Saturday, 26 August 2017

# Saints

Saint Genesius of Rome

Statue of St. Genesius with mask and baptismal font in St. Giles Church in Braunschweig, Lower Saxony, Germany



The 25th of August is the feast of Saint Genesius of Rome. He is the patron saint of actors, clowns, comedians, comics, converts, dancers, musicians, stenographers, printers, lawyers, epileptics, thieves, and torture victims.

The following is from Catholic Encyclopedia:
A comedian at Rome, martyred under Diocletian in 286 or 303. Feast, 25 August. He is invoked against epilepsy, and is honoured as patron of theatrical performers and of musicians. The legend (Acta SS., Aug., V, 119) relates: Genesius, the leader of a theatrical troupe in Rome, performing one day before the Emperor Diocletian, and wishing to expose Christian rites to the ridicule of his audience, pretended to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. When the water had been poured upon him he proclaimed himself a Christian. Diocletian at first enjoyed the realistic play, but, finding Genesius to be in earnest, ordered him to be tortured and then beheaded. He was buried on the Via Tiburtina. His relics are said to be partly in San Giovanni della Pigna, partly in S. Susanna di Termini and in the chapel of St. Lawrence. The legend was dramatized in the fifteenth century; embodied in later years in the oratorio "Polus Atella" of Löwe (d. 1869), and still more recently in a work by Weingartner (Berlinn 1892). The historic value of the Acts, dating from the seventh century, is very doubtful, though defended by Tillemont (Mémoires, IV s. v. Genesius). The very existence of Genesius is called into question, and he is held to be a Roman counterpart of St. Gelasius (or Gelasinus) of Hierapolis (d. 297). He was venerated, however, at Rorne in the fourth century: a church was built in his honour very early, and was repaired and beautified by Gregory III in 741.

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