Today we celebrate the life of Saints Cyprian and Justina. At Antioch the virtue of the virgin Justina converted Cyprian, a magician, to Christianity. Cyprian later became a priest and then a bishop. Both suffered martyrdom under Diocletian in the year 304, and their bodies were brought to Rome by some Christian mariners.
Collect: Comfort us, O Lord, with the unfailing protection of Your holy martyrs Cyprian and Justina, for You are always merciful to those who are helped by Your saints.
Also in the United States, today is the Feast of the North American Martyrs: Ss. Isacc Jogues, John de Brebeuf, and their companions. All in all, eight French Jesuit missioners, the first canonized saints of the North American continent, labored and died among the most barbaric of the Native Americans in the most impenetrable fastnesses of the 17th-century New World.
After struggling with unbelievable privations and hardships, they were severely tortured and martyred by the Iroquois Indians between the years 1642 and 1649.
Fathers Isaac Jogues and Anthony Daniel and the two lay oblates, John Lalande and Rene Goupil, gave their lives in what is now New York State; Fathers John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel in central Canada.
Collect: O God, You blessed the first fruits of the faith in the vast expanse of North America by the missionary labors and martyrdom of blessed Isaac, John, and their companions. May the harvest for Christ grow daily more abundant in the whole world through the intercession of these saints. Through our Lord . . .