Sunday, November 1, 2015


Blessed Philippa Mareria,

Born  ..1195 at Mareri, Rieti, Italy

Died 16 February 1236 in Borgo San Pietro, Rieti, Italy

Beatified 30 April 1806 by Pope Pius VII (cultus confirmation; decree of heroic virtues)

Feast Day:  16 February

    After having met Saint Francis of Assisi in her parents’ home, she became a hermit on a mountain above Mareri, Italy. Poor Clare nun. Founded a Franciscan convent in Rieti, Italy with the help of Blessed Roger of Todi. Abbess.

 Born in Cicoli, Abruzzi, Italy; died at Rieti, Italy, 1236. Born into a wealthy family, Philippa met Saint Francis of Assisi in her parents' home. She decided 

to become a hermit on a mountain above Mareria. Eventually, she founded and ruled as first abbess a Franciscan convent at Rieti under the direction of Blessed Roger of Todi. 

About this time, St Francis often visited the valley of Rieti, where he established several convents and sometimes called at the home of the devout Mareri. His forceful admonitions, filled with holy simplicity and unction, and his severe life of penance made a deep impression on Philippa.

It was not long before Blessed Philippa Mareri resolved to imitate our holy Father, foregoing wealth and consecrating herself entirely to God. She rejected a proposal to marry with the words:

“I already have a spouse, the noblest and the greatest, Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Neither the remonstrances of her parents, nor the ridicule of her brother Thomas, had any effect in changing her mind. She cut off her hair, donned a very coarse garment, and with several companions withdrew to a cave in the rocks of a nearby mountain. 

Friday, October 9, 2015


Blessed Bernard Scammacca,
Born 1430 in Catania, Sicily

Died 11 January 1487 of natural causes
fifteen years after his death he appeared in a vision to the prior in Catania and asked that his remains be moved to the house’s rosary chapel
during this movement a man was cured of paralysis by touching the relics

Beatified 1825 by Pope Leo XII (cultus confirmed)

Born of wealthy and pious parents, Bernard was given a good education. In spite of this good training, he spent a careless youth. Only after he was badly injured in a duel was he brought back to his senses. His long convalescence gave him plenty of time to think, and once he was able to go out of the house, he went to the Dominican convent of Catania and begged to be admitted to the order.

 Bernard, as a religious, was the exact opposite of what he had been as a young man. Now he made no effort to obtain the things he had valued all his life, but spent his time in prayer, solitude, and continual penance. There is little recorded of his life, except that he kept the rule meticulously, and that he was particularly kind to sinners in the confessional. Apparently, he did not attain fame as a preacher, but was content to spend his time in the work of the confessional and the private direction
of souls.

 One legend pictures Bernard as having great power over birds and animals. When he walked outside in the gardens, praying, the birds would flutter down around him, singing; but as soon as he went into ecstasy, they kept still, for fear they would disturb him. Once, the porter was sent to Bernard's room to call him, and saw a bright light shining under the door. Peeking through the keyhole, he saw a beautiful child shining with light and holding a book, from which Bernard was reading. He
hurried to get the prior to see the marvel.

 Bernard had the gift of prophecy, which he used on several occasions to try warning people to amend their lives. He prophesied his own death.

Blessed Bernard devoted himself with generous ardour to the relief of the bodily and spiritual needs of his neighbours. Whilst preaching to others he failed not to expiate the sins of his youth by the practice of severe austerities. He died A.D. 1486. Fifteen years later he appeared to the Prior of the Convent, and bade him remove his remains to a more honourable resting-place. This was accordingly done, and the body was found incorrupt. During the whole of the ceremony the church-bells, untouched by mortal hands, rang out with heavenly melody. Miracles of all kinds were worked at Blessed Bernard's tomb. A nobleman who had been cured through his intercession resolved to remove the sacred remains to his castle, and came by night to the Convent with a troop of armed men to carry out his design. But the servant of God would not allow his body to be removed from the Convent where he had lived and died. Appearing in the dormitory, he knocked at every door, telling the Friars that violent hands were being laid on his body in the church; and as they delayed obeying his summons, which they thought to be only a dream, he began to ring the great bell. Then the Brethren hurried to the church, where they found the tomb empty, and the sacred body lying at the door, surrounded by armed men who were vainly endeavouring to raise it from the ground. It had miraculously become so heavy that the robbers were unable to move it. They took to flight at the approach of the Friars, who had not the slightest difficulty in restoring the precious remains to their resting-place.


