Saturday, December 31, 2011


St. Ergnad

Feastday: January 8
5th century

Ergnad of Ulster V (AC)
(also known as Ercnacta)
Born in Ulster, Ireland in the 5th century. Irish nun who received the veil from St. Patrick. In some lists she is called Ercnacta. She followed the monastic tradition of performing prayer and penance in seclusion.


St. Carterius

Feastday: January 8

Priest martyr of Caesarea in Cappadocia. He suffered in the persecution conducted by Emperor Diocletian.

Saint Carterius lived during the reign of Diocletian, and was a teacher in Caesarea of Cappadocia. He stood before a statue of Serapis and prayed to Christ, and the idol shattered to pieces. The procurator Urbanus ordered St Carterius to be tortured and then beheaded. Some, however, say he was killed with a spear.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Born 410
Southern Italy or Africa
Died 8 January 482
Favianae, Noricum

Severinus of Noricum ( 410-482) is a Roman Catholic saint, known as the "Apostle to Noricum". It has been speculated that he was born in either Southern Italy or in the Roman province of Africa, after the death of Attila in 453. Severinus himself refused to discuss his personal history before his appearance along the Danube in Noricum. However, he did mention experiences with eastern desert monasticism, and his vita draws connections between Severinus and St. Anthony of Egypt.

The mysterious high-born Severinus is first recorded as travelling along the Danube in Noricum and Bavaria, preaching Christianity, procuring supplies for the starving, redeeming captives and establishing monasteries at Passau and Favianae, and hospices in the chaotic territories that were ravaged by the Great Migrations, sleeping on sackcloth and fasting severely. His efforts seem to have won him wide respect, including that of the Germanic chieftain Odoacer. Eugippius credits him with the prediction that Odoacer would become king of Rome. However, Severinus warned that Odoacer would rule not more than fourteen years.
The coat of arms of San Severo, Apulia, feature Saint Severinus.

Severinus also supposedly prophesied the destruction of Astura, Austria by the Huns under Attila. He established refugee centers for people displaced by the invasion, and founded monasteries to re-establish spirituality and preserve learning in the stricken region.

He died at in his monastic cell at Favianae while singing Psalm 150. Six years after his death, his monks were driven from their abbey, and his body was taken to Italy, where it was at first kept in the Castel dell'Ovo, Naples, then eventually interred at the Benedictine monastery rededicated to him, the Abbey of San Severino near Naples.

from the book of Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume I: January.
The Lives of the Saints.  1866.

January 8
St. Severinus, Abbot, and Apostle of Noricum, or Austria

         From his life, by Eugippius his disciple, who was present at his death. See Tillemont, T. 16. p. 168. Lambecius Bibl. Vend. T. 1. p. 28. and Bollandus, p. 497.

A.D. 482.

