Baldred of Glasgow B (AC)
Died 756. Saint Baldred, a Scottish bishop alleged to have succeeded Saint Kentigern (Mungo) at Glasgow, ended his life as a hermit on the coast of the Firth of Forth. Some identify him with Saint Balther, the hermit of Tinningham (Benedictines).
Balther of Tinningham, OSB (AC)
(also known as Baldred, Balredus)
Died 756. A monk-priest of Lindisfarne, Balther became an anchorite at Tinningham on the Scottish border, where he lived on Bass Rock, near North Berwick, surrounded by the sea. His relics were enshrined at Durham, with those of Saint Bilfrid (below), the anchorite (Benedictines).
Basil of Bologna B (RM)
Died 335. Consecrated bishop of Bologna by Pope Saint Sylvester, Saint Basil ruled his diocese for 20 years (Benedictines).
Billfrith (Bilfred) of Lindisfarne, OSB Hermit (AC)
Died c. 758. A monk hermit at Lindisfarne off the coast of Northumberland in northern England, Bilfred was an expert goldsmith. He bound with gold, silver, and gems the famous Saint Cuthbert's copy of the Gospels of Lindisfarne, written and illuminated by bishop Eaddfrid. In life and in death he was the center of great popular veneration (Benedictines, Delaney).
Cadroe (Cadroel) of Waulsort, OSB, Abbot (AC)
Died 976. The son of a Scottish prince, Saint Cadroe was sent to Ireland to be educated at Armagh. He came to England and is said to have saved London from destruction by fire. Then he passed over to France and took the Benedictine habit at Fleury. Shortly after he was made abbot of the new foundation of Waulsort on the Meuse and finally called to Metz to restore Saint Clement's (Benedictines).
Chrodegang of Metz B (AC)
Born at Hesbaye, Brabant, near Liege, in c. 712-15; died at Metz, March 6, 776.
A near relative of Pepin the Short, Chrodegang was probably educated at Saint Trond Abbey and became Charles Martel's secretary and chancellor of France. Even then he went about in hair shirts and unostentatious clothing, fasting and praying, and many of the poor depended entirely upon his charity.
In 742, shortly after the death of Charles Martel, he became bishop of Metz though he was still a layman. So treasured was his advice by Martel's son Pepin the Short that Pepin refused to allow the saint to be consecrated until Chrodegang had promised to continue as his chief minister.
Thus, Chrodegang served as ambassador to Pope Stephen III for Pepin, mayor of the palace, and was very much involved in the coronation of Pepin as King of the Franks, the first Carolingian king, in 751, and in Pepin's defense of the papacy and Rome against the Lombards and his restoration of the exarchate of Ravenna, which he had won from the Lombards, to the Holy See.
Chrodegang's support for the papacy was of inestimable value at a time when the Lombards had managed to force the pope into exile. Chrodegang himself safely brought the pope over the Alps, and Pepin the Short welcomed him to France.
This bishop is of importance because of his continuation of the work of Saint Boniface of Crediton in reforming the Frankish Church. Chrodegang put into effect many ecclesiastical reforms in his see. In particular, he sought to raise the standard of the clergy by suitable education and by encouraging them, when possible, to live a common life together. For such communities he drew up a rule, based in part on that of Saint Benedict. This movement spread and was widely influential as the canons regular movement.
He was active in founding and restoring churches and monasteries, including the abbey of Gorze, Italy, in 748; introduced the Roman liturgy and Gregorian Chant in his see; and established a choir school at Metz, which became famous all over Europe. He also participated in several councils.
Pope Stephen II having conferred on him archepiscopal rank, and having full support of King Pepin the Short, he was able to get his reforms taken up in neighboring dioceses. Saint Chrodegang, we are told, was a man of handsome appearance and generous disposition, a ready writer in Latin and in his own tongue, a man whose character and abilities eminently fitted him to carry on the work Saint Boniface had begun (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).
Colette (Coleta, Niolette), Poor Clare V (RM)
Born at Calcye, Picardy, France, on January 13, 1381; died in Ghent, Flanders, 1447; canonized in 1807.
Born to De Boilet (or Boylet), a carpenter at Corbie Abbey in Picardy, her parents named her Nicolette in honor of Saint Nicholas of Myra. They died when she was 17, leaving her in the care of the abbot.
Colette was said to be petite and very beautiful. She tried her religious vocation with the Beguines and Benedictines but failed. She distributed her possessions to the poor and entered the third order of Saint Francis.
