The Martyrology – Why I love the Office of Prime
I don’t get to pray as much of the Divine Office as I’d like. I wish I could pray the whole office like the Religious do, but since I am not a Religious and I have work, kids, and other responsibilities, my time is limited.
One of my favorite offices is the office of Prime. The reason I love that office is because of the inclusion of the Martyrology. I pray the traditional office, which you can find online at Divinum Officum.
The Roman Martyrology “is the official Martyrology of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.” Read more at Wikipedia.
In the office of Prime, the Martyrology often speaks of the different ways some of the Saints were persecuted and killed.
So, why do I like to read this. Am I just morbid?
I like to read of the martyrdom of the Saints for several reasons:
- It reminds me to be thankful that I can practice my faith openly without fear for my life.
- It excites zeal for my faith. If people died for their faith these many years ago, then imagine how great a faith this Catholic things of ours is.
- It makes me feel connected to the early church fathers and mothers who came before us.
I posted and English translation of the Martyrology found in yesterday’s Prime below.
July 24th anno Domini 2012 The 4th Day of Moon.
Upon the same 24th day of July, was also born into the better life
At Tyro, a city which stood formerly on an island, in the lake of Bolsena in Tuscany, in the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian, the holy Virgin and martyr Christina. She brake her father’s idols of gold and silver, and gave the morsels to the poor whereupon he commanded her to be torn with stripes and otherwise fearfully tortured after which a great stone was tied about her neck, and she was cast into the lake but an angel delivered her. She then suffered bravely the sharpest torments under another judge, who succeeded her father, and in the end finished the course of her testimony under the President Julian, having endured a burning furnace, wherein she remained shut up unhurt for five days, having by Christ’s power overcome serpents, having had her tongue cut out, and being lastly shot to death with arrows.
At Rome, in the Tiburtine Way, the holy martyr Vincent.
At San Vitturino, in Samnium, eighty-three holy martyrs, all soldiers.
At Merida, in Spain, the holy soldier Victor, who, along with his two brothers Stercatius and Antinogenes, in the persecution under the Emperor Diocletian, by divers torments finished their testimony.
In Lycia, the holy martyrs Nicetas and Aquilina, who were turned to Christ by the preaching of the blessed martyr Christopher, and received the palm of martyrdom by being beheaded.
Also the holy martyrs Meneus and Capiton.
At Sens, [in the fourth century,] the holy Confessor Ursicinus, Bishop [of that see.]
V. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.
Thanks be to God.