Ordinary Time: November 29th
Thursday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time
Other Commemorations: St. Saturninus, Martyr (RM)
There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues from place to place; and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky. "Before all this happens, however, they will seize and persecute you, they will hand you over to the synagogues and to prisons, and they will have you led before kings and governors because of my name. It will lead to your giving testimony (Lk 21:11-13).
According to the Tridentine Calendar today is the feast of St. Saturninus, martyr. His feastday is no longer on the Universal Roman Calendar, but has been transferred to particular calendars.
Saturninus went from Rome, by direction of Pope Fabian, about the year 245, to preach the faith in Gaul. He fixed his episcopal see at Toulouse, and thus became the first Christian bishop of that city. There were but few Christians in the place. However, their number grew fast after the coming of the Saint; and his power was felt by the spirits of evil, who received the worship of the heathen. His power was felt the more because he had to pass daily through the capitol, the high place of the heathen worship, on the way to his own church. One day a great multitude was gathered by an altar, where a bull stood ready for the sacrifice. A man in the crowd pointed out Saturninus, who was passing by, and the people would have forced him to idolatry; but the holy bishop answered: "I know but one God, and to Him I will offer the sacrifice of praise. How can I fear gods who, as you say, are afraid of me?" On this he was fastened to the bull, which was driven down the capitol. The brains of the Saint were scattered on the steps. His mangled body was taken up and buried by two devout women.
—Excerpted from Butler's Lives of the Saints
Symbols and Representation: Bishop dragged by a bull; bishop with a bull at his feet.
Highlights and Things to Do:
- San Saturnino Martire is the church in Rome in the place were St. Saturninus was martyred.
- Some of St. Saturnius' relics are found in the minor basilica of St. John and St. Paul (Santi Giovanni e Paolo) in Rome, the rest are now housed in San Saturnino Martire.
On November 29, 1987, the relics of the holy Roman martyr Saturninus, which remained for a long time in the Basilica of Saints John and Paul, were transferred to the parish church dedicated to his name and erected by the Supreme Pontiff Pius XI, in 1930, for the pastoral care.
- Read more about his relics and see more images.