+ Saint Castulus was the husband of Saint Irene (celebrated on March 30).
+ A military officer during the reign of the emperor Diocletian, he served in the royal palace, keeping his Christian faith a secret.
+ Denounced to the authorities for the assistance he offered Christians facing persecution, he was burned to death on the Via Labicana outside of Rome. A church was built on the site of his execution in the 7th century.
+ Saint Castulus is invoked against various diseases and as a patron of farmers and those who tend livestock.
+ For her part, Saint Irene is especially honored for recovering the body of Saint Sebastian and helping restore him to health after he was shot with arrows. Saint Irene survived the period of persecution and his remembered for her courage and charity in serving persecuted Christians.
For prayer and reflection
“Persecution is not in contradiction to the Gospel but rather is part of it. If they persecuted our Teacher, how can we hope to be spared the fight? However, in the midst of the storm, Christians must not lose hope, thinking that they have been abandoned. Jesus assures his disciples: “even the hairs on your head are all numbered” (Mt 10:30); as if to say that none of man’s suffering, not even that which is most minute and hidden, is invisible to the eyes of God.”—Pope Francis
Almighty and merciful God, who brought your Martyr blessed Castulus to overcome the torments of his passion, grant that we, who celebrate the day of his triumph, may remain invincible under your protection against the snares of the enemy. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.