When she was 21, the abbot gave Colette a small hermitage beside the church of Corbie, where she lived a life of such austerity that her fame spread and people came seeking her advice. Colette had dreams and visions in which Saint Francis appeared and charged her to restore the first rule of Saint Clare in its original severity. She hesitated to act upon this but was struck blind for three days and dumb for three more, which she saw as a sign.
Encouraged by her spiritual director, Father Henry de Baume, she left her hermitage in 1406. After trying to explain her mission to two convents, she realized that she must have better authority to accomplish her mission. She set out for Nice, barefoot and clothed in a habit of patches, to meet with Peter de Luna, acknowledged by the French during the great schism as pope under the name Benedict XIII.
He welcomed her and professed her as a Poor Clare. He was so impressed with her that he made her superioress of all the convents of Minoresses that she might reform or found and a missioner to the friars and tertiaries of Saint Francis.
She travelled from convent to convent through Picardy and Savoy. At first she was met with rude opposition and treated as a fanatic, and even accused of sorcery. She met rebuffs and curses patiently, however, and eventually began to make inroads, especially in Savoy, where her reform gained sympathizers and recruits. This reform passed to Burgundy, France, Flanders, and Spain.
With the support of Henry de Baume, the first house of Poor Clares to receive the reformed rule did so in 1410. She aided Saint Vincent Ferrer in the work of healing the papal schism. Colette also founded 17 new convents, in addition to reforming many, including several houses of Franciscan friars. Her most famous convent is Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire), which has sustained an unbroken continuity, even through the French Revolution.
Saint Colette was untrained and unprepared for the work for which she had been commissioned; she achieved it by the power of faith and holiness, and a determination that no opposition could discourage. Impressed by her simple goodness, many people of high rank were greatly influenced by her, including James of Bourbon and Philip the Good of Burgundy.
Like Saint Francis, Colette had a deep devotion to Christ's Passion with an appreciation and care for animals. She fasted on Fridays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., meditating on the Passion. Almost always after receiving Holy Communion she would fall into an hours-long ecstasy.
It is said that Colette met Saint Joan of Arc on her way with an army to besiege La Charite-sur-Loire in 1429, but there is no evidence.
In Flanders, where she had established several houses, Colette was seized with a last illness. She foretold her own death, received the last rites, and died in her convent in Ghent at age 67. Her body was removed by Poor Clares when Emperor Joseph II was suppressing religious houses in Flanders; it was taken to her convent at Poligny, 32 miles from Besancon. A branch of Poor Clares is still known as the Colettines (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, Perrin, White).
In art, Saint Colette is often depicted as a Poor Clare visited by Saint Anne, Saint Francis, or Saint Clare in a vision; sometimes holding a crucifix and a hook. She may also be shown miraculously walking on a stream (Roeder, White). She is venerated in Ghent and Corbie (Picardy) (Roeder).
Conon of Mandona M (RM)
Died 250. Conon was a Christian from Nazareth in Galilee, who worked as a poor gardener at Mandona (Carmel), Pamphylia, and was martyred under Decius (Benedictines, Gill).
Cyneburga (Kyneburga), Cyneswide (Kuneswide), & Tibba (AC)
Died c. 680. Cyneburga and Cyneswide were daughters of Penda, the pagan king of Mercia who fiercely opposed Christianity. Cyneburga married a Northumbrian prince and later became abbess-founder of Dormancaster (now Castor) in Northamptonshire, and was succeeded by her sister as abbess. Tibba was their near kinswoman, who joined them in the convent. Their relics were enshrined in the abbey of Peterborough, where the trio are particularly venerated (Attwater, Benedictines, Gill).
This group is portrayed in art as two abbesses and a nun, sometimes they are shown with the Abbey of Castor (Roeder).
Cyril of Constantinople, OC (AC)
Died 1235. Saint Cyril was born of Greek parents in Constantinople, ordained a priest, and noted as a teacher of true sanctity. At the age of 46, he became a Carmelite in Palestine and was prior general for 17 years (Benedictines). In art, an angel hands Saint Cyril two silver tablets out of a cloud. Sometimes there may be a book with the inscription: Pauper Cirillis Presbiter Herremiter Montis Carmili . . . . (Roeder).
Evagrius of Constantinople B (RM)
Died c. 380. In 370, after the Arians had occupied the see of Constantinople for 20 years, the Catholics chose Evagrius for that see; but a few months later he was banished by the Emperor Valens, and remained in exile until his death (Benedictines).