WE know nothing of the birth or country of this saint. From the purity of his Latin, he was generally supposed to be a Roman; and his care to conceal what he was according to the world, was taken for a proof of his humility, and a presumption that he was a person of birth. He spent the first part of his life in the deserts of the East; but inflamed with an ardent zeal for the glory of God, he left his retreat to preach the gospel in the North. At first he came to Astures, now Stokeraw, situate above Vienna; but finding the people hardened in vice, he foretold the punishment God had prepared for them, and repaired to Comagenes, now Haynburg on the Danube, eight leagues westward of Vienna. It was not long ere his prophecy was verified; for Astures was laid waste, and the inhabitants destroyed by the sword of the Huns, soon after the death of Attila. St. Severinus’s ancient host with great danger made his escape to him at Comagenes. By the accomplishment of this prophecy, and by several miracles he wrought, the name of the saint became famous. Favianes, a city on the Danube, twenty leagues from Vienna, distressed by a terrible famine, implored his assistance. Saint Severinus preached penance among them with great fruit, and he so effectually threatened with the divine vengeance a certain rich woman, who had hoarded up a great quantity of provisions, that she distributed all her stores amongst the poor. Soon after his arrival, the ice of the Danube and the Ins breaking, the country was abundantly supplied by barges up the rivers. Another time by his prayers he chased away the locusts, which by their swarms had threatened with devastation the whole produce of the year. He wrought many miracles; yet never healed the sore eyes of Bonosus, the dearest to him of his disciples, who spent forty years in almost continual prayer, without any abatement of his fervour. The holy man never ceased to exhort all to repentance and piety; he redeemed captives, relieved the oppressed, was a father to the poor, cured the sick, mitigated, or averted public calamities, and brought a blessing wherever he came. Many cities desired him for their bishop, but he withstood their importunities by urging, that it was sufficient he had relinquished his dear solitude for their instruction and comfort.  
  He established many monasteries, of which the most considerable was one on the banks of the Danube, near Vienna; but he made none of them the place of his constant abode, often shutting himself up in an hermitage four leagues from his community, where he wholly devoted himself to contemplation. He never eat till after sunset, unless on great festivals. In Lent he eat only once a week. His bed was sackcloth spread on the floor in his oratory. He always walked barefoot, even when the Danube was frozen. Many kings and princes of the Barbarians came to visit him, and among them Odoacer, king of the Heruli, then on his march for Italy. The saint’s cell was so low that Odoacer could not stand upright in it. St. Severinus told him that the kingdom he was going to conquer would shortly be his; and Odoacer seeing himself, soon after master of Italy, sent honorable letters to the saint, promising him all he was pleased to ask; but Severinus only desired of him the restoration of a certain banished man. Having foretold his death long before it happened, he fell ill of a pleurisy on the 5th of January, and on the fourth day of his illness, having received the viaticum, and arming his whole body with the sign of the cross, and repeating that verse of the psalmist, Let every spirit praise the Lord, 1 he closed his eyes and expired in the year 482. Six years after, his disciples, obliged by the incursions of Barbarians, retired with his relics into Italy, and deposited them at Luculano, near Naples, where a great monastery was built, of which Eugippius, his disciple, and author of his life, was soon after made the second abbot. In the year 910 they were translated to Naples, where to this day they are honoured in a Benedictin abbey, which bears his name. The Roman and other Martyrologies place his festival on this day, as being that of his death.  
  A perfect spirit of sincere humility is the spirit of the most sublime and heroic degree of Christian virtue and perfection. As the great work of the sanctification of our souls is to be begun by humility, so must it be completed by the same. Humility invites the Holy Ghost into the soul, and prepares her to receive his graces; and from the most perfect charity, which he infuses, she derives a new interior light, and an experimental knowledge of God and herself, with an infused humility far clearer in the light of the understanding, in which she sees God’s infinite greatness, and her own total insufficiency, baseness, and nothingness, after quite a new manner; and in which she conceives a relish of contempt and humiliations as her due, feels a secret sentiment of joy in suffering them, sincerely loves her own abjection, dependence, and correction, dreads the esteem and praises of others, as snares by which a mortal poison may imperceptibly insinuate itself into her affections, and deprive her of the divine grace; is so far from preferring herself to any one, that she always places herself below all creatures, is almost sunk in the deep abyss of her own nothingness, never speaks of herself to her own advantage, or affects a show of modesty in order to appear humble before men; in all good, gives the entire glory to God alone, and as to herself, glories only in her infirmities, pleasing herself in her own weakness and nothingness, rejoicing that God is the great all in her and in all creatures.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


St. Deacon

Feastday: January 8
In Libya, the holy martyrs Theophilus, deacon, and Helladius, who, after having their bodies lacerated and cut with sharp pieces of earthenware, were cast into the fire, and rendered their souls unto God.

Two martyrs put to death in Libya, Africa. They were killed by being thrown into a furnace. Theophilus was a deacon and Helladius was a layman.


St. Theophilus

Feastday: January 8
In Libya, the holy martyrs Theophilus, deacon, and Helladius, who, after having their bodies lacerated and cut with sharp pieces of earthenware, were cast into the fire, and rendered their souls unto God.

Two martyrs put to death in Libya, Africa. They were killed by being thrown into a furnace. Theophilus was a deacon and Helladius was a layman.


St. Helladius

Feastday: January 8
In Libya, the holy martyrs Theophilus, deacon, and Helladius, who, after having their bodies lacerated and cut with sharp pieces of earthenware, were cast into the fire, and rendered their souls unto God.

Two martyrs put to death in Libya, Africa. They were killed by being thrown into a furnace. Theophilus was a deacon and Helladius was a layman.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


St. Wulsin
Feastday: January 8

Wulsin Jan 8 + 1002. A monk whom St Dunstan loved as a son and made Abbot of Westminster in 980. In 993 he became Bishop of Sherborne.

Wulsin (d. 1002) + Benedictine bishop and monk also called Ultius and Vulsin. A disciple of St. Dunstan, he was named by the saint to serve as superior over the restored community of Westminster, England, circa 960, and eventually became abbot in 980. In 993 he was named bishop of  Sherborne, although he remained abbot of Westminster. Feast day: January 8.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


St. Atticus  patriarch of Constantinople
Feastday: January 8

Bishop and opponent of St. John Chrysostom. Atticus was born in Sebaste. lie was trained in a heretical sect but converted and was ordained in Constantinople. He and one Arsacacius aided in deposing St. John Chrysostom from the see of Constantinople at the Council of the Oak in 405. Atticus succeeded to the see of Constantinople in 406, recognized by Pope St. Innocent I. He was a tireless foe of heretics, called a "true successor of Chrysostom" by Pope St. Celestine I. Atticus died in Constantinople on October 10.
Commemorated on January 8

Born in Sebaste in Armenia, he was reared by monks who held to the heresy of Macedonius, which denied the uncreated divinity of the Holy Spirit; but when he came of age he rejected this error and embraced the Orthodox faith. He settled in Constantinople and became a priest in the Great Church. Though he had little formal education, his amazing memory, his zeal for Christ, and his powerful sermons recommended him to all, and he was elected Patriarch in 406, during the reign of the Emperor Arcadius. He served as shepherd to the Church for twenty years, ruling always with wisdom and moderation. Though he was unbending in upholding the Faith exactly, he took a conciliatory, persuasive approach to heretics and schismatics; in this way he was able to restore many to the Church rather than driving them away. His best-known single act is his restoration of the name of St John Chrysostom to the diptychs. Saint John had been unjustly denied commemoration in the Patriarchate since his exile, which had led to a schism; restoration of his commemoration not only corrected a grave injustice but healed a schism. Saint Atticus also presided over the rededication of the Agia Sophia, which had been burned in 404 in the rioting that followed St John Chrysostom's exile. He reposed in peace in 425.


