Martyrdom of the Holy Virgin Tatiana of Rome, and those who suffered with her

Commentary: The Holy Virgin Martyr Tatiana was born into an illustrious Roman family, and her father was elected consul three times. He was a good Christian, but secretly. He raised his daughter, Saint Tatiana, to be devoted to God and instructed her in the Scriptures. When she reached the age of maturity, Tatiana decided to remain a virgin, betrothing herself to Christ, touched by His love. She served Him day and night in fasting and prayer, putting her flesh to death and subjecting it to the Spirit. In view of her fervent zeal and love of God, she was appointed a deaconess. Deaconesses were young virgins appointed by bishops to care for the poor and the sick, to assist at Baptism and to serve in the temple. The words of Christ were rooted deeply in her heart: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Her love of God and neighbours indeed made Tatiana worthy to receive a glorious martyr’s crown. Her martyrdom for the sake of Christ happened as follows:

Martyrdom of St Ignatius Theophorus

Commentary: When Trajan became Emperor of Rome, St Ignatius was Bishop of the Church of Antioch. St Ignatius was not only called God-Bearer (Theophorus) but he really was God-Bearer. This holy man is known to be the person whom, when an infant, our Lord Jesus showed to the Apostles as a pattern. One day, the parents of this child were standing in the crowd around Jesus and listening to His words. They had their child with them. The Lord looked at them and called the little child to Him. He set him in the midst of them, embraced him, took him in His arms and said:

Jesus: “Unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Commentary: Certainly Saint Ignatius was called Theophorus because God Incarnate bore him in His arms. But also because he carried God in his heart. Ignatius, along with his friend St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, were disciples of John the Apostle. Ignatius the God-Bearer was a good shepherd for forty years. He took care of his flock by fasting and prayer, with unceasing zeal in teaching and in the power of the Spirit received from God. He guarded the sheep lest at the time of persecution any of the fainthearted or inexperienced should be broken. When the persecution faded for a time, the holy Bishop had only one concern – he was afraid that he was not yet filled with the true love of Christ because, being a disciple of Christ, he had so far not sealed his faith with martyrdom. But the time came when the most ardent desire of his heart was fulfilled – to lay down his life for Christ!

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Word of life

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Eph 2:8-9 (21/5/17 – 4/6/2017)

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