...the first drop of Blood shed for us by our Holy Redeemer.
A blessed and holy New Year to you all! May our Lord shine His light upon us and let this new year brings us all many blessings and also bring us closer to Him who is the giver of all blessings!
Please visit Crusader's of Christ
for their very nice post on this great feast day! Below is a very short read on this great and holy day.
Lives of the Saints
, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. 1894
January 1.—THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD.
THE CIRCUMCISION was a sacrament of the Old Law, and the first legal observance required by Almighty God of the descendants of Abraham. It was a sacrament of initiation in the service of God, and a promise and engagement to believe and act as He had revealed and directed. The law of circumcision continued in force until the death of Christ, and Our Saviour being born under the law, itbecame Him
, Who came to teach mankind obedience to the law of God, to fulfil all justice
, and to submit to it. Therefore He was circumcised that He might redeem them that were under the law
, by freeing them from the servitude of it; and that those who were in the condition of servants before might be set at liberty, and receive the adoption of sons
in Baptism, which, by Christ's institution, succeeded to circumcision. On the day that the divine Infant was circumcised, He received the name of Jesus, which signifies SAVIOUR, which had been given Him by the angel before He was conceived. That name, so beautiful, so glorious, the divine Child does not wish to bear for one moment without fulfilling its meaning; even at the moment of His circumcision He showed Himself a SAVIOUR by shedding for us that blood a single drop of which is more than sufficient for the ransom and salvation of the whole world.Reflection
.—Let us profit by the circumstance of the new year, and of the wonderful renewal wrought in the world by the great mystery of this day, to renew in our hearts an increase of fervor and of generosity in the service of God. May this year be one of fervor and of progress! It will go by rapidly, like that which has just ended. If God permits us to see its end, how glad and happy we shall be to have passed it holily!
First give a way of the new year!
Today we are giving away a copy of the Pictorial Lives of the Saints that we use for our Notebooking Butler's Lives of the Saints
project. It contains wonderful short stories of a saint for every day of the year and this version has some lovely pictures of the saints as well. This is the same book in which our 12 days of Christmas Saints stories have come out of. A real treasure and the saint go to book to have!
Read more about this wonderful gem over at Refuge of Sinners Publishing
A blessed New year to you all!
To print only this blog post please select the title at the top before selecting the print button.
" And none of you asketh me; Whither goest thou?"
-St. John xvi. 5.
+++ This is up a bit early as its a wonderful but long read, it will be bumped back up on the blog for Monday's post as well. +++
In searching for something to share on New Years Eve I came upon this WONDERFUL sermon from the Cure of Ar's sermon book. It is rather long for a blog post but it is worth its weight in gold. I hope you do take the time to read it and incase of of you have an easier time reading a printed version you may download the PDF to print HERE
. We wish you all a most blessed and prosperous new year and may we all know 'whither we are going'!
Sermons of the Cure of Ars
Sermons for all Sundays &
Feast Days of the Year
By: The Cure of Ar's Imprimatur 1901
An old Christian proverb says, beautifully and truthfully, "Begin with God and end with God, and yours will be the happiest live." Everyone who has honestly striven to verify this has had a thousand opportunities to experience the truth of this pious proverb.
I congratulate you, my dear friends, who have deemed it your sacred duty to begin every day with God. How serenely and with what satisfaction may you not look back upon the course of your life. And those of you also, my friends, I greet with joy, who began this year with God, and are now come here to end it with Him, who not only look up to the Almighty with grateful eyes, but also with a contrite heart, and who are convienced of the truth, that all is vanity except to love God and to serve Him, that we may live for ever more. All of us, my friends, who are gathered together at this holy hour, within these hallowed walls, carry within our souls the firm determination to close the year 1900 with God.
The end of the year is, and always will be, a solemn moment. The departure of a year is fraught with serious admonition. We take leave of father andm other, but in the hope of seeing them again; we leave a place to which we have become attached, which is endeared to us, and connected with indelible memories, but with the hope of one day returning to it; but the year, when it has passed away, is gone forever, and what it has taken away will never more return to us - those three hundred and sixty-five days of our existence have gone forever!
Now, let us look back, my friends, upon the year just ended. Can we look upon it with joyful hearts and a peaceful conscience; and can we welcome the coming yera with hearts nerved with courage and without dread of the future? Aye, but there is a strange pang in our soul, full of anxious foreboding and secret dread. The battle of human minds for truth and for falsehood is growing fiercer from hour to hour, and the foundation of human society is trembling and threatens to collapse. And in many a poor human heart there is a private sorrow, and in many a hosue the light of hope is gone out.
