> Commemoration: Saint Fabian

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Thursday January 20, 2022 All Day
Annually on January 20

Saint Fabian,

Bishop and Martyr

Saint Fabian by Giovanni di Paolo (c. 1450) wears an anachronistic papal tiara


Prayer:

O God, who in thy providence didst call thy servant Fabian to The office of Bishop, and didst guide him so to strengthen thy Church that it stood fast in the day of persecution: Grant that those whom thou dost call to any ministry in the Church may be obedient to thy call in all humility, and be enabled to carry out their tasks with diligence and faithfulness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



"Pope (236-250), the extraordinary circumstances of whose election is related by Eusebius (Church History VI.29). After the death of Anterus he had come to Rome, with some others, from his farm and was in the city when the new election began. While the names of several illustrious and noble persons were being considered, a dove suddenly descended upon the head of Fabian, of whom no one had even thought. To the assembled brethren the sight recalled the Gospel scene of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Saviour of mankind, and so, divinely inspired, as it were, they chose Fabian with joyous unanimity and placed him in the Chair of Peter. During his reign of fourteen years there was a lull in the storm of persecution. Little is known of his pontificate. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that he divided Rome into seven districts, each supervised by a deacon, and appointed seven subdeacons, to collect, in conjunction with other notaries, the "acta" of the martyrs, i.e. the reports of the court-proceedings on the occasion of their trials (cf. Eus., VI, 43). There is a tradition that he instituted the four minor orders. Under him considerable work was done in the catacombs. He caused the body of Pope St. Pontianus to be exhumed, in Sardinia, and transferred to the catacomb of St. Callistus at Rome. Later accounts, more or less trustworthy, attribute to him the consecration (245) of seven bishops as missionaries to Gaul, among them St. Denys of Paris (Greg. of Tours, Hist. Francor., I, 28, 31). St. Cyprian mentions (Ep., 59) the condemnation by Fabian for heresy of a certain Privatus (Bishop of Lambaesa) in Africa. The famous Origen did not hesitate to defend, before Fabian, the orthodoxy of his teaching (Eusebius, Church History VI.34). Fabian died a martyr (20 Jan., 250) at the beginning of the Decian persecution, and was buried in the Crypt of the Popes in the catacomb of St. Callistus, where in recent times (1850) De Rossi discovered his Greek epitaph (Roma Sotterranea II, 59): "Fabian, bishop and martyr." The decretals ascribed to him in Pseudo-Isidore are apocryphal." [1]


Citations:

[1] Pope St. Fabian. (2020). Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05742d.htm


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