Saint Of The Day April 20: Marcellino D’Embrun
Another figure of holiness of the 4th century, thriving with righteous examples towards conversion: Marcellino who crossed all the Alps from Africa
An African who lacked nothing, of comfort in the very remote times of the 4th century.
It is often said that Christianity on the African continent is relatively young but in reality, perhaps, we need to discern well why Jesus Christ moved from the beginning and settled in neighboring Arab countries.
Jesus is already the Incarnate Word who has crossed borders.
And it was also for the education of Marcellino that since he was a child he was educated in the foundations of the Catholic faith
His call was indeed very strong, irrepressible.
Christian fortitude overflowed in Marcellino’s chalice
Let us read in today’s liturgy (Acts 5:29) the words spoken by Saint Peter: “We must obey God rather than men”.
This requires an undoubted fortitude of mind and so much Marcellino testified, so as to become contagious
His scent dilated the nostrils of two of his friends, Donnino and Vincenzo, who joined him in the intention of consecrating their ordinary existence to the Lord.
Soon the three, still very young, retired to a common life but theirs was not only asceticism and contemplation.
They wandered the world, especially in the Alpine countries, in search of lost sheep.
Marcellino’s oratory attracted crowds of catechumens and Christian converts.
A temper that knew how to bite the fish on the hook that of Marcellino
And so, given the influx of faithful into his oratory, inaugurated in Embrun, in a suburb of France, he saw himself thrown by a powerful hand to beg another saint.
That oratory would soon become a new flourishing church and required a special consecration which was granted by the then bishop Eusebio of Vercelli, the first bishop of Piedmont.
Today, the Piedmontese cult of the Black Madonna is owed to this zealous bishop with great connections.
It was not long before Marcellinus too became bishop because the territory was very large and there was not yet a bishopric attentive to local needs.
Thus, endowed with greater decision-making autonomy, he did not hesitate to delegate his faithful companions Vincenzo and Donnino with great confidence for the itinerant missions.
Today, in the well-known French spa town of Digne Les Bains, we can venerate the remains of the three companions who thus continue the convivial cenoby at the end of their days, in the abode of the Most High.
The year of his call to the eternal reward is 374 AD.
We want to think of Marcellino even then as a symbol and bulwark, as strong as those Alps he loved, of a friendship that does not wane.
The most impervious heights will be reached to save a friend in difficulty.
Thank you Marcellino, friend of Jesus.
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