The Roman Martyrology - December

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In the language of the Church, Birthday refers to the day on which a Saint enters heaven. However, the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist are exceptions to this rule.

The First Day of December

  • The prophet Nahum, who was buried in Begabar.
  • At Rome, the holy martyrs Diodorus, priest, and Marian, deacon, with many others, who by the command of the emperor Numerian, were made partakers of the glory of martyrdom.
  • In the same city, the martyrdom of the saints Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian, and Candida,
  • The same day, St. Ansanus, martyr, who confessed Christ at Rome, and was cast into prison, in the time of the emperor Diocletian. Being afterwards conducted to Siena, in Tuscany, he there ended the course of his martyrdom by decapitation.
  • At Amelia, in Umbria, St. Olympias, ex-consul, who was converted to the faith by blessed Firmina, and being tortured on the rack, consummated his martyrdom under Diocletian.
  • At Arbele, in Persia, St. Ananias, martyr.
  • At Narni, St. Proculus, bishop and martyr, who after performing many good works, was beheaded by order of Totila, king of the Goths.
  • At Casale, St. Evasius, bishop and martyr.
  • At Milan, St. Castritian, bishop, who was eminent for virtues and the practice of pious and religious deeds in very troublous times for the Church.
  • At Brescia, St. Ursicinus, bishop.
  • At Noyon, St. Eligius, bishop, whose life is rendered illustrious by a considerable number of miracles.
  • At Verdun, St. Agericus, bishop.
  • The same day, St. Natalia, wife of the blessed martyr Adrian, under the emperor Diocletian. For a long time she served the holy martyrs detained in prison at Nicomedia, and when their combats were at an end, she repaired to Constantinople, where she went peacefully to her repose in the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Second Day of December

  • At Rome, the martyrdom of the saintly virgin Bibiana, under the sacrilegious emperor Julian. For the sake of our Lord, she was scourged with leaded whips until she expired.
  • In the same place, the holy martyrs Eusebius, priest, Marcellus, deacon, Hippolytus, Maximus, Adria, Paulina, Neon, Mary, Martana, and Aurelia, who consummated their martyrdom in the persecution of Valerian, under the judge Secundian.
  • Also, at Rome, St. Pontian, martyr, with four others.
  • In Africa, the birthday of the holy martyrs Severus, Securus, Januarius, and Victorinus, who were there crowned with martyrdom.
  • At Aquileia, St. Chromatius, bishop and confessor.
  • At Imola, St. Peter Chrysologus, bishop of Ravenna, celebrated for his learning and sanctity. His feast is celebrated on the 4th of this month.
  • At Verona, St. Lupus, bishop and confessor.
  • At Edessa, St. Nonnus, bishop, by whose prayers the penitent Pelagia was converted to Christ.
  • At Troas, in Phrygia, St. Silvanus, renowned for miracles.
  • At Brescia, St. Evasius, bishop.
  • In Sancian, a Chinese island, St. Francis Xavier, of the Society of Jesus, renowned for the conversions he made among the Gentiles, and for supernatural gifts and miracles. Pius X. selected and appointed this holy man to be the heavenly patron of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith and its work. His festival, however, is kept on the 3d of this month by order of Alexander VII.
Thanks be to God.

The Third Day of December

  • ST. FRANCIS XAVIER, confessor, of the Society of Jesus, who died on the 2d of this month.
  • In Judea, the holy prophet Sophonias.
  • At Rome, the holy martyrs Claudius, tribune, and Hilaria, his wife, with Jason and Maurus, their sons, and seventy soldiers. By the command of the emperor Numerian, Claudius was fastened to a large stone and precipitated into the river; the soldiers and the sons of Claudius were condemned to capital punishment. But blessed Hilaria, after having buried the bodies of her sons, and whilst praying at their tomb, was arrested by the Pagans, and shortly after departed for heaven.
  • At Tangier, in Morocco, St. Cassian, martyr. After having been a recorder for a long time, at length, through the inspiration of heaven, he deemed it an execrable thing to contribute to the massacre of the Christians, and therefore abondoned his office, and making profession of Christianity, deserved to obtain the triumph of martyrdom.
  • Also, in Africa, the holy martyrs Claudius, Crispinus, Magina, John, and Stephen.
  • In Hungary, St. Agricola, martyr.
  • At Nicomedia, the Saints Ambicus, Victor and Julius.
  • At Milan, St. Mirocles, bishop and confessor, sometimes mentioned by St. Ambrose.
  • In England, St. Birinus, first bishop of Dorchester.
  • At Coire, in Switzerland, St. Lucius, king of the Britons, who was the first of those kings who received the faith of Christ, in the time of pope Eleutherius.
  • At Siena, in Tuscany, St. Galganus, hermit.
Thanks be to God.

