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MARCUS AND MARCELLIANUS were twin brothers of an illustrious family in Rome, who had been converted to the Faith in their youth and were honorably married. Diocletian ascending the imperial throne in 284, the heathens raised persecutions. These martyrs were thrown into prison, and condemned to be beheaded. Their friends obtained a respite of the execution for thirty days, that they might prevail on them to worship the false gods, Tranquillinus and Martia, their afflicted heathen parents, in company with their sons’ own wives and their little babes, endeavored to move them by the most tender entreaties and tears. St. Sebastian, an officer of the emperor's household, coming to Rome soon after their commitment, daily visited and encouraged them. The issue of the conferences was the happy conversion of the father, mother, and wives, also of Nicostratus, the public register, and soon after of Chromatius, the judge, who set the Saints at liberty, and, abdicating the magistracy, retired into the country. Marcus and Marcellianus were hid by a Christian officer of the household in his apartments in the palace; but they were betrayed by an apostate, and retaken. Fabian, who had succeeded Chromatius, condemned them to be bound to two pillars, with their feet nailed to the same. In this posture they remained a day and a night, and on the following day were stabbed with lances.
Reflection. —We know not what we are till we have been tried. It costs nothing to say we love God above all things, and to show the courage of martyrs at a distance from the danger; but that love is sincere which has stood the proof. "Persecution shows who is a hireling, and who a true pastor," says St. Bernard.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
The Lord became my protector, and He brought me forth into a large place: He saved me, because He was well pleased with me. Ps. 17, 2, 3. I will love Thee, O Lord my strength: the Lord is my firmament, and my refuge, and my deliverer. Glory be …
Grant us, O Lord, and abiding fear and love of Thy holy name; for Thou never failest to govern those whom Thou dost firmly establish in Thy love. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Epislte of blessed John the Apostle.
[Of the love of God to us. How we may distinguish the children of God and those of the devil. Of loving one another and of purity of conscience.]
Dearly beloved, Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not, abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer. And you know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in himself.
In this we have known the charity of God, because he hath laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. He that hath the substance of this world, and shall see his brother in need, and shall shut up his bowels from him: how doth the charity of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth.
In my trouble, I cried to the Lord, and He hear me. O Lord, deliver my soul from wicked lips and a deceitful tongue. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. 7, 2. O Lord my God, in Thee have I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[Christ heals the dropsical man. The parable of the supper. The necessity of renouncing all to follow Christ.]
At that time, Jesus spoke to the Pharisees this parable; A certain man made a great supper, and invited many. And he sent his servant at the hour of supper to say to them that were invited, that they should come, for now all things are ready. And they began all at once to make excuse. The first said to him: I have bought a farm, and I must needs go out and see it: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to try them: I pray thee, hold me excused. And another said: I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.
And the servant returning, told these things to his lord. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant: Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the feeble, and the blind, and the lame. And the servant said: Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the Lord said to the servant: Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. But I say unto you, that none of those men that were invited, shall taste of my supper.
Turn to Me, O Lord, and deliver my soul, O save me for Thy mercy’s sake.
Let the oblation about to be offered to Thy holy name, O Lord, purify us and day by day change us to the living of the heavenly life. Through our Lord.
I will sing to the Lord, Who giveth me good things: and I will sing to the name of the Lord the most high.
Having received Thy sacred gifts, we pray, O Lord, that, as we now frequently assist at this mystery so may it cause to increase the grace of our salvation. Through our Lord.