The holy martyr Aquilina was twelve years old when she was brutally martyred under the emperor Trajan in the late third century. After converting one of her pagan friends to Christianity, she was arrested and tortured. Believing Aquilina dead after her tortures, her captors left her body outside the city to be eaten by wild beasts. However the saint was still alive, and during the night an angel came to her and healed her. She returned to denounce the pagan governor. She was taken into prison again, denounced as a sorceress, and ordered to be executed by beheading. St. Aquilina was taken by the Lord before her execution, but the executioner, fearing for his own safety, beheaded the body of the saint even though she was dead. Her relics were later taken to Constantinople and placed in a church named for her.
Our holy father Triphyllus, Bishop of Leucosia in Cyprus, ardently defended the orthodox Nicene faith. He was the most eloquent speaker of his time, and a marvelous commentator in the Song of Songs, as St. Jerome relates.
O Jesus, your lamb Aquilina cries out to You with great love: O my Bridegroom, I long for You in great pain. I am crucified with You, and in baptism I am buried with You. I suffer for your sake in order to reign with You. I die for You in order to live with You. Accept me as an immaculate victim since I am immolated for your love. Through her intercession, O merciful One, save our souls.
The sincerity of your deeds has revealed you to your people as a teacher of moderation, a model of faith, and as an example of virtue. Therefore, you attained greatness through humility, and wealth through poverty. O father and archbishop Triphyllus, ask Christ our God to save our souls.
Purifying your soul by the balm of virginity, you soared to heaven in a flight of martyrdom. You languished with love of Christ, O precious saint, and now you can stand before Him, O Aquilina. Join the angels in unceasing prayer for us on earth.
You perfected virginal chastity in a wonderful life, and you proved yourself a bishop of Leucosia. You became a prophet and a guide for those seeking God, O Triphyllus. For this reason we bless you in song, O glory of pastors.
Romans 7:14 thru 8:2
Brothers and sisters: We know that the law is spiritual, whereas I am weak flesh sold into the slavery of sin. I cannot even understand my own actions. I do not do what I want to do but what I hate. When I act against my own will, by that very fact I agree that the law is good. This indicates that it is not I who do it but sin which resides in me. I know that no good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; the desire to do right is there but not the power. What happens is that I do, not the good I will to do, but the evil I do not intend. But if I do what is against my will, it is not I who do it, but sin which dwells in me. This means that even though I want to do what is right, a law that leads to wrongdoings is always ready at hand. My inner self agrees with the law of God, but I see in my body’s members another law at war with the law of my mind; this makes me the prisoner of the law of sin in my members. What a wretched man I am! Who can free me from this body under the power of death? All praise to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So with my mind I serve the law of God but with my flesh the law of sin.
There is no condemnation now for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the spirit, the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, has freed you from the law of sin and death.
Matthew 10: 9-15
The Lord said to his disciples: “Provide yourselves neither gold nor silver nor copper in your belts; no traveling bag, no change of shirt, no sandals, no walking staff. The workman, after all, is worth his keep.
“Look for a worthy person in every town or village you come to and stay with him until you leave. As you enter his home, bless it. If the home is deserving, your blessing will descend on it. If it is not, your blessing will return to you. If anyone does not receive you or listen to what you have to say, leave that house or town, and once outside it shake its dust from your feet. I assure you, it will go easier for the region of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than it will for that town.”
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, June 12 –