St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

February 19



Auxibius of Cyprus B (RM)
1st century. It is said that Saint Auxibius was baptized by Saint Mark and consecrated by Saint Paul as the first bishop of Soli, Cyprus (Benedictines).


Barbatus of Benevento B (RM)
(also known as Barbas)

Born in the area of Benevento, Italy; died there on February 29, 682. Born of Christian parents, Barbatus was raised to sanctity. Devout meditation on the holy scriptures was his chief entertainment. His innocence, simplicity, and purity of heart qualified him for the service of the altar, to which he was ordained as soon as the canons of the church would allow it.

Barbatus was immediately employed by the bishop in preaching because he had an extraordinary talent for it. Later he was made curate of Saint Basil's in Morcona near Benevento, a typical parish where the people hesitated to change their sinful ways. As they desired only to slumber on in their sins, they could not bear the remonstrations of their pastor who endeavored to wake them to a sense of their miseries and to sincere repentance. They, in turn, treated him as a disturber of the peace and violently persecuted him.

Their malice was answered by Barbatus's patience and humility, and his character shining still more brightly was an even greater reproach. Finally, he was forced to withdraw from them. But by these fiery trials, God purified his heart from all earthly attachments, and perfectly crucified it to the world.

Barbatus returned to Benevento were he was received with joy by those who were acquainted with his innocence and sanctity. Barbatus was the enemy of superstition, which still prevailed among the Lombards even after the conversion of the Arian king Grimoald. The people expressed a religious veneration for a golden viper and prostrated themselves before it. They also paid superstitious honor to a tree on which they hung the skin of a wild animal.

Barbatus preached zealously against these abuses, and added fervent prayer and rigorous fasting for the conversion of his people. At length he roused their attention by foretelling the calamities they were to suffer from the army of Emperor Constans, who, soon after landing in Italy, besieged Benevento. Soon they were listening to the preacher and renounced their errors and idolatrous practices. Then Barbatus assured them that the siege would be ended and it so happened. Upon their repentance the saint cut down the tree with his own hand and melted down the golden viper to make a chalice for the altar.

Ildebrand, bishop of Benevento, died during the siege. Once the peace was restored, Saint Barbatus was consecrated bishop on March 10, 663. As bishop he completed the work of eradicating every trace of superstition in the state.

In 680, Barbatus assisted in a council called by Pope Agatho at Rome and the following year attended the Sixth General Council held at Constantinople against the Monothelites. He died shortly after the council about age 70. He is honored as one of the chief patrons of Benevento (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).


Beatus of Liébana, OSB Monk (AC)
(also known as Bie)

Born in Austurias, Spain; died 789. Beatus, monk and priest of Liébana, was a defender of the faith in Spain. He was famous for his firm stand against Helipandus, archbishop of Toledo and other Adoptionists. When the Adoptionists were condemned, the saint retired to the monastery of Valcavado, where he wrote his commentary on the book of Revelation (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Belina of Troyes VM (AC)
Died 1135; canonized in 1203. A peasant girl of the district of Troyes, France, who died in defense of her chastity when it was threatened by the feudal lord of the territory (Benedictines).


Boniface of Lausanne, O. Cist. B (AC)
Born in Brussels, Belgium; died 1265; cultus approved in 1702. Boniface was educated by the nuns of La Cambre (Camera Santa Mariae) near Brussels. Thereafter he studied in Paris, where he taught dogma and became one of the best-known lecturers in the university. He left the university during a student strike, when his pupils no longer came to his classes, and transferred his chair to the University of Cologne. About 1230, he was consecrated bishop of Lausanne, Switzerland, but found that his zeal and frankness was met by misunderstanding and resentment. Having incurred the enmity of Emperor Frederick II, Boniface was attacked and badly wounded in 1239. Convinced he was unfit for office, he begged the pope to release him. The Holy Father agreed. Boniface resigned to live at the Cistercian convent of La Cambre as chaplain to the nuns. It is uncertain whether he actually became a Cistercian or simply lived out his life among them (Benedictines, Walsh). Saint Boniface is portrayed as a Cistercian bishop with an image of the Virgin and Child on a book. Venerated in Brussels, Cologne, Lausanne, and Paris (Roeder).


Conrad of Piacenza, OFM Tert. (AC)
Born in 1290; died 1351 or 1354; cultus approved with the title of saint by Paul III. The nobly born Conrad loved hunting. One day on Conrad's orders, his beaters set light to the undergrowth to flush out the game that their master wished to kill. The fire spread to neighboring cornfields and even damaged several houses. Unable to control the fire, Conrad and his beaters quickly returned home and said nothing.

A poor man who had been collecting faggots nearby was unjustly accused of starting the fire and condemned to death. Conrad's conscience was stirred, and he confessed to being responsible for the fire, in order to save the poor man's life.

