Marcellinus and Peter have their names amongst those Martyrs who are commemorated daily in the Gregorian Canon of the Mass. Pope Saint Damasus wrote an epitaph for the tomb of these Martyrs, saying : O Marcellinus and Peter, when I was still a child, your executioner himself related to me how he had been commanded by the cruel tyrant to sever your heads from your bodies in the midst of a wood, so that no man should know the place of your burial ; and how that ye then, with your own hands, diligently prepared for yourselves a tomb ; and in this cave which ye had cleansed, your bodies lay for some time undiscovered, until ye made the place known to Lucilla, who preferred to translate your holy relicks thither. The details of their passion is told as followeth : Peter, an exorcist, (having been sent to prison at Rome, about the 304 under Diocletian, because he confessed the Christian Faith,) delivered Paulina, daughter of Artemius the keeper of his prison, from an evil spirit which tormented her ; whereupon the girl’s parents, and many of their friends, were converted to Jesus Christ ; and all these Peter sent to Marcellinus the priest, who baptized them ; and when the judge heard of it, he took Peter and Marcellinus, and separated them ; shutting up Marcellinus naked in a prison strewn with broken glass, without either food or light ; and confining Peter elsewhere in locked fetters ; but when such and other torments served but to increase their faith and courage, they were beheaded, unshaken in their testimony, and confessing Jesus Christ gloriously. Erasmus (Also called Elmo) is reputed to have been a Syrian bishop, who fled from country to country because of the persecution to which he was subjected for Christ’s sake. And in each place he converted many to believe in Christ. And finally, about the year 304, at Formi in the Campagna, he obtained the palm of a glorious martyrdom. Because of his travels, he was accounted a seafaring man, and so came to be widely venerated as the patron of sailors ; and the strange fire which sometimes is seen to flare forth on the rigging of ships is called after him, Saint Elmo’s Fire, and was believed to be a sign of his intervention of behalf of the ship. He is said to have been martyred by disemboweling, for which reason he was invoked against stomach disorders.
Collect:O God, who makest us glad with the yearly festival of thy Martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter, and Erasmus : grant, we beseech thee ; that, as we do rejoice in their merits, so we may be enkindled to follow them in all virtuous and godly living, through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.