Obrazy na stronie

pious men hoped, that, if the boy survived, he might be induced to worship the idols,) she lifted him up into her arms, and, summing up all her strength, ran after the waggons, on which the Martyrs' bodies were being carried. Melithon died in his mother's arms, and the holy woman threw his body on the pile, where the other martyrs were, that as he had been so united with them in faith and courage, he might be one with them in burial, and go to heaven in their company. As soon as the bodies were burnt, the pagans threw what remained into a river. The relics miraculously flowed to one and the same place, just as they were when they were taken from the pile. The Christians took them, and respectfully buried them.

puerum, si vixisset, ad idoforum cultum revocari posse; ipso in humeros sublato, sancta mater vehicula martyrum corporibus onusta strenue persequebatur; in cujus amplexu Melithon spiritum Deo reddidit, ejusque corpus in eumdem illum cæterorum martyrum rogum pia mater injecit : ut qui fide et virtute conjunctissimi fuerant, funeris etiam societate copulati, una in cœlum pervenirent. Combustis illis, eorum reliquiæ projectæ in profluentem, cum mirabiliter in unum confluxissent locum, salvæ et integræ repertæ, honorifico sepulchro conditæ sunt.

That we may the more worthily celebrate the memory of the Forty Martyrs, we borrow a few stanzas from the Hymn in which the Greek Liturgy so enthusiastically sings their praises.


(Die IX. Martii.)

The holy Martyrs, generously suffering present evils, and rejoicing in the hope of reward, said to each other: "It is not our raiment, but "the old man that we have put "off. The winter is cold; but "Paradise is sweet. The ice is a torture; but the repose is "pleasant. Fellow-soldiers! "let us not retreat. Let us


Generose præsentia sufferentes, in præmiis quæ sperabant gaudentes, sancti Martyres ad invicem dicebant: Non vestimentum exuimus, sed veterem hominem deponimus; rigida est hiems, sed dulcis Paradisus; molesta est glacies, sed jucunda requies. Non ergo recedamus, o commi

litones; paulum sustineamus, ut victoriæ coronas obtineamus a Christo Domino et Salvatore animarum nostrarum.

Fortissima mente martyrium sustinentes, athletæ admirandi, per ignem et aquam transivistis, et inde ad salutis latitudinem pervenistis, in hæreditatem accipientes regnum cœlorum, in quo divinas pro nobis preces facite, sapientes quadraginta Martyres.

Attonitus stetit quadraginta Martyrum custos coronas aspiciens, et amore hujus vitæ contempto, desiderio gloriæ tuæ, Domine, quæ illi apparuerat, sublevatus est, et cum Martyribus cecinit: Benedictus es, Deus patrum nostrorum.

Vitæ amator miles ad lavacrum currens pestiferum mortuus est; Christi autem amicus egregius raptor coronarum quæ apparuerant, velut in lavacro immortalitatis, cum Martyribus canebat Benedictus es, Deus patrum nostrorum.

Virili prædita pectore, mater Deo amica, super humeros tollens quem genuerat fructum pietatis, Martyrem cum Martyribus victimam adducit, patris Abrahæ imitatrix. ́ Ó fili, ad perenniter manentem vitam velocius currens carpe viam, Christi amica mater ad puerum clamabat. Non fero te secundum ad Deum

[blocks in formation]

O admirable combatants! you suffered martyrdom with most brave hearts. You passed through fire and water, and thence you came to the spacious land of salvation, receiving the kingdom of heaven as your inheritance. There, O prudent Forty Martyrs, offer up your holy prayers for us.

The gaoler of the Forty Martyrs stood in astonishment as he beheld the Crowns. Despising this present life, and ambitious to enjoy thy glory, O Lord, which had been shown him in vision, he joined the Martyrs in this hymn: "Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers!"


The soldier that loved this life, ran to the cursed bath, and there he met with death: but the friend of Christ, he that nobly seized the crown which was offered him, as it were laved in immortality, sang with the Martyrs : "Blessed art thou, the God "of our fathers!"

The mother, whose manly spirit made her dear to God, taking on her shoulders the beloved fruit of her womb, brings him to the Martyrs that he might be a Martyred victim with them. Thus does she imitate our father Abraham. This mother, dear to Christ, cried out to her child:


O my son; quickly run the "path that leads to life eter


"nal. I cannot brook thy being second to any in coming "to the God, who rewards "us."


Come, Brethren, let us sing the praises of the troop of Martyrs, who were burnt with frost, and whose ardent zeal set fire to the frosty cold of Most heroic armymost holy legion, that fought with shields close knit together unbroken and unconquered troop-defenders and guardians of the faith-the Forty Martyrs-the sacred choir the legates of the Church: their powerful prayers to Christ draw down upon our souls his peace and rich mercy.

[ocr errors]

præmia largientem pervenire.

Venite, fratres, Martyrum laudibus celebremus phalangem, frigore incensam, et erroris frigus ardenti zelo incendentem; generosissimum exercitum, sacratissimum agmen, concertis pugnans clypeis, infractum et invictum, defensores fidei et custodes, Martyres quadraginta, divinam choream legatos Ecclesiæ, potenter Christum deprecantes ut pacem animis nostris concedat et magnam misericordiam.

Valiant Soldiers of Christ! who meet us, with your mysterious number, at this commencement of our Forty Days' Fast,―receive the homage of our devotion. Your memory is venerated throughout the whole Church, and your glory is great in heaven. Though engaged in the service of an earthly Prince, you were the Soldiers of the Eternal King: to Him were you faithful, and from Him did you receive your crown of eternal glory. We, also, are his Soldiers; we are fighting for the kingdom of heaven. Our enemies are many and powerful; but, like you, we can conquer them, if, like you, we use the arms which God has put in our hands. Faith in God's word, hope in his assistance, humility, and prudence, with these, we are sure of victory. Pray for us, O Holy Martyrs, that we may keep from all compromise with our enemies; for our defeat is certain, if we try to serve two masters. During these Forty Days, we must put our arms in order, repair our lost strength, and renew our engagements; come to our assistance, and

get us a share in your brave spirit. A crown is also prepared for us: it is to be won on easier terms than yours, and yet we shall lose it, unless we keep up within us an esteem for our vocation. How many

times, in our past lives, have we not forfeited that glorious crown? But God, in his mercy, has offered it to us again, and we are resolved on winning it. Oh! for the glory of our common Lord and Master, make intercession for us.





AMONG all the Pastors, whom our Lord Jesus Christ has placed, as his Vicegerents, over the universal Church, there is not one whose merits and renown have surpassed those of the holy Pope, whose feast we keep to-day. His name is Gregory, which signifies watchfulness; his surname is the Great, and he was in possession of that title when God sent the Seventh Gregory, the glorious Hildebrand, to govern his Church.

In recounting the glories of this illustrious Pontiff, it is but natural we should begin with his zeal for the Services of the Church. The Roman Liturgy, which owes to him some of its finest Hymns, may be considered as his work, at least in this sense, that it was he who collected together and classified the prayers and rites drawn up by his predecessors, and reduced them to the form, in which we now have them. He collected also the ancient chants of the Church, and arranged them in accordance with the rules and requirements of the Divine Service. Hence it is, that our sacred music is called the Gregorian Chant, which gives such solemnity to the Liturgy, and inspires the soul with respect and devotion during the celebration of the great Mysteries of our Faith.

« PoprzedniaDalej »