Sunday, August 31, 2014


St. Erluph

Erluph of Werden
Feast day: February 10
Died 830.

   Martyred bishop of Werden, Germany. From Scotland originally,  Pagans martyred Erluph to protest his success as a missionary.

    Saint Erluph was one of ten bishops of Verden, Germany, who were said to be of Irish extraction. Erluph came to Germany as a missionary and became the third bishop of Verden, succeeding Saint Tanco. Like his predecessor, he was killed by a pagan mob. In 1630, his relics were discovered with those of other bishops during the repair of the old cathedral. The remains were encased in a casket and placed in back of the high altar until Bishop Francis William fled with them in 1659 to Regensburg in the wake of Swedish invaders.

Saturday, August 30, 2014


St. William of Maleval

Also known as William of Malval or Malvalla
Feastday: February 10

Death: 1157

Born in France; died at Maleval, Italy, February 10, 1157;

canonized by Innocent III in 1202.

Hermit. A native of France, he led a dissolute early and maritial life but underwent a conversion through a pilgrimage to Rome, where he was forced to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land at the command of Pope Eugenius Ill, . 1145-1153. Upon his return, he lived as a hermit and then became head of a monastery near Pisa. As he failed to bring about serious reforms among the monks there or on Monte Pruno Bruno, he departed and once more took up the life of a hermit near Siena. Attracting a group of followers, the hermits received papal sanction. They later developed into the Hermits of St. William the Gulielmites until absorbed into the Augustinian Canons. In his later years, William was noted for his gifts of prophecy and miracles.

 After carefree years of licentious military life, William experienced a conversion of heart
of which we are told nothing. The first real piece of information we have is that the penitent Frenchman made a pilgrimage to the tombs of the apostles at Rome. Here he begged Pope Eugenius III for pardon and to set him on a course of penance for his sins. Eugenius enjoined him to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1145. William followed his counsel and spent eight years on the journey, returning to Italy a changed man.
    In 1153, William became a hermit in on the isle of Lupocavio near Pisa in Tuscany for a time. So many joined his until he was prevailed upon to undertake the governance. He wasn't well suited to lead other men. First he failed to maintain discipline at the abbey. Unable to bear the tepidity and irregularity of his monks,
he withdrew to Monte Bruno. But same thing happened when he organized the disciples who had gathered around him into his own abbey on Monte Bruno.

 Finally, in September 1155, he realized this was not God's plan for him and he embraced the eremitical life amid the solitude of Maleval then called the Stable of Rhodes near Siena. At Maleval he lived in an underground cave until the lord of Buriano discovered him some months later and built him a cell. For the
first four months, William had only the beasts for company and only forage for food.

 The example of his life soon attracted another of like mind. On the Feast of the Epiphany 1156, he was joined by a companion named Albert, who lived with him the rest of his life only 13 months
and recorded William's vita. Like most of the early hermits, William used extreme penances to atone for his earlier sinful life. He slept on the bare ground, ate sparingly of only the coarsest fare, and drank only limited amounts of water. Prayer, contemplation, and manual labor employed all his waking moments.
William had the gift of working miracles and of prophecy.  Shortly before William's death, which he predicted, he and Albert were joined by a physician named Rinaldo. The two disciples buried
William in his little garden, and together studied to live according to William's maxims and example. Later their number increased and they built a chapel over their founder's grave with a hermitage; however his relics were dispersed in the wars between Siena and Grosseto.

 This was the origin of the Gulielmites, or Hermits of Saint William, which spread throughout Italy, France, Flanders, and Germany. Gregory IX, mitigating their austerities, gave the Rule of
Saint Benedict to the group organized as the Order of Bare- Footed Friars, but they were eventually absorbed by the Augustinian hermits except for 12 houses in the Low Countries.

 William is honored in the new Paris Missal and Breviary, where his feast is kept at the Abbey of Blancs-Manteaux, founded in 1257 as a mendicant order, called the Servants of the Virgin Mary, but
bestowed on the Gulielmites after the second council of Lyons in 1297.


St. Austreberta
Austreberta of Pavilly
Also known as Eustreberta

Feast day: February 10
Birth: 630
Death: 704
Born near Therouanne,Benedictine abbess, Artois, France, 630; died in Normandy, 704. Austreberta means 'wheat of God', the daughter of the Count Palatine Badefrid and St. Framechildis, near Therouanne, Artois, France. Faced with an unwanted marriage, Austreberta went to St. Omer, who gave her the veil, the symbol of the consecrated virgin. She also convinced her family that she had a true vocation. Austreberta entered the convent of Abbeville, Port-sur-Somme.where she later became abbess. She left the convent at Port to direct and reform a new and laxly established garret of 25 nuns in Parvilly.
 She was famed for her visions and miracles.


Sts. Andrew and Aponius
Death:  1st century.
Feastday: February 10
Andrew and Aponius are said to have been martyred at Bethlehem during the persecution mentioned in Acts 12, in which Saint James the Great was put to death .

Martyr in Palestine, with St. Aponius. The two were caught up in a persecution started instigated by King Herod Antipas against the Nazarene community of Jerusalem. St. James the Greater/Elder, was also beheaded in this persecution.


St. Scholastica

 Born in Nursia /Nurcia, Italy,  480 ;
Died near Monte Cassino, Italy,  543.

Feast day: February 10

Death: 543

Almost everything we know about Saint Scholastica comes from the Dialogues of Saint Gregory the Great.

St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, consecrated her life to God from her earliest youth.

 Saint Scholastica, twin sister of Saint Benedict of Nursia who founded of the Benedictine order, was consecrated to God at a very early age but probably continued to live in her parents' home. It is said that she was as devoted to Jesus as she was to her brother. So, when Benedict established his monastery at Monte Cassino, Scholastica founded a convent in nearby Plombariola, about five miles south of Monte Cassino. The convent is said to have been under the direction of her brother, thus she is regarded as the first Benedictine nun.

 The siblings were quite close. The respective rules of their houses proscribed either entering the other's monastery. According to Saint Gregory, they met once a year at a house near Monte Cassino monastery to confer on spiritual matters, and were eventually buried together, probably in the same grave. Saint Gregory says, "so death did not separate the bodies of these two, whose minds had ever been united in the Lord."

 Saint Gregory tells the charming story of the last meeting of the two saints on earth. Scholastica and Benedict had spent the day in the "mutual comfort of heavenly talk" and with nightfall approaching, Benedict prepared to leave. Scholastica, having a presentiment that it would be their last opportunity to see each other alive, asked him to spend the evening in conversation. Benedict sternly refused because he did not wish to break his own rule by spending a night away from Monte Cassino. Thereupon, Scholastica cried openly, laid her head upon the table, and prayed that God would intercede for her. As she did so, a sudden storm arose. The violent rain and hail came in such a torrential downpour that Benedict and his companions were unable to depart.

 "May Almighty God forgive you, sister" said Benedict, "for what you have done."

 "I asked a favor of you," Scholastica replied simply, "and you refused it. I asked it of God, and He has granted it!"

 Just after his return to Monte Cassino, Benedict saw a vision of Scholastica's soul departing her body, ascending to heaven in the form of a dove. She died three days after their last meeting. He placed her body in the tomb he had prepared for himself, and arranged for his own to be placed there after his death. Her relics were alleged by the monk Adrevald to have been translated July 11 to a rich silver shrine in Saint Peter's Church in Le Mans, France, which may have been when Benedict's were moved to Fleury. In 1562, this shrine was preserved from the Huguenots' plundering.

 Some say that we should only petition God for momentously important matters. God's love, however, is so great that we wishes to give us every good thing. He is ever ready to hear our prayers: our prayers of praise and thanksgiving, and our prayers of petition, repentance, and intercession. Nothing is too great or too trivial to share with our Father. The dependent soul learns that everything we are and have is from His bountiful goodness; when we finally learn that lesson we turn to Him with all our hopes and dreams and needs. Saint Scholastica is obviously one of those who learned the lesson of her own helplessness . 


St. Primus and Donatus

Primus and Donatus Deacons
 feast day : February 9
 Died 362.

Deacons in the African Church who were put to death by a group of Donatist heretics after they resisted the take over of a Catholic church in Lavallum, northwest Africa.


