The Complete Roman Martyrology for Daily Reflection
"The life of faith is the untiring
pursuit of God through all that disguises and disfigures
Imitation of Christ 1.2
Fatherhood is forever
enacted, it participates in the eternal. Undiminished. Ageless.
It is a seal. It is an identity from which we can never be extricated:
it cannot be taken from a father. Strip him of all things; take
his clothes, his shoes, his money; deprive him of his good name
and all esteem, take from him his honor, his strength, his health;
leave him naked and covered in ashes and contumely … take all these
things from him; deprive him of hope in every dream. Take this all
… and more … but you will not, for you cannot, take from him his
It is a seal upon his soul; it is his ontological presence in the
universe, from which vast parts of the universe unfold, generation
In his children he is one.
In his children he is become many.
His dignity is great, but it is made great only by and
through his children. In his children he is ennobled, however
base he may become, and in this sense, they are his redemption.
Yes, he has given them life. But they have conferred dignity
upon life, for they have made him like unto God Who is Father of
Fatherhood, in its creative impetus, both emulates the Fatherhood
of God, and derives from it … and in God alone it participates and
It is not just perpetuity that binds father to child, but eternity.
He is forever a father, once having fathered.
Alas for sorrow, in this life, with Rachel he may weep in Ramah,
that his beloved children are no more … yes, in this life
they may be no more, nor may he swathe them in his anguish, lave
them in his tears – but his fatherhood endures … for his children
endure – forever.
very fabric of the universe stirs under the breath of life, even
as it respires beyond a father's grasp, is lifted from his bronzed
arms, and borne upon the promise of prophets. A father brings to
being what he must ever relinquish, and his breath pales on the
fringe of glory.
in that penumbra between what was not, what is, what must be, and
what will ever be; in that pale nimbus borne trembling upon a father's
hands ... fatherhood even enters the sacral, for it enters into,
even as it issues forth from, the Motherhood of Mary, who
is the Mother of Life – who alone, in all creation, bore
within herself the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
The Mother of Sorrows … how well we understand each other. You buried
your Son. I buried my child, too.
The world had sifted her through my fingers, and I have wept the
tears of death. I have seen the dwelling of Holy Innocents far above
the still and empty cradle.
In my grief, have I not cried up to God, my Father:
“Yet she lives! … In Thee! … Unto Thee! And surely Thou
keepest her for me.
I will yet behold the face of my daughter!”
… I have dwelt in Ramah.
But she who was no more, by her very being, swift as a baby’s breath
in the incensed wind, gave unto me this gift, this pledge to all
that is eternal: I am her father.
I have been anointed with fatherhood. It cannot be reaved of me.
Nor can she!
I am, as in no other aspect of my being, my fatherhood. The Most
High God gave this to me – through her – as an imperishable gift,
an everlasting inheritance! So great is His pledge that it is indefeasible
to, inexpungable within, my very being itself.
My children are mine. And I am theirs. It will always, always
That is why, in the culmination of his years, heedless of all else,
the father ran to his prodigal son. This was his treasure – not
what the son had taken, but what he had brought back.
In utter poverty, covered with shame, blemished in sin, discarded
by the world, unadorned, unshod … the son bore to his father the
treasure of all time, the treasure for all time: flesh of his flesh,
blood of his blood … the child in whose absence a father ever longs.
A father is father to every child in the world. Every baby, every
child, is his … too.
Because it is given by God, and is a participation in the Fatherhood
of God Himself, fatherhood is a pouring forth upon all children,
extends to all children, and because of God's predilection for the
abandoned, especially for orphans … for we ourselves are,
one and all, adopted sons and daughters of God.
Only Christ is consubstantial with the Father.
We are – each of us – orphans withal, adopted by the Father through
the Son. It is not by nature, but by predilection and grace, that
we are God’s children. If we are children of the One Father, are
we not, then, children of every father who participates in, has
received his fatherhood from, the Fatherhood of God Himself?
This is the fatherhood of grace. It is such a breathlessly
beautiful fatherhood, for father binds himself to child, and child
to father, through love, each of one nature, one love, while not
of one flesh, grace yielding each to each other; the one covering
innocence with fatherhood, the other investing manhood with fatherhood,
and fatherhood with dignity – and both bound up in one love born
of grace for it is born of God.
My children, even now, cling to my sunburned neck, those of nature
and those of grace, and I know them not apart. Each has possession
of my heart. My life is as readily forfeit for the one as the other.
Their laughter is a perpetual song, an eternal harmony, in my heart.
A father’s heart, I think, is like unto the heart of God.
is no fatherless child.
