St. Marcellus Jan 16

St Marcellus in stableSt. Marcellus of Rome was Pope from the reign of Constantius and Galerius to that of Maxentius. At his suggestion the Roman lady Lucina willed her property to God’s Church. Because the number of the faithful in the city had increased, he set up new parishes and divided the City into various districts.
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This angered Maxentius and he threatened Marcellus with heavy punishments unless he would abandon his pontificate and sacrifice to idols. The Pope resisted steadfastly, and so Maxentius had him sent to the stable to take care of the beasts fed at the public expense. Marcellus spent nine months there, and since he could not be present in his parishes in person, he visited them by his letters. He was rescued from this place by some clerics and given hospitality by Lucina in whose house he dedicated a church where he preached to the faithful. Then Maxentius ordered the beasts moved from the stable to the church, so that Marcellus again had to take care of them. The foul atmosphere of the place and his hardships soon proved fatal to Marcellus.
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He died in the Lord, and was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Salarian Way by blessed Lucina, on January 16.  1961 Roman Breviary