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CYPRIAN was an African of noble birth, but of evil life, a pagan, and a teacher of rhetoric. In middle life he was converted to Christianity, and shortly after his baptism was ordained priest, and made Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance. When the persecution of Decius broke out, he fled from his episcopal city, that he might be the better able to minister to the wants of his flock, but returned on occasion of a pestilence. Later on he was banished, and saw in a vision his future martyrdom. Being recalled from exile, sentence of death was pronounced against him, which he received with the words "Thanks be to God." His great desire was to die whilst in the act of preaching the faith of Christ, and he had the consolation of being surrounded at his martyrdom by crowds of his faithful children. He was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258, and was buried with great solemnity. Even the pagans respected his memory.
Reflection. — The duty of almsgiving is declared both by nature and revelation: by nature, because it flows from the principle imprinted within us of doing to others as we would they should do to us; by revelation, in many special commands of Scripture, and in the precept of divine charity which binds us to love God for His own sake, and our neighbor for the sake of God.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Let the sighing of the prisoners come in before Thee, O Lord; render to our neighbors sevenfold in their bosoms; revenge the blood of Thy saints which hath been shed. Ps. 78, 1. O God, the heathens are come into Thy inheritance; they have defiled Thy holy temple; they have made Jerusalem as a place to keep fruit. Glory be …
May the feast of the blessed martyrs and bishops, Cornelius and Cyprian, protect us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, and their august prayers commend us to Thee. Through our Lord.
Grant unto our prayers, O Lord, both joy and profit, that, as we each year commemorate with devotion the day of the suffering of the holy martyrs Euphemia, Lucy, and Geminianus, we may also follow them in the constancy of their faith. Through our Lord.
Lesson from the Book of Wisdom.
[The happiness of the just: and the unhappiness of the wicked.]
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure was taken for misery: And their going away from us, for utter destruction: but they are in peace. And though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace he hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust he hath received them, and in time there shall be respect had to them. The just shall shine, and shall run to and fro like sparks among the reeds. They shall judge nations, and rule over people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
God is glorious in His saints: wonderful in majesty, doing wonders. Ex. 16, 6. Thy right hand, O Lord, is glorified in strength: Thy right hand hath broken the enemies.
Alleluia, alleluia. Ecclus. 44, 14. The bodies of the saints are buried in peace: and their names live unto generation and generation.. Alleluia.
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. Luke.
[The widow's mites. The signs that should forerun the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the world.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, when you shall hear of wars and seditions, be not terrified: these things must first come to pass; but the end is not yet presently. Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
And there shall be great earthquakes in divers places, and pestilences, and famines, and terrors from heaven; and there shall be great signs. But before all these things, they will lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and into prisons, dragging you before kings and governors, for my name's sake. And it shall happen unto you for a testimony. Lay it up therefore into your hearts, not to meditate before how you shall answer: For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay.
And you shall be betrayed by your parents and brethren, and kinsmen and friends; and some of you they will put to death. And you shall be hated by all men for my name's sake. But a hair of your head shall not perish. In your patience you shall possess your souls.
God is wonderful in His saints: the God of Israel is He Who will give power and strength to his people: blessed be God. Alleluia.
Give ear, O Lord, to our supplications which we offer in commemoration of Thy saints, that, we having no confidence in our own justice, may be assisted by the merits of those who have been pleasing to Thee. Through our Lord.
Graciously look upon the desires of Thy people, O Lord, and cause us to rejoice in the interceding prayers of those whose festival Thou dost permit us to celebrate. Through our Lord.
And through in the sight of men they suffered torments, God hath tried them: as gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as holocausts He hath received them.
Filled with the mysteries of salvation, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we may be helped by the prayers of those whose festival we celebrate. Through our Lord.
Harken unto our prayers, O Lord, and may we be comforted by the continual help of Thy holy martyrs. Euphemia, Lucy, and Geminianus, who festival we solemnly celebrate. Through our Lord.