The Martyrology of the Sacred Order of Friars Preachers


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The First Day of December

At Montpellier in Gaul, the birthday of Blessed John of Vercelli, the sixth master-general of the Order of Preachers. He was eminent both by his leaming and his virtues. He restored religious discipline in his monasteries, and labored untiringly as an arbitror for peace, in the name of and by the authority of the Roman Pontiff, in reconciling kings and cities. A duplex feast.

St. Nahum, Prophet, who was buried at Beth-Gabre.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, and Marian, deacon, together with many others. In the days of the Emperor Numerian, while the Christians were celebrating in the catacombs the anniversaries of their martyrs, the persecutors walled up the entrance to the crypt and heaped a great mass of stones against it. In this manner, the Christians gained the glory of martyrdom.

Also at Rome, the suffering of SS. Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian, and Candida.

At Narni, St. Proculus, bishop and martyr. After he had accomplished numerous exceptional deeds, Totila king of the Goths ordered him to be beheaded.

In the city of Casale, St. Evasius, bishop and martyr.

On the same day, St. Ansanus, martyr. At the time of Diocletian, he confessed Christ at Rome. He was cast into prison and then taken to Siena in Tuscany, where he completed his course of martyrdom by being beheaded.

At Ameria in Umbria, St. Olympiades, a man of consular rank. He was converted to the faith by St. Firmina; under Diocletian, he was tortured on the rack and so achieved martyrdom.

At Arbela in Persia, St. Ananias, martyr.

At Milan, St. Castridan, bishop. At a time of great disturbance in the Church, he was eminent by reason of his virtues and his deeds piously and religiously performed.

At Brescia, St. Ursicinus, bishop.

On the same day, St. Natalia, the wife of the Blessed Martyr Achian. For a long time she ministered to the holy martyrs imprisoned at Nicomedia in the reign of the Emperor Diocletian. When their contest was completed, she went to Constantinople where she died a peaceful death. +

The Second Day of December

At Rome, the suffering of St. Bibiana, virgin and martyr. Under the wicked Emperor Julian, she was flogged with whips tipped with lead until she expired. A simplex feast.

At Imola in the province of Aemilia, the birthday of St. Peter, surnamed Chrysologus, Bishop of Ravenna, confessor, and Doctor of the Church. He was distinguished for his learning and holiness. His feast is observed on December 4.

On Sancian, an island of China, the birthday of St. Francis Xavier, priest of the Society of Jesus, confessor, and Apostle of the Indies. He was famed for his conversion of the heathens, his supernatural gifts and miracles. Rich in merit and good works, he died in the Lord. The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius X, chose and appointed him the heavenly patron of the Society and the work for the Propagation of the Faith. By order of Pope Alexander VII, his feast is celebrated on December 3.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Eusebius, priest, Marccllus, deacon, Hippolytus, Maximus, Adria, Paulina, Neon, Mary, Martana, and Aurcha. They all completed their martyrdom in the persecution of Valerian, under the judge Secundian.

Also at Rome, St. Pontianus, martyr, and four others.

In Africa, the birthday of the holy martyrs Severus, Securus, Januarius, and Victorinus, who were there crowned with martyrdom.

At Aquileia, St. Chromatius, bishop and confessor.

At Verona, St. Lupus, bishop and confessor.

At Edessa in Syria, St. Nonus, bishop, by whose prayers Pelagia the penitent was converted to Christ.

At Troas in Phrygia, St. Silvanus, bishop, renowned for miracles.

At Brescia, St. Evasius, bishop.

The Third Day of December

St. Francis Xavier, priest of the Society of Jesus, confessor, Apostle of the Indies, and heavenly patron of the Society and work of the Propagation of the Faith. He died a peaceful death on December 2. A totum duplex feast.

In Judea, St. Sophonias, prophet.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Claudius the tribune and his wife Hilaria, their two sons Jason and Maurus, and seventy soldiers. The Emperor Numerian ordered Claudius to be fastened to a huge stone and cast into the river, while the soldiers and the sons of Claudius were to be punished by being beheaded. Blessed Hilaria buried the bodies of her sons; shortly after, she was seized by the pagans while she was praying at their sepulchre. She was cast into prison where she died.

At Tangier in Morocco, the suffering of St. Cassian, martyr. For a long time he held the position of public clerk, but eventually he was impressed by the fearless answers and unshaken firmness in the faith of Christ of the centurion St. Marcellus. Then inspired by grace, he felt it was a hateful thing to take part in the slaughter of Christians. He therefore resigned his office, confessed the Christian faith, and merited to obtain the palm of martyrdom.

Also in Africa, the holy martyrs Claudius, Crispin, Magina, John, and Stephen.

In Hungary, St. Agricola, martyr.

At Nicomedia, the suffering of SS. Ambicus, Victor, and Julius.

At Milan, St. Mirocles, bishop and confessor, whom St. Ambrose occasionally mentioned.

At Dorchester in England, St. Birinus, who was first bishop of that city.

At Chur in Germany, St. Lucius, an English king. In the time of St. Eleutherius, he was the first of the English kings to receive the faith of Christ.

At Siena in Tuscany, St. Galganus, hermit.

The Fourth Day of December

St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop of Ravenna, confessor, and Doctor of the Church, whose memory is recalled on December 2. A duplex feast.

At Nicomedia, the suffering of St. Barbara, virgin and martyr. In the persecution of Maximian, she was kept for a long time in prison, burned with torches, mutilated, and subjected to other tortures. She gained martyrdom by being put to the sword. A memory.

At Constantinople, SS. Theophanes and his associates.

