The exorcist Peter, sent to prison, under the Emperor Diocletian, converted his gaoler and all his family, and brought them to the priest Marcellinus who baptized them. The judge Serenus ordered them both to appear before him and they bore witness to Jesus Christ (Gospel). They were condemned to death and after atrocious torments, were beheaded, towards 303.
Possessing the first fruits of the Holy Ghost, they awaited with sighs the adoption of the children of God and their sufferings were in nowise compared with the glory which now shines forth in them (Epistle). Both saints are mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (second list. The Station of the Saturday on the Second Week of Lent is held in the church dedicated to them.
St. Erasmus, bishop in Syria, afterwards hermit in Lebanon, was cruelly tortured several times in Antioch and in Illyria under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian. His legend tells that his entrails were wound round a windlass : he is therefore invoked for internal diseases, as one of the "fourteen auxiliary Saints". He died in peace at Formiae in Campania.
Let us follow the examples of courage and fortitude of these holy martyrs, whose merits are our joy (Collect).
Clamaverunt justi, et Dominus exaudivit eos: et ex omnibus tribulationibus eorum liberavit eos. * Benedicam Dominum in omni tempore: semper laus ejus in ore meo.
The just cried, and the Lord heard them; and delivered them out of all their troubles. * I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall be ever in my mouth.
(Psalm 33:18,2 from the Introit of Mass)
Deus, qui nos annua beatorum Martyrum tuorum Marcellini, Petri atque Erasmi solemnitate laetificas: praesta, quaesumus; ut, quorum gaudemus meritis, accendamur exemplis.
O God, who dost give us joy by the annual solemnity of Thy blessed martyrs, Marcellinus, Peter and Erasmus: grant, we beseech Thee, that we may be inspired by the examples of those in whose merits we rejoice.