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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Saint Urban I, Pope and Martyr

Saint Urban I, Pope and Martyr

Mosaic of St. Peter
Urban I was Pope from 222 to 230, during which time the Church had surcease from the bitter persecutions of the times immediately before and afterwards. Concerning him very little is known, except that from his death he was revered as a Saint, and afterwards given the title of Martyr. Tradition saith that he was a Roman, who in the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severus, by his teaching and holy life, brought many to believe in Christ. To him is ascribed the authorship of this ancient rule : Those things which the Lord’s faithful ones make as an offering unto him, must never be turned to any other use than that of the Church, or of our Christian brethren, or of the poor ; for such things are the free-will offerings of faithful believers, the trespass-offerings of sinners, and the inheritance of the poor. He is said to have held five ordinations in December, wherein he ordained nine Priests, five Deacons, and eight Bishops for divers places, and to have been buried on May 25th in one of the catacombs of Rome, probably in that of Saint Callistus where his burial inscription hath been found.
O God, who didst lay the foundations of thy Church upon the solid rock of the apostolic confession, whereby it was made secure against the fearsome gates of hell : grant unto us , we beseech thee, at the intercession of thy blessed Martyr, the Holy Father Urban, so to stand fast in thy truth, that in this thine house of defence, which thou hast set very high, we may ever abide in continual safety, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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