Very well, then, let us ask at this solemn hour, in this sacred place, where we stand in the real presence of Him in the most Holy Sacrament, and try to find out, "Why and how is all this happening so?"
And after we have asked this question from the bottom of our hearts and with honest sincerity, then we will try and solve the problem of "What is to be done" to enable us to begin the new year with hope and confidence?
Now join in with me in devout prayer. "I will continue, O Lord, in Thy most Holy name, O Lord of all times, Thou wonderful ruler of the fate of men and nations! O Lord Jesus Christ, Blessed through all eternity!"
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, our Saviour and our Redeemer, once addressed His disciples in these significant words: "But now I go to Him that sent me, and none of you asketh me: Whither goest Thou?"
We know whom Jesus meant; His Father by Whom He was sent upon this earth to redeem and to save mankind. Yea, His Father, whose image He was, for doth He not say, "He that seeth me, seeth the Father also"? And to Him He returned after accomplishing His work. "I go to Him that sent me."
We also go to our Father when our mission is fulfilled, and our task on this earth is finished. "We will come to Him, and make our abode with Him," saith Jesus. We also are created to then image and likeness of God, for did not God Himself say, when he created Adam, "Let us make man to our image and likeness?"
And when this temporal habitation, our body, breaks down and returns to the dust from which it came, that image, that likeness, our immortal soul, will also return from whence it came, will return to eternity - to God the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost!
But now, dear friends, to reach the goal that we are striving for, to be sure that we may return to the Father's house with joyful hearts as God's own children, we must above all konw the way which will lead us there. The wayfarer who knows where the end of his journey lies will surely and carefully take the right path which will bring him happily to his destination.
It was 1900 years ago when the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. "He. the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" (St. John). "He who laid down His life for us, and offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice of propitiation," once day said in distinct and solemn tones, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me." Since then the way lies open before us, and no one can say truthfully, I know it not! let us at this moment raise our eyes to the realm above, and greet with holy reverence the millions of Saints who followed steadfastly and faithfully the way which the Redeemer had show them. The way is not one of ease and comfort, it demands the entire sacrafice of aGod-fearing heart; but it is the only way which leads to the Father, and those who followed it resolutely bedewed it with their tears, dyed it with their blood, and adorned it with the deeds of a living Christian faith. They alone found peace, and now shine in snowy garments with palms and crowns, like stars in heaven, and cry out to the Christian pilgrims the encouraging words, "Look up at us! regard us well! Behold@ This is thy reward if thou followest Jesus." But thousands upon thousands leave this path and nobody asketh, "Whither goest thou?"
Church & State
And herein, my dear friends, we find the first and the last reason for our moral degeneration, the reason for the dreadful errors into which human society plunges. For the wanderer, when once he has left the right path, will never be able to measure the mistakes into which he may be led, and he never knows how to avoid the misfortune which will meet him on the abyss that yawns at his very feet. As the liar is never at a loss to contradict truths with a new lie, nor to add to his another one, or ten others, if need be, even so has the original but ever watchful father of lies, the prince of this world since the days of Paradise, ever stood up, particularly against Christ and His Church. To accomplish his purpose he invented, about eighty years ago, a significant word of falsehood, full of meaning, which has since risen like a password from mouth to mouth. Its name is Progress.
A steadfast adherence to Christ and His Church, a faithful pursuance of the way we are taught, is what we call progress; but to them this is an old-fashioned and ridiculous thing, irreconcilable with the spirit of intelligence, and the exigencies of the spirit of the times, which can only be to the taste of ignorant poor people, or of men whose minds are steeped in monkish fanaticism and superstition.
Now, my ear people, give me your undivided attention. The subject is too serious and too important that we should not try to answer the question, "Whence comes this language which we hear everywhere, day in, day out, in high and low circles, in the houses of the rich, and the workshops of the poor, in mansions, and in huts, on the highways and byways? It certainly did not come to us over night, but it came to us, because millions are heeding the call of untruth and free thought, while nobody asketh "Whither goest thou?"
In the first place and above all it was the puffed up science of the philosophers, full of pride and devoid of faith, which opened up the way to hell. The authority of divine revelation has been set against modern philosophy in order to enkindle the flame of so-called enlightenment. After the foundation of positive Christianity had been undermined and the seed had been sown in the hearts of the young from the lecturer's platform, it was an easy matter to disturb even the historical foundation upon which rests a nation's fame and right.