In Pontus, St. Melitus, bishop and confessor. He was a man of remarkable learning but he was even more remarkable by reason of the virtue of his soul and the sincerity of his life.

At Bologna, St. Felix, bishop, who was once deacon of the Church of Milan under St. Ambrose.

In England, St. Osmund, bishop and confessor.

At Cologne, St. Anno, bishop.

In Mesopotamia, St. Maruthas, bishop. In Persia, he restored the churches of God that had fallen into ruin during the persecution of King Isdegerd. He was famous for his many miracles and was held in honor even by his enemies.

At Parma, St. Bernard, cardinal, and bishop of that city. He belonged to the Congregation of Vallombrosa of the Order of St. Benedict.

The Fifth Day of December

In Judea, St. Sabas, abbot. He was born in the town of Mutalaska in Cappadocia. He gave a splendid example of holiness and labored most zealously for the Catholic faith against those who attacked the holy Council of Chalcedon. He died peacefully in the laura of the Diocese of Jerusalem, which afterward was called after him the Laura of St. Sabas.

At Nice near the river Var, St. Bassus, bishop. In the persecution of Decius and Valerian, he was tortured for his faith by the governor Perennius. First he was stretched on the rack, then burned with red-hot bars, beaten with clubs and scorpions, and cast into the fire. When he came forth unhurt, he was pierced with two spikes and thus completed his illustrious martyrdom.

At Pavia, St. Dalmatius, bishop and martyr, who suffered in the persecution of Maximian.

At Corfinium among the Pelignians, (1) St. Pelinus, Bishop of Brindisi. In the time of Julian the Apostate, the temple of Mars crashed to the ground at his prayers. The priests of the temple most grievously flogged him and inflicted eighty-five wounds on his body; thus he gained the crown of martyrdom.

Also, St. Athanasius, martyr. Because of his ardent desire for martyrdom, he delivered himself of his own free will to the persecutors.

At Thagura in Africa, the holy martyrs Julius, Potamias, Crispin, Felix, Gratus, and seven others.

At Thebeste in Numidia, St. Crispina, a most noble woman. In the time of Diocletian and Maximian, she was beheaded by command of the proconsul Anolinus because she refused to offer sacrifice. St. Augustine often praised her.

At Treves, St. Nicetius, bishop, a man of marvellous holiness.

At Polyboton in Asia (Minor), St. John, bishop, surnamed the Wonderworker.

The Sixth Day of December

At Myra, the capital of Lycia (in Asia Minor), the birthday of St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor. Among his many remarkable miracles, this memorable one is told: although he was far away, he appeared to the Emperor Constantine, and by his warnings and threats induced him to have mercy on, instead of executing, some men who had invoked the assistance of the saint. A duplex feast.

On the same day, St. Polychronius, priest. In the time of the Emperor Constantine, while he was at the altar celebrating Mass, he was attacked by the Arians, who cut his throat.

In Africa, St. Majoricus, son of St. Dionysius. He was a youth who was afraid of torture, but his mother encouraged him by looks and words; whereupon he became more courageous than the rest and gave up his life during the tortures. His mother embraced his body, buried him at home, and made it a practise to pray unceasingly at his tomb.

In the same place, the holy women Dionysia, mother of St. Majoricus the martyr, Dativa, and Leontia; likewise, a religious man named Tertius, Emilian, a physician, Boniface, and three others. In the Vandal persecution under the Arian king Hunneric, they all suffered innumerable and horrible tortures in defense of the Catholic faith, so that they deserve to be associated with the band of holy confessors of Chribe.

At Rome,. St. Asella, virgin. St. Jerome wrote that she had been blessed from birth. She spent her whole life, even to old age, in fasting and prayer.

At Granada in Spain, the suffering of Blessed Peter Paschal, Bishop of Jaen and martyr. He belonged to the Order of Our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives.

The Seventh Day of December

The Vigil of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The octave of St. Andrew the Apostle. A memory.

St. Ambrose, bishop, confessor, and Doctor of the Church. He died in the Lord on April 4; but his feast is observed today -- the day on which he took charge of the Church of Milan. A duplex feast.

At Rome, blessed Eutychian, pope. With his own hands, he buried three hundred and forty-two martyrs in various places. He himself was joined to them by being crowned with martyrdom in the reign of the Emperor Numerian, and was buried in the cemetery of Callistus.

At Alexandria, the birthday of Blessed Agatho, soldier. In the persecution of Decius, he prevented some men from making sport of the bodies of the martyrs. Quickly a cry against him arose from the rabble. He was brought before the judge, and since he remained firm in his confession of Christ, he was sentenced to death for his reverence.

At Antioch, the holy martyrs Polycarp and Theodore.

At Tuburbum in Africa, St. Servus, martyr. In the Vandal persecution under the Arian King Hunneric, he was beaten with clubs for a long time, repeatedly lifted on high by pulleys, then swiftly dropped, with all the weight of his body, on flints. Then he was scraped with very sharp stones until he had gained the palm of martyrdom.

At Teano in Campania, St. Urban, bishop and confessor.

Near Saintes in Gaul, St. Martin, abbot, at whose tomb numerous miracles take place.

At Farmoutiers in the territory of Meaux, the commemoration of St. Fara, also called Burgundofara, abbess and virgin. Her birthday is celebrated on April 3.

The Eighth Day of December

The Immaculate Conception of the glorious and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God. On this day, the Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX, solemnly defined that by a singular privilege of God, she was preserved free from all stain of original sin. A totum duplex feast of the first class.

At Treves, St. Eucharius, who was a disciple of St. Peter the Apostle, and first Bishop of Treves.