St. Athelm

Feastday: January 8

Archbishop of Canterbury and uncle of St. Dunstan. A Benedictine, Atheim served as a monk at Glastonbury, England, becoming abbot of the famous monastery. In 909, Athelm was named the first bishop of Wells. He became the archbishop of Canterbury in 914.

Athelhelm (Athelm) Jan 8 + 923. Paternal uncle of St Dunstan. A monk and then Abbot of Glastonbury in England, he became first Bishop of Wells in Somerset and in 923 twenty-first Archbishop of Canterbury.


St. Albert of Cashel
Feastday: January 8
Patron of Cashel, Ireland

Patron saint of Cashel, Ireland. Listed traditionally as an Englishman who labored in Ireland and then in Bavaria, Albert went to Jerusalem and died in Regensburg on his return journey.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Saint Apollinaris Claudius
Apologist and Bishop of Hierapolis
Died 2nd century
Feast January 8

Saint Apollinaris Claudius, otherwise Apollinaris of Hierapolis or Apollinaris the Apologist, was a Christian leader and writer of the 2nd century.

A Christian apologist, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia in the second century. He became famous for his polemical treatises against the heretics of  his day, whose errors he showed to be entirely borrowed from the pagans. He wrote two books against the Jews, five against the pagans, and two on "Truth." In 177 he published an eloquent "Apologia" for the Christians, addressed to Marcus Aurelius, and appealing to the Emperor's own  experience with the "Thundering Legion", whose prayers won him the victory over the Quadi. The exact date of his death is not known, but it was probably while Marcus Aurelius was still Emperor. None of his writings is extant. His feast is  8 January.


St. Thorfinn Feastday: January 8 Thorfinn of Hamar (died 1285) was the Bishop of the Ancient Diocese of Hamar in medieval Norway. Thorfinn was born at Trondheim in Norway, and may have been a Cistercian monk before becoming Bishop of Hamar. Although he achieved a fair amount of fame as a saint, comparatively few details of his life are clearly known. In the year 1285, there died in the Cistercian monastery at TerDoest, near Bruges, a Norwegian bishop named Thorfinn. He had never attracted particular attention and was soon forgotten. But over fifty years later, in the course of some building operations, his tomb in the Church was opened and it was reported that the remains gave out a strong and pleasing spell. The Abbot made inquiries and found that one of his monks, and aged man named Walter de Muda, remembered Bishop Thorfinn staying in there monastery and the impression he had made of gentle goodness combined with strength. Father Walter had in fact, written a poem about him after his death and hung it up over his tomb. It was then found that the parchment was still there, none the worse for the passage of time. This was taken as a direction from on high that the Bishop's memory was to be perpetuated, and Father Walter was instructed to write down his recollections of him. For all that, there is little enough known about St. Thorfinn. He was a Trondhjem man and perhaps was a Canon of the Cathedral of Nidaros, since there was such a one named Thorfinn among those who witnessed the agreement of Tonsborg in 1277. This was an agreement between King Magnus VI and the Archbishop of Nidaros confirming certain privileges of the clergy, the freedom of episcopal elections and similar matters. Some years later, King Eric repudiated this agreement, and a fierce dispute between Church and state ensued. Eventually the King outlawed the Archbishop, John, and his two chief supporters, Bishop Andrew of Oslow and Bishop Thorfinn of Hamar. Bishop Thorfinn, after many hardships, including shipwreck, made his way to the Abbey of TerDoest in Flanders, which had a number of contacts with the Norwegian Church. It is possible that he had been there before, and there is some reason to suppose he was himself a Cistercian of the Abbey of Tautra, near Nidaros. After a visit to Rome he went to TerDoest, in bad health. Indeed, though probably still a youngish man, he saw death approaching and so made his will; he had little to leave, but what there was, he divided between his mother, his brothers and sisters, and certain monasteries, churches and charities in his dioceses. He died shortly after on January 8, 1285. After his recall to the memory of man as mentioned in the opening paragraph of this notice, miracles were reported at his tomb and St. Thorfinn was venerated by the Cistercians and around Bruges. In our own day, his memory has been revived among the few Catholics of Norway, and his feast is observed in his episcopal city of Hamar. The tradition of Thorfinn's holiness ultimately rests on the poem of Walter de Muda, where he appeared as a kind, patient, generous man, whose mild exterior covered a firm will against whatever he esteemed to
be evil and ungodly. His feast day is January 8th.