From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

Let us, in union with the Church, make a commemoration of Saints Simplicius and Faustinus, martyred in the persecution of Diocletian, together with their sister Viatrice, whose name was gracefully changed into Beatrice after she had gone to heaven. The sister had had time to bury her brothers; and after her own combat she was laid to rest beside them, by the last of the celebrated Lucina. The hour for the triumph of the Church had not yet arrived; nevertheless the tomb of this illustrious trio, in the very grove of the Dea Dia of the Arvales, proclaims the victory of Christ over the most ancient superstitions of Rome. The holy pontiff Felix, who shares the honours paid to this glorious company, suffered in the time of the Arians.


Præsta, quæsumus Domine, ut sicut populus Christianus martyrum tuorum Felicis, Simplicii, Faustini, et Beatricis temporali solemnitate congaudet: ita perfruatur æterna; et quod votis celebrat, comprehendat effectu. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that as thy Christian people rejoice together in the temporal solemnity of thy martyrs, Felix, Simplicius, Faustinus, and Beatrice, they may enjoy it in eternity, and may effectually attain to what they celebrate in desire. Through our Lord, etc.


From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.


The name of Christopher, whose memory enhances the solemnity of the son of thunder, signifies one who hears Christ. Christina yesterday reminded us that Christians ought to be in every place the good odour of Christ;[1] Christopher to-day puts us in mind that Christ truly dwells by faith in our hearts.[2] The graceful legend attached to his name is well known. As other men were, at a later date, to sanctify themselves in Spain by constructing roads and bridges to facilitate the approach of pilgrims to the tomb of St. James, so Christopher in Lycia had vowed for the love of Christ to carry travellers on his strong shoulders across a dangerous torrent. Our Lord will say on the last day: ‘What you did to one of these my least brethren, you did it unto Me.’ One night, being awakened by the voice of a child asking to be carried across, Christopher hastened to perform his wonted task of charity, when suddenly, in the midst of the surging and apparently trembling waves, the giant, who had never stooped beneath the greatest weight, was bent down under his burden, now grown heavier than the world itself. ‘Be not astonished,’ said the mysterious child, ‘thou bearest Him who bears the world.’ And He disappeared, blessing His carrier and leaving him full of heavenly strength.

Christopher was crowned with martyrdom under Decius. The aid our fathers knew how to obtain from him against storms, demons, plague, accidents of all kinds, has caused him to be ranked among the saints called helpers. In many places the fruits of the orchards were blessed on this day, under the common auspices of St. Christopher and St. James.


Præsta, quæsumus omnipotens Deus: ut, jui beati Christophori martyris tui natalitia colimus, intercessione ejus in tui nominis amore roboremur. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we who celebrate the festival of blessed Christopher the martyr, may by his intercession be strengthened in the love of Thy name. Through.

[1] 2 Cor. ii. 15.
[2] Eph. Iii. 17.


From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

While Apollinaris adorns holy Mother Church with the bright purple of his martyrdom, another noble son crowns her brow with the white wreath of a confessor pontiff. Liborius, the heir of Julian, Thuribius, and Pavasius, was a brilliant link in the glorious chain connecting the church of Le Mans with Clement, the successor of St. Peter; he came to bring peace after the storm, and to restore to the earth a hundredfold fruitfulness after the ruin caused by the tempest. The fanatical disciples of Odin, invading the west of Gaul, had committed more havoc in this part of our Lord’s vineyard than had the proconsuls with their cold legalism, or the ancient Druids with their fierce hatred. Liborius, defender of the earthly fatherland, and guide of souls to the heavenly one, brought the enemy to be citizen of both by making him Christian. As a pontiff, he laboured with purest zeal for the magnificence of divine worship, which renders homage to God, and gives health to the earth; as apostle, he took up again the work of evangelization begun by the first messengers of the faith, driving idolatry from the strongholds it had reconquered, and from the country parts, where it had always reigned supreme: his friend St. Martin had not in this respect a more worthy rival.

