September 9, 2017: ST. GORGONIUS
September 9, 2017: COMMEMORATION OF ST. GORGONIUS, MARTYR
This saint fought even unto death for the law of his God, and feared not the words of the wicked; for he was founded on a firm rock.
May the intercession, O Lord, of blessed Gorgonius thy Martyr, bring comfort to thy people, and fill them with spiritual joy on this his sacred festival. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
Ss. Gorgonius, Dorotheus, and Companions, Martyrs.
Dorotheus was first chamberlain to the Emperor Dioclesian; Gorgonius and Peter were under chamberlains. They were the three principal eunuchs of the palace; had sometimes borne the weight of the most difficult affairs of state, and been the support both of the emperor and of his court. When the palace of Nicomedia was set on fire, probably by the contrivance of Galerius, who unjustly charged the Christians with it, Dorotheus, with Gorgonius, and several others under his dependence, were very cruelly tortured, and at length strangled. Peter having refused to sacrifice, was hung up naked in the air, and whipped on all parts of his body. After the executioners had torn his flesh in such a manner that the bones started out, without being able to shake his constancy, they poured salt and vinegar into his wounds; then had a gridiron brought and a fire made, on which they broiled him as we do meat, telling him at the same time that he should continue in that condition if he would not obey; but he was resolute to the last, and died under the torture. The bodies of St. Dorotheus and his companions were cast into the sea by an order of Dioclesian, lest the Christians should worship them as gods, as Eusebius mentions: which mistake of the heathens, could only arise from the veneration which Christians paid to the relics of martyrs. The martyr, Gorgonius, whose name was famous at Rome, seems different from the former. The Liberian Calendar published by Bucherius, mentions his tomb on the Lavican way, and he was honoured with an office in the sacramentary of Pope Gelasius. Sigebert, in his chronicle on the year 764, Rabanus Maurus in his Martyrology, and others, relate that St. Chrodegang obtained from Rome, of Pope Paul, the relics of St. Gorgonius, and enriched with that treasure his great monastery of Gorze, situated two leagues from Metz. Among the poems of Pope Damasus is an epitaph on St. Gorgonius.
from: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Vol. II; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
St. Gorgonius, pray for us.