St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

February 15



Agape of Terni VM (RM)
Died c. 273. The maiden, Agape, was martyred at Terni, Italy. She belonged to a group of virgins formed by Saint Valentine into a community. From the 6th to the 12th century, there was a church at Terni dedicated to her (Benedictines).


Blessed Andrew of Conti, OFM (AC)
Died February 1, 1302; equipollently beatified in 1724. Andrew of the counts of Segni, or Andrew of Anagni, as he is called from his birthplace, was a nephew of Pope Alexander IV. He became a Franciscan lay-brother and remained in that position although offered a cardinal's hat by Pope Boniface VIII (Benedictines).


Blessed Angelus of Borgo San Sepolcro, OSA (AC)
Born at Borgo San Sepolcro, Umbria, Italy; died c. 1306; cultus approved in 1921. Born into the Scarpetti family, Angelus entered the Augustinian Friars and became a fellow-student of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino. It is said that Blessed Angelus worked in England and founded several friaries there. He was famed as a wonder-worker: once, it is narrated, he asked pardon for a man condemned to death and was refused this request but after the man's execution he raised him to life again (Benedictines).


Berach of Cluain, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Barachias, Berachius)

6th century. From the time of his birth, Berach was placed in the care of his uncle, Saint Freoch. Later in life he became a disciple of Saint Kevin and founded an abbey at Clusin-Coirpte in Connaught. He is the patron saint of Kilbarry, County Dublin (Benedictines). Blessed Claude de la Colombière, SJ (AC)
Born near Grenoble, France, 1641; died 1682; beatified in 1929. Claude became a Jesuit in 1659 at Avignon. While superior of the Jesuits at Paray-le-Monial, he was the spiritual director of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque of Sacred Heart fame and was instrumental in spreading that devotion. Sent to England in 1676 as chaplain to the Duchess of York, he was arrested and banished for alleged complicity in the imaginary 'Popish Plot' (Benedictines).


Blessed Conrad of Bavaria, OSB Cist. (AC)
Born in 1105; died 1154; cultus approved in 1832. Son of Henry the Black, duke 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 (Benedictines).


Craton and Companions MM (RM)
Died c. 273. Craton, a philosopher and professor of rhetoric, was converted to Christianity by Saint Valentine of Terni. He was martyred in Rome together with his wife and family (Benedictines).


Decorosus of Capua B (RM)
Died 695. Decorosus was bishop of Capua, Italy, for 30 years. He was one of the prelates who assisted at the council of Rome in 680 under Pope Saint Agatho (Benedictines).


Dochow
(also known as Dochau, Dogwyn)

Date unknown. According to the life of Saint Samson, Dochow travelled from Wales to Cornwall and founded a monastery there. In the Ulster Annal, he is styled bishop. Saint Dochtwy appears to be another saint altogether (Benedictines).


Druthmar of Lorsch, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1046. In 1014, Saint Druthmar, a Benedictine of Lorsch, was appointed abbot of Corvey, Saxony, by emperor Saint Henry II. Fervor and good observance were marks of his rule (Benedictines).


Eusebius of Aschia, Hermit (AC)
5th century. An anchorite in Aschia, Syria, Saint Eusebius is venerated in the East (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Euseus of Serravalle, Hermit (AC)
14th century. A good cobbler of the Piedmont and, therefore, patron of shoemakers, Saint Euseus was a hermit who lived and died near Serravalle, Piedmont, Italy, where he is still venerated (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Euseus is portrayed as a hermit with shoemaker's tools (Roeder).


Farannan, Abbot (AC)
Died c. 590. The Irish Saint Farannan was a disciple of Saint Columba. He eventually returned to Ireland to lead an eremitical life at All-Farannan, now Allernan, Sligo, where he probably died (Benedictines).


