THE PRIESTLY

June 7

From the Prologue

Marcellinus was the predecessor of Pope Marcellus on the Roman throne. When Emperor Diocletian summoned him and threatened him with torture, Marcellinus offered sacrifice to the idols for which the emperor presented him with a precious garment. But Marcellinus bitterly repented and began to lament day and night because of his denial of Christ as Peter the Apostle once did. At that time, an assembly of bishops was held in Campania. The pope dressed in sackcloth poured ashes over his head and entered the assembly and, before all, confessed his sin begging them (the bishops) to judge him. The fathers said that he should judge himself. Then Marcellinus said: "I deprive myself of my priestly rank, for which I am not worthy, and even more, do not allow my body to be buried after death but let it be thrown to the dogs!" Having said this, he pronounced a curse on the one who would dare bury him. After that, Marcellinus went to the Emperor Diocletian, threw down the precious garment before him and confessed his faith in Jesus Christ and scorned the idols. The enraged emperor ordered Marcellinus to be tortured and afterwards they killed him outside the city together with three good men: Claudius, Cyrinus and Antoninus. The bodies of these three men were buried immediately but the body of the pope lay there for thirty-six days. Then, St. Peter appeared to the new pope Marcellus and ordered that the body of Marcellinus be buried saying: "He who humbles himself shall be exalted" (St. Luke 18:14).





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