Saint Martina VM
Adelelmus, OSB, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Aleaume, Elesmes, Lesmes)
Born at Laudun, Poitou; died c. 1100. Saint Adelelmus was a soldier, who on his return from a pilgrimage to Rome met Saint Robert, founder of Chaise-Dieu, and joined his community. He seems to have been abbot there for a time. In 1079, he was called to Burgos, Old Castile, by Queen Constance of Burgundy, wife of Alphonsus VI of Castile. Adelelmus received from the king a church and a hospital by the gates of Burgos, where the great abbey of Saint John (now the Church of Saint Lesmes) was founded with the saint as first abbot. Later he fought against the Moors (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson). Adelelmus is pictured as a Benedictine abbot with an axe. Sometimes he is shown with Robert of Chaise Dieu. He is venerated at Burgos and Chaise-Dieu (Roeder).
Agrippinus of Alexandria B (AC)
Died c. 180. He was the ninth bishop of Alexandria after Saint Mark (Benedictines).
Aldegundis of Maubeuge, OSB, Abbess (RM)
(also known as Aldegondes, Adelgund, Orgonne)
Born in Hainault c. 630-635; died at Maubeuge, January 30, 684 (or 660 per one source). Saint Aldegund and her sister Saint Waldetrudis, abbess of Mons, were the daughters of Saints Walbert and Bertilia. While still young, Aldegund consecrated herself to God with a vow of virginity near Mons. Later she to a hermitage, which became the monastery of Maubeuge, of which she was the first abbess. Endowed with the gift of prayer, Aldegund looked upon the slanders and persecutions she endured as favors from God in His mercy that allowed her to suffer for His sake (Matthew 5:10). She died from breast cancer and, we are told, "in an ecstasy of serene joy." Her relics are enshrined in the church of Maubeuge. She is the patron of a parish church at Saint-Omer under the name "Orgonne." Her initial vita was written shortly after her death (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth). In art, Saint Aldegund is a Benedictine abbess, crowned. There is generally a dove with veil near her. Sometimes she may be shown (1) receiving the veil from the Holy Spirit; (2) as a princess fleeing from her parents' house; (3) walking with an angel; or (4) walking on water (Roeder). She is invoked against eye troubles, cancer, diseases of children, fever, demoniac possession, wounds, and sudden death (Roeder).
Alexander M (RM)
3rd century. Saint Alexander was martyred under Decius. The R.M. says that he was "glorious for his venerable age." Some writers have identified him with Saint Alexander of Jerusalem (Benedictines). In art Saint Alexander is a venerable early Christian who was crucified. He may be shown trampling upon a pagan altar before the emperor or overthrowing an idol (Roeder).
Blessed Amnichad of Fulda, OSB, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Anmchadh, Amnuchad)
Died 1043. Amnichad may have been born either in Ireland or Scotland. It is said that he travelled to Germany after having been banished by Corcoran from the monastery of Iniscaltra on the Shannon because he broke the abbey's rule by once providing additional refreshments to visitors between meals. Thereafter Amnichad wandered through Europe until he settled himself as a monk at Fulda in Germany, where he had himself walled up in a cell to live the rest of his life as a anchorite. Sixteen years after his death, Blessed Marianus Scotus joined Fulda. He records that daily for ten years he celebrated Mass over the tomb of Amnichad, around which a supernatural light was often seen and a heavenly psalmody was heard (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Gougaud, Kenney, O'Hanlon, Tommasini).
Armentarius of Antibes B (AC)
Died after 450. This saint was the first bishop of Antibes in Provence (France). An old church is dedicated to him in Draguignan (Benedictines).
Armentarius of Pavia B (RM)
Died c. 711. During the episcopate of Armentarius, his see of Pavia was withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the metropolitan see of Milan and directly attached to the Roman Church (Benedictines).
Barses of Edessa B (RM)
(also known as Barso, Barsas)
Died c. 379. Bishop Barses of Edessa, Syria, died in exile after being banished to western Egypt on the frontiers of Libya by the Arian emperor Valens (Benedictines).
