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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250.

In 236, a virtually unknown Christian layman was elected Bishop of Rome. Countless legends have arisen to explain his surprising election. Besides being simply a layman and not a native of Rome, he seems to have carried no outstanding distinction as a scholar or leader. He turned out to be a first-rate bishop in this important diocese. He is reported to have been an efficient organizer and administrator. Not being particularly well-trained himself, he corresponded with Origen, Cyprian, and other knowledgeable Christians of Eastern Europe.

For fourteen years he faithfully and effectively guided the church in Rome. He dispatched some of the first missionaries to Gaul. Things seemed to be progressing remarkably for the Roman Church. Then, without warning, a severe persecution of Christians was initiated by a new emperor, Decius. Bishop Fabian was one of the first to die.

Fabian's life is a bold reminder of how the calls of God and man come upon us unexpectedly, "like a thief in the night." Fabian recognized his call and responded faithfully in his living and in his dying.

O Almighty God, who has called us to faith in you, and has surrounded us with so great a cloud of witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Fabian, may persevere in running the race that is set before us. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, you called Fabian to be a faithful pastor and servant of your people, and to lay down his life in witness to your Son: Grant that we, strengthened by his example and aided by his prayers, may in times of trial and persecution remain steadfast in faith and endurance, for the sake of him who laid down his life for us all, Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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