Sunday, January 14. Second Sunday after Epiphany. Green. Commemoration of St. Hilary. St. Hilary, Bishop and a Doctor of the Church, was a fifth-century noble of Loraine who, after his conversion to Christianity, became Bishop of Arles when under thirty years of age. A prelate of unbounded charity and zeal, Hilary established many religious houses in Gaul.
Monday, January 15. St. Paul, the first Hermit. White.
St. Jerome tells us what is known of St. Paul the first Hermit—that this fourth-century saint was an Egyptian who, while still a youth, fled into the desert country round Thebes; there he embraced the solitary life, and in the desert he is said to have spent ninety years.
Tuesday, January 16. St. Marcellus, Pope. Red. A short pontificate, one year only, gives St. Marcellus his place among the fourth-century successors of St. Peter; he was elected Pope in Asa 308. Shortly afterwards the Empel or Maxentius had him seized and made a labourer in the stables. A Christian woman, Lucina, rescued him, for a time, from this degradation, but his place of refuge was discovered, and again he was set to the same labour. Under this suffering St. Marcellus died In the following year, and the Church honours him as a martyr.
Wednesday, January 17. St. Antony, Abbot. White.
When St. Paul the first Hermit (see
above) was dying, he was consoled by a visit from St. Antony, the Abbot and Father of Egyptian Monks. This latter, who like St. Paul had gone out into the desert, was soon surrounded by such a number of disciples that he established monasteries in the Thebaid and lived—it is said to the age of 105—to exercise an immense influence for good. In St. Antony the Abbot herdsmen have their Patron.
Thursday, January 18. St. Peter's Chair at Rome. White.
One of the two feasts in the Kalendar of the Chair of St. Peter, the other celebrating the Chair at Antioch. The Chair at Rome is in St. Peter's, above the celebrated altar of that name.
Friday, January 19. SS. Marius and Corn pan ions. Red.
To-day's feast honours the memory of a Persian family : father, mother, and two sons, who were martyred under Claudius II in Rome in the third century. Their relics are in the Church of St. Hadrian, near the Forum.
Saturday, January 20. SS. Fabian and Sebastian. Red.
Pope St. Fabian was martyred in the third century in the persecution under Decius. To this pope is attributed the rite for the consecration of the Holy Oils on Maundy Thursday. St. Sebastian, a Roman officer and convert to Christianity, was the martyr, so well known in Art, who was tied to a tree and shot with arrows.