The Fourth Day of December

  • ST. PETER CHRYSOLOGUS, bishop, confessor, and doctor of the church, who is mentioned on the 2d of this month.
  • At Nicomedia, the passion of St. Barbara, virgin and martyr, in the persecution of Maximinus. After a series of sufferings, a long imprisonment, burning with torches and the cutting off of her breasts, she terminated her martyrdom by the sword.
  • At Constantinople, the saints Theophanes and his companions.
  • In Pontus, blessed Meletius, bishop and confessor, who joined to an eminent gift of knowledge the more distinguished glory of fortitude and integrity of life.
  • At Bologna, St. Felix, bishop, who previously had been deacon of the church of Milan, under St. Ambrose.
  • In England, St. Osmund, bishop and confessor.
  • At Cologne, St. Annan, bishop.
  • In Mesopotamia, St. Maruthas, bishop, who restored the churches of God that had been ruined in Persia by the persecution of king Isdegerdes. Being renowned for many miracles, he merited to be honored even by his enemies.
  • At Parma, St. Bernard, cardinal and bishop of that city. He belonged to the Congregation of Vallumbrosa, of the Order of St. Benedict.
Thanks be to God.

The Fifth Day of December

  • At Mutala, in Cappadocia, St. Sabas, abbot, who was renowned in Palestine for admirable examples of sanctity. He labored courageously in defending the Catholic faith against those who attacked the holy council of Chalcedon.
  • At Thebesta, in Africa, during the time of Diocletian and Maximian, St. Chrispina, a woman of the highest nobility, who refused to sacrifice to idols, and was beheaded by order of the proconsul Anolinus. Her praises are often celebrated by St. Augustine.
  • At Thagura, in Africa, the holy martyrs Julius, Potamia, Crispinus, Felix, Gratus, and seven others.
  • At Nicaea, near the river Var, St. Bassus, bishop. In the persecution of Deems and Valerian, he was tortured by the governor Perennius for the faith of Christ, burned with hot plates of metal, beaten with rods and whips garnished with pieces of iron, and thrown into the fire. Having come out of it unhurt, he was transfixed with two spikes, and thus terminated an illustrious martyrdom.
  • At Pavia, St. Dalmatius, bishop and martyr, who suffered in the persecution of Maximian.
  • At Pelino, in Abruzzo, St. Pelinus, bishop of Brindisi. Under Julian the Apostate, because by his prayers he caused a temple of Mars to fall to the ground, he was most severely scourged by the idolatrous priests, and being pierced with eighty-five wounds, merited the crown of martyrdom.
  • Also, St. Anastasius, martyr, who, thirsting for martyrdom, voluntarily offered himself to the persecutors.
  • At Treves, St. Nicetius, bishop, a man of great sanctity.
  • At Polybotum, in Asia, St. John, bishop, surnamed Wonder-worker.
Thanks be to God.

The Sixth Day of December

  • At Myra, the metropolis of Lycia, the birthday of St. Nicholas, bishop and confessor, of whom it is related, among other miracles, that, while at a great distance from the emperor Constantine, he appeared to him in a vision and moved him to mercy so as to deter him from putting to death some persons who had implored his assistance.
  • In Africa, in the per secution of the Vandals, and under the Arian king Hunneric, the saintly women Dionysia, Dativa, Leontia, a religious man named Tertius, AEmilian, a physician, and Boniface, with three others, who were subjected to numberless most painful torments for the Catholic faith, and thus merited to rank among the confessors of Christ.
  • In the same country, St. Majoricus, son of St. Dionysia, who, being quite young and dreading the torments, was strengthened by the looks and words of his mother, and becoming stronger than the rest, expired in torments. His mother took him in her arms, and having buried him in her own house, was wont to pray assiduously at his sepulchre.
  • The same day St. Polychronius, priest, who, in the time of the emperor Constantius, was attacked by the Arians and put to death while at the altar saying Mass.
  • At Granada, in Spain, the passion of blessed Peter Paschasius, martyr, of the Order of Mercedarians, and bishop of Jaen, whose festival is celebrated on the 23d of October, by order of pope Clement X.
  • At Rome, St. Asella, virgin, who, according to the words of St. Jerome, being blessed from her mother's womb, lived to old age in fasting and prayer.
Thanks be to God.

The Seventh Day of December

  • At Milan, the consecration of St. Ambrose, bishop and doctor of the Church, who has ennobled the universal Church by his holiness and teaching.
  • At Alexandria, the birthday of blessed Agatho, soldier. In the persecution of Decius, as he was preventing some people from insulting the bodies of the martyrs, a sudden outcry was raised against him by all the populace, and being brought before the judge and persisting in the confession of Christ, he was condemned to capital punishment as a reward for his humanity.
  • At Antioch, the holy martyrs Polycarp and Theodore.
  • At Tuburbum, in Africa, during the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Hunneric, St. Servus, martyr, who, being for a very long time beaten with rods, lifted up on high with pulleys and suddenly dropped on flint-stones with his whole weight, and rubbed over with sharp stones, obtained the palm of martyrdom.
  • At Teano, in Campania, St. Urban, bishop and confessor.
  • At Saintes, in France, St. Martin, abbot, at whose tomb God works frequent miracles.
  • In the diocese of Meaux, St. Fara, virgin.
Thanks be to God.

