Ordinary Time: August 7th
Optional Memorial of Sts. Sixtus II, pope and martyr and companions, martyrs and Optional Memorial of St. Cajetan, priest
Old Calendar: St. Cajetan, confessor; St. Donatus, bishop and martyr
With the future Pope Paul IV, St. Cajetan founded the first congregation of Clerks Regular, a new form of institute which corresponded with the needs of the time. Trust in God was its principal rule; its members were forbidden to ask for alms and depended entirely on the spontaneous charity of the faithful. Such was Cajetan's zeal in seeking the salvation of souls that he came to be called "the hunter of souls." He died at Naples on August 7, 1547.Today is also the feast of Sts. Sixtus II and his companions, Felicissimus and Agapitus. Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of the persecution under the Emperor Valerian. Felicissimus and Agapitus were two of his deacons who were executed with him. Sixtus governed the Church from 256 to 258. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass.St. Sixture and St. Cajetan's feasts are celebrated today both in the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.According to the 1962 Missal of Bl. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Donatus. His name occurs second on the list of the bishops of the See of Arezzo. Little is known of him. The Acts of his martyrdom, unfortunately, do not merit credence.
St. Sixtus II and companions
Even as the storm of persecution created by Emperor Valerian raged against the Church, the papal throne was not vacant. Sixtus, a Greek, was elected to succeed Stephen. The emperor's decrees had ordered the Christians to take part in state religious ceremonies and forbade them to assemble in cemeteries. For nearly a year Sixtus managed to evade the authorities before he was gloriously martyred.
Often Portrayed As: Giving Saint Lawrence a bag of money to give to the poor; with Saint Lawrence; with Saint Lawrence and Saint John the Baptist.
Cajetan, a co-founder of the Theatines, received the office of protonotary at Rome from Pope Julius II when still quite young. After he was ordained priest in 1516, he left the papal court and dedicated himself entirely to the service of the Lord. With his own hands he cared for the sick. Such zeal did he show for the salvation of his fellowmen that he was surnamed the "huntsman for souls."
"At Arezzo in Tuscany the death of the holy bishop Donatus. Besides other miracles, he restored, by means of his prayer, a chalice broken by pagans, according to the account of Pope St. Gregory I. He was slain under Julian the Apostate about the year 363" (Martyrology).
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