Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL.
For Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever and ever. Amen
Meet St. Mercurius, who was born Philopater in 224 AD to pagan parents. When he was a child, his father had a vision and promptly received baptism along with his wife and Philopater, who was rechristened Mercurius. Mercurius’ father, rechristened Noah, was a war hero and POW. Upon Noah’s death, the Roman Emperor Decius elevated Mercurius to take his father’s place. Mercurius, despite his relative youth, was extremely courageous and a natural leader of men. When the Berbers attacked Rome, Emperor Decius himself rode out to fight, but when he saw how outnumbered the Romans were, he chickened out. It was Mercurius who had to give Decius manful encouragement, saying to Decius, “Do not be afraid, because God will destroy our enemies and will bring us victory.”
Several days into the battle, our old friend, St. Michael the Archangel appeared to Mercurius and gave him a sword (which is an ASSAULT WEAPON) and told him to go manfully kill Berbers with it. St. Michael guaranteed Mercurius victory, but also told him that he would eventually suffer and be martyred for Christ.
Sure enough, against all odds, Mercurius whupped the larger Berber force, Rome was saved and Decius made him a prince. Soon after Emperor Decius started persecuting Christians and summoned Mercurius to go offer incense with him to the pagan gods in thanks for delivering the victory against the Berbers. Mercurius quietly refused to participate. Decius got all pissy and demanded to know why. Mercurius, being a stone-cold man, and knowing full well that it meant his torture and death, looked Decius square in the eye and said:
Your Majesty, the victory was not due to dumb idols made by human hands. It was accomplished by the grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who sent His archangel to give me a sword and strengthened me. I cannot deny my God and worship statues.
Decius ordered Mercurius arrested, had him tortured multiple different ways, always trying to elicit a denial of Christ, but Mercurius being the stone-cold man that he was bore all of his tortures in silence – to a miraculous degree. Finally Decius had him beheaded on December 4, AD 250. Mercurius’ final act was to beg God’s forgiveness for his persecutors and executioners. Mercurius was 25 years old.
Oh, by the way, the Berbers are the people of Western Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali and Mauritania.
St. Mercurius, pray for us.