Tuesday, March 27, 2012


St. Sabinian of Troyes
Born Samos
Died Rilly-Sainte-Syre, near Troyes

Feast day: January 29
Died: 275

Martyr and brother of St. Sabina, also listed as Savinian.

 Born in Samos; died at Rilly near Troyes, France, c. 275. Disenchanted with the society and morals of his native land, the pagan Sabinian journeyed to Gaul. At Troyes he was converted and baptized by Saint Patroclus who was later martyred c. 259. Saint Sabinian carried on the work of Patroclus for another 26 years or so. He preached and baptized in the region of the upper Seine, and many were converted. When Sabinian was brought to judgement before the Emperor Aurelian, he mocked the imperial threats and refused to renounce his Christian faith. Arrows and burning failed to kill him, however, and eventually he was beheaded (Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson)

 Saint Sabinian is generally pictured with his throat pierced by a sword; sometimes with his sister Saint Sabina of Troyes. They are, of course, venerated in Troyes

Monday, March 26, 2012


Tombs of Saints Eucharius and Valerius. St. Matthias Abbey, Trier.

St. Valerius of Trèves

Feastday: January 29
Died: 320

Bishop of Trier, Germany. According to tradition, he was a disciple of St. Peter, although it is known that he was actually bishop during the fourth century.

According to an ancient legend, he was a follower of Saint Eucharius, the first bishop of Trier. Eucharius was sent to Gaul by Saint Peter as bishop, together with the deacon Valerius and the subdeacon Maternus, to preach the Gospel.

They came to the Rhine and to Ellelum (Ehl) in Alsace, where Maternus died. His two companions hastened back to St. Peter and begged him to restore the dead man to life. St. Peter gave his pastoral staff to Eucharius, and, upon being touched with it, Maternus, who had been in his grave for forty days, returned to life. The Gentiles were then converted in large numbers. After founding many churches the three companions went to Trier where the work of evangelization progressed so rapidly that Eucharius chose that city for his episcopal residence. Among other miracles related in the legend he raised a dead person to life. An angel announced to him his approaching death and pointed out Valerius as his successor. Eucharius died on December 8, having been bishop for twenty-five years, and was interred in the church of St. John outside the city.

Valerius was bishop for fifteen years and was succeeded by Maternus, who had in the meantime founded the dioceses of Cologne and Tongeren, being bishop altogether for forty years. The staff of St. Peter, with which he had been raised to life, was preserved at Cologne till the end of the tenth century when the upper half was presented to Trier, and was afterwards taken to Prague by Emperor Charles IV.


St. Voloc

Feastday: January 29
Died: 724

Irish missionary bishop. He worked to propagate the Christian faith throughout Scotland.


St. Aquilinus
Born Würzburg
Died 650 or 1015 AD Milan

Feast day: January 29

Aquilinus was born in Bavaria. He left his native land to avoid being made a bishop, went to Italy and settled in Milan. A vigorous opponent of Arianism, he was so effective in his preaching against the heresy that a group of Arians murdered him. He died in 650. His feast day is January 29th.

 Born in Bavaria; died in Milan, 650. Trying to escape appointment to high ecclesiastical office in Cologne, Saint Aquilinus became a wandering preacher against Arianism. He first

went to Paris and then to Milan, where he was assassinated by Arians. His relics are venerated in Milan (Benedictines). Saint Aquilinus is pictured with a sword through his neck


St. Blath

Feastday: January 29
Died: 523

The cook in St. Brigid's convent, in Kildare, Ireland, also called Flora. She was renowned for her holiness and for her steadfast loyalty to St. Brigid in good times and in bad.

Blath of Kildare
 (also known as Flora)
 Died 523. Saint Blath was the lay-sister who served as cook at Saint Brigid's convent in Kildare. She earned a reputation for heroic sanctity, and of her cooking it is said that

bread and bacon at Brigid's table were better than a banquet elsewhere


Saint Dallan Forghaill
Born c. 530 Magh Slécht, County Cavan, Ireland
Died 598  monastery of Inniskeel, Donegal

Feast day: January 29
Died: 598

Dallan Forgaill (6th.cent.) A kinsman of St. Edan of Fer
ns, born in Connaught and a great scholar who, through his application to study, became blind. He wrote a poem in honour of St. Columba, called Ambra Choluim Kille which was only published after St. Columba?s death. The legend averring that on its publication Dallan?s sight was restored to him is found in several authors. St. Dallan was murdered at Triscoel by pirates (AD 598) and his head thrown into the sea. It was recovered and miraculously reunited to his body.

Dallán Forgaill's given name was Eochaid, and his mother was called Forchella. He was the son of Colla, a descendant of the legendary High King Colla Uais. His nickname, Dallán ("little blind one"), was earned after he lost his sight,[2], reputedly as a result of studying intensively.

He was born in Maigen (now Ballyconnell), at the eastern edge of the territory of the Masraige of Magh Slécht in modern County Cavan. He was not a member of the Masraige but belonged to a branch of the Airgíalla called the Fir Lurg, who were in the process of spreading southwards into Fermanagh and Cavan. (The barony of Lurg in County Fermanagh was named after them) His was a first cousin of Saint Mogue and was a fourth cousin of Saint Tigernach of Clones.

He died in 598 when pirates broke into the island monastery of Inniskeel, County Donegal, where he is buried. He was reportedly beheaded, and it is also said that God reattached his head to his body after he was martyred.[4] He was acclaimed a saint in the early 11th century, during the reign of the High King Máel Sechnaill mac Domnaill.A medieval poem entitled "On the breaking up of a School" composed by Tadhg Og O Huiginn, c.1400, refers to the death of Dallán which caused his school to break up and the to students disperse as they would accept no other master.In a list of ancient Irish authors contained in the Book of Ballymote, Dallán is called “grandson of testimony”


Blessed Richard the Sacrist,
Feast day: January 28
 Died after 1142. This Richard was also English by birth and also became a Cistercian monk. He, however, was the sacristan of the abbey of Dundrennan in Kirkcudbrightshire


Peter Thomas,
Feast day: January 28
 Born in Breil, Gascony, France, c. 1305; died January 6, 1366; cultus approved in 1608; feast day was January 25.

 Saint Peter was a French Carmelite, who spent his life in diplomacy. In 1342, he was sent to Avignon a procurator of his order. There he entered the service of the pope and went on diplomatic missions to Italy, Serbia, Hungary, and the Near East. He was successively appointed the bishop of Patti and Lipari (1354), and Coron (Morea; 1359), archbishop of Candia (1363), and in 1364 became the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople.

 On behalf of Pope Urban V and with the support of King Peter I of Cyprus, he led a crusade against the Turks. In an unsuccessful attack on Alexandria, Peter was wounded and died three months later on Cyprus. Throughout his active life, he remained true to the spirit of his contemplative profession (Benedictines).

 In art, Saint Peter Thomas is portrayed as an elderly Carmelite wearing a missioner's cross and hat, carrying a staff, with a ray of light shining on the heart of the Virgin Mary on his breast. Sometimes he may be shown reading with a hat and staff near at hand


Paulinus of Aquileia
Feast day: January 28
 Born at Cividale (near Fruili), Italy, c. 726; died at Aquileia, Italy, 804; feast day formerly January 11. Although Saint Paulinus was born on a farm to parents of modest means, himself tilled the soil, and studied on his own in his leisure, he was well-educated and earn a reputation as a scholar. For this reason he was summoned to Charlemagne's court in 776 after the destruction of the Lombard Kingdom in 774. Here he became fast friends with Blessed Alcuin. In 784, Paulinus was elevated to patriarch of Aquileia, near his hometown in northern Italy. During his episcopacy Paulinus was active. He took part in several church councils in which he took the lead in defending the filioque, and competently wrote much against Adoptionism, a heresy which was then spreading throughout Spain. He also carried on missionary work among the Avars, but, in concert with Pepin of Italy and the Danubian bishops, he condemned the baptism of uninstructed or unwilling converts. In addition to theological tracts, Paulinus wrote poems, hymns, and a book of spiritual direction for use by Duke Henry of Friuli


Blessed Mary of Pisa, Widow, OP Tertiary (AC)
 (also known as Catherine Mancini)
 Born in Pisa, Italy, 1355; died 1431; cultus confirmed by Pius IX in 1855; feast day formerly on December 22.
Feast day: January 28
 Almost from the moment Catherine Mancini was born into that noble family she began enjoying the miraculous favors with which her life was filled. At the age of three, she was warned by some heavenly agency that the porch on which she had been placed by her nurse was unsafe. Her cries attracted the nurse's attention, and they had barely left the porch when it collapsed. She also was able to see her guardian angel from her childhood.

