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Saint Stories: St. Tarcisius

Saint Stories: St. Tarcisius

Young, brave, and heroic are all virtues that embody Saint Tarcisius. Tarcisius grew up in Rome, attending Mass in the catacombs hidden away from the pagans. He was a devout altar server during Mass and was unashamed of his faith when able to show it.

At the time, many Romans would be put in jail if Valerian, the Roman Emperor, found out that they were Christian. The Christian prisoners at that time asked the priest if someone could bring them the Eucharist to give them strength as they sat in jail awaiting their fate. St. Tarcisius volunteered to be the one to do such a brave act, claiming his youth would help him be disguised for the mission.

At the brave age of 12, he started his mission towards the jail and was recognized by friends, and they asked him to play. Tarcisius said no, and they asked what he was holding in his tunic. He refused to respond or show them anything and whispered to Jesus a prayer to help strengthen him. One of them heard him and shouted to the rest that he was Christian, and he hurried off. Those that recognized him started running towards him, beating him down and stoning him to the point of near death.

A soldier nearby scattered the angry mob, and as he came close to Tarcisius, he recognized that this little boy was the altar server during Mass. The soldier was another secret member of the church. Tarcisius gave him the hosts and explained to him his mission before taking his last breath. The soldier then completed the mission and brought the hosts to the prisoners. Saint Tarcisius is a great example of deep love for the Eucharist, so much so that he died for it, making sure the mission was completed regardless of whether he was able to fulfill it or not.

We can learn from Saint Tarcisius the deep honor and devotion to Christ, the bravery to do things that are scary, and the heroic virtue to die for one's faith.

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Blog image is a painting done by PerfectJoyPaintings on Etsy

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