Saint Raymond of Peņafort
Aldric B (AC)
(also known as Aldericus, Audry)
Died 856. Aldric, chaplain to Emperor Louis the Pious, was consecrated bishop of Le Mans from 832. He excelled as a prelate and as an able administrator of public affairs. Some of his works are still extant (Benedictines).
Anastasius of Sens B (AC)
Died 977. Anastasius, archbishop of Sens from 968 to 977, began the building of the cathedral. He greatly favored the monks of Saint-Pierre-le-Vif, in whose church he was buried (Benedictines).
Brannock, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Barnoc, Brannoc)
6th century. Saint Brannock appears to have migrated from southern Wales into Devon, and to have founded a monastery at Braunton, near Barnstaple in Devonshire, where William Worcestre and Leland say he was buried. The traditions concerning him are very untrustworthy. Some hagiographers identify him as the 6th-century Welsh missionary Saint Brynach (Bernach or Bernacus). Because there are two separate feasts at Exeter on April and January 7 for the respective saints, it is unlikely that they are the same person (Benedictines, Farmer).
Canute Lavard M (RM)
(also known as Knud)
Born at Roskilde, c. 1096; died 1131; canonized in 1169; feast of the translation of his relics is July 25 in Denmark.
Nephew of King Saint Canute of Denmark and the second son of King Eric the Good of Denmark, Canute spent part of his youth at the Saxon court. When he came of age and returned to Denmark with ideals of feudalism and military organization, his uncle King Niels (Nils) of Denmark made him duke of southern Jutland. Canute ruled from Schleswig, which he fortified, and defended the whole territory against the Wends. In fact, most of his life was spent fighting against the viking pirates, but he finally brought peace and order to the territory. Canute also encouraged and aided the missionary activities of Saint Vicelin, evangelizer of the Wends, who was afterwards bishop of Staargard, now Oldenburg.
While duke of Schleswig, Canute was recognized by Emperor Lothair III in 1129 as sovereign over the western Wends. This infuriated his uncle, King Niels, who began to regard Canute as a rival. Two years later, this jealousy led to Canute's murder in an ambush by Magnus Nielssen and Henry Skadelaar (his cousins) in the forest of Haraldsted near Ringsted in Zealand.
Canute was formally canonized as a martyr for justice by Pope Alexander III, at the request of his son, King Valdemar I. The archbishops of Lund and Uppsala presented evidence about Canute's life and miracles attributed to his intercession. His relics were enshrined at Ringsted in 1170 (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
In art, Saint Canute is portrayed as a knight with a wreath, lance, and ciborium. Sometimes he is shown on horseback in full armor. Venerated in Denmark (Roeder).
Cedd, OSB B (AC)
Died at Lastingham, Yorkshire, England, on October 26, 664. A native of Northumbria, England, and brother of Saint Chad (Ceadda), with whom he was raised. Cedd became a monk at Lindisfarne.
In 653 Cedd was sent with three other priests to evangelize the Midlands when King Peada of the Middle Angles converted to Christianity. Then, Cedd left them to preach in Essex when King Sigebert of the East Angles became a Christian. In 654, Saint Cedd was consecrated bishop of the East Saxons by Saint Finan, which would make him bishop of London, I think.
Thereafter, he spent the rest of his life with the Saxons. He founded many churches and monasteries at Bradwell-on-the-Sea, Lastingham, and Tilbury. In 664, he attended the Synod of Whitby, where he accepted the Roman observances. In his old age, Saint Cedd retired to his own foundation at Lastingham in Yorkshire, where he died of the plague under monastic obedience. Saint Cedd is venerated at Charlbury, Oxon (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Gill, Roeder).
Saint Cedd is depicted in art as a bishop with a chalice and abbatial staff. Sometimes he is shown with his brother Saint Chad of Lichfield, or with the Scottish priest Saint Diuma (f.d. unknown) who was sent with Saint Cedd to convert Mercia (Roeder).
Clerus of Antioch M (RM)
Died c. 300. The Syrian deacon Clerus was martyred at Antioch (Benedictines).
Crispin I and II of Pavia B (RM)
Two bishops of this name, both saints, governed the see of Pavia in Lombardy, Italy. The first at the beginning of the 3rd century occupied the see for 35 years (died c. 250); the second was bishop during the reign of Pope Saint Leo and in 451 subscribed the acts of the Council of Milan (Benedictines).
Cronan Beg B (AC)
7th century. A bishop of ancient Aendrum, County Down, mentioned in connection with the paschal controversy in 640 (Benedictines).
Blessed Edward Waterson M (AC)
Born in London, England; died at Newcastle in 1593; beatified in 1929. Blessed Edward converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism, studied for the priesthood at Reims, and was ordained in 1592. The following year he was executed for his faith at Newcastle (Benedictines).
