15 August: St. Tarcisius

Many other blogs are paying the proper attention to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin. I will therefore remind you that other saints share this day with the Mother of God’s feast and consequently are somewhat marginalized (not that they mind, of course). For example, today is the feast of St. Tarcisius! Here is his entry in the Martyrologium Romanum:

2. Romae in coemeterio Callisti via Appia, commemoratio sancti Tarcisii, martyris, qui, Christi defendens sacratissimam Eucharistiam, quam insana gentilium turba profanare conabatur, lapidibus usque ad mortem mactari maluit quam sacra prodere canibus. … At Rome in the cemetery of Callistus on the Via Appia, the commemoration of Saint Tarcisius, martyr, who while defending the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, which a raging gang of gentiles was trying to profane, preferred to be slaughtered by being stoned to death rather than that sacred things be given to dogs.

This reminds you of the great Sequence for Corpus Christi by St. Thomas Aquinas, right? … non mittendus canibus…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Argent says:

    Our pastor told my daughter’s first communion class about St. Tarcisius. They were fascinated by the story. I think they got the point of how important the Eucharist is. Happy Feast Day, Father.

  2. A says:

    What a wonderful sequence, Father. The Lauda Sion is surely one of the greatest, and we should be thankful it was, with a few others, selected from the 5,000 or so that were in circulation.

    By coincidence, I’ve been singing it these days to commit it to memory. The melody is rhapsodically beautiful, and it gets progressively more beautiful and rapturous over its course as its range and tessitura rises.

    St. Thomas, ora pro nobis!.

  3. Mila says:

    Thank you for the commemoration, Father. It is my husband’s feast day–not that you’d find many people named Tarcisio! It is sad that most Catholic children today (and many adults) don’t know the story of this saint anymore.

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