 When she was 5, she beheld in an ecstasy the dungeon of a palace in Pisa in which Blessed Peter Gambacorta, one of the leading citizens, was being tortured. At Catherine's prayer, the rope broke and the man was released. Our Lady told the little girl to say prayers every day for this man, because he would one day be her benefactor.

 Catherine would have much preferred the religious life to marriage, but she obeyed her parents and was married at the age of 12. Widowed at 16, she was compelled to marry again. Of her seven children, only one survived the death of her second husband, and Catherine learned through a vision that this child, too, was soon to be taken from her. Thus she found herself, at age 24, twice widowed and bereft of all seven of her children. Refusing a third marriage, she devoted herself to prayer and works of charity.

 She soon worked out for herself a severe schedule of prayers and good works, fasting, and mortifications. She tended the sick and the poor, bringing them into her own home and regarding them as our Lord Himself. She gave her goods to the poor and labored for them with her own hands. Our Lord was pleased to show her that He approved of her works by appearing to her in the guise of a poor young man, sick, and in need of both food and medicine. She carefully dressed his wounds, and she was rewarded by the revelation that it was in reality her Redeemer whom she had served.

 Saint Catherine of Siena visited Pisa at about this time, and the two saintly women were drawn together into a holy friendship. As they prayed together in the Dominican church one day, they were surrounded by a bright cloud, out of which flew a white dove. They conversed joyfully on spiritual matters, and were mutually strengthened by the meeting.

 On the advice of Saint Catherine of Siena, Catherine Mancini retired to the enclosed Santa Croce convent of the Second Order. In religion, she was given the name Mary, by which she is usually known. She embraced the religious life in all its primitive austerity and reformed the convent. With Blessed Clare Gambacorta and a few other members of the convent, she founded a new and much more austere house, which had been built by Peter Gambacorta. Our Lady's prophecy of his benefaction was thus fulfilled.

 Blessed Mary was favored with many visions and was in almost constant prayer. She became prioress of the house on the death of her friend Blessed Clare Gambacorta, and ruled it with justice and holiness until her death


Martyrs of Alexandria
Feast day: January 28
 Died 356. The R.M. mentions an anonymous group of martyrs in Alexandria, Egypt, who were order to be put to death by an Arian officer while they were attending a Mass offered by Saint Athanasius. Athanasius himself managed to escape


Leonidas and Companions
Feast day: January 28
 Died 304. These were martyrs in a native of the Thebaid (Egypt) under Diocletian who are associated with Saints Philemon and Apollonius .


John the Sage
Feast day: January 28
 11th century. A 19th-century German book, Die Heiligen Englands (edited by F. Liebermann), mentions Saint John as buried at Malmesbury with Maedub and Saint Aldhelm. This may be the John whose tomb William of Malmesbury described and whose epitaph he transcribed. Malmesbury thought this John might be John Scotus Erigena, the 9th-century Irish philosopher, and that he was killed by the pens of his students after settling in Malmesbury. This may be a confusion with another saint. He manner of martyrdom may have been borrowed from the acta of Saint Cassian of Imola. He is venerated at Malmesbury


Blessed James the Almsgiver
Feast day: January 28
 Born near Chiusi, Lombardy, Italy; died 1304. James studied law but became a priest upon attaining his majority. He bought and restored a ruined hospital, where he tended the sick and gave free legal advice. Having discovered that the former revenues of this hospital had been unjustly appropriated, he applied to the bishop of Chiusi for restitution, but was refused. James then proceeded to file suit against the diocese and won his case both in civil and ecclesiastical courts. The bishop was not very happy; he retaliated by hiring assassins who murdered James


Blessed Giles of Lorenzana, OFM
Feast day: January 28
 Born in Lorenzana, Naples, Italy, c. 1443; died 1518; cultus approved in 1880. Blessed Giles began life as a farmhand in Naples, then became a Franciscan lay-brother and was allowed to live as a hermit in the garden of the friary. He is famous for his love of animals


Reign 768–814
Coronation Noyon, 9 October 768
Pavia, 10 July 774
 Rome, 25 December 801

Father Pepin the Short
Mother Bertrada of Laon
Born 2 April 742  Liège
Died 28 January 814 (aged around 71) Aachen.

Burial Aachen Cathedral
Beatified 814, Aachen by a court bishop, later confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV
Feast day: January 28.

Blessed Charlemagne, Emperor ..

 Born December 25, 742; died 814; cultus confirmed by Benedict XIV. Charlemagne was the son of Pepin the Short, king of the Franks, on Christmas Day. Popular devotion to Charlemagne took root chiefly at the time of the great quarrel among the pope, Frederick Barbarossa, and the antipope Paschal III. Charlemagne's name is a somewhat extraordinary one to find among the beati. In France devotion to Charlemagne was made compulsory by the state in 1475 (though his memorial is no longer celebrated there liturgically), and his feast is still observed in several German dioceses. Saint Joan of Arc associated him with Saint Louis in her prayers.

 He was anointed with his father and his brother Carloman by Pope Stephen II in 754. When Pepin died in 768, Charlemagne and Carloman divided the kingdom. With the death of Carloman in 771, he became the sole ruler.

 For the next 28 years, he expanded his empire. At the request of Hadrian I, he subdued Lombardy, forcing King Desiderius to retire to a monastery. He assumed the Lombardy crown and was rewarded by the pope with the title "patricius."

 From 772 to 785, he campaigned against the Saxons. He conquered Bavaria, the Avar kingdom, and Pannonia (Hungary). At home, Charlemagne organized and reformed the government, standardizing the laws, building a stable administration, and employing missi dominici, itinerant royal legates.

 He furthered ecclesiastical reforms and became a patron of letters, which resulted in his reign being labelled "the Carolingian Renaissance." He commissioned Alcuin to write against the Adoptionist heretics led by Felix of Urgel. He spurred learning by acting as a patron to the scholars who formed the Palace School.

 It was primarily due to Charlemagne's efforts--not the pope's--that the hierarchy, discipline, and unity of liturgy were restored; that doctrine was defined; and that education was encouraged. It is these achievements rather than his conquests that earned him fame. The high point of his reign was his coronation as the first Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in 800.

 Charlemagne's cultus developed about 1166 under the influence of Frederick Barbarossa and the antipope Paschal III. Nevertheless, Benedict XIV, before ascending the Chair of Peter, decided that the former emperor was entitled to be called "blessed" because he provided the Church with such great protection (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, White).

 In art, Charlemagne is generally portrayed as emperor, wearing the imperial crown with an orb, sword, eagle, and lilies on his shield. At times, he may be shown (1) with a dog at his feet; (2) with four philosophers around him; (3) SS. Peter and Paul appearing to him; or (4) near the Church of Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle).

