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"I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things."

St Alban's Day

St. Alban is venerated as Britain's first Christian martyr.

For centuries, the shrine of St. Alban in the abbey

has been a destination for pilgrimages, and remains so today.

Alban was martyred c. 209 AD.

At the time, St. Albans was the Roman city Verulamium.

Mosaic floor - Verulamium

According to the story found in Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People,

it was a time of persecution of Christians, and Alban was a Roman solider stationed in Verulamium.

One day, a priest (Amphibalus) fleeing persecution sought shelter at Alban's house.

Alban took the priest in.

During the priest's stay Alban became so impressed with the priest's courage and devotion that the Roman solider converted to Christianity. Eventually, the priest's location was discovered. To save the priest, Alban placed his Roman cloak upon the holy man and dressed himself in the priest's garb. When the Roman soldiers arrived they arrested Alban and allowed the priest, disguised as a Roman solider, to escape. The leaders of the persecution were outraged at Alban's subterfuge, demanding an answer as to why he had allowed the priest to escape. Alban confessed that he had converted to Christianity. To test his conversion, Alban was told he would endure all the punishments that were to be inflicted upon the priest unless he renounced his faith and participated in Roman Emperor worship. Alban refused and declared,

"I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things."

Upon hearing this, Alban was sentenced to beheading. And to this day, Alban's prayer is used in St Alban's Abbey. "I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things."

St Alban's Shrine - St Alban's Abbey

Collect - Saint Alban

Eternal Father, when the gospel of Christ first came to our land you gloriously confirmed the faith of Alban by making him the first in this country to win a martyr's crown: grant that, following his example and his courage, we may give true witness to Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.

Raymond Kolbe was born on January 8, 1894, in Zdunska-Wola, Poland. He was a lively and clever child, he felt drawn to follow Our Lord and His Mother. As a young man, he joined the Conventual Franciscan Friars and received the religious name Maximilian.

Ordained priest in 1918, Fr. Maximilian began his “press apostolate” missionary activity in Poland, and eventually set up a mission close to Nagasaki, Japan. Suffering from tuberculosis, he returned in 1936 to Poland and spent himself for the spiritual and apostolic development of Niepokalanów which had become the most prominent Catholic publishing house in Poland.

In 1939, when World War II broke out, Niepokalanów, damaged by bombs, was used as a hospital and refuge for thousands of refugees, including Jews. Maximilian continued his press apostolate until February 17, 1941, when he was arrested and imprisoned in the Pawiak prison, near Warsaw.

Prisoner 16670

On May 28, 1941 he was permanently transferred to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Maximilian, prisoner 16670, gave heroic witness to the Gospel, and freely offered his own life for an unknown prisoner who had been condemned to death

in the starvation bunker. His motto was “Only love creates.” After nearly two weeks of intense sufferings, he was killed by an injection of carbolic acid on August 14, 1941, the eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady. On October 10, 1982, St.John Paul II proclaimed him a Saint, a Martyr of Charity.

Collect - St Maximillian Kolbe

O God, who filled the Priest and Martyr Saint Maximilian Kolbe

with a burning love for You and for Our Lady

with zeal for souls and love of neighbour,

graciously grant, through his intercession,

that, striving for your glory by eagerly serving others,

we may be conformed, even until death, to your Son.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever.

A South African Creed

Jesus taught us to speak of hope

in the coming of God's kingdom.

We believe that God is at work in our world,

turning hopelessness and evil into good.

We believe that goodness and justice

will triumph in the end;

and that tyranny and oppression

cannot last forever.

One day all tears will be wiped away;

the lamb will lie down with the lion,

and justice will roll down like a mighty stream.

True peace and true reconciliation are not only desired,

they are assured and guaranteed in Christ.

This is our faith.

This is our hope.

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