Blessed Marianus Scotus,
 Also known as Muirdach MacRobartaigh or MuiredachMacGroarty,Marianus of Ireland
 Born early 11th century in County Donegal, Ireland;
Died 1088.
Feast day :february 9  formerly 17 April ,formerly 4 July
The noble MacRobartaigh family is related to the O'Donnels, who were the hereditary keepers
of the Cathach "Battle Book of Colmcille". In 1067, Muirdach set out with some companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route he was induced to become a Benedictine at Michelsberg Abbey near
Bamberg, Germany. The pilgrims stopped to rest at a hostel maintained by the local convent. Its abbess, Emma, learned that Muirdach was extraordinarily gifted at producing manuscripts. Using
the seemingly irresistible powers of persuasion that all nuns seem to have, he took up her suggestion and migrated to Upper Minster at Regensburg to create the literary treasures of Saint Peter's Church
in Regensburg. The most famous of these are the Pauline Epistles that now reside in the Imperial Library at Vienna, Austria. The quality and quantity of his artful productions, which appear inspired by the Holy Spirit gained for him a reputation for sanctity.

 In 1078, he founded and became the abbot of the abbey of Saint Peter in Regensburg. Having successfully taken charge of the church and abbey attached to it for the task of copying manuscripts, other
Irish monks were attracted to the mission. The abbey expanded to the point that, within 10 years, plans were made for another such monastery. In this way, Muirdach originated the congregation of 12
"Scottish," that is, Irish monasteries in southern Germany. The reason for the term "Scottish" is that it was used from the time of the Romans for the Irish. Even 200 years after the establishment of
the Scottish monarchy, the term was commonly used for things Irish. Although Scottish monks pressured Pope Leo XIII, who did permit them in 1515 to take possession of Saint James in Regensburg and
the abbeys at Constanz and Erfurt. In Germany, the 12 are still known as the Schottenkloster.  


Saint Sabinus of Canosa
Feast day :February 9
Died :556 Relics at Bari, Italy

Bishop of Canosa, in the Apulia region of southern Italy. Friend of Saint Benedict of Narsia. Papal legate for Pope Saint Agapitus I to the court of Emperor Justinian at Constantinople from 535 to 536. Sabinus went blind in his later years.  He is the patron saint of Bari, where his relics are now enshrined.


Blessed Erizzo,
Feast day :February 9
Born in Florence, Italy
Died 1094
 Beatified :1600 by Pope Clement VIII .
Erizzo was Saint John Gualbert's first disciple. He later became the fourth general of the Vallumbrosans . 


Saint Brachio of Auvergne

 Feast day : February 9

Born :Touraine, France

Died :576 in Auvergne, France

Courtier in service to Count Sigivald of Clermont, and a man who loved hunting. One day as he was hunting a wild boar, the animal ran into the hut of a hermit named Emilien where it knew it was safe. Brachio became interested in the man, and after time with him, he became interested in religious life. Soon afterwards he gave up the worldly life and spent two years as a spiritual student of Emilien. Other would-be students were attracted to the hermitage, and after Emilien’s death, Brachio turned the place into a monastery and served as its first abbot.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerick

Feast day: February 9

Birth: 1774

Death: 1824

Beatified By: October 3, 2004, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II

The tomb of Anne Catherine at the Holy Cross church in Dulmen, Germany
As a young lay woman in Coesfeld, Germany, Anne Catherine Emmerick, employed as a seamstress, daily attended Mass, visited the Blessed Sacrament, and in the late evening spent hour upon hour praying on her knees. Around midnight, she would leave her home to make the Stations of the Cross by candlelight at a series of wayside shrines outside her village, along a lengthy path that wound through the pine woods, taking over two hours to complete. She offered her devotions especially for the souls in purgatory, who in turn assisted her, as she explained: Whenever I do something for them, they pray for me.In her interior life, she drew much inspiration from the liturgical ceremonies of the Church, especially those of Holy Week. At the age of twenty-eight, Anne Catherine entered an Augustinian convent. But in 1811, after nine years of religious life, she was forced to leave when her convent was suppressed by Napoleon, who controlled the region. Soon afterward, she fell ill, and spent her remaining years bedridden. In this state of suffering, she received numerous visions, private revelations, and the mystical gift of the stigmata.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was born on September 8, 1774 in the farming community of Flamsche near Coesfeld. She grew up amidst a host of nine brothers and sisters. She had to help out in the house and with the farm work at an early age. Her school attendance was brief, which made it all the more remarkable that she was well instructed in religious matters. Her parents and all those who knew Anna Katherina noticed early on that she felt drawn to prayer and to the religious life in a special way.

Anna Katharina labored for three years on a large farm in the vicinity. Then she learned to sew and stayed in Coesfeld for her further training. She loved to visit the old churches in Coesfeld and to join in the celebration of Mass. She often walked the path of Coesfeld's long Way of the Cross alone, praying the stations by herself.

Anna Katharina wanted to enter the convent, but since her wish could not be fulfilled at that time, she returned to her parental home. She worked as a seamstress and, while doing so, visited many homes.

Anna Katherina asked for admission to different convents, but she was rejected because she could not bring a significant dowry with her. The Poor Clares in Münster finally agreed to accept her if she would learn to play the organ. She received her parents' permission to be trained in Coesfeld by the organist Söntgen. But she never got around to learning how to play the organ. The misery and poverty in the Söntgen household prompted her to work in the house and help out in the family. She even sacrificed her small savings for their sake.

Together with her friend Klara Söntgen Anna Katharina was finally able to enter the convent Agnetenberg in Dülmen in 1802. The following year she took her religious vows. She participated enthusiastically in the life of the convent. She was always willing to take on hard work and loathsome tasks. Because of her impoverished background she was at first given little respect in the convent. Some of the sisters took offence at her strict observance of the order's rule and considered her a hypocrite. Anna Katharina bore this pain in silence and quiet submission.

From 1802 to 1811 Anna Katharina was ill quite often and had to endure great pain.

As a result of secularization the convent of Agnetenberg was suppressed in 1811, and Anna Katharina had to leave the convent along with the others. She was taken in as a housekeeper at the home of Abbé Lambert, a priest who had fled France and lived in Dülmen. But she soon became ill. She was unable to leave the house and was confined to bed. In agreement with Curate Lambert she had her younger sister Gertrud come to take over the housekeeping under her direction.

During this period Anna Katharina received the stigmata. She had already endured the pain of the stigmata for a long time. The fact that she bore the wounds of Christ could not remain hidden. Dr. Franz Wesener, a young doctor, went to see her, and he was so impressed by her that he became a faithful, selfless and helping friend during the following eleven years. He kept a diary about his contacts with Anna Katharina Emmerick in which he recorded a wealth of details.

A striking characteristic of the life of Anna Katharina was her love for people. Wherever she saw need she tried to help. Even in her sickbed she sewed clothes for poor children and was pleased when she could help them in this way. Although she could have found her many visitors annoying, she received all of them kindly. She embraced their concerns in her prayers and gave them encouragement and words of comfort.

Many prominent people who were important in the renewal movement of the church at the beginning of the 19th century sought an opportunity to meet Anna Katharina, among them Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, Bernhard Overberg, Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg, Johann Michael Sailer, Christian and Clemens Brentano, Luise Hensel, Melchior and Apollonia Diepenbrock.

The encounter with Clemens Brentano was particularly significant. His first visit led him to stay in Dülmen for five years. He visited Anna Katharina daily to record her visions which he later published.

Anna Katharina grew ever weaker during the summer of 1823. As always she joined her suffering to the suffering of Jesus and offered it up for the salvation of all. She died on February 9, 1824.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was buried in the cemetery in Dülmen. A large number of people attended the funeral. Because of a rumor that her corpse had been stolen the grave was reopened twice in the weeks following the burial. The coffin and the corpse were found to be intact.

Clemens Brentano wrote the following about Anna Katharina Emmerick: “She stands like a cross by the wayside”. Anna Katharina Emmerick shows us the center of our Christian faith, the mystery of the cross.

The life of Anna Katharina Emmerick is marked by her profound closeness to Christ. She loved to pray before the famous Coesfeld Cross, and she walked the path of the long Way of the Cross frequently. So great was her personal participation in the sufferings of our Lord that it is not an exaggeration to say that she lived, suffered and died with Christ. An external sign of this, which is at the same time, however, more than just a sign, are the wounds of Christ which she bore.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was a great admirer of Mary. The feast of the Nativity of Mary was also Anna Katharina's birthday. A verse from a prayer to Mary highlights a further aspect of Anna Katharina's life for us. The prayer states, “O God, let us serve the work of salvation following the example of the faith and the love of Mary”. To serve the work of salvation - that is what Anna Katharina wanted to do.

In Colossians the apostle Paul speaks of two ways to serve the gospel, to serve salvation. One consists in the active proclamation in word and deed. But what if that is no longer possible? Paul, who obviously finds himself in such a situation, writes: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24).

