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Saints Hippolytus & Cassian

Martyrs.  

The soldier Hippolytus, according to the so-called Acts of the Martyr Lawrence, was the officer in charge of that Martyr during his imprisonment, and was baptized by him in prison, and put to death two days after holy Lawrence. According to these Acts, when it became known that Hippolytus had assisted in giving the Martyr honourable burial, he was accused of conduct unbecoming an imperial officer. Whereupon he was sent for, and apprehended during his reception of holy Communion. Then, according to the aforesaid Acts, he was tied by a long rope to a pair of wild horses, which same were provoked by whips and goads and noises to run away. And thus they dragged him furiously into the woods, amongst thickets and briars, and over holes and rocks, until his body was torn to pieces, and so his brave soul went to God. And the faithful followed, weeping, and gathered up his torn flesh and limbs, and even soaked up his blood in pieces of linen, that they might give his relicks reverent burial. Some of the stories in the Acts of Saint Lawrence are not accepted as historical; but what is there told of Hippolytus was but one of the many tortures which were devised for the early Martyrs. Such were the sufferings which the unbelieving world inflicted on the followers of Christ in those days; and whenever unbelief hath the upper hand, such is what the faithful may expect as their lot. And, under like circumstances, such will be the reverence of the faithful toward the relicks of those who die gloriously for Christ.

Today is also commemorated Cassian of Imola, Italy a Martyr of the early part of the fourth century. He is reputed to have been a schoolmaster, who for being a Christian was given over, naked and with hands tied behind his back, to his pagan pupils; by whom he was stabbed and torn to death with their steel pens. Owing to the weakness of the boys and their weapons, his sufferings were most cruel and prolonged, and his palm all the more glorious.

Collect

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God: that we, on this day devoutly observing the feast of thy holy Martyrs, Hippolytus and Cassian; may thereby increase in godliness to the attainment of everlasting salvation. Through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

The Anglican Breviary, Frank Gavin Liturgical Foundation, Inc., New York, 1955, page 1382

Additional Information:

For additional readings, or to learn more about the Anglican Breviary, visit The Anglican Breviary Website.

The complete Ordo Kalendar is available from the Anglican Parishes Association Book Publisher.