This blog contains regular postings relating to the Traditional Latin Liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church. It includes regular commentary on the saints days and the liturgical cycle, with brief background and extracts from the liturgy both in Latin and English. Much of the material has been extracted from the 'St Andrew's Daily Missal', Dom Gueranger's 'Liturgical Year', or similar sources.

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Monday, 16 January 2017

16th January, St Marcellus, Pope and Martyr

St Marcellus, Pope and Martyr

As supreme head of the Church (Introit, Gradual) at the time of the last persecutions of the Roman emperors, St. Marcellus bore witness to the divinity of Christ "by losing his life for His sake" (Gospel).

The holy widow Lucina having offered him her house, he transformed it into a church now called St. Marcellus's. Maxentius transferred there certain deer from the public stables and condemned the holy Pope to keep them. His sufferings tempered by divine consolation made him feel all the more for the troubles of his flock (Epistle). Exhausted by ill-treatment, conquered by pain, he died in 309.

His heroic resistance against which the Caesar's violence was broken proves that Jesus is God, for "it is His powerful hand that succours His servant, and His arm which strengthens him so that the enemy shall not get the better of him" (Gradual). The divine reign of the Saviour will indeed soon be acknowledged and with the Emperor Constantine, the Church of Rome, "Queen of Churches," as St. Marcellus called her, will be queen of the world, not only in the spiritual order but also in the temporal.

Let us imitate the courage of the holy Pontiff Marcellus in defending the divine rights of Christ in order that they may be manifested again by the triumph of the Church.

Statuit ei Dominus testamentum pacis, et principem fecit eum: ut sit illi sacerdotii dignitas in aeternum. * Memento Domine David et omnis mansuetudinis ejus.
The Lord made to him a covenant of peace, and made him a prince; that the dignity of the priesthood should be to him for ever. * O Lord, remember David: and all his meekness.
(Ecclus. 45:30 and Psalm 131:1. From the Introit at Mass).

Mercifully hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy people; that we who rejoice in the martyrdom of blessed Marcellus, Thy martyr and bishop, may be helped by his merits.

From the Catholic Encyclopaedia:

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