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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Saints Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Habakkuk, Martyrs

Saints Maris, Martha, Audifax, and Habakkuk, Martyrs, January 19

Maris was a Persian of high rank, who came to Rome in the reign of the Emperor Claudius, with his wife Martha, who was equally noble, and their two sons Audifax and Habakkuk, to pray at the graves of the martyrs. Here they comforted the Christians who were in prison, (whom they relieved by their ministrations and alms,) and buried the bodies of the Saints. For these good deeds they were all arrested, but no threats or terrors could move them to sacrifice to idols. They were accordingly beaten with clubs, dragged about with ropes, burnt with red-hot metal, and mangled with metal hooks. Lastly their hands were all cut off, and they were fastened together by the neck, in which state they were driven through the City to the Thirteenth Milestone on the Cornelian Way, a place now called Santa Ninfa, where they were to die. There Martha addressed a moving exhortation to her husband and sons to hold out bravely to the last, for the love of Jesus Christ, and was then herself drowned. The other three martyrs were next beheaded, and thrown into a fire. The lady Felicity of Rome collected the half burnt remains, and caused them to be buried at her won farm. The date of their death was in the year 270.

O Lord, we pray thee, graciously to hear thy people that call upon thee with the assistance of thy Saints, that we may obtain of thee peace in this our temporal life, and likewise thy succour unto life eternal, through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

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