They have made merry over the most sacred institutions, over the most revered customs and rites in Christian congregations and communities. They called them old-fashioned and contrary to the spirit of modern progress; they were abolished - new institutions were created, new laws were made - but all without faith, without God, without Christ. For the word which God Himself put into the mouth of the royal psalmist, "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that built it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it" (Psalm cxxvi.), this word of eternal truth has been long forgotten, has been scoffed at, and made a mockery of. And so, my dear friends, everything has become modern indeed - government, family life, education, matrimony - all has been modernized; in fact, all our thoughts and deeds have been changed in the progress of modernization. Need we, then, be surprised at what is happening before our very eyes? Is it not the fruit of that tree which falsehood has planted eyes? Is it not the fruit of that tree which falsehood has planted in the place of truth, and of whose fruit the children of the earth eat with such eagerness?
A horse which has thrown its rider and is running away, tries frantically to free itself of bridle and reins. Man, who wants to be free and untrammeled, tears asunder the last bond which holds him in check. Hence "Separation of State and Church," "Separation of School and Church," "Separation of Marriage and Church," separation of everything which stands in the way and might call to your mind the harassing question, "Whither goest thou?" O my dear JEsus, what hast Thou done to mankind that they put Thee aside with such ingratitude and such indifference? What has thou done done to human kind, my beloved Catholic Church, that they turn sullenly away from thee, and clamor for separation? Has not Christ saved the world? Has not Christianity destroyed the barbarity of paganism, spread culture and civilization over the world, sanctified matrimony and family life, taught us to know and practice all those virtues which bring peace to man and blessings to nations? Is not the Church the continued visible Saviour and Redeemer of the world, since He said explicitly to His apostles: "As the Father hath sent me, so I send you"? Is not the Church the standard-bearer of the conceptions of right, obedience, and love? Does the Church not assure every man his right, does she not demand obedience in the name of God, and by virtue of divine authority, whose first and last command is love?
Let us look at this a little closer. If modern governments imagine that they can govern man solely by their laws, let them take into consideration how long these people, after divesting themselves of all respect for divine authority, will have any respect for human authority. What weight will the oath have which even the modern state uses as the only decisive medium in judicial proceedings; what value, I ask will the oath have when it is shorn of its terrible consequences in eternity, when the civil government does not concern itself with the question whether man has faith or not? We have no expectation that modern progress will abolish poverty, or diminish the number of the poor; well then, tear out of the heart of the poor his living Christian faith, his belief in Him who was born a child of the poor, in the stable of Bethlehem, and lived all His life a poor man, so that we may learn to respect poverty and learn to suffer poverty with patience; subdue the Church of Christ which, in its chosen members, takes upon itself voluntary poverty, and bears it in humility before the world, and which has at the same time founded those innumerable benevolent institutions and associations for the relief of the sick, poor and the abandoned of this world, where we see them with touching devotion and heroic self-sacrafice soften the sufferings of the poor - yes, deprive the poor of their faith in their poor Jesus, take away from the Church her consoling and benevolent influence, and you will see, you rich and powerful of this world, how you will fare! the lust of the eyes and the lust of the felsh were at all time a source of moral ruin and great misery in this world. How sublime shines that ideal of chastity and virginity through the darkness of night! What aheavenly aroma arises from this sacred flower! Has not Christ taken His flesh from the ever Immaculate Virgin? Has He not Himself called holy virginity the highest gift of an elect soul? Is not the Church the abode and the champion of holy virginity, for, led by her hand, we see that land of saintly youths and maidens, before whom we stand with awe and reverence. Destroy the Church and you will destroy also this sacred ideal!
Then they want to withdraw the school from the influence of the Church; the school, they say, is an institution for instructing the young. But the school is by no means merely a place for instructing, but it is at the same time and pre-eminently the place for the education of the young. Our children take with them to school not only their intellects, but also their hearts and their souls, and the latter must receive quiet as much attention as the former. Just as conscientious parents will not be indifferent as to how and by whom their children receive instruction, as regards their intellects, they should also take a great interest in seeing that the right light shall shine into their hearts and souls. And this light is religion. The child's heart is naturally turned towards God, and is grateful to those who will lead it here. Oh, now touching is the sight of a child at prayer, and how close it draws to those who are teaching it to pray. It is, therefore, not only wrong but also ungrateful to try and take away the children from those who are constantly holding before the little ones all that is divine, great, and holy, and who instruct them at the same time in all they need to know for the fulfillment of their duties as good citizens. "I am not a school master, and cannot judge between the different methods of teaching," said the old Duke of Wellington in the House of Lords in London, "but that if religion is not made the foundation of teaching it will be your fault if in future the number of clever rogues in the world is largely increased."