Emilian of Saujon, OSB, Monk (AC)
(also known as Aemilio)
Born in Vannes, France; died 767. Emilian, monk of Saujon near Saintes, France, died as a hermit in the forest of Combes, Bordeaux. Soon became famous as a monk by giving his name to a well-known wine (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Felix and Januarius MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Felix and Januarius are said to have suffered martyrdom at Heraclea, which is a common name belonging to several ancient cities (Benedictines).
Julian of Cagliari M (RM)
Date unknown. Julian is honored at Cagliari, Sardinia, where his relics were discovered and enshrined in 1615. Locally he is often styled Comes (Count), but nothing is now known of his history (Benedictines).
Kentigerna of Loch Lomand, Widow (AC)
(also known as Caentigern, Quentigerna)
Died on Inch Cailleach, Scotland, c. 733-734. Kentigerna was the mother of Saint Fillan and the daughter of Kelly (Cellach), prince of Leinster. She married a neighboring prince, who was the father of Fillan. After her husband's death, she left Ireland with her missionary brother Saint Comghan and her son to lead the life of a recluse on the island of Inch Cailleach (or Inchebroida, according to some), in Loch Lomond, Scotland, where a church is dedicated in her name. Kentigerna is listed in the Aberdeen Breviary (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Montague).
Lucian of Antioch M (RM)
Born at Samosata, Syria; died at Nicomedia, Bithynia, January 7, 312; feast day in the East is October 15.
Saint Lucian was born of a wealthy family. After the death of his parents, he gave all his possessions to the poor and dedicated himself to the study of rhetoric, philosophy, and, under Macarius at Edessa, the Scriptures. Following his ordination to the priesthood in Antioch, he headed (some say founded) the theological school there of which the infamous heretic Arius was a member. Lucian made it his chief duty to examine the variants of the texts of the Greek version of the Old Testament and those of the four Gospels in order to record them, to correct spellings, improve the style and make comments, which Saint Jerome later declared quite important and used in preparing the Vulgate. Lucian also did much to promote the understanding of Scripture in its literal sense.
Lucian was a student or associate of Paul of Samosata, who was condemned at Antioch for heresy in 269, and it is possible that Lucian, too, was excommunicated and remained so under three bishops. He lived in a period of great disorder when heresy proliferated. Whether or not he was a known heretic, it seems he was in communion with the Church in 285 and at his death.
Being at Nicomedia when Diocletian's persecution began, he was arrested in 303 and imprisoned there for nine years; he was twice brought up for examination, when he defended himself ably and refused to renounce Christ. He may have been a heretic, but his Defense of Christianity, addressed to his executioners, gives indisputable historical evidence that Lucian underwent martyrdom for the faith:
"It has never been in secret or in some disgraceful way that we adored the unity of God announced to us in Jesus Christ and whose faith is inspired in us by the Holy Spirit," he wrote. He denounces the idols, exalts the beatitudes, invites Christians to rejoice because of poverty, to preserve their gentleness as well as to strive for peace. "Look at how the pagans fear us," he exclaims, "that they must lead us before kings and tribunes as bound victims. But let them look in the history books and they will see the miracles which inevitably follow our deaths at their hand." He affirms the universality of redemption, declares that the voice of the Church leads us to God, and emphasizes his own fidelity.
At his trial he was asked: "Who are you?" His reply is a famous one: "I am a Christian."
"What is your profession?" "I am a Christian."
"What is your name?" "I am a Christian."
"Your origin?" "Christian."
"Your family?" "Christian."
To each question he gives the deservedly famous reply, one more audacious than any writer could have invented, and which won the acclaim of Saint John Chrysostom.
He was either starved to death or, more probably, killed by the sword, and was buried nearby at Drepanum (later renamed Helenopolis by Constantine in honor of his mother). Firm evidence of his cultus is provided by Eusebius, John Chrysostom, and church dedications. Later on it was said that he had been drowned in the sea and that his body had been brought to land by a dolphin. How this piece of pagan folklore came to be attached to Saint Lucian is unknown (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).
Saint Lucian can be identified in art as a priest lying on potsherds in prison, consecrating the Eucharist on his own breast (Roeder).
Raymond of Penyafort, OP (RM)
(also known as Ramon of Peņafort)
Born at Villafranca (Peņafort), Catalonia, Spain, in 1175; died in Barcelona on January 6, 1275; canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1601; feast day formerly January 23.
Saint Raymond of Peņafort is one of the best examples of the quiet humility of sanctity and of the eternal youth of the Dominican ideal. The Church remembers him as a model for confessors and as a champion of law and order. But to his Dominican brothers and sisters he is also patron of those faithful religious who work quietly and consistently for God.