Bl. Joseph Allamano

Feast day: February 16

Birth: 1851

Death: 1926

Beatified By: Pope John Paul II

He was born on the 21st of January in 1851 at Castelnuovo d' Asti (now Castelnuovo Don Bosco) and died on the 16th of February 1926 in Turin (Italy).

He was a diocesan priest of the diocese of Turin and rector of the Shrine of Our Lady Consolata for forty years. Deeply in love with Mary under this title and open to the Spirit's promptings, he responded to the discerned will of God to form a group of priests and brothers called to share the Gospel in Africa.

As the Christian Community grew in number, it became evident that priests and brothers couldn't cater for the needs of women and children. From this realization the presence of Sisters in the Mission field was conceived. Joseph Allamano expressed this concern to the pope Pius X during a visit to the Vatican.


St. Pamphilus

Feast day: February 16

Death: 309

Biblical scholar and a devotee of the controversial theologian Origen. From Berytus, in Phoenicia, Pamphilus studied in his native city and then at the famed Catechetical School of Alexandria, where he was taught by Pierius, a student of Origen.
             Ordained at Caesarea, Pamphilus became the head of a catechetical school there, and soon acquired a reputation for learning, biblical study, and the size and brilliance of his library. One of the students of this school was the historian Eusebius of Caesarea who held him in such high regard that he adopted the name Eusebius of Pamphilus. Arrested in 308 for being a Christian by Urban, the governor of Palestine, Pamphilus spent two years in prison before being beheaded as part of the Roman persecution of the faith.
              A number of others died in connection with his martyrdom, including a student named Porphyrius and a Cappadocian, Seleucus, who was accused of applauding Porphyrius aplomb in enduring torture. Pamphilus collaborated with Eusebius perhaps a fellow prisoner at some point on an Apology of Origen. Originally five books, only one book of the Apology has survived, and even this portion is of doubtful authenticity, perhaps being a Latin version undertaken by Rufinus of Aquileia. Eusebius added a sixth book after Pamphilus' martyrdom, wrote a biography of his beloved mentor of which fragments are still available, and praised him extravagantly in his Ecclesiastical History. Pamphilus' library survived in Alexandria until destroyed by the Arabs in the seventh century.


St. Juliana of Cumae

Feast day: February 16

Patron of sickness

Death: 304

A Christian virgin of Cumae, Italy, martyred for the faith when she refused to marry a Roman prefect. She suffered terrible ordeals and was finally beheaded. One tradition reports that Juliana actually suffered martyrdom at Nicomedia and that her relics were transferred to Cumae. She is depicted in liturgical art as surrounded by flames, or binding the devil.


St. Honestus
Honestus of Nimes
Feast day: February 16

Death: 270

Martyr and disciple of St. Saturninus. A native of Nimes, France,

 Saint Honestus, an ordained priest, left his hometown of Nimes  under the sign of Jesus with Saint
Saturninus to preach the Good News in Spain. After a fruitful ministry, he appears to have been martyred at Pamplona, Spain.


St. Elias & Companions

Feast day: February 16

Death: 309

Egyptian martyr with Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Samuel. They went to the mines in Cilicia, to comfort the Christians held there. They were arrested at the gate of the mine and martyred. The historian Eusebius was in Caesarea, in Israel, and gave a vivid account of their martyrdom by torture and beheading. Two others, St. Pamphilus and St. Seleucus, were also caught up in the martyrdom, sharing Elias' fate. Porphy, the servant of Pamphilus, demanded that the bodies of the martyrs be buried and was burned to death as a Christian.