 Patron of learning (Gill), brokers, teachers, tin-founders, and the University of Paris (Roeder). He is venerated at Aachen, Germany


Blessed Antony of Amandola,

Feast day:January 29
 Born in Amandola in the Marches of Ancona, Italy, c. 1355; died 1450; cultus confirmed in 1759. Antony joined the Augustinian hermits and followed in the footsteps of his friend Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. He is honored primarily in Ancona and by the Augustinians 

Blessed Anthony of Amandola ninety-five years, spent in strict and consistent asceticism, remind people that "when one chooses the narrow way, it does not make sense to choose the most comfortable of the narrow ways." 

Anthony was born at Amandola (Ascoli Piceno), Italy, on 17 January 1355. Attracted by the reputation of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino, he entered the Augustinian Order and distinguished himself for his humility, spirit of obedience, and mortification, as well as his apostolic zeal. Around the year 1385 he was assigned to the monastery at Tolentino where he served as sacristan in the church of his beloved Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. In 1397 he went to southern Italy, possibly to undertake the preaching ministry. In 1400 he returned to Amandola where, through his initiative, the new Augustinian monastery with its adjoining church dedicated to Saint Augustine was constructed. After his death the church was renamed in Anthony's memory. 

 Anthony has been venerated ever since his death at Amandola on 25 January 1450. It is recorded in the municipal acts of the city that, as early as 1460, the anniversary of his death was observed as a feast and not a work day. His incorrupt body is exposed for public veneration by the faithful in the church of Saint Augustine in Amandola. 

 The Augustinian Family celebrates his feast on 29 January.


Blessed Bartholomew Aiutamicristo, OSB Cam., Hermit
Feast day: January 28
 Born in Pisa; died 1224; cultus approved in 1857. Bartholomew received the surname 'Aiutamicristo' ("Christ help me") because that ejaculation was ever on his lips. Bartholomew was a Camaldolese lay-brother at the monastery of San Frediano in Pisa


St. Jerome Lou-Tin-Mei

Feast day: January 28
1811 - 1858
Beatified By: 2 May 1909 by Pope Saint Pius X
Canonized By: 1 October 2000 by Pope John Paul II

Layman and Chinese Martyr


Saint Antimus 
Antimus of Brantôme, OSB, Abbot 
Feast day: January 28
 8th century. Saint Antimus was one of the first abbots of Brantôme, an monastery founded by Blessed Charlemagne in 769 and destroyed by the Norman invaders in 817 


St. Peter Nolasco

Feast day: January 28
1189 - 1256

With St. Raymond of Penafort, founder of the Order of Mercedarians, the religious community which sent members as ransom for Christian prisoners in the hands of the Saracens. Details of his life are uncertain, but he was probably a native of Languedoc, France. After taking part in the crusade against the heretic Albigensians of southern France, he became a tutor of King James I of Aragon and then settled at Barcelona. There he became friends with St. Raymond of Penafort, and in 1218, with the support of James I, they laid the foundation for the Mercedarians, devoted to the ransoming of Christian captives. Twice Peter went to Africa to serve as a captive, and it was reported that during one journey to Granada and Valencia he won the release from Moorish jails of some four hundred captive Christians. Retiring in 1249, he was followed as head of the order by William of Bas. He was canonized by Pope Urban VIII in 1628. His feast day is now confined to local calendars.

Peter Nolasco, Founder 
 Born at Mas-des-Saintes Puelles (Languedoc), France, (or Barcelona, Spain?) c. 1189; died in Barcelona, Spain, December 25, 1258; canonized in 1628; feast extended to the universal Church in 1664; feast day formerly on January 31. Peter Nolasco's family was either mercantile or a distinguished one, possessing great estates, all of which Peter inherited at age 15 upon the death of his father. It is said that he consecrated himself to a life of celibacy and service to the poor when he was still quite young. At his father's death he went to Barcelona, Spain, and quickly exhausted his entire estate paying ransoms to the Moors of Spain for the release of Christian prisoners. (Tabor relates that he was one of the converts of Saint John of Matha.) 

 In response to a vision (which according to legend was experienced also by Saint Raymond of Peñafort and King James of Aragon), Peter decided to found a religious congregation dedicated to ransoming Christian slaves from the ruling Moors. The Order of Our Lady of Ransom (the Mercedarians) developed from the decision, with the help of Saint Raymond, Peter's spiritual director, who is considered the cofounder of the order. With the approval of Bishop Berengarius of Barcelona, Peter more actively encouraged others to contribute large sums to this same charity. Confirmation of its foundation and rule was given by Pope Gregory IX in 1235. 

 The exact year of the founding of the order is unknown (sometime between 1218 and 1234) and there is very little available on the life of this founder because there are so many spurious documents on his life. 

 In addition to the three traditional religious vows, the Mercedarians took a fourth--to give themselves if necessary in exchange for a slave. Otherwise, the rule followed that of the Augustinians. Peter travelled to Moorish-dominated Spain several times and to Algeria, where he was imprisoned for a while. It is claimed that he redeemed 400 Christians during one trip to Valencia and Granada. He resigned his position as master general in 1249-- several years before his own death (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Tabor). 

 In art, Saint Peter is an old man dressed in the white Mercedarian habit with the arms of Aragon on the breast (Roeder, Tabor) , holding a bell on which is the image of the Blessed Virgin. Sometimes he may be shown (1) with the king watching the large bell being dug up with the image of the Virgin; (2) as the Virgin gives him as scapular; (3) holding a chain or surrounded by captives; (4) wearing a large pilgrim's hat, in a boat with boatmen; (5) witnessing a vision of heaven shown to him by an angel; (6) having a vision of Saint Peter, crucified upside-down; (7) as two angels carry him to the altar; or (8) with a banner bearing a red cross (Roeder). 

 He is especially venerated in Barcelona (Roeder). A series of paintings on Saint Peter by Zurbarán can be found in the Prado Museum of Madrid 


Joseph Freinademetz, China missionary
Born April 15, 1852Oies, Badia, Dolomites
Died January 28, 1908 (aged 55) Taikia, South Shandong
Beatified 19 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI
Canonized October 5, 2003 by Pope John Paul II
Feast day: January 28

Saint Joseph Freinademetz as a member of the Society of the Divine Word, was a missionary in China.

COPY FROM  http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20031005_freinademetz_en.html

 Joseph Freinademetz (1852-1908)

Joseph Freinademetz was born on April 15, 1852, in Oies, a small hamlet of five houses situated in the Dolomite Alps of northern Italy. The region, known as South Tyrol, was then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. He was baptised on the day he was born, and he inherited from his family a simple but tenacious faith.

While Joseph was studying theology in the diocesan seminary of Bressanone (Brixen), he began to think seriously of the foreign missions as a way of life. He was ordained a priest on July 25, 1875, and assigned to the community of Saint Martin very near his own home, where he soon won the hearts of the people. However, the call to missionary service did not go away. Just two years after ordination he contacted Fr. Arnold Janssen, the founder of a mission house which quickly developed into the Society of the Divine Word.

With his bishop's permission, Joseph entered the mission house in Steyl, Netherlands, in August 1878. On March 2, 1879, he received his mission cross and departed for China with Fr. John Baptist Anzer, another Divine Word Missionary. Five weeks later they arrived in Hong Kong, where they remained for two years, preparing themselves for the next step. In 1881 they travelled to their new mission in South Shantung, a province with 12 million inhabitants and only 158 Christians.

Those were hard years, marked by long, arduous journeys, assaults by bandits, and the difficult work of forming the first Christian communities. As soon as a community was just barely developed an instruction from the Bishop would arrive, telling him to leave everything and start anew.

Soon Joseph came to appreciate the importance of a committed laity, especially catechists, for first evangelisation. He dedicated much energy to their formation and prepared a catechetical manual in Chinese. At the same time, together with Anzer (who had become bishop) he put great effort into the preparation, spiritual formation and ongoing education of Chinese priests and other missionaries. His whole life was marked by an effort to become a Chinese among the Chinese, so much so that he wrote to his family: “I love China and the Chinese. I want to die among them and be laid to rest among them.”

