Christians from all parts of the world have ever flocked to Rome as to the rock of faith and the foundation of the Church, and honored with the greatest reverence and piety the spot hallowed by the sepulcher of the Prince of the Apostles. These words of Holy Church are exemplified in the Martyrs of today. Forced with ambition to have some part and fellowship in the glorious Society of the holy Apostles and Martyrs, they left all things and hastened to the Eternal City, there to receive in fullest measure what they sought. Like the Magi of old they came from the Far East. The star of faith had shone for them, and in obedience to its call they set forth in all eagerness to offer their gifts of homage the loyalty to the divine King in the person of his Vicar and his suffering members. Such generosity was not left unrewarded; our Emmanuel crowned it with the laurels of martyrdom, admitting them into that cloud of witnesses that ever stand about him. Let us keep before our minds with our Lord, the author and finisher of their faith, this great and glorious band of martyrs, so that we too may ever run unwearied and with courage and patience in the fight proposed to us.
The following lesson is given in the office:
|Marius Persa, nobili loco natus, cum Martha conjuge pari nobilitate, et duobus filiis Audiface et Abachum, Romam venit Claudio imperatore, et Martyrum sepulchra veneraretur. Ibi Christianos in vincula conjectos fovebant, et opera ac facultatibus suis sustentabant, et Sanctorum corpora sepeliebant. Quam ob rem comprehensi omnes, cum nec implorum minis nec terrore commoverentur, ut diis sacrificarent; primum fustibus debilitati, deinde funibus attracti, tum admotis candentibus laminis combusti, et ungulis ferreis excarnificati sut. Postremo præcisis manibus, et ad collum alligatis, ducti per mediam urbem, via Cornelia ad tertium decimum ab Urbe milliarium, in eum locum, qui Nymphe dicebatur, necantur: ac primum Marthæ, quæ virum ac filios ad supplicia pro Jesu Christi fide constanter perferenda, vehementer fuerat cohortata; mox ceteris in eadem arenaria cervices abscinduntur, eorumque corpora conjiciuntur in ignem. Quæ semiusta, Felicitas matrona Romana nobilis colligenda et in suo prædio sepelienda curavit.||Marius, a Persian of noble birth, came to Rome, under the emperor Claudius, to venerate the sepulchers of the martyrs in the company of his wife Martha, a noble lady, and their two sons Audifax and Abachum. There they ministered to the Christians in prison, maintaining them both by their wealth and their own personal service, and buried the bodies of the saints. They were all accordingly arrested, and since they could not be induced by fear or threats to sacrifice to the gods, they were first beaten with clubs, then dragged about with ropes, burnt with hot iron plates and torn with hooks. Lastly their hands were cut off and tied about their necks, and they were led through the city and by the Via Cornelia to the place called Nymphe, thirteen miles from Rome, where they were put to death. The first to die was Martha, who had earnestly exhorted her husband and sons to bear their suffering with constancy for the faith of Jesus Christ. Then the others were beheaded in the same sandpit, and their bodies were thrown into the fire. Felicitas, a noble Roman matron, took them when they were half burned and buried them in her own estate.|
This text is taken from The Liturgical Year, authored by Dom Prosper Gueranger (1841-1875)