Nazarius and Celsus were early venerated at Milan as Martyrs, and there blessed Ambrose searched for their remains and believed that he had found them. Nazarius was baptized by Saint Pope Linus, and afterwards went to Gaul. Where he met with the boy Celsus, whom he instructed in the Faith, and baptized. Therefore these twain went to Treves, and in Nero’s persecution were both thrown into the sea, whence they had a marvellous escape, and fled to Milan, where they spread the Faith, for which they were apprehended and beheaded, and buried outside the Roman Gate. There their bodies lay unknown and unhonoured till blessed Ambrose found them, and laid them in an honorable sepulchre in Milan. * Pope Victor I was by birth an African, and governed the Church under the Emperor Severus. To his efforts it is chiefly due that the Western Church came to agreement in the celebration of the paschal feast by our present method of reckoning. But Saint Irenaeus interceded with him, that he would not provoke into schism certain of the Church whose custom in this matter was different. He is reputed also to have decreed that , if need be, Baptism can be administered with any water, so long as it be natural. He cast out of the Church Theodotus the Tanner, who came from Constantinople, and taught that Christ was nothing but a man. He wrote upon the subject of the Passover, and composed some other small works. According to the Pontifical Book, he held two December ordinations, wherein he made four priests, seven deacons, and twelve bishops for divers places, and sat in the Chair of Peter nine years, on month and twenty-eight days. He is believed to have received the crown of his testimony, and his burial on Vatican Hill, on July 28th, about the year 197, and by tradition is revered as a Martyr. * Pope Innocent I flourished in the days of Saints Jerome and Augustine, when the times were troublous, and Alaric sacked the Eternal City; on behalf of which he had gone to get the help of the Emperor Honorius at Ravenna, whereby the man of God escaped the grief of seeing the destruction of the Roman people, even as righteous Lot, by God’s providence, escaped the burning of Sodom. This holy Pope was a vigorous administrator of the duties of his office, whereby he left his mark on Christianity for all time. He it was who condemned Pelagius and Caelestius, and made a decree against their heresy, ordering that little children even those whose mothers were Christians, must be born again in Baptism, that their original sin might be done away. Numerous other notable things were done by him. For he befriended and protected holy John Chrysostom. He wrote letters containing prudent decisions which are now observed as laws. To the Bishop of Tolouse he wrote that absolution and holy Communion is never to be denied to dying penitents. To the Bishop of Gubbio he wrote that bishops only (because they alone have the fulness of the priesthood) are administer Confirmation. According to the Pontifical Book, he sat in the throne of Peter fifteen years, one month, and ten days, and held four December ordinations, wherein he made thirty priests, fifteen deacons, and forty-four bishops for divers places. He went to God on March 12th, 417, and was buried in the cemetery known as the Place of the Bear-and-the-Cap, but is honored on the reputed date of his translation.
We pray thee, O Lord : that the glorious confession of thy blessed Saints, Nazarius, Celsus, Victor, and Innocent, may strengthen us against all temptations, and obtain for the frailty of our mortal nature the succour of thy bounteous goodness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.