Pope and Martyr (d. 258)
+ Sixtus was ordained bishop of Rome in 257.
+ During his brief pontificate, he successfully reconciled the Church of Rome with those of North Africa and Asia Minor, previously divided by schismatic and heretical teachings.
+ In 258, Pope Sixtus was martyred while celebrating the Eucharist in the Catacomb of San Callisto outside of Rome.
+ Murdered with him, were the deacons who had been assisting him: Saints Agapitus, Felicissimus, Januarius, and Vincent.
+ All were honored as martyrs and saints immediately after their deaths and the name of Pope Sixtus II is included in the Roman Canon (the “First Eucharistic Prayer”).
For prayer and reflection
“The martyrs fixed their eyes on heaven, and cried out in their torments: Come, Lord, be with us in this hour.”—from Morning Prayer for the Common of Several Martyrs in the Liturgy of the Hours
On August 7, we also remember Blessed María Rosa Adrover Martí and Blessed María del Carmen Zaragoza y Zaragoza. These two women were members of the Dominican Sisters of Education of the Immaculata and were martyred in the Llondoner Forest near Barcelona, Spain, on August 7, 1936. They were martyred with other victims of the Spanish Civil War in 2007.
By the power of the Holy Spirit,
we pray, almighty God,
make us docile in believing the faith
and courageous in confessing it,
just as you granted Saint Sixtus and his companions
that they might lay down their lives
for the sake of your word and in witness to Jesus.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.