• July 25th - SS. Valentina and Thea, Virgins, and St. Paul

    From rich@1:15/0 to All on Mon Jul 24 10:00:47 2017
    From: rich <richarra@gmail.com>

    July 25th - SS. Valentina and Thea, Virgins, and St. Paul, Martyrs
    d. 308

    In Palestine, St. Valentina, a virgin, who was led to an altar to
    offer sacrifice, but overturning it with her foot, she was cruelly
    tortured, and being cast into the fire with another virgin, her
    companion, she went to her Spouse.

    Firmillian, the successor of Urban in the government of Palestine
    under Maximinus II, carried on the persecution of Christians with
    great cruelty. When fourscore and seventeen confessors, men, women and children, were brought before him at C=C3=A6sarea, he commanded the sinews
    of the joint of their left feet to be burnt with a hot iron and their
    right eyes to be put out, and the eye-holes burnt. In this condition
    he sent them to work at the quarries in the Lebanon. Many others were
    brought before this inhuman judge from different towns of Palestine,
    and were tormented in various ways. Among the Christians taken at
    Gaza, whilst they were assembled to hear the Holy Scriptures read, was
    a maiden named Thea, a native of the place, whom the judge threatened
    with prostitution in the public brothel. She reproached him for such
    infamous injustice, and Firmilian, enraged at her liberty of speech,
    caused her to be scourged and otherwise tormented.

    Valentina, a Christian girl of C=C3=A6sarea who was present, cried out to
    the judge from the midst of the crowd, "How long will you thus torture
    my sister?" She was seized at once and dragged to the pagan altar,
    which she kicked over, together with the fire and incense which stood
    ready upon it. Firmilian, provoked beyond bounds, commanded her to be
    more cruelly tortured than the other, and then ordered the two girls
    to be tied together and burnt, which was done. At the same time and
    place, Gaza, on July 25, 308, one Paul was beheaded for the faith. At
    the place of execution he prayed aloud for his fellow countrymen, for
    the spread of Christianity, for those there present, for the emperor,
    and for the judge and the headsman.

    This account comes from Eusebius, De Mart. Palestin., ch. viii. He
    names Valentina, but does not mention the name of the other maiden,
    who in later documents is sometimes called Ennatha. But Thea seems
    undoubtedly correct. See the extract from the Life of St. Porphyrius
    quoted by Delehaye, Origines du Cult. des Martyrs, p. 187, and also
    the Synaxarium eccl. Const., c 822 et al.

    Saint Quote:
    If you do not hope, you will not find what is beyond your hopes.
    --St. Clement of Alexandria

    Bible Quote:
    I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth
    comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the
    creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of
    God; 20 for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own
    will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the
    creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain
    the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole
    creation has been groaning in travail together until now; 23 and not
    only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the
    Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption
    of our bodies. [Romans 8:18=E2=80=9323]

    Models of Humility: (2) The Blessed Virgin

    No one of all the children of Adam ever approached the Blessed Virgin
    Mary in humility. What had she to make her humble? No sin or
    imperfection for which to humble herself before God. Yet the greatest
    of sinners never humbled himself as did Mary. How was this? It was
    because no one save she ever recognized her own nothingness in God's
    sight. This is the surest basis for humility. It is because we do not
    recognize our utter insignificance and the absence of any good in us
    save what is the gift of God, that we are so wanting in humility.

    Thus it was that, because Mary had a right to the highest place, she
    always sought the lowest. This is the law that everywhere prevails.
    Those who deserve the lowest place seek the highest, and those who
    deserve the highest seek the lowest. It is the enemies of God who do
    not like to come down. His friends recognize the lowest place as the
    place most suitable for them. Am I in this respect one of God's
    friends or one of His enemies?

    Mary's humility was also the result of her desire to be like to her
    Divine Son in all things. When she saw Him stoop from the highest
    Heaven to earth, she longed to stoop to the very dust. She placed
    herself in spirit beneath the feet of all, and would have placed
    herself lower still if it had been possible. For what humiliation
    could even Mary endure that was in any way comparable to that of her
    Son? If Mary, then, is my Queen and Mother, I will seek to imitate her
    in this. If the Immaculate Mother of God loved to humble herself, how
    much more should I, who am but a miserable worm of earth?
    --- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
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