St Tarcisius Patron for Altarserver Girls Healing Oil
St Tarcisus was a martyr of the early Christian church who lived in the 3rd century. The little that is known about him comes from a metrical inscription by Pope Damasus I, who was pope in the second half of the 4th century.
The only positive information concerning this Roman martyr found in a poem composed in his honour by Pope Damasus (366–384), who compares him to the deacon Saint Stephen and says that, as Stephen stoned by a crowd, so Tarcisius, carrying the Blessed Sacrament, attacked by a group and beaten to death.
Nothing else definite known concerning St Tarcisus. Since Damasus compares him to Stephen, he may have been a deacon; however, a 6th-century account makes him an acolyte. According to one version of the detailed legend that developed later, Tarsicius was a young boy during one of the fierce 3rd-century Roman persecutions, probably during the reign of Emperor Valerian (253–259). One day, he entrusted with the task of bringing the Eucharist to condemned Christians in prison. He preferred death at the hands of a mob rather than deliver to them the Blessed Sacrament which he was carrying.
He originally buried in the Catacombs of San Callisto and the inscription by Damasus placed later on his tomb. Some time later his relics moved to the San Silvestro in Capite church in Rome. His feast day celebrated on 15 August; that day widely observed as the Feast of the Assumption, therefore he not mentioned in the General Roman Calendar, but only in the Roman Martyrology.
He is the patron saint of altar servers and first communicants.
His story greatly expanded by Cardinal Nicholas Wiseman. Who portrays him as a young acolyte in his novel Fabiola, or the Church in the Catacombs.
The municipality of Saint-Tharcisius in Quebec, Canada. Named after him, as well as a 35 kilogram (77 lb) bell in the Stephansdom in Vienna, Austria.
Saint José Sánchez del Río nicknamed “Tarcisius”.
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