At Alexandria, St. Macarius, martyr. In the time of Decius, the judge tried by many arguments to persuade him to deny Christ, but he confessed the faith with all the greater firmness. Finally, he was ordered to be burned alive.

In Cyprus, St. Sophronius, bishop. He was a wonderful protector of wards, orphans, and widows, and a helper of all the poor and oppressed.

In the monastery of Luxeuil in Gaul, St. Romaricus, abbot. He had very high rank at the court of King Theodebert, but, forsaking the world, he excehed others in his observance of the monastic life.

At Constantinople, St. Patapius, hermit, who was renowned for his virtues and miracles.

At Rome, the finding of the bodies of the holy martyrs Nemesius, deacon, his daughter the virgin Lucina, Symphronius, Olympius the tribune, Exuperia, his wife, and Theodulus, his son. Commemoration of them is made on August 25.

At Verona, the ordination of St. Zeno, bishop.

The Ninth Day of December

At Carthage, St. Restitutus, bishop and martyr. On his feastday, St. Augustine delivered to his congregation a panegyric on him.

Also in Africa, the holy martyrs Peter, Successus, Bassianus, Primitivus, and twenty others.

At Toledo in Spain, the birthday of St. Leocadia, virgin and martyr. During the Diocletian persecution, the prefect of Spain, Dacian, imprisoned Leocadia for a long time and treated her harshly. When she heard of the terrible sufferings of St. Eulalia and other martyrs, kneeling in prayer, she yielded her pure spirit to Christ.

At Limoges in Aquitaine, St. Valeria, virgin and martyr.

At Verona, St. Proculus, bishop. He was beaten with fists and clubs in the persecution of Diocletian, and was driven from the city. Eventually, he was restored to his church and died a peaceful death.

At Pavia, St. Syrus, who was the first bishop of that city. He was celebrated for his apostolic powers and virtues.

At Apamea in Syria, Blessed Julian, bishop, who in the time of Severus was eminent for his holiness.

At Gray in Burgundy, St. Peter Fourier, a Canon Regular of our Saviour, and founder of the Canonesses Regular of our Lady for the teaching of children. He was famed for his virtues and miracles, and was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff Leo XIII.

At Perigueux in Gaul, St. Cyprian, abbot, a man of great holiness.

At Nazianus in Cappadocia, St. Gorgonia. She was the daughter of Blessed Nonna and the sister of SS. Gregory the Theologian and Caesarius. St. Gregory has described her virtues and miracles.

The Tenth Day of December

St. Melchiades, pope and martyr, whose birthday is recalled on January 11.

At Rome on the Via Ostiensis, the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Paul the Apostle. The annual commemoration of this dedication, with that of St. Peter the Prince of the Apostles, is observed on November 18.

On the same day, the holy martyrs Carpophorus, priest, and Abundius, deacon. In the persecution of Diocletian, they were first inhumanly beaten with clubs and then thrown into prison where they were denied food and drink. They were tortured for a second time on the rack and again cast into prison for a long period. Finally, they were slain by the sword.

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Mennas, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, who suffered under Galerius Maximian.

At Lentini in Sicily, the holy martyrs Mercurius and his fellow soldiers. In the time of the Emperor Licinius, under the governor Tertyllus, they were put to the sword.

At Ancyra in Galatia, St. Gemelius, martyr. After he had sustained savage torture under Julian the Apostate, he completed his martyrdom by being crucified.

At Merida in Spain, the suffering of St. Eulalia, virgin. In the reign of Maximian, when Eulalia was only twelve years old, by orders of the governor Dacian, she was subjected to many tortures for confessing Christ. Finally, she was placed on the rack, her body torn with iron claws, and flaming torches applied to her sides. As she inhaled the flames, she gave up her soul to God.

Also, at the same place, St. Julia, virgin and martyr. She was a companion of Blessed Eulalia and refused to leave her when she was hurryin

to her martyrdom.

At Rome, Pope St. Gregory III, who died distinguished for his sanctity and miracles.

At Vienne in Gaul, St. Sindulph, bishop and confessor.

At Brescia, St. Deusdedit, bishop.

At Loretto in Piceno, the transferal of the Holy House of Mary the Mother of God. It was in this house that the Word was made flesh.

The Eleventh Day of December

At Rome, St. Damasus I, pope and confessor. He condemned the heresiarch Apollinaris and restored (to his see) Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, who had been forced to flee. He found many bodies of holy martyrs and wrote their epitaphs in verse. A simplex feast.

Also at Rome, the suffering of St. Thrason. At his own expense, he provided food for the exhausted Christians who were slaving in the public baths and other places, or who were detained in prison. By orders of Nlaximian, he was arrested and crowned with martyrdom, together with two others, Pontianus and Practextatus.

At Amiens in Gaul, the holy martyrs Victoricus and Fuscian, under the same Emperor. The governor Rictiovarus ordered that iron rods should be driven into their nostrils and ears, and their temples pierced with red-hot spikes. Their eyes were then torn out and, later, their bodies were pierced with javelins. Together with their guest St. Gentian, they were beheaded and so went to their Lord.

In Persia, St. Barsabas, martyr.

In Spain, St. Eutychius, martyr.

At Piacenza, St. Sabinus, bishop, who was famed for miracles.

At Constantinople, St. Daniel Stylites. +

The Twelfth Day of December

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Epimachus and Alexander. In the reign of the Emperor Decius, they were kept in chains for a long time and subjected to various punishments. As they remained unshaken in the faith, they were finally burned alive. The feast of St. Epimachus, together with that of St. Gordian the martyr, is celebrated on May 10.

At Rome, St. Synesius, martyr. He was ordained lector in the time of Pope St. Sixtus II. He had converted many persons to Christ when he was accused before the Emperor Aurelian. Being put to the sword, he gained the crown of martyrdom.

