26 January

AT Smyrna, the birthday of St. Polycarp, a disciple of the Apostle St. John, who consecrated him bishop of that city and Primate of all Asia. Afterwards, under Marcus Antoninus and Lucius Aurelius Commodus, whilst the proconsul was sitting in judgment, and all the people in the amphitheatre were clamoring against him, he was condemned to the flames. But as he received no injury from them, he was transpierced with a sword, and thus received the crown of martyrdom. With him suffered in the same city twelve others from Philadelphia.—At Hippo Regius, in Africa, the holy bishop Theogenes and thirty-six others, who, despising temporal death, obtained the crown of eternal life in the persecution of Valerian.—At Bethlehem of Juda, the demise of St. Paula, widow, mother of St. Eustochium, virgin of Christ, who abandoned her worldly prospects, though she was descended from a noble line of senators, distributed her goods to the poor, and retired to the manger of our Lord, where, adorned with many virtues, and crowned with a long martyrdom, she departed for the kingdom of heaven. Her admirable life was written by St. Jerome.—In the diocese of Paris, the saintly queen Bathildis, illustrious by her sanctity and glorious miracles.

And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors and holy virgins.

Thanks be to God.

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