Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Saint Basilides and Companions, Martyrs

Red
Commemoration

Beside John of Sahagún, the Apostle of peace, are grouped four warriors of our Lord’s army. Thus peace and war this day go hand in hand, yea, form but one in the kingdom of the Son of God. The three-fold peace, preached by Christ, namely, man’s peace with his God, with himself, and with his brethren, all fellow citizens in the Holy City—is to be won only at the cost of combat with Satan, the flesh, and world, which is the “accursed city.” Together with the Church, let us blend in one united homage, our praises of the glorious Confessor of these later ages, and of the stern veterans of persecuting times.

Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor et Nazarius, romani milites, nobiles genere et virtute illustres, christians religione suscepta, cum Christum Dei Filium, Diocletiano imperatore, prædicarent, ab Aurelio, præfecto Urbis comprehensi, et us diis sacra facerent admoniti, ejus jussa contemnentes, missi sunt in carcerem. Quibus orantibus, cum subito clarissima lux oborta omnium oculis qui ibidem essent carcerem collustrasset, illo c&aoelig;lesti splendore commotus Marcellus custodiæ præpositus, multique alii Christo Domino crediderunt. Verum postea e carcere emissi, ab imperatore Maximiano, cum, ejus etiam neglecto imperio, unum Christum Deum et Dominum in ore haberent, scorpionibus cruciati iterum conjuciuntur in vincula, unde septimo die educti et ante pedes imperatoris constituti, perstiterunt in irrisione inanium deorum, Jesum Christum Deum constantissime confitentes. Quamobrem damnati, securi feriuntur. Quorum corpora feris objecta, nec ab illis tacta, a christianis honorifice sepulta sunt.

Basilides, Cyrinus, Nabor, and Nazarius were Roman soldiers of illustrious birth and valor. Having embraced the Christian religion, and being found publishing that Christ is the Son of God, they were arrested by Aurelius, Prefect of Rome, under Diocletian. As they despised his orders to sacrifice to the gods, they were committed to prison. While they were at prayer there, a brilliant light broke forth before the eyes of all present and shone in all the prison. Marcellinus, the jailer and many others, were moved by this heavenly glory to believe in the Lord Christ. Having gone forth from the prison, they were afterwards thrown in again, by the Emperor Maximian, who caused them, first of all, to be beaten with scorpions, for having, despite his orders, continued to have ever in their mouth that there is but one Christ, one God, one Lord, and so they were laden with chains. Thence, on the seventh day, they were brought out, and set before the emperor, and there still persisting in mocking at the foolish idols, and declaring Jesus Christ to be God, they were accordingly condemned to death, and beheaded. Their bodies were given to wild beasts to be devoured, but as they refused to touch them, the Christians took and buried them honorably.

From you we learn, O soldiers of Jesus Christ, the nature of that peace which He came to bring upon earth to men of good will. Its reward is no other than God himself, who by it and together with it, communicates himself to such as are worthy. Its invigorating sweetness overpowers every sensitive feeling, even that of tortures such as Christians, after your example, must be ready to undergo, in order to preserve intact this priceless treasure. Amidst torments and beneath the death-stroke, this peace upheld you, keeping your mind and heart free,—fixed alone on heaven: this same peace now forms forever your eternal beatitude, in the presence of the undivided and ever tranquil Trinity. Whatsoever be the varied condition of our life here below, lead us, O holy Martyrs, by the path of this perfect peace, fraught as it necessarily is with valor and love, unto the repose of endless bliss.

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