On the same day, the holy martyrs Hermogenes, Donatus, and twenty-two others.

At Treves, the holy martyrs Maxentius, Constantius, Crescentius, Justin, and their associates. All suffered in the persecution of Diocletian, undet the governor Rictiovarus.

At Alexandria, SS. Ammonaria, virgin, Mcrcuria, Dionysia, and another Ammonaria. The first Ammonaria, in the persecution of Decius, obtained a happy ending to her life; after enduring unheard-of tortures, she was put to the sword. The judge felt humiliated to be overcome by women, and doubted that he would be able to conquer their firmness if he used the same torments on them. He therefore ordered them to be beheaded without delay.

The Thirteenth Day of December

At Syracuse in Sicily, the birthday of St. Lucy, virgin and martyr, in the persecution of Diocletian. At the command of the proconsul Paschasius, she was handed over to procurers that she might be degraded; but when they tried to lead her away, they were unable to budge her, even with ropes or many oxen. She was plunged into boiling pitch, resin and oil, without sustaining any hurt. At last, her throat was severed with a sword and she thus completed her martyrdom. A duplex feast.

At Moulins in France, St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, widow, foundress of the Nuns of the Visitation of St. Mary. She was eminent for her noble birth, the sanctity of the life she led in a fourfold state, (2) and for the gift of miracles. She was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XIII. Her holy body was taken to Annecy in Savoy and buried with solemn pomp in the first church of her Order. Pope Clement XIV directed that her feast should be observed by the Universal Church on August 21.

In Armenia, the suffering of the holy martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugenius, Mardarius, and Orestes, during the persecution of Diocletian. Eustratius and Orestes were subjected to cruel tortures, first under Lysias, then at Sebaste under the governor Agricolaus. Eustratius died on being thrown into a furnace, but Orestes died when he was placed on a red-hot iron bed. The rest suffered the most inhuman tortures from the governor Lysias at Arabrace, and completed their martyrdom in different ways. Their bodies were afterward taken to Rome and honorably buried in the church of St. Apollinaris.

On the island of Solci, near Sardinia, the suffering of St. Antiochus, under the Emperor Hadrian.

At Cambrai in Gaul, St. Aubert, bishop and confessor.

In the district of Ponthieu in Gaul, St. Judoc, priest and confessor.

In the territory of Strasburg, St. Odilia, virgin.

The Fourteenth Day of December

At Ubeda in Spain, the birthday of St. John of the Cross, priest and confessor, the associate of St. Teresa in the reformation of the Carmelites. He was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Benedict XIII, and Pope Pius XI declared him to be a Doctor of the universal Church. His feast is celebrated on November 24.

At Rheims in Gaul, the suffering of St. Nicasius, bishop, his sister Eutropia, virgin, and their fellow-martyrs, who were killed by barbarous enemies of the Church.

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Heron, Arsenius, Isidore, and Dioscurus, all boys. In the persecution of Decius, the judge ordered the first three children to be mangled by various tortures. When he saw them all equally unmoved, he ordered them to be burned alive. The fourth child, Dioscurus, was flogged again and again until God willed him to be released (from this life) to the consolation of the faithful.

At Antioch, the birthday of the holy martyrs Drusus, Zosimus, and Theodore.

On the same day, the suffering of SS. Justus and Abundius. Under the Emperor Numerian and the governor Olybrius, they were cast into the flames. When they emerged unhurt, they were killed by the sword.

On the island of Cyprus, the Blessed Spiridion, bishop. He was one of those confessors whom Galerius Maximian condemned to the mines, after his right eye had been dug out (with a dagger) and his left leg hamstrung. He was famed for his gift of prophecy and power of miracles. In the Council of Nicaea, he refuted and converted a Gentile philosopher who had scoffed at the Christian religion.

At Bergamo, St. Viator, bishop and confessor.

At Pavia, St. Pompey, bishop.

At Naples in Campania, St. Agnellus, abbot. He was renowned for his power to perform miracles. When Naples was besieged, he was often seen saving the city from the enemy by the banner of the cross.

At Milan, St. Matronian, hermit.

The Fifteenth Day of December

The Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A solemn octave.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor, and seventeen others, who died for Christ in the persecution of Valerian.

In Africa, the suffering of SS. Faustinus, Lucius, Candidus, Caelian, Mark, Januarius, and Fortunatus.

In the same place, St. Valerian, bishop. In the Vandal persecution under the Arian King Generic, St. Valerian (then over eighty years of age) was ordered to surrender the sacred vessels of his church. When he steadfastly refused to do so, he was expelled from the city and everyone was forbidden to allow the Bishop to enter their house or to dwell in their field. As a result, he lay a long time on the public road without shelter, and thus finished the course of his life in the confession and defence of Catholic truth.

In the territory of Orleans, St. Maximin, confessor.

Among the Iberians beyond the Euxine sea, St. Christiana, a servant, who, in the time of Constantine, converted that people to the faith of Christ by her miracles.

At Vercelli, the ordination of St. Eusebius, bishop and martyr. +

The Sixteenth Day of December

At Genoa, Blessed Sebastian Maggi confessor, of our Order. By the example of his virtues and by his preaching of the Word of God, he firmly established solid piety in several cities of Italy. A semi-duplex feast.

St. Eusebius, Bishop of Vercelli and martyr. His birthday is commemorated on August 1, and his ordination on December 15.

The Three Holy Youths, Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, whose bodies were buried in a cave near Babylon.

At Ravenna, the holy martyrs Valentine, a military officer, Concordius his son, Navalis, and Agricola. They suffered for Christ in the persecution of Maximian.

