From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jul 27 23:25:58 2021
July 28th – Sts. Nazarius and Celsus, Martyrs
Saint Nazarius, born in Rome, was the son of a pagan military man who
held an important post in the Roman army. His mother, honored by the
Church as Saint Perpetua, was a zealous Christian, instructed by Saint
Peter or his disciples in the most perfect maxims of Christianity.
Nazarius at the age of nine embraced the Faith with so much ardor that
he copied in his own young life all the great virtues he saw in his
teachers. He was baptized by Saint Linus, who would later become Pope.
His pagan father was touched by his son’s virtue and seconded his
project to go elsewhere to preach the Gospel. Out of zeal for the
salvation of others, Nazarius therefore left Rome, his native city,
and preached the Faith in many places with a fervor and
disinterestedness fitting for a disciple of the Apostles.
Ten years later he is known to have been in Milan. He was driven from
the city by the prefect after being whipped, and he left Italy to go
to eastern Gaul or France. There a young boy by the name of Celsus was
brought to him; his mother asked him to teach and baptize her son, and
to take him for his disciple. The child was docile, and Nazarius did
so; and they were never separated. When conversions multiplied, the
local governor was alarmed and the apostle was again arrested, beaten
and tortured. The wife of this governor was a Christian, however, and
succeeded in obtaining liberty for the two young innocents. They were
freed on condition they would not preach at this place any longer.
The two fervent Christians went to the Alpine villages where only a
few solitary settlers braved the rigors of the climate and the
altitude. They were not rebuffed and went as far as Embrun. There they
built a chapel to the true God, and then continued on to Geneva, and
to Treves where Saint Nazarius was arrested and imprisoned. Celsus
followed him in tears, longing to share his captivity. When after a
few days the prefect ordered them brought before him, they were
treated cruelly but appeared before the magistrate, their faces
shining with glory. The prodigies which followed caused fear in the
pagans, and they were released and told to leave the region.
They returned to Milan, but were soon arrested there also. When they
would not sacrifice to the gods of the empire, after several tortures
in which God again preserved them, they were sentenced to be beheaded.
They embraced one another in transports of joy and praise to God for
this grace. It was during the reign of Nero, in about the year 56,
that these generous Martyrs added their blood to the treasure of the Christians.
Their bodies were buried separately in a garden outside the city,
where they were discovered and taken up by Saint Ambrose in 395. In
the tomb of Saint Nazarius, whose decapitated body and head were
perfectly conserved, a vial of the Saint’s blood was found as fresh
and red as if it had been spilt that same day. Saint Ambrose conveyed
the bodies of the two martyrs into the new church of the Apostles
which he had just built. A woman was delivered of an evil spirit in
their presence. Saint Ambrose sent some of these relics to Saint
Paulinus of Nola, who received them with great respect as a most
valuable gift, as he himself testifies, and placed them in honor at
Reflection: The martyrs died as the outcasts of the world, but are
crowned by God with immortal honor. The glory of the world is false
and transitory, an empty bubble or shadow, but that of virtue is true,
solid, and permanent, even in the eyes of men.
Sources: Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, a compilation based on Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and other sources by John Gilmary Shea.
It is not enough to do good things, but we must do them well, in
imitation of Christ our Lord, of whom it was written: Bene omnia fecit
-- He did all things well. We ought, then, to strive to do all things
in the spirit of Christ; that is, with the perfection, with
circumstances, and for the ends for which He performed His actions.
Otherwise, even the good works that we do will bring us punishment
rather than reward.
--St. Vincent de Paul
From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the
world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling place
I have ministered before him. 15 And so was I established in Sion, and
in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. 16
And I took root in an honourable people, and in the portion of my God
his inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints. (Ecclesiasticus 24:14-16)
Permit us, O Jesus,
to dedicate to you each member of our family.
Accept each one of us,
and may every beat of our hearts
be an act of love for you.
By the power of your Blood,
may we be strengthened
and sustained in our daily difficulties.
May we be a sign, to each other
and to all with whom we come in contact,
of your life in us.
Bless our home, dear Jesus.
Bless our joys and sufferings.
Bless every moment of our lives
and especially the moment of our death.
After living for the glory of your Blood one earth,
may we have the joy of praising you eternally in heaven.