In a nation, or a state, or a family, or community, where religion is despised and allowed to perish, there the process of disintegration will invariably occure. It was inthe year 1789 when this process was very evident in the State of France. After the holy Catholic faith had been derided and scoffed at for many years, in word and picture, in wiritings and plays, in public lectures and so-called clubs, and after unbelief and licentiousness had been given full sway, the French revolution broke out. All religion was considered a mortal crime. Priests were killed when they could not flee or hide themselves. Churches were robbed and desecrated; in some places the wickedness went even so far that a lewd woman was placed upon the altar, and mock ceremonies carried on before her as the goddess of reason. When the strong barriers, religion and conscience, which keep man from all wickedness, had been removed throughout the whole country, a new power, as it were, the raging of the devil, broke loose all over the land. Envy, hatred, and cupidity, in a degree as they had never been known to existbefore, exercised their power with reckless disregard and wild fury. People were slaughered by the thousands, by order of their own govern,net, in most cases without their having committed any offence. It was enough to be suspected of an attachment for the murdered royal family, or for the old order of things, or for religion, to be condemend to death on the guillotine. My friends! the world is round and there is nothing new under the sun; it has never been possible to gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles. What a man sows, that will he reap. We, also, shall have the same experience, we shall have to suffer for what we ourselves or for what others have sown in fatal self conceit; with us also the same causes will produce like results, and the laws of nature and necessity bearing the testimony of the history of 7,000 years, will be confirmed in the future as they have been in the past.
Let us then open our eyes; for it is high time that we awake from sleep. The enemy stands before us in full power, and it seems to me as if I could hear our Saviour repeat the words which he once spake in the garden of Gethsemani when he was taken prisoner: "This is your hour and the power of darkness."
We enter into a New Year; with its thousands of highways and byways, paths and roads, it lies before us. Oh ! let each one ask himself in earnestness and sincerity to-day, at this holy hour,
Whither goest thou?
There is only one sure way that leads to the Father, and thatis the way which Jesus and His representative on earth, the Church, teach us. Are we really still in the right path, or have we, also, already left it? Have we, perhaps, allowed them to lead us astray by that falsehood which ahs drawn os many from the right path, namely, that the war which progress has declared against darkness, as it is called, is not directed against Christianity and its Founder, but against the so-called Church?
Many a human heart is empty and desolate and icy cold, and in many a home the beacon of hope has gone out. Why, my dear friends? Let us be candid and do not let us put the blame too much on the world and on other people, but let us beat our own breasts and give a true and sincere answer to the question:
Whither goest thou?
For years you have lived happily with wife and child. The bread which you have had to ear, though by hard labor, you have eaten in the evening in blissful contentment in your family circle. But you have changed. You find too much constraint in your home, and your own are a burden to you. You are looking for distraction outside, and sullenly and with curses on your lips you go to your work. What has happened to cause this change?Be sincere! Have you not deserted your Master, and His way? Have you not fought shy of your Church and your prayers? Do you not pursue other ways now? Stop! Do not let the year glide into the sea of eternity without asking yourself honestly
Whither goest thou?
and tremble, for the end for you may lead to destruction.
And you, sons and daughters! Once you were good children and the joy of your parents! But it is otherwise now. Look! You are afraid of a glance from your father's eye, and you are cold towards your mother, and their teachings you call old-fashioned; in the faces of your parents there are lines of deep sorrow. And what has caused all this? Be sincere! You have left your Master and His way! You neglect your Church and your prayers, for you go quite another way. Bad books, which you know well how to procure; wanton speech, and lose principles in which you have indulged, have kindled the passions which were slumbering in your breast into a blazing flame.
Ah! Whither goest thou?
The new Year is coming, also for you. Do not begin it in the same way. Return to the right path, which your parents have shown you and which you used to follow with a clean heart and peaceful conscience, so blithe and happy. Follow your Master and your Mother Holy Church.
God's forbearance offers you another year. Will you again be indifferent ot this boundless love? Ah! lift up your eyes! Take the bandage from them. See, there is a cemetery, and they are digging a new grave. Perhaps they are digging it for you.