The Eighth Day of December

  • The Immaculate Conception of the glorious and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God. On this day Pius IX., solemnly declared her to have been preserved by a special privilege of God free from the stain of original sin.
  • At Rome, blessed Eutychian, pope, who with his own hands buried in various places three hundred and forty-two martyrs. Under the emperor Numerian he became their companion, being crowned with martyrdom and buried in the cemetery of Callistus.
  • At Alexandria, in the time of Decius, St. Macarius, martyr, whose constancy in professing the faith increased with the efforts made by the judge to persuade him to deny Christ. He was finally condemned to be burned alive.
  • At Treves, St. Eucharius, disciple of the blessed apostle Peter, and first bishop of that city.
  • In Cyprus, the holy bishop Sophronius, who was a devoted protector of orphans and widows, and a friend to the poor and the oppressed.
  • In the monastery of Luxeuil, St. Romaricus, abbot, who left the highest station at the court of king Theodobert, renounced the world, and surpassed others in the observance of monastic discipline.
  • At Constantinople, St. Patapius, solitary, renowned for virtues and miracles.
  • At Verona, the ordination of St. Zeno, bishop.
Thanks be to God.

The Ninth Day of December

  • At Gray, in Burgundy, St. Peter Fourier, Canon Regular of Our Saviour, and founder of the Canonesses Regular of Our Lady for the education of girls. Because of his brilliant virtues and miracles Leo XIII. placed him in the catalogue of Saints.
  • At Toledo, in Spain, the birthday of the holy virgin Leocadia, a martyr, in the persecution of the emperor Diocletian. By Dacian, prefect of Spain, she was condemned to a cruel imprisonment, where she was pining away, when, hearing of the barbarous tortures of blessed Eulalia and the other martyrs, she knelt down to pray, and yielded up her undefiled spirit to Christ.
  • At Carthage, St. Restitutus, bishop and martyr, on whose feast St. Augustine delivered a discourse to the people in which he set forth his praises.
  • Also, in Africa, the holy martyrs Peter, Successus, Bassian, Primitivus and twenty others.
  • At Limoges, in France, St. Valeria, virgin and martyr.
  • At Verona, during the persecution of Diocletian, St. Proculus, bishop, who was buffeted, scourged with rods and driven out of the city. Being at length restored to his church, he rested in peace.
  • At Pavia, St. Syrus, first bishop of that city, who was renowned for miracles and virtues worthy of an apostle.
  • At Apamea, in Syria, blessed Julian, bishop, who was distinguished for holiness in the time of Severus.
  • At Perigueux, in France, the holy abbot Cyprian, a man of great sanctity.
  • At Nazianzus, St. Gorgonia, sister of blessed Gregory the Theologian, who has related her virtues and miracles.
Thanks be to God.

The Tenth Day of December

  • At Rome, pope St. Melchiades, who, having suffered much in the persecution of Maximian, rested in the Lord when peace was given to the Church.
  • The same day, Saints Carpophorus, priest, and Abundius, deacon, who became martyrs in the persecution of Diocletian. They were first most cruelly beaten with rods, then imprisoned and denied food and drink; being racked a second time and again thrown into prison, they were finally beheaded.
  • At Merida, in Spain, in the time of Maximian, the martyrdom of the holy virgin Eulalia, who, at twelve years of age, suffered many torments for the confession of Christ, by order of the governor Dacian. Finally she was stretched on the rack, torn with iron hooks, had her sides burned with flaming torches, and fire being forced down her throat, she expired.
  • Again, in the same city, St. Julia, virgin and martyr, the companion of blessed Eulalia, who would not be separated from her when the latter went to suffer.
  • At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Mennas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus, who suffered under Galerius Maximian.
  • At Lentini, in Sicily, the holy martyrs Mercury and his companions, soldiers, who were beheaded under the governor Tertyllus, in the time of the emperor Licinius.
  • At Ancyra, in Galatia, St. Gemellus, martyr, who, after severe torments, consummated his martyrdom by being crucified, under Julian the Apostate.
  • At Vienne, St. Sindulphus, bishop and confessor.
  • At Brescia, St. Deusdedit, bishop.
  • At Loretto, in the March of Ancona, the Translation of the holy house of Mary, Mother of God, in which the Word was made flesh.
Thanks be to God.

The Eleventh Day of December

  • At Rome, St. Damasus, pope and confessor, who condemned the heresiarch Apollinaris, and restored to his see Peter, bishop of Alexandria, who had been driven from it. He also discovered the bodies of many holy martyrs, and wrote verses in their honor.
  • Also, at Rome, St. Thrason, who was arrested by order of Maximian for devoting his wealth to the support of the Christians who labored in the baths and at other public works, or were confined in prison. He was crowned with martyrdom with two others, Pontian and Praetextatus.
  • At Amiens, the holy martyrs Victoricus and Fuscian, under the same emperor. By order of the governor Rictiovarus, they had iron pins driven into their ears and nostrils, heated nails into their temples, and arrows into their whole bodies. Being beheaded with St. Gentian, their host, they went to our Lord.
  • In Persia, St. Barsabas, martyr.
  • In Spain, St. Eutychius, martyr.
  • At Piacenza, St. Sabinus, a bishop renowned for miracles.
  • At Constantinople, St. Daniel the Stylite.
Thanks be to God.

