Thursday, March 4, 2010
It is almost beyond belief how eagerly both companions started on their journey. They bore with brave and steadfast hearts the hardships of travel, as well as the want of necessary things; and upheld by the divine protection, they overcame the dangers and even the hazards to live, which, at that period especially, beset the steps of travellers. They were ever absorbed in the meditation of heavenly things, recalling to mind the acts of the Saints; and while they carried out their pious understanding, they vied with one another, and urged each other on to greater perfection.
They visited all the places of especial sanctity with sentiments of deep devotion, particularly those of Rome, which are hallowed by the blood of the Princes of the Apostles, and by that of many martyrs, and are renowned for the deeds and relics of numberless other heroes of Christ. At length, laden with spiritual treasures, they turned their faces homewards, and first Avertanus ended the course of his mortal life at Lucca. Romaeus, bereaved of his companion, longed ardently to rejoin him in Heaven. God heard his prayer, and Romaeus was stricken with the fever, which quickly increased in violence, so that he piously received the last Sacraments. Immediately afterwards he was rapt in ecstasy, wherein he saw the gentle Jesus coming to meet him with a multitude of Saints, amongst whom he recognized Avertanus. Upon the eight day after the death of the latter, Romaeus took flight to Heaven. His remains, together with those of his companion, first received public religious honor in the church of St Peter Major, without the walls. Afterwards they were carried from place to place, and they are now at length venerated in the church of Saints Paulinus and Donatus, where the faithful enjoy the fruits of his intercession. Pope Gregory the Sixteenth lately approved the honors which had been unceasingly paid him during four centuries, and graciously granted an Office in his honor."
O God! who hast led by the path of righteousness the Blessed Romaeus when he travelled with Thy servant, Avertanus; grant that, aided and protected by his intercession, we may be conducted to our country in Heaven."
-- Proper Offices of the Saints granted to the Barefooted Carmelites (1896)