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Monday, January 16, 2012

Saint Marcellus, Pope and Martyr, January 16

St.Marcellus in a stable
Saint Marcellus, Pope and Martyr, January 16,

This Marcellus was a Roman, and was believed to have held his brief pontificate in the reign of Constantius and Galerius, and in that of Maxentius. According to the Pontifical Book, it was through his persuasion that the Roman Lady Lucina left the whole of her property to the Church of God, which same was made into a church bearing his name. An epitaph by Pope Saint Damasus saith that because of his enforcement of the penitential canons, he excited the wrath of Maxentius, who threatened him with punishment. * The servant of God treated with contempt the mad cries of this man, who (so it is said) sent him to a menagerie, to take care of the beasts which were fed at the public cost, where Marcellus remained in continual fasting and prayer. And, as he could not visit the parishes of Rome in person, he wrote letters to them, until some of his clergy rescued him. * Maxentius, it is said, thereupon had the wild beasts brought from the menagerie and located in a church, where Marcellus was made to feed them. And the noisomeness of the place and the filthiness of his occupation soon broke down a constitution already enfeebled by many ailments, and he fell asleep in the Lord in 309, on January 16, and for his sufferings is accounted a Martyr.

O Lord, we beseech thee favorably to hear the prayers of thy people, that, as we do rejoice in the passion of thy blessed Bishop and Martyr, Saint Marcellus, so his merits may be our succour and defence, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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