May 19, 2021: ST. PUDENTIANA
May 19, 2021: COMMEMORATION OF ST. PUDENTIANA, VIRGIN
Come, O Spouse of Christ, receive the crown, which the Lord hath prepared for thee for ever.
Give ear to us, O God, our Saviour, that as we celebrate with joy the solemnity of blessed Pudentiana, thy Virgin, so we may improve in the affection of piety. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in unity of the Holy Ghost, God, World without end. Amen.
This same nineteenth of May has another glory attached to it;—it is the day on which died the noble virgin Pudentiana. That name carries us back to the very first Age of the Christian Church. She was a daughter of a wealthy Roman, called Pudens, who was a kinsman of the Pudens spoken of by St. Paul, in his second Epistle to Timothy (II Tim, iv. 21). She and her sister Praxedes had the honour of being numbered among the earliest members of the Church, and both of them consecrated their virginity to Jesus Christ. Upon their father's death, the two sisters distributed their fortune to the poor, and devoted their whole time to good works. It was the eve of the Persecution under Antoninus. Pudentiana, though scarcely sixteen years of age, was ripe for heaven, and winged her flight to her Divine Spouse, when the storm was at its height. Her sister survived her many years: we shall commemorate her saintly memory on the 21st of July.
Pudentiana's house, which, in her grandfather's time, had been honoured by St. Peter's presence, was made over, by the holy virgin herself, to Pope Pius the First, and the divine mysteries were celebrated in it. It is now one of the most venerable Churches of Rome, and is the Station for the Tuesday of the third week of Lent.
Pudentiana is a tender floweret offered to our Risen Jesus by the Roman Church. Time has diminished naught of the fair lily's fragrance; and pure as her very name, her memory will live in the hearts of the Christian people, even to the end of the world.
The eulogy passed upon her by the holy Liturgy is but a commemoration; and yet it says so much, and will say it each year, as long as time itself shall last.
The virgin Pudentiana was daughter of the Roman (Senator) Pudens. Having lost her parents, and being most exemplary in her practice of the Christian Religion, she sold, with her sister Praxedes' consent, her possessions, gave the money to the poor, and devoted herself to fasting and prayer. It was through her influence, that her whole household, which consisted of ninety-six persons, was baptised by Pope Pius. In consequence of the decree issued by the emperor Antoninus, which forbade the Christians to offer sacrifice publicly, Pope Pius celebrated the holy mysteries in Pudentiana's house, and the Christians assembled there to assist at the celebration. She received them with much charity, and provided them with all the necessaries of life. She died in the practice of these Christian and pious duties, and, on the fourteenth of the Calends of June (May 19), was buried in her father's tomb, in the Priscilla Cemetery, which is on the Salarian Road.
Another account of St. Pudentiana.
She was sister of St Praxedes, and daughter of Pudens, a Roman senator, who was converted to the faith by the apostles Ss. Peter and Paul. Her festival is mentioned in the sacramentary of St Gregory. Her church in Rome is esteemed the most ancient that is known in the world. It was in the first ages called the church of the Pastor, and is said to have been the palace of Pudens, in which St Peter lodged and celebrated the divine mysteries.
Taken from: The Liturgical Year - The Paschal Time, Vol. II, Dublin, Edition 1871;
The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Vol. V, 1821; and
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
St. Pudentiana, pray for us.