PATRON: Actors, Theatrical Performers,
FEAST DAY: August 25
Genesius was an actor. In a comedy play before the Emperor Diocletian, Genesius decided to make fun of the Christian Baptism ceremonies. This would amuse the people who held our religion in contempt & derision. He had learned the rites from his Christian friends.
Genesius laid down on stage, pretending to be ill & said: "Ah my friends, there is a great weight upon me."
The other actors asked what they could do to ease this weight. He exclaimed: "I am resolved to die a Christian that God may receive me as one who seeks His salvation by turning away from idolatry & superstition."
An actor protraying a priest came in and asked him: "My child, why did you send for me?" However, Genesius was suddenly converted by divine inspiration & replied, not in mockery but seriously: "Because I desire to receive the grace of Jesus Christ and to be born again, that I may be delivered from my sins."
The play continued with all the rites performed and Genesius was clothed in a white robe. They led him to the Emperor. There Genesius declared himself: "Hear O Emperor & all here present what I am going to say. I reviled Christians and learned their rites to ridicule them. Yet, I no sooner answered sincerely that I believed when I saw a host of angels over my head who recited out of a book all the sins I had committed from childhood. They plunged the book into the water which had just been poured over me in your presence and the book turned whiter than snow. I advise all of you to believe with me that Jesus Christ is the true Lord; that He is the light & the truth & through Him you may obtain forgiveness of your sins."
The Emperor was enraged & order Genesius to be beaten and put on the rack where he was torn with iron hooks, then burnt with torches. Genesius cried out: "There is no other Lord beside Him whom I have seen. Him I worship. To Him I will cling should I suffer 1000 deaths. No torments will remove Jesus Christ from my mouth & my heart. Bitterly I regret the ridicule I performed while detesting His holy name."
Genesius suffered martydom that same day when they struck off his head.
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. He was venerated at Rome in the 4th century, a church was built in his honor very early, and was repaired and beautified by Gregory III in 741.
PRAYER: St. Genesius, who suffered a martyr's death, intercede for me before the throne of God, whisper my petition into the ear of God Almighty, that He might grant our petition (State Request). We make our prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
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