St. Alban

St. Alban

Protomartyr of Britain
(†c.251 or 304)

THE CHRISTIAN faith had penetrated into England in the times of the apostles, and had received an increase by the conversion of King Lucius, in the year 180. But the first persecutions seem not to have reached this island, where, perhaps, the Christians, in times of danger, retired to places distant from the Roman colonies; or the mildness of their governors, in a province so remote as to seem another world, might sometimes shelter them. But the rage of Dioclesian penetrated into these recesses, and many of both sexes here received, by unheard of torments, the crown of martyrdom, as Gildas and Bede testify. The first and most renowned of these Christian heroes was St. Alban, whose death was rendered more illustrious by many miracles and other extraordinary circumstances, and whose blood was an agreeable sacrifice to God, a glorious testimony to the honour of his name, and to his holy faith, and a fruitful seed of divine blessings on his country. So great was the glory of his triumph, that his name was most famous over the whole Church, as Fortunatus assures us. A copy of the ancient Acts of his Martyrdom was published by Bishop Usher, and the principal circumstances are mentioned by St. Gildas, and recorded by venerable Bede.
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St. Paulinus

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St. Paulinus, Bishop of Nola

St. Paulinus, who, on account of his great learning and eloquence, but still more on account of his virtues, is highly praised by St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. Gregory, was a native of Bordeaux, in the province of Gascony. His parents, who were Romans, and very rich and of ancient nobility, desired that their son should be as eminent for intelligence¬†and knowledge, as he was on account of his birth and fortune. Their desire was fulfilled; for, when Paulinus had reached the age of manhood, he was not only honored and admired by everyone, but was chosen Prefect and Governor of Rome, and gained great fame for the wisdom of his administration. The pious Paulinus, however, soon became tired of all worldly honors and pleasures, and having resigned his office, he went to Barcelona in Spain, to serve God without disturbance. Having remained there for some time, he returned to Italy. At that time, St. Ambrose was bishop of Milan, and to him Paulinus applied for advice with regard to the change he intended to make in his life. Having received the Saint’s directions, he went to Nola, in Campania, as he entertained special reverence towards St. Felix, priest and martyr, of that city. There he humbled himself so deeply, that for some time he occupied the office of sacristan. Afterwards he sold his estates, and having used a part of the money in building a Church at Fundi, he gave the remainder to the poor. He then proceeded to a little village in the neighborhood of Nola, changed his rich garments for humble clothing, and commenced to lead the life of a hermit in a poor little hut, deriving all his sustenance from alms. Continue reading