Anna Katharina Emmerick served salvation in both ways. Her words, which have reached innumerable people in many languages from her modest room in Dülmen through the writings of Clemens Brentano, are an outstanding proclamation of the gospel in service to salvation right up to the present day. At the same time, however, Anna Katharina Emmerick understood her suffering as a service to salvation. Dr. Wesener, her doctor, recounts her petition in his diary: “I have always requested for myself as a special gift from God that I suffer for those who are on the wrong path due to error or weakness, and that, if possible, I make reparation for them.” It has been reported that Anna Katharina Emmerick gave many of her visitors religious assistance and consolation. Her words had this power because she brought her life and suffering into the service of salvation.

In serving the work of salvation through faith and love, Anna Katharina Emmerick can be a model for us.

Dr. Wesener passed on this remark of Anna Katharina Emmerick: “I have always considered service to my neighbor to be the greatest virtue. In my earliest childhood I already requested of God that he give me the strength to serve my fellow human beings and to be useful. And now I know that he has granted my request.” How could she who was confined to her sickroom and her bed for years serve her neighbor?

In a letter to Count Stolberg, Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, the vicar‑general at that time, called Anna Katharina Emmerick a special friend of God. In the words of Hans Urs von Balthasar we can say, “She brought her friendship with God to bear in solidarity with human beings.”

To bring friendship with God to bear in solidarity with human beings - does this not shed light on an important concern in the life of the church today? The Christian faith no longer includes everyone. In our world the Christian community represents people before God. We must bring our friendship with God to bear, let it be the decisive factor in solidarity with human beings.

Anna Katharina Emmerick is united to us in the community of believers. This community does not come to an end with death. We believe in the lasting communion with all whom God has led to perfection. We are united with them beyond death and they participate in our lives. We can invoke them and ask for their intercession. We ask Anna Katharina Emmerick, the newly named Blessed, to bring her friendship with God to bear in solidarity with us and with all human beings.


St. Nicephorus

Nicephorus of Antioch
Feast day: February 9

 Died 260.

Martyr. He was supposedly put to death during the persecutions under Emperor Valenan, although there is serious question about his historical existence. Tradition states that Nicephorus martyrdom involved a priest named Sapricius, who apostatized, which brought about Nicephorus death.

 Saint Nicephorus was martyred in Antioch under Valerian. The known acta may be pious fiction designed to teach the need to forgive injuries. They tell us that Nicephorus had a long- time, close friend, a priest named Sapricius. The two had a falling out, which turned friendship into hatred. After a long time, Nicephorus
reflected upon the grievousness of the sin of hatred, and resolved to seek a reconciliation. Because Sapricius would not talk to him, he asked some mutual friends to go to Sapricius to beg his pardon and promise him satisfaction for the injury done him.  The priest refused to forgive him. Again, Nicephorus tried a second and a third time to forge a reconciliation. Sapricius was inflexible. He had shut his heart to Christ's command to forgive others in order that the Father might forgive us. Finally, to no avail, Nicephorus himself went to his former friend, cast himself at Sapricius's feet, and begged forgiveness.

 At that time, 260 AD, another persecution of Christians was raging. Sapricius was arrested, examined, and tortured in an attempt to make him apostatize. The words of Sapricius were commendable. Sapricius received the sentence of beheading with seeming cheerfulness. On his way to the place of execution, he was
met by Nicephorus, who caste himself at the priest's feet: "Martyr of Jesus Christ, forgive me my offense." But Sapricius would not answer.

 Nicephorus waited for him in another street which he was to pass through, and as soon as he saw him coming up, broke through the crowd, and falling again at his feet, begged pardon for the injury
caused by frailty rather than design. This he begged by the glorious confession he had made of the divinity of Jesus Christ. Sapricius's heart was more and more hardened, and now he would not so much as look on him. The soldiers laughed at Nicephorus, saying: "I've never seen a greater fool than you who are so solicitous for the pardon of a man on the verge of execution." At the place of execution, Nicephorus redoubled his humble entreaties and supplications, but all in vain; for Sapricius continued as obstinate as ever, in refusing to forgive. At the same time the devil was working in other ways. Sapricius apostatized at the last moment. Nicephorus, taken aback, demurred, "Brother, what are you doing? Don't renounce Jesus Christ our good Master! Don't forfeit the crown you have already won by your sufferings!" But Sapricius
paid no attention.

 Then with tears of bitter anguish for Sapricius, Nicephorus confessed that he was a Christian and was ready to die in place of Sapricius. Everyone there was astonished. At first the officers of justice were uncertain how to proceed. Nicephorus was executed by the sword and won for himself three immortal crowns, namely, of
faith, humility, and charity .


St. Raynald of Nocera

Feast day: February 9

Birth: 1150

Death: 1225

             Born near Nocera, Umbria, Italy;Benedictine bishop Born in Umbria, Italy, Saint Raynald, son of German parents, became a Benedictine monk at Fontavellana. he entered the Benedictines and served the order in various capacities until receiving appointment as bishop of Nocera in 1222.Owing to the excellence of his service as bishop, he is considered the patron saint of that city. He was known as the corrector of sinners, protector of the poor and sick, and friend of Saint Francis of Assisi. He is now venerated as the chief patron of Nocera.


St. Cuaran

Cuaran the Wise
Also known as Curvinus, Cronan
Feastday: February 9

Death: 700

An Irish bishop, also called Curvinus or Cronan known for his wisdom.
 Saint Cuaran was another Irish bishop . He concealed his episcopal status in order to become a simple monk at Iona, Scotland, after retiring as bishop, hoping to conceal his identity. St. Columba, however, recognized Cuaran.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


St. Teilo
Teilo of Llandaff
Also known as Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Dillo,

Dillon, Elidius, Eliud

Feast day: February 9

Birth: 500

Death: 560

Welsh bishop, also called Eliud, Issell, Teillo, Teilou, Dub, and Theliau. A native of Penally, Pembrokshire, Wales, he studied under Sts. Dyfrig and Dubricius. He accompanied the famed St. David
of Wales to Jerusalem and was a friend and assistant to St. Samson in Brittany, France, for seven years. Returning to Wales in 554, he was quite successful as a preacher and founded and served as abbot-bishop of Llandaff monastery in Dyfed, Wales. He was buried in Llandaff Cathedral.

 Born near Penally by Tenby, Pembrokeshire; died c. 580. There is plenty of evidence, both documentary and from place names and dedications, that Saint Teilo was widely venerated in southern Wales and Brittany. His name may be spelled Teilio, Teilus, Thelian, Teilan, Teilou, Teliou, Dillo, or Dillon. He was
undoubtedly an influential churchman, whose principal monastic foundation and center of ministry was Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire; but available information on his life is late, confused, and contradictory.
Some facts are fairly certain. Teilo was educated under Saint Dyfrig Dubricius and a Paulinus, possibly Paul Aurelian through whom he met Saint David /Dewi. We are told among other things that Teilo went with Saint David and Saint Paternus on David's mythical pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is also related that during the 'yellow plague,' so called "because it made everyone it attacked yellow and bloodless," he went to Brittany and stayed with Saint Samson at Dol. There they "planted a big orchard of fruit-trees, three miles long, reaching from Dol to Cai, which is still called after their names." After seven years Teilo went back to Wales, dying at or near Llandeilo Fawr in Carmarthenshire, the site of his chief monastery and the center of his ministry.
One of the interesting, though probably fictional, elements of his story is that his sister Anaumed went over to Armorica in 490, and upon her arrival was married to Budic, king of the Armorican Britons. Before she left her own country she promised her brother that she would consecrate her first child in a particular manner to

 It is said that Llandeilo, Penally, and Llandaff disputed which should have his relics. Miraculously his body multiplied into three overnight so that each should have it. This is the explanation given for the three different sets of relics for Teilo.
 Much of the writing about Saint Teilo was composed in the interests of the medieval see of Llandaff, which claimed him as its second bishop. About 1130, Geoffrey /Galfridus, a priest of Llandaff, composed a vita of Teilo in the form of a sermon. A longer version of this life, altered to add importance to the diocese of Llandaff, can be found in the Liber Landavensis. Teilo is co-titular of the Llandaff cathedral with Saints Peter, Dubricius, and Oudoceus /Euddogwy. The last-named was claimed as Teilo's nephew and successor at Llandaff, but it is possible that he was a fictitious character, made up from legends about other
The Gospels of Saint Chad written in southwestern Mercia about 700 AD became the property of a church of Saint Teilo; marginal notes show that in the 9th century Teilo was venerated in southern Wales
as the founder of a monastery called the Familia Teliavi. The book itself was regarded as belonging to Teilo; the curse of God and the saint is invoked on those who break the agreements contained in it.
 The tomb of Saint Teilo, on which oaths are taken, is in Llandaff

Cathedral. It was opened in 1850. Inside it was a record of another opening in 1736: "the parson buried appear'd to be a bishop by his Pastorall Staffe and Crotcher." The staff disintegrated but the pewter crozier remained. Outside of Wales, Teilo's name is especially venerated in Landeleau diocese of Quimper, Brittany. His feast is still observed in the archdiocese of Cardiff and on Caldey Island .


