Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Alban the Protomartyr of Britain

St. Alban was born in the third century in Roman Britain, and was martyred around 304. According to the English Christian historian, the Venerable Bede, Alban was a pagan, and a soldier in the Roman Army.

Alban offered refuge to a Christian priest named Amphibalus during a persecution. The priest ended up converting him, and when soldiers arrived at his home, Alban dressed in the priest's clothes to protect him. Alban was taken prisoner allowing the priest to flee. When compelled to offer sacrifice to the pagan gods, Alban refused to renounce his new faith, and was beheaded as a consequence. He thus became the first Christian martyr in Britain. The second was the executioner who was to kill him, but who heard his testimony and was so impressed that he became a Christian on the spot, and refused to kill Alban. The third was the priest, who when he learned that Alban had been arrested in his place, hurried to the court in the hope of saving Alban by turning himself in. The place of their deaths is near the site of St. Alban's Cathedral today.

The Cross of St. Alban

Propers for Alban - First Martyr of Britain

The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyr Alban triumphed over suffering, and despised death: Grant, we beseech thee, that enduring hardness, and waxing valiant in fight, we may with the noble army of martyrs receive the crown of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle - 1 John 3:13-16.

The Gospel - St. Matthew 10:34-42.

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