St. Symphorosa and Her Seven Sons

St. Symphorosa and Her Seven Sons, Martyrs

A.D. 120.

TRAJAN’S persecution in some degree continued during the first year of Adrian’s reign, whence Sulpicius Severus places the fourth general persecution under this emperor. However, he put a stop to it about the year 124, moved probably both by the apologies of Quadratus and Aristides, and by a letter which Serenius Granianus, proconsul of Asia, had written to him in favour of the Christians. 1 Nay he had Christ in veneration, not as the Saviour of the world, but as a wonder or novelty, and kept his image together with that of Apollonius Tyanæus. This God was pleased to permit, that his afflicted Church might enjoy some respite. It was, however, again involved in the disgrace which the Jews (with whom the Pagans at these times in some degree confounded the Christians) drew upon themselves by their rebellion, which gave occasion to the last entire destruction of Jerusalem in 134. Then, as St. Paulinus informs us, 2 Adrian caused a statue of Jupiter to be erected on the place where Christ rose from the dead, and a marble Venus on the place of his crucifixion; and at Bethlehem, 3 a grotto consecrated in honour of Adonis or Thammuz, to whom he also dedicated the cave where Christ was born. Continue reading

Saint Camillus of Lellis

Saint Camillus of Lellis

Founder of the Servants of the Sick
(1549-1614)

Saint Camillus was born in the kingdom of Naples in the year 1549. His early years gave no indication of his future sanctity. At the age of nineteen he entered into military service with his father, an Italian noble, against the Turks. After four years of hard campaigning he found himself, through his violent temper, reckless habits, and inveterate passion for gambling, a discharged soldier in bad health, and in such straitened circumstances that he was obliged to beg in the streets. Finally he found work as a laborer for a Capuchin convent which was being built. A few words from a Capuchin Friar brought about his conversion; the following day he cast himself on his knees, seeing himself clearly by a divine illumination. He prayed, Forgive, Lord, this wretched sinner! and give him time to do penance! And he resolved to become a religious. Continue reading