The compensation he had to pay for the damage caused by the fire was enormous. Conrad and his wife were virtually impoverished. But the experience had enriched him spiritually. It seemed to both of them that God was calling them to abandon a life devoted to selfish pleasures. The couple gave their remaining possessions to the poor. Saint Francis and Saint Clare had established orders for those who voluntarily embraced poverty; Conrad became a hermit under the rule of Saint Francis, and his wife joined the Poor Clares.

Nothing could keep away men and women attracted by the great austerity of the rest of Conrad's life. He withdrew more and more into solitude, finally spending thirty years in the valley of Noto in Sicily. He spent part of his time in the Hospital of Saint Martin, and the rest in the hermitage founded by William Bocherio, another noble who had become an anchorite.

Seeking still more solitude, he hid himself in the grotto of Pizzoni near Noto. Yet his prayers brought blessings to men, sometimes healing their diseases, and thousands flocked to him. When a famine struck, people came to him to beg for help. Through his prayers, relief was said to come at once.

Even the bishop of Syracuse travelled to seek his blessing towards the end of Conrad's life. It was reported that as the bishop's attendants were preparing to unpack provisions they had brought, the bishop asked Conrad smilingly whether he had anything to offer his guests. Conrad replied that he would go and look in his cell. He returned carrying newly made cakes, which the bishop accepted as a miracle.

Conrad returned the bishop's visit and made a general confession to him. As he arrived, he was surrounded by fluttering birds, who escorted him back to Noto.

He died still praying for others in the church of Saint Nicholas in Noto, where his tomb became the goal of many pilgrimages because of the miraculous cures that occurred there (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, White).

In art, Conrad is a Franciscan hermit with a cross upon which birds perch. Sometimes he is portrayed as a bearded, old man with a tau staff, bare feet, Franciscan cincture, with small birds fluttering around him (Roeder), or with stags and animals about him (White). He is invoked against hernias (Encyclopedia, White).


Gabinus of Rome M (RM)
Died c. 295. Saint Gabinus was a Roman Christian, brother of Pope Caius and father of the beautiful Saint Suzanne. He also seems to have been related to Emperor Diocletian. Gabinus was ordained a priest and died as a martyr of starvation under Diocletian. His acts are very untrustworthy (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Saint Gabinus can be identified in art as a prisoner with the doors open to the cell (Roeder).


George of Lodève, OSB (AC)
Born at Rodez, Spain; died c. 884. Saint George was a Benedictine at Sainte-Foi-de-Conques in Rouergue. After the destruction of the monastery by the Norsemen in 862, he migrated to Vabres in his home diocese. When George was quite old, he was elected bishop of Lodève (Benedictines).


Blessed Lucy VM (AC)
Born 1813; died 1862; beatified in 1909. Lucy was a Chinese school-teacher beheaded at Kuy-tszheu (Benedictines).


Mansuetus of Milan B (RM)
Born in Rome; died c. 690. Mansuetus was appointed to the see of Milan around 672 and ruled it with vigor and wisdom. He wrote a treatise against the Monothelites (Benedictines).


Martyrs of Palestine (RM)
Died c. 509. Saracen tribes under Persian rule invaded Palestine about this time and martyred the hermits they found there, out of hatred for Rome and Christianity (Benedictines).


Mesrob the Teacher B (AC)
(also known as Mesrop)

Born at Taron, Armenia, c. 345; died at Valarshapat, February 19, 441; feast day formerly November 25.

Saint Mesrob 'the Great' was a government official in Armenia, then a hermit and a disciple of Saint Nerses the Great. Mesrob was ordained and devoted himself to the study of Greek, Syriac, and Persian because Armenia had recently been partitioned between Persia and the Empire.

With Saint Isaac the Great, Mesrob was the founder of the Armenian church through his missionary efforts. He is credited with inventing the Armenian alphabet and translating the New Testament and Proverbs into Armenian from the Syriac version.

Mesrob's missionary activities took him into Georgia, where he also had a literary influence, and is said to have sent students as far as Rome in search of manuscripts. He also organized schools in Armenia and Georgia and created a Georgian alphabet.

Mesrob and Isaac began the formation of a distinctly Armenian liturgy of worship based on that of the mother church at Caesarea in Cappadocia. He also founded his own school in Armenia, and continued preaching until his death at Valarshapat aged of 80. The Armenian translation of the Bible has a special value for scholars (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).


Odran M (AC)
Died c. 452. Saint Odran was the chariot-driver for Saint Patrick. He was assassinated in place of his master because he changed places with Patrick in the chariot when he knew that an ambush awaited them (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Publius, Julian, Marcellus and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. Martyrs in Proconsular Africa (Benedictines).


Valerius of Antibes B (AC)
Died after 450. Bishop of Antibes in southern France (Benedictines).


Zambdas of Jerusalem B (RM)
(also known as Zabdas, Bazas)

Died c. 304. Zambdas was said to have been the 37th bishop of Jerusalem. He has been connected with the legend of the Theban legion (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.