In 1898, Freinademetz was sick with laryngitis and had the beginnings of tuberculosis as a result of his heavy workload and many other hardships. So at the insistence of the bishop and the other priests he was sent for a rest to Japan, with the hope that he could regain his health. He returned to China somewhat recuperated, but not fully cured.

When the bishop had to travel outside of China in 1907, Freinademetz took on the added burden of the administration of the diocese. During this time there was a severe outbreak of typhus. Joseph, like a good shepherd, offered untiring assistance and visited many communities until he himself became infected. He returned to Taikia, the seat of the diocese, where he died on January 28, 1908. He was buried at the twelfth station on the Way of the Cross, and his grave soon became a pilgrimage site for Christians.

Freinademetz learned how to discover the greatness and beauty of Chinese culture and to love deeply the people to whom he had been sent. He dedicated his life to proclaiming the gospel message of God's love for all peoples, and to embodying this love in the formation of Chinese Christian communities. He animated these communities to open themselves in solidarity with the surrounding inhabitants. And he encouraged many of the Chinese Christians to be missionaries to their own people as catechists, religious, nuns and priests. His life was an expression of his motto: “The language that all people understand is that of love.”


St. Odo of Beauvais
 Feast day: January 28
801 - 880

 Born near Beauvais, France, in 801; died 880; cultus approved by Pope Pius IX. Saint Odo chose the military as a profession in his youth but abandoned this calling to become a Benedictine monk at Corbie. He taught Charles Martel's son while he was a monk there and in 851 was elected abbot, succeeding Saint Paschasius Radbertus. He was consecrated bishop of his native city in 861 and in the two decades of his bishopric helped reform the Church in northern France and mediated the differences between Pope Nicholas I and Archbishop Hincmar of Rheims over Hincmar's deposition of Rothadius of Soissons in 862 and Rothadius's restoration by the pope in 865


St. Palladius

 Palladius of Antioch, Hermit
Feast day: January 28
Died: 390

A hermit of Syria. He resided in a desert retreat near Antioch Syria,  and was a friend of St. Simeon.'the Ancient'


St. Julian of Cuenca
Born 1127 Burgos, Spain
Died January 28, 1208 Cuenca, Spain

Feast day: January 28

1127 - 1208

Bishop of Cuenca, Spain, when that city was taken from the Moors. He supported himself and the poor of his diocese with his own labors. Julian is the patron of Cuenca.
Julian of Cuenca

 Born in Burgos, Spain, in 1127; died 1208. Saint Julian is known primarily for his dedication to the poor. When Cuenca, New Castile (central Spain), was recaptured by King Alphonsus IX, Julian was appointed bishop of the city. In his longing to help the poor, he is said to have spent all his spare time earning money for them by the work of his hands (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Saint Julian is pictured as a bishop making baskets, his crozier and miter laid by (Roeder). He is invoked for rain and is patron of the diocese of Cuenca, New Castile


Bl. Lawrence Wang

Feast day: January 28
Died: 1858
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Chinese martyr. Born in Yuyang, Lawrence was beheaded by anti-Christian forces and received beatification in 1909.


Blessed Roger (Ruggiero) of Todi, OFM

Feast day: January 28
Died: 1237


Franciscan and friend of St. Francis of Assisi. Ruggiero da Todi was one of the early Franciscans, receiving his habit from Francis himself. He was appointed by the saint to the post of spiritual director of the convent of the Poor Clares which had been established at Rieti, Italy, by Blessed Philippa Mareri. He died soon after Philippa, at Todi.

 Died at Todi, Italy, in 1237; cultus confirmed by Pope Benedict XIV. Blessed Roger was one of the early Franciscans who was admitted to the order by the founder himself. Saint Francis appointed him spiritual director of the convent of Poor Clares at Rieti


 Saint Richard of Vaucelles
Born England
Died 1169 Cambrai, France
Feast day: January 28
Died: 1169

English Cistercian abbot. He was appointed the head of Vaucelles Abbey, France, by St. Bernard

 Died 1169. English Saint Richard was a Cistercian monk, who was named by Saint Bernard as the second abbot of Vaucelles near Cambrai

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


St. John of Reomay

Feast day: January 28
Died: 539

Pioneer of Western monasticism in France. He was born in Dijon, France, in 425, and became a hermit at Reomay. When too many disciples appeared at his hermitage, John went to Lerins. He returned to Reomay and introduced the rules of St. Macanus, founding an abbey that became Mount St. Jean. He was known for his holiness and miracles.
 (also known as John of Réomé)
 Born in Dijon (diocese of Langres), France, 425; died at Reomay c. 544. This pioneer of the monastic life in France, was first a hermit at Reomay. When disciples gathered round him, he escaped in secret and became a monk at Lérins. Here he learned the traditions of Saint Macarius, and when summoned back to his native Langres by its bishop to found Moûtier-Saint-Jean in Reomay, he regulated his monastery according to them. He governed the abbey for many years with great sanctity, confirmed by many miracles. He was almost 120 years old at his death. Saint Gregory of Tours provides an account of this holy pioneer of French monasticism in his On the glory of confessors (chapter 87), as does Saint Columbanus's disciple Jonas . In art, Saint John is portrayed as a Benedictine hermit-abbot near a well with a dragon on a chain  He is venerated especially in Dijon, Lérins, and Réomé


Blessed Jerome Lu & Laurence Wang

Feastday: January 28
1810 - 1858

Blessed Jerome Lu
Martyr in Vietnam. He was born in China and entered the Church as a catechist in the Chinese missions. He was eventually beheaded after torture in the anti Christian persecutions.

 Died 1858; beatified in 1909. Jerome Lu was born in Mao-Cheu, China, c. 1810, worked as a native catechist, and was beheaded in his hometown at Maokeu (Mao-Ken). Laurence was born in 1811 at Kuy-yang. Like Jerome he was a catechist beheaded in the same town


St. James the Hermit

Feast day: January 28
Died: 6th century

A hermit in Palestine who was the subject of numerous legends. He lived in an ancient tomb to atone for his sins and died a penitent and miracle worker.

 6th century. The Roman Martyrology says: "In Palestine the memory of Sa
int James the Hermit, who, after a lapse from the faith, lay hid long in a tomb for penance, and renowned for miracles, passed to the Lord." A later legend changes the "lapse from the faith" into one of homicide, committed under the most romantic circumstances


St. Glastian

Feast day: January 28
Died: 830

Bishop and patron of Kinglassie, Fife, and Scotland. He served as mediator between the Scots and Picts.
Glastian of Kinglassie
 (also known as Glastian of MacGlastian)
 Born in County Fife, Scotland; died at Kinglassie (Kinglace), Scotland, in 830. As bishop of Fife, Saint Glastian mediated in the bloody civil war between the Picts and the Scots. When the Picts were subjugated, Glastian did much to alleviate their lot. He is the patron saint of Kinglassie in Fife, and venerated in Kyntire.HE was a native of the county of Fife, and discharged in the same, during many years, the duties of the episcopal character with which he was honoured. Amidst the desolation which was spread over the whole country, in the last bloody civil war between the Scots and Picts, in which the latter were entirely subdued, St. Glastian was the comforter, spiritual father, and most charitable protector of many thousands of both nations. He died in 830, at Kinglace in Fifeshire, and was particularly honoured in that country, and in Kyntire. According to the ancient custom of that country, his name is frequently written Mac-Glastian, the word Mac signifying son.


