a priest's musings on the journey
Thursday, June 21, 2007
S Alban Protomartyr
St. Alban was a pagan inhabitant of Verulam in central England. In the mid-3rd c., but others say the beginning of the 4th c., he accepted and sheltered a Christian priest fleeing the Roman persecution. The priest was found out, but St. Alban arranged a swap of clothing allowing the priest to escape. Brought before the judge, St. Alban confessed Our Lord Jesus Christ and was condemned to be beheaded. On the way to execution, when the crowd that was following to see his death came to the river Ver, he prayed and the waters parted so all could cross. His executioner, Heraclius, was converted and suffered with St. Alban. Just before his earthly end St. Alban prayed and a spring arose from the spot. Verulam is now called St. Alban's, the site of a magnificent Benedictine monastery in earlier times.
Bede tells several legends associated with the story of Alban's execution. On his way to the execution, Alban had to cross a river, and finding the bridge full of people, he made the waters part and crossed over on dry land. And the executioner was so impressed with Alban's faith that he also converted to Christianity on the spot, and refused to kill him. Another executioner was quickly found (whose eyes dropped out of his head when he did the deed), and the first was killed after Alban, becoming the second British martyr for Christ.
Some details added to St. Alban's tradition come from confusing him with another St. Alban, or Albinus, who was martyred at Mainz.
Troparion (Tone 4)
In his struggle your holy martyr Alban,
Gained the crown of life, O Christ our God.
For strengthened by you and in purity of heart,
He spoke boldly before the judges of this world,
Offering up his head to you, the Judge of all!
:: posted by Padre Rob+, 6:49 PM
See my blog for lots of activity on Wednesday when we celebrated St Alban. there is a lovely mosaic in the Cathedral of Alban.
Fr Rob, what a great blog. I also blogged about St. Alban. I look forward to more of your stuff.