Wednesday, December 25, 2013


St. Martin de Aguirre

Feast day: February 6

Martin Loynaz (de Aguirre)
 Martin Loynaz of the Ascension, OFM, a native of Vergara near Pamplona, Spain. He studied in Alcala and became a Franciscan in 1586. He first worked as a missionary in Mexico, then Manila in the Philippines, and finally in Japan.

Missionary and martyr, one of the Martyrs of Japan. He was born in Vergara, Spain, a community near modern Pamplona. In 1586 hejoined the Franciscan Order and was ordained. Martin volunteered for the missions and was sent to Mexico and then to Manila in the Philippines. From Manila, Martin went to Japan, where the Church was converting hundreds in all regions. Christianity was tolerated in Japan at the time, and Martin was able to preach and instruct his Japanese parishioners. Within the Japanese government, however, many counseled opposition to the Christian faith, which they believed was but a prelude to a European invasion. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, at that time the power in Japan, was finally convinced that Christianity was a threat to Japanese peace and independence, and decided to rid his country of all foreign influence. He instituted a persecution that involved thousands, including the European missionaries. Martin was arrested with twentyfive of his converts. They were crucified on February 25, 1597, near Nagasaki. All of the Martyrs of Japan were canonized in 1862.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


St. Relindis of Maaseik

Relindis of Eyck, OSB, Abbess

 (also known as Renildis, Renula, Renule)

Feastday: February 6
Died: 750

 Relindis was educated with her sister Herlindis in the Benedictine monastery of Valenciennes. She became an expert in embroidery and painting. Saint Boniface appointed her abbess of the convent of Eyck (Maaseyk) on the Meuse, which had been founded by her parents

Benedictine abbess, also called Renule. She was educated with her sister Herlindis in the Benedictine house of Valenciennes, France, and after his death of Herlindis, she was named by St. Boniface to succeed her as abbess of Maaseyk, Belgium.

Saturday, December 21, 2013


St. James Kisai

Diego (James) Kisai (Kizayemon)

Feast day: February 6
Died: 1597

Jesuit martyr in Japan. A native of Japan, he entered the Society of Jesus and worked as a catechist until his execution by crucifixion at the age of sixty four.

A Japanese layman who was the temporal coadjutor of the Jesuits and a catechist in Osaka. Like John 


 Saints Saturninus, Theophilus & Revocata
Feast day: February 6
 Date unknown. A group of martyrs concerning whom neither place nor date of martyrdom is known

Friday, December 20, 2013


St. Thomas Danki

Feast day: February 6
Died: 1597

Japanese martyr. A native layman, he entered the Franciscans as a tertiary and served as an interpreter for the Franciscan missionaries in Japan until arrested by authorities and crucified at Nagasaki with twenty-five other companions. He was canonized in 1886 and is counted as one of the companions of St. Paul Miki.


St. Tanco

Feast day: February 6
Died: 808

Irish Benedictine abbot and bishop, also called Tancho and Tatta. Tanco became a monk and served as abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Amalbarich, Saxony, Germany. Successful as a missionary in Cleves and Flanders, Belgium, he was named bishop of Werden, Germany. He was stabbed to death by a mob of pagans for destroying their pagan statues, and is venerated as a martyr.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


St. Anthony Dainan

Feast day: February 6
Died: 1597

One of the Japanese Martyrs, an altar boy, aged thirteen. Anthony was a Japanese from Nagasaki and a member of the Third Order of St. Francis. Arrested by the Japanese authorities, he was crucified. He was beatified in 1627 and canonized in 1862.


St. Paul Miki

Feast day: February 6

Paul was the son of a Japanese military leader. He was born at Tounucumada, Japan, was educated at the Jesuit college of Anziquiama, joined the Jesuits in 1580, and became known for his eloquent preaching. He was crucified on Februay 5 with twenty-five other Catholics during the persecution of Christians under the Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, ruler of Japan in the name of the emperor. Among the Japanese layment who suffered the same fate were: Francis, a carpenter who was arrested while watching the executions and then crucified; Gabriel, the nineteen year old son of the Franciscan's porter; Leo Kinuya, a twenty-eight year old carpenter from Miyako; Diego Kisai (or Kizayemon), temporal coadjutor of the Jesuits; Joachim Sakakibara, cook for the Franciscans at Osaka; Peter Sukejiro, sent by a Jesuit priest to help the prisoners, who was then arrested; Cosmas Takeya from Owari, who had preached in Osaka; and Ventura from Miyako, who had been baptized by the Jesuits, gave up his Catholicism on the death of his father, became a bonze, and was brought back to the Church by the Franciscans. They were all canonized as the Martyrs of Japan in 1862. Their feast day is February 6th.

Paul Miki, SJ (born 1562, died at age 33), son of a Japanese military leader, was born at Tounucumada, Japan, was educated at the Jesuit college at Anziquiama, joined the Jesuits in 1580, and became known for his eloquent preaching. His last sermon was delivered from the cross on which he was martyred.

Sunday, December 1, 2013


St. Francis Nagasaki

Feast day: February 6

Francis is Japanese from Miako. He became a physician and later was converted to Catholicism by the Franciscan missionaries in Japan. He became a Franciscan tertiary, served as a catechist, and was one of the twenty-six Catholics crucified for their Faith near Nagasaki on February 5 during the persecution of Christians by the Taiko, Toyotomi Hideyoshi. They were all canonized as the martyrs of Japan in 1862. He is also known as Francis of Miako. 


