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Saint Fabian

Saint Fabian. Bishop of Rome Martyr January20. Saint Fabian. The Story. Fabian (Fabianus) was a Roman layman who, it is reported came into Rome, January 10, 236 A.D. from his farm. That day the clergy and people were gathered to elect a new bishop, Bishop Anterus having died.

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Saint Fabian

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  1. Saint Fabian Bishop of Rome Martyr January20

  2. Saint Fabian

  3. The Story Fabian (Fabianus) was a Roman layman who, it is reported came into Rome, January 10, 236 A.D. from his farm. That day the clergy and people were gathered to elect a new bishop, Bishop Anterus having died. There were several well know, illustrious candidates who were being considered. But during the deliberations, a dove flow in and settled on the head of Fabian. This was understood to be sign of divine approval, the dove being the symbol of the Holy Spirit. Even though Fabian was a stranger, not a candidate and a layman, he was elected unanimously!

  4. The Story The history of the Roman pontiffs, “Liber Pontificalis,” lists many of his reforms of the Roman church. One reform was to divide Rome into seven districts (remember the seven hills of Rome?). Each district was supervised by a deacon for practical and charitable purposes. Fabian also began the veneration of the martyrs buried in the Roman catacombs.

  5. The Story Pope Fabian also sent out the “Apostles to the Gauls” to Christianize Gaul after a persecution under Emperor Decius. Fabian sent seven bishops from Rome to Gaul to reestablish the Christian churches. Gatien was sent to Tours Trophimus was sent to Arles Paul was sent to Narbonne Saturnin was sent to Toulouse Denis was sent to Paris Austromoine was sent to Clermont Martial was sent to Limoges He also had the bodies of Hippolytus of Rome and Pope Pontian brought back from Sardinia to Rome.

  6. The Story Fabian was pope from 236 to 250, fourteen years. On January 20th, 250 Pope Fabian was martyred by decapitation for the faith. This was during the persecution under the Roman Emperor Decius. Fabian was one of the first to die during that persecution.

  7. The Story A letter from the Church of Rome. “Our church stands unshaken in the faith, although some have lapsed because they fear the loss of their high position or other personal sufferings. Although these have left us, we have not abandoned them. We have urged them and now we continue to encourage them to repent, in the hope that they may receive pardon from the One who can give it. If they were abandoned by us, their situation might become worse. And so you see, brothers, you should act in the same manner. Perhaps in this way those who have lapsed, having been converted through your encouragement, and, if they are arrested again, might confess their faith and so might make up for their previous failure….

  8. The Story A letter by St. Cyprian of Carthage about the death of Fabian “Dear brothers, while the news of the death of my good colleague was still uncertain, and opinions were divided, I received your letter delivered through the subdeacon Climenius, in which I learned the full details of Fabian’s glorious death. I was quite happy that his virtuous death crowned the integrity of his administration. I also congratulate you that you honor his memory with such a splendid and praiseworthy testimony. We can see quite clearly what an honor for you is the glorious heritage of one who was your leader, and what an example of faith and courage if offers us. For just as the defection of a leader can have a harmful effect on those who follow him, so the constancy of a bishop’s faith offers a healthy and profitable example to his brothers.”

  9. The Story “…you have other responsibilities as well. If any of those who have defected should become ill and, after repenting, should desire to receive communion, they should certainly be assisted. Widows, the destitute who cannot support themselves, and those who are in prison or who have been evicted from their homes should surely have assistance; likewise catechumens who are ill out not to be disappointed in their hope of receiving help. Your brothers who are in prison send you their greetings, and also the priests, the whole Church which lies awake in great anxiety to pray for all those who call on the name of the Lord. And we ask you in turn to remember us.”

  10. Remember Let us remember that we also are being persecuted because we hold to the true faith in Jesus Christ. In our persecution, let us remember those who are also being persecuted like we are, or even worse. Remember to pray for the lapsed and do not abandon them!

  11. Prayer O heavenly Father, in your goodness you gave to your Holy Church and to us, the life, ministry and death of this champion of our faith, Pope Fabian. We give you thanks that Pope Fabian was able to organize and strengthen the churches of Rome so that when persecution came, they stood fast in the one, true faith. Help us, in our time, to imitate his hard work and faithfulness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

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