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Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter - 2June 2009

Sts. Marcellinus and Peter were prominent enough in the memory of Church to be included among the saints of the Roman Canon. Mention of their names is optional in our present Eucharistic Prayer I.Marcellinus was a priest and Peter was an exorcist, that is, someone authorized by the Church to deal with cases of demonic possession. They were beheaded during the persecution of Diocletian. Pope St. Damasus wrote an epitaph apparently based on the report of their executioner, and Constantine erected a basilica over the crypt in which they were buried in Rome. Numerous legends sprang from an early account of their death.

Pope St Damasus I dedicated his life to establishing and strengthening the Church after the great persecutions, and took much care over the restoration of the Roman catacombs and the proper burial of the martyrs there, including Marcellinus and Peter.

As a boy, Damasus had heard the story of these martyrs from their executioner. Marcellinus was a priest, Peter was not. They were beheaded during the emperor Diocletian’s persecution, and buried on the Via Labicana outside Rome.

After the persecutions, a basilica was built over the site of their tomb.

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