At Formia in Campania, St. Albina, virgin and martyr, (who died) during the reign of the Emperor Decius.

In Africa, the suffering of many holy virgins in the Vandal persecution at the time of the Arian King Hunneric. They were hung up with weights attached to their feet, and red-hot iron plates were placed against their bodies. They successfully completed the contest of martyrdom.

At Vienne in Gaul, Blessed Ado, bishop and confessor.

In Ireland, St. Bean, bishop.

At Gaza in Palestine, St. Irenion, bishop. +

The Seventeenth Day of December

At Rome, the birthday of St. John of Matha, priest, confessor, and founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives. By a decree of Pope Innocent XI, his feast is observed on February 8.

At Marseilles in Gaul, Blessed Lazarus, the brother of SS. Mary Magdalen and Martha. In the Gospel, our Lord called him His friend and even raised him from the dead. (3)

At Eleutheropolis in Palestine, the holy martyrs, Florian, Calanicus, and their fifty-eight companions. In the days of the Emperor Heraclius, they were killed by the Saracens because of their Christian faith.

In the monastery of Fulda, St. Sturmius, abbot and Apostle of Saxony. Pope Innocent II canonized him during the second Council of the Lateran.

At Grand-Bigard near Brussels in Brabant, St. Wivina, virgin, whose great sanctity is attested to by frequent miracles.

At Constantinople, St. Olympias, widow.

At Andenne (on the Meuse) near the seven chapels, (4) blessed Begga, widow, who was the sister of St. Gertrude.

On the same day, the transferal of the relics of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr. He was the third (bishop) after the Apostle St. Peter to rule the Church of Antioch. His body was brought to Antioch from Rome, where he had suffered a glorious martyrdom under Trajan on December 20. It was buried in the cemetery of the church outside the Gate of Daphne. At this solemnity, St. John Chrysostom preached the sermon to the people. Later, however, his relics were again taken back to Rome and buried with great reverence in the church of St. Clement, together with the body of most Blessed Clement, pope and martyr. +

The Eighteenth Day of December

At Philippi in Macedonia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Rufus and Zosimus. They were of that number of disciples who founded the primitive Church among the Jews and Greeks. St. Polycarp, in his Epistle to the Philippians, describes their happy martyrdom.

At Laodicea in Syria, the suffering of SS. Theotimus and Basilian.

In Africa, St. Quinctus, Simplicius, and others, who suffered in the persecution of Decius and Valerian.

In the same place, St. Moses, martyr.

Also in Africa, the holy martyrs Victurus, Victor, Victorinus, Adjutor, Quartus, and thirty others.

At Mopsuestia in Cilicia, St. Auxentius, bishop. He had once been a soldier under Licinius, but rather than (perform a pagan rite, namely) offer grapes to Bacchus, he laid aside his military insignia. He became a bishop who was noted for his merits. He died a peaceful death.

At Tours in Gaul, St. Gratian, bishop. He was ordained the first bishop of that city by Pope St. Fabian I. Renowned for many miracles, he died in the Lord.

The Nineteenth Day of December

In Morocco, St. Timothy, deacon. After enduring a harsh imprisonment for the faith of Christ, he was thrown into the fire and so gained martyrdom.

At Alexandria, Blessed Nemesius, martyr. He was first falsely denounced to a judge as a thief. Being found innocent of that charge, he was soon afterward accused to the judge Emilian of being a Christian; this was during the persecution of Decius. The judge subjected him to redoubled tortures and ordered him to be burned alive with some thieves. Thus, he resembled the Saviour who also bore the cross with thieves.

At Nicaea, SS. Darius, Zosimus, Paul, and Secundus, martyrs.

At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Cyriacus, Paulilus, Secundus, Anastasius, Sindimius, and their companions.

At Gaza in Palestine, the suffering of SS. Mauris and Thea.

At Rome, the death of Pope St. Anastasius I, a man rich in poverty and in apostolic solicitude. St. Jerome wrote that the world did not deserve to possess him long lest with such a bishop the world's head should be cut off; for not long after his death, Rome was captured and destroyed by the Goths.

At Auxerre, St. Gregory, bishop and confessor.

At Orleans in Gaul, St. Adjutus, abbot, illustrious for his spirit of prophecy.

At Rome, St. Fausta. She was the mother of St. Anastasia, and was eminent for her nobility and piety.

At Avignon, Blessed Pope Urban V. He merited well of the Church by restoring the Apostolic See to Rome; by bringing about a union of the Greeks and the Latins; and by converting unbelievers. The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX, ratified and confirmed his ancient cult.

The Twentieth Day of December

The Vigil of St. Thomas the Apostle.

In Spain, the death of St. Dominic of Silos of the Order of St. Benedict, greatly celebrated for his miracles in liberating captives. A duplex feast.

At Rome, the birthday of St. Zephyrinus, pope and martyr, whose feast is observed on August 26.

In the same city, the suffering of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr. He was the third (bishop) after the Apostle St. Peter to govern the Church of Antioch, and in the persecution of Traian, was condemned to the beasts. He was sent in chains to Rome. There, in the very presence of the Senate, he was first subjected to the most inhuman tortures and then thrown to the beasts. Being ground by their teeth, he became a host for Christ. (5) His feat is observed on February 1.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Liberatus and Baiulus.

In Arabia, the holy martyrs Eugene and Macarius, priests. For rebuking the impiety of Julian the Apostate, they were most savagely wounded, and, taken to an immense desert, were put to the sword.

