ST. JANUARIUS BISHOP AND MARTYR
AND HIS COMPANIONS MARTYRS
The Liturgical Year
Ven. Abbot Dom Gueranger, O.S.B.
Januarius is ever preaching the Gospel to every creature; for his miraculous blood perpetuates the testimony he bore to Christ. Let those who say they cannot believe unless they see, go to Naples; there they will behold the martyr’s blood, when placed near his head which was cut off sixteen hundred years ago, to liquefy and boil as at the moment it escaped from his sacred veins. No; miracles are not lacking in the Church at the present day. True, God cannot subject Himself to the fanciful requirements of those proud men, who would dictate to Him the conditions of the prodigies they must needs witness ere they will bow before His inﬁnite Majesty. Nevertheless, His intervention in interrupting the laws of nature framed by Him and by Him alone to be suspended, has never yet failed the man of good faith in any period of history. At present there is less dearth than ever of such manifestations.
The following is the legend concerning St. Januarius and the sharers in his glorious martyrdom.
During the persecution of the Christians under Diocletian and Maximian, Januarius, bishop of Beneventum, was brought before Timothy, president of Campania, at Nola, for the profession of the Christian in faith. There his constancy was tried in various ways. He was cast into a burning furnace, but escaped unhurt, not even his garments or a hair of his head being injured by the ﬂames. This enraged the president, who commanded the martyr’s body to be so stretched that all his joints and nerves were displaced. Meanwhile Festus his deacon, and Desiderius a lector, were seized, loaded with chains, and dragged, together with the bishop, before the president’s chariot to Pozzuolo. There they were cast into a dungeon, where they found the deacons Sosius of Misenum and Proculus of Pozzuolo, with Eutyches and Acutius laymen all condemned to be thrown to wild beasts. The following day they were all exposed in the amphitheatre; but the beasts, forgetting their natural ferocity, crouched at the feet of Januarius. Timothy, attributing this to magical arts, condemned the martyrs of Christ to be beheaded; but as he was pronouncing the sentence, he was suddenly struck blind. However, at the prayer of Januarius he soon recovered his sight; on account of which miracle, about ﬁve thousand men embraced the faith. The ungrateful judge was in no way softened by the beneﬁt conferred upon him, on the contrary, he was enraged by so many conversions; and, fearing the emperor’s edicts, he ordered the holy bishop and his companions to be beheaded. Eager to secure, each for itself, a patron before God among these holy martyrs, the neighbouring towns provided burial places for their bodies.
In obedience to a warning from heaven, the Neapolitans took the body of St. Januarius, and placed it ﬁrst at Beneventum, then in the monastery of Monte Vergine, and ﬁnally in the principal church at Naples, where it became illustrious for many miracles.
One of the most remarkable of these was the extinction of a ﬁery eruption of Mount Vesuvius, when the terrible ﬂames threatened with destruction not only the neighbourhood but even distant parts. Another remarkable miracle is seen even to the present day, namely: when the martyr’s blood, which is preserved congealed in a glass vial, is brought in presence of his head, it liqueﬁes and boils up in a wonderful manner, as if it had been but recently shed.
O holy martyrs, and thou especially, O Januarius, the leader no less by thy courage than by thy pontiﬁcal dignity, your present glory increases our longing for heaven; your past combats animate us to ﬁght the good ﬁght; your continual miracles conﬁrm us in the faith. Praise and gratitude are therefore due to you on this day of your triumph; and, we pay this our debt in the joy of our hearts. In return, extend to us the protection, of which the fortunate cities placed under your powerful patronage are so justly proud. Defend those faithful towns against the assaults of the evil one. In compensation for the falling away of society at large, offer to Christ our King the growing faith of all who pay you honour.
St. Januarius, Bishop and Companion Martyrs
Missa ‘Salus autem’
INTROITUS – Psalm 36: 31
Salus autem justórum a Dómino: et protéctor eórum est in témpore tribulatiónis. 36: 1: Noli æmulári in malignántibus: neque zeláveris faciéntes iniquitátem. Gloria Patri et Filio et Spiritui Sancti sicut erat in principio et nunc, et semper, et saecula saeculorum. Amen.
INTROIT – Psalm 36: 31
The salvation of the just is from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. Ps. 36: 1: Be not emulous of evil-doers: nor envy them that work iniquity. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost, as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
The salvation of the just…
O God, Who dost permit us to celebrate the birthday of Thy holy martyrs, Januarius and Companions, grant us to enjoy their companionship in everlasting beatitude. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever.
EPISTLE – Hebrews 10: 32-38
Brethren, call to mind the former days, wherein, being illuminated, you endured a great fight of afflictions. And on the one hand indeed, by reproaches and tribulations were made a gazingstock; and on the other, become companions of them that were used in such sort. For you both had compassion on them that were in bands, and took with joy the being stripped of your own goods, knowing that you have a better and lasting substance. Do not therefore lose your confidence, which hath a great reward. For patience is necessary for you: that doing the will of God you may receive the promise. For yet a little and a very little while, and He that is to come, will come and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith.
GRADUAL – Psalm 33: 18-19
The just cried, and the Lord heard them, and delivered them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart; and He will save the humble of spirit.
Alleluia, alleluia. The white-robed army of martyrs praiseth Thee, O Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL – Luke 12: 1-8
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For 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 the 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 ye 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.”
OFFERTORY – Wisdom 3: 1-3
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace, alleluia.
We offer Thee, O Lord, the gifts of our devotion; may they be rendered both pleasing unto Thee, for the honor of Thy just ones, and to us, through Thy mercy, helpful to salvation. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God.
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 Dominus Deus Sabaoth. Pleni sunt coeli et terra gloria Tua. Hosanna in excelsis. Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. Hosanna in excelsis.
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light; and that which you hear in the ear preach ye upon the housetops.
Grant us, we beseech Thee; O Lord, by the intercession of Thy holy martyrs, Januarius and Companions, that what we touch with our lips we may receive with a pure heart. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, For ever and ever.