St.Ammon, Emilian, Lassa & Comp.

Feast day: February 9

Death: unknown

Martyr with Emilian, Lassa, and companions. This was a group of 44 Christians martyred at Membressa in Africa.


Ammonius and Alexander

Feast day: February 9

Death: unknown
 Saints Ammonius and Alexander were martyred at Soli, Cyprus.


Sts.Alexander and Companions

Feast day: February 9

Death: unknown

Saint Alexander and 38 others were martyred at Rome on this day. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Michael of Ecuador

St. Michael Febres Cordero

Feast day: February 9

Birth: 1854

Death: 1910

Beatified By: October 30, 1977 by Pope Paul VI

Canonized By: October 21, 1984 by Pope John Paul II
 Also known as Miguel of Ecuador and Miguel or Francisco Febres Cordero Muñoz
Ecuadorian de Ia Salle Brother, the first native vocation there. A teacher, he was honored with membership in the great Academie Francaise. Michael died near Barcelona in Spain after teaching for many years and serving as a model of prayer and charity. In 1936, his intact body was returned to Ecuador. Pope John Paul II canonized him in 1984.

 Born at Cuenca, Ecuador, on November 7, 1854; died near Barcelona, Spain, on February 9, 1910; beatified with fellow Christian Brother Mutien-Marie by Pope Paul VI on October 30, 1977; canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 7, 1984 the feast of the order's founder.

 "The heart is rich when it is content, and it is always content when its desires are set upon God." --Saint Miguel of Ecuador. Miguel, baptized Francisco, is first person from Ecuador to be canonized. He was the grandson of León Febres Cordero, a famous general who fought for Ecuador's independence from Spain, and son of Francisco Febres Cordero Montoya, who was influential in the political affairs of the country. Francisco senior was a cultured man of charm, who was fluent in five languages and, in fact, was teaching English and French at the seminary in Cuenca at the time of the saint's birth. Undoubtedly, the son's vocation was influenced by his mother Ana Muñoz and her pious family. She was one of 19 children, five of whom became nuns and one a Jesuit priest. God established the perfect family for the cultivation of a scholar saint.

 At the age of nine, Francisco became one of the first students at the school opened in Cuenca by the Christian Brothers (De LaSalle Brothers) in 1863. He could scarcely walk because of a deformity of his feet but he became a brilliant scholar.

 Francisco loved the intellectual life he discovered at the school and the humble lifestyle of the brothers. Later wanted to join the order. In fact, he later wrote: "From the moment I entered the school of the Brothers, God gave me a burning desire one day to be clothed in the holy habit of the Institute. I always enjoyed being among the Brothers..."

 But his parents objected. They would be proud to have a priest in the family, but could not understand his desire to be a lay brother. Knowing that he had a calling to the religious life and not wishing to disappoint his parents, Francisco entered the seminary. Within a few months he fell gravely ill and was forced to return home. His mother finally agreed that he should try his vocation as a brother.

 On March 24, 1868, Francisco became Miguel when he took the black and white habit of the De LaSalle Brothers at Cuenca. He taught languages (Spanish, French, and English) at his alma mater and a year later was assigned to the Beaterio at Quito. The six-year-old school had 250 pupils when he arrived and six years later had over 1,000. During this period Brother Miguel published his first of many books.

 But writing and teaching secular subjects was not his primary joy-- his first love was preparing children for their first Communion. And it appears that his joy translated into learning: he was a very popular teacher. Brother Miguel saw his teaching as an apostolic vocation. He wrote: "In the miserable state of modern society, my divine Savior calls me to conquer souls, without really needing my help or without considering my absolute incapacity for any good. Can I be deaf to His voice? Can I be afraid of disappointment when He promises to be with me? Can I be so bold as to refuse this demonstration of love and gratitude? I must engage in all the works that I undertake with a spirit of love, of gratitude for the divine goodness which has been gracious enough to employ me for His glory and the salvation of souls."

 Official recognition of Miguel's talents as an educator first came in the form of the appointment as a public examiner and inspector of Quito's schools. In the midst of these duties, teaching, and monastic obligations, Brother Miguel found the time to continue to be a scholar. He wrote textbooks, a catechism, poetry, and works of Christian spirituality. He gained special renown for his studies of Castilian Spanish, some of which became required texts for all schools in Ecuador. Eventually he was elected a member of the National Academy of Ecuador 1892; which included membership in the Royal Academy of Spain, the Academie Française 1900, and the Academy of Venezuela 1906.

 In March 1907, he was summoned to Europe to translate more textbooks and other documents from French. The aura of civil and religious unrest in France made it urgent to translate the documents of the De LaSalle Institute into Spanish in order to ensure the continuance of the order's work outside France. Miguel fell ill soon after his arrival in April. Upon his recovery, he worked at the house on the rue de Sèvres in Paris. From Paris he wrote, "I have my room, some books, and a nearby chapel. That is complete happiness."

 In July he was transferred to the motherhouse at Lembecq-lez-Hal near Brussels to continue his work and attend the generalate of his congregation in Belgium. He was allowed to stay in Europe so that he would have more time to write. When Miguel became sick in Belgium, he was sent to the institute's junior novitiate at Paremi de Mar near Barcelona, Spain, where he taught Spanish for a few months. The outbreak of civil unrest in Barcelona on July 26, 1909, led to attacks on religious and the destruction of Church property, which caused stress for all the brothers. It resulted in Brother Miguel catching a cold in January 1910, but his condition deteriorated rapidly until he died in the presence of his religious brothers on February 9, 1910.

 Brother Miguel's reputation as a teacher and scholar was matched by the renown of his holiness. A popular cultus arose shortly after his death, especially in Spanish-speaking countries. From his earliest years he had such a strong personal devotion to Jesus and the Blessed Mother that they were living presences to him. He conversed with them as easily as with his brothers.

 His first biographer wrote: "Our beloved Ecuadorian Brother was certainly not gifted by heaven with that sort of plastic beauty which so easily fades with years. Although rather tall in stature, his posture became stooped quite early in his life. His countenance was dark and somewhat emaciated, prematurely furrowed with wrinkles that came from his sufferings and his practices of mortification. Even so, his facial expression reflected in some indefinable way the beauty of his soul and the interior illumination of divine grace. This reverberated through his whole being which overflowed with a certain gentleness that came from his peaceful and kindly nature. His very thin lips always bore the glimmer of a continual and gracious smile. His eyes, limpid and transparent as those of the most innocent child, sparkled with the joy and serenity that could only be due to that indescribable peace of which Scripture speaks. In sum, the serene expression in all his features gave the impression that underneath there was a calm and imperturbable spirit."

 His relics were returned to Ecuador during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 and received a triumphant welcome upon their arrival in Ecuador on February 5, 1937. Within a short time, his tomb at Quito became a pilgrimage center.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


St. Nebridius

Nebridius of Egara
Died after 527.

Feast day: February 9
 Bishop Saint Nebridius governed the city of Egara, near Barcelona, Spain. The see no longer exists, nor does the city .

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


St. Eingan
Eingan of Llanengan,
Feast day: February 9
 Also known as Einganor Eneon, Einion, Eneon, Anianus
Death: 6th century

Died . 590

Welsh prince and hermit, also called Anianus, Einon, and Eneon. He came from Cumberland, in Wales, the son of a chieftain..
Feast day sometimes shown as April 21. The British or Scotus)prince Saint Eingan or Eneon Bhrenin, left Cumberland for Wales, where he ended his days as a hermit at Llanengan near Bangor. He is said to have been a son of the chieftain Cunedda, whose family claims no less than 50 saints.


St. Cronan the Wise

Feast day: February 9

Death: 8th century

A bishop of Ireland, possibly identified with St. Roman He systematized canon law in Ireland.

  The Irish Bishop Saint Cronan is called "the wise" because he systematized Irish canon law. He was a lover of liturgy and modesty. Cronan may be the same person as Bishop Saint Ronan of Lismore .