Five centuries after the close of his laborious life his blessed body was removed from the sanctuary where it lay among his fellow-bishops, and scattering miracles all along the way, was carried to Paderborn; pagan barbarism once more fled at the approach of Liborius, and Westphalia was won to Christ. Le Mans and Paderborn, uniting in the veneration of their common apostle, have thus sealed a friendship which a thousand years have not destroyed.


Da, quæsumus omnipotens Deus, ut beati Liborii, confessons tui atque pontificis, veneranda solemnitas et devotionem nobis augeat, et salutem. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O almighty God, that the venerable solemnity of blessed Liborius, Thy confessor and bishop, may contribute to the increase of our devotion, and promote our salvation. Through our Lord, etc.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year.

On this same day the whole Church unites in the solemn homage which Milan continues to pay, after a lapse of sixteen centuries, to two valiant witnesses of Christ. ‘Our martyrs, Felix and Nabor,’ says St. Ambrose, ‘are the grain of mustard-seed mentioned in the Gospel. They possessed the good odour of faith, though it did not appear to men; persecution arose, they laid down their arms, and bowed their heads to the sword, and immediately the grace that was hidden within them was shed abroad even to the ends of the world; so that we can now in all truth say of them: Their sound has gone forth into all the earth.'

Let us honour them and ask their intercession by the prayer which the Church addresses to God in commemoration of their glorious combat.


Præsta, quæsumus, Domine: ut, sicut nos sanctorum Martyrum tuorum Naboris et Felicis natalitia celebranda non deserunt, ita jugiter suffragiis comitentur. Per Dominum.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that as the festival of thy holy martyrs, Nabor and Felix, returns for us to celebrate, it may always be accompanied by their intercession. Through our Lord, etc.

From Dom Guéranger's The Liturgical Year

On this day whereon Satan, for the first time, sees his infernal crew fall back in face of the sacred Ark, two warriors of the army of the elect take their rank in our Queen's cortège. Deputed by Peter himself, during this his glad octave, to wait upon Mary, they have earned this honour by reason of their faith, which taught them to recognize in Nero's condemned criminal the chief of God's people.

The prince of the apostles was awaiting his martyrdom in the dungeon of the Mamertine prison, when, led by divine mercy, there came to him two Roman soldiers, whose names have become inseparable from his own in the Church's memory. One was called Processus, the other Martinianus. They were struck by the dignity of the old man, confided for some hours to their ward, who would not see daylight again until he was led out to execution. Peter spoke to them of life eternal, and of the Son of God who so loved men as to give the last drop of his Blood for their ransom. Processus and Martinianus received with docile heart this unexpected instruction; they accepted it with simple faith, and craved the grace of regeneration. But water was wanting in the dungeon, and Peter was forced to make use of the power to command nature, bestowed by our Lord upon the apostles when he sent them into the world. At the word of the old man a fountain sprang up from the ground, and the two soldiers were baptized in the miraculous water. Christian piety still venerates this fountain, which never either brims over or dries up. Processus and Martinianus soon paid with their life for the honour conferred upon them of being thus initiated into the Christian faith by the prince of the apostles, and they are numbered among God's martyrs.[27]

Their cultus is as ancient as that of Peter himself. In the age of peace, a basilica was raised over their tomb. St Gregory pronounced there, on the solemn anniversary of their combat, his thirty-second homily on the Gospel. The great Pontiff therein renders testimony to the miracles which were operated on that holy spot, and he celebrates, in particular, the power which those two saints have of protecting their devout clients on the day of the Lord's justice.[28] Later on, St Paschal I enriched the basilica of the prince of the apostles with their bodies. They now occupy the place of honour in the left arm of the Latin cross formed by the immense edifice, and they give their name to the whole of this side of the transept, wherein the Vatican Council held its immortal sessions; it was fitting that this august assembly should carry on its labours under the patronage of these two valiant warriors, who were not only St Peter's guards, but his conquest in the days of his own glorious confession. Let us not forget these illustrious protectors of holy Church. The feast of the Visitation, of more recent institution, has not lessened theirs; though their glory is now, so to say, lost in that of our Lady, their power can but have gained in strength by this approximation to the gentle Queen of earth and heaven.