There are only children whom I have not yet found …
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and HOLY CONFESSION
The Antidote of Death
First, Mortal Sin ...
excuses are numberless. In fact, they are as
numberless as our sins, none of which are now
deemed by us (and, for sorrow, by many priests)
grievous enough to preclude our receiving the
Body and Blood of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion.
Most often they are reducible simply to this:
"I have not committed any mortal sin".
For Catholics who have never been taught the
difference between Mortal and Venial sin — which
is to say, the entire last generation of Catholics
— we must be clear about the notion of sin,
especially the distinction between two kinds
of sin, before we can proceed to even understand
the necessity, as well as the inestimable value
of Holy Confession.
Only one analogy suffices to make this distinction
clear in a way that is particularly accessible
to Western society (I do not say "civilization",
for that has ceased). Let us look at the matter
somatically, that is to say, through our bodies,
or more likely than not, the bodies of others
upon which we are, in one way or another, sexually
fixated. Perhaps this will provide a visual
cue, some imaginative element, to an otherwise
The distinction between a Mortal Sin and a Venial
Sin is akin to the difference between a minor
wound ... and death. Is that succinct enough?
Are you still unclear about the difference?
In other words, you may accumulate many minor
wounds and still live, although each is an impediment
to your health and, while small, if left unattended,
may yet contribute to something more serious,
something more debilitating. It is a small laceration
... awaiting infection.
Mortal wounds, on the other hand, may be many,
but any one of them
alone will bring you to death. It is not the
case that, inflicted with a mortal wound, you
may die —the wound
is called "mortal" precisely because as a consequence
of it, you in fact will
die. In fact, we most often understand it in
a posthumous context, in the past tense. The
person is already dead, and that is why his
injury was called "mortal".
It is of the nature of wounds that they are
either the one or the other, although the non-mortal
wound may be sufficiently grievous to cause
lasting deformity or mutilation even if it does
not culminate in death.
Physics, Bodies, and Bullets
we wish to avoid both, but failing this we immediately
tend the wound, see a physician, and apply the
recommended remedy. The medicine may be bitter,
or the therapy arduous, but we do not curse
the doctor for that, still less the laws of
physics brought to bear upon human anatomy,
in the way, say, of projectiles and the like.
Bullets do those things. We do not like it,
and we would that bullets behaved otherwise,
but the reality is that, however regrettable
the result, we cannot, for that reason, alter
the path of the bullet nor make it less fatal
to the body. The consequences of this concatenation
of events are not within our will to change.
I believe that we will all agree on this. We
may argue that the bullet ought not have been
shot, but having been shot we understand the
inevitability of the result given laws inherent
in physics, bodies and bullets.
That the trajectory of a projectile corresponds
to a given amount of energy expended over a
given distance — and intersected by the human
tegument through which it subsequently passes
causing death, is a terrible occurrence to be
sure, but not one, in and of itself, that we
are likely to imprecate. We do not rage against
the laws of physics. Indeed, we would find such
indignation ... odd, to say nothing of futile.
The laws inherent in physics and the constitution
of the human body, are simply not amenable to
our will, and we recognize this. We do not despair
over it, but become terribly practical given
this recognition: we avoid bullets. However
great our outrage, we will not find a sane individual
standing long in disputation against it ...
The reality we wish to avoid — the reality avoided
at all costs at the pulpit — is that Mortal Sin
is deadly. You die
as a result of it. Oh, not to yourself, and
certainly not to the world. You will breathe
and move and the world will applaud your posthumous
existence. But you die to God — your life in
God ceases. The fact as little pleases us as
it pleases our preachers — sin has real, most
often empirical and always inevitable consequences.
The ability of sin to harm, and yes, even kill,
is as real and as indifferent to our wishes
as the laws of physics that impinge on our bodies.
In our post-enlightened, post-modern pretension
to sophistication, we frankly find such a notion
abhorrent to our effete sensitivities, social
sensitivities that we have so delicately honed
upon the touchstone of correctitude.
On the one hand, we concede the notion of crime
and punishment but somehow never quite attain
to any correspondence between sin and condemnation
on the other. We attenuate our clemency in the
courts of men, given the gravity of the crime,
but do not attain to that same rigor in the
tribunal of sin ... given the gravity of the
sin. There are, apparently, no capital offenses
in the city of God, even as they abound in the
City of Man. A mortal life is held to be forfeit
for a crime, but life immortal is not held forfeit
for a sin.
It is an odd state of affairs that few of us
believe that we can abolish crime, while most
of us appear to believe that we have virtually
Crime, of course can
in fact be abolished.
