Saints Tiburtius and Susanna

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Saints Tiburtius and Susanna, Martyrs

Tiburtius, a son of the Roman prefect Chromatius, received holy baptism at the same time as his father, and not only endeavored to lead a Christian life, but also to bring others to the knowledge of the true faith. One day, while he was walking through the street, a boy fell from the roof of a house to the pavement, and was so injured that it was thought that every moment would be his last. Tiburtius going towards him, made the sign of the cross over him, and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to rise, and to abandon heathenism. The boy immediately arose, became a Christian, and persuaded many who had witnessed the miracle to do likewise. At another time Tiburtius went to a youth named Torquatus, who, although baptized and calling himself a Christian, did not conduct himself according to the dictates of the church. His dress was too luxurious; he spent too much time in idleness, gaming, dancing, and other amusements; he was unrestrained and licentious in his conversation and conduct. He was seldom at prayer, but frequently in dangerous company. Tiburtius exhorted him most earnestly to change his unchristian behavior. Torquatus feigned a determination to follow his advice, but secretly went to the judge Fabian, and revealed to him that Tiburtius was a Christian. Continue reading

St. Philomena

St. Philomena, Virgin and Martyr

For close on a hundred years the name of St. Philomena has been accorded in the Church a veneration which, growing intensified by the number of miracles vouchsafed through her intercession, has spread over the whole world. Previous to the discovery of her tomb and relics at the opening of the nineteenth century, her name had found no place in sacred story. There is a pious tradition that she was a child-martyr and a contemporary of St. Sebastian, who suffered in the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian about the year of Our Lord 286.

The Catacomb of St. Priscilla, outside the walls of Rome, lies beneath the Via Salaria Nova. Here, in the pontificate of Pius VII, a remarkable slab attracted the custodians of the cemetery, who were then prosecuting investigations there, and on the 25th of May, 1802, the tomb was formally examined. On the tiles that enclosed it, the following inscription was read: “Philomena Pax Tecum.” The devices which were interwoven with these simple words –an anchor, an arrow, and a palm–determined the spot as the last resting place of a martyr. The tomb was opened by Monsignor Ludovici, who disclosed to the gaze of his assistants and bystanders the precious remains. Beside them stood the phial containing the blood of the saint. The examination of the relics having been made, it was ascertained that St. Philomena had been martyred in her tender youth, at about 12 or 13 years of age.  Continue reading

On Promotion of False Doctrines

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On Promotion of False Doctrines

Pope Pius IX – 1863

To Our Beloved Sons, S. R. E. Cardinals and to Our Venerable Brothers, the Archbishops and Bishops of Italy.

Our Beloved Sons and Venerable Brothers, Greetings and Apostolic Benediction.

How much cause we have to grieve over the most cruel and sacrilegious war brought upon the Catholic Church in almost all regions of the world during these turbulent times, and especially declared upon unhappy Italy before our very eyes many years ago by the Piedmontese Government and stirred up more violently day by day, each of you, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, easily understands. In the midst of our great distress, however, as long as you keep watch with us, we are deeply comforted and consoled. Although you are, indeed, most deplorably harassed by every grave injustice possible, torn away from your own flock, exiled and even cast into prison, nevertheless, with your profound virtue you have never neglected to speak and to write in ardent defense of the teachings of God, his Church, and this Apostolic See. Continue reading

St. Lawrence

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St. Lawrence, Martyr

The many and high encomiums which were paid to St. Lawrence by the most ancient and illustrious of the holy Fathers of the Church, St. Augustine, St. Ambrose, St. Leo I., St. Maximus and St. Peter Chrysologus, are the surest sign that this Saint has always been considered one of the most famous martyrs who gave their blood for Christ. He was born of Christian parents, in the middle of the third century, at Osca, a city in Aragon. His father’s name was Orentius, his mother’s, Patientia; both are honored as Saints. Such parents gave a holy education to their son. He early evinced, on all occasions, an especial love for God, a fearless constancy in the true faith, and a watchful care over the preservation of his purity. While yet young in years, he went to Rome, and won, by his blameless life, the highest regard of all who came in contact with him. Pope Xystus or Sixtus ordained him deacon. His functions were to serve the Pope at the altar, to take charge of the treasures of the church, and to distribute the revenues which were destined for the maintenance of the sextons and the poor.  Continue reading