Mark and Marcellian (d. c.290), Roman martyrs. These martyrs are commemorated in the ancient Roman sacramentaries; their tomb, with frescoes of them and their companions, has been identified in the catacomb of St. Balbina. For the details of their Lives the only source is the unreliable 5th‐century Acts of Sebastian.
Mark and Marcellian were twin brothers from a noble Roman family. They had converted to Christianity when they were young and were now deacons in the Roman Church. Although the boys had converted in their youth, their parents remained unconverted. Each brother had a wife and children. When the persecutions of Emperor Diocletian began, the brothers were arrested and thrown into prison. They were threatened with the loss of their lives, unless they offered sacrifices to the Roman gods. Friends intervened and obtained a thirty-day reprieve, in the hope of being able to persuade the two brothers to renounce their faith and make the required sacrifices. Their wives and little children, along with their unconverted parents, begged them with tears and pleading, to make the sacrifices to the Roman gods.
Although they had been released from the prison on a thirty-day reprieve, they were still kept under guard and basically prisoners in the home of the public registrar Nicostratus. St. Sebastian (pg. 34 Building the Family Cookbook Feast Day: January 20th) was a Roman officer in the emperor’s household. St. Sebastian visited Mark and Marcellian every day and gave them encouragement to persevere. These discussions, before relatives and friends, caused many conversions to take place, even Nicostratus. Another man, Chromatius, who kept the prisoners under guard, also converted. He set the prisoners free, resigned his post and left to live in the country. After their release, Mark and Marcellian were hidden by a Christian official in the imperial household. They were betrayed by a spy and arrested again. Fabian (who had replaced Chromatius after his conversion) condemned Mark and Marcellian to death. Their relics were translated from the catacombs first to the church of SS. Cosmas and Damian and then to that of St. Praxedes.
INTROIT Psalm 36:39
The salvation of the just is from the Lord; He is their refuge in time of distress. Ps 36:1 Be not vexed over evildoers, nor jealous of those who do wrong. V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. The salvation of the just is from the Lord; He is their refuge in time of distress.
Grant, we beseech You, almighty God, that we who celebrate the anniversary of the death of Your holy Martyrs, Mark and Marcellianus, may by their intercession be delivered from all the evils that threaten us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
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…
for the Church
Mercifully hear the prayers of thy Church, we beseech thee, O Lord, that all adversities and errors being overcome, she may serve thee in security and feedom. 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.
LESSON Romans 5:1-5
A reading from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
GRADUAL Sap 3:1-2; 3:3
The souls of the just are in the hand of God, and the torment of death shall not touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: but they are in peace. Alleluia, alleluia. V. These were true brothers, who could not be overcome in combat: who shedding their blood, followed the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Luke 11:47-51
At that time, Jesus said to the Scribes and Pharisees: Woe to you who build the monuments of the prophets: and your fathers killed them. Truly you bear witness that you consent to the doings of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and you build their sepulchres. For this cause also the wisdom of God said: I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute. That the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation, From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, who was slain between the alter and the temple: Yea I say to you, It shall be required of this generation.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 123:7
Our soul hath been delivered as a sparrow out of the snare of the fowlers. The snare is broken, and we are delivered.
Sanctify the offerings dedicated to You, O Lord, and through the intercession of blessed Mark and Marcellianus, Your Martyrs, look upon us with mercy because of them. Through our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son. Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
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…
for the Church
Protect us, O Lord, who celebrate thy mysteries, that holding fast to divine things, we may serve thee with body and soul. 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, and profitable unto salvation, that we should at all times, and in all places, give thanks to thee, O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, eternal God, through Christ, our Lord. Though whom the angels praise thy majesty, the dominions adore it, the powers are in awe. Which the heavens and the hosts of heaven together with the blessed seraphim joyfully do magnify. And do thou command that it be permitted to us join with them in confessing thee, while we say with lowly praise:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Matthew 25:40, 34.
Amen I say to you: What you did for one of these, the least of My brethren, you did for Me: come, blessed of My Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Refreshed by the sacramental gift of Your salvation, we humbly beseech You, O Lord, through the intercession of blessed Mark and Marcellianus, Your Martyrs, that, enjoying its savor, we may be made new by its action. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
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…
for the Church
We beseech thee, O Lord, our God, that thou permit not those, to whom thou hast given a participation of divine things to be subjected to human dangers. 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.