St. Flavian

 Flavian of Civita Vecchia
Feast day: January 28
Died: 304

Martyr at Civita Vecchia, Italy. He was a deputy prefect of Rome.

 who was martyred under Diocletian at Civita Vecchia


St. Cannera

Feast day: January 28
Died: 530

An Irish hermitess, a friend of St. Senan. She is also called Cainder or Kinnera. She lived as a recluse near Bantry, Ireland, and was buried on St. Senan's Island, Enniscarthy

Cannera of Inis Cathaig V
 (also known as Cainder, Conaire, Kinnera)
 Saint Cannera except that which is recorded in the story of Saint Senan, who ruled an abbey on the Shannon River, which ministered to the dying- -but only men. Cannera was an anchorite from Bantry in southern Ireland. When she knew she was dying, she travelled to Senan's abbey without rest and walked upon the water to cross the river because no one would take her to the place forbidden to women. Upon her arrival, the abbot was adamant that no woman could enter his monastic enclosure. Arguing that Christ died for women, too, she convinced the abbot to give her last rites on the island and to bury her at its furtherest edge. Against his argument that the waves would wash away her grave, she answered that she would leave that to God. Cannera told the abbot of a vision she had in her Bantry cell of the island and its holiness. Her appearance signaled a change in the attitude of the monks toward women, whose contamination they feared. Cannera charges Senan with this unChristian prejudice.

 She reminded him that "Christ is no worse than yourself." If He could find comfort in the presence of women, so should the monks. The monks believed that the holier a man, the more he distances himself from Eve. They saw their celibacy as a taboo against women, rather than a sacrifice of love to Christ. They also failed to recognize that Jesus broke the conventions of His time. Again, Cannera said, "Christ came to redeem women no less than to redeem men," and "women gave service and tended to Christ and His Apostles," so why should the monks so distance themselves?

 Other double (men and women) monasteries already existed in Ireland for Saint Patrick (March 17) and his followers did not reject the fellowship and ministry of women.

 Probably because Saint Cannera walked across the water, sailors honor their patron by saluting her resting place on Scattery Island (Inis Chathaigh). They believed that pebbles from her island protected the bearer from shipwreck. A 16th-century Gaelic poem about Cannera prays, "Bless my good ship, protecting power of grace. . . ."


St. Thomas Aquinas
Feastday: January 28
Died: 1274

St. Thomas Aquinas, priest and doctor of the Church, patron of all universities and of students. His feast day is January 28th. He was born toward the end of the year 1226. He was the son of Landulph, Count of Aquino, who, when St. Thomas was five years old, placed him under the care of the Benedictines of Monte Casino. His teachers were surprised at the progress he made, for he surpassed all his fellow pupils in learning as well as in the practice of virtue.

When he became of age to choose his state of life, St. Thomas renounced the things of this world and resolved to enter the Order of St. Dominic in spite of the opposition of his family. In 1243, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Dominicans of Naples. Some members of his family resorted to all manner of means over a two year period to break his constancy. They even went so far as to send an impure woman to tempt him. But all their efforts were in vain and St. Thomas persevered in his vocation. As a reward for his fidelity, God conferred upon him the gift of perfect chastity, which has merited for him the title of the "Angelic Doctor".

After making his profession at Naples, he studied at Cologne under the celebrated St. Albert the Great. Here he was nicknamed the "dumb ox" because of his silent ways and huge size, but he was really a brilliant student. At the age of twenty-two, he was appointed to teach in the same city. At the same time, he also began to publish his first works. After four years he was sent to Paris. The saint was then a priest. At the age of thirty-one, he received his doctorate.

At Paris he was honored with the friendship of the King, St. Louis, with whom he frequently dined. In 1261, Urban IV called him to Rome where he was appointed to teach, but he positively declined to accept any ecclesiastical dignity. St. Thomas not only wrote (his writings filled twenty hefty tomes characterized by brilliance of thought and lucidity of language), but he preached often and with greatest fruit. Clement IV offered him the archbishopric of Naples which he also refused. He left the great monument of his learning, the "Summa Theologica", unfinished, for on his way to the second Council of Lyons, ordered there by Gregory X, he fell sick and died at the Cistercian monastery of Fossa Nuova in 1274.

St. Thomas was one of the greatest and most influential theologians of all time. He was canonized in 1323 and declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V.

Thomas Aquinas, OP, Priest, Doctor
 Born at Rocca Secca near Aquino in Naples, Italy, c. 1225; died at Fossanuova (near Rome), 1274; canonized 1323; declared Doctor of the Church in 1567; Pope Leo XIII named him patron of Catholic universities and centers of study in 1880; feast day formerly March 7.

 "Word made flesh,
 true bread Christ makes
 By his word his flesh to be,
 Wine his Blood; which whoso takes
 Must from carnal thought be free
 Faith alone, though sight forsakes,
 Shows true hearts the mystery."
 --Saint Thomas Aquinas

 Saint Thomas was born in the family castle of Rocca Secca, the son of Count Landulf of Aquino (a relative of the emperors Henry VI and Frederick II and kings of France, Castile, and Aragon) and Theodora, Countess of Teano. It is said that when he was a baby, a thunderbolt struck the castle and killed his nurse and little sister. Thereafter, Thomas had a fear of lightning and would pray with his head against the Tabernacle during a storm.

 At age 5, he was sent as an oblate to the Monte Cassino Monastery and was educated there until age 13. Around 1239, he attended the University of Naples, and he became a Dominican in 1244 (age 19). His superiors sent him to Rome en route to Cologne and Paris.

 His family was so upset that he joined a mendicant order that they had him kidnapped by his brothers before he reached Paris and returned to the castle, where they held him for 15 months in the hopes of changing his mind. His mother and sisters used caresses to shake his vocation.

 His brothers used vile attempts to destroy his chastity. Snatching from the hearth a burning brand, the saint drove the wretched woman from his chamber. Then marking a cross upon the wall, he knelt down to pray and immediately went into ecstasy. An angel girded him with a cord in token of the gift of perpetual chastity that God had given him. (The cord is still preserved at the convent of Chieri in the Piedmont.) The girdle caused pain so sharp that he cried out, bringing his guards into the room. But he confessed this grace shortly before his death and only to his spiritual director Father Raynald.

 Patiently, Thomas conquered all the temptations used to turn him away from his vocation. Instead of bemoaning his situation, he used his two-year confinement to memorize the Bible and study religion. When his family realized they would not change his mind, his brothers relaxed their guard and Thomas, with the help of his sisters, escaped from the tower and rejoined the Dominicans in 1245.

 Finally he reached Cologne and was put in the charge of Saint Albert the Great, a man of encyclopedic knowledge. From 1245 to 1248 he continued his studies in Paris under Albert. Thomas's nonparticipation at disputations and his large figure led him to be called "the dumb Sicilian ox." Nevertheless, Albert predicted that Thomas's voice would one day fill the world.

 One of the young men took pity on Thomas and offered to tutor him. The saint accepted with humility and thanks. But one day the teacher made a mistake. For the sake of the truth, Thomas corrected him and explained the lesson very clearly. The teacher was astonished. He then begged Thomas to be the teacher. Thomas agree but only if it could remain a secret arrangement.

 A contemporary described Thomas as "tall, erect, large and well- built, with a complexion like ripe wheat and whose head early grew bald."

 From Cologne, Saint Albert and Saint Thomas walked more than 250 miles to the University of Paris. Here Thomas met and became friends with a young Franciscan monk named Bonaventure, later known as the 'Seraphic Doctor.'

 Thomas went with Albert to a new Dominican studium generale in Cologne in 1248 and was ordained about 1250. He said Mass with such great devotion that he often shed tears. Those who assisted at his Masses always felt themselves moved to greater love for God. After his own Mass, he often served another in thanksgiving.

 Armed with several university degrees, including a doctorate in theology from the renowned University of Paris, Thomas moved easily from one environment to another. In 1252 he returned to Paris to undertake his first teaching appointment at the Dominican monastery of Saint-Jacques. Here he wrote a spirited defense of the mendicant orders against William of St-Amour, a commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard, De ente et essentia, works on Isaiah and Matthew. He was master of theology in Paris in 1256. He then taught in Anagni, Ovieto (1261-64), Rome (1265-67), Viterbo (1268), Paris again (1269-71) and Naples (1272-74).

