Gospel 12-2-23. Matt 13:44-52. St Bibiana, Virgin and Martyr
The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
Simile est regnum caelorum thesauro abscondito in agro : quem qui invenit homo, abscondit, et prae gaudio illius vadit, et vendit universa quae habet, et emit agrum illum.
45 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls.
Iterum simile est regnum caelorum homini negotiatori, quaerenti bonas margaritas.
46 Who when he had found one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it.
Inventa autem una pretiosa margarita, abiit, et vendidit omnia quae habuit, et emit eam.
47 Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes.
Iterum simile est regnum caelorum sagenae missae in mare, et ex omni genere piscium congreganti.
48 Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth.
Quam, cum impleta esset, educentes, et secus littus sedentes, elegerunt bonis in vasa, malos autem foras miserunt.
49 So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just.
Sic erit in consummatione saeculi : exibunt angeli, et separabunt malos de medio justorum,
50 And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
et mittent eos in caminum ignis : ibi erit fletus, et stridor dentium.
51 Have ye understood all these things? They say to him: Yes.
Intellexistis haec omnia? Dicunt ei : Etiam.
52 He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.
Ait illis : Ideo omnis scriba doctus in regno caelorum, similis est homini patrifamilias, qui profert de thesauro suo nova et vetera.
St Bibiana was martyred at Rome under Julian the Apostate A.D. 363.
Bibians's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome. He and his wife were such fervent Christians that when the Emperor Julian left the Catholic Faith and began persecuting it, Flavian was arrested. He was branded on the face and exiled.
After he died, his good wife was made a prisoner in her house on account of her good Christian life. Then, she too was put to death.
Left alone with her sister, Demetria, Bibiana gave herself to confident prayer. Everything they had was taken. They were taken to court and Demetria dropped dead at the judge's feet. Bibiana was handed over to a sinful woman who was supposed to make the holy young girl as evil as she was.
The Saint could not be moved. She was brought back to court and beaten, yet she still held her faith and her purity.
She was put to death by being beaten with leaden scourges and her body was left to the mercy of fierce dogs. The dogs, however, did not touch it, and a priest buried it at night beside her mother and sister.
To remain pure in the midst of temptations we have to pray, make sacrifices and mortify our senses.