St. Amand

Amand of Maastricht, Abbot
 also known as Amandus
 Born at Nantes, Lower Poitou, France, c. 584; died at Elnon in Belgium, c. 679; feast day formerly February 1.

Feastday: February 6
584 - 675


This great missionary was born in lower Poitou about the year 584. At the age of twenty, he retired to a small monastery in the island of Yeu, near that of Re. He had not been there more than a year when his father discovered him and tried to persuade him to return home. When he threatened to disinherit him, the saint cheerfully replied, "Christ is my only inheritance." Amand afterward went to Tours, where he was ordained, and then to Bourges, where he lived fifteen years under the direction of St. Austregisilus, the bishop, in a cell near the cathedral. After a pilgrimage to Rome, he returned to France and was consecrated bishop in 629 without any fixed See, receiving a general commission to teach the Faith to the heathens. He preached the gospel in Flanders and northern France, with a brief excursion to the Slavs in Carinthia and perhaps, to Gascony. He reproved King Dagobert I for his crimes and accordingly, was banished. But Dagobert soon recalled him, and asked him to baptize his newborn son Sigebert, afterwards to become a king and a saint. The people about Ghent were so ferociously hostile that no preacher dared venture among them. This moved Amand to attempt that mission, in the course of which he was sometimes beaten and thrown into the river. He persevered, however, and in the end people came in crowds droves to be baptized.

As well as being a great missionary, St. Amand was a father of monasticism in ancient Belgium, and a score of monasteries claimed him as founder. He found houses at Elnone (Saint-Amand-les-Eaux), near Tournai, which became his headquarters, St. Peters on Mont-Blendin at Ghent, but probably not St. Bavo's there as well; Nivells, for nuns, with Blessed Ida and St. Gertrude, Barisis-au-Bois, and probably three more. It is said, though possibly apocryphal, that in 646 he was chosen bishop of Maestricht, but that three years later, he resigned that See to St. Remaclus and returned to the missions which he had always had most at heart. He continued his labors among the heathens until a great age, when, broken with infirmities, he retired to Elnone. There he governed as Abbot for four years, spending his time in preparing for the death which came to him at last soon after 676. That St. Amand was one of the most imposing figures of the Merovingian epoch, is disputed by no serious historian; he was not unknown in England, and the pre-Reformation chapel of the Eyston family at east Hendred in Birkshire is dedicated in his honor.

 Amand's pious parents are said to have been lords of the region where he was born. By vocation, Amand became a monk about 604 at a monastery on the island of Yeu (Oye). He had been there less than one year, when his father found him out, and desperately tried to persuade him to quit that state of life. To his threats of disinheritance, the saint cheerfully answered: "Christ is my only inheritance." Amand moved to Tours where he was ordained, and then was a hermit near the cathedral at Bourges, France, for 15 years under the direction of Bishop Saint Austregisilius before setting out to convert unbelievers. At Bourges he lived an austere life. His clothing was a single sackcloth, and his sustenance barley-bread and water.

 On his return from a pilgrimage to Rome at about age 45, he was consecrated a missionary bishop in 629, with no see. Amand was a tireless preacher, a wandering saint who worked as far afield as Flanders, among the Slavs of Carinthia along the River Danube, among the Basques in Navarre, and possibly in Gascony. Although the saint was exiled for censuring King Dagobert I, Amand continued his work elsewhere. He was soon recalled by Dagobert, who threw himself at Amand's feet to beg his pardon and had him baptize his new-born son, Saint Sigebert III, afterwards king.

 Despite initial difficulties, Amand was highly successful in evangelizing the area around Ghent. The idolatrous people about Ghent were so savage, that no preacher wanted to venture among them. This moved the saint to choose that mission. While he had the support of the Frankish kings, he often met with so much opposition from the peoples he tried to convert that Dagobert strongly suggested that Amand use force. During the course of his evangelizing Amand was often beaten, and sometimes thrown into the river. Undaunted, he continued preaching, though for a long time he saw no fruit, and supported himself by his labor. The miracle of his raising a dead man to life, at last opened the eyes of the barbarians, and the country came in crowds to receive baptism, destroying the temples of their idols with their own hands.

 He founded numerous monasteries in Belgium, including Mont-Blandin (and perhaps Mount Bavon) at Ghent and the Abbey of Elnon (later called Saint-Amand), as well as a convent at Nivelles. Some incorrectly say that he was chosen bishop of Maastricht, and that after three years he resigned to return to missionary work, although Pope Saint Martin had encouraged him to persevere. He spent the last four years of his life as abbot of Elnon Monastery near Tournai and died there, aged almost 90, after dictating his testament which has survived. His relics are kept at the monastery where he died.

 Amand's cultus was widespread in Flanders and Picardy, and reached England through visits of churchmen such as Saint Dunstan to his monasteries in Ghent or Elnon. His name occurs in several medieval English calendars, and a chapel is dedicated to him at East Hendred. The Sarum Breviary honored Saint Amandus and Saint Vedast with an office of nine lessons