MAY 24.—SAINTS DONATIAN AND ROGATIAN, MARTYRS.
THERE lived at 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 faith in Christ.
His elder brother, Rogatian, was not able to resist the moving example of his
piety and the force of his discourses, and desired to be baptized. But the
bishop having withdrawn and concealed himself for fear of the persecution, he
was not able to receive that sacrament, but was shortly after baptized in his
blood; for he declared himself a Christian at a time when to embrace that sacred
profession was to become a candidate for martyrdom. Donatian was impeached for
professing himself a Christian, and for having withdrawn others, particularly
his brother, from the worship of the gods. Donatian was therefore apprehended,
and having boldly confessed Christ before the governor, was cast into prison and
loaded with irons. Rogatian was also brought before the prefect, who endeavored
first to gain him by flattering speeches, but finding him inflexible, sent him
to prison with his brother. Rogatian grieved that he had not been able to
receive the sacrament of baptism, and prayed that the kiss of peace which his
brother gave him might supply it. Donatian also prayed for him that his faith
might procure for him the effect of baptism, and the effusion of his blood that
of the sacrament of confirmation. They passed that night together in fervent
prayer. They were the next day called for again by the prefect, to whom they
declared that they were ready to suffer for the name of Christ whatever torments
were prepared for them. By the order of the inhuman judge they were first
stretched on the rack, afterwards their heads were pierced with lances, and
lastly cut off about the year 287.
REFLECTION.—Three things are pleasing unto God and man, concord among brethren, the love of parents, and the union of man and wife.
Saints Donatian and Rogatian, pray for us!