St. Ansbert

Ansbert of Fontenelle

 Also known as Aubert
Feast day: February 9
 Died . 695-700.

 A noted courtier, Ansbert was named the abbot of Fontenelle in Rouen, France.Ansbert succeeded St. Quen as bishop of Rouen, but was caught up in the political upheavals of his time. After a time, Ansbert was exiled to Hautmont Monastery by Pepin, the mayor of the royal palace.
                     Saint Ansbert was the chancellor of the court of Clotaire III. Apparently, he was both a married man  and a statesman, yet he was called by God to another life. He left the court for the Fontenelle Abbey where he placed himself under its founder, Saint Wandrille. When Wandrille's successor, Saint Lambert, was raised to the see of Lyons in 678, Ansbert was chosen to be its third abbot. He governed Fontenelle and was the confessor to King Theodoric III, until he was consecrated bishop of Rouen upon the death of Saint Ouen in 684. Although piety flourished in his see with his care, wisdom, and learning, Pepin of Heristal, mayor of the palace, banished him upon a false accusation to the monastery of Hautmont at Hainault on the Sambre, where he died

 In art, Saint Ansbert is a bishop with a chalice and the abbey of Fontenelle is behind him. He might have a scourge in his hands .

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Alto of Alto
Feast day: February 9
 Died . 760.

Hermit and missionary, recorded as an Irishmen or possibly an Anglo-Saxon. He lived near Augsburg, Germany, arriving in the region circa 743. Living in a simple hut in wild lands, Alto soon achieved a reputation for holiness and austerity. Word of his good works reached King Pepin, who gave him a parcel of land near Altmunster, in modern Friesling Diocese in Bavaria. Alto cleared the land and founded an abbey. St. Boniface came in 750 to dedicate the abbey church. The monastery was ravaged by the Huns but was restored in 1000 and made a Benedictine house.The Brigittines took it over in the fifteenth century.
 King Pepin, hearing of Alto's holiness, gave him the land there on which Alto founded the monastery of Altomunster in Upper Bavaria. Saint Boniface dedicated its church in 750. In 1000 AD, according to tradition, Alto appeared in a vision to the king of Bavaria and asked him to restore the abbey, which the king did. Altomünster, which has been a Brigittine abbey for five centuries, still survives .

 Saint Alto is represented as a bishop with the Christ-child and a chalice. At times he is shown with Saint Virgilius of Salzburg or Saint Bridget .

Monday, August 11, 2014


Apollonia Apolline of Alexandria
St. Apollonia
with Metras, Quinta, and Serapion
Died in Alexandria in 249.
Feast day: February 9

St. Apollonia, who died in the year 249, was martyred for not renouncing her faith during the reign of Emperor Philip. The account of the life of St. Apollonia was written by St. Dionysius to Fabian, Bishop of Antioch. Apollonia had all her teeth knocked out after being hit in the face by a Christian persecutor under the reign of Emperor Philip. After she was threatened with fire unless she renounced her faith, Apollonia jumped into the flames voluntarily. She is considered the patron of dental diseases and is often invoked by those with toothaches. Ancient art depicts her with a golden tooth at the end of her necklace. Also in art, she is seen with pincers holding a tooth.

feast day formerly February 7. Saint Apollonia was the miraculously conceived daughter of rich, barren parents. After nearly giving up hope of being blessed by a child despite constant prayers to her gods, Apollonia's mother begged the Blessed Virgin to intercede. When in her youth the saint learned of the circumstances of her conception, she became a Christian. Directed by an angel, she went to Saint Leonine, a disciple of Saint Antony, for baptism. An angel then appeared with her baptismal robe and told her to go and preach in Alexandria, which she did. What I have written so fare is part of one version of a legend regarding Saint Apollonia, which ends with with her father giving her up to the authorities for martyrdom. Better sources are available.

 During the persecution of Christians under Philip, Saint Apollonia was caught up in the midst of a bloodthirsty mob out to kill as many Christians as possible. Christians were dragged from their homes, while their property was looted. It started with a poet of Alexandria, who pretended to foretell disaster because of the presence of the impious Christians. He stirred up this great city.

 The first victim of their rage was a venerable old man, named Metranus Metras. When he refused to utter impious words against the worship of the true God, they beat him with staffs, thrust splinters of reeds into his eyes, and stoned him to death. The next personthe mob seized was a Christian woman, called Cointha Quinta), whom they carried to one of their temples to pay divine worship to the idol. She reproached the execrable divinity, which so exasperated the people that they tied her to the tail of a horse and dragged her over the pavement of sharp pebbles, cruelly scourged her, and put her to death. Another victim of this same cruelty was holy man called Serapion, who was tortured in his own house. After bruising his limbs, disjointing and breaking his bones, they threw him headlong from the top of the house onto the pavement, and so completed his martyrdom.

 Apollonia was an old woman, a deaconess, but she was brave as the other Christians. Her bishop, Saint Dionysius, who witnessed her death, described it in a letter to Fabius and preserved by Eusebius, bishop of Antioch:

 "They seized that marvelous aged virgin Apollonia, broke out all her teeth with blows on her jaws, and piling up a bonfire before the city, threatened to burn her alive if she refused to recite with them their blasphemous sayings. But she asked for a brief delay"

 The mob believed that she was trying to decide whether or not to apostatize, but she was stalling so that they would know what she did was of her own volition. She clearly decided that none of them would have the pleasure of throwing her aged body into the fire. Expectantly, the mob let go of her and drew back. At this moment Apollonia "of her own accord leaped into the pyre, being kindled within by the greater fire of the Holy Spirit" (Roman Martyrology)- -to be honored ever since as a fearless Christian martyr. Saint Augustine conjectured that she acted according to a particular prompting of the Holy Spirit; otherwise, it would have been unlawful according to Church canon to take her own life.

 It can never be lawful for a person by any action willfully to concur to, or hasten his own death, though many martyrs, out of a desire to lay down their lives for God, anticipated the executioners in completing their sacrifice. Rather it was a monstrous belief among the ancient Greeks and Romans that it was honorable, even heroic, to commit suicide in distress, as a remedy against temporal miseries. As Christians we believe that our lives are not our own, they belong to God. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Our lives are the greatest gift God has bestowed upon us. Whatever befalls us in this life, it takes more courage and greatness of spirit to endure sufferings patiently than to take our own lives. We see the example of Job in the Old Testament, and trust in God.

 After the deaths of these four martyrs in ancient Alexandria, the rioters were in the height of their fury. Alexandria seemed like a city taken by storm. The Christians made no opposition, but betook themselves to flight, and beheld the loss of their goods with joy; for their hearts had no ties on earth. Their constancy was equal to their disinterestedness; for of all who fell into their hands, Saint Dionysius knew of none that renounced Christ. A civil war put an end to the fury of the populace, but the edict of Decius renewed it in 250. In this true story, we see the damage that can be caused by rumor.

 Although altars and churches were soon dedicated to her in the West, Apollonia appears to have had no cultus in the East. Perhaps this was because she was soon confused with another Saint Apollonia who was martyred by Julian the Apostate. Of course, later artists and writers turned her into a beautiful young girl, daughter of a king, sometimes tortured by her own father by having her teeth extracted by pincers. Sometimes the story ends with the repentance of her father who vows to help those who suffer from toothache.

 A quarterly publication for dentists out of Boston, Massachusetts, is called, appropriately, The Apollonian. Her feast is now celebrated only by those parishes of which she is the patroness .

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Martyrs of Persia
 6th century.
Feast day  :February 8
 Martyrs slain under Cabas 


Martyrs of Constantinople
 Died 485.
5th century
Feast day  :February 8

The community of monks of Saint Dius martyred at the time of the Acacian schism for their fidelity to the Holy See .
     The community of monks of the monastery of Saint Dius at Constantinople, in whose choir by their Rule the Psalmody was continuous by night as by day. At the time of the Acacian Schism they remained faithful to the Holy See, and in consequence many of them were cast into prison and others put to death A.D. 485. They have always been numbered among the Martyrs to the truths of the Faith.


Blessed Mlada of Prague

 Died 994.
Feast day  : February 8

Mlada was a Benedictine abbess and founder of the first monastery in Bohemia. In 965 she undertook a diplomatic trip to Rome and was instrumental in the formation of the Diocese of Prague.

