Daily Martyrology for February 2

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord. This feast is attested from the fifth century in Palestine. It came to Rome in the seventh century under the Greek name, Hypapante. In the Middle Ages it was known as the feast of the Purification of Mary.

In Palestine, in the first century, Cornelius the Centurion. The Acts of the Apostles tell how Peter was instructed by a vision to visit Cornelius’ household. At his preaching they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and he baptized them.

In 619, at Canterbury, St. Lawrence, bishop. Lawrence was a monk of St. Andrew’s on the Coelian Hill in Rome. He accompanied Augustine on his mission to England and succeeded him as bishop.

From the 17th to the 19th centuries, the martyrs of Vietnam, including bishops, priests and lay people, both European and Vietnamese. The first effective missionary to Vietnam was the French Jesuit Alexandre de Rhodes, who organized the training of catechists and devised a system of writing Vietnamese in the Roman alphabet. Before long, in spite of persecutions, there were almost a million Christians in Vietnam. St. Therese of Lisieux recognized as a kindred spirit one of these martyrs, Fr. Théophane Vénard, who was beheaded in Vietnam in 1861. She wrote a poem in his honor.

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Our daily martyrology was written by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB. Copyright © 2008 by the Monastery of the Ascension, Jerome, ID 83338.