"Earth’s rejected were elected,
To have portion with the blest."
I was puzzling to-day over the Collect of the Holy Martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla* and Pancras; but finally I gave in and looked up fovere and reddere in my pocket Latin dictionary, which solved the riddle:
Semper nos, Domine, martyrum tuorum Nerei, Achillei, Domitillæ et Pancratii foveat, quæsumus, beata solemnitas: et tuo dignos reddat obsequio. Per...(Ever may the blessed solemnity of Thy blessed martyrs Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla and Pancras restore us, we beg, Lord: and render us worthy of Thy service. Through...)
[*Dear Domitilla, not having been celebrated with these others until 1595, was dropt from the new Roman calendar in 1969, but still has a place in the 1962.]
The Martyrs are the nearest sharers of the Easter Victory of Our Lord Christ; they shew us what true service of Him entails, usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis; and to the eyes of Faith in their eternal reward display what unimaginable riches are theirs who have been proven unfailing witnesses to Our Jesus. Therefore, their feast day ought wake us out of sin and slumber, that - moved by their example by God's grace given in the One Mediator, as the conclusion Per Dominum ever implies - we may be fitted to truly serve the Lord in holiness and justice all the days of our life in His presence.
"Wherefore made co-heirs of glory,
Ye that sit with Christ on high,
Join to ours your supplication
As for grace and peace we cry,
That, this weary life completed,
And its many labours past,
We may merit to be seated
In our Father’s home at last."