Barsimaeus BM (RM)
(also known as Barsamja, Barsaumas)
Died c. 114. According to the Roman Martyrology, Saint Barsimaeus was the third bishop of Edessa from Saint Jude. He was said to have been one of the 72 disciples sent by Jesus to preach the coming of the Kingdom, who, after converting many to the faith, suffered under Emperor Trajan. The story, however, of his martyrdom is now rejected. It is believed that he may have been Barsamja, successor to Palut, a bishop of Edessa in the middle of the 3rd century (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).
Bathildis, OSB, Queen Widow (RM)
(also known as Bathild, Baldechilde, Baldhild, Bauteur)
Died January 30, 680; canonized by Pope Nicholas I; Roman Martyrology sets her feast as January 26.
Bathild, like Saint Patrick, had been a slave. An Anglo-Saxon by birth, in 641 she was captured by Danish raiders and sold to Erchinoald, the chief officer (mayor) of the palace of Clovis II, King of the Franks. She quickly gained favor, for she had charm, beauty, and a graceful and gentle nature. She also won the affection of her fellow-servants, for she would do them many kindnesses such as cleaning their shoes and mending their clothes, and her bright and attractive disposition endeared her to them all.
The officer, impressed by her fine qualities, wished to make her his wife, but Bathild, alarmed at the prospect, both by reason of her modesty and of her humble status, disguised herself in old and ragged clothes, and hid herself away among the lower servants of the palace; and he, not finding her in her usual place, and thinking she had fled, married another woman.
Her next suitor, however, was none other than the king himself, for when she had discarded her old clothes and appeared again in her place, he noticed her grace and beauty, and declared his love for her. Thus in 649, the 19-year-old slave girl Bathild became Queen of France, amidst the applause of the court and the kingdom. She bore Clovis three sons: Clotaire III, Childeric II, and Thierry III--all of whom became kings. On the death of Clovis (c. 655- 657), she was appointed regent in the name of her eldest son, who was only five, and ruled capably for eight years with Saint Eligius as her adviser.
She made a good queen and ruled wisely. Unlike many who rise suddenly to high place and fortune, she never forgot that she had been a slave, and did all within her power to relieve those in captivity. We are told that "Queen Bathild was the holiest and most devout of women; her pious munificence knew no bounds; remembering her own bondage, she set apart vast sums for the redemption of captives." Bathild helped promote Christianity by seconding the zeal of Saint Ouen, Saint Leodegardius, and many other bishops.
At that time the poorer inhabitants of France were often obliged to sell their children as slaves to meet the crushing taxes imposed upon them. Bathild reduced this taxation, forbade the purchase of Christian slaves and the sale of French subjects, and declared that any slave who set foot in France would from that moment be free. Thus, this enlightened women earned the love of her people and was a pioneer in the abolition of slavery.
A contemporary English writer, Eddius (the biographer of Saint Wilfrid), asserts that Queen Bathild was responsible for the political assassination of Bishop Saint Annemund (Dalfinus) of Lyons and nine other bishops. What actually happened is obscure, and it is unlikely that Bathild was guilty of the crime.
She also founded many abbeys, such as Corbie, Saint-Denis, and Chelles, which became civilized settlements in wild and remote areas inhabited only by prowling wolves and other wild beasts. Under her guidance forests and waste land were reclaimed, cornland and pasture took their place, and agriculture flourished. She built hospitals and sold her jewelry to supply the needy. Finally, when Clotaire came of age, she retired to her own royal abbey of Chelles, near Paris, where she served the other nuns with humility and obeyed the abbess like the least of the sisters.
She died at Chelles before she had reached her 50th birthday. Death touched her with a gentle hand; as she died, she said she saw a ladder reaching from the altar to heaven, and up this she climbed in the company of angels.
Her life was written by a contemporary. Chelles convent had many contacts with Anglo-Saxon England, which led to the spread of her cultus to the British Isles (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Butler, Coulson, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, White).
