HE MOST PRESSING NEWS lately has been the rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, wiping out some of the oldest Christian communities in the world. Each day brings news of fresh horrors, complete with photographs. The mind recoils, the heart grows heavy, how can we even hear it?
And yet, this is nothing new. This is the way of the Cross which Christians have followed from the beginning.
Some versions of the Divine Office make time for reading the Martyrology each day. Every day brings ancient reminders of the transience of our time on earth. Each brief account reinforces St Paul’s teaching: “For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come that shall be revealed in us.”
The Roman Martyrology for tomorrow, the seventeenth of August.
THE Octave of St. Lawrence, martyr. At Cracow, in Poland, St. Hyacinth, confessor, of the Order of Preachers, who slept in the Lord on the 16th of this month. At Carthage, in Africa, the holy martyrs Liberatus, abbot, Boniface, deacon, Servus and Kusticus, subdeacons, Rogatus and Septimus, monks, and Maximus, a young child. In the persecution of the Vandals, under king Hunneric, they were subjected to various unheard-of torments for the confession of the Catholic faith and the defense of one baptism. Finally, being nailed to the wood wherewith they were to be burned, as the fire was always put out miraculously whenever kindled, they were struck with iron bars by order of the tyrant until their brains were dashed out. Thus they terminated the glorious series of their combats, and were crowned by our Lord. At Caesarea, in Cappadocia, the birthday of St. Mamas, martyr, who, from childhood to old age, endured a long martyrdom, and at length ended it happily in the reign of Aurelian, under the governor Alexander. He has been highly praised by the holy fathers Basil and Gregory Nazianzen. In Achaia, St. Myron, priest and martyr, who was beheaded at Cyzicum, after undergoing many torments, in the time of the emperor Decius and the governor Antipater. At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Straton, Philip and Eutychian, who were condemned to the beasts, but being uninjured by them, ended their martyrdom by fire. At Teramo, St. Anastasius, bishop and confessor. At Ptolemais, in Palestine, the holy martyrs Paul, and his sister Juliana, who suffered under Valerian.
From the Roman Martyrology 1916.
There is nothing new!
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