Monday, September 11, 2006
Two images of the young martyr, Saint Tarcissus. The bottom one I used as the title page device in my edition of the Frederick Rolfe poem. The top image is one I bought just recently.
S. Baring-Gould has this entry on S. Tharsicius (the spelling has always been problematic):
"Tharsicius, an acolyte, was bearing the body of Jesus Christ in the B. Sacrament tot he Christian prisoners during the persecution of Valerian and Gallienus, when he was arrested by the pagan rabble on his way, and asked what he bore so reverently. But he refused to reveal the sacred mystery, whereupon he was assailed by the mob with sticks and stones. He hastily consumed the sacred gift he was bearing and then sank covered with blood on the pavement. The mob rushed on him, tore his arms apart, rent his clothes, and sought, but found nothing. He was taken up by some of the faithful, and buried in the cemetary of S. Calixtus on the Appian Way. A touching picture of his martyrdom has been drawn by Cardinal Wiseman in his story of Fabiola. The sepulchre of S. Tharsicius was adorned and inscribed with an epitaph by Pope S. Damasus." - Lives of the Saints