Monday, July 2, 2012


Elinand of Froidmont, OSB Cist.
Feast day: February 3
 (also known as Helinand)
 Born in Pronleroy, Oise, France; died 1237. Elinand, a court singer before his conversion, became a Cistercian of Froidmont. Beloved by Philip-Augustus, he was also a poet and writer of many lines about the saints. The Cistercians venerate him as a saint, though he is otherwise considered a beatus


Celsa and Nona
Feast day: February 3

 Date unknown.
Virgins of Brabant, whose bodies were found near that of Saint Berlinda


Aelred, OSB Cist. Abbot
 (also known as Ailred, Ethelred)

Feast day: February 3
Born 1110 Hexham, Northumberland, England
Died 12 January 1167 Rievaulx, Yorkshire, England
 Born in Hexham, Northumberland, England, c. 1109; died at Rievaulx Monastery, Yorkshire, England, on January 12, 1167; canonized by the General Chapter of Cîteaux in 1250 (and Attwater says he was canonized in 1191 but he is not in the Roman Martyrology so this statement may be in error); today is the feast celebrated by the Cistercians, feast day on calendar also on March 3, when it is celebrated in Hexham, Liverpool, Middleborough, and by the Cistercians; feast day formerly on January 12. Aelred belonged to a noble family. He was the son and grandson of parish priests of Hexham--sainthood was probably in his genes. He was educated at Durham in the arts, letters, and the new humanism of the time.

 At about age 20, Aelred was taken into the service of King Saint David at the beginning of his reign. Aelred became a clerk and then high steward of the household in the Scottish court because he was so beloved for his piety, gentleness, humility, and spirituality by King David, who, though son of Saint Margaret, considered the sword and knighthood more certain guarantees of his kingdom whose districts and frontier fiefs were in continual legal disputes.

 The favors that Aelred received at court won him enemies. One of the king's knights, a jealous man, developed a hatred for Aelred because of the favors constantly bestowed upon him. One day h
is intense hatred burst out in the presence of the king himself. Bitter reproaches and insults followed.

 Aelred replied without emotion: "You are right, Sir Knight, and you have said the truth: your words are exact, and I see that you are a true friend of mine." The soldier begged his pardon immediately, and swore that henceforth he would do everything he could for Aelred. "I am very happy you have repented," said Aelred, "and I like you the more for it, because your jealousy has been for you a means of advancing in the love of God."

 Aelred formed a close relationship with David's son, Earl Henry. His soul was so torn between answering God's call to the cloistered life and remaining at court with Henry. Aelred considered friendship a most precious gift. His dilemma was solved when he visited the recently-founded Cistercian abbey of Rievaulx on his return from an interview with the archbishop of York.

 Aelred chose not to return to the Scottish court. Thus, at age 24 (c. 1134), Aelred enter Rievaulx, where Saint Bernard had appointed his secretary William as abbot over the monks from Clairvaux who formed the community. In spite of delicate health, Aelred conformed to the austere regime and became so esteemed by his community that he was chosen as envoy to Rome in 1142 over the disputed election of Saint William of York and, soon afterwards, as master of novices.

 Within a short time, he was obliged to change monasteries to avoid being named a bishop; but no sooner had he relocated himself than he was chosen to be abbot of a new Cistercian monastery in Revesby, Lincolnshire, in 1143. His biographers say that this new position did not prevent his "living a life of the severest asceticism." Under his rule, the house prospered, increasing in size to 150 choir monks and 500 lay brothers and lay servants--the largest in England. It expanded to five other foundations in England and Scotland.

 Inspired by the writings of Saints John Chrysostom and Augustine and augmented by Aelred's own gentle holiness and natural charity, he was able to humanize the intransigence of Cistercian monasticism and attracted men of similar character to his own. Through his many friends as well as his writings, Aelred became a figure of national importance. He was chosen to preach at Westminster for the translation of Saint Edward the Confessor. This led him to compose a vita of Edward; he had already completed one on Saint Ninian and one the saints of Hexham.

 Four years later he returned to Rievaulx as abbot, succeeding Abbot Maurice. During his abbacy the number of monks at Rievaulx rose to over 600, attracted by his kindly, humane nature. In addition to looking after these he had every year to visit other Cistercian houses in England and Scotland, and even to go as far afield as the Cistercian centers of Cîteaux and Clairvaux. These journeys must have been a great trial to him, for during his later years Aelred suffered from a painful disease in addition to rheumatism.

 Aelred became known for his prudence and holiness throughout England. He was admitted to the councils of the highest dignitaries in the land and was constantly called upon to settle disputes. King Henry II of England was his friend, and, in 1160, during the papal schism, he was able to influence the king on behalf of Pope Alexander III.

 In 1164, he went to Galway in Ireland as a missionary but the following year he returned to England. Famed for his preaching, energy, sympathetic gentleness, and asceticism, Aelred was consider a saint in his own lifetime. He was also considered a delightful companion because of his wit, easy speech, and brilliant mind.

