St. Fabian

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St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr

A.D. 250.

HE succeeded St. Anterus in the pontificate, in the year 236. Eusebius relates, 1 that in an assembly of the people and clergy, held for the election of a pastor in his room, a dove, unexpectedly appearing, settled, to the great surprise of all present, on the head of St. Fabian; and that this miraculous sign united the votes of the clergy and people in promoting him, though not thought of before, as being a layman and a stranger. He governed the church sixteen years, sent St. Dionysius and other preachers into Gaul, and condemned Privatus, a broacher of a new heresy in Africa, as appears from St. Cyprian. 2 St. Fabian died a glorious martyr in the persecution of Decius, in 250, as St. Cyprian and St. Jerom witness. The former, writing to his successor, St. Cornelius, calls him an incomparable man; and says, that the glory of his death had answered the purity and holiness of his life. 3 1
The saints made God, and the accomplishment of his holy will, the great object of all their petitions in their prayers, and their only aim in all their actions. “God,” says Saint Austin, 4 “in his promises to hear our prayers is desirous to bestow himself upon us; if you find any thing better than him, ask it, but if you ask any thing beneath him, you put an affront upon him, and hurt yourself by preferring to him a creature which he framed; pray in the spirit and sentiment of love, in which the royal prophet said to him: ‘Thou, O Lord, art my portion.’ 5 Let others choose to themselves portions among creatures, for my part, Thou art my portion, Thee alone I have chosen for my whole inheritance.” 2

Note 1. Hist. l. 6. c. 29.
Note 2. Cypr. Ep. 30. Ed. Pam.
Note 3. Ep. 44. ad Corn.
Note 4. S. Aug. Conc. 1. in Ps. 34.
Note 5. Ps. lxxii. 26.

St. Sebastian

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St. Sebastian, Martyr

A.D. 288.

ST. SEBASTIAN was born at Narbonne, in Gaul, but his parents were of Milan, in Italy, and he was brought up in that city. He was a fervent servant of Christ, and though his natural inclinations gave him an aversion to a military life, yet, to be better able, without suspicion, to assist the confessors and martyrs in their sufferings, he went to Rome, and entered the army under the Emperor Carinus, about the year 283. It happened that the martyrs, Marcus and Marcellianus, under sentence of death, appeared in danger of being shaken in their faith by the tears of their friends: Sebastian seeing this, stept in, and made them a long exhortation to constancy, which he delivered with the holy fire that strongly affected all his hearers. Zoë, the wife of Nicostratus, having for six years lost the use of speech, by a palsy in her tongue, fell at his feet, and spoke distinctly, by the saint’s making the sign of the cross on her mouth. She, with her husband Nicostratus, who was master of the rolls, 1 the parents of Marcus and Marcellianus, the jailor Claudius, and sixteen other prisoners, were converted; and Nicostratus, who had charge of the prisoners, took them to his own house, where Polycarp, a holy priest, instructed and baptized them. Chromatius, governor of Rome, being informed of this, and that Tranquillinus, the father of Saints Marcus and Marcellianus, had been cured of the gout by receiving baptism, desired to be instructed in the faith, being himself grievously afflicted with the same distemper. Accordingly, having sent for Sebastian, he was cured by him, and baptized with his son Tiburtius. He then enlarged the converted prisoners, made his slaves free, and resigned his prefectship. 1 Continue reading

Conflicting Emotions

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Conflicting Emotions

CHRIST tells you:

MY CHILD, when you have received the grace to think My way, you will never again fall into sadness. One can be sad only when he is deprived of something which he desires very much. Most human sadness is born of worldly attachments. Continue reading