"How?", you ask.
It is simplicity itself. Legitimize
what is criminal. Account nothing a crime and
you abolish the notion of crime itself — even
as you leave the consequences intact.
"But that is absurd!", you exclaim.
In very deed ...
A cursory review of civil legislation over the
past 30 years reveals that, not only is it not
absurd, but attains to policy:
Sexual Deviance (homosexuality,
Prostitution (England, Scotland,
Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
Thailand, Philippines, offhand)
Few of us, I assume, would seek recourse to
such a solution and for good reason. Legitimizing
crime does not indemnify us against it — however
much we hold ourselves to have abolished it.
We can say as much of sin.
In fact, we have said as much. Unlike the immediate
consequences of crime, the consequences of sin
— even temporally — are often deferred, less
immediate ... and because we apprehend them
as remote, as distant, as impending only, we
dismiss them for we fail to immediately see
the terrible consequences they entail, consequences
so terrible, so far-reaching, so much beyond
our ken, that they have become effectively mythical,
brooding like demons on some distant bourne
that we obscurely perceive and never quite forget,
an escarpment lost in light and shade where
life quite suddenly drops off that abrupt precipice
to death. We know it ... because we know that
we dance on the dead.
am about to state something with which you are
likely to disagree, and for good reason:
my parish Church is the holiest in all of Christendom;
not just in the Archdiocese of Boston, but in
all Massachusetts; very likely all New England
— perhaps even the entire world.
And now, Holy Confession ...
You will disagree.
In fact, you know your own Catholic
be the holiest, perhaps the most sinless parish
in the world, and we will both appeal to the
same reasons for making this remarkable statement:
during Holy Communion the pews are literally
There is not a sinner among us; at least no
sinner guilty of Mortal Sin which prevents
our going to Holy Communion, since
— as all Catholics know — we add the tremendous
sin of sacrilege to
whatever mortal sin we carry if we receive Holy
Communion while not in a state of grace — which
is to say, free of mortal sin.
But as I ponder the empty pews, the stigma of
being the sole sinner in the parish heavily
upon me as many look askance at my kneeling
while all others scramble to make their way
to communion — I at least wonder. Do Catholics,
do all Catholics, do most Catholics, do
at least some
Catholics, even know what a mortal sin is any
more? Do they know the difference between a
mortal sin that sunders the soul from God, and
a venial sin that merely impedes its union with
Since the entire congregation have had at least
8 years of Catechism, or Religious Education
— 8 to 10 years, mind you! — surely so simple, so basic,
so fundamental a concept as the difference between
serious sin and sins far less grievous in nature,
is clearly apprehended.
A very ready analogy may be to the point: in
the civic world, all of us know (probably because
the penalty is clearly comprehended, immediate
and forthcoming) the difference between grievously
unlawful, or capital offenses such as murder
and grand larceny, and misdemeanors, like receiving
a speeding ticket or maliciously destroying
a neighbor’s property. It is a no-brainer. We
do not think twice, or rather, we
do think twice in a given
situation about the sanctions and penalties
involved. It is, we are told, the means by which
we maintain a "civil", a mutually responsible,
We acknowledge the concept of justice
and understand very clearly why it is maintained
and what penalties are incurred if it is violated.
We have no problem with that. After all, the
law is not some gratuitous abstraction, and
you are a fool if you think that you can trifle
with it and walk away. If the breach is serious
enough you are clapped in irons, removed from
the community, and deprived of your liberty
until justice has exacted its tribute, until
you have "paid your debt to society". By and
large we are grateful for the severity of the
law, even as its rigors make us uneasy. "There,
but for the grace of God, go I ..."
We all recognize that our own behavior has not
always been unimpeachable ... if not clearly
actionable. We do not personally legislate
laws that contravene the laws of the state and
hold, at any point of divergence, the private
interpretation of the law to abrogate the public law. It is the opposite
which is true. We may find the laws of the state
repugnant to us, unamenable to our own inclinations,
even contrary to our own convictions — in which
case we are confronted with three clearly distinguishable
alternatives: we can absent ourselves from the
polity and choose to live elsewhere, under a
constitution that more closely corresponds with
our desiderations and convictions, if such exists;
we can continue to enjoy the collateral benefits
in the present state that constrains us to abide
by the laws through which it is defined and
by which it is governed — or, we can seek to
amend the law through the venues afforded us
by the state.
What we cannot do is to enjoy the prerogatives
of the state while either acting in defiance
of it, or while subverting it. We understand
this, and in fact underwrite it through maintaining
our citizenship within it. We understand this
broadly as a "pledge of allegiance".
