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SS. PROCESSUS AND MARTINIAN, MARTYRS

By the preaching and miracles of SS. Peter and Paul at Rome, many were converted to the faith, and among others several servants and courtiers of the emperor Nero, of whom St. Pau11 makes mention.* In the year 64 that tyrant first drew his sword against the Christians, who were in a very short time become very numerous and remarkable in Rome. A journey which he made into Greece in 67, seems to have given a short respite to the Church in Rome. He made a tour through the chief cities of that country, attended by a great army of singers, pantomimes, and musicians, carrying instead of arms, instruments of music, masks, and theatrical dresses. He was declared conqueror at all the public diversions over Greece, particularly at the Olympian, Isthmian, Pythian, and Nemæan games, and gained there one thousand eight hundred various sorts of crowns. Yet Greece saw its nobility murdered, the estates of its rich men confiscated, and its temples plundered by this progress of Nero. He returned to Rome only to make the streets of that great city again to stream with blood. The apostles SS. Peter and Paul, after a long imprisonment, were crowned with martyrdom. And soon after them their two faithful disciples Processus and Martinian gained the same crown. Their acts tell us that they were the keepers of the Mamertine jail during the imprisonment of SS. Peter and Paul, by whom they were converted and baptized. St. Gregory the Great preached his thirty-second homily on their festival, in a church in which their bodies lay, at which, he says, the sick recovered their health, those that were possessed by evil spirits were freed, and those who had forsworn themselves were tormented by the devils. Their ancient church on the Aurelian road being fallen to decay, pope Paschal I. translated their relics to St. Peter’s church on the Vatican hill, as Anastasius informs us. Their names occur in the ancient Martyrologies. See Tillemont, Hist. Eccl. t. 1, p. 179. and Hist. des Emp. Crevier, &c.








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