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Sts. Donatian and Rogatian

Sts. Donatian and Rogatian

Feast date: May 24

Donatian and Rogatian were brothers who were martyred for their faith in the third century.

Donatian was the first to convert to Christianity, becoming an ardent witness to the faith after receiving baptism.  His witness was said to be so inspiring that his brother, Rogatian, who had been indifferent at first, was moved by his example to convert.

However, the persecution of Diocletian was heavily underway at this time.

Both of the brothers were arrested before the bishop was able to baptize Rogatian. The brothers spent the night in jail together in prayer. The next day, after refusing to deny their faith, they were tortured on the rack, and then beheaded. Thus the baptism of Rogatian was a baptism of desire, that is, by the blood of martyrdom.

In the fifth century a church was built over the tomb where they were buried together. In 1145, the bishop transferred their relics to the Cathedral of Ostia.

Feast of the Ascension

Feast of the Ascension

Feast date: May 24

The Feast of the Ascension is the fortieth day after Easter Sunday, which commemorates the Ascension of Christ into heaven, according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:2.

In the Eastern Church this feast was known as analepsis, "the taking up", and also as the episozomene, the salvation, denoting that by ascending into His glory, Christ completed the work of our redemption. The terms used in the West, ascensio and, occasionally, ascensa, signify that Christ was raised up by His own powers. Tradition designates Mount Olivet near Bethany as the place where Christ left the earth. The feast falls on Thursday. It is one of the Ecumenical feasts ranking with the feasts of the Passion, of Easter and of Pentecost among the most solemn in the calendar. The feast has a vigil and, since the fifteenth century, an octave which is set apart for a novena of preparation for Pentecost, in accordance with the directions of Leo XIII.