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IN the seventh year of Diocletian's persecution, continued by Galerius Maximianus, when Firmilian, the most bloody governor of Palestine, had stained Cæsarea with the blood of many illustrious martyrs, Adrian and Eubulus came out of the country called Magantia to Cæsarea, in order to visit the holy confessors there. At the gates of the city they were asked, as others were, whither they were going, and upon what errand. They ingenuously confessed the truth, and were brought before the president, who ordered them to be tortured and their sides to be torn with iron hooks, and then condemned them to be exposed to wild beasts. Two days after, when the pagans at Cæsarea celebrated the festival of the public Genius, Adrian was exposed to a lion, and not being despatched by that beast, but only mangled, was at length killed by the sword. Eubulus was treated in the same manner two days later. The judge offered him his liberty if he would sacrifice to idols; but the Saint preferred a glorious death, and was the last that suffered in this persecution at Cæsarea, which had now continued twelve years, under three successive governors, Flavian, Urban, and Firmilian. Divine vengeance pursuing the cruel Firmilian, he was that same year beheaded for his crimes, by the emperor's order, as his predecessor Urban had been two years before.
Reflection. —It is in vain that we take the name of Christians, or pretend to follow Christ, unless we carry our crosses after Him. It is in vain that we hope to share in His glory, and in His kingdom, if we accept not the condition. We cannot arrive at heaven by any other road but that which Christ held, Who bequeathed His cross to all His elect as their portion and inheritance in this world.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
In God I will praise the word, in the Lord I will praise His speech: in God I will trust, I will not fear what man can do against me. Ps. 55, 2. Have mercy on me O God, for man hath trodden me under foot: all the day long he hath afflicted me, fighting against me. Gory be …
O Lord, we beseech Thee, pour Thy grace into our hearts, that, as we abstain from carnal food, so also we may withdraw our senses from harmful excesses. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Book of Kings.
In those days, Naaman, general of the army of the king of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable: for by him the Lord gave deliverance to Syria: and he was a valiant man and rich, but a leper. Now there had gone out robbers from Syria, and had led away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited upon Naaman's wife. And she said to her mistress: I wish my master had been with the prophet, that is in Samaria: he would certainly have healed him of the leprosy which he hath. Then Naaman went in to his lord, and told him, saying: Thus and thus said tile girl from the land of Israel. And the king of Syria sad to him: Go, and I will send a letter to the king of Israel. And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment,
And brought the letter to the king of Israel, in these words: When thou shalt receive this letter, know that I have sent to thee Naaman my servant, that thou mayest heal him of his leprosy. And when the king of Israel had read the letter, he rent his garments, and said: Am I God, to be able to kill and give life, that this man hath sent to me, to heal a man of his leprosy? mark, and see how he seeketh occasions against me. And when Eliseus the man of God had heard this, to wit, that the king of Israel had rent his garments, he sent to him, saying: Why hast thou rent thy garments? let him come to me, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel. So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Eliseus: And Eliseus sent a messenger to him, saying: Go, and wash seven times in the Jordan, and thy flesh shall recover health, and thee shalt be clean.
Naaman was angry and went away, saying: I thought he would hare come out to me, and standing would hare invoked the name of the Lord his God, and touched with his hand the place of the leprosy, and healed me. Are not the Abana, and the Pharphar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel, that I may wash in them, and be made clean? So as he turned, and was going away with indignation, His servants came to him, and said to him: Father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, surely thou shouldst have done it: how much rather what he now hath said to thee: Wash, and thou shalt he clean? Then he went down, and washed in the Jordan seven times: according to the word of the man of God, and his flesh was restored, like the flesh of a little child, and he was made clean. And returning to the man of God with all his train, be came, and stood before him, and said: In truth, I know there is no other God in all the earth, but only in Israel.
O God, I have declared to Thee my life: Thou hast set my tears in Thy sight. Have mercy on Me, O Lord, for man hath trodden me under foot: all the day long he hath afflicted me, fighting against me.
O Lord, repay us not according to the sins we have committed, nor according to our iniquities. Ps. 78, 8, 9. O Lord, remember not our former iniquities: let Thy mercies speedily prevent us, for we are become exceeding poor. Help us, O Lord our Saviour: and for the glory of Thy name, O Lord, deliver us: and forgive us our sins for Thy name’s sake.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ's fasting and temptation. He is persecuted in Nazareth. His miracles in Capharnaum.]
At that time, Jesus said to the Pharisees, Doubtless you will say to me this similitude: Physician, heal thyself: as great things as we have heard done in Capharnaum, do also here in thy own country. And he said: Amen I say to you, that no prophet is accepted in his own country. In truth I say to you, there were many widows in the days of Elias in Israel, when heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there was a great famine throughout all the earth.
And to none of them was Elias sent, but to Sarepta of Sidon, to a widow woman. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet: and none of them was cleansed but Naaman the Syrian. And all they in the synagogue, hearing these things, were filled with anger. And they rose up and thrust him out of the city; and they brought him to the brow of the hill, whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong. But he passing through the midst of them, went his way.
Hear, O God, my prayer, and despise not my supplication: be attentive to me, and hear me.
The gift of our homage we offer Thee, O Lord, do Thou make it unto us the sacrament of salvation. Through our Lord.
Who shall give out of Sion the salvation of Israel: when the Lord shall have turned away the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad.