The Station of the Cross 25th Anniversary Celebration – August 24th – Niagara Falls, NY

Pope St. Marcellus I

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Saint Marcellus I

Pope & Martyr

Marcellus served as a priest under Pope St. Marcellinus, who died in the year of Our Lord 304, at the height of the Diocletian persecution. Though conditions improved after Maxentius replaced Diocletian on the Imperial throne, the Chair of St. Peter remained vacant for several years. Finally, in the year of Our Lord 308, Marcellus was elected supreme Pontiff, and he immediately set about clearing up the mess in which several years without a pope had left Rome and the Church. He reorganized the divisions of the Church in Rome, ordained many priests and consecrated almost as many new bishops. The most pressing issue, however, was the readmittance of the lapsi, lapsed Catholics who had apostatized out of fear of martyrdom. The lapsi demanded to rejoin the Church without making any penance or reparation for their apostasy, and Marcellus denied their demand, insisting they do the proper penance. The conflict turned violent, and the Emperor Maxentius, displeased, had Pope Marcellus beaten and exiled. Some accounts, regarded as legendary, say he served as a slave in the stables; in any case, the holy pontiff died of ill-treatment for his defense of the faith, and thus is considered a martyr.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for January 16th

AT Rome, on the Salarian way, the birthday of the pope St. Marcellus, a martyr, for the confession of the Catholic faith. By command of the tyrant Maxentius he was first beaten with clubs, then sent to take care of animals, with a guard to watch him. In this servile office, dressed in haircloth, he departed this life.

At Morocco, in Africa, the martyrdom of the holy martyrs of the Order of Minorites, Berard, Peter, Accursius, Adjutus, and Otto.

At Aries, St. Honoratus, bishop and confessor, whose life was renowned for learning and miracles.

At Oderzo, St. Titian, bishop and confessor.

At Rhinocolura, in Egypt, in the reign of the emperor Valens, the holy bishop Melas, who rested in peace after suffering exile and other painful trials for the Catholic faith.

At Fundi, in Campania, St. Honoratus, abbot, mentioned by pope St. Gregory.

In the monastery of Peronne, St. Fursey, confessor.

At Rome, St. Priscilla, who devoted herself and her goods to the service of the martyrs.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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