Faustinus and Jovita MM (RM)
Died in Brescia, Lombardy, Italy, c. 121. Two brothers belonging to the nobility of Lombardy, and zealous preachers of Christianity- -in contrast with the bishop of Brescia, who hid during the persecution of Emperor Hadrian. Not much else can be stated authoritatively about them, except that they were beheaded. Their legend relates that Julian, a heathen lord, apprehended them; and the emperor himself passing through Brescia, commanded their execution when neither threats nor torments could shake their constancy. They are the chief patrons of Brescia, where their relics are enshrined and a very ancient church bears their names (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

Saints Faustinus and Jovita are depicted as two knightly brothers holding the palms of martyrs. At times: (1) Faustinus may be alone, richly dressed and on horseback; (2) an angel may be shown saving them from drowning; (3) they are pictured together with Bishop Saint Faustinus of Brescia (Roeder).


Faustus of Glanfeuil, OSB (AC)
6th century. Saint Faustus is allegedly a disciple of Saint Benedict at Monte Cassino, and companion and biographer of Saint Maurus, according to the legendary Vita Sancti Mauri of Abbot Odo of Glanfeuil (Benedictines).


Georgia of Clermont V (RM)
Died c. 500. Young nun who became a hermit near Clermont, Auvergne, France (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Jordan of Saxony, OP (AC)
Born in Germany, 1190; died 1237; cultus confirmed in 1828.

Men prayed for strength to resist Jordan's burning eloquence, and mothers hid their sons when Master Jordan came to town. Students and masters warned each other of the fatal magnetism of his sermons. The sweetness of his character and the holiness of his life shone through his most casual words in a flame that drew youth irresistibly to the ideal to which he had dedicated his own life. In his 16 years of preaching, Jordan is said to have drawn more than a thousand novices to the Dominican Order, among whom were two future popes, two canonized saints (e.g., Albert the Great), numerous beati, and countless intellectual lights of his dazzling century.

Of Jordan's childhood, nothing is known, except that he was born of a noble family. He was drawn to the order in 1220 by the preaching of Blessed Reginald, the beloved son of Dominic, brought back from death by Dominic's and Our Lady's prayers. Jordan was at that time about 30, a student at the University of Paris, and his reputation for sanctity had preceded him into the order.

He had worn the habit for only two months when he was sent to Bologna as a delegate to the first general chapter of the order. The following year he was elected provincial of Lombardy, Italy, and on the death of Saint Dominic, succeeded him as master general.

The Order of Preachers was only six years old when Jordan became master general. He carried out the yet untried plans of Dominic, who had hurried off to heaven when many of his dreams were just beginning to open out into realization, and still more vistas beckoned beyond. Under him the new order advanced apace, spreading throughout Germany and into Denmark. Jordan will always be remembered for his work in increasing the manpower of the order, but his contribution to its quality should never be forgotten.

He added four new provinces to the eight already in existence; he twice obtained for the order a chair at the University of Paris and helped found the University of Toulouse; and he established the first general house of studies of the order. He was a spiritual guide to many, including Blessed Diana d'Andalo; and somewhere in his busy lifetime he found time to write a number of books, including a life of Saint Dominic.

Jordan was regarded as a menace by the professors of universities where he recruited novices. He emptied classrooms of their most talented students, stole their most noted professors. Young men by the hundreds besieged the order for admittance. Some were mere children, some famous lawyers and teachers, and some were the wealthy young bearers of the most famous names in Christendom. One and all, they were drawn to a life of perfection by this man who preached so well, and who practiced what he preached with such evident relish.

All the old writers speak of the kindness and personal charm of Jordan. He had the ability to console the troubled and to inspire the despondent with new hope. At one time, a discouraged student was busily saying the Office of the Dead when Master Jordan sat down beside him and began alternating verses with him. When he came to the end of Psalm 26, Jordan said the verse with emphasis: "Oh, wait for the Lord!" Wherewith the sorrows of the young man departed. Another student was rid of troubled thoughts by the mere imposition of Jordan's hands. To bring peace to the brothers who were being annoyed by the devil, Jordan established the beautiful custom of singing the Salve Regina after Compline each night.