Mlada was the youngest daughter of the Bohemian prince Boleslav I. The 12th-century Chronica Boemorum by Cosmas of Prague describes her as an educated woman; she had studied Latin and was destined for a clerical career. In the years 965 to 969, she was sent by her father to Rome to Pope John XIII to request permission for the establishment of a separate diocese for Bohemia and Moravia. The negotiations were tough. Bohemia was part of the Diocese of Regensburg and Bishop Michael refused to forego the revenue from Czech churches until his death on 23 September 972. The approval was only granted by his successor, Wolfgang of Regensburg. Mlada left Rome in the winter of 972 and returned to Prague. The ecclesiastical permission was followed by secular negotiations. After the Reichstag, meeting in Quedlinburg in March 973, had decided to approve the foundation of the diocese, it took another three years, to 976, until Dětmar was ordained as the first bishop of Prague.

Mlada had also brought another result of her diplomatic mission back to Bohemia: the permission to found a monastery. During her stay in Rome she had entered the Order of Saint Benedict, adopting the religious name Maria, and had been ordained as abbess. Thus she was able to lead the newly formed Abbey at St. George's Church in the Prague Castle, the very first congregation in Bohemia. She held this office until her death.


Stephen Cuenot
Feast day : February 8

 Born at Beaulieu, France, 1802.
 died November 4, 1861.
Beatified in 1909; canonized in 1988 as one of the Martyrs of Vietnam.

Stephen joined the Society of Foreign Missions in Paris and was sent to Annam. In 1833, at a time when xenophobic persecutions were being renewed, he was appointed vicar apostolic of eastern Cochin-
China and received episcopal consecration at Singapore. He returned to Annam where he enjoyed 25 fruitful years of service during which many souls were converted and he established three vicariates. When
another persecution broke out in 1861, Bishop Cuenot was hidden by a pagan until he had to emerge for water. Cuenot was arrested and died in prison of dysentery perhaps of poison shortly after his
arrest and just before the date fixed for his execution. 


Feast day : February 8
John of Matha
 Born in Faucon, Provence, France, June 23, 1160 or June 24, 1169, according to Husenbeth, or 1154 per Tabor.
Died in Rome, Italy, December 17, 1213.
 cultus approved in 1655 and 1694.

St. John was born of very pious and noble parents, at Faucon, on the borders of Provence, June the 24th, 1169, and was baptized John, in honour of St. John the Baptist. His mother dedicated him to God by a vow from his infancy. His father Euphemius sent him to Aix, where he learned grammar, fencing, riding, and other exercises fit for a young nobleman. But his chief attention was to advance in virtue. He gave the poor a considerable part of his money his parents sent him for his own use; he visited the hospital every Friday, assisting the poor sick, dressing and cleansing their sores, and affording them all the comfort in his power.

 Saint John was educated at Aix, but on his return to Faucon lived as a hermit for a time. He then went to Paris where he received his doctorate in theology and was ordained in 1197. At the first Mass he celebrated as a new priest, he had a vision of an angel, clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves, who knelt beside him.

 Thereafter, Saint John joined Saint Felix of Valois in his hermitage at Cerfroid. John confided in Felix his idea of founding a religious order to ransom the thousands of Christians captured the followers of Islam and sold into slavery. Late in 1197, the two went to Rome and found that Pope Innocent III had experienced a similar vision. Without hesitation Innocent provided papal approval for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives the Trinitarians, with John as superior. They also secured the approval of King Philip Augustus of France, and travelled throughout that country collecting money. The order flourished, spread to France, Spain, Italy, and England, sent many of its members to North Africa, and redeemed many captives.

 The Trinitarians would go into the slave markets, buy the Christian slaves and set them free. Of course, this required a good deal of capital. Saint John entrusted the fundraising activities of the Trinitarians under the patronage of Mary, whom John honored with the title, "Our Lady of Good Remedy." They were so successful that, over the centuries, the Trinitarians were able to free thousands of slaves.

 Nothing else is known about Saint John because his biographies were based on spurious records. Felix of Valois may be a fictional character, though his name is generally associated with the real John of Matha. The problem is that there is no record of the person or cultus for Saint Felix until the 17th century. The original story for Saint Felix that was included in the Roman breviary until 1961 .

Friday, August 8, 2014


St. Juventius of Pavia

Feast day: 8 February alone and 12 September

Death: 1st century
Juventius of Pavia
 He shares a second feast with Saint Syrus on September 12. The tradition is that Saint Hermagoras, bishop of Aquileia and disciple of Saint Mark, dispatched Saints Syrus and Juventius to evangelize Pavia Ticinum, where Juventius became its first bishop.

Juventius has two feast days, 8 February alone and 12 September together with Syrus.

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Jacoba de Settesoli OFM .
Also known as Jacqueline de Settesoli
 13th century.
Feast day : February 8
 Jacqueline, friend of Saint Francis of Assisi, Jacoba dei Settesoli was born in Rome and married into the noble Frangipani ,Italian family descended from the Norman knights who invaded Sicily. She married well to Gratien Frangipani, a family renowned for its charity. She was a young widow when she heard of the holy man, Francis of Assisi. Desiring to meet the penitent in order to seek his spiritual advice, she got her wish when Francis and his small band came to Rome to obtain papal approval of the Franciscan Rule of life .

 When Jacqueline was about 22 ,1212.Saint Francis came to Rome for an audience with the pope. While there, he preached so well that he became famous. When Jacqueline heard Francis praise poverty that opens wide the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven, she realized that charity is not dealt with as one would deal with a servant, and that charity is not a fact, but a state. The next day, Jacqueline sought Francis's direction.
                Francis told her to return home, she could not abandon her family. "A perfect life can be lived anywhere. Poverty is everywhere. Charity is everywhere. It is where you are that counts. You have a husband and two children. That is a beautiful frame for a holy life." And, so, Jacqueline joined the third order of Saint Francis; and because she was masculine and energetic she was nicknamed "Brother Jacoba."

 Saint Francis, who was often her guest, had no more devoted follower, and on his visits to Rome she cared for him like a mother. Jacoba helped the brothers in many ways: collecting goods, repairing clothes, finding the house for the Hospice of Saint-Blaise.

 To thank her for all the mending she had done, Brother Thomas gave her a lamb that he had trained to follow him everywhere. Jacqueline accepted this new friend as a type of little spiritual guide. The lamb followed her everywhere, especially to Church, and stayed close by her as she prayed.

 When Francis was about to die, he sent for her. "Set out as soon as possible, if you wish to see me once more. Bring with you what is necessary for my burial." Jacoba arrived with all that was needed for his comfort and was with him to the end. She settled at Assisi, so that she might be near those who loved him, and until she died she helped to preserve his work.

 Jacqueline lived to be about 80. During her life she had taken part in all kinds of triumphs, vexations, and miracles with the friends of Saint Francis, who were her friends, too. She had the good fortune to care for him while he lived and was also with him after his death, for she was buried in the same crypt as Saint
Francis, facing him, in the basilica of Assisi.


Blessed Isaias Boner
Feast day : February  8
Also known as Isaias of Cracow
 Born in Cracow, Poland; died 1471. Isaias studied theology in Cracow before joining the Augustinians. He used the knowledge that earned him a doctorate in divinity to enkindle devotion through his
teaching of Scripture with extraordinary zeal .


St. Josephine Bakhita

Feast day: February 8

Birth: 1869

Death: 1947

Beatified By: 17 May 1992 by Pope John Paul II

Canonized By: 1 October 2000  Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, by Pope John Paul II

Josephine Bakhita  was a Sudanese-born former slave who became a Roman Catholic Canossian nun in Italy, living and working there for 45 years.

saint Josephine Bakhita was born in Sudan in 1869 and died in Schio (Vicenza)  in 1947.

This African flower, who knew the anguish of kidnapping and slavery, bloomed marvelously in Italy, in response to God's grace, with the Daughters of Charity.

In Schio (Vicenza), where she spent many years of her life, everyone still calls her “our Black saint”. The process for the cause of Canonization began 12 years after her death and on December 1st, 1978 the Church proclaimed the Decree of the heroic practice ofall virtues.

Divine Providence which “cares for the flowers of the fields and the birds of the air”, guided the Sudanese slave through innumerable and unspeakable sufferings to human freedom and to the freedom of faith and finally to the consecration of her whole life to God for the coming of his Kingdom.

Bakhita was not the name she received from her parents at birth. The fright and the terrible experiences she went through made her forget the name she was given by her parents. Bakhita, which means “fortunate”, was the name given to her by her kidnappers.

Sold and resold in the markets of El Obeid and of Khartoum, she experienced the humiliations and sufferings of slavery, both physical and moral.

