V. Dóminus vobíscum.
R. Et cum spiritu tuo.
Deus, qui inter cetera potentiae tuae miracula, etiam in sexu fragili victoriam martyrii contulisti: concede propitius; ut, qui beatae Martinae Virginis et Martyris tuae natalitia colimus, per eius ad te exempla gradiamur.
Per Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with thy spirit.
Let us pray.
O God, Who among the other miracles of Your power have bestowed the victory of martyrdom even upon the weaker sex, graciously grant that we who commemorate the anniversary of the death of blessed Martina, Your Virgin and Martyr, may come to You by the path of her example.
Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.
From the Office of Matins:
Martína virgo Romána, illústri génere nata, téneris adhuc annis orbáta paréntibus, ingéntes divítias lárgiter in páuperes distríbuit. Sub Alexándro príncipe iussa inánibus diis sacrificáre, immáne fácinus destestátur. Quare divérsis tormentórum genéribus cruciáta, demum in amphitheátro damnátur ad béstias; a quibus illæsa divínitus evádens, in ardéntem rogum iniécta, incólumis páriter servátur. Nonnúlli ex eius tortóribus, capti novitáte miráculi, Christi fidem amplecténtes, palmam martyrii adépti sunt. Précibus Martínæ multa Deus prodígia patrávit, quibus iudex ácriter permótus et Vírginis constántiam demirátus, caput eídem amputári præcépit, sedénte sancto Urbáno Papa primo. Martínæ corpus, Urbáno octávo Pontífice máximo, in vetústa eiúsdem ecclésia ad Mamertínum cárcerem, cum sanctórum Mártyrum Concórdii, Epiphánii et Sociórum corpóribus repértum, eódem loco, decéntius ornáto, totíus Urbis lætítia solémniter repósitum fuit.
V. Tu autem, Dómine, miserére nobis.
R. Deo grátias.
Martina, a Roman virgin of an illustrious family, lost her parents while she was still young and distributed her vast fortune lavishly to the poor. Under the emperor Alexander, she was commanded to sacrifice to the imaginary gods, and refused to commit this great crime. First she was subjected to many kinds of tortures and, finally condemned to the beasts in the amphitheater, was left unharmed by divine protection. Then she was thrown into a burning furnace, and again was preserved safe. Some of her tormentors moved by this unheard-of miracle embraced the faith of Christ and received the crown of martyrdom. At Martina's prayers, God worked many marvels. Angered by these and confounded by the Virgin's constancy, the judge ordered her beheaded. All this took place when St. Urban I was pope. Under Urban VIII, her body was found in the old church named after her at the Mamertine Prison together with the bodies of the holy Martyrs Concordius, Epiphanius and their companions. When the place had been renovated and decorated, her body was solemnly reburied, amid the rejoicing of the whole City.
V. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us.
R. Thanks be to God.
The Liturgical Year
by Dom Guéranger, O.S.B.
A fourth Roman Virgin, wearing on her brow a martyr's crown, comes today to share the honours of Agnes, Emerentiana, and Prisca, and offer her palm to the Lamb. Her name is Martina, which the pagans were wont to give to their daughters in honour of their god of war. Her sacred relics repose at the foot of the Capitoline hill, in the ancient temple of Mars, which has now become the beautiful Church of Saint Martina. The holy ambition to render herself worthy of him whom she had chosen as her divine Spouse, gave her courage to suffer torments and death for his sake; so that of her, as of the rest of the martyrs, we may say those words of the Liturgy, she washed her robes in the Blood of the Lamb. Our Emmanuel is the Mighty God, the Lord that is mighty in war, not, like the Mars of the pagans, needing the sword to win his battles. He vanquishes his enemies by meekness, patience, and innocence, as in the martyrdom of today's Saint, whose victory was grander than was ever won by Rome's boasted warriors.
This illustrious Virgin, who is one of the Patrons of the City of Rome, is honoured by having her praises sung by one of the Popes. It was Urban the Eighth who wrote the Hymns which are recited on her feast, and which we subjoin to the Lessons which recount the glorious combats of our Saint.