 During this period (1259-64), he completed his Summa contra Gentiles, a theological statement on the Christian faith argued partly by the use of pure reason without faith against Islam, Judaism, heretics and pagans. This was not designed for use by missionaries but rather to counteract the influence of Aristotelian thinkers in the universities by answering them from Aristotle's viewpoint. Around 1266, he began his five-volume Summa theologica, which is a comprehensive statement of his mature thought on all the Christian mysteries. It poses questions, then systematically answers them. Unfortunately, Thomas never finished the work.

 In 1263, Thomas was present at a general chapter of the Dominicans in London. It seems almost impossible to believe he could have produced his enormous literary output while travelling as extensively as he did, especially considering the number of authorities he must have studied in order to cite them and the depth of his prayer life as reflected in them. Yet, he was capable of intense concentration and was known to dictate to four secretaries at one time. He frequently used abbreviations in his writings because the friars did not have sufficient supplies of parchment.

 Always, he was a humble and prayerful man. In fact, it is said of Thomas that 'his wonderful learning owes far less to his genius than to the effectiveness of his prayer.' He was made a preacher general and was called upon to teach scholars attached to the papal court. During Holy Week 1267, Thomas preached in Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome. He moved the people to tears with his sermon on the Passion of our Lord. On the following Easter Sunday he spoke about the Resurrection, and the congregation was filled with the greatest joy. As he was coming down from the pulpit that day, a poor woman who touched the hem of his garment was instantly cured of a disease that had troubled her for years.

 Thomas wrote much about our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. One day Jesus appeared to him and said, "Thomas, you have written well concerning the Sacrament of My Body." Another time the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him how pleasing his writings were to her divine Son. At the request of Saint Thomas, the pope extended the feast of Corpus Christi to the entire Church. The two hymns sung during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, O Salutaris Hostia and Tantum Ergo, are taken from the office of the feast written by Thomas Aquinas. The saint also wrote beautiful prayers to be said before and after Holy Communion.

 Prayer before Communion:

 Almighty and ever-living God,
 I approach the sacrament of your only-begotten Son,
 our Lord Jesus Christ.
 I come sick to the doctor of life,
 unclean to the fountain of mercy,
 blind to the radiance of eternal light,
 and poor and needy to the
 Lord of heaven and earth.

 Lord, in your great generosity,
 heal my sickness,
 wash away my defilement,
 enlighten my blindness,
 enrich my poverty,
 and clothe my nakedness.

 May I receive the bread of angels,
 the King of kings and Lord of lords,
 with humble reverence,
 with the purity and faith,
 the repentance and love,
 and the determined purpose
 that will help to bring me to salvation.

 May I receive the sacrament of the
 Lord's body and blood
 and its reality and power.
 Kind God, may I receive the body
 of your only-begotten Son,
 our Lord Jesus Christ, born from the womb of the Virgin Mary, and
 so be received into his mystical body,
 and numbered among his members.

 Loving Father,
 as on my earthly pilgrimage
 I now receive your beloved Son
 under the veil of a sacrament,
 may I one day see him face to face in glory,
 who lives and reigns with you for ever. Amen.

 (These prayers are taken from the English translation of the Liturgy of the Hours, copyright 1974, prepared by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, Inc. Used with permission.)

 Prayer after Mass:

 Father all-powerful,
 and ever-living God,
 I thank you,
 for even though I am a sinner,
 your unprofitable servant,
 not because of my worth,
 but in the kindness of your mercy,
 you have fed me with the precious body
 and blood of your Son,
 our Lord Jesus Christ.

 I pray that this holy communion
 may not bring me
 condemnation and punishment
 but forgiveness and salvation.
 May it be a helmet of faith and
 a shield of good will.

 May it purify me from evil ways
 and put an end to my evil passions.
 May it bring me charity and patience,
 humility and obedience,
 and growth in the power to do good.

 May it be my strong defense
 against all my enemies,
 visible and invisible,
 and the perfect calming
 of all my evil impulses,
 bodily and spiritual.

 May it unite me more closely to you,
 the one true God,
 and lead me safely through death
 to everlasting happiness with you.

 And I pray that you will lead me,
 a sinner,
 to the banquet where you,
 with your Son and Holy Spirit,
 are true and perfect light,
 total fulfillment, everlasting joy,
 gladness without end,
 and perfect happiness to your saints.
 Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 In 1269, Thomas was recalled to Paris for three years. King Saint Louis IX highly esteemed Thomas and consulted him; so did the University of Paris. Once, when he was a guest at the king's table, he was absorbed in thought and quite oblivious of his surroundings. To the astonishment of everyone present, the now corpulent friar banged his fist on the table and exclaimed: "That's finished the heresy of the Manichees." A gentle reproof from his prior was followed by Thomas's apology and the immediate arrival of a scribe to take down his thoughts. Thomas's power of concentration was extraordinary: He had the ability to dictate to four secretaries at once.

 Upon his return to Paris, he became enmeshed in the struggle between the Dominican priests and the seculars, and opposed the philosophical teachings of Siger of Brabant, John Peckham, and Bishop Stephen Tempier of Paris. When dissension racked the university causing a general strike in 1272, Thomas was sent as regent to head a new Dominican school in Naples.

 Saint Thomas experienced visions, ecstasies, and revelations. He stopped writing the Summa theologiae because of a revelation he experienced while saying Mass on the feast of Saint Nicholas 1273. He confronted the consternation of his brethren saying, "The end of my labors is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been, revealed to me." Nevertheless, the work became the basis of modern Catholic theology.

 He was appointed by the Pope Gregory X to attend the General Council of Lyons, called to discuss the reunion of the Greek and Latin churches. Although he was sick, he set off for Rome in obedience. The illness overtook him on his way. He suffered for about a month before he died in the Cistercian Abbey of Fossanuova outside Terracina near Rome.

 The day before he died, he asked to be laid on the floor in ashes. Just before receiving our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, he exclaimed: "You, O Christ, are the King of Glory. You are the everlasting Son of God." On March 7, 1274, he received Extreme Unction before dying peacefully about age 48.

 He is considered to have been the greatest Christian theologian and his work dominated Catholic teaching for hundreds of years. The amount of writing he accomplished is staggering. His writings are characterized by a sharp distinction between faith and reason, but emphasizing that the great fundamental Christian doctrines, though impossible to establish by reason, are not contrary to reason and reach us by revelation; nevertheless, he believed that such truths as the existence of God, His eternity, His creative power, and His providence can be discovered by natural reason.

 Among Aquinas's works are Quaestiones disputatae, Quaestiones quodlibetales, De unitate intellectus contra Averroistas, and commentaries on the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, Hail Mary, and various parts of the Bible. He also wrote hymns, many of which are still used, though the authorship of some attributed to him is now questioned.

 Probably his greatest contribution to Western civilization was the retranslation and utilization of the works of Aristotle. Thomas explained Aristotle's works in the light of Christian revelation. Aquinas used the logic of Aristotle to consider the mysteries of religion. Thomas Aquinas suffices to upset the myth that religion fears thought.

 Saint Thomas was less influential on his contemporaries than were Saint Bonaventure and Saint Albert, but his work has endured the test of time. Leo XIII in 1879 wrote an encyclical encouraging the revival of Thomistic studies.

 Yet for all his intelligence, Thomas Aquinas was a man of great humility--he thought poorly of his work. He had come to live in so habitual a communion with God, actually in the country wherein the most accurate theology is but the map, that he said, "all I have written now seems to me but of little value." When asked by the pope to accept the archbishopric of Naples, he respectfully asked to remain a simple Dominican monk. Thomas was always charitable. Never did he refuse anyone who came to him for help. He was kind, gentle, and simple in his ways.

