Friday, August 09, 2019

St Romanus the Martyr

In the Roman Breviary of 1481, the following account is given of St Romanus, a solder who was converted by seeing the constancy of St Lawrence in his torments. His feast is kept today.

At Rome, the birth of St Romanus, a soldier who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ through the words of St Lawrence, and said to (him), “I see before thee a most fair youth, standing with a linen cloth, and wiping thy limbs; wherefore, I adjure thee through Christ, who sent His angel to thee, do not leave me.” Then Decius, being full of wrath and deceit, said to Valerian, “I think we have been beaten by magical art.” And he ordered the blessed Lawrence to be removed from the grill. At that very hour, the blessed Romanus came bearing a vessel of water, falling at the feet of blessed Lawrence, with tears asked him that he might be baptized. And (Lawrence) took the water, blessed it and baptized him. Now Decius on hearing this said, “Strip him, and beat him with clubs.” And blessed Romanus, being brought before Decius Caesar, without being asked, began to cry out in a clear voice, saying “I am a Christian.” And Decius Caesar ordered him in that very hour to be executed; so he was brought outside the walls at the Salarian gate and beheaded on the ninth of August. Then the priest Justin came at night, and collected the body of the blessed martyr Romanus, and buried him in a crypt in the Ager Veranus.

St Romanus before the Blessed Trinity; in the lower left corner, he is seen standing outside the prison where St Lawrence is held, carrying a water vessel. From the high altar of the church dedicated to him in the town of Schweighausen in western Germany. (Image from Wikimedia Commons by Jörgens.mi, CC BY-SA 3.0.)

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