In the Capital of Sudan, Bakhita was bought by an Italian Consul, Callisto Legnani . For the first time since the day she was kidnapped, she realized with pleasant surprise, that no one used the lash when giving her orders; instead, she was treated in a loving and cordial way. In the Consul's residence, Bakhita experienced peace, warmth and moments of joy, even though veiled by nostalgia for her own family, whom, perhaps, she had lost forever.

Political situations forced the Consul to leave for Italy. Bakhita asked and obtained permission to go with him and with a friend of his, a certain Mr. Augusto Michieli.

On arrival in Genoa, Mr. Legnani, pressured by the request of Mr. Michieli's wife, consented to leave Bakhita with them. She followed the new “family”, which settled in Zianigo (near Mirano Veneto). When their daughter Mimmina was born, Bakhita became her babysitter and friend.

The acquisition and management of a big hotel in Suakin, on the Red Sea, forced Mrs. Michieli to move to Suakin to help her husband. Meanwhile, on the advice of their administrator, Illuminato Checchini, Mimmina and Bakhita were entrusted to the Canossian Sisters of the Institute of the Catechumens in Venice. It was there that Bakhita came to know about God whom “she had experienced in her heart without knowing who He was” ever since she was a child. “Seeing the sun, the moon and the stars, I said to myself: Who could be the Master of these beautiful things? And I felt a great desire to see him, to know Him and to pay Him homage...”

After several months in the catechumenate, Bakhita received the sacraments of Christian initiation and was given the new name, Josephine. It was January 9, 1890. She did not know how to express her joy that day. Her big and expressive eyes sparkled, revealing deep emotions. From then on, she was often seen kissing the baptismal font and saying: “Here, I became a daughter of God!”

With each new day, she became more aware of who this God was, whom she now knew and loved, who had led her to Him through mysterious ways, holding her by the hand.

When Mrs. Michieli returned from Africa to take back her daughter and Bakhita, the latter, with unusual firmness and courage, expressed her desire to remain with the Canossian Sisters and to serve that God who had shown her so many proofs of His love.

The young African, who by then had come of age, enjoyed the freedom of choice which the Italian law ensured.

Bakhita remained in the catechumenate where she experienced the call to be a religious, and to give herself to the Lord in the Institute of St. Magdalene of Canossa.

On December 8, 1896 Josephine Bakhita was consecrated forever to God whom she called with the sweet expression “the Master!”

For another 50 years, this humble Daughter of Charity, a true witness of the love of God, lived in the community in Schio, engaged in various services: cooking, sewing, embroidery and attending to the door.

When she was on duty at the door, she would gently lay her hands on the heads of the children who daily attended the Canossian schools and caress them. Her amiable voice, which had the inflection and rhythm of the music of her country, was pleasing to the little ones, comforting to the poor and suffering and encouraging for those who knocked at the door of the Institute.

Her humility, her simplicity and her constant smile won the hearts of all the citizens. Her sisters in the community esteemed her for her inalterable sweet nature, her exquisite goodness and her deep desire to make the Lord known.

“Be good, love the Lord, pray for those who do not know Him. What a great grace it is to know God!”

As she grew older she experienced long, painful years of sickness. saint Bakhita continued to witness to faith, goodness and Christian hope. To those who visited her and asked how she was, she would respond with a smile: “As the Master desires.”

During her agony, she re-lived the terrible days of her slavery and more then once she begged the nurse who assisted her: “Please, loosen the chains... they are heavy!”

It was Mary Most Holy who freed her from all pain. Her last words were: “Our Lady! Our Lady!”, and her final smile testifiedto her encounter with the saint of the Lord.

saint Bakhita breathed her last on February 8, 1947 at the Canossian Convent, Schio, surrounded by the Sisters. A crowd quickly gathered at the Convent to have a last look at their saint Moretta and to ask for her protection from heaven.  The fame of her sanctity has spread to all the continents and many are those who receive graces through her intercession.


St. Paul of Verdun
 Died : 649.

Feast day: February 8
Saint Paul, bishop and restorer of Verdun, began life as a courtier. When he first retired from the world, he lived as a hermit at Mount Voge now Paulberg near Trier, Germany, and then entered the monastery of Tholey, where he was appointed headmaster of the monastic school. After some years  630, King Dagobert
appointed him bishop of Verdun .


St. Meingold of Huy

Also known as Meingaud, Mengold
 Died :892.
Feast day: February 8

He was a holy man, who was venerated in Belgium after his death in the 10th century. Long afterwards he seems to have been confused with a certain Count Meingaud of Huy, who was assassinated the same year. The most credible of the many legends attached to the name is that the belligerent count experienced a conversion, repented, but was killed soon afterwards by his former enemies  


St. Nicetius of Besancon
Nicetius of Besançon
Also known as Nizier

 Died 611.

Feast day: February 8

Bishop of Besancon. He was a friend of St. Columbanus of Luxeuil. Nicetius had to restore his see after an invasion of Huns.

 Bishop Saint Nicetius of Besançon was a friend of Saint Columbanus and Saint Gregory the Great, and an enemy of heresy. He restored to Besançon the episcopal see, which after the invasion of the Huns had been transferred to Nyon on Lake Geneva

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


St. Kigwe

Feast day: February 8

Also known as Kewe, Ciwg, Ciwa, Cwick, Kigwoe, Kuet, Kywere
Death: unknown

5th century
 A Welsh saint,Saint Kigwe is probably identical to Saint Ciwa, a 6th or 7th century saint venerated in Monmouthshire; she should not be confused with Saint Cuach, the nurse of the Irish Saint Ciaran. She is the patron of Saint Kew in Cornwall, formerly called Docco in honor of Saint Congar, whose abbey was ruined
before the end of the first millennium. Kigwe replaced him as patron before the 14th century.

 According to Roscarrock, Kigwe was Congar's sister, but when she visited her brother in his hermit's cell, "he would not receive her until such time as he saw a wild boar miraculously obey her, after which time he conversed with her, who proved of such rare virtue and holiness as she was after her death reputed a saint and the Church of the parish called after her."


St. Honoratus

Honoratus of Milan

Feast day: February 8

Death: 570

Bishop of Milan, Italy, who suffered from Arian and Lombard aggressions. He became the bishop of Milan in 567. Arians disputed his election, and the Lombards invaded the region forcing him into exile, where he died. 


St. Dionysius

Feast day: February 8

Death: unknown

Dionysus, Aemilian & Sebastian
 Date unknown.
All that is known about this trio is that they were Armenian monks

Martyr with Emilian and Sebastian.  St. Emilian is also honored in Trevi, on January 28.


St. Cointha

Cointha of Alexandria
 Also known as Quinta
 Feast day: February 8

Death: 249

Martyr of Alexandria, Egypt, also called Quinta. She was martyred in the reign of Emperor Trajanus Decius by being dragged through the streets of Alexandria with her feet tied to a horse.

During the reign of Emperor Philip, mobs at Alexandria, Egypt, ranged the streets torturing and killings Christians. Among their victims was the young maiden Quinta who was scourged and stoned to death when she refused to sacrifice to pagan gods or tied to a horse's tail and dragged through the street until she was dead . Saint Cointha is pictured as a maiden stoned and dragged by a horse. Often she is fastened to the tail of the horse and dragged by her feet.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


St. Stephen of Muret

Feast day: February 8

Birth  1046

Death 1124

Canonized By: 1189 by Pope Clement III

The early life of Stephen, a native of Thiers, France, is uncertain due to historical inaccuracies in the medieval biography of the saint. Nonetheless, his undertaking of consecrated life as a hermit is related in moving and convincing detail. Having built for himself a small hermitage on the mountain of Muret, Stephen vowed himself to God thus: I, Stephen, renounce the devil and all his pomps, and offer myself to God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the one true God in three Persons. He also prayed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, declaring, Holy Mary, Mother of God, I commend my body, soul, and senses to your Son and to you. Thereafter, Stephen spent the next forty-eight years of his life in this wilderness, devoting himself to prayer and penitential self-denial. When on one occasion two papal legates visited him, they inquired as to whether he was a monk, a hermit, or a canon. He replied, I am a sinner. Other men intending to imitate Stephen came to join him, so that the hermitage of Muret grew into a monastic community and a new religious congregation that would later be known as the Order of Grandmont.