My dear friends! If we are to have peace and gladness in our hearts, in our families, yea, in the whole human society, there is only one sure way, since "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us," which leads to this happiness, to peace, and, finally, to the Father. It is the way about which, my dear people, I have preached to you to-day, and which I will name to you once more with all the strength of my soul. "The way which Thou, O Jesus, hast taught us and Thy Church." Let us, all together, enter upon this solemn oath, that indeed we will do it in all sincerity. Upon this ground we will await thee, O New Yera, and with courage look forward to all that God in His eternal wisdom may determine upon for us. Amen!
It has been a busy week here on our little blog and a busy couple of weeks in our home. We wanted to give a short re-cap and also share some prayers the Church offers for the civil New Year that is upon us.
Make sure to visit our many 12 days of Christmas Give A Way posts and enter to win the great prizes we are offering everyday! Find them here:
On the ....day of Christmas my True Love Gave to me...2nd Day of Christmas3rd Day of Christmas4th Day of Christmas5th Day of Christmas6th Day of Christmas
and more to come so keep an eye on our blog!
New Year's Prayers
Read the wonderful article about the spirit to be had at New Years eve/Day from Dom Gueranger's Liturgical Year HERE
and also another wonderful article of similar content over at Crusaders for Christ
The following prayers (which may also be downloaded in printable form HERE
) are from the Blessed Be God Prayer Book
Imprimatur 1925:SUPPLICATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS FOR THE NEW YEAR
O ETERNAL Father, after having thanked Thy infinite bounty for Thy exceeding benefits in the past, we humbly implore pardon for our manifold sins and negligences, for the time we have consumed and wasted in vanities and in things that profit not unto salvation, and for the woeful want of correspondence with Thy graces which we have so habitually manifested.
But filled with confidence in Thy mercy, so lavishly displayed in a multitude of ways, we ask Thy blessing upon our good purposes and resolutions. For now we renew the sacred promises we made in Baptism, when we first became Thy children and heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and we renounce Satan with all his works and pomps.
Firmly convinced that the salvation of our immortal souls is the one great business of life, the purpose for which we have come into the world, we solemnly resolve for the future not only to do all in our power to avoid every grievous sin in thought, word, and deed, but also to shun every unnecessary occasion that might imperil our souls. We further resolve to fulfill with greater exactness and fidelity and duties of our station in life, to give more attention to our progress in things spiritual, to be more devoted to holy Mass, to receive the Sacraments more frequently, and to pray more often and more fervently.
Bless, O my God, these good resolutions which we offer to Thee at this, the threshold of a new year. Give us Thy precious grace and make us truly wise. The days and years of our life are passing so swiftly away. Help us, in Thy mercy, to utilize them, as we ought to do, for Thy greater honor and glory, for the good of our neighbor, and for our sanctification. The night cometh in which no man can work longer; soon, at best, we shall have to appear before Thee to render an account of our stewardship. May we then be found worthy to receive from Thee that divine welcome: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of thy Lord."OLD YEAR AND NEW YEAR(From Lapsus est Annus)
A YEAR is dead, a year is born;
Thus time flies by on silent wing;
Thou, Lord, alone canst guide our course
And safe to heaven Thy people bring.
For all past gifts we render thanks;
For graces new we humbly pray.
Oh, grant that we and those we love
May ne-er from faith and duty stray.
O Lord, our daily wants supply;
Protect from sickness and disease;
And deign to give, O God of love,
The blessing of unbroken peace.
Oh, blot out all our ancient sins
And give us strength to fall no more;
When fight is o'er and victory won,
Then crown us on the eternal shore.
For all the old year's sins we grieve;
Our hearts we consecrate to Thee.
Grant us, when all our years are sped,
Our heavenly Father's face to see.A NEW YEARS PRAYER
O MOST bountiful God, I sincerely and humbly thank Thee for all Thy many benefits to me during the past year, and for the privilege of beginning a new year. Do Thou mercifully continue Thy gracious help and protection, so that I may not only spend this year in Thy service, but may also increase from day to day in fervor and in the performance of good works. May all my thoughts, words and actions be for Thy greater honor and glory, for my own sanctification and for the good of souls. These favors I ask from Thy goodness through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for our salvation first shed His Precious Blood on this day. Amen.
"The Holy Name of Jesus justifies the sinner, delights the just, supports those who are tempted, augments grace for the just, and beatifies all that call upon it."