 He was called "the Angelic Doctor" for his superior intellect was combined with the tenderest piety. Prayer, he said, taught him more than study. After his death, one of his companions saw a vision of Saint Thomas enjoying in heaven the fruit of the labors he performed for God. Many miracles were granted through his intercession. In 1368, his body was translated to Saint-Sernin in Toulouse. In 1974, it was moved to the Jacobin's church in the same city (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Butler, Delaney, Dorcy, Farmer, Martindale, Melady, Waltz, Weisheipl, White).

 He is depicted in art as a portly Dominican friar, carrying a book; or with a star on his breast and rays of light coming from his book; or holding a monstrance with Saint Norbert. At times he may be shown: (1) with the sun on his breast; (2) enthroned with pagan and heretic philosophers under his feet; (3) at a teacher's pulpit or desk, with rays coming from him; (4) with a chalice and host; (5) listening to a voice speaking to him from the Crucifix; (6) as angels bring him a girdle; or (7) in a library with Saint Bonaventure who points to the crucifix (Roeder, White). Click here to see Stefano Di Giovanni Sassetta's The Vision of Saint Thomas Aquinas.

 Saint Thomas is the patron saint of Roman Catholic schools, colleges, universities, and academies, scholars and students, apologists, philosophers, theologians, and booksellers (due to his patronage of education in general), and pencil-makers (Roeder, White).

 He is invoked for chastity and learning, and against storm and lightning


St. Thyrsus, Leucius, & Callinicus

Feast day: January 28
Died: 251

Three martyrs, slain at Apollonia, Phrygia (modern Turkey). Their relics were believed to have been taken to Constantinople and then to Spain,

 Their relics were brought to Constantinople, then to Spain and France. For this reason, Saint Thyrsus had a full office in the Mozarabic liturgy, and he is also patron of the ancient cathedral of Sisteron in the Basses Alpes, France


St. Antilnus

Feast day: January 28
Died: 8th century

Benedictine abbot at Brantome, France. Founded by Charlemagne in 769, the abbey was destroyed by Normans in 817.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Bl. Amadeus of Lausanne

Amadeus of Lausanne, OSB Cist., Bishop

Feast day: January 28
Died: 1159

Bishop and prominent official in the court of Savoy and Burgundy. Amadeus was a member of the royal family of Franconia, the son of Blessed Amadeus of Clermont, born in the castle of Chatte, Dauphine, France. He was educated at Bonnevaux and then at Cluny, where his father had become a monk. While serving in the household of King Henry V, Amadeus entered Clairvaux in 1124, becoming a Cistercian. He became abbot of Ilautecombe Savoy in 1139, and the bishop of Lausanne in 1144. In his last years, Amadeus served as co-regent for Duke Humbert of Savoy and as the chancellor of Burgundy, appointed to the post by Frederick Barbarossa.


Pope St. Vitalian
Feast day: January 27
Papacy began 30 July 30 657
Papacy ended 27 January 672

 Born at Segni, Campania, Italy; died January 27, 672. Saint Vitalian succeeded Pope Eugene I and was consecrated pope on July 30, 657. During his troubled pontificate, Vitalian continually wrestled with the Monothelite tendencies of the emperor and the Eastern patriarchs. Nevertheless, the pope enjoyed signs of hope as well: The conflict between English and Irish bishops over the date of Easter was resolved, and relations with the Church in England were strengthened when he sent Saints Adrian and Theodore of Tarsus there. However, the Monothelite heresy in the East continued throughout his reign

(Reigned 657-72).

Date of birth unknown; d. 27 January, 672. Nothing is known of Vitalian's life before he was raised to the Holy See. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 343) he was a native of Segni in Campagna, and his father's name was Anastasius. After the death of Pope Eugene I, on 2 or 3 June, 657, Vitalian was elected his successor, and consecrated and enthroned on 30 July. Like his predecessor, Vitalian sought to restore the connection with Constantinople by friendly advances to the Eastern Emperor Constans II (641-668) and to prepare the way for the settlement of the Monothelite controversy. He sent letters (synodica) announcing his elevation by envoys both to the emperor and to Patriarch Peter of Constantinople, who was inclined to Monothelitism. The emperor confirmed the privileges of the Roman Church and sent to St. Peter as a present a codex of the Gospels in a cover of gold richly ornamented with precious stones. The Patriarch Peter also sent an answer, though not a definite one, as to Monothelitism, which he sought to defend. He made it appear that he was of the same opinion as the pope, who in writing to Peter had expounded the Catholic Faith. Thus ecclesiastical intercourse between Rome and Constantinople was restored on the basis of this mutual reserve over the dogmatic question, and Vitalian's name was entered on the diptychs of the Byzantine Church---the only name of a pope so entered between the reign of Honorius I (d. 638) and the Sixth Œcumenical Council of 680-81). Vitalian also showed the same friendliness to the Emperor Constans II, when the latter, in 663, came to Rome and spent twelve days there during the campaign against the Lombards. On 5 July the pope, accompanied by the Roman clergy, went as far as the sixth milestone to meet the emperor and accompanied him to St. Peter's, where the emperor offered gifts. On the following Sunday Constans went in state to St. Peter's, offered a pallium wrought with gold, and was present during the Mass celebrated by the pope. The emperor dined with the pope on the following Saturday, attended Mass again on Sunday at St. Peter's, and after Mass took leave of the pope. At his departure Constans carried off a large number of bronze works of art from Rome, taking even the bronze tiles from the roof of the Pantheon, which had been dedicated to Christian worship. Constans stopped in Sicily, where he cruelly oppressed the population, and was assassinated at Syracuse in 668. The pope supported his son Constantine IV Pogonatus against a usurper and thus aided him to attain the Byzantine throne. The new emperor had no intention of using force to maintain the Monothelite decree (typus) of his father, and Pope Vitalian probably made use of this inclination to take a more decided stand against Monothelitism and to win the emperor to orthodoxy. In this latter attempt, however, he was not able to succeed. The Monothelite patriarch Theodore of Constantinople (from 678) even removed Vitalian's name from the diptychs. It was not until the Sixth Œcumenical Council (681) that Monothelitism was suppressed, and Vitalian's name was replaced on the diptychs of the Byzantine Church.

Pope Vitalian was very successful in England, where disputes still divided the Anglo-Saxon and the British clergy, respecting various ecclesiastical customs. At the Synod of Streaneshalch (Whitby) King Oswy of Northumberland decided for the general acceptance of the Roman practices in regard to the keeping of Easter, and the shape of the tonsure. Together with King Egbert of Kent, he sent the priest Wighard to Rome, to be consecrated there after the death of Archbishop Deusdedit of Canterbury in 664, but Wighard died at Rome of the pestilence. The pope wrote a letter to King Oswy promising to send a suitable bishop to England as soon as possible. Hadrian, abbot of an abbey near Naples, was selected to go, but he considered himself unworthy to be consecrated bishop. At his recommendation a highly educated monk, Theodore of Tarsus, who understood both Latin and Greek and who was at Rome, was chosen as Archbishop of Canterbury and consecrated on 26 March, 668. Accompanied by Abbot Hadrian, Theodore went to England, where he was recognized as the head of the Church of England by all the clergy, Saxon and British. The pope confirmed to him all the privileges that Gregory the Great had formerly granted to Archbishop Augustine.