 His biographer and disciple, Walter Daniel records: "I lived under his rule for 17 years, and in that time he did not dismiss anyone from the monastery." Aelred's name, indeed, is particularly associated with friendship--human and divine. One of his two best known writings is a little work On Spiritual Friendship which is delicately beautiful. Only when Aelred's enormous capacity for friendship was transformed by charity was finally able to write the unique treatment of the subject. It resembles Cicero's dialogue on the topic, but is identifiably Christian in its approach.

 Aelred also penned the Mirror of Charity (Seculum caritas), a treatise on Christian perfection. His sermons on Isaiah are also fine writing and he also composed biographies of the saints. He was in the process of writing a treatise on the human soul, which was left unfinished, by his death at age 57. His writings and sermons are characterized by a constant appeal to the Bible and to a love of Christ as friend and savior that was the mainspring of his life.

 Saint Aelred's frequent travel and writings merited for him the title of "a second Saint Bernard" or "the Bernard of the North." On his way to his Scottish foundations, Aelred used to visit his friend Saint Godric of Finchale. In the last year of his life, he could no longer travel. After being for a time virtually in a state of physical collapse, Saint Aelred died his monastery, in a shed adjoining the infirmary that he had made his quarters. The historian of monasticism in England, Professor David Knowles, says that Aelred is "a singularly attractive figure . . . No other English monk of the 12th century so lingers in the memory."

 Saint Aelred was buried in the chapter house. Later his relics were translated to the church. Aelred was never formally canonized; however, his local cultus was approved by the Cistercians who promulgated his feast


Bl. Marie Rivier

Feast day: February 3
1768 - 1838
Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

At the age of two, Marie-Anne Rivier, of Montpezat, France, was severely crippled by a fall from a bunk bed. Over the four years that followed, Marie’s mother carried her daily to a statue of the Pieta in a nearby chapel, at the child’s own insistence. Marie told her mother, “That woman in the chapel will cure me.” She would pray, “Cure me, Blessed Mother, and I’ll give you a hat…Cure me. If you don’t, I’ll pout.” On September 7, 1774, Marie’s father died. The next day, the feast of the Birth of Mary, after the family had returned home from the father’s funeral, Marie miraculously began to walk again. Later, in the chapel, Marie’s mother discovered a hat she had made for her daughter resting upon the Madonna’s head, having been placed there by the grateful child as a votive offering. Marie grew up to become the foundress of the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary, devoted to the care and education of needy children. Her spirituality was marked by a profound reverence for the sacred liturgy. Deeply devoted to Eucharistic adoration, she would spend hour upon hour on Holy Thursday praying before the Blessed Sacrament in the repository.


Oliver of Portonuovo, OSB
St. Oliver
 (also known as Oliverius, Liberius)
Feast day: February 3
Died: 1050

Benedictine monk of the community of Maria di Portonuovo at Ancona, Italy. No details of his life are extant.


St. Tigrides and Remedius
Feast day: February 3
Died: unknown

French or Gallic bishop of Gap, France, of whom virtually nothing is known.

. Two bishops who succeeded one another in the see of Gap


St. Lupicinus & Felix

Feast day: February 3
Died: 5th century

Bishops of Lyons, France. Nothing is known about them except that Lupicinus is assigned the date 486. They are recorded in early martyrologies.

 The martyrologies describe both as bishops of Lyons, France. To Saint Lupicinus the usual date of death is assigned as 486. Nothing else is known about either saint


Bl. John Nelson

Feastday: February 3
Died: 1578

Jesuit martyr of England, a native of Skelton, near York. He was ordained at Douai at the age of forty. Sent to London in 1576, he was arrested in London and martyred at Tyburn by being hanged, drawn, and quartered. John became a Jesuit just before his death
Blessed John Nelson, SJ M

 Born in Skelton near York, England; died at Tyburn, England, in 1578; beatified in 1886. At age 40, John Nelson began his studies for the priesthood at Douai and was ordained in 1575 (or 1576). He was sent to the English mission but was soon arrested in London and sentenced for refusing the Oath of Supremacy. He became a Jesuit shortly before his death by hanging, drawing, and quartering at Tyburn outside London


St. Ia of Cornwall

Ia of Cornwall VM
 (also known as Hia, Hya, Iia, Ives)

Feast day: February 3
Died: 450

She was an Irish martyr. She accompanied Sts. Fingar and Piala and others from Ireland to Cornwall, England. There they suffered martyrdom at Hayle, near Penzance. St. Ives in Cornwall commemorates her. +

 Died 6th century or 450 (sources are evenly split between the two dates); another feast on October 27. According to the late medieval legend, the sister of Saints Ercus (or Euny) and Herygh, Saint Ia, was a holy maiden who came from Ireland to Cornwall--sailing on a leaf that grew to accommodate her--and landed and settled at the mouth of the Hayle River where Saint Ives, formerly called Porth Ia, now stands. She is said to have crossed with Saints Fingar, Phiala, and other missionaries. In Cornwall she erected a cell where she lived the life of prayer and austerities. This version relates that Ia suffered martyrdom in Cornwall at the mouth of the Hayle River. Leland saw her vita at Saint Ives, which depicted her as a noble of Saint Barricus; a church was built at her request by Dinan, a great lord of Cornwall. Breton tradition makes her a convert of Saint Patrick, and says that she went to Armorica with 777 disciples, where she was martyred. She is the eponym of Plouyé, near Carhaix. Do not confuse her with Saint Ives of Saint Ives, Huntingdonshire


St. Deodatus
Deodatus of Lagny, OSB

Feast day: February 3
Died: 8th century

A monk of Lagny, in the archdiocese of Paris , France.