Fridolin of Säckingen, OSB, Abbot (AC)
Died c. 650. Saint Fridolin, the Irish Wanderer, gained his nickname in the 7th century by his endless journeyings--through Gaul, Germany, and Switzerland. He began his missionary work in Poitiers, France. An assiduous founder of monasteries, Fridolin also found the body of Saint Hilary of Poitiers, which had been lost when the Vandals destroyed the monastery in that city, and restored the church itself. He became devoted to St. Hilary and established other monasteries under his patronage, including the abbey of Säckingen. Started as a school for young boys on an island in the Rhein, Säckingen was no somber place. Here Fridolin happily encouraged the boys to play many different sports. He also established an Irish-influenced abbey at Chur, Switzerland, where stones sculpted in the Irish fashion can still be seen. His vita was recorded by a monk of Säckingen five centuries after his death; however, he claimed to have based it on a much earlier biography. He is venerated as the apostle of the Upper Rhein and on his feast, the houses of Säckingen are decorated with the flags of Germany, Switzerland, and Ireland (Benedictines, Bentley, Montague).
Saint Fridolin is depicted in art as an abbot leading a skeleton by the hand, a pilgrim with a staff and book (Roeder). He is patron of Alsace, Glarus, Sachingen, and Strasbourg and is invoked for fine weather (Roeder).
Blessed Jordan of Pisa, OP (AC)
Born in Pisa, Italy; died 1311; (cultus approved in 1833), beatified in 1838. At a time when scholars believed that no colloquial tongue could ever replace Latin as a gentleman's language, Jordan worked to make Italian the beautiful tongue that it is today. That's not the reason he was beatified by the Church but it's interesting and sometimes overlooked.
Jordan attended the University of Paris where he first encountered the Dominican friars in 1276. Four years later, probably after obtaining his degrees, he returned to Italy and took the habit. He began a long teaching career there as soon as he was qualified to do so.
Because of the excellence of his preaching in Florence, Jordan was appointed first lector there in 1305. He seems to have been fascinated with the whole question of preaching as an apostolic tool, and to have been one of the first to make a scientific study of it. He pointed out that the Greek church was "invaded by a multitude of errors," because the Greeks had no preachers; he could never say enough in praise of Saint Dominic's farsightedness in establishing an order specifically for preaching.
Jordan studied methods of making sermons more effective, both by using examples that would reach the people, and by the use of the vernacular. This latter was a much-disputed subject in his day (they had Dan Amon's then, too); Jordan was considered a daring innovator. Because it was controversial, he strove to make Italian a beautiful instrument on which he could play the melodies of the Lord.
Blessed with an extraordinary memory, Jordan is supposed to have known the breviary by heart, as well as the missal, most of the Bible (with its marginal commentary), plus the second part of the Summa. This faculty of memory he used in his sermons, but he was quick to point out to young preachers that learning alone can never make a preacher. By the holiness of his own life he made this plain, and continually preached it to those he was training to preach.
Jordan of Pisa had two great devotions--to Our Blessed Mother and to Saint Dominic. Once he was favored with a vision of Our Lady; she came into the fathers' refectory and served at table. Jordan, who was the only one who could see her, could barely eat for excitement. He spoke often of her in his sermons, and also of Saint Dominic. He founded a number of confraternities in Pisa, one of which has lasted until now.
Jordan died on his way to Paris to teach at Saint Jacques. His body was returned from Piacenza, where death overtook him, to rest in the church at Pisa (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Marcian of Tortona B (RM)
Died 120. Marcian was said to have been a disciple of Saint Barnabas and first bishop of Tortona in the Piedmont, where he is alleged to have been crucified under Hadrian, after an episcopate of 45 years. Some think that Saint Marcian of Tortona and Marcian of Ravenna are the same person (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Ollegarius (Oldegar, Olegari) of Tarragona, OSA B (RM)
Born at Barcelona, Spain, in 1060; died at Tarragona in 1137. Ollegarius joined the Augustinian canons regular and was prior in several houses in France before being promoted to the see of Barcelona in 1115. The following year he was transferred to the archbishopric of Tarragona. That diocese he successfully raised from the condition of neglect and decay into which it had fallen during the Moorish domination (Benedictines).
Sezin of Guic-Sezni B (AC)
Died c. 529. Saint Sezