Tiburtius, a son of the Roman prefect Chromatius, received holy baptism at the same time as his father, and not only endeavored to lead a Christian life, but also to bring others to the knowledge of the true faith. One day, while he was walking through the street, a boy fell from the roof of a house to the pavement, and was so injured that it was thought that every moment would be his last. Tiburtius going towards him, made the sign of the cross over him, and commanded him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to rise, and to abandon heathenism. The boy immediately arose, became a Christian, and persuaded many who had witnessed the miracle to do likewise. At another time Tiburtius went to a youth named Torquatus, who, although baptized and calling himself a Christian, did not conduct himself according to the dictates of the church. His dress was too luxurious; he spent too much time in idleness, gaming, dancing, and other amusements; he was unrestrained and licentious in his conversation and conduct. He was seldom at prayer, but frequently in dangerous company. Tiburtius exhorted him most earnestly to change his unchristian behavior. Torquatus feigned a determination to follow his advice, but secretly went to the judge Fabian, and revealed to him that Tiburtius was a Christian.
This he did in revenge for the reproofs which Tiburtius had given him. But, that he might not be known as the accuser, he requested to be arraigned with Tiburtius. When this had taken place, the judge asked Torquatus who he was. “I am a Christian,” was his reply, “and this man Tiburtius has converted me to the true faith.” But Tiburtius said: “I have never recognized you as a Christian; for, your life has not been that of a Christian. To dress luxuriously, not to observe the fast days, to be indifferent to your prayers, to pass the day in idleness, to associate with the other sex, to be licentious in your words, are not the characteristics of a Christian. Christ does not recognize such as His followers.” Fabian would not listen to these reproofs, but, having the ground strewn with hot coals, he said to the saint: “You have your choice either to throw incense over these coals, and thus offer to the gods, or to walk barefoot over them.”
Tiburtius, without a moment’s hesitation, took off his shoes, and courageously stepping upon the coals, walked up and down over them, without a sign of pain. Addressing the judge, he said: “See and know, that the God of the Christians is the only God, whom all creatures obey. Your live coals seem to me but lovely flowers.” The judge, highly incensed, exclaimed: “I knew long since that your Christ instructed his followers in magic. I shall, however, pay no attention to it.” The holy martyr rebuked this blasphemy, and as Fabian saw that the heathens began to admire the God of the Christians, he ordered him to be beheaded, thus bestowing upon him the crown of martyrdom.
St. Susanna, one of the most noble virgins of Rome, and a near relative of the emperor Dioclesian, was educated by her father, Gabinus, and Pope Cajus in the Christian faith from her earliest infancy. As soon as she was old enough to understand the value of chastity, she vowed never to choose another bridegroom than Jesus Christ. It was not unknown to Dioclesian that Gabinus and his brother Cajus were Christians, but being so nearly related to them, he feigned ignorance of the fact. After having chosen Maximian Galerius as his colleague and heir to the imperial throne, he intended to give him Susanna in marriage, and thus make her empress. To inform Gabinus of this intention, he sent his sister’s son, Claudius, to him. Gabinus begged for time to consider the proposal, and repaired immediately to Pope Cajus to consult with him. Both informed the chaste Susanna of the emperor’s intention, and asked her how she wished to act in this important affair. “The Christian faith,” replied she, without hesitation, “and virginal chastity possess a higher value for me than a crown. I will not become the spouse of one who is not a Christian; besides, I have promised myself to God, and neither honor, riches, nor any other earthly advantage shall induce me to break my vow.”
Cajus and Gabinus were rejoiced at this answer, and encouraged her to constancy, and advised her to prepare herself, by prayer, fasting, and other good works, for a hard struggle, as there was reason to believe that it would cost her life, if she dared to resist the emperor’s will. “And what could be a greater honor to me,” she said, “than to obtain, instead of the crown of the empire, the glorious crown of martyrdom?” Three days later, Claudius returned to Gabinus for the answer. On entering the house, he saw Susanna herself, and approaching her, offered, as a mark of respect, to kiss her hand. But the virgin, filled with holy indignation, withdrew her hand, saying severely: ” I have never, from my childhood, allowed any man such a liberty, still less shall I permit you to take it; for, you are an idolater, and your lips are soiled from the sacrifice of which you have partaken.” She then spoke to him so earnestly of her faith, that Claudius, unable to say a word, for some moments stood silently before her; but at last, impressed by her words and manner, and persuaded by an inner voice, he resolved, with his wife and children, to embrace the Christian faith.
Another courtier, Maximus, who had followed Claudius to receive Gabinus’ answer, acted in the same manner. The emperor, hearing of it, was enraged, and ordering Claudius, his wife and children, and Maximus, with his family, to be seized, he caused them to be burned alive, while Susanna and her father were cast into a dungeon. A few days later, he released Susanna, and placed her in the charge of Serena, his wife, who was to endeavor to persuade her to become the wife of Maximian. Serena, however, who was secretly a Christian, strengthened Susanna in her resolution, and exhorted her to spurn riches, honors, and the imperial crown, rather than break her promise to God. At last, Serena imparted Susanna’s unchangeable resolution to the emperor, who, contrary to all expectations, sent her back to her father’s house, leaving it to Maximian to plead his own cause. He stormed her father’s house at night, determined by force to rob her of her most precious treasure. But when he opened the door, he saw her absorbed in prayer, and surrounded by a heavenly light. Awed by the sight, he drew back and went to Dioclesian and related all he had seen. The emperor then commanded Macedonius, an apostate from the faith, either to force her to worship the gods or to kill her. Macedonius, who could prevail upon her neither with promises nor menaces, had Susanna cruelly scourged and then beheaded in her own house. During her martyrdom, she gave thanks to God that He had thought her worthy to suffer and die for His sake.
INTROIT Psalm 36: 31
The salvation of the just is from the Lord: and He is their protector in the time of trouble. (Ps. 36: 1) Be not emulous of evil-doers: nor envy them that work iniquity. v. Glory be…etc
May the constant protection of Your holy Martyrs, Tiburtius and Susanna, support us, O Lord, for You never fail to look mercifully upon those whom You have given the help of such intercession. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoratio Secunda die infra Octavam S. Laurentii
Grant us, we beseech You, almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our sins, as You granted St. Lawrence to overcome the fires of his tortures.
Collect of the Souls
From all perils of soul and body defend us, O Lord, we beseech thee, and by the intercession of blessed and gloriosus ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, graciously grant us safety and peace that all adversities and errors being overcome, thy Church may serve thee in security and freedom. Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Hebrews 11: 33-39
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews. Brethren, saints who by faith conquered kingdoms, wrought justice, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, 34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered strength from weakness, became valiant in battle, put to flight the armies of foreigners. 35 Women received their dead raised to life again. But others were racked, not accepting deliverance, that they might find a better resurrection. 36 And others had trial of mockeries and stripes: moreover also of bands and prisons. 37 They were stoned, they were cut asunder, they were tempted, they were put to death by the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being in want, distressed, afflicted: 38 Of whom the world was not worthy: wandering in deserts, in mountains and in dens and in caves of the earth. 39 And all these, being approved by the testimony of faith, received not the promise:.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 33: 18-19
The just cried, and the Lord heard them, and delivered them out of all their troubles. V. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart; and He will save the humble of spirit Alleluia, alleluia. V. The white-robed army of martyrs praiseth Thee, O Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 12: 1-8
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples: “At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; nor hidden, that shall not be known. For whatsoever things you have spoken in darkness, shall be published in the light; and that which you have spoken in the ear, in the chambers, shall be preached on the house-tops. And I say to you, my friends, be not afraid of them who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom ye shall fear: fear ye him who after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell. Yea, I say to you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? Yea, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. And I say to you, whosoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man also confess before the angels of God.”
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Wisdom 3: 1-3
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of malice shall not touch them: in the sight of the unwise they seemed to die, but they are in peace, alleluia.
Heed the prayers of Your people, O Lord; look with favor on their offerings, so that what is offered in this sacred rite may please You by the intercession of Your Saints. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoratio Secunda die infra Octavam S. Laurentii
Receive, we beseech You, O Lord, the gifts fully offered to You, and, by the interceding merits of blessed Lawrence, Your Martyr, grant they may further our salvation.
Of the souls
Hear us, O God, our salvation that through the power of this Sacrament thou mayest defend us from all enemies of soul and body and bestow upon us grace here and glory hereafter. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
PREFACE of the Common
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, everlasting God: through Christ our Lord. Through Whom the Angels praise Thy Majesty, the Dominations worship it, the Powers stand in awe. The Heavens and the Heavenly hosts together with the blessed Seraphim in triumphant chorus unite to celebrate it. Together with them we entreat Thee, that Thou mayest bid our voices also to be admitted, while we say in lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 10: 2, 7
That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light; and that which you hear in the ear preach ye upon the housetops.
We have received, O Lord, the pledge of everlasting redemption; may it, by the intercession of Your holy Martyrs, be our help both now and in the life to come. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Commemoratio Secunda die infra Octavam S. Laurentii
Filled with Your sacred gifts, we humbly pray You, O Lord, that as we perform this sacred act in duty bound, we may enjoy an increase of Your saving grace.
Of the souls
May the offering of this divine Sacrament cleanse and protect us, O Lord we beseech thee, and by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, of blessed Joseph, of thy blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and of blessed N. and all the Saints, may it purify us from all sin, and free us from all adversity. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.