St. Juliana of Nicomedia
Feast day: February 16

Died at Cumae or Naples, 305 or 304.
Patron of sickness

The veneration of the virgin martyr Juliana, a maiden of Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey), is very ancient in the east and the west. The earliest extant account of her martyrdom was written less than three centuries after her death,  A Christian convert, Juliana refused to marry a pagan, thereby incurring the wrath of her pagan father and a pagan suitor. She was thereupon imprisoned, tortured, and beheaded. While in prison, she is said to have been subjected to a vision of a demon, pretending to be an angel of light, urging her to sacrifice to the pagan gods. Recognizing the deception, Juliana cried out, "Lord God of heaven and earth, do not desert me, nor permit your handmaid to perish." She vanquished the tempter, who admitted to her that the devils particularly suffer when Christians attend Mass. Saint Juliana has traditionally been invoked for the safe delivery of women in labor and for protection from fever and contagious diseases.

Juliana's struggle with the devil was one of the favorite stories of the medieval Church. What still fascinates is its deep psychological meaning: for the devil is said to have appeared to the saint as an angel of light. His aim was to persuade her that what she had renounced in this world was in fact good. On the face of it, the devil was right, for Juliana had turned against both her father and her suitor, a Roman prefect named Evilasius.

 Her father, Africanus, an ambitious functionary in the Roman legions, despised her simply because she had become a Christian. When her suitor realized that she would not become his wife, he decided that she should be no one's bride. Her calling left her without a family of her own. Both men, failing to get their own way with this determined saint, treated her brutally: Juliana's father scourged and tortured her. Evilasius flung her into jail where she was seen to be fighting with the disguised devil, finally binding him and throwing him to the ground.

 Juliana died a martyr's death. First she was partially burned in flames; then she was plunged into a boiling cauldron of oil; finally the long-suffering saint was freed from the torments of this world by the mercifully instantaneous act of beheading.

 The Roman Martyrology describes Juliana's suffering at Nicomedia in Asia Minor, but it is more probable that she died in Naples, perhaps Cumae, where her relics are said to be enshrined. Some of them are now in Brussels, Belgium, in the church of Our Lady of Sablon. Though her story was the source of many romantic tales, Juliana is clearly an historical figure as attested by Saint Gregory the Great, who requested relics of her from Bishop Fortunatus of Naples for an oratory that a lady had built on her estate in Juliana's honor, and others. Her cultus in England dates back to Bede's martyrology, and her feast was on the Sarum Calendar.

 In art, Saint Juliana is hung up naked by her hair. Sometimes she may be shown in a cauldron, leading the devil in chains, or crowned wearing a cross on her breast. She is invoked against infectious diseases. 

Friday, July 10, 2015


St. Onesimus

Feast day: February 16

Death: 68 OR 90

Martyr and former slave. He is mentioned in St. Paul's Letter to Philemon as the slave of Philemon in Colossae, Phrygia, who ran away. Paul met Onesimus while the former was in a Roman prison, and Paul baptized the slave and came to consider him his own son. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon with the epistle, asking Philemon to accept him "no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me". In Paul's Letter to the Colossians, Onesimus is again mentioned as accompanying Tychicus, the bearer of the letter. The pre-1970 Roman Martyrology incorrectly identifies Onesimus with the bishop of Ephesus who followed St. Timothy as bishop of Ephesus and who was stoned to death in Rome.

Onesimus, meaning 'helpful' or 'profitable,' was a run-away slave who is the subject of Saint Paul's shortest letter. Onesimus had been in the service of Philemon, to whom Paul addresses the missive. Philemon, a leading citizen of Colossae, Phrygia, was an intimate friend of Paul; indeed, the letter could only have been written to one with whom he was on the closest terms of friendship. Probably he was one of Saint Paul's converts. He was obviously a rich man, of high and generous character
and given to hospitality, for Saint Paul asks him to prepare a lodging for him, and he had a church in his home.

Behind the letter lies a painful story. Onesimus had run away from Philemon and over a matter of money. We can only conjecture that he had been dishonest or had been under suspicion,

Onesimus had been in disgrace and had run away. He had then come under the influence of Saint Paul, now an old man, and had served him in his imprisonment. He had confessed his fault and been converted, for Saint Paul says he begat him in Christ, and he had become a true son of the Gospel. Indeed, he had found him so profitable and helpful that he would like to keep him permanently with him, but was constrained by a sense of duty, and by his regard for Philemon, to return him.