- St. Thomas
The ecclesiastical name for this day is the Feast of the Circumcision. It was instituted in honour of our Lord's receiving, on the eighth day after His birth, the mark of God's covenant with Abraham. The reception of this Sacrament of the Old Law was what distinguished God's chosen people from the rest of mankind, and was a figure of Baptism, which in the New Law distinguishes Christians from pagans and others.
The Divine Child was exempt from the ceremony, which was a remedy for sin, because He was Sanctity itself; but He submitted to it, having taken upon Himself the figure of sinful man, and to teach us respect and obedience to the laws of God and the Church. He also submitted to it in order to show that He was descended from Abraham, and thus fulfilled the promise made of old to that Patriarch that the Messiah should be born of his race.
On that occasion He received the name of Jesus, which signifies Saviour, in accordance with the command of the angel to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph.
On this day we ought to repeat frequently the 'Divine Praises' in reparation for the many times the Holy Name is used irreverently. We can resolve, too, that in future, whenever in the streets or other places, we hear the Holy Name insulted, we will raise our hats and say, "Blessed be the Name of Jesus," and thus send reparation at once to the throne of God. The Litany of Jesus may also be said, with the view of obtaining a great increase of respect, love for, and confidence in Him. We ought also to thank God for conferring on us, without any merit on our part, the grace of Baptism, conferred, too, at a time when we could not thank Him.
Let us renew our Baptismal vows with great fervour, especially as it happens to be the first day of the new year, and make firm resolutions to avoid sin and to practice virtue more steadfastly than in the past. In the case of habitual sins we must try to find out the causes and remove them. We can more easily do this if we impress deeply on our minds the unspeakable value of the grace of God.
It was to give or increase it that the Sacraments were instituted. It was to preserve it that the Commandments were ordained, and it is to deprive us of it that the devil watches us and attacks us so frequently and violently.
"Blest Name that is rest and a shelter,
And light to the heart perplexed;
In this life, my last word and dearest,
My rapturous first in the next."
Genesius was a pagan Roman comedian. He was so skilled in his art that he was the idol of the Romans, and always drew an immense multitude of spectators. Public rejoicings were going on, and the Emperor Diocletian came to the capital in great state. Amongst the entertainments prepared for him was a stage performance. Genesius, who was aware of the hatred of the Prince against the Christians, prepared a mock ceremony to ridicule the Sacrament of Baptism. He made his appearance in the theatre on a bed, pretending to be sick, and asked to be baptized, so that he might have a happy death.
All this being done in comedy, excited the laughter of the people. Two actors then came forward, one dressed as a priest, the other as an exorcist, and said to Genesius, with mock gravity: 'My child, wherefore didst though send for us?" Genesius, suddenly changed by a miracle of grace, answered seriously: "Because I desire to receive the grace of Jesus Christ, and by holy regeneration to obtain remission of my sins."
The ceremonies of Baptism were then gone through. When the white robe, the mark of the newly baptized, was put on him, the soldiers took him bound before the Emperor to be interrogated. Diocletian enjoyed the whole thing very much, and, to make the play more real, pretended to be very angry, and asked Genesius: 'Are you a Christian?' Genesius replied in an inspired tone: "Hear me, O Emperor. Formerly, when I so much as heard the name of Jesus Christ uttered, I trembled with rage. I detested those among my relatives who professed the Christian religion. I studied the rights of Christians solely to scoff at them. But the moment the water of Baptism touched my flesh, my heart was changed, and I answered sincerely to the questions put to me. I saw a troop of angels over me, who read out of a book all the sins I had committed since childhood.
Then, having plunged the book into the water, they showed it to me, whiter than snow, the writing being effaced. Do you, then, O mighty Emperor, and you, O Romans, believe with me that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and that He is worthy of our adoration, and try also to obtain His mercy." The Emperor, equally surprised and irritated, first ordered him to be beaten with rods. Then he handed him over to the perfect Plautius to compel him to sacrifice to the idols. Genesius was stretched on the rack, and had his sides burnt with torches. Many other tortures were tried in vain.
The martyr constantly repeated: "There is no other Lord like Him Who appeared to me. I adore and love Him with my whole soul; though I had a thousand lives to lose, nothing could separate me from Him. Never-no, never- shall torments take Jesus from my mouth and heart. I feel the deepest sorrow for all my past errors, and for having commenced so late to serve Him." Seeing that his eloquence was making an impression on the people, the Emperor ordered his head to be cut off.