This morning, to the accompaniment of birdsong at Vigils, a splendid text of Saint Maximus of Turin. Some of you may recognize this altar from visits to the The Cloisters Museum in New York City.
Rightly then, because Christ is present on the altar, it is fitting to place the martyrs beneath the altar; because the Body of Christ is offered on the altar, it is fitting that the souls of the just should repose beneath the altar. And it is not without reason that the vindication of blood is claimed for the just in that very place where the Blood of Christ is poured out, even for sinners. It was then perfectly right, in virtue of their common destiny, to decide that the martyrs should be buried where the death of Christ is celebrated each day, as He Himself says: So often as you do this, you shall announce My death, even until I come. Yes, it is fitting that those who died for the death of Christ should repose in the mystery of the sacrament of His death.