Saint Paul was thus faced with the difficult task of writing this delicate letter. He makes no attempt to condone the fault; on the contrary, he lays open the whole matter. "Perhaps this is why he was away from you for a while, that you might have him back forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man and in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me"

 Evidently, Onesimus went back to Philemon and, no longer in disgrace, was accepted as a brother, because in Colossians (4:7-9) Paul mentions Onesimus with Tychichus as the bearer of the epistle to the Colossians.

 The further story of Onesimus is unknown, though Saint Jerome said that Onesimus became a preacher of the Word and later a bishop, though probably not the Bishop Onesimus of Ephesus who was the third successor to Timothy, showed hospitality to Saint Ignatius of Antioch, and was stoned to death in Rome, as stated in the Roman Martyrology. The Apostolic Constitutions account Onesimus as bishop of Berea in Macedonia, and his former master Philemon, bishop of Colossae. Some sources say Onesimus preached in Spain and suffered martyrdom

 Saint Onesimus is pictured at the time of his martyrdom: He is a bishop being stoned to death .


St. Julian of Egypt
Julian of Egypt and Companions

Feast day: February 16

Death: unknown

Martyr of Egypt, reportedly with five thousand companions, most likely during the persecutions by the Roman Empire. The traditional number of martyrs may be a mistranslation: the original account may denote five soldiers, instead of five thousand.

 It is said that this Saint Julian was the leader of 5,000 martyrs who suffered in Egypt. 


St. Faustinus

Faustinus of Brescia
Feast day: February 16

Death: 381

Bishop of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, the successor of St. Ursicinius. He compiled the original Acts of the martyrdom of Sts. Faustinus and Jovita.

 Saint Faustinus succeeded Saint Ursicinus about 360 as bishop of Brescia, Lombardy, Italy. He is said to have been a collateral descendant of Saints Faustinus and Jovita and to have compiled their acts . In art, Saint Faustinus is represented as a bishop holding a bunch of arrows. He might also be shown interceding for Brescia with Saints Faustinus and Jovita. He is invoked against plague. 


St. Aganus
Aganus of Airola, OSB Abbot
Feast day: February 16
Born . 1050;
Death: 1100

Benedictine abbot of St. Gabriel's in Campania, Italy.

Aganus was abbot of Saint Gabriel's monastery at Airola, Campania, Italy, in the diocese of Saint Agatha dei Goti 

Monday, February 2, 2015


Sts. Daniel ,Elias, Jeremy, Isaias and Samuel
Feast day: February 16

 Born in Egypt; died at Caesarea Maritima in 309. He and four companions, Elias, Isaias, Jeremy and Samuel were Egyptians.

 who visited Christians condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during Maximus persecution, to comfort them. Apprehended at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, they were brought before the governor, Firmilian and accused of being Christians. They were all tortured and then beheaded

    The church historian Eusebius, who was living in Caesarea at the time, recorded the acta of these saints. Out of Christian kindness these five Egyptians visited and brought succor to some of their brethren who were condemned to work in the mines of Cilicia during the reign of Galerius Maximinus. On their return home Elias and his four companions were stopped at the gates of Caesarea, Palestine, and questioned. They gave as their names those of the prophets and their city as Jerusalem (meaning the heavenly city). They were brought before the governor, Firmilian, in an effort to extract more precise information. They remained mute, were accused of being Christian, tortured, then beheaded.

 When Porphyry, a youthful servant of Saint Pamphilus, demanded that the bodies be buried, he was tortured by being flayed alive and then burned to death when it was found he was a Christian. Porphyry lay in the midst of the flames for a considerable time, singing the praises of God, and invoking the name of Jesus; till at length, quite broiled by the fire, he consummated a slow, but glorious martyrdom. Seleucus witnessed his death and applauded his constancy in the face of his terrible death; whereupon he was arrested by the soldiers involved in the execution, brought before the governor, and was beheaded at Firmilian's order .