Raymond was the talented son of the count of Peņafort in Catalonia, Spain. His distinguished family traced its roots to the kings of Aragon and counts of Barcelona. As a scion of such lineage, Raymond received every advantage in his education. First, he was sent to the cathedral school at Barcelona. He made such rapid progress in his studies that at the age of 20, he was already a professor of philosophy. He did this without pay and was greatly respected. He resigned his chair in Barcelona in 1210 to finish his education in Bologna, Italy, where he earned his doctorate in both canon and civil law in 1216. Thereafter, he taught canon law in Bologna, again without pay.
Here in Bologna he met the Dominicans, who were beginning to attract to their ranks so many talented young men, among whom were some of Raymond's students and fellow professors. On a journey to Barcelona, Raymond met Saint Dominic himself.
He was appointed archdeacon of Barcelona by Bishop Berengarius in 1219. (At some point he was ordained.) Raymond was a perfect model to the clergy of zealous devotion and boundless liberalities to the poor.
The year after Dominic's death in 1221, Peņafort enrolled at Barcelona in the Dominican Order at age 47. He did this in part because he was growing extremely pleased with himself and desperately needed to learn some humility. He asked those in charge of him in the monastery to prescribe some hurtful task in order to reduce his vanity.
With great intelligence, they decided to make use of his undoubted legal skills: Raymond was told to compile for use by confessors and moralists all the rules that the Church had worked out for dealing with sins. So, shortly after his profession as a Dominican, Raymond authored the first moral case-book in the history of the Church--a masterpiece that has never been forgotten. His Summa de casibus poenitentialibus, which was compiled between 1223 and 1238, had a profound influence on the development of the penitential system of the later Middle Ages.
So greatly was Raymond revered in his university world that his entry into the Dominicans caused a new tidal wave of vocations to the preaching friars; among the aspirants were two bishops and several noted professors. Claro, Moneta, and Roland of Cremona had caused astonishment by their renunciation of worldly honors on entering the order, but Raymond's profession caused even greater excitement in an already inflamed city.
The Dominicans at this time were deeply involved in missionary work among the Jews, heretics, and Moors of Spain. Raymond actively participated in this effort. He became famed for his preaching to Moors and Christians throughout Spain. He was convinced that Christians could only convert others if their own lives set an example of selflessness and godliness. He had thought that even those who had been captured by the Moors could influence their enemy, provided that they continued to love them and did not abandon their own faith under persecution. He even preached the Spanish crusade that led to the ousting of the Moors in 1492.
Raymond feared no one. King James of Aragon was an immoral man, and Raymond said he would not live in the same place as such a sinner. In spite of the king's anger, Raymond sailed back to Barcelona. (A legend grew up that he boldly sailed across on his own cloak, with not the slightest fear that this quaint boat might sink.)
There is some debate over whether, with Saint Peter Nolasco, he was co-founder of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom (for the redemption of Christian captives), also known as the Mercedarians, a project that was carried out the year after his profession. Whether he did or not, there was no question about his concern for the downtrodden, imprisoned, and poor. Going to Rome in 1230 to serve as Pope Gregory IX's confessor, he did everything possible to expedite the petitions of the poor by imposing the immediate reception, hearing, and decision regarding such petitions as a penance.
The pope also gave him the huge task of compiling all the scattered decrees of popes and councils since the collection made by Gratian in 1150. The resultant five books of the Decretals was so thorough that it remains, after a period of nearly seven centuries of rapid change, a monumental tribute to his learning. This collection, which took three years to complete, remained the standard text from its completion in 1234 until the reform of Canon Law in 1917. The Decretals were followed by the publication of an authoritative work on penitential discipline, the Summa casuum.
In 1235, the Pope Gregory named him archbishop of Tarragona, but sickness and his pleadings to be relieved of such a duty encouraged the pope to name another in his place, and Raymond returned to his solitude and contemplation in Barcelona.
He returned to Spain in 1236 to convalesce from his serious illness. He was received with as much joy as if the safety of the kingdom depended on his presence. Rejuvenated by the solitude of the priory in Barcelona, he resumed his work as a preacher and confessor, and was tremendously successful in making conversions. He was frequently employed in important work both by the Holy See and his king.
In 1238, Raymond was elected Master General of the Dominicans on the death of Blessed Jordan of Saxony of the order. When the news was brought to him from the general chapter in Bologna, he wept and entreated, but eventually he acquiesced in obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot without discontinuing any of his austerities or religious exercises. He instilled in his spiritual children a love of regularity, solitude, studies, and the work of ministry.
