SS. Primus and Feliciamus| S. Ephrem| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of SS. Primus and Feliciamus, Martyrs. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
Saints Primus and Felician (Felicianus) (Italian: Primo e Feliciano) were brothers who suffered martyrdom about the year 297 during the Diocletian persecution. The "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (ed. G. B. de Rossi-L. Duchesne, 77) gives under June 9 the names of Primus and Felician who were buried at the fourteenth milestone of the Via Nomentana (near Nomentum, now Mentana).
They were evidently from Nomentum. This notice comes from the catalogue of Roman martyrs of the fourth century.
They appear to be the first martyrs of whom it is recorded that their bodies were subsequently reburied within the walls of Rome. In 648 Pope Theodore I translated the bones of the two saints (together with the remains of his father) to the Church of Santo Stefano Rotondo, under an altar erected in their honor (Liber Pontificalis, I, 332), where they remain. The Chapel of Ss. Primo e Feliciano contains mosaics from the 7th century. The chapel was built by Pope Theodore I. One mosaic shows the martyrs St Primus and St Felician flanking a crux gemmata (jeweled cross).
Other depictions of the saints can be found at Venice, in the St Mark's Basilica (13th century) and at Palermo, Sicily, in the Cappella Palatina (12th century).
Their feast day is 9 June. In the past they were also included in the General Roman Calendar, but because of the limited worldwide interest in them, it was decided in 1969 to leave to individual dioceses the decision whether to include them in their local calendars.
Veneration in Bavaria
A Bavarian tradition holds that Sts Primus and Felician were Roman legionaries who became missionaries in the region of Chiemgau, where Primus found in a forest a fountain with curative properties. The two brothers preached the Gospel there and cured the sick by virtue of their prayers and the virtue of the source. When they returned to Italy, they were martyred under Diocletian. The fountain, known as the Fountain of Saint Primus, can still be seen at Adelholzen, an area of hot springs where a chapel constructed in 1615 can be found, dedicated to these saints, who are much venerated in the area.
Veneration at Agen
During the 9th century, the cult of Saint Faith was fused with that of Caprasius of Agen (Caprais) and Alberta of Agen, also associated with Agen. Caprasius' cult in turn was fused with that of Primus and Felician, who are called Caprasius' brothers.
One legend states that during the persecutions of Christians by the prefect Dacian, Caprasius fled to Mont-Saint-Vincent, near Agen. He witnessed the execution of Faith from atop the hill. Caprasius was condemned to death, and was joined on his way to execution by Alberta, Faith’s sister (also identified as Caprasius' mother), and two brothers, named Primus and Felician. All four were beheaded.
Their "Acts" relate that Sts Felician and Primus were brothers and patricians who had converted to Christianity and devoted themselves to caring for the poor and visiting prisoners.
Arrested, they both refused to sacrifice to the public gods. They were imprisoned and scourged. They were brought separately before the judge Promotus, who tortured them together and endeavored to deceive them that the other had apostatized by offering sacrifice. This had no effect on the brothers, and the two were subsequently beheaded under the Emperor Diocletian at Nomentum (12 miles from Rome). St Primus was eighty years old at the time of his death. A church was built over their tombs on the Via Nomentana.
Poet, teacher, orator and defender of the faith, Ephrem is the only Syrian recognized as a doctor of the Church. He took upon himself the special task of opposing the many false doctrines rampant at his time, always remaining a true and forceful defender of the Catholic Church.
Born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia, he was baptized as a young man and became famous as a teacher in his native city. When the Christian emperor had to cede Nisibis to the Persians, Ephrem, along with many Christians, fled as a refugee to Edessa. He is credited with attracting great glory to the biblical school there. He was ordained a deacon but declined becoming a priest (and was said to have avoided episcopal consecration by feigning madness!).
