Ordinary Time: January 19th
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Other Commemorations: Sts. Marius, Martha, Audifax, and Abachum, Martyrs (RM)
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In the Roman Martyrology today is the commemoration of Sts. Marius, Martha, Audivax and Abachum, a group of Persian martyrs of the third century who died for the faith in Rome.
Today is Day Two of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25.
Meditation: Patience and Union with God
Being convinced that it is only in so far as my works are united with the merits of Jesus Christ that they are satisfactory and meritorious, it follows that my great aim should be to unite myself as closely as possible with Jesus Christ and His sufferings in all my actions, and thus it would matter little what I am engaged at.
But how is this union to be effected?
St. Benedict tells us "We share in the sufferings of Christ by patience." This little sentence gave me a great light. The life of a saint must be one of great and mysterious sufferings. Patientia=Sufferentia.
"If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself," says Jesus. This shows that it is suffering which draws us near to Jesus. "He who dos not take up his cross daily and follow Me, cannot be My disciple." Therefore all other methods which do not include this are founded on error.
—Blessed Abbot Columbia Marmion, A Master of the Spiritual Life, p. 71.
St. Marius and Family
Their feast does not appear in the Roman calendar until the twelfth century. The Acts of these martyrs are wholly legendary. They give the following details: Marius was a Persian of noble extraction. With his wife, who was also noble-born, and his two sons, Audifax and Abachus, he came to Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius II (268-270) to venerate the graves of the martyrs. They visited the Christians in prison, encouraged them by word and deed, and shared with them their goods. And like Tobias of old, they buried the bodies of the saints.
It was not long before they themselves were arrested; and when neither threats nor allurements could make them offer sacrifice to the idols, they were savagely flogged. Martha was the first to die, but not before she had fervently exhorted her husband and sons to endure steadfastly whatever tortures might be inflicted for the faith. All were beheaded in the same place and their bodies thrown into the fire. Felicitas, a saintly Roman woman, succeeded in recovering the half-burnt bodies and buried them on her estate.
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