Sts. Tigides & Remedius

Feast day: February 3
Died: 6th century

Two bishops who served in succession to each other in the French Alps. The details of their labors are not extant.


St. Anatolius
Anatolius of Salins
Feast day: February 3

Died: 9th or 11th century.

Scottish bishop and hermit. Anatolius left his see and Scotland to make a pilgrimage to Rome. He became a hermit at Salins, France. Another tradition states that Anatolius was a bishop in Galicia, Spain.
 A Scottish or Irish bishop who went as a pilgrim to Rome and settled as a hermit at Salins in the diocese of Besançon, Burgundy, about 1029. He live the rest of life in a mountain retreat overlooking a favorite stopover of Irish pilgrims near the oratory of Saint Symphorian. At a later date a church was built in his honor at Salins. His biographer said that it would be impossible to enumerate all the miracles he worked in his lifetime


St. Philip of Vienne

Feastday: February 3
Died: 578

Bishop of Vienne, France. He served in a turbulent era of political wars and rampant heresies.

 Bishop of Vienne in Gaul from about 560 to about 578


Blessed Odoric Mattiuzzi, OFM
 (also known as Odericus of Pordenone)
Feast day: February 3
1286 - 1331
Beatified 1775 by Benedict XIV
  Born 1286 Pordenone
Died January 14, 1331  Udine

Franciscan missionary and traveler. Born Odoric Mattiussi at Villanova, near Pordenone, Italy, he entered the Franciscans in 1300 and became a hermit. After several years, he took to preaching in the region of Udine, northern Italy, attracting huge crowds through his eloquence. In 1316 he set out for the Far East, journeying through China and finally reaching the court of the Mongol Great Khan in Peking. From 1322 to 1328 he wandered through
out China and Tibet, finally returning to the West in 1330 where he made a report to the pope at Avignon and dictated an account of his travels. He died before he could find missionaries to return with him to the East. His cult was approved in 1755 owing to the reports of miracles he performed while preaching among the Chinese.

 Born in Villanova near Pordenone, Friuli, Italy, in 1285; died at Udine in 1331; cultus confirmed in 1775. Odoric Mattiuzzi became a Franciscan hermit, who made one of the most remarkable journeys of the middle ages. He became a missionary about 1317 and penetrated into Tibet by travelling through Armenia, Baghdad, Malabar, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. He was in Beijing for three years and returned home via Lhasa. Some believed he reached Japan. Odoric dictated an account of his adventures but does not recount much of his evangelical activities, though they were considerable. After 16 years in the mission fields, he returned to Europe to report to the pope at Avignon, but died en route


St. Margaret of England

Feastday: February 3
Patron of the dying
Died: 1192

Cistercian nun. She was born in Hungary, to an English mother who was related to St. Thomas of Canterbury, England. She went with her mother on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and lived a life of austerity and penance in Bethlehem. Her mother died there, and Margaret made pilgrimages to Montserrat, in Spain, and to Puy, France. There she entered the Cistercian convent at Suave-Benite. When she died, her tomb became a pilgrimage shrine.

Saint Margaret was possibly born in Hungary to an English mother and is probably related to Saint Thomas of Canterbury. She took her mother on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where they both led an austere life of penance for some years in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Her mother died there but Margaret continued on to Our Lady of Montserrat in the Spanish Catalonia, before joining the Cistercian nuns at Seauve-Bénite, in the diocese of Puy-en-Velay. She was greatly venerated in that district. Miracles followed her burial at Seauve-Bénite and her shrine became a principle feature of the church. Crowds came there to invoke 'Margaret the Englishwoman.' The local tradition that she was English was accepted by the Maurists and Gallia Christiana, yet an older French manuscript preserved by the Jesuits of Clermont College in Paris relates that she was indeed a Hungarian of noble birth


St. Hadelin

Hadelin of Dinant, OSB,
 (also known as Adelin of Dinant)

Feast day: February 3
Died: 690

Benedictine abbot, disciple of St. Remaclus. He was born in Gascony, France, and became the founder of Chelles Abbey in liege diocese. Hadelin spent his last years as a hermit on the Meuse River, near Dinart.

 Hadelin, a native of Gascony, followed Saint Remaclus first to Solignac, then to Maestricht  and Stavelot. He became the founder of Celles, in the diocese of Liége, Belgium. Hadelin lived as a hermit near Dinant on the Meuse . In art, Saint Hadelin is portrayed as a Benedictine abbot being visited by King Pepin and his knights. He might also be enthroned before the Abbey of Celles


St. Liafdag

Feast day: February 3
Died: 980

Bishop of Jutland, Denmark, where he was martyred by local pagans.