He had a prolific pen, and his writings best illumine his holiness. Although he was not a man of great scholarship, his works reflect deep insight and knowledge of the Scriptures. In writing about the mysteries of humanity’s redemption, Ephrem reveals a realistic and humanly sympathetic spirit and a great devotion to the humanity of Jesus. It is said that his poetic account of the Last Judgment inspired Dante.
It is surprising to read that he wrote hymns against the heretics of his day. He would take the popular songs of the heretical groups and, using their melodies, compose beautiful hymns embodying orthodox doctrine. Ephrem became one of the first to introduce song into the Church’s public worship as a means of instruction for the faithful. His many hymns have earned him the title “Harp of the Holy Spirit.”
He preferred a simple, austere life, living in a small cave overlooking the city of Edessa. It was here he died around 373.
Many Catholics still find singing in church a problem, probably because of the rather individualistic piety that they inherited. Yet singing has been a tradition of both the Old and the New Testament. It is an excellent way of expressing and creating a community spirit of unity as well as joy. Ephrem's hymns, an ancient historian testifies, "lent luster to the Christian assemblies." We need some modern Ephrems—and cooperating singers—to do the same for our Christian assemblies today.
Lay me not with sweet spices,
For this honor avails me not,
Nor yet use incense and perfumes,
For the honor befits me not.
Burn yet the incense in the holy place;
As for me, escort me only with your prayers,
Give ye your incense to God,
And over me send up hymns.
Instead of perfumes and spices,
Be mindful of me in your intercessions.
(From The Testament of St. Ephrem)
It Is Your Decision:
Note to self: if you want to love God better... hate sin more. Heaven is an invitation. Hell is a decision.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
If I have received everything, why should I praise myself? I would be foolish to praise myself for what is not mine.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Two: 112-188
We now enter into Notebook Two of the six notebooks that make up the Diary of Saint Faustina. The reason for having more than one notebook is simply that when one notebook was filled by Saint Faustina she began with a new one. Therefore, there is nothing particularly different from one notebook to the other. However, for the purpose of this current book of daily reflections, each reflection will begin to be lengthened, starting here with Notebook Two, so as to help you, the reader, enter more deeply into the beautiful mysteries of faith and our shared spiritual life that have been revealed in these writings of Saint Faustina.
You are invited once again to take one reflection each day and to ponder it throughout the day. Try to pray the prayer for each reflection each morning, noon and evening. Allow each mystery reflected upon to become a source of wisdom and understanding for you.
Reflection 160: The Mercy of Confession
Have you discovered the great joy of going to Confession? Some do not consider the Sacrament of Confession to be a great joy. Instead, they see it as a painful and humiliating experience. But perhaps some need the humiliation of an honest confession to help break them out of their sin. Others, those who sincerely seek the abundant Mercy of God, will take great delight in going to Confession because they see the glorious effect it has upon their soul. Seek to love Confession. Pray that it becomes something that you long for as you anticipate the wonderful fruits of this holy purification (See Diary #817).
When is the last time you went to Confession? If it has been a while then this reflection is for you. The Lord is calling you to receive the Mercy He has infused into this glorious Sacrament. By going to Confession and receiving absolution you are encountering Jesus Himself. It is He, hidden within the priest, who absolves you and cleanses your soul. Do you believe this? Do you want this grace for your soul? Reflect upon that which deters you from Confession. It may be inconvenience, or a busy schedule, or fear, or distrust of a particular priest. Whatever it is, keeping you from this Sacrament, allow the Lord to remove it. The Lord loves you and is calling you to His Merciful Heart. Rejoice in that fact and foster within your soul a holy longing to receive all that He wishes to bestow through this sacred gift of Mercy.
Precious Jesus, I entrust myself to Your Mercy and pray that I will be open to this gift as You desire to bestow it. I pray that I may have a burning desire for the Mercy You wish to offer me through this Sacrament. Humble me Lord, and help me to confidently open the wounds of my soul to Your healing grace. Jesus, I trust in You.