Martyrs (d. ca. 250)
+ What we know of these Egyptian martyrs comes from a letter written by Saint Dionysius of Alexandria.
+ The martyrs suffered for their faith in Christ during a persecution of the emperor Decius around the year 250. Many of the martyrs were driven from their homes or fled into the desert where they died of hunger, thirst or exposure.
+ Many of the Christians were also sold into slavery, although Dionysius relates that a few of them had been ransomed at the time he wrote the letter.
+ Among the martyrs mentioned by name was the elderly bishop of Nilopolis, Chaerymon, who was taken with his wife into the mounts of Arabia and never heard from again.
+ Also mentioned was Ischyrion, a procurator who might have been from Alexandria. The magistrate ordered Ischyrion to offer sacrifice to the gods, but he refused and was subsequently tortured and killed.
For prayer and reflection
O King of all the nations, the only joy of every human heart; O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.
December 22 marks the anniversary of the death of Servant of God Isaac Thomas Hecker, the founder of the Paulist Fathers. Honored for his commitment to exploring new forms of evangelization and a defender of the rights of the Church in an age of anti-Catholic sentiment in the United States, he died in 1888. The cause for his beatification was opened in 2008.
O God, who, seeing the human race fallen into death,
willed to redeem it by the coming of your Only Begotten Son,
grant, we pray,
that those who confess his Incarnation with humble fervor
may merit his company as their Redeemer.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Collect for December 22)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.