1 February

THE birthday of St. Ignatius, bishop and martyr, who governed the church of Antioch, the third after the apostle St. Peter. Being condemned to the beasts in the persecution of Trajan, he was by that emperor sent to Rome in chains, where in the presence of the Senate he was subjected to the most frightful torments, and delivered to the lions, which lacerated him with their teeth, and made of him a sacrifice to Christ.—At Smyrna, St. Pionius, priest and martyr. After writing in defense of the Catholic faith, after suffering imprisonment in a loathsome dungeon, where by his exhortations he encouraged even to martyrdom many of his brethren, after enduring excruciating pains from being pierced with nails and laid on a hot fire, he ended his life happily for Christ. With him suffered fifteen others.—At Ravenna, the holy bishop Severus, whose great virtues deserved that he should be raised to the episcopate by the sign of a dove.—At Trois-Chateaux, in France, St. Paul, bishop, whose life was eminent for virtues, and whose death was made precious by miracles.—The same day, St. Ephrem, deacon of the church of Edessa, in the time of the emperor Valens. After suffering many trials for the faith of Christ and gaining great renown for holiness and learning, he went to rest in the Lord.—In Ireland, St. Bridget, virgin. One day, at her touch, the wood of an altar immediately sprouted into life, in testimony of her virginity.—At Castel-Florentino, in Tuscany, the blessed virgin Verdiana, a recluse of the Order of Vallumbrosa.

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

Thanks be to God.

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