November 10, 2021: SS. TRYPHON, RESPICIUS, AND NYMPHA
November 10, 2021: COMMEMORATION OF SS. TRYPHON, RESPICIUS, AND NYMPHA, 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, O Lord, we beseech thee, that we may always follow the example of thy holy martyrs Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, and by their prayers daily experience their protection. 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. Trypho and Respicius were natives of a village near Apamea Cibotus in Phrygia, and in the Decian persecution were taken by the irenarch, Fronto, and sent in chains to Nicӕa, where they were presented before the governor, Aquilinus.
Pompeianus, the chief secretary, said, “There are present here, O prefect, those from the village of Sansorus, near Apamea, to be questioned before your most eminent and august tribunal.” Tiberius Gracchus Claudius Aquilinus said, “What are your names?” The saints replied, “One of us is named Trypho, and the other Respicius.” Aquilinus asked, “What is your fortune?”
Trypho answered, “There is no fortune among Christians, but all things occur as Divine Providence directs. But if you want to know our condition, we are of honourable birth.”
Pompeianus said, “Know that the emperor orders those who will not sacrifice to the gods to be burnt alive.”
Respicius answered, “Would that we were worthy to go through the fire to our Lord Christ. Do to us what you are required.”
Aquilinus said, “Sacrifice to the gods, for I perceive you have come to full age, and have full powers of intelligence.”
S. Trypho replied, “We have a perfect intelligence in our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we desire to possess a perfect intelligence for Him, and to finish our agony.”
Aquilinus bade them be tortured. They at once cast off their clothes, and offered themselves to the tormentors. They endured all without a cry, though the executioners were engaged during three hours upon them. It was winter time and bitterly cold. Aquilinus was tired of the case, and was moreover anxious to go out hunting. He ordered the martyrs to be led out into the open country and exposed to the biting frost and falling snow. Their wounds were frost bitten, the skin of their feet cracked with the cold.
When the governor had them brought before his tribunal again it was after the lapse of some time, for he had to visit several other cities of the province.
He said to them, “You have had now plenty of time for considering the matter. Hear me, my sons, and do sacrifice.”
S. Trypho replied, “The Judge of all the earth, who formed us, is purifying us.” And they added, “You can obtain from us no other answer than what we made at first. For our Lord Jesus Christ has bidden us confess Him before men, lest He should deny us before His Father.”
Aquilinus said, “I see discipline and wisdom in you. Have pity on yourselves and do what I tell you.”
S. Respicius answered, “We cannot have pity on ourselves more surely than by confessing our Lord Jesus Christ, the true Judge, who will bring every act into judgment.”
Aquilinus said, “Bring nails and transfix their feet.”
This was done, and they were drawn with wounded feet through the city, over the snow and sharp ice furrows. When they were brought back, he asked if they were still obstinate. When he found that they remained unshaken, he had their sides burned with torches. If we might trust the Acts, at this moment two angels appeared holding crowns of the flowers of Paradise in their hands, brighter and more fragrant than roses in spring on this dull earth of ours. But this is probably an interpolation, for it breaks somewhat violently upon the course of the narrative. The magistrate continued his examination. He said to the tormentors “Do your utmost, if they will not yield.” And turning to the confessors he said, “Consider how young you are; spare your youth, and leave this folly.”
S. Respicius said, “Never shall we bow to stocks and stones, for we worship the true God. None of your torments can separate us from His love.”
Aquilinus said, “Obey the emperor.”
Trypho answered, “We have repeated over and over again that we fear and worship only the living God who is in heaven.”
Aquilinus said, “Beat them soundly with leaded whips.” But as the martyrs remained constant he bade a sword be brought, and he gave sentence, saying, “We order these Phrygian boys, Christians, despisers of the emperor, to be executed by the sword.”
Trypho and Respicius raised their hands to heaven and said, “Lord Jesus! receive our spirits, and bestow them in the bosom of the patriarchs.” And they bowed their necks to the sword.
The bodies, nearly entire, are preserved in the church of the Holy Ghost “in Saxia” at Rome: portions in the church of S. Trypho at Rome. With them reposes the body of S. Nympha, who is generally associated with them by the martyrologists, because her body lies under the same altar. She, however, was a virgin of Palermo, who fled into Italy from the Goths in the 5th century, and died in peace at Siena, in Tuscany.
Taken from: The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, Vol. XIII;
The Divine Office for the use of the Laity, Volume II, 1806.
Ss. Tryphon, Respicius, and Nympha, pray for us.