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ST. SUSANNA, V. M.

THIRD AGE

SHE was nobly born in Rome, and is said to have been niece to Pope Caius. Having made a vow of virginity, she refused to marry; on which account she was impeached as a Christian, and suffered with heroic constancy a cruel martyrdom. No genuine acts of her life are now extant: but she is commemorated in many ancient Martyrologies, and the famous church which is at present served by Cistercian monks, has born her name ever since the fifth century, when it was one of the titles or parishes of Rome. St. Susanna suffered towards the beginning of Dioclesian’s reign, about the year 295.

Sufferings were to the martyrs the most distinguishing mercy, extraordinary graces, and sources of the greatest crowns and glory. All afflictions which God sends are in like manner the greatest mercies and blessings; they are the most precious talents to be improved by us to the increasing of our love and affection to God, and the exercise of the most heroic virtues of self-denial, patience, humility, resignation, and penance. They are also most useful and necessary to bring us to the knowledge of ourselves and our Creator, which we are too apt to forget without them. Wherefore whatever crosses or calamities befall us, we must be prepared to bear them with a patient resignation to the divine will; we ought to learn from the martyrs to comfort ourselves, and to rejoice in them, as the greatest blessings. How base is our cowardice, and how criminal our folly, if, by neglecting to improve these advantageous talents of sickness, losses, and other afflictions, we make the most precious mercies our heaviest curse! By honoring the martyrs, we pronounce our own condemnation.








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