“The only worthwhile striving is after the highest ideals: If you aim for an easy target, your standard will inevitably decline, and no progress is ever made, except through real effort and real suffering.” - Servant of God Fra' Andrew Bertie                                                                                                                                                 "Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God" - Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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THURSDAY 1st JULY - FEAST OF SAINT NICASIUS, MARTYR ON

Painting of the Saint in the Collegio in Malta

Nicasius was the grandson of one of the last emirs of Sicily, who had been converted by Roger of Normandy (or perhaps converted through his influence).  Nicasius was born about 1135 in Sicily, possibly in Palermo, into the Kameti family, later know as 'de Burgo'.

He joined the Order of Saint John as a knight, as did his brother Ferrandino. They answered the call of Roger des Moulins and travelled to the Holy Land where Nicasius was martyred in 1187. He fought in the great siege of Acre (1187-1191). According to one tradition he was captured there and beheaded with many others, including his brother.

According to another tradition, he was captured during the disastrous battle of The Horns of Hattin and was decapitated in the presence of Saladin after refusing to convert to Islam.

Saint Nicasius, as a Knight of Saint John,
you gave your life in the Holy Land in defense of Christendom.
Pray for the Order of Saint John and for peace in the Holy Land.

From the Collect
O God, every year you give us joy
In the commemoration of your martyr, blessed Nicasius:
Grant that through his prayers and example
the companions of our Order may grow in faith
and always follow you with all their hearts. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.