At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Ammon, Zeno, Ptolemy, Ingenes, and Theophilus, soldiers. While on duty at a court of justice, they saw a certain Christian waver during his torture; when he was almost at the point of forsaking his faith, they attempted by their expressions, gestures, and nods to strengthen him. Whereupon, an uproar from the crowd rose against them. The soldiers pushed forward and declared that they too were Christians. By their victory, Christ, Who had given them firmness of character, was gloriously triumphant.

At Gelduba in Germany, St. Julius, martyr.

At Antioch, the birthday of St. Philogonius, bishop. By the will of God, he was called from the legal profession to govern the Church of .Antioch. Together with the Bishop Alexander and his associates, he first began the battle for the Catholic faith against Arius. Celebrated for his merits, he died a peaceful death. On his annual feast day, St. John Chrysostom extolled him in a famous panegyric.

At Brescia, St. Dominic, bishop and confessor.

The Twenty-first Day of December

At Salamina, (6) the birthday of St. Thomas the Apostle. He preached the Gospel to the Parthians, Medes, Persians, and Hyrcanians, and at length went to India. He had already instructed the people of that country in the Christian religion when, by order of the king, he was killed by being pierced with spears. His relics were first taken to Edessa in Mesopotamia and later to Ortona of the Frentani. (7) A totum duplex feast of the second class.

At Antioch, St. Anastasius, bishop and martyr. At the time of the Emperor Phocas, in a riot instigated by the Jews he was most brutally slain by them.

At Nicomedia, St. Glycerius, priest. In the persecution of Diocletian, he was tested by many tortures and at last thrown into the fire, thus gaining his martyrdom.

In Tuscany, the holy martyrs John and Festus.

In Lycia, St. Themistocles, martyr. In the reign of the Emperor Decius, he offered himself in place of Dioscorus whom they were seeking to kill. He was tortured on the rack, dragged about and beaten with clubs, until be gained the crown of martyrdom. At Treves, St. Severinus, bishop and confessor.

The Twenty-second Day of December

The Feast of the Patronage of the Most Blessed Mary ever Virgin A totum duplex feast.

At Rome, on the Via Lavicana, between the two laurels, the birthday of thirty holy martyrs. All were crowned with martyrdom on the same day during the persecution of Diocletian.

Also at Rome, St. Flavian, an ex-prefect. He was the husband of the martyred St. Dafrosa, and the father of the holy virgin martyrs, Bibiana and Demetria. Under Julian the Apostate, for Christ he was condemned, branded, and sent into exile at Acquapendente in Etruria, where he gave up his soul to God while engaged in prayer.

In Egypt, St. Chaeremon, Bishop of Nilopolis, and many other martyrs. While the persecution of Decius was raging, some (of these Christians) were dispersed in their flight and, wandering in uninhabited places, were killed by wild beasts; others perished of hunger, cold, and exhaustion. Others were killed by savages and thieves, and were crowned with the same glory of martyrdom.

Near Ostia, the holy martyrs Demetrius, Honoratus, and Florus.

At Alexandria, St. Ischyrion, martyr. Attempts were made by insults and injuries to force him to sacrifice; when he showed no fear (of their threats), the middle of his body was pierced with a sharpened stake and he was left to die.

At Nicomedia, St. Zeno, soldier. He mocked Diocletian when the latter was offering sacrifice to Ceres; whereupon, his jaw was broken, his teeth knocked out, and he was then beheaded.

The Twenty-third Day of December

At Alba in Northern Italy, Blessed Margaret of Savoy, widow. Though sprang of a royal house, she spurned the preeminence of the world. Firmly refusing a (second and) most advantageous marriage, she joined the (Third) Order of St. Dominic. She courageously endured calumnies, illnesses, and persecutions previously revealed by Heaven to her under the symbol of three lances. Her road to Paradise was the narrow road of patience. A semi-duplex feast.

At Rome, St. Victoria, virgin and martyr. She was espoused to a pagan

named Eugene, and she refused either to marry him or to offer sacrifice. She performed many miracles by which numerous virgins were gathered to God. In the persecution of the Emperor Dedus, at the demand of her fiance, the executioner pierced her heart with a sword.

At Nicomedia, the suffering of SS. Migdonius and Mardonius, (martyrs). In the persecution of Diocletian, one was burned alive while the other met death by being thrown into a pit. At the same time, there also suffered the deacon of St. Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia. He was taking letters to the (imprisoned) martyrs when he was arrested by the pagans and stoned to death, thus going to his Lord.

At the same place, the birthday of twenty holy martyrs. The same persecution of Diocletian made them martyrs of Christ, after they had endured the most severe tortures.

At Crete, the holy martyrs Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zeticus, Leomenes, Agathopus, Basifides, and Evaristus. In the persecution of Decius, they underwent cruel tortures and were beheaded.

At Rome, St. Servulus. St. Gregory declared that, from early years to the end of his life, Servulus was paralyzed and lay on a porch near the church of St. Clement. Finally, invited by the hymns of angels, he passed to the glory of Paradise. At his tomb, God frequently performed miracles. +

The Twenty-fourth Day of December

The Vigil of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

At Cracow in Poland, the birthday of St. John Cantius, priest and con fessor. He was noted for his learning, zeal in spreading the faith, virtues, and miracles. He was canonized by the Sovereign Pontiff, Clement XIII. His feast is observed on October 20.

At Spoleto, St. Gregory, priest and martyr. At the time of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, he was first beaten with knotty clubs; then, after he endured the gridiron and imprisonment, he was struck across the knees with iron bars and his sides burned with flaming torches. Finally, he was beheaded.

At Tripoli in Phoenicia, the holy martyrs Lucian, Metrobius, Paul, Zenobius, Theotimus, and Drusus.

