October 1, 2022 - Tout 21, 1739
Commemoration of St. Mary the Virgin
We celebrate on this day the commemoration of the pure Lady St. Mary the Virgin, the Mother of God, the Word through whom was the salvation of Adam and his offspring. May her intercession be for us all. Amen.
Martyrdom of St. Cyprianus and St. Justina
On this day also in the year 257 A.D. the honorable St. Cyprianus and St. Justina were martyred. Cyprianus was an infidel and a magician. He learned magic in the countries of the west until he excelled over his fellows. His excessive impudence and his arrogance made him go to Antioch to challenge the magicians there and to pride himself over them of his knowledge. When he arrived there, this fame spread and a young man, the son of one of the elders of the city, heard about him. This young man lusted for a Christian virgin who was called Justina, whom he had seen going to church and his heart became inflamed with her love. He was unable to obtain what he desired of her either by money, or by threat, or by magic.
He sought Cyprianus and complained to him about his condition, that he might gain favor with Justina's heart and fulfill his desire from her. Cyprianus promised him the fulfillment of his desire. He used all the works of his sorcery but failed. Every time he sent her a host of satans, they found her praying, so they came back defeated. When he failed, he called the satans and told them, If you do not bring Justina to me, I shall adopt Christianity. The chief of the satans thought out a device to deceive him. He ordered one of his soldiers to disguise himself and take the form of Justina and go to him, and he hastened and made known to Cyprianus her coming, so he rejoiced and waited for her. Then satan disguised as Justina came to him, and Cyprianus rejoiced, and rose up to embrace her. Because of his great joy in her, he told her, Welcome, Queen of Women, Justina. Upon the mere mention of her name, satan disguised as her melted away and disappeared like smoke, and an unpleasant smell was given off by his body. Cyprianus knew that this was a deceitful trick of satan who could not stand before the mention of her name. Cyprianus rose up straight away and burnt his books of magic and was baptized by the patriarch of Antioch who put on him the monastic garb. After a while he ordained him a deacon, then a priest. And when he had grown in virtues and in the doctrine of the church, they ordained him bishop of Cartagena, in the year 351 A.D. And he took St. Justina and made her the head of the convent there. When the Ecumenical Council convened at Cartagena, this saint was one of those who were assembled there.
When Emperor Decius heard of them he had them brought before him, and he demanded them to raise incense for the idols. When they would not obey, he inflicted upon them many tortures and finally cut off their heads with the sword. May their prayers and blessings be with us all, and Glory be to God forever. Amen.