Friday, January 16, 2015


Saint Sigfrid of Sweden
Also known as
Apostle of Sweden
Sigfrid of Vaexjoe
Sigfrid of Wexlow
Sigfried of….
Siegfried of….
Also known as Sigfrid Växjö
Born in Glastonbury, England.
Died at Växjö, Sweden  1045;
canonized by Pope Adrian IV
Feast day: February 15

Priest at York and/or Glastonbury in England. Monk. Evangelized in Norway, Sweden, Denmark. Brought King Olaf of Sweden to the faith. While Sigfrid was away on a mission, his three nephews (Saint Winaman, Saint Unaman, and Saint Sunaman), who had come to help with the work in Sweden, were beheaded by pagan raiders. Sigfrid returned, recovered their heads, and claimed they could talk, a claim that terrorized the pagans. King Olaf decided to execute the murderers, but Sigfrid spoke against capital punishment and the killers were spared. Olaf then ordered them to pay a large fine, but Sigfrid refused the blood money, and thus achieved such a moral high ground that his mission work became even more successful.

Untrustworthy accounts say that the patron saint of Sweden is an Englishman, Sigfrid, who reached Sweden as a result of a call from King Olaf Tryggvason of Norway, who had been converted himself by another Englishman, Saint Alphege. Sigfrid is said to have been born in Northumberland, become a priest at York or Glastonbury, and was sent by King Ethelred as a missionary to Norway with two other bishops, Grimkel and John.

 They labored under the protection of the archbishop of Bremen (Germany). After converting many pagans, Sigfrid continued on to Sweden in 1008. Saint Ansgar had planted the seeds of faith in Sweden in 830; but the country had relapsed into paganism soon after his time. A second wave of missionary saints, including Sigfrid, followed about two centuries later.

 There he built himself a wooden church at Växjö in southern Sweden, and labored with success in the Smaeland and Västergötland districts. He converted twelve of the principal men of the province, then many others followed their example. The fountain near the mountain of Ostrabo, since called Wexlow) in which Sigfrid baptized the catechumens, long retained the names of the first 12 converts, engraved on a monument.

 Others, including the King Saint Olaf Skotkonung of Sweden, were attracted out of curiosity to see the rich fabrics and beautiful vessels used during the celebration of the Mass, to hear his preaching, and to observe the dignity and majesty of the Christian worship. That attracted them first. But it was the example of the lives of Sigfrid and his companion missionaries that open their eyes of faith and led to the baptism of so many others including the king, who was baptized at Husaby (one of the sites in Sigrid Undset's Kristin Lavransdatter) in a spring that later bore Sigfrid's name and was the channel of many miracles.

 Sigfrid ordained and consecrated two native bishops to govern neighboring territories, but he retained the episcopacy of Växjö while he lived. His three nephews--Unaman, a priest; Sunaman, a deacon; and Winaman, a subdeacon--were his chief assistants in his apostolic efforts.

 Sigfrid also labored in Denmark. During one of Sigfrid's absences from Sweden, he instructed his three nephews to carry on the missionary work. A troop of idolatrous rebels--perhaps out of hatred for Christianity, perhaps in search of booty--plundered the church of Växjö and barbarously murdered Sigfrid's nephews by cutting off their heads, putting them in a box, and flinging them into a lake. The bodies they buried in the midst of the forest where they were never found.

 Sigfrid returned, recovered the three heads and claimed that they could still talk. He asked whether the crime would be avenged. "Yes," replied the first head. "When?" asked the second. "In the third generation," answered the third. And so it was. The saint had brilliantly used the dead heads to terrorize his living enemies. Their heads were placed in a shrine. The king was angered by their deaths and resolved to execute the murderers, but at Sigfrid's earnest entreaties Olaf spared their lives--an early testimony against capital punishment. Olaf compelled the guilty to pay a heavy fine to Sigfrid, but the saint refused to accept it even though he was living in extreme poverty and had to contend with rebuilding his church. Thenceforth, he was invincible.