The archiepiscopal See of Ravenna was immediately subject to Rome. Archbishop Maurus of Ravenna (648-71) sought to rid himself of this dependence, and make his see autocephalous. When Pope Vitalian called upon him to justify his theological views, he refused to obey and declared himself independent of Rome. The pope excommunicated him, but Maurus did not submit, and even went so far as to excommunicate the pope. The Emperor Constans II sided with the archbishop, issued an edict removing the Archbishop of Ravenna from the patriarchal jurisdiction of Rome, and ordained that the former should receive the pallium from the emperor. The successor of Maurus, Reparatus, was in fact consecrated, in 671, by three of his suffragan bishops and received the pallium from the emperor. It was not until the reign of Pope Leo II (682-83) that the independence of the See of Ravenna was suppressed: Emperor Constantine IV repealed the edict of Constans and confirmed the ancient rights of the Roman See over the See of Ravenna. Vitalian also had occasion to enforce his authority as supreme judge in the Eastern Church. Bishop John of Lappa in Crete, deposed by a synod under the presidency of the Metropolitan Paulus, appealed to the pope, and was imprisoned for so doing. He escaped, however, and went to Rome, where Vitalian held a synod in December, 667, to investigate the matter, basing its action on the records of the metropolitan Synod of Crete, and pronounced John guiltless. Vitalian wrote to the Metropolitan Paulus demanding the restoration of John to his diocese, and the return of the monasteries which had been unjustly taken from him. At the same time the pope directed the metropolitan to remove two deacons who had married after consecration. Vitalian also wrote respecting John to an imperial official and to Bishop George of Syracuse, who had supported the deposed bishop. Some of the letters attributed to this pope are spurious. He was buried at St. Peter's.


Blessed Michael Pini, OSB Cam., Hermit
Feast day: January 27
 Born in Florence, Italy, c. 1445; died 1522. Michael was highly favored at the court of Lorenzo de'Medici before becoming a Camaldolese hermit in 1502. After his ordination to the priesthood, he was walled up in his hermitage where he remained until his death


Blessed John Mary Mzec
Feast day: January 27
 Died January 1887; beatified 1912. Blessed John was a native of Uganda, who baptized many in the hour of death. He was beheaded (Benedictines). He may have been canonized in 1964 as one of the Martyrs of Uganda, but I've not yet located any information to verify this. The Benedictines do, however, list Charles Lwanga as a saint.


Bl. Rosalie du Verdier de la Soriniere

Feast day: January 27
1745 - 1794
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

Rosalie du Verdier de la Soriniere was a Our Lady of Calvary Benedictine nun and martyr during the French Revolution


St. Henry de Osso y Cervello

Feast day: January 27
1840 - 1896
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II
Canonized By: Pope John Paul II

Henry was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on the 16th October 1840 and was ordained priest on 21st September 1867. He was an apostle to young people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director he was fascinated by St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of the Church who is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa of Avila. In the light of her teaching, he founded the Company of St. Teresa (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on the 27th January, 1896. He was canonized on 16th July, 1993, in Madrid, by Pope John Paul II.


St. Aviates

Feast day: January 27

martyr in Africa with Vincent


St. Maurus

Feast day: January 27
Died: 555

Abbot founder of Bodon Abbey, near Sisteron, France. He is sometimes called Marius or May. Maurus was cured of a serious illness at the tomb of St. Denis in Paris. He was a revered prophet.
Marius of Bodon, Abbot
 (also known as Maurus, May, Mary, Maire, Mere)
 Born at Orléans, France; died c. 555. There is no reliable information about this abbot-founder of Bodon in the diocese of Sisteron, France, where he is called Saint May. Uncertain sources relate that he was endowed by God with the gift of prophecy, who was a monk at Orléans before becoming the first abbot of Bodon (La-Val-Benois) some time before 509.

 His vita was written by Dynamius, who corresponded with Pope Saint Gregory the Great (died 604) and is mentioned by Saint Gregory of Tours (letter 6, chapter 11). It is said that Saint Marius made pilgrimages to the tombs of Saint Martin at Tours and Saint Denis near Paris. He fell ill at Paris and dreamed that Saint Denis healed him. Upon awakening, he was restored to perfect health.

 Another story relates that during one of Marius's Lenten retreats (forty days spent as a recluse in the forest), he was given a vision of the desolation to be left behind the barbarian invasions that were later to strike Italy. He also saw and foretold the destruction of his own monastery. When his prophecy was realized, his relics were translated from the demolished abbey to Forcalquier, where the collegiate church now bears his name


St. Natalis
Natalis, Abbot

Feast day: January 27

A founder of monasticism in northern Ireland and a disciple of St. Columba, also called Naal. A well in that region honors his memory.

 6th century. Natalis founded monasticism in northern Ireland and was a fellow-worker with Saint Columba. He ruled the abbeys of Cill, Naile, and Daunhinis. His holy well is still

a place of pilgrimage


St. Lupus of Chalons

Feast day: January 27
Died: 610

Bishop of Chalons-sur-Saone, in France. Pope St. Gregory the Great corresponded with him. Lupus was a model of charity and cared for the sick and poor.

 Died c. 610. Saint Lupus, bishop of Châlons-sur-Sâone, was famous for his charity to the afflicted. There is an extant letter to him dated 601 from Saint Gregory the Great


Saint Julian of Sora

Feast day: January 27
Born Dalmatia
Died 150 Sora, Campania, Italy
 Died c. 150.
A Dalmatian, arrested, tortured, and beheaded at Sora (Campania, Italy), under Emperor Antoninus Pius. (138-161)


Saint Julian of Le Mans

Feast day: January 27
Died 3rd or 4th century

 3rd or 4th century. Saint Julian is honored as the first bishop of Le Mans, France. Some sources say that he was a Roman nobleman and an apostle of the region. His relics were translated to the cathedral of Le Mans in 1254, where his head is still shown. Most of his relics rest in the Benedictine convent of Saint-Julian-du- Pré, where they are credited with many miracles. Most of the relics were burnt or scattered by the Huguenots who plundered the shrine in 1562.

 Various English churches, dating to the 7th century, and places, dating to the time of the Normans and Plantagenets, have this Julian as their titular patron. Of particular note is the church of Saint Julian in Norwich, which many mistakenly believe to have been dedicated to the Lady Julian of Norwich, known as Blessed Juliana, but whose given name is unknown. In a traditionally French fashion, there have been attempts to identify Julian with Simon the Leper or as one of the 72 disciples of Christ

He was consecrated a bishop at Rome and around the middle of the third century, Julian was sent to Gaul to preach the Gospel to the tribe of the Cenomani. Their capital city was Civitas Cenomanorum (Le Mans), which was suffering from a shortage of drinking water. According to the legends surrounding his life, Julian thrust his staff into the ground and prayed. Water began to gush out of the ground. This miracle allowed him to preach freely within Le Mans. The city's principal citizen was converted to Christianity along with his family, donating to the Church part of his palace to serve as Le Mans' first cathedral church.

Julian converted many other citizens and Le Mans' new bishop cared for the poor, the infirm, and the orphans. His miracles included the resurrection of a dead man.

Upon reaching old age, he retired to live as a hermit at Sarthe.


St. Gilduin

Feast day: January 27
Died: 1077

Canon of Dol, in Brittany, France, who refused a bishopric from Pope St. Gregory VII. After going to Rome to decline the honor, Gilduin died on his way home. His tomb became a popular pilgrimage destination.


St. Gamelbert of Michaelsbuch

Feast day: January 27
Died: 800

Parish priest of Michaelsbuch in Germany. He went on a pilgrimage to Rome, was ordained, and served more than fifty years as a pastor. His cult was approved in 1909.

 Born in Bavaria in 720; died c. 800; cultus approved 1909. Though the son of wealthy parents, Gamelbert's father set him to guard his sheep. Later Gamelbert made a pilgrimage to Rome, was ordained a priest, and served as a parish priest in Michaelsbuch for over 50 years (Benedictines). In art, Saint Gamelbert is portrayed as a priest in an oratory surrounded by sheep. He may sometimes be shown baptizing Saint (Blessed) Utho (Utto) (Roeder). He is venerated at Michaelsbuch

Sunday, March 4, 2012


St. Gamo

Feast day: January 27
Died: 8th century

Benedictine abbot of Bretigny, near Noyon, France. He aided the monastic expansion of the era and was a staunch patron of the arts.