The Twelfth Day of December

  • At Rome, the holy martyr Synesius, who was ordained lector in the time of the blessed pope Xystus. Having converted many to Christ, he was accused before the emperor Aurelian, and being put to the sword, received the crown of martyrdom.
  • At Alexandria, in the time of Decius, the holy martyrs Epimachus and Alexander, who were kept in chains a long time, and subjected to various torments, but as they persevered in the faith, they were finally consumed by fire.
  • In the same place, the holy women Ammonaria, virgin, Mercuria, Dionysia, and another Ammonaria. The first named, after having triumphed over unheard-of torments, in the same persecution of Decius, ended her blessed life by the sword. As to the three others, the judge being ashamed to be overcome by women, and fearing that by resorting to tortues, he would be vanquished by their constancy, he ordered them to be beheaded immediately.
  • The same day, the holy martyrs Hermogenes, Donatus, and twenty-two others.
  • At Treves, the holy martyrs Maxentius, Constantius, Crescentius, Justinus, and their companions, who suffered in the persecution of Diocletian, under the governor Rictiovarus.
Thanks be to God.

The Thirteenth Day of December

  • At Syracuse, in Sicily, the birthday of St. Lucy,* virgin and martyr, in the persecution of Diocletian. By the order of the ex-consul Paschasius, she was delivered to profligates, that her chastity might be insulted; but when they attempted to lead her away, they could not succeed, either with ropes or with many yoke of oxen. Then pouring hot pitch, rosin, and boiling oil over her body without injuring her, they finally plunged a sword into her throat, and thus completed her martyrdom.
  • In Armenia, the martyrdom of the holy martyrs Eustratius, Auxentius, Eugene, Mardarius, and Orestes, in the persecution of Diocletian. Eustratius was first subjected alone to barbarous torments under Lysias. Then he was conducted to Sebaste, where he was tortured together with Orestes under the governor Agricolaus, and being cast into a furnace, yielded up his soul; but Orestes being laid on a bed of red-hot iron, rendered his soul to God. The others were made to endure most grievous torments among the Arabraci, under the governor Lysias, and consummated their martyrdom in different manners. Their relics were afterwards carried to Rome, and placed with due honors in the church of St. Apollinaris.
  • Near Sardinia, in the island of Solta, the martyrdom of St. Antiochus, under the emperor Adrian.
  • At Cambrai, in France, St. Aubertus, bishop and confessor.
  • In Ponthieu, St. Judocus, confessor.
  • In Alsace, St. Othilia, abbess.
  • At Moulins, in France, the birthday of St. Jane Frances Fremiot de Chantal, foundress of the nuns of the Visitation of St. Mary, distinguished by the nobility of her birth, by the holiness she constantly manifested in four different states of life, and by the gift of miracles. She was placed among the saints by Clement XIII. Her sacred body was conveyed to Annecy, in Savoy, and interred with great pomp in the first church of her Order. By the command of Clement XIV., her festival is kept by the whole Church on the 21st of August.
Thanks be to God.

The Fourteenth Day of December

  • At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Heron, Arsenius, Isidore and Dioscorus, a boy. In the persecution of Decius, the first three were subjected to all the refinements of cruelty by the judge, who, seeing them displaying the same constancy, ordered that they should be cast into the fire. But Dioscorus, after repeated scourgings, was set free through the intervention of Providence for the consolation of the faithful.
  • At Antioch, the birthday of the holy martyrs Drusus, Zosimus and Theodore.
  • The same day, the martyrdom of the Saints Justus and Abundius, who were cast into the flames in the time of the emperor Numerian and the governor Olybrius; but having escaped uninjured, they were struck with the sword.
  • At Rheims, the holy bishop Nicasius, his sister, the virgin Eutropia, and their companions, martyrs, who were put to death by barbarians hostile to the Church.
  • In the island of Cyprus, the birthday of blessed Spiridion, bishop. He was one of those confessors who were condemned to labor in the mines, after the plucking out of their right eye and the severing of the sinews of the left knee. This prelate was renowned for the gift of prophecy and glorious miracles, and in the council of Nicaea he confounded a heathen philosopher who insulted the Christian religion and brought him to the faith.
  • At Bergamo, St. Viator, bishop and confessor.
  • At Pavia, St. Pompey, bishop.
  • At Naples, in Campania, St. Agnellus, abbot. Illustrious by the gift of miracles, he was often seen with the standard of the 'cross delivering the city besieged by enemies.
  • At Ubeda, in Spain, St. John of the Cross, confessor, companion of St. Theresa in reforming the Carmelites. His feast is kept on the 24th of November.
  • At Milan, St. Matronian, hermit.
Thanks be to God.

The Fifteenth Day of December

  • The Octave of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
  • The same day, the consecration of St. Eusebius, bishop of Vercelli, whose birthday is commemorated on the 1st of August. His feast is kept on the 16th of this month, by order of pope Benedict XIII.
  • At Rome, the holy martyrs Irenaeus, Anthony, Theodore, Saturninus, Victor and seventeen others, who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Valerian.
  • In Africa, the martyrdom of the Saints Faustinus, Lucius, Candidus, Caelian, Mark, Januarius and Fortunatus.
  • In the same country, the holy bishop Valerian, who, being upwards of eighty years old, in the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Genseric, was asked to deliver the vessels of the church, and as he constantly refused, an order was issued to drive him all alone out of the city, and all were forbidden to allow him to stay either in their houses or on their land. For a long time he remained lying on the public road, in the open air, and thus, in the confession and defence of the Catholic verity, closed his blessed life.
  • In the diocese of Orleans, St. Maximinus, confessor.
  • In Georgia, beyond the Euxine sea, St. Christiana, who, though a slave, was so gifted with the power of working miracles that she converted the inhabitants of that country to the faith of Christ, in the time of Constantine.
Thanks be to God.

