Dear brothers and sisters,
Greetings to you as we celebrate the feast of Saints Julius and Aaron, the protomartyrs of Wales, and only named martyrs of the Roman persecutions in Britain, apart from St Alban.
The date of their martyrdom remains unknown, but their memory was preserved in nearby Caerleon (the fort of Isca Augusta), which was important as both a military and civilian centre. Like St Alban, tradition has preserved the memory of Julius and Aaron being soldiers who placed their loyalty to Christ above their loyalty to Caesar, meeting martyrdom in the late third or early fourth centuries.
The fact that we know so little about them, with St Gildas writing three hundred years after their martyrdom, makes little difference to their place as the protomartyrs of Wales, and as intercessors for us. For us to simply know their names, and that they were martyred for Christ is enough!
God-willing, this weekend will see the usual celebrations in St John’s, though I have concerns about Saturday afternoon and will confirm the Saturday service, once I have checked certain work rota issues.
However, we aim to meet for compline and confessions at 17:30. This is a one-off time, as I will be travelling by train, as Deacon Mark has been called to serve in the cathedral, where the altar-feast of the lower Church will be celebrated. May I ask all requiring confession on Saturday to email me – firstname.lastname@example.org – asap?
This weekend sees important celebrations for the Church: the Royal Martyrs on Saturday, and Saint Sergius of Radonezh, and the Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara on Sunday.
The variables for Sunday Liturgy may be found here:
Given that Sunday is the feast of St Elizabeth and St Barbara, this would be a poignant day to restart collections for the food-bank for those suffering hardship. We will post a list of suitable food-stuffs on the Facebook page.
May God bless you.
In Christ – Fr Mark