"The results have greatly affected Catholic life. How many Catholics today are familiar with St. Telesphorus, the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, St. Anicetus, Ss. Cletus and Marcellinus, the Seven Holy Brothers, St. Thelca, St. Placid, St. Ursula, or even St. Barbara? These saints gave a powerful and memorable witness to our holy Faith. They provide powerful inspiration for us in these turbulent times and are models we should all strive to emulate. Yet, all these and more were removed from the liturgical calendar."
- Matthew Plese, The Fatima Center
While at the Abbey of Ephesus, I found this statue of St. Tarcisius. This character also appears in FABIOLA and I hope that we are all familiar with this martyr's story.
We have an old book called, The Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints. Its pages are filled with martyrs as a martyr's feast day is celebrated almost everyday.
Recently, the importance of knowing the stories of the lives of these men and women, boys and girls occurred to me. Their valor and bravery in the face of such utter pain should never be forgotten.
It is interesting to note that in 1969, many of their feast days were removed from the calendar and replaced with others such as St. Gianna Beretta Molia, St. Faustina and Mother Teresa. There is a stress on the lives of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Padre Pio and St. Mary Mackillop.
Don't get me wrong, I have a special devotion to these saints and there is nothing wrong with honoring them, I simply ask, why the imbalance?
Why have the martyrs been removed in the new calendar? These saints inspired "modern" martyrs such as St. Margaret Clithrow, St. Thomas More, St. Edmond Campion, the Carmelite nuns of Compienge, the martyrs of the Vendee, St. Maximillian Kolbe and countless others.
It is my hope that FABIOLA will bring the lives and stories of Sts. Sebastian, Agnes, Tarcisius, Pancratius and Emerentiana to life so that their legacy and example may never be forgotten in these turbulent times. We are the first generation who do not know our early Church martyrs.