The Sixteenth Day of December

  • ST. EUSEBIUS, bishop of Vercelli and martyr, mentioned on the 1st of August, and also on the 15th of this month. The young men, Ananias, Azarias and Misael, whose bodies were buried in a cavern at Babylon.
  • At Ravenna, the holy martyrs Valentine, military officer, Concordius, his son, Navalis, and Agricola, who suffered for Christ in the persecution of Maximian.
  • At Mola-di-Gaeta, in Campania, St. Albina, virgin and martyr, under the emperor Decius.
  • In Africa, many holy virgins, who reached a happy termination of their martyrdom in the persecution of the Vandals, under the Arian king Hunneric, by having heavy weights tied to them, and burning plates of metal applied to their bodies.
  • At Vienne, blessed Ado, bishop and confessor.
  • At Aberdeen, in Scotland, St. Beanus, bishop.
  • At Gaza, in Palestine, St. Irenian, bishop.
Thanks be to God.

The Seventeenth Day of December

  • At Eleutheropolis, in Palestine, the holy martyrs Florian, Calanicus and their fifty-eight companions, who were massacred by the Saracens for the faith of Christ, in the time of the emperor Heraclius.
  • At Marseilles, in France, blessed Lazarus, bishop, who was raised from the dead by our Lord, as we read in the Gospel.
  • At Rome, St. John de Matha, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives. His festival is observed on the 8th of February, according to the decree of Innocent XI.
  • In the monastery of Fulda, the holy abbot Sturmius, abbot and apostle of Saxony, who was ranked among the saints by Innocent II., in the second Council of Lateran.
  • At Bigarden, near Brussels, St. Vivina, virgin, whose eminent sanctity is attested by frequent miracles.
  • At Constantinople, St. Olympiades, widow.
  • At Andenne, at the Seven Churches, St. Begga, widow, sister of St. Gertrude.
  • The same day, the translation of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, who, the third after the blessed apostle Peter, governed the Church of Antioch. His body was conveyed from Rome, where he had suffered under Trajan, to Antioch, and deposited in the church cemetery beyond the gate of Daphnis. St. John Chrysostom, on that solemn occasion, delivered a discourse to his people. But afterwards his relics were carried back to Rome, and placed with the highest reverence in the church of St. Clement, together with the body of that blessed pope and martyr.
Thanks be to God.

The Eighteenth Day of December

  • At Philippi, in Macedonia, the birthday of the holy martyrs Rufus and Zosimus,who were of the number of the disciples, by whom the primitive church was founded among the Jews and the Greeks. Their happy martyrdom is mentioned by St. Polycarp, in his epistle to the Philippians.
  • At Laodicea, in Syria, the martyrdom of the Saints Theotimus and Basilian.
  • In Africa, the holy martyrs Quinctus, Simplicius, and others, who suffered in the persecution of Decius and Valerian.
  • In the same country, St. Moysetes, martyr.
  • Also, in Africa, the holy martyrs Victurus, Victor, Victorinus, Adjutor, Quartus, and thirty others.
  • At Mopsuestia, in Cilicia, St. Auxentius, bishop, who, while he was a soldier under Licinius, preferred to surrender his military insignia rather than to offer grapes to Bacchus. Having been made bishop, he was renowned for merit, and rested in peace.
  • At Tours, St. Gratian, consecrated first bishop of that city by pope St. Fabrian. Celebrated for many miracles, he calmly went to his repose in the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

The Nineteenth Day of December

  • At Alexandria, in Egypt, blessed Nemesius, martyr, who was first denounced before the judge as a robber, but on being freed from that charge, was soon after, in the persecution of Decius, accused before the judge Emilian of being a Christian. By him he was twice subjected to the torture, and condemned to be burned alive with robbers, thus bearing a resemblance to our Saviour, who was crucified with thieves.
  • At Nicaea, the Saints Darius, Zosimus, Paul, and Secundus, martyrs.
  • At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Cyriacus, Paulillus, Secundus, Anastasius, Sindimius, and their companions.
  • In Mauritania (Barbary), St. Timothy, deacon, who, after enduring a painful imprisonment for the faith of Christ, was cast into the fire, where he consummated his martyrdom.
  • At Gaza, in Palestine, the martyrdom of the Saints Meuris and Thea.
  • At Avignon, blessed Urban V., who deserved well of the Church by restoring the Apostolic See to Rome, by bringing about a reunion of the Latins and the Greeks, and by suppressing heretics. Pius IX. approved and confirmed the veneration which had long been paid to him.
  • At Auxerre, St. Gregory, bishop and confessor.
  • At Orleans, St. Adjutus, an abbot renowned for the spirit of prophecy.
  • At Rome, St. Fausta, mother of St. Anastasia, distinguished for noble birth and piety.
Thanks be to God.