In any event, we cannot construct a private
and parallel universe of statutes and anticipate
that the public universe of affairs will
recognize, respect, and honor
our privately legislated laws. If we choose
to abide only by those laws of the state that
we do not find disagreeable to us we have not
attained to personal freedom, but to arbitrary
license; not to civility, but to anarchy. We
become both legislator and law. In such a solipsistic
"society" the legislature and the corpus of
law are as numerous as the individuals legislating
Well and good.
But what of God's Law?
Why, we must ask ourselves, is God's
Law somehow less important, less pertinent
to our behavior? Why does it have less bearing
upon our responsibilities and our choices —
and, most especially — within Church? Is the
Divine Law, are the laws of the Church, no more
than pious and ultimately indolent sentiments
— rather than clearly articulated precepts with
very real corresponding sanctions and responsibilities
— in other words, coherent laws?
Do we give tribute to Caesar but withhold it
from God? Is the Fasces mightier than the Cross?
We are indeed a generation which had been
nurtured on defiance to authority — only
seeing now, in our own children, the fruit
of that unbridled defiance which we nurtured
in them even as we pretended to "deplore
it". Our children were ... "independent" ...
not defiant, and we were proud — until we
began to detoxify them, to rehabilitate
their behavior, to trade notes with our
neighbors on "good analysts". And our kids
still get the keys to the car, no matter how
grievous their transgression ... their money
for the mall — just as we still get Holy
Communion, no matter how grievous our
offenses against God. We are as blind to our
sins as we have made our children blind to
their own. After all, a "good parent"
"spares the rod" and does not descend to
"primitive behavior" such as
punishing the child, no? And if we are such "good"
parents — how much "better" God? Surely, there
is no sin, no offense so grievous, or so trite,
as to offend Him ... nothing we can
ever do or say such that we would ever forfeit
our "right", not to the keys of the car but
to the Kingdom of God, through the Bread of Angels
... Holy Communion — that you as arrogantly
insist is as much your right as the
keys to the car ...
Still pondering the empty pews, it would seem
so. Perhaps it is the case that all the parishioners
are in fact guiltless of civil crime, however
petty (for these, too, are the stuff of Holy
Confession) — as well as sin.
The truly defining question appears to be this:
to whom, we must genuinely ask ourselves, do
we owe more — to God or man? To the City of
God or to the city of man?
On your blithe way to Holy Communion, ponder
this —- especially given the ultimate
sanction placed before us by no
less an authority than Saint Paul:
"Whosoever shall eat this bread
or drink the chalice of the Lord
unworthily, shall be guilty
of the Body and of the Blood of
...are you prepared to add sacrilege
to your your sins?
Or has the notion of sacrilege itself
gone the way of mortal sin ... also?
Go to Confession. You must go. It is
the only antidote of Mortal Sin, and thus the
antidote of death.
Geoffrey K. Mondello
for the Boston Catholic Journal
If you listen to no other homily on being
and your obligation to love God and your
neighbor ... listen to this.
The Law of Love by Archbishop Fulton
The Complete Martyrology
Wednesday June 19th in the
Year of Grace
Season After Pentecost
This Day, the Nineteenth Day of June
At Florence, St. Juliana Falconieri, virgin,
foundress of the Sisters of the Order of the Servants of the Blessed
Virgin Mary, who was placed among the holy virgins by the Sovereign
At Milan, the holy martyrs Gervasius and
Protasius, brothers. The former, by order of the judge
Astasius, was so long scourged with leaded whips, that he expired.
The latter, after being scourged with rods, was beheaded. Through
divine revelation their bodies were found by St. Ambrose. They were
partly covered with blood, and as free from corruption as if they
had been put to death that very day. When the translation took
place, a blind man recovered his sight by touching their relics, and
possessed by demons were delivered.
At Ravenna, St. Ursicinus, martyr, who
remained firm through many torments in the confession of the Lord,
and consummated his martyrdom by capital punishment, under the judge
At Sozopolis, under the governor Domitian, during the persecution of
Trajan, St. Zosimus, martyr, who
suffered bitter tortures, was beheaded, and thus triumphantly went
At Arezzo, in Tuscany, the holy martyrs
Gaudentius, bishop, and Culmatius, deacon, who were murdered
by the furious Gentiles, during the reign of Valentinian.