At Nicomedia, St. Euthyrnius, martyr. In the persecution of Diocletian, after he had prepared many others to sustain martyrdom, he himself was run through with a sword, and followed them to a heavenly crown.

At Antioch, the birthday of the forty holy virgins, who, in the persecution of Decius, completed their martyrdom after suffering various tortures.

At Bordeaux, St. Delphinus, bishop, who was eminent for his holiness at the time of Theodosius.

At Rome, the birthday of St. Tharsilla, virgin, and aunt of Pope St. Gregory. He stated that when she was dying she saw Jesus coming to her. At Treves, St. Irmina, virgin, daughter of King Dagobert.

The Twenty-fifth Day of December

(The community stands while the reader reads the following) (8)

In the year five thousand one hundred and ninety-nine from the creation of the world, when God in the beginning created heaven and earth;

In the year two thousand nine hundred and fifty-seven from the flood;

In the year two thousand and fifteen from the birthday of Abraham;

In the year one thousand five hundred and ten from Moses and the going forth of the people of Israel from Egypt;

In the year one thousand and thirty-two from the anointing of David as king;

In the sixty-fifth week according to the prophecy of Daniel;

In the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad;

In the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome;

In the forty-second year of the rule of Octavian Augustus;

In the sixth age of the world, when the whole world was at peace: [here the voice is raised:]

Jesus Christ, eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, being pleased to hallow the world by His most gracious coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception, having become Man, was born at Bethlehem in Juda of the Virgin Mary.

[All prostrate themselves: at the signal of the superior, they arise.]

The Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh. A tolum duplex feast of the first class.

On the same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia. In the reign of Diocletian, she suffered harsh and cruel imprisonment at the hands of her husband Publius, during which she was greatly consoled and comforted by Chrysogonus, a confessor of Christ. Next, she was subjected to a long imprisonment by Florius, prefect of Illyria. At last, on the island of Palmaria, she was fastened to posts with her hands and feet stretched apart, and a fire was enkindled about her. Thus she completed her martyrdom. There had been deported to this island with her two hundred men and seventy women, who gained their martyrdom by being killed in various ways. A memory.

At Barcelona in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter Nolasco, confessor, and founder of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives. He was noted for his virtues and miracles. His feast is celebrated on January 28.

At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronianus, St. Eugenia, virgin. She was the daughter of St. Philip the martyr. In the time of the Emperor Galhenus, she showed many signs and virtues and added holy choirs of virgins to Christ. She suffered for a long time under Nicetus, prefect of the city, and at last her throat was cut with a sword.

At Nicomedia, the sufferings of several thousand holy martyrs who on Christmas day were assembled at Mass. The Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be shut and a fire to be prepared around the building. A tripod with incense was set before the door. Then a herald proclaimed that they who desired to escape the fire should come out and offer incense to Jupiter. When the Christians unanimously declared they would gladly die for the sake of Christ, the church was set on fire and they were burned alive. Thus, they were held worthy to be born in Heaven on the very day on which Christ was pleased to be born on earth for the salvation of the world.

The Twenty-sixth Day of December

At Jerusalem, the birthday of St. Stephen the Protomartyr, who was stoned to death by the Jews soon after the Lord's Ascension. A totum duplex feast of the second class.

At Rome, St. Marinus, a man of senatorial rank. In the reign of the Emperor Numerian and the prefect Marcian, he was arrested on the charge of being a Christian. Though a senator, he was racked and torn by iron claws as if he were a slave. He was then cast into a cauldron, but the fire turned to dew and he remained unharmed. Next, he was thrown to the wild beasts but they refused to injure him. Then he was brought back to the altar, but at his prayer the idols fell to the ground. He gained the triumph of martyrdom by being put to the sword.

In the same place, on the Appian Way, the death of Pope St. Dionysius. He undertook many labors for the Church and was famed for his writings concerning the faith.

Also at Rome, St. Zosimus, pope and confessor.

In Mesopotamia, St. Archelaus, bishop. He was celebrated for his learning and sanctity.

At Majurna in Palestine, St. Zeno, bishop.

At Rome, St. Theodore, sacristan of the church of St. Peter. Pope St. Gregory mentions him.

The Twenty-seventh Day of December

At Ephesus, the birthday of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist. After he had written his Gospel, he was sent into exile where he wrote the inspired Apocalypse. He lived even to the time of Trajan, and cstabfished and guided Churches over all Asia. Overcome by old age, he died in the sixty-eighth year after the Passion of our Lord and was buried near the aforesaid city. A totum duplex feast of the second class.

At Constantinople, the holy confessors Theodore and Theophanes, brothers. They were reared from childhood in the monastery of St. Sabas. Afterward, they contended zealously against Leo the Armenian in their defence of the veneration of holy images. By Leo's orders, they were flogged and driven into exile. After Leo's death, they also resisted the Emperor Theophilus who adhered to the same impiety; again they were beaten and driven into exile, where Theodore died in prison. When peace was at last restored to the Church, Theophanes became Bishop of Nicaea. Celebrated for the glory of his confession, he died peacefully in the Lord.

At Alexandria, St. Maximus, bishop, who was quite illustrious and outstanding by reason of his confession of the faith.

At Constantinople, St. Nicaretes, virgin, who, at the time of the Emperor Arcadius, was distinguished for her holiness.

The Twenty-eighth Day of December

In Bethlehem of Juda, the birthday of the martyred Holy Innocents, who were slain for Christ by king Herod. A totum duplex feast of the second class.

