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St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

Martyr

Fidelis was born as Mark Rey in Germany in the year of Our Lord 1577. He studied in Switzerland, then practiced law in Alsace. Frustrated with his less scrupulous fellow lawyers, Mark eventually resolved to abandon a worldly career. In 1612 he became a priest and took the habit of a Capuchin friar, with the new name Fidelis. He gave away all his wealth to charity, especially to poor seminarians. Fidelis was sent to preach amongst the Swiss Calvinists, and converted many. At one point he was shot at while in church, but the threat to his life only strengthened his zeal. “Woe to me,” he said, “if I should prove myself but a half-hearted soldier in the service of my thorn-crowned Captain.” On this day in the year of Our Lord 1622, Fidelis was accosted on the road by Calvinist soldiers, led by a minister. He refused their demands to embrace error and predicted their imminent defeat by Catholic forces, so they beat and stabbed him to death. The minister who led the soldiers publicly converted when the martyr’s prophecy came true not long afterward.

 

Traditional Roman Martyrology for April 24th

AT Sevis, in Switzerland, St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen, of the Order of Capuchin Minorites, who was sent thither to preach the Catholic faith. He was put to death by the heretics, and was placed among the holy martyrs by the Sovereign Pontiff, Benedict XIV.

At Rome, St. Sabas, a military officer, who bravely confessed Christ before the judge when he was accused of visiting the Christians in prison. For this he was burned with torches and thrown into a caldron of boiling pitch, out of which he came uninjured. Seventy men were converted to Christ at the sight of this miracle, and as they all remained unshaken in the confession of the faith, they were put to the sword. Sabas, however, terminated his martyrdom by being cast into the river.

At Lyons, in France, during the persecution of Verus, the birthday of St. Alexander, martyr. After being imprisoned, he was so lacerated by the cruelty of those who scourged him, that his ribs and the interior of his body were exposed to view. Then he was fastened to the gibbet of the cross, on which he yielded up his blessed soul. Thirty-four others who suffered with him are commemorated on other days.

The same day, during the persecution of Diocletian, the holy martyrs Eusebius, Neon, Leontius, Longinus, and four others, were slain with the sword after enduring great torments.

In England, the demise of St. Mellitus, bishop. Being sent thither by St. Gregory, he converted to the faith the East-Saxons and their king.

At Elvira, in Spain, St. Gregory, bishop and confessor.

At Brescia, St. Honorius, bishop.

In Ireland, St. Egbert, priest and monk, a man of admirable humility and continency.

At Rheims, the holy virgins Bona and Doda.

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

℟. Thanks be to God.

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