Saint of the day:
Patron Saint of altar servers and first communicants
The Story of St. Tarsicius
St. Tarcisius (3rd c.) was a boy who lived during the persecution of Roman Emperor Valerian. When the Christians would secretly celebrate daily Mass in the catacombs, a deacon would be sent to carry the Holy Eucharist to the Christians waiting in prison to be executed. At one point there was no deacon to send, and so St. Tarcisius, a twelve-year-old acolyte, was sent to carry the "Holy Mysteries" to the prisoners. One day, on his way, he was stopped by pagan boys his own age with whom he would sometimes play games. They asked him to play, but Tarcisius declined because of the holy mission on which he had been sent. The crowd of boys became curious about what he was carrying, and soon discovered that he was a Christian. In their profane desire to see the holy secret he so carefully guarded, they descended on him as a mob and beat him. Tarcisius was courageous and refused to surrender the Blessed Sacrament. A fellow Christian came to his rescue and carried his bloodied body back to the catacombs. Tarcisius died from his injuries along the way. He was buried in the cemetery of St. Callistus, and his relics are kept in the church of San Silvestro. Legend has it that the consecrated Host disappeared during the attack. St. Tarcisius is the patron of altar boys and first communicants.
San Silvestro in Capite
Piazza di S.Silvestro, 17A, 00187 Roma RM, Italy