Old Calendar: Saints Tiburtius and Susanna; St. Philomena, virgin & martry (Hist)
St. Clare of Assisi was the first woman to practise the life of entire poverty as taught by St. Francis. Placed by him at the head of a few companions in the small convent of San Damiano, she governed her community for forty-two years thus founding at the gates of Assisi the Order of Poor Clares. Their Rule included austerities hitherto unknown in monasteries of women. They went barefoot, slept on the ground, kept perpetual abstinence and made poverty the basis of their lives. St. Clare died on August 11, 1253, and was canonized two years after her death.Before the reform of the General Roman Calendar today was the feast of Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna. St. Tiburtius is a Roman martyr of unknown date who is buried on the Via Laviacana in the cemetery known nowadays as the catacomb of Sts. Peter and Marcellinus. St. Susanna, a Roman virgin, was also martyred at an unknown date. There are two churches in Rome which bear her name. The feast of St. Clare previously was celebrated on August 12.
The Breviary says of her: "Following the example of St. Francis, she distributed all her possessions among the poor. She fled from the noise of the world and betook herself to a country chapel, where St. Francis himself sheared off her hair and clothed her with a penitential garb (on March 18, 1212, at the age of eighteen). Then she resided at the Church of St. Damian, where the Lord provided for her a goodly number of companions. So she established a community of nuns and acted as their superior at the wish of St Francis. For forty-two years she directed the nunnery with zeal and prudence, her own life serving as a constant sermon for her sisters to emulate. Of Pope Innocent IV she requested the privilege that she and her community live in absolute poverty. She was a most perfect follower of St. Francis of Assisi.
Often Portrayed as: Woman with a monstrance in her hand; Nun holding a vessel containing the holy Eucharist.Things to Do:From A Treasure Chest of Traditions For Catholic Families by Monica McConkey: While St. Clare is the patroness of sore eyes, she has also become the patroness of television. She miraculously saw and heard Mass, even when she was too sick to attend!Make a resolution to prevent sore eyes caused by too much television! Pick shows selectively. Some families create a token system, rationing viewing by requiring viewers to "PAY-PER-VIEW". Buttons, poker chips or other sets of small game pieces can be used as tokens (handed out weekly), or a TIME SHEET can be used to log in or out TV programs to keep track.Help children to choose programs carefully. Help children to recognize how programs which may be cute or funny, do not necessarily reflect family values. Keep the dialogue going and talk about the differences! Used with permission. Write to ArmaDei@aol.com or see Arma Dei for more information about this great book. Treasure Chest is filled with unique ideas for activities, crafts and recipes to help families celebrate the various Seasons and Feast Days of the year.
Sts. Tiburtius and Susanna
A sense of reverential awe and deep respect fills us whenever we meet the martyrs of the ancient Church. Yet it is often very difficult to give a strictly historical account of their lives. Nevertheless, even though we do not know all the biographical details, they are for us representatives of that "army of light," the martyrs, witnesses to Christ. And we want to be inspired by their example. Today the Martyrology tells this: "At Rome, between the two laurel trees, the death of the holy martyr Tiburtius. During the persecution of Diocletian the magistrate Fabian forced him to tread barefoot upon burning coals. As it only served to make him profess the faith more boldly, he was ordered to be led outside the city until the third milestone and there beheaded. . . . At Rome, the holy virgin Susanna. She came from an illustrious family, and was the niece of the saintly Pope Cams. At the time of Diocletian she won the palm of martyrdom by being beheaded."
On May 25, 1802, excavators in the ancient Catacomb of St. Priscilla in Rome came upon a well-preserved shelf tomb sealed with terra-cotta slabs in the manner usually reserved for nobility or great martyrs. The tomb was marked with three tiles, inscribed with the following confusing words: LUMENA / PAXTE / CUMFI. However, if one places the first tile last and separates the words properly, the very intelligible sentence emerges: "Pax tecum, Filumena", which is, "Peace be with you, Philomena" Also inscribed on the tiles were symbols: a lily, arrows, an anchor and a lance, which would appear to indicate virginity and martyrdom. Inside the coffin there were discovered the remains of a girl of about twelve or thirteen years of age, along with a vial or ampulla of her dried blood.
- For more information on St. Philomena visit the following sites: Story of St. Philomena, Roman Catholic Sacramentals, the National Shrine of St. Philomena and Cleveland Catholics.
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