GENESIUS - ACTOR - MARTYR
Dear Saint Genesius,
of clowns and comedians,
dancers and mimes, magicians and juggler,
Patron of actors
in our films and on our most distinguished stages,
Patron of the
least of the vagabond players
eking out a meager existence,
ask God to bless them all abundantly, and hear my own
Legend has it
that you were an actor in Rome, performing in the great
where comedies and tragedies could last throughout a day,
and where powerful voices were needed, even though the
semicircular outdoor theatres were so formed as to amplify
the actors' words, and the mouths of the masks you wore
were shaped like megaphones.
Pray for me,
with your mighty actor's voice, good Genesius!
persecuted in your day,
and our faith was ridiculed in the plays.
You, a pagan, we are told, were playing
the role of a Christian when you suddenly threw off your
mask, and renounced your role
and your profession, startling your fellow actors by proclaiming
that you indeed wanted
to be baptized truly in the Christian faith.
Bravo for your
fellow performers were astonished,
and we learn that you were subsequently
put to death by order of the Emperor,
for publicly rejecting the state religion
of the pagan gods and the civil rulers.
Give me now,
I pray you, Saint Genesius,
the courage to stand up and profess my faith bravely should
the occasion arise, remembering your fearless courage.
The stones still
stand in the ancient theatres like those in which you
performed. You have sanctified these sites
with your testimony, your bravery,
and your blood.
pray for me to God Almighty, who has cast us in our various
roles on the stage of life.
Help me to persevere to the end of my earthly performance,
and to be received
by Our Lord and Master when I exit this life.
As I take my last bows and my final curtain falls, please
Genesius, assemble angels
to spirit away all my sins and blemishes
for God's forgiveness, and then send
volleys of applause into the skies,
that Christ may hear, and welcome me
into His kingdom.
All this I pray to You, Genesius,
in Our Savior's Holy Name.
Donn B. Murphy
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