The Twentieth Day of December

  • The vigil of St. Thomas, apostle.
  • At Rome, the holy martyrs Liberatus and Bajulus.
  • At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Ammon, Zeno, Ptolemy, Ingen, and Theophilus, soldiers, who, standing near the tribunals, and seeing a Christian trembling under the torture and almost on the point of apostatizing, endeavored to encourage him by their looks and by signs, and when for this reason the whole people raised an outcry against them, they rushed forward, and declared themselves Christians. By their victory, Christ, who had given to them such fortitude, triumphed most gloriously.
  • At Gelduba, St. Julius, martyr.
  • In Arabia, the holy martyrs Eugene and Macarius, priests. For reproving Julian the Apostate for his impiety, they received a most severe scourging, were banished to a vast desert, and finally were put to the sword.
  • At Antioch, the birthday of St. Philogonius, bishop, who was called by the will of God from the practice of law to the government of that church. With the saintly bishop Alexander and other auxiliaries, he engaged the first combat for the Catholic faith against Arius, and, being renowned for merits, rested in the Lord. His festival was commemorated by St. John Chrysostom with an excellent panegyric.
  • At Brescia, St. Dominic, bishop and confessor.
  • In Spain, the departure from this world of St. Dominic de Sylos, abbot, of the Order of St. Benedict, most renowned for the miracles he wrought for the deliverance of captives.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-first Day of December

  • At Calamina, the birthday of the blessed apostle Thomas, who preached the Gospel to the Parthians, the Medes, the Persians and Hyrcanians. Having finally penetrated into India, and instructed those nations in the Christian religion, he died transpierced with lances by order of the king. His remains were first taken to the city of Edessa and then to Ortona.
  • In Tuscany, the holy martyrs John and Festus.
  • In Lycia, St. Themistocles, martyr, who under the emperor Decius, offered himself in the place of St. Dioscorus, who was sought after to be killed, and being racked, dragged about and beaten with rods, obtained the crown of martyrdom.
  • At Nicomedia, during the persecution of Diocletian, St. Glycerins, a priest, who was subjected to many torments, and finally completed his martyrdom by being cast into the flames.
  • At Antioch, St. Anastasius, bishop and martyr, who was cruelly murdered by the Jews during the reign of Phocas.
  • At Treves, St. Severin, bishop and confessor.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Second Day of December

  • At Rome, between the two bay-trees on the Lavican road, the birthday of thirty holy martyrs, who were all on one day crownd with martyrdom, in the persecution of Diocletian.--In the same city, St. Flavian, ex-prefect, who, under Julian the Apostate, was condemned to be branded for Christ, and banished to Aquae Taurinae, where he gave up his soul to God in prayer.
  • At Ostia, the holy martyrs Demetrius, Honoratus and Florus.
  • At Alexandria, the holy martyr Ischyrion. Because he dispised all the cruelties they made him suffer to force him to sacrifice to idols, they transpierced his bowels with a sharp-pointed stake, and thus put him to death.
  • In Egypt, the Saint Chseremon, bishop of Miopolis, and many other martyrs. Some of them fled whilst the persecution of Decius was raging, and wandering in different directions through deserts, were killed by wild beasts; others perished by famine, cold and sickness; others again were murdered by barbarians and robbers, and thus all were crowned with a glorious martyrdom.
  • At Nicomedia, St. Zeno, soldier, who derided Diocletian for sacrificing to Ceres, wherefore he had his jawbones fractured, his teeth plucked out and his head struck off.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Third Day of December

  • At Rome, the holy virgin Victoria, a martyr, in the persecution of the emperor Decius. She had been promised in marriage to a pagan named Eugene, but because she refused to marry him and to offer sacrifice to idols, and because by working many miracles, she brought many virgins to the service of God, she was, at the request of her betrothed, stabbed in the heart with a sword by the executioner.
  • At Nicomedia, the birthday of twenty holy martyrs, whom the persecution of Diocletian made martyrs for the faith of Christ, after subjecting them to the most painful torments.
  • In the same place, the Saints Migdonius and Mardonius; one of whom was burned alive in the same persecution, and the other died in a pit into which he had been thrown. A deacon of St. Anthimus, bishop of Nicomedia, suffered at the same time. He was arrested by the Gentiles when carrying letters to the martyrs, and being overwhelmed with stones, went to our Lord.
  • In Crete, the holy martyrs Theodulus, Saturninus, Euporus, Gelasius, Eunician, Zeticus, Cleomenes, Agathopus, Gelasius, and Evaristus, who were beheaded, after suffering cruel torments, in the persecution of Decius.
  • At Rome, blessed Servulus, of whom St. Gregory writes, that a paralytic from hi early years to the end of his life, he remained lying in a porch near St. Clement's Church, and being invited by the chant of angels, he went to enjoy the glory of Paradise. At his tomb, frequent miracles are wrought by Almighty God.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Fourth Day of December

