June 1, 2017

Saints Marcellinus and Peter, Martyrs

Saints Marcellinus and Peter

June 2nd, is the optional memorial of 4th century martyrs Saints Marcellinus and Peter. They converted numerous souls to Christ, even while imprisoned during the brutal persecution of Christians ordered by Roman Emperor Diocletian. According to tradition, the incarcerated Peter freed the daughter of the pagan prison-keeper (Artemius) from a demon through prayer. This led to the baptism of Artemius’ entire household by the priest Marcellinus. Even in death, Sts. Marcellinus and Peter won souls for God after the discovery of their tomb and the conversion of their executioner. The following is an account of their final days and martyrdom.
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The Holy Martyrdoms of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter

Peter, an exorcist, was cast into prison at Rome, under the emperor Diocletian, by the judge Serenus, for confessing the Christian faith. He there set free Paulina, the daughter of Artemius, the keeper of the prison, from an evil spirit which tormented her. Upon this, Artemius and his wife and all their house, with their neighbors who had run together to see the strange thing, were converted to Jesus Christ. Peter therefore brought them to Marcellinus the priest, who baptized them all. When Serenus heard of it, he called Peter and Marcellinus before him, and sharply rebuked them, adding to his bitter words threats and terrors, unless they would deny Christ. Marcellinus answered him with Christian boldness, whereupon he caused him to be buffeted, separated him from Peter, and shut him up naked, in a prison strewn with broken glass, without either food or light. Peter also he confined. But when both of them were found to increase in faith and courage in their bonds, they were beheaded, unshaken in their testimony, and confessing Jesus Christ gloriously by their blood.

Excerpted from The Liturgical Year, Abbot Gueranger O.S.B.

Prayer for the Intercession of Sts. Marcellinus and Peter

Almighty God, who surround us with protection through the glorious confession of the Martyrs Sts Marcellinus and Peter, grant that we may profit by imitating them and be upheld by their prayer and intercession. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and with the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever. Amen.

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