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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Alban, First Martyr of Britain, c. 304.

"In Britain's Isle was holy Alban born." Alban was a young pagan who lived in the Roman town of Verulamium (modern St. Albans, Hertfordshire, just north of London). During the persecution of Diocletian (some historians think Decius), Alban sheltered a Christian priest in his home. The priest converted and baptized him. Later, when Roman soldiers came to search the house, Alban hid the priest and disguised himself in the priest's cloak. He was dragged off to court. When it was discovered who he was and what he had done, he was accused of harboring a rebellious and sacrilegious person. Alban then publicly confessed his faith in Jesus Christ, was scourged and, still persisting in his confession, was sentenced to death. The executioner refused to do his duty, and he and the priest, whose names we do not know, soon became the second and third British martyrs.

Alban has always been highly honored among British Christians. St. Albans Abbey was a great medieval monument to him, and there his shrine still stands.

Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering, and despised death: Grant, we beseech you, that enduring hardness, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Almighty God, by whose grace and power your holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering and was faithful even to death: Grant us, who now remember him in thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to you in this world, that we may receive with him the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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