Jordan was shipwrecked and drowned when returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land (Benedictines, Dorcy).


Joseph of Antioch M (RM)
(also known as Josippus)

Date unknown. Saint Joseph was a deacon who, with seven others, is said to have suffered martyrdom at Antioch (Benedictines).


Blessed Julia of Certaldo, OSA V (AC)
Died January 9, 1367; feast day once on February 25; cultus confirmed in 1819. Julia began life as a domestic servant of the Tinolfi family of Florence, Italy. 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 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Blessed Julia is portrayed in a black habit with a white veil, rescuing a child whose bed is on fire. Sometimes she may be shown (1) giving children flowers in winter; or (2) rescuing horsemen from drowning. Venerated in Tuscany (Roeder).


Quinidius of Vaison B (RM)
Died c. 579. Quinidius was a hermit at Aix, Provence, until he was raised to the episcopacy of the see of Vaison, also in Provence, France. He is the second patron of Vaison-la-Romaine (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Saturninus, Castulus, Magnus & Lucius MM (RM)
Died 273. These martyrs were members of Saint Valentine of Terni's flock. They were buried at Passae (Rocca San Zenone) (Benedictines).


Severus of Androcca (RM)
Died c. 530. 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 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Sigfrid of Wexlow, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Sigfrid Växjö)

Born in Glastonbury, England (?); died at Växjö, Sweden, c. 1045; canonized by Pope Adrian IV (?).

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 (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).

Saint Sigfrid is pictured as a bishop with two companion monks crossing the sea in a ship. He may also be shown baptizing King Olaf of Sweden, or menaced by devils. There is a 14th century wall-painting possibly of him at Stoke Orchard, Worcestershire (Roeder). He may also be represented as a bishop carrying the heads of his three nephews, which are sometimes misrepresented as three loaves (Farmer).


Tanco of Werden, OSB, BM (AC)
(also known as Tancho, Tatta, Tatto)

Died 808. Irish Saint Tanco became abbot of the Benedictine monastery of Amalbarich in Saxony and eventually bishop of Werden. He died at the hands of a pagan mob whose savage customs he had denounced (Benedictines).


Walfrid della Gheradesca, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as (Gualfredo, Galfrido)

Born in Pisa, Italy; died c. 765; cultus confirmed in 1861. Walfrid, the eldest of five children and one of the wealthier citizens of the area, had five or six children of his own. After some years of married life, Walfrid and his wife decided to establish separate Benedictine monasteries on adjoining hills near Pisa. Walfrid was joined by two other married men to found his abbey of Palazzuolo, between Volterra and Piombino, and one for their wives nearby. Novices joined the foundations in large numbers, among them Walfrid's daughter, Rattruda, and his favorite son, Gimfrid, who became a priest.

The Acta Sanctorum relates that Walfrid ruled the abbeys well for at least ten years before he was succeeded by his son Gimfrid, who was "a great and good pastor." Apparently Gimfrid questioned his vocation and ran away from monastic life and the priesthood for a time, but that the prayers of his father and the monks brought him back wiser and stronger in the ways of grace.

We do not have any exact record of when Walfrid died, but legend relates that it was on February 15 that both he and his wife died and were buried together (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Winaman, Unaman & Sunaman, OSB Monks MM (AC)
Died c. 1040. No this isn't a rock group. Rather this trio of nephews of Saint Sigfrid of Wexlow, followed their uncle to the Swedish mission. The Benedictine monks were martyred at Wexlow (Växjö) by beheading. There bodies were buried deep in the forest but the heads, which had been thrown into the nearby lake, were recovered and enshrined in the church at Växjö until the Lutherans removed them. These three are venerated in Sweden (Benedictines, Husenbeth).



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.