Wisdom of Sirach 11, 12; Psalm 67:21·36; Proverbs 14:1·5; 2 Corinthians 7
He was a Goth of noble birth among his people, a disciple of Bishop Theophilus of the Goths, who took part in the First Ecumenical Council. When he confronted Athanaric, the pagan ruler of the Goths, for his persecution of Christians and for his unbelief, Nicetas was cruelly tortured and finally burned to death. Though he died in the flames, his body was brought forth unharmed. His relics were taken by his friend Marianus to Mopsuestia in Cilicia, where a church dedicated to the Saint was built.
Wisdom of Sirach 9, 10; Psalm 67:1·20; Proverbs 13:22·27; 2 Corinthians 6
"Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the Cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole. Consequently, the precious Cross was lifed on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, "Lord, have mercy." It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (See Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Later, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place." (Great Horologion) A fast is kept today, whatever the day of the week.
Wisdom of Sirach 7, 8; Psalm 66; Proverbs 13:16·21; 2 Corinthians 5
2 Corinthians 11:5-21 Mark 4:1-9
This is the Cornelius who received St Peter into his household in Caesarea (Acts ch.10). He was then instructed in the Faith and baptised by St Peter, though he had been a pagan and a Gentile: a great turning point in the growth of the Church, for before this time many (including St Peter) had believed that the Church was meant only for the Jews. Tradition holds that St Cornelius later became a bishop and died a martyr.