During his two-year tenure as master general, Raymond concerned himself with reform, construction, and putting in permanent form the Dominican Constitutions, a document from which many democratic codes have borrowed copiously and which remained in effect until 1924. He also added notes on the doubtful passages to ensure clarity of interpretation. This code was approved in three general chapters. In one held in Paris (1239), he procured that the voluntary resignation of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted--this was his insurance: the following year, begging to be released from his office because of age and infirmity, Raymond resigned after two years of intense activity.
Though he resigned because of ill health, Raymond continued his mission work that brought thousands into the Church. In 1256, he wrote to the general of the order that 10,000 Saracens had been converted. He also helped establish the Inquisition in Catalonia; he was accused, perhaps justifiably, of compromising a Jewish rabbi by deceit.
Raymond envisioned the conquest of the East by learning as kings dreamed of conquering it by arms. To this end, he established friaries in Tunis and Murcia and schools in which Dominicans were trained in the languages of the East--Arabic and Hebrew. Later, he engaged his fellow Dominican, Saint Thomas Aquinas, to write Summa contra gentiles. Raymond had himself preached a crusade against the Moors, and his experience with the Order of Ransom gave him deep insight into the problem of converting the Eastern peoples.
Last 30 years of his one hundred years of life he lived in prayerful obscurity, giving to others the fruits of his contemplation and labor. On his deathbed he was visited by Alphonsus, the king of Castile, and James I of Aragon, one of his penitents.
It is as a wise and holy confessor that Raymond is best remembered in the Church. He was appointed at different times as confessor to the pope and king, and as a papal penitentiary he pronounced on difficult cases of conscience. As noted above, he wrote various works for the guidance of confessors and canonists.
In the bull of his canonization published in 1601, there is reference to miracles attributed to his intercession (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh, White).
In art Saint Raymond is portrayed as a middle-aged Dominican crossing the sea on his cloak (not to be confused with the young Saint Hyacinth, who carried a ciborium). He may be a Dominican holding a book and magister's wand, or with the Virgin and Child appearing to him (Roeder). He may be pictured holding a key, the symbol of confession (Dorcy).
Saint Raymond is greatly venerated in Spain and Majorca, and by the Mercedarians. He is the patron saint of lawyers, including canon lawyers, and schools and faculties of law (Roeder, White).
Rinold, OSB, M (AC)
(also known as Rainald, Reinold, Reynold)
Died 960; feast day formerly on March 7. Saint Rinold is said to have belonged to the family of Charlemagne. The youngest of the four sons in William Caxton's romantic poem Aymon, Saint Rinold entered the Benedictine monastery of Saint Pantaleon in Cologne, was put in charge of building, and was killed by the stonemasons with their hammers and his body flung into a pool near the Rhein. He had been overseeing these stonemasons, who were annoyed because he worked harder and longer than they did. It is said that his body was later recovered through a divine revelation. He is the patron of stonemasons (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Rinold is portrayed as a Benedictine monk with a stonemason's hammer. He may also be shown as he is killed by the masons and flung into a pool. Occasionally, he is represented as a royal knight (Roeder).
Theodore of Egypt, Hermit (RM)
4th century. The Egyptian monk Theodore was a disciple of Saint Ammonius (unsure which one) (Benedictines).
Tillo of Solignac, OSB, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Thillo, Thielman, Theau, Tilloine, Tillon, Tilman, Hillonius)
Born in Saxony; died 702. Tillo was kidnapped by robbers and carried off as a slave to the Low Countries (Benelux), where he was ransomed by Saint Eligius. He became a hermit near the abbey of Solignac, and was known for his austerity and devotion. After his ordination to the priesthood, he evangelized the district around Tournai and Courtrai. Eventually, he returned to Solignac where he spent the remaining years of his life (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art Saint Tillo is a Benedictine abbot holding a chalice and a pastoral staff. He is venerated in Solignac (Roeder).
Valentine B (AC)
Died c. 470. Valentine was an abbot who became a missionary bishop in Rhaetia (now eastern Switzerland, western Austria). He died at Mais in the Tyrol. Some years later his body was translated to Trent and finally to Passau (Benedictines).
Blessed Wittikund of Westphalia (AC)
Died c. 804. Blessed Wittikund was a duke of Westphalia, who resisted the fought against Charlemagne. It is related that he saw the Infant Jesus appear while communion was being distributed to the soldiers of the Christian army on Christmas night, whereupon he sought instruction and, sponsored by Charlemagne, was baptized in 785 (Benedictines).
About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on www.saintpatrickdc.org with the permission of the author. Note that the content has not been updated since that time and represents the research of the author. An alphabetical index of all saints on our site is available. Source references are also available. HTML formatting © 2007-2008 by St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.