The same day, St. Boniface, martyr, a
disciple of blessed Romuald, who was sent by the Roman Pontiff to
preach the Gospel in Russia. Having passed through fire uninjured,
and baptized the king and his people, he was killed by the enraged
brother of the king, and thus gained the palm of martyrdom which he
At Ravenna, St. Romuald, anchoret,
founder of the monks of Carnaldoli, who restored and greatly
extended monastic discipline, which was much relaxed in Italy. He is
also mentioned on the 7th of February.
And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors,
and holy virgins.
Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy
Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany
of the Saints)
Response: Thanks be to God.
Roman Martyrology by Month
Why the Martyrs Matter
Each day we bring you a calendar, a list
really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and
died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for
our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom
— and well they knew — their Profession of Faith
would cost them their lives.
They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church,
and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short
time longer (even the lapsi only postponed
their death — and at so great a cost!).1
What would motivate men, women, even children and
entire families to willingly undergo the most evil
and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death
rather than denial?
Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when
the first flame licked at their feet, after the
first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized”
in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured
over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer
incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession
would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after
all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of
the state? What is a little burned incense and a
few words uttered without conviction, compared to
your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely
God knows that you are merely placating the state
with empty gestures …
Did they love their wives, husbands, children —
their mothers, fathers and friends less than we
do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they
less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what
did they possess that we do not?
Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given
in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to
it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and
faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising
belief in the invincible reality of God, of life
eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting
apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality
of this passing world and all within it, and lives
lived in total accord with that adamant belief.
We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will
make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What
they died for, we will die for. If only we will!
For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom,
a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ,
for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside
the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides
with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people
who suffered unknown to the world, but known to
God. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides.
Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are
the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses
because they would not flee God, the Church, the
call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary
things of life made extraordinary through the grace
of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is
just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small sampling
of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless
men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but
whom the world does not know.
“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”,
Christ said to His Apostles
2. “I have given
you an example.” And His Martyrs give one
to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.
Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal
Note: We suggest that you see our newly edited
"De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus - The Torments
and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an
in-depth historical account of the sufferings of
INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY
J. Cardinal Gibbons,
Archbishop of Baltimore
THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official
and accredited record, on the pages of which are
set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words,
the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in
all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes
and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict
has beatified or canonized. In making up this long
roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that
instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God,
who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has
endowed her, and which permeates through and guides
all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without
spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and
undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and
to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort
her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley
of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is
one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject
to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she
teaches and practices what He commands.
If the world
has its "Legions of Honor," why should not also
the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the
ground of the truth? If men who have been stained
with blood, and women who have been tainted with
vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose
and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory,
because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved
great success, or were, to a greater or less extent,
benefactors of their race in the temporal order,
which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes
and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example,
have overcome themselves, risen superior to and
trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their
thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown,
and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal
and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men,
have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed
in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If
time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if
man, why should not God? "Thy friends, O Lord, are
exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly
exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world
crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and
crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly
honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth,
with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for
ages on ages.
of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled
only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated.
The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models.
Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through
them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost,
in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His
wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated
human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection.
Their example still appeals to our minds and to
our hearts, more eloquently even than did their
words to the men of their own generation, while
they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though
dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct
with sanctity, and through them they continue to
breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality
into which they have entered still lingers in their
bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains.
As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush
to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of
earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul
has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled
to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the
lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and
Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal,
is more potent in its influence on the human heart
and conduct than are words in their most eloquent
knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with
whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth,
with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and
ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men
and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under
her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading
this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive
conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul
of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his
life, the moment of his conversion "If other men
like me have attained to such sanctity, why not
I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of
the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown
of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and
dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and
glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven?
Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon
me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted,
in the petty contest for this world's evanescent
honors and riches, while the poor and contemned
lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize
of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of
God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain
His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"
It is a consoling
evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this
country to find the Martyrology here published,
for the first time, in English, and thereby made
accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to
all classes of our population. It will prove highly
edifying and useful, not only to the members of
our numerous religious Communities of both sexes,
but also to the laity generally. Every day has here
its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a
Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied,
who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith
and with great profit, the brief page of each day's
models of Holiness. These belong to all classes
and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel,
from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the
philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks
of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.
Let all, then,
procure and read daily the appropriate portions
of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal
will console us in affliction, will animate us in
despondency, will make our souls glow with the love
of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and
hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to
the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for
us in Heaven!
J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland
The Lapsi were
early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either
sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor,
or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution
and death, and who later returned to the Faith when
persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us,
“Every one therefore that shall confess me before
men, I will also confess him before my Father who
is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men,
I will also deny him before my Father who is in
heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)