Saint of the Day ~ June 2

SAINT MARCELLINUS, priest (?-c.303) and SAINT PETER, exorcist (?-c.303), martyrs

During the reign of the Roman emperor, Diocletian, Marcellinus, a priest, and Peter, an exorcist, faced martyrdom during this era of Christian persecution, and it is these two holy men whom the Church honors today.

Almost nothing is known of their early years. However, Church history does tell us that Peter was cast into prison in Rome by the Roman judge, Serenus, for confessing his belief in the Christian faith. It is reported that, while in prison, Peter exorcised an evil spirit from Paulina, who was the daughter of Artemius, a pagan and the keeper of the prison. It was thus that Peter became known as an exorcist. As a result of this spiritual cleansing, Artemius and his entire household converted to Christianity.

Peter then summoned the presbyter Marcellinus, who then baptized Artemius and his family. The Roman judge, Serenus, upon hearing of all that took place, had both Peter and Marcellinus subjected to various forms of torture; and when both were found to have increased in their faith and courage, Peter and Marcellinus were then beheaded and buried in a remote spot in the woods so that their martyrdom would not encourage the faith of other Christians.

The burial site was revealed mysteriously to a holy woman who, along with another Christian, recovered the bodies and buried them in the city on the Via Labicana, in what was to be called the Saints Marcellinus and Peter Cemetery. Once peace had been restored and the Christian persecutions came to an end, Emperor Constantine built a basilica over their tombs.

There is evidence that the early Church honored them for their unwavering faith, and Saints Marcellinus and Peter were included in the Roman Martyrology.

We commemorate their joint feastday on June 2.

(From catholicnewsagency.com, saints.sqpn.com, americancatholic.org, and catholicculture.org)

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PRAYER

(The following prayer is from the Roman Breviary from the Proper for Saints Marcellinus and Peter)

“Father, may we benefit from the example of Your martyrs Marcellinus and Peter, and be supported by their prayers.

“Grant this 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.”

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