At Lyons in France, the birthday of St. Francis de Sales, bishop of Geneva, and confessor. Because of his learning and his ardent zeal for the conversion of heretics, Pope Alexander VII canonized him. His feast is celebrated on January 29, the day on which his holy body was removed from Lyons to Annecy in Savoy. The Sovereign Pontiff, Pius IX, declared him to be a Doctor of the Universal Church.

At Ancyra in Galatia, the holy martyrs Eutychius, priest, and Domitian, deacon.

In Africa, the birthday of the holy martyrs Castor, Victor, and Rogatian.

At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs, Indes, a eunuch, the virgins Domna, Agape, and Theophila, and their companions. In the persecution of Diocletian, after they had sustained prolonged tortures and been put to death in various ways, they received the crown of martyrdom.

At Neocaesarea in Pontus, St. Troadius, martyr, in the persecution of Decius. St. Gregory the Wonderworker was with him in spirit during his trial and strengthened him to endure his martyrdom.

At Arabissus in Lower Armenia, St. Caesarius martyr who suffered under Galerius Maximian.

At Rome, St. Domnio, priest.

In the monastery of Lerins in Gaul, St. Anthony, monk, noted for his miracles.

The Twenty-ninth Day of December

At Canterbury in England, the birthday of St. Thomas, bishop and martyr. For his defence of justice and ecclesiastical immunity, he was put to the sword in his basilica by a band of evil men, and thus went to Christ as a martyr. A duplex feast.

At Jerusalem, St. David, king and prophet.

At Arles in Gaul, St. Trophimus, whom St. Paul mentions in his Epistle to Timothy.(9) He was ordained bishop by that Apostle and was first sent to Arles to preach the Gospel of Christ. As Pope St. Zosimus writes, it was from the preaching of Trophinus, as from a fountainhead, that all Gaul received the streams of the faith.

At Rome, the holy martyrs Callistus, Felix, and Boniface.

In Africa, the suffering of the holy martyrs Dominic, Victor, Primian, Lybosus, Saturninus, Crescentius, Secundus, and Honoratus.

At Constantinople, St. Marcellus, abbot.

In the district of Ouche in Gaul, St. Evroult, abbot and confessor, in the days of King Childebert I.

At Vienne in Gaul, the commemoration of St. Crescens, bishop and martyr. He was a disciple of St. Paul the Apostle and first Bishop of Vienne. His birthday is celebrated on June 27.

The Thirtieth Day of December

At Rome, the birthday of St. Felix I, pope and martyr. He governed the Church at the time of the Emperor Aurelius. His feast is celebrated on May 30.

At Spoleto, the birthday of the holy martyrs Sabinus, Bishop of Assisi, Exuperantius and Marcellus, deacons, and Venustian the governor, with his wife and children. They were martyred in the reign of the Emperor Maximian. Marcellus and Exuperantius were first stretched on the rack and grievously beaten with clubs. Next they were torn with iron claws and their sides roasted by fire until they gained their martyrdom. Shortly after, Venustian was killed by the sword, together with his wife and children. St. Sabinus had his hands cut off and was confined in prison for a long time; then he was flogged to death. Although the martyrdom of these saints took place at different times, they are all remembered on one day.

At Alexandria, SS. Mansuctus, Severus, Appian, Donatus, Honorius, and their fellow martyrs.

At Thessalonica, St. Anysia, martyr.

At the same place, St. Anysius, bishop of that city.

At Milan, St. Eugene, bishop and confessor.

At Ravenna, St. Liberius, bishop.

At Aquila, among the Vestinian people, (10) St. Rainer, bishop.

The Thirty-first Day of December

At Rome, the birthday of St. Silvester I, pope and confessor. He baptized the Emperor Constantine, and it was he who approved the Nicene Synod. After performing many other deeds in a most saintly way, he died in peace. A duplex feast.

Also at Rome on the Via Salaria, in the cemetery of Priscilla, the holy martyrs Donata, Paulina, Rustica, Nominanda, Scrotina, Hilaria, and their companions.

At Sens, Blessed Sabinian, bishop, and Potentian. They had been sent there by the Roman Pontiff to preach the Gospel, and they rendered illustrious that city by the martyrdom following their confession of faith. At Catania in Sicily, the suffering of St. Stephen, Pontian, Attalus, Fabian, Cornelius, Sextus, Flos, Quinctian, Minervinus, and Simplician. At Sens, St. Columba, virgin and martyr. In the persecution of the Emperor Aurelius, she overcame the fire and was slain by the sword.

On the same day, St. Zoticus, a Roman priest, who went to Constantinople and dedicated himself to the work of taking care of orphans.

At Ravenna, St. Barbatian, priest and confessor.

At La Louvesc, in the diocese of Vienne in Dauphine, the death of St. John-Francis Regis, priest, of the Society of Jesus, and confessor. He was a man of extraordinary charity and patience in procuring the salvation of souls. He was canonized by Pope Clement XII,

At Retiers, St. Hermes, exorcist.

On the same day, St. Melinia the Younger. She departed from Rome with her husband Pinian and went to Jerusalem; there she devoted herself to the religious life among women consecrated to God, while her husband joined the monks. Both died a holy death.

V. And elsewhere, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

R. Thanks be to God.


1. See note under April 28.

2. That is to say, she was successively a virgin, wife, widow, and religious.

3. John 11:1, 43.

4. When St. Begga returned from a pilgrimage to Rome, she built seven chalpels at Ardenne to represent the seven basilicas of Rome. Near the chapels, she erected her monastery.

5. The allusion is to the saint's famous epistle: "I am God's grain and I am to be ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found the pure bread of Christ."

6. Scholars have been unable to identify this place.

7. See note for July 3.

8. See the Caeremoniale O.P., par. 1347.

9. 2 Timothy, 4:19.

10. See note for July 24.