Saint Bathildis is generally pictured as a crowned queen or nun before the altar of the Virgin, two angels support a child on a ladder (the ladder implies the pun échelle-Chelles) and also the vision she is said to have had at her death. She might also be shown: (1) holding a broom; (2) giving alms or bread; (3) seeing a vision of the crucified Christ before her; or (4) holding Chelles Abbey, which she founded (Roeder, White).
She is the patroness of children (Roeder).
Felician, Philippian & 124 companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. Martyred in Africa (Benedictines).
Blessed Haberilla of Mehrerau, OSB (AC)
(also known as Habrilia)
Died c. 1100. Haberilla was a virgin who became a recluse under the obedience of the abbot of Mehrerau (in Switzerland), which was a Black Benedictine monastery at that time (Benedictines).
Hippolytus of Antioch M (RM)
Died after 250. Saint Hippolytus is venerated at Antioch. The details given in the Roman Martyrology are borrowed from the story of Saint Hippolytus of Rome (Benedictines).
Hyacintha Mariscotti, OFM Tert., V (RM)
(also known as Giacinta or Clarice Mariscotti)
Born in Vignarello (near Viterbo), Italy, in 1585; died January 30, 1640; canonized in 1807. Clarice (later Hyacintha) Mariscotti is exceptional among saints in that she experienced not one conversion but two in her life. As a young religious, she was notoriously unfaithful to the rule. She repented and reformed herself, relapsed again into infidelity and then repented again and rose to the level of heroic virtue. The life of Saint Hyacintha demonstrates the way our sufferings can be transformed into blessings by God.
Clarice was born into a noble family and was educated in the Franciscan convent of Viterbo, where one of her blood sisters was a nun. In her youth, unlike many saints, Clarice showed no predisposition to piety.
At age 20, Hyacintha was passed over by the Marquis Cassizucchi in favor of her younger sister, whom he married. Thereafter, Hyacintha became so ill-tempered and made home-life so unendurable that her family nearly forced her into the convent of Franciscan tertiaries at Viterbo. She escaped but eventually returned to the convent and, in due course, was admitted and professed. Nevertheless, petulant Hyacintha used every possible opportunity to scandalize her community for a period of ten years during which she disregarded the spirit of the religious rule. She claimed every privilege to which her rank and wealth entitled her.
Her first 'conversion' came when her confessor, attending her when she was sick, expressed astonishment at the furniture and decor of her room; he told her she was in the convent merely to help the devil and the shock of such a remark snapped her out of her spiritual lethargy; she set about reforming her life with exaggerated fervor.
Hyacintha said her 'yes' and took a long step toward the Lord, but soon fell back into her old ways. Once again sickness, this time more serious, and once again reform that brought her back to her appointed ways. She became a model of heroic patience, penance, prayer, untiring goodness, sweetness, and promptness in serving all. From that time she gave herself to a life in which cruel disciplines, constant fasts, deprivation of sleep, and long hours of prayer all played their part.
It is remarkable that such a character could become a model novice mistress. Hyacintha seems to have shown healthy common sense in the guidance of others, restraining their devotional and penitential excesses and giving very practical advice to the many who wrote to seek her counsel. Hyacintha's charity was also outstanding, and it was not limited to those of her community. Through her influence two confraternities were established in Viterbo that devoted themselves to the relief of the sick, the aged, and the disadvantaged. Hyacintha herself helping to provide the necessary funds by her own begging.
Hyacintha's faith was now living, and when she surveyed the zigzag path she had followed, it all seemed to her like a miracle: indeed it is probably the greatest miracle of all, this conversion in the life of a saint (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Walsh).
