Apr. 14, 2018




For to them belongs the kingdom of heaven, who despising the life of this world, have obtained the rewards of the kingdom, and washed their garments in the blood of the lamb.


Prayer (Collect).

Grant, we beseech thee, O Almighty God, that we, who solemnize the festivals of thy holy Martyrs, Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus, may likewise imitate their virtues. 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.


Let us affectionately welcome the brave triumvirate of Martyrs, presented to-day to our Risen Jesus, by the Roman Church of the second century. The first is Valerian, the chaste and noble spouse of Cecily; he wears on his brow a wreath of roses and lilies: the second is Tiburtius, Valerian's brother, and, like him, a convert of Cecily's; he shows us the triumphant palm he so speedily won: Maximus is the third; he witnessed the combat and the victory of the two brothers, imitated their example, and followed them to heaven. The immortal Cecily is the queen of this holy group; she taught them to be Martyrs; she has a right to our remembrance on this day of their Feast. She herself shared in their privilege of being martyred during Paschal Time; but her Feast is not kept till November, when we shall find her imparting an exquisite loveliness to the close of the Liturgical Year.

For many centuries, the Church admitted none but secondary Feasts into the present Season, and this in order the more to concentrate the attention of the Faithful upon the mystery of our Lord's resurrection: hence, the Feast of St. Cecily, which was formerly kept with a Vigil, was deferred to a Season when it could be solemnised as it deserved. The Church now makes a commemoration only of our three great Martyrs…


Valerian, a Roman by birth, and of a noble family, was married to the blessed Cecily, who was of equal nobility. By the advice of this virgin, he and his brother Tiburtius were baptised by the holy Pope Urban, under the reign of the Emperor Alexander Severus. Almachius, the City Prefect, having been informed that they had become Christians, had distributed their patrimony among the poor, and were burying the bodies of the Christians,—he summoned them before him, and severely rebuked them. Finding, however, that they persevered in confessing Christ to be God, and in proclaiming the gods to be but vain images of devils,—he ordered them to be scourged.

But they were not to be induced, by this scourging, to adore the idols of Jupiter; they continued firm in the profession of the true Faith: they were, therefore, beheaded four miles out of Rome. One of the Prefect's officials, by name Maximus, who had been appointed to lead them to execution, was filled with admiration at seeing the courage wherewith they suffered, and professed himself to be a Christian, as did likewise several other servants of the Prefect. Not long after, they were all beaten to death with whips loaded with plummets of lead; and thus, from being slaves of the devil, they became Martyrs of Christ our Lord.

Taken from: The Liturgical Year – The Paschal Time, Vol. II, Dublin, Edition 1871; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume I, 1806.


Ss. Tiburtius, Valerian, and Maximus, pray for us.