  • The vigil of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • At Antioch, during the persecution of Decius, the birthday of forty holy virgins, who suffered martyrdom by various kinds of torments.
  • At Spoleto, the holy priest Gregory. In the time of the emperors Diocletian and Maximian, he was first beaten with rough clubs, and then after being exposed on the gridiron and imprisoned, was struck on the knees with iron carding instruments, burned on the sides with firebrands, and finally beheaded.
  • At Tripoli, the holy martyrs Lucian, Metrobius, Paulus, Zenobius, Theotimus, and Drusus.
  • At Nicomedia, during the persecution of Diocletian, St. Euthymius, martyr, who sent many before him to martyrdom, and being pierced with a sword, followed them to share their crown.
  • At Bordeaux, St. Delphinus, a bishop, who was renowned for holiness, in the time of Theodosius.
  • In Poland, St. John Cantius, secular priest and confessor, celebrated for his learning, his zeal in propagating the faith, and for his virtues and miracles. His feast is kept on the 20th of October.
  • At Rome, the birthday of the holy virgin Tharsilla, aunt of pope St. Gregory, who writes of her that at the hour of her death she saw Jesus coming to her.
  • At Treves, St. Irmina, virgin, daughter of king Dagobert.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Fifth Day of December

  • In the year, from the creation of the world, when in the beginning God created heaven and earth, five, thousand, one hundred and ninety-nine; from the flood, two thousand, nine hundred and fiftyseven; from the birth of Abraham, two thousand and fifteen; from Moses and the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, one thousand, five hundred and ten; from the anointing of king David, one thousand and thirty-two; in the sixty-fifth week, according to the prophecy of Daniel; in the one hundred and ninety-fourth Olympiad; in the year seven hundred and fifty-two from the founding of the city of Rome; in the forty-second year of the empire of Octavian Augustus, when the whole earth was at peace, in the sixth age of the world, Jesus Christ, eternal God, and Son of the eternal Father, desirous to sanctify the world by His most merciful coming, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost, and nine months having elapsed since his conception, is born in Bethlehem of Juda, having become man of the Virgin Mary.
  • The same day, the birthday of St. Anastasia, who, in the time of Diocletian, first suffered a severe and harsh imprisonment on the part of her husband Publius, in which, however, she was much consoled and encouraged by the confessor of Christ, Chrysogonus. Afterwards she was thrown into- prison again by order of Florus, prefect of Illyria; and finally, having her hands and feet stretched out, she was tied to stakes, with a fire kindled about her, in the midst of which she ended her martyrdom in the island of Palmarola, whither she had been conveyed with two hundred men and seventy women, who have made martyrdom a glorious thing by the various kinds of death they so courageously endured.
  • At Rome, in the cemetery of Apronian, St. Eugenia, virgin. In the time of the emperor Gallienus, after working many miracles and gathering to Christ troops of sacred virgins, and after long combats under Nicetius, prefect of the city, she was finally put to the sword.
  • At Nicomedia, many thousand martyrs, who had assembled for divine service on our Lord's nativity, when the emperor Diocletian, ordering the doors of the church to be closed, and fire to be kindled here and there, as also a vessel with incense to be put before the entrance, and a man to cry out that those who wished to escape from the conflagration should come out and burn incense to Jupiter, all with one voice answered that they preferred to die for Christ. They were consumed in the fire, and thus merited to be born in heaven on the day on which Christ vouchsafed to be born on earth for the salvation of the world.
  • At Barcelona, in Spain, the birthday of St. Peter Nolasco, confessor, and founder of the Order of Mercedarians, renowned for virtue and miracles. His feast is celebrated on the 31st of January, by order of Alexander VII.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Sixth Day of December

  • At Jerusalem, the birthday of St. Stephen, the first martyr, who was stoned to death by the Jews shortly after the Ascension of our Lord.
  • At Rome, St. Marinus, senator. In the time of the emperor Numerian and the prefect Marcian, he was arrested for the Christian religion, racked and torn with iron hooks like a slave, then thrown into a burning pan; but being delivered because the fire became like dew, he was exposed to the beasts without being injured by them, and finally being led again to the altar, the idols of which toppled over at his prayer, he was struck with the sword, and thus obtained the triumph of martyrs.
  • Also, at Rome, on the Appian road, the decease of pope St. Denis, who sustained many labors for the Church, and was renowned for his doctrinal writings.
  • In the same city, St. Zosimus, pope and confessor.
  • In Mesopotamia, St. Archelaus, a bishop celebrated for learning and sanctity.
  • At Majuma, St. Zeno, bishop.
  • At Rome, St. Theodore, sacristan of St. Peter's church, who is mentioned by the blessed pope Gregory.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Seventh Day of December

  • At Ephesus, the birthday of St. John, apostle and evangelist, who, after writing his gospel, and after enduring exile and writing the divine Apocalypse, lived till the time of the emperor Trajan, and founded and governed the churches of all Asia. Worn out with age, he died in the sixty-eighth year after the passion of our Lord, and was buried near Ephesus.
  • At Alexandria, St. Maximus, bishop, who became a renowned and distinguished confessor of the faith.
  • At Constantinople, the holy confessors Theodore and Theophanes, brothers, who were brought up from their childhood in the monastery of St. Sabbas. Afterwards, combating bravely for the worship of holy images against Leo the Armenian, they were scourged by his command and banished. After his death, they again firmly opposed the emperor Theophilus, who was imbued with the same impiety, and were scourged a second time and driven into exile, where Theodore expired in prison. Theophanes, after peace had at length been restored to the Church, was made bishop of Nicaea and rested in the Lord.
  • In the same city, St. Niceras, virgin, who was renowned for sanctity, in the time of the emperor Arcadius.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Eighth Day of December

