Sunday, August 13, 2017

Saints Hippolytus and Cassian, Martyrs

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Not far from the sepulcher of St. Laurence, on the opposite side of the Tiburtian Way, lies the tomb of St. Hippolytus, one of the sanctuaries most dear to the Christians in the days of triumph. Prudentius has described the magnificence of the crypt, and the immense concourse attracted to it each year on the Ides of August. Who was this Saint? Of what rank and manner of life? What facts of his history are there to be told, beyond that of his having given his blood for Christ? All these questions have in modern times become the subject of numerous and learned works. He was a martyr, and that is nobility enough to make him glorious in our eyes. Let us honor him then, and together with him another soldier of Christ, Cassian of Immola, whom the Church offers to our homage at the same time. Hippolytus was dragged by wild horses over rocks and briars till his body was all torn: Cassian, who was a schoolmaster, was delivered by the judge to the children he had taught, and died of the thousands of wounds inflicted by their styles. The prince of Christian poets has sung of him as of Hippolytus, describing his combat and his tomb.

Prayer

Da, quæsumus onipotens Deus: ut beatorum Martyrum tuorum Hippolyti et Cassiani veneranda solemnitas, et devotionem nobis augeat, et salutem. Per Dominum.

Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that the venerable solemnity of thy blessed martyrs, Hippolytus and Cassian, may cotribute to the increase of our devotion, and promote our salvation. Through Christ our Lord, etc.

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