Martyr (Third Century)
+ Long-honored as the patron of altar servers and the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament, Saint Tarcisius was a Third-Century martyr who was killed by a mob as he carried the Blessed Sacrament to the sick.
+ A Fourth-Century poem by Pope Saint Damasus praises Tarcisius who refused to “surrender the divine Body to rabid dogs.”
+ Later legends embellished the few known details of his life and martyrdom, transforming Tarcisius into the “boy martyr of the Eucharist.”
+ Today, Saint Tarcius is also honored as the patron saints of those making their First Communion.
For prayer and reflection
“I was hard pressed and falling,
but the Lord came to my help.
The Lord, my strength and might,
has become my savior.”—Psalm 118:13-14
On this day, Catholics in Poland and throughout the world honor Mary under the title “Our Lady of Czestochowa.”
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Tarcisius with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.