Ordinary Time: December 2nd
Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week of Ordinary Time
Old Calendar: St. Bibiana, virgin and martyr
According to the 1962 Missal of St. John XXIII the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite, today is the feast of St. Bibiana who was martyred at Rome under Julian the Apostate in 363.Today is the last day of the liturgical year. But the Church proposes no special liturgy to mark it's close because already here on earth she lives an eternal life. One day follows another like the links of a chain; the end of one ecclesiastical year merges into the next like an endless circle. The feasts and seasons of the Church have no finale as they fade away into eternity. As individuals, however, we may use the occasion to make a spiritual survey of the past and to plan for the future. Use this day to examine our sins, offenses and negligences, have contrition and go to confession. Spend some time thanking God for all the benefits we have received and look forward to the future asking for the grace to be faithful in the upcoming year.
St. Bibiana was a Roman who was martyred during the time of Julian the Apostate. A legend states that Bibiana's parents, Flavian and Dafrosa, were devout Christians as well. Dafrosa was beheaded, and Flavian, who was a former Roman prefect, had his face burned with a hot iron and was exiled. Bibiana and Demetria, her sister, were forced to remain in their house after all their possessions had been taken from them. For five months the two sisters fasted and prayed. When they appeared in court, Demetria died on the spot, and the judge handed Bibiana over to a woman named Fufina. This woman tried to tempt Bibiana to be unfaithful to Christ, but her efforts were in vain. Bibiana was scourged to death with whips that were loaded with lead. Her corpse was left out in the open for dogs to eat, but no dogs touched it, and fter two days a priest named John took the body at night and buried it. St. Bibiana is one of the three virgin martyrs particularly venerated in Rome, the other two being St. Cecilia and St. Agnes.
- Saint Bibiana lost everything except her faith. Say a prayer for those you know who are grieving the loss of loved ones, homes, jobs, health or some other tragedy.
- In imitation of St. Bibiana, resolve, with the help of God's grace, that no human considerations or advantages, no human ties and affections, will ever move you to surrender your Catholic faith, to deflect from God's commandments, to defile yourself with mortal sin or to lose the priceless pearl of chastity.
- Say this prayer in honor of St. Bibiana: O God, the giver of all good gifts, who didst bestow on thy servant Bibiana both the flower of virginity and the palm of martyrdom; we pray thee, that, by her intercession, our hearts may in such wise be joined in charity unto thee; that we, being defended against all dangers, may attain unto the rewards of everlasting salvation. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.