Feria in the Seventh Week After Pentecost
Commemoration of the holy Martyrs Saints Abdon and Sennen
Sts. Abdon & Sennen – Martyrs
Sts. Abdon and Sennen were Persians who, coming to Rome in the Third Century, courageously confessed the faith of Christ and were put to death in the persecution of Decius in 250. The emperor Decius, enemy of Christians, had defeated the king of Persia and become master of several countries over which he reigned. He had already condemned to torture and death Saint Polychrome, with five members of his clergy. Saint Abdon and Saint Sennen, illustrious Persian dignitaries of the third century whom the king of Persia had highly honored, were secretly Christian; it was they who had taken up the body of the martyred bishop, which had been cast contemptuously before a temple of Saturn, to bury it at night, with honor. The two royal officials, now fallen under the domination of Rome, were grieved to witness the emperor’s cruelty towards the faithful, and believed it their duty to make known their love for Jesus Christ; thus, without fear of their new sovereign, they undertook by all possible means to spread and fortify the faith, to encourage the confessors and bury the martyrs.
Decius, learning of their dedication, was extremely irritated. He sent for the two brothers to appear before his tribunal, and attempted to win them over to sacrifice to the gods, by appealing to his recent victory as a sign of their favor. The Saints replied, however, that this victory was not at all a proof of such power, since the unique true God, Creator of Heaven and earth with His Son, Jesus Christ, gives victory to some and defeat to others, for reasons hidden in the designs of His providence. They said they could never adore any but Him, and Decius imprisoned them. Soon afterwards, when he learned of the death of the viceroy he had left to govern in his place at Rome, he returned to Rome and took his two captives with him to serve as splendid trophies of his Persian victory. In effect, these magistrates were wearing jewels and rich fabrics under their chains. He arraigned them before the Senate, in whose presence they again testified to the divinity of Christ, saying they could adore no other. The next day they were flogged in the amphitheater; then two lions and four bears were released to devour them. But the beasts lay down at their feet and became their guardians, and no one dared approach for a time. Finally the prefect sent out gladiators to slay them with the sword, which with the permission of God was done. Their bodies remained three days without burial, but a subdeacon, who afterwards wrote their history, took them up and buried them on his own terrain.
Under Constantine the Great, their tombs were discovered by divine revelation and their relics reburied in the Pontian cemetery, which afterwards was called by their names. We see them in a picture of the catacombs, crowned by Our Lord Himself. Their glorious martyrdom occurred in the year 254.
INTROIT: Ps. 78, 11, 12 and 10
The groaning of the captives penetrates to you, O Lord: and for those around us do fall within them sevenfold contempt they did fall upon you: Avenge the blood of your saints, which was shed. O God, the nations have come into your inheritance, they have defiled your holy temple: they have made Jerusalem a hut to keep fruit.
God, Who didst bestow upon Thy saints, Abdon and Sennen, an abundance of grace to bring them to this glory, grant to Thy servants the pardon of their sins, that, by the interceding merits of Thy saints, they may deserve to be delivered from all adversities. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God
EPISTLE: 2. Cor. 6, 4-10
Brethren: We realize commendable of all things, as ministers of God, great consistency, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in prisons, through riots, in labors , vigils, fasts; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God through offensive and defensive weapons of justice; from honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; treated as impostors, and yet are true; unknown, and yet well known; regarded as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and we are not put to death; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, which we enrich many; as having nothing, and possessing all things.
GRADUAL: Ex. 15:11,6
God is glorified in His Saints: admirable in his majesty, he wonders.
Your right, Lord, is indicated by its strength: the right hand broke his enemies.
Alleluia, alleluia: Sap. 3:1
The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. Alleluia.
GOSPEL: Matt. 5:1-12
In that time Jesus saw the multitudes, went up into the mountain, and when he had sat down, his disciples came to him. So speaking, he began to teach them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted Blessed are the meek, for! they shall inherit the earth Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall called children of God Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
OFFERTORY: Ps. 67, 36
God is wonderful in his saints. The God of Israel give himself to his people the power and strength. God be praised. Alleluia.
This sacrifice, we beseech Thee, O Lord, we offer you honoring the birth of your new heaven holy Martyrs breaks the bonds of our evil and draws us gifts of your mercy.
PREFACE Common Preface
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
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.
COMMUNION: Ps. 78, 2 and 11
They have given the dead bodies of your servants as food to the birds of the air, and the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth according to the greatness of your arm, keep the son of those who did die.
Let us pray. By the operation of this mystery, O Lord, may our lives be purified, and, through the intercession of Thy martyrs, Abdon and Sennen, our just desires have fulfillment. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God…