Martina of Rome VM (RM)
(also known as Prisca, Tatiana)
Died 228; feast day was formerly January 20; Martina was removed from the general Roman Calendar in 1969, but not from local ones. In 1634, Pope Urban VIII decided to rebuild an ancient church in honor of Saint Martina that stood under the Capitoline Hill in Rome, overlooking the Forum. The workmen discovered a Christian tomb containing the bones of a Roman lady and her two brothers. These were believed to be the remains of Saints Martina, Concordius, and Epiphanius. Bernini created a magnificent bronze shrine for these relics and today, in the church of Santi Luca e Martino, Rome, lamps burn continually around the shrine. In 1558, Pope Sixtus V added Saint Luke the Evangelist as co-titular of the church, when he gave it and the neighboring building to the Accademia di San Luca.
Although we know little about her, she remains one of the patron saints of the city of Rome itself. Her fabulous acta, which can be traced to the 7th century, closely resemble those of Saints Prisca and Tatiana--they may all be the same person. According to this story, the virgin Martina, born of an illustrious family, was orphaned at an early age. She is said to have been a Roman martyr under Alexander Severus (222-235 AD). It is said that at her martyrdom, milk flowed from her body rather than blood. There is no evidence for an early cultus of a Tatiana or Martina in Rome, and Prisca is difficult to identify (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Sheppard).
Saint Martina is pictured as a maiden with a lion. She may be shown beheaded by a sword or martyred with a two-pronged hook, receiving the palm and lily from the Virgin and Child (Roeder).
Mucian Mary Wiaux (RM)
Born at Mellet, Belgium, on March 20, 1841; died Malonne, Belgium, on January 30, 1917; canonized by John Paul II on December 10, 1989.
Louis Joseph Wiaux was the son of a deeply devout blacksmith and his equally fervent wife, who was an innkeeper. He became a Christian Brother at Namur in 1856 (age 15) and took the name of an obscure Roman martyr of unknown date, Mucian, who was killed with an unknown boy and another named Mark. After short times at Chimay and then Brussels, in 1858, Mucian Mary was moved to the college at Malonne, where he remained the balance of his life.
It must have been difficult for Brother Mucian: He found himself in a teaching order but had little talent for it. Thus, he was given marginal subjects and assigned to those tasks that required no special teaching skills. Although he was no success in passing on book knowledge, Brother Mucian had that much prized skill of "bringing even the least gifted to the limit of their abilities." What a wonderful present God placed in the lives who knew Mucian! Here was a man who could lead others to share the charisms with which God had endowed them. Of course, the ability to bring out the best in those around him, made Brother Mucian much loved. His gentleness and holiness of life also served as a model to those who saw "the brother who is always praying."
Visits to his tomb began immediately after his death. In Belgium he is known as a great intercessor before God, which led to his cause being open in 1936, less than 20 years after his death. At Mucian Mary's canonization, Pope John Paul II called him "the light of Belgium and the glory of his congregation." The Belgian bishops wrote that Mucian Mary "left no theological or spiritual treatise, nothing to bring his name out of the shadows. . . . [he] accomplished nothing out of the ordinary. . . . He was a man of prayer, an apostle among the students and went about his daily taks with holiness. . . . hurting none and forgiving all" (Walsh).
Savina of Milan, Matron (RM)
Died 311. During the persecution of Diocletian, Saint Savina busied herself with ministering to the martyrs in prison and in interring their bodies after execution. She died while praying at the tomb of SS. Nabor and Felix (Benedictines).
Blessed Sebastian Velfré, Orat. (AC)
(also known as Sebastian Valfré)
Born at Verduno, Alba, Italy, in 1629; died in Turin, Italy, 1710; beatified in 1834. Sebastian joined the Oratorians at Turin after his ordination to the priesthood. He became prefect of the Oratory and was much demanded as a spiritual director because of the endless care he gave to each who came to him for help. But he did not just wait for sinners to come to him, he sought them out and converted many. Sebastian acquired in full measure the spirit of Saint Philip Neri, whose cheerfulness he imitated through even the most grieous spiritual trials (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Tudy V (AC)
(also known as Tudclyd, Tybie)
5th century. One of many saintly daughters of Brychan of Brecknock, Saint Tudy left her name to Llandybie in Carmarthenshire (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.