Justin was born of heathen parents at Neapolis in Samaria, about the year 103. He was well educated, and gave himself to the study of philosophy, but always with one object, that he might learn the knowledge of God. He sought this knowledge among the contending schools of philosophy, but always in vain, till at last God himself appeased the thirst which He had created. One day, while Justin was walking by the seashore, meditating on the thought of God, an old man met him and questioned him on the subject of his doubts; and when he had made Justin confess that the philosophers taught nothing certain about God, he told him of the writings of the inspired prophets and of Jesus Christ Whom they announced, and bade him seek light and understanding through prayer. The Scriptures and the constancy of the Christian martyrs led Justin from the darkness of human reason to the light of faith. In his zeal for the Faith he travelled to Greece, Egypt, and Italy, gaining many to Christ. At Home he scaled his testimony with his blood, surrounded by his disciples. “Do you think,” the prefect said to Justin, “that by dying you will enter heaven, and be rewarded by God?” “I do not think,” was the Saint’s answer; “I know.” Then, as now, there were many religious opinions, but only one certainty—the certainty of the Catholic faith. This certainty should be the measure of our conﬁdence and our zeal.
Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, Martyrs
These holy martyrs have always been held in singular veneration in the church, as appears from the ancient calendar of Fronto, the sacramentary of St. Gregory, St. Jerome’s Martyrology, that of Thomasius. Valerian was espoused to St. Cecily, and converted by her to the faith; and with her he became the instrument of the conversion of his brother Tiburtius. Maximus, the officer appointed to attend their execution, was brought to the faith by the example of their piety, and received with them the crown of martyrdom, in the year 229. The theatre of their triumph seems to have been Rome, though some have imagined they suffered in Sicily. They were interred in the burying place of Prætextatus, which, from them, took the name of Tiburtius. It was contiguous to that of Calixtus. In that place Pope Gregory III, repaired their monument in 740; and Adrian I. built a church under their patronage. But Pope Paschal translated the remains of these martyrs, of St. Cecily, and the popes SS. Urban and Lucius, into the city, where the celebrated church of St. Cecily stands. These relics were found in it in 1599, and visited by the Order of Clement VIII., and approved genuine by the Cardinals Baronius and Sfondrate. The Greeks vie with the Latins in their devotion to these martyrs.
Most agreeable to the holy angels was this pious family, converted to God by the zeal and example of St. Cecily, who frequently assembled to sing together, with heavenly purity and fervor, the divine praises. We shall also draw upon ourselves the protection, constant favour, and tender attention of the heavenly spirits, if we faithfully imitate the same angelical exercise. Mortification, temperance, humility, meekness, purity of mind and body, continual sighs toward heaven, prayer, accompanied with tears and vehement heavenly desires, disengagement of the heart from the world, a pure and assiduous attention to God and to his holy will, and a perfect union by the most sincere fraternal charity, are virtues and exercises infinitely pleasing to them. The angels of peace are infinitely delighted to see the same perfect intelligence and union, which make an essential part of their bliss in heaven, reign among us on earth, and that we have all but one heart and one soul. Happy are those holy souls which have renounced the world, in order more perfectly to form in their hearts the spirit of these virtues, in which they cease not, day and night, to attend to the divine praises, and consecrate themselves to Jesus Christ, by employing their whole life in this divine exercise. Their profession is a prelude to, or rather a kind of anticipation of, the bliss of heaven. The state of the blessed, indeed, surpasses it in certain high privileges and advantages.
Thursday of the Second Week after Easter Within the Octave of St. Joseph
St. Justin, Martyr with a Commemoration of Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, Martyrs
Double – Red vestments
Psalm 118: 85, 46, 1
Narraverunt mihi iníqui fabulatiónes, sed non ut lex tua: ego autem loquébar de testimóniis tuis in conspéctu regum et non confundébar. Allelúia, allelúia. Ps. Beáti immaculáti in via, qui ámbulant in lege Dómini. Gloria Patri.
The wicked have told me fables, but not as Thy law; but I spoke of Thy testimonies before kings, and I was not ashamed. Alleluia, alleluia. Ps. Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory be to the Father.
O God, Who, through the foolishness of the cross, didst wondrously teach blessed Martyr, Justin, the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ: grant us, by his intercession, that we may avoid the wiles of error and attain to firmness of faith. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION of Ss. Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus – Martyrs
Grant, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, that, as we observe the feast of Thy holy Martyrs, Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus, we may likewise imitate their virtues. Through our Lord.
I Corinthians – 1: 18-25, 30
Brethren, the word of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolishness; but to them that are saved, that is, to us, it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; and the prudence of the prudent I will reject. Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For seeing that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God; it pleased God by the foolishness of our preaching to save them that believe. For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumbling block, and unto the Gentiles foolishness; but unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. But of Him are you in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom and justice, and sanctification, and redemption.
I Corinthians 3: 19, 20; Philippians 3: 8
Alleluia, alleluia. The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: The Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.
Alleluia. Furthermore I count all things to be but loss, for the excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord. Alleluia.
Luke 12: 2-8
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed: nor hidden, that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear in chambers shall be preached on the house-tops. And I say to you, My friends, be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you Whom you shall fear: fear ye Him Who, after He hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell. Yea, I say to you, fear Him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you, whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.
I Corinthians 2: 2
For I judged not myself to know any thing among you, but Jesus Christ; and Him crucified. Alleluia.
Graciously accept our gifts, O Lord, the wondrous mystery of which Thy holy Martyr Justin, strenuously defended against the calumnies of the impious. Through our Lord.
COMMEMORATION of Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus
May this sacrifice, O Lord, which we offer commemorating the birthday of Thy holy Martyrs, both loose us from the bonds of our base desires and gain for us the gifts of Thy mercy. Through our Lord.
PREFACE OF EASTER
It is truly meet and just, right and availing unto salvation that at all times, but more especially at this season, we should extol Thy glory, O Lord, when Christ our Pasch was sacrificed. For He is the true Lamb that hath taken away the sins of the world: Who by dying hath overcome our death, and by rising again hath restored our life. And therefore with Angels and Archangels, with Thrones and Dominations, and with all the heavenly hosts, we sing a hymn to Thy glory, saying without ceasing:
Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus Dóminus, Deus Sábaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra glória tua. Hosánna in excélsis. Benedíctus, qui venit in nómine Dómini. Hosánna in excélsis.
II Timothy 4: 8
There is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord, the just judge, will render to me in that day. Alleluia.
Refreshed with heavenly food, we humbly pray Thee, O Lord, that, following the admonitions of Thy blessed Martyr, Justin, we may give thanks incessantly for the gifts we have received. Through our Lord
COMMEMORATION of Ss Tiburtius, Valerian and Maximus
Filled With Thy sacred gifts, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we celebrate in fulfillment of our bounden service we may feel in the increase of Thy salvation. Through our Lord.