November 4, 2020: SS. VITALIS AND AGRICOLA
November 4, 2020: COMMEMORATION OF SS. VITALIS AND AGRICOLA, MARTYRS
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.
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord, that we who keep the solemnity of thy holy Martyrs, Vitalis and Agricola, may be helped by their prayers. 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 offer our homage to two Martyrs, whose memory was celebrated on this day even before that of St. Charles. Vitalis the slave and Agricola his master, combating together in the glorious arena proved that social inequality counts for nothing with regard to heaven's nobility. St. Ambrose, when sojourning at Bologna where they had suffered, discovered their bodies and celebrated their triumph. The Church, following his example, has ever associated them in one common homage.
Another account of Ss. Vitalis and Agricola, Martyrs
Ageicola was a member of a noble family at Bologna. Having embraced Christianity, he converted S. Vitalis, his servant. The gentleness of his character, his amiable qualities, and his virtues, made him to be generally beloved, even among the heathen. He was arrested, along with his slave, Vitalis, probably in 304, and he had the pain as well as satisfaction of seeing his servant martyred before his eyes. It was hoped that he would be intimidated by the sight of the sufferings of Vitalis, but, on the contrary, he was nerved to follow him. He was attached to a cross and pierced with several nails. When dead he was buried with S. Vitalis in the Jews' cemetery. S. Ambrose having discovered their place of sepulture in 393, obtained from it some of the nails and blood. He placed them in a church which he dedicated at Florence.
Taken from: The Liturgical Year - Time after Pentecost, Vol. V, Edition 1903;
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.
Ss. Vitalis and Agricola, pray for us