Stephen Etienne of Grandmont of Muret, OSB, Abbot Born in Thiers, Auvergne, France, 1046; died 1124; canonized by Pope Clement III in 1189 at the request of King Henry II of England. Saint Stephen was the son of the virtuous viscount of Thiers. His life from infancy presaged uncommon sanctity. Father Milo, then the dean of the church of Paris, was appointed his tutor. At age 12, Stephen accompanied his father, lord of the district, to the tomb of Saint Nicholas of Bari. He fell ill at Benevento and remained there to continue his education under Milo, who had become Benevento's archbishop. At the appropriate time, he ordained
Stephen a deacon. Following Milo's death, Stephen pursued his studies in Rome for four years. In the meantime his parents died. In 1076, on his return to France, Stephen renounced his inheritance to become a hermit in the mountains of Ambazac at Muret northeast of Limoges. He led an austere life, with little food or
sleep for 46 years. He wore a metal breastplate which is one of his attributes in art instead of the usual hairshirt. When he was not employed in manual labor, he lay prostrate on the ground in profound adoration of the majesty of God. The sweetness which he felt in divine contemplation made him often forget to take any refreshment for two or three days together. Stephen remained a deacon throughout his life, never seeking presbyterial ordination. As with many of the holiest hermits, disciples gathered about him. There on the mountain-top he founded a congregation of Benedictine hermit-monks using the model he observed in Calabria; thus, its rules was based on his sayings. Although he was strict with himself, he was mild to those under his direction, and proportioned their mortifications to their strength. But he allowed no indulgence with regard to the essential points of a solitary life, silence, poverty, and the denial of self-will. He behaved himself among his disciples as the last of them, always taking the lowest place, never suffering any one to rise up to him; and while they were at table, he would seat himself on the ground in the midst of them, and read to them the lives of the saints. He ruled but never seems to have become a monk himself. The order is conspicuous for its intransigent insistence on total renunciation. Stephen compared monastic life to life in a prison. "If you come here, you will be fixed to the cross and you will lose your own power over your eyes, your mouth, and your other members. If you go to a large monastery with fine buildings, you will find animals and vast estates; here, only poverty and the cross." To those wishing to join his community, he would say: "This is a prison without either door or hole whereby to return into the world, unless a person makes for himself a breach. And should this misfortune befall you, I could not send after you none here having any commerce with the world any more than myself."  God give Stephen the ability to read hearts. The author of his now lost vita, the fourth prior Stephen de Liciaco, gives a long history of miracles which he wrought. But the conversions of many obstinate sinners were still more miraculous; it seemed as if no heart could resist the grace which accompanied his words. Saint Stephen died at Muret. In his last hours he was carried into the chapel, where he heard mass, received extreme unction and the viaticum. His disciples buried him privately, but news of his death drew many to his tomb, which was honored by innumerable miracles.  Four months after his death, the priory of Ambazac, dependent on the great Benedictine abbey of St. Austin, in Limoges, put in a claim to the land of Muret. The disciples of the holy man immediately gave up the ground without any contention, and retired to Grandmont, taking Stephen's remains with them.With its austere rule it never became widespread; however, the successors to Stephen's spirit gained the admiration of many. Abbot
Peter of Celles, calls them angels, and testifies that he placed an extraordinary confidence in their prayers Epistle 8. John of Salisbury, a contemporary author, represents them as men who, being raised above the necessities of life, had conquered not only sensuality and avarice, but even nature itself .

 The rule of the Grandmontines consists of seventy-five chapters. The prologue reminds its members that the rule of rules, and the origin of all monastic rules, is the gospel: they are but streams derived from this source, and in it are all the means of arriving at Christian perfection pointed out. It recommends strict poverty and obedience, as the foundation of a religious life; forbids compensation for their Masses or to open their oratory to outsiders on Sundays or holy days, because on these days each should attend his parish church. Its religious are forbidden to engage in any lawsuit or to eat meat even in time of sickness. The rule
prescribes rigorous fasts, with only one meal a day for a great part of the year.

 The rule abounds with great sentiments of virtue, especially concerning temptations, the sweetness of God's service and his holy commandments, the boundless obligation each has to love God and the
incomprehensible advantages of praising Him, and the necessity of continually advancing in fervor. It speaks of good works as the flowers of the garland of which our lives should be composed. King

Saint Henry II was one of the admirers of the order. He founded several monasteries for the Grandmontines in France and England, and petitioned the Vatican for Stephen's canonization. The usterity of Saint Stephen inspired both Armand de Rance and Charles de Foucauld .


Peter Igneus, Cardinal

St. Peter Igneus

Feast day: February 8

Death: 1089

 Saint Peter is said to have been a member of the Aldobrandini family of Florence. He took his vows at Vallombrosa under Saint John Gualbert. Shortly thereafter, according to a credible contemporary account, in order to convict the bishop of Florence of simony, Peter miraculously passed through the flames unharmed, hence the surname Igneus . Later he became cardinal archbishop of Albano, Italy, and papal legate in foreign lands .

Cardinal and Benedictine. He was born to the Italian noble house of Aldobrandini but chose to enter the Benedictines, taking his vows at Vallumbrosa under the guidance of St. John Gualbert. Years later, he became the cardinal bishop of Albano and served as a papal legate to various countries. His name Igneus, meaning of the fire,was derived from the occasion when he was still a monk during which the Benedictines sought to prove that the bishop of Florence was guilty of simony. To demonstrate the sincerity of the accusers, Peter walked safely through the flames in the so-called ordeal of fire.

 Saint Peter is pictured as a young monk in an alb and stole, holding a cross, walking through fire in the presence of Saint John Gaulbert. He may be a Vallombrosian  holding fire in his hand. He is venerated in Florence, Italy .


St. Paul Lucius, and Cyriacus

Feast day: February 8
Date unknown.

Roman martyrs who were put to death during the persecutions of the Church by the Roman Empire. Virtually nothing is known of them.


St. Oncho
Oncho of Clonmore
Also known as Onchuo
 Died . 600.
Feast day: February 8

Irish saint, also listed as Onchuo.

Saint Oncho was an Irish pilgrim, poet, guardian of the Celtic traditions, and a collector of holy relics. While pursuing his search for memorials of the Irish saints he died at Clonmore monastery, then governed by Saint Maidoc, and his body was enshrined there together with the relics he had gathered .


St. Llibio

Feast day: February 8

Death 6th century

The patron saint of Llanlibio on Anglesey Island, Wales


St. Jacut and Guethenoc

Feast day: February 8

Death: 5th century

Disciples of St. Budoc, sons of Sts. Fagan and Gwen, and brothers of St. Gwenaloe. They were forced to leave Britain by invading Saxons, probably going with Budoc to Brittany.


St. Elfleda

Feast day: February 8
Also known as Alflaed, Ethelfleda, Edilfleda, Elgiva
Born 653
Died 714

Benedictine abbess also known as Edifleda, Elfeda, Elgiva, or Ethelfieda. The sister of King Oswy of Northumbria, England, she was placed as an infant in the convent of Hartlepool. The abbess, St. Hilda, took Elfieda to Whitby, and she succeeded Hilda there as abbess. Elfieda was powerful in Church affairs and mediated a dispute between Sts. Wilfrid and Theodore. She also aided St. Cuthbert. Elfieda died at Whitby.

 Daughter of King Oswy of Northumbria and his wife Saint Eanfleda, Elfleda was offered to Saint Hilda and the convent of Hartlepool as a little child. Her parents had vowed to consecrate her in infancy if Oswy were successful in battle against the heathen King Penda of Mercia. Oswy won the battle of Winwaed in 654, he kept his vow. In 657, Hilda founded or refounded Whitby Abbey and Elfleda migrated there with Saint Hilda. When Oswy died in 670, Eanfleda joined her daughter at the double monastery governed by Hilda, and which later become the mausoleum of the Northumbrian royal family. In turn Eanfleda and Elfleda succeeded Hilda as abbess of Whitby. During Elfleda's abbacy, the earliest vita of Saint Gregory the Great was written there.

 Elfleda was one of the most influential personages of her time. She counted both Saint Cuthbert and Saint Wilfred as friends. In 684, she met Cuthbert on Coquet Island. He told her that her brother, King Egfrith, would die within a year and that her half-brother Aldfrith would succeed him. Both of which occurred. Later she was cured of paralysis by Cuthbert's girdle.

 One of her primary means of influence was in her role as mediator. Elfleda was instrumental in reconciling Saint Theodore of Canterbury and Saint Wilfrid. At the synod of the River Nidd in 705, she exercised her talent to reconcile Wilfrid to both Canterbury and the church in Northumbria. She asserted that Aldfrith on his death bed had promised to obey the commands of the Holy See concerning Wilfrid and had enjoined his heir to do the same.

 Elfleda's relics were discovered and translated at Whitby about 1125.