St. Marcellus, The Centurion
THE birthday of the Emperor Maximian Herculeus, in the year 298, was celebrated with extraordinary feasting and solemnity. Marcellus, a Christian centurion or captain in the legion of Trajan, then posted in Spain, not to defile himself with taking part in those impious abominations, left his company, declaring aloud that he was a soldier of Jesus Christ, the eternal King. He was at once committed to prison. When the festival was over, Marcellus was brought before a judge, and, having declared his faith, was sent under a strong guard to Aurelian Agricolaus, vicar to the prefect of the prætorium, who passed sentence of death upon him. St. Marcellus was forthwith led to execution, and beheaded on the 30th of October. Cassian, the secretary or notary of the court, refused to write the sentence pronounced against the martyr, because it was unjust. He was immediately hurried to prison, and was beheaded, about a month after, on the 3d of December.
Reflection. —"We are ready to die rather than to transgress the laws of God!" exclaimed one of the Machabees. This sentiment should ever be that of a Christian in presence of temptation.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King
Introit • Apoc. 5, 12; 1, 6
The Lamb that was slain is worthy to receive power, and divinity, and strength, and honor. To Him be glory and empire for ever and ever. Ps. 71, 1. Give to the King Thy judgment, O God: and to the King’s Son Thy justice. Glory be …
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast wished to restore all things through Thy beloved Son, the King of universe, graciously grant that all the families of the Gentiles separated by the wound of sin, may be subjected to His most loving dominion, Who with Thee liveth.
Epistle • Col. 1, 12-20
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.
[He gives thanks for the grace bestowed upon the Colossians and prays for them. Christ is the head of the church and the peacemaker through his blood. Paul is his minister.]
Brethren, we give thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love, In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him. And he is before all, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy: Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell; And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven, in Christ Jesus Our Lord.
Gradual • Ps. 71, 8, 11
He shall rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. And all kings of the earth shall adore Him: all nations shall serve Him.
Alleluia, alleluia. Dan. 7, 14. His power is an everlasting power that shall not be taken away: and His kingdom that shall not be destroyed. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 18, 33-37
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[The history of the passion of Christ.]
At THAT time: Pilate said to Jesus: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.
Offertory • Ps. 2, 8
Ask of Me, and I will give The the Gentiles for Thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for Thy possession.
O LORD, we offer Thee this host for the reconciliation of humanity; grant, we beseech Thee, that Jesus Christ Thy Son our Lord, Whom we immolate in this sacrifice, will bestow on all Gentiles the gifts of unity and peace, Who with Thee liveth.
Communion • Matt. 28, 10, 11
The Lord shall sit King forever. The Lord will bless His people with peace.
Fed with this immortal nourishment, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that we who glory to fight under the standard of Christ the King, may forever reign with Him on the heavenly throne. Who with Thee liveth.