Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Martyrlogium Romanum: December 25th

n the 5199th year of the creation of the world, from the time when in the beginning God created heaven and earth; from the flood, the 2957th year; from the birth of Abraham, the 2015th year; from Moses and the going-out of the people of Israel from Egypt, the 1510th year; from the anointing of David as king, the 1032nd year; in the 65th week according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the 194th Olympiad; from the founding of the city of Rome, the 752nd year; in the 42nd year of the rule of Octavian Augustus, when the whole world was at peace, in the sixth age of the world: Jesus Christ, the eternal God and Son of the eternal Father, desiring to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived by the Holy Ghost, and nine months having passed since His conception (A higher tone of voice is now used, and all kneel) was born in Bethlehem of Juda of the Virgin Mary, having become man.

THE NATIVITY of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh.

On the same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia, who, in the time of Diocletian, first suffered a severe and harsh imprisonment on the part of her husband Publius, in which, however, she was much consoled and encouraged by the confessor of Christ, Chrysogonus. Afterwards she was thrown into prison again by order of Florus, prefect of Illyria; and finally, having her hands and feet stretched, she was tied to stakes with a fire kindled about her, in the midst of which she ended her martyrdom on the island of Palmaria, whither she had been brought with two hundred men and seventy women, who have made martyrdom a glorious thing by the various kinds of death they so valiantly endured.

At Barcelona in Spain, St. Peter Nolasco, confessor and founder of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives, renowned for virtue and miracles. His feast is celebrated on the 28th of January.

At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronian, St. Eugenia, virgin, the daughter of blessed Philip, martyr. In the time of Emperor Gallienus, after displaying many signs and virtues, gathering to Christ holy choirs of virgins, and after long trials under Nicetius, prefect of the city, she was finally put to the sword.

At Nicomedia, many thousand martyrs, who had assembled for divine service on our Lord's Nativity. When Emperor Diocletian ordered the doors of the church to be closed, fire to kindled here and there, a vessel with incense to be put before the entrance, and a man to cry out that those who wished to escape from the fire should come out and burn incense to Jupiter, all with one voice answered that they preferred to die for Christ. They were consumed in the fire, and thus merited to be born in heaven on the day on which Christ vouchsafed to be born on earth for the salvation of the world.

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