 The saint became so renowned that the Germans claimed him as their own, insisting that he had been born either in Bremen or Hamburg. He died in old age, and his bones rest beneath the high altar of the cathedral of Växjö, and were famous for miracles. Sigfrid was so successful that he is called the Apostle of Sweden, where he is still venerated. A metrical office for his feast survives in both Sweden and Denmark.

 He is reported to have been canonized by Pope Adrian IV, but there is no proof it.

one of three bishops on a ship
baptizing King Olaf of Sweden
bishop menaced by devils
bishop carrying three severed heads
bishop carrying three loaves of bread (misrepresentation of the heads) .


Severus of Androcca
 Died . 530.
Feast day : February 15
St. Severus of Androcca Italian, parish priest, miracle worker.
Severus was a parish priest of Interocrea (Androcca) in the province of Valeria (Abruzzi), who divided his work between the care of the parish and that of his garden. Saint Gregory the Great relates that he raised a dead man to life so that he might receive the Last Rites. The relics of Severus were translated to Muenster-Maifeld, diocese of Trier, Germany, in the 10th century .


Blessed Julia of Certaldo
Also known as Giulia della Rena da Certaldo, Julia della Rena
Feast day: February 15/9 January on some calendars/formerly 25 February
Born 1319 at Certaldo, Italy

Died 9 January 1367 of natural causes

Beatified 1819 by Pope Pius VII
Blessed Julia is a model of gospel living by a lay person and of mutual collaboration between religious and laity.

Born to an impoverished noble family.Julia della Rena was born at Certaldo, Italy, near Florence, about the year 1319. Orphaned at an early age, she was employed as a domestic in the service of the Tinolfi family in Florence where, in 1337 at the Augustinian church of the Holy Spirit, she became an Augustinian Secular. After returning to Certaldo, she retired to a life of solitude near the church of Saints Michael and James.At age 19 she joined the third order of Saint Augustine at Florence. Returning to her native Certaldo, she lived as an anchoress near the church of SS. Michael and James until her death at age 48 .For thirty years she led a life of penance and prayer. Upon her death in 1370 she was immediately venerated as a saintly woman by the faithful who had sustained her with their alms and revered her for her life of prayer and penance.

Julia’s mortal remains are venerated at Certaldo in the church of Saints Michael and James, which at one time was under the care of the Augustinians. In a number of instances the people of Certadlo attributed their deliverance from the plague to Blessed Julia.

Her feast is celebrated by the Augustinian Family on 15 February.

Sometimes she may be shown
woman wearing a black habit and white veil, and rescuing a child from a burning bed
woman giving flowers to children in winter
woman rescuing a drowning horseman

Friday, January 2, 2015


Blessed Conrad of Bavaria
Also known as Conrad di Baviera;   Conrad of Clairvaux;  Conrad of Molfetta;
Conrad the Confessor ; Corrado…. Konrad….

Born : 1105 Veitsburg, Baden-Württemberg in modern Germany.
Died :1154 at the Santa Maria ad Cryptam Benedictine monastery near Modugno, Italy of natural causes.
Feast day: February15  OR
17 March OR
9 February translation of relics; diocese of Molfetta, Italy; Cistercians OR
15 February on some calendarsOR
10 July on some calendars .
Beatified ; 1832 by Pope Gregory XVI cultus confirmation

Son of Duke Henry IX of Bavaria Conrad was drawn to the monastic life while he was a student in Cologne by Saint Bernard, who professed him at Clairvaux. After some years he was granted permission to visit the Holy Land and on his return trip he died near Molfetta in Apulia .

Educated at Wiengarten Abbey in Ravensburg, Germany, and in Cologne, Germany. Joined of the Cistercians c.1124. Spiritual student of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in Cologne in 1147. Pilgrim to the Holy Lands as part of the spiritual Crusade, and died on the road.

Died1154 at the Santa Maria ad Cryptam Benedictine monastery near Modugno, Italy of natural causes interred in a cave near the monastery, a traditional resting place for the monastery‘s dead
relics translated to the cathedral of Molfetta in 1785.Reliquary restored and relics re-enshrined in August 2007.