Sts. Donatian and Rogatian

Donatian_RogatianThere lived in Nantes an illustrious young nobleman named Donatian, who, having received the holy Sacrament of Regeneration, led a most edifying life, and strove with much zeal to convert others to the faith in Christ. Because of this example, his elder brother, Rogatian, desired to be baptized.

But the bishop, being fearful of being persecuted himself, did not perform the Sacrament. Rogatian did receive his Baptism in his own blood for he declared himself a Christian at a time when that meant sure martyrdom. Donatian was charged for being a Christian and for encouraging others to stop worshipping the false gods. Both brothers were thrown in jail. They passed the night in fervent prayer. The next day they declared before their judge that they were ready to suffer for the name of Christ. They were stretched on the rack, their hands were pierced by lances, and lastly cut off, about the year 287.

(Adapted from Fr. Butler”s Lives of the Saints)

Commentary: These brothers died a martyr”s death for their faith before Constantine declared in the year 313, by the Edict of Milan, that Catholics could worship openly, and more than 100 years before St. Jerome gave the still young Catholic Church the first Bible, in 397.