to have been ordained bishop at Rome; but what John of Tinmouth affirms, seems far more probable, that he was one of the twelve, whom St. Patrick consecrated bishops in Ireland to assist him in planting the gospel in that Island. For his residence, he built himself a cell in a place encompassed with woods, near the water of Fuaran, which soon grew into a numerous monastery. A town was afterwards built there called Saigar, now from the saint Sier-keran. Here he converted to the faith, his family, and whole clan, which was that of the Osraigs, with many others. Having given the religious veil to his mother whose name was Lidan, he appointed her a cell or monastery near his own, called by the Irish Ceall Lidain. In his old age, being desirous to prepare himself for his passage to eternity in close retirement, he passed into Cornwall, where his led an eremitical life, near the Severn sea, fifteen miles from Padstow. Certain disciples joined him, and by his words and example formed themselves to a true spirit of Christian piety and humility. In this place he closed his mortal pilgrimage by a happy death: a town upon the spot is to this day called from him St. Piran’s in the Sands, and a church is there dedicated to God in his memory, where was formerly a sanctuary near St. Mogun’s church, upon St. Mogun’s creek. 1 See John of Tinmouth, Usher, &c. collected by Henschenius: also Leland’s Collections, published by Hearne, t. 3. p. 10. and 174. 1

Note 1. A great number of other Irish saints retired to Cornwall, where many towns and churches still retain their names. Thus St. Burian’s is so called from an Irish virgin called Buriana, to whose church and college here King Athelstan, in 936, granted the privilege of sanctuary. See Leland. Collect. t. 3. p. 7, 8.