Hold Fast!

The Memorial of Saints Cornelius, Pope, & Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs.

Lessons from the primary feria, according to the ordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• I Timothy 1: 15-17.
• Psalm 113: 1-7.
• Luke 6: 43-49.

…or, from the proper:

• II Corinthians 4: 7-15.
• Psalm 126: 1-6.
• John 17: 11-19.

…or, any lessons from the common of Martyrs for Several Martyrs, or the common of Pastors for a Bishop.

The Third Class Feast of Saint Cornelius, Pope & Martyr, and Saint Cyprian, Bishop & Martyr; and, the Commemoration of Saints Euphemia, Lucy & Geminian, Martyrs.*

Lessons from the the common "Intret…" of Many Martyrs, according to the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite:

• Wisdom 3: 1-8.
[Gradual] Exodus 15: 11, 6.
• Luke 21: 9-21.

If a Mass for the commemoration is taken, lessons from the same common as above.

The Saturday after the Exaltation of the Cross; and, the Feast of the Holy & Great Martyr Euphemia.

First & third lessons from the pentecostarion, second and fourth from the menaion, according to the Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite:

• I Corinthians 1: 26-29.
• II Corinthians 6: 1-10.
• John 8: 21-30
• Luke 7: 36-50.


8:18 AM 9/16/2017 — Cornelius, the successor of the Pope and Martyr Saint Fabian, was one of the greatest popes of the third century. He was beheaded in the year 253. Cyprian, a barrister and later bishop of Carthage and primate of Africa, was an ally of Pope Cornelius in his struggle to eliminate the practice of re-baptizing heretics, and wrote a number of erudite treatises which are among the most precious theological works of the early Church. The first African bishop to be martyred, he was beheaded in the year 258.
     It's hard for us, fat dumb and happy, to properly visualize what it was like for so many priests, popes and lay people to sacrifice themselves for something as innocuous as not making a sacrifice to some Roman god, or for practicing a forbidden religion, but they did, and did so believing it to be a privilege.
     Most of us don't yet realize it, but we are entering a new age of martyrdom, and we've spoken about it here before. The persecution and martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East and Asia is reported haphazardly at best; and, here at home, the Church of Christ suffers defeat after defeat at the hands of the forces of secularism. But all those who attempt to kill the Church are the same: they fear the Church because the Church threatens their power over others, regardless of whether they are totalitarian governments seeking more control, or elected officials seeking more power, or slaves of the desires of the flesh seeking to legitimize and protect their perversions. The Church preaches the kingship of Christ alone, thereby guaranteeing the dignity of the human person over any human force that would seek to enslave it. And the arguments put forward by the enemies of Christ are always the same as well: the Church is denounced as intolerant because of her moral teaching; but, the enemies of God are always guilty of what they, themselves, accuse others of being. The Church never persecutes those who reject her way of life; she simply invites them to leave and go their own way. But secularism has no truck with disagreement: everyone must conform or face the consequences, because anyone who does not obey the dogma of modern secularism is a threat to the power and privilege of those who hold high office, and whose self-esteem is wrapped up in their ability to control the lives of those around them. Nero will be Nero, no matter what century it is.
     Through the intercession of Pope Saint Cornelius, of Bishop Saint Cyprian, and all the martyrs of ancient Rome and beyond, may we be encouraged and enlivened with Grace to stand firm and fast before the enemies of truth.

* Euphemia, a virgin from Chalcedon, was thrown to wild beasts in the persecution of Diocletian in the year 303. Lucy, a noblewoman, and Germinian, a layman, were beheaded during the same persecution in Rome in the year 305.