Oil Dedicated to St Tarcisius (Martyr)
The moving account of the life of St Tarcisius, a young boy who gave his life to protect the Holy Eucharist. Vividly recounted by Pope Benedict XVI when he addressed a gathering of altar servers in Rome in 2010.
Tarcisius lived in the third century under the cruel reign of Emperor Valerian. Historical documents suggest that the emperor. Who ruled from 253-260. Relentlessly persecuted Christians including ordering the executions of the bishops of Carthage and Rome. Fearful of the emperor’s wrath, Christians forced to share their faith hidden underground in the catacombs.
When Tarcisius a young boy, the empire ruled over by Emperor Valerian. He hated Christians because of their love for Jesus and his teaching. They thrown into dirty prisons where conditions poor, and many of them martyred which means they put to death for their beliefs.
Holy Eucharist had to be delivered secretly, hidden from the Roman guards, at great risk to the bearer.
One day, the priest, as his custom, asked who prepared to take the Holy Eucharist to the brothers and sisters. Up stood Tarcisius. ‘Send me,’ he offered.
Little known of Tarcisius. It said he an acolyte, that is, an altar server. The priest concerned about sending a young boy for such a dangerous task but Tarcisius persisted, saying :’My youth will be the best shield for the Eucharist.’
Touched by his bravery, the priest overcame his own doubts and relented.