15 Feb Saint Faustinus and Saint Jovita, Martyrs
Today is the feast day of Saint Faustinus and Saint Jovita. Orate pro nobis.
Saint Faustinus and Saint Jovita were brothers, nobly born, and were zealous professors of the Christian religion, which they preached without fear in their city of Brescia in Lombardy, during the persecution of Adrian. Their remarkable zeal excited the fury of the heathens against them, and procured them a glorious death for their faith.
Faustinus, a priest, and Jovita, a deacon, were preaching the Gospel fearlessly in the region when Julian, a pagan officer, apprehended them. They were commanded to adore the sun, but replied that they adored the living God who created the sun to give light to the world. The statue before which they were standing was brilliant and surrounded with golden rays. Saint Jovita, looking at it, cried out: Yes, we adore the God reigning in heaven, who created the sun. And you, vain statue, turn black, to the shame of those who adore you! At his word, it turned black. The Emperor commanded that it be cleaned, but the pagan priests had hardly begun to touch it when it fell into ashes. (2)
Thrown into a large pit of fire, the flames parted and they were not burnt. Many witnesses were converted to Christ during these, their acts of faith. Frustrated, the emperor ordered their heads removed, finally successful in earning the brothers their golden martyrs’ crowns.
Saints Faustinus and Jovita are honored as the chief patrons of Brescia, and their relics are located in the ancient church bearing their name. (4)
from the Liturgical Year, 1870
The two Brothers, whom we are to honour today, suffered martyrdom in the beginning of the second century, and their memory has ever been celebrated in the Church. The glory of the great ones of this world passes away, and men soon forget even their very names. Historians have oftentimes a difficulty in proving that such heroes ever existed, or, if they did exist, that they flourished at such a period, or achieved anything worth notice. Brescia, the capital of one of the Italian Provinces, can scarcely mention the names of those who were its governors or leading men, in the second century; and yet here are two of her citizens, whose names will be handed down, with veneration and love, to the end of the world, and the whole of Christendom is filled with the praise of their glorious martyrdom. Glory, then, to these sainted Brothers, whose example so eloquently preaches to us the great lesson of our Season,–fidelity in God’s service.
The sufferings which merited for them the
crown of immortality, are thus recorded in the Liturgy.
Research by Ed Masters, REGINA Staff