24 June

THE Nativity of St. John the Baptist, precursor of our Lord, son of Zachary and Elizabeth, who, while yet in his mother’s womb, was filled with the Holy Ghost.—At Rome, in the time of Nero, the commemoration of many holy martyrs, who were accused of having set fire to the city, and cruelly put to death in various manners by the emperor’s order. Some were covered with the skins of wild beasts and lacerated by dogs; others were fastened to crosses; others again were delivered to the flames to serve as torches in the night. All these were disciples of the Apostles, and the first fruits of the martyrs, which the Roman Church, a field so fertile in martyrs, offered to God before the death of the Apostles.—In the same city, the holy martyrs Faustus and twenty-three others.—At Satalis, in Armenia, seven saintly brothers, martyrs: Orentius, Heros, Pharnacius, Firminus, Firmus, Cyriacus and Longinus, who owe their martyrdom to the emperor Maximian. Because they were Christians, they were deprived of the military cincture by his command, separated from one another, hurried away to various places, and in the midst of painful trials, found their repose in the Lord.—In the diocese of Paris, at Creteil, the martyrdom of the Saints Agoardus and Aglibertus, with a multitude of others of both sexes.—At Autun, the demise of St. Simplicius, bishop and confessor.—At Lobbes, St. Theodulphus, bishop.—At Stilo, in Calabria, St. John, surnamed Therestus, distinguished for his fidelity to the monastic rule, and for his sanctity.

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

Thanks be to God.

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