  • In Bethlehem, of Juda, the birthday of the Holy Innocents, who were massacred for Christ by king Herod.
  • At Ancyra, in Galatia, the holy martyrs Eutychius, priest, and Domitian, deacon.
  • In Africa, the birthday of the holy martyrs Castor, Victor and Rogatian.
  • At Nicomedia, the holy martyrs Indes, eunuch, Domna, Agapes and Theophila, virgins, and their companions, who, after long combats, attained to the crown of martyrdom by various kinds of death during the persecution of Diocletian.
  • At Neocsesarea, in Pontus, St. Troadius, martyr, in the persecution of Decius. During his combat St. Gregory Thaumaturgus appeared to him in spirit, and encouraged him to undergo martyrdom.
  • At Arabissus, in Lower Armenia, St. Caesarius, a martyr who suffered under Galerius Maximian.
  • At Lyons, in France, the birthday of St. Francis of Sales, bishop of Geneva, ranked among the saints by Alexander VII., because of his most ardent zeal for the conversion of heretics. His festival, by order of the same Pontiff, is kept on the 29th of January, when his sacred body was translated from Lyons to Annecy. Pius IX. confirmed a decree of the Sacred Congregation of Rites, declaring him Doctor of the universal Church.
  • At Rome, St. Domnion, priest. In Egypt, St. Theodore, monk, disciple of St. Pachomius.
  • In the monastery of Lerins, St. Anthony, a monk renowned for miracles.
Thanks be to God.

The Twenty-Ninth Day of December

  • At Canterbury, in England, the birthday of St. Thomas, bishop and martyr, who, for the defence of justice and ecclesiastical immunities, was struck with the sword in his own basilica by a faction of impious men, and thus went to Christ.
  • At Jerusalem, holy David, king and prophet.
  • At Aries, the birthday of St. Trophimus, mentioned by St. Paul in his epistle to Timothy. Being consecrated bishop by that apostle, he was the first sent to preach the gospel of Christ in that city. From his preaching as from a fountain, according to the expression of pope St. Zosimus, all Gaul received the waters of salvation.
  • At Rome, the holy martyrs Callistus, Felix and Boniface.
  • In Africa, the holy martyrs Dominic, Victor, Primian, Lybosus, Saturninus, Crescentius, Secundus and Honoratus.
  • At Vienne, in France, St. Crescens, disciple of the blessed! apostle Paul, and first bishop of that city.
  • At Constantinople, St. Marcellus, abbot.
  • In Normandy, St. Ebrnlphus, abbot and confessor, in the time of king Childebert.
Thanks be to God.

The Thirtieth Day of December

  • At Spoleto, the birthday of the holy martyrs Sabinus, bishop, Exuperantius and Marcellus, deacons; also of Venustian, governor, with his wife and sons, under the emperor Maximian. Marcellus and Exuperantius were first racked, then severely beaten with rods; afterwards being mangled with iron hooks, and burned in the sides, they terminated their martyrdom. Not long after, Venustian was put to the sword with his wife and sons. St. Sabinus, after having his hands cut off, and being a long time confined in prison, was scourged to death. The martyrdom of these saints is commemorated on the same day, although it occurred at different times.
  • At Alexandria, the holy martyrs Mansuetus, Severus, Appian, Donatus, Honorius, and their companions.
  • At Thessalonica, St. Anysia, martyr.
  • In the same place, St. Anysius, bishop of that city.
  • At Milan, St. Eugene, bishop and confessor.
  • At Ravenna, St. Liberius, bishop.
  • At Aquila, in Abruzzo, St. Rainerius, bishop.
Thanks be to God.

The Thirty-First Day of December

  • At Rome, the birthday of pope St. Silvester, who baptized the emperor Constantine the Great, and confirmed the Council of Nicaea. After performing many other holy deeds, he rested in peace.
  • Also, at Rome, on the Salarian road, in the cemetery of Priscilla, the holy martyrs Donata, Paulina, Rustica, Nominanda, Serotina, Hilaria and their companions.
  • At Sens, the blessed Sabinian, bishop, and Potentian, who being sent thither by the Roman Pontiff to preach, illustrated that metropolitan church by their confession and martyrdom.
  • In the same place, St. Columba, virgin and martyr, who after having triumphed over fire, was beheaded, in the persecution of the emperor Aurelian.
  • At Retiers, St. Hermes, exorcist.
  • At Catania, in Sicily, the martyrdom of the Saints Stephen, Pontian, Attains, Fabian, Cornelius, Sextus, Flos, Quinctian, Minervinus and Simplician.
  • The same day, St. Zoticus, Roman priest, who went to Constantinople, and took upon himself the care of orphans.
  • At Ravenna, St. Parbatian, priest and confessor.
  • The same day, St. Melania the Younger, who withdrew from Rome with her husband Pinian, and went to Jerusalem, where both embraced the religious life, she among the women consecrated to God, and he among the monks, and ended their career in peace.
And in other places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and virgins. Thanks be to God.

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