Post by Elizabeth on Apr 10, 2019 15:02:07 GMT
Saint Michael de los Santos
Saint Michael was born in Spain in 1591 of parents notable both for their piety and their probity. Their son from his early childhood made a vow of perpetual chastity; his father, when he heard of it, one day with a smile proposed to him, to test him, a fine marriage. The child began to weep and hurried to an altar of the Blessed Virgin to renew his vow. At the age of six he fled to a cave to meditate on the Passion of Our Lord. When his father sent out a search party, he was obliged to return, but continued to live only for heaven, keeping himself constantly in the presence of God. He chose Saint Francis of Assisi for his model and practiced extreme mortifications to imitate Jesus crucified.
At the age of twelve he presented himself at the novitiate of the Trinitarians of Barcelona, who admitted him. He made his perpetual vows in 1607, and assisted in the reform of the Order, in progress at that time. He never ceased to practice the primitive rule of the Institute. Saint Michael never had more than one tunic; beneath it he wore rude hair shirts. He practiced a perpetual fast and imposed constant disciplines on his flesh.
He was ordained a priest, and then it was at the altar that he received the most signal favors from heaven and inspired in those in attendance a most remarkable devotion. Twice Saint Michael was named Superior of the houses where he resided, yet he never became inflated with pride; on the contrary he believed himself worse than the demons. It seemed that heaven envied the earth in the possession of this Saint; he died at the age of thirty-three. Miracles followed at his tomb, and he was canonized in 1862 by Pope Pius IX.
Bademus was originally a rich and noble citizen of Bethlapeta in Persia, who sold his rich possessions to follow Christ, then gave the greater part of the proceeds to the poor. He reserved just enough to found a monastery near that city, to which he retired with several other persons, and then governed it with great sanctity. He conducted his religious in the paths of perfection with sweetness, prudence, and charity.
To crown his virtue, God permitted him, with seven of his monks, to be apprehended by the followers of King Sapor in the thirty-sixth year of that king's persecution. He lay four months in a dungeon, loaded with chains, and during this lingering martyrdom received every day a cruel flagellation. But he triumphed over his torments by the patience and joy with which he suffered them for Christ.
At the same time a prince named Nersan, who was a Christian, was cast into prison and his goods confiscated because he refused to adore the sun. At first he seemed resolute, but at the sight of tortures his constancy failed him, and he promised to conform if he could be delivered. The king, to test whether his change was sincere, ordered Bademus to be brought where Nersan was kept in the royal palace, and sent word to Nersan that if he would slay the abbot, he would be restored to his liberty and former dignities. The apostate accepted the condition; a sword was put into his hand, and he advanced to plunge it into the breast of the abbot. But being seized with a sudden terror, he stopped short, and remained some time unable to lift up his arm to strike; he had neither courage to repent, nor heart to accomplish his crime.
Finally he hardened himself and continued with a trembling hand to aim at the martyr's sides. Fear, shame, remorse, and respect made his strokes forceless and unsteady; and so great was the number of his victim's wounds that the bystanders were in admiration at his invincible patience. Saint Bademus reproached his executioner, saying, What will you do on the day when you will have to render an account of your actions, and hear the sentence of your condemnation? I offer myself willingly to die for the glory of my Lord Jesus Christ, but I would prefer to die by another hand than yours! The pagans themselves were horrified at the cruelty of the king, the long martyrdom, and the perfidious acts of the apostate.
Saint Bademus suffered on the 10th of April in the year 376. His body was cast out of the city, but secretly carried away and interred by the Christians. A short time afterwards Nersan fell into public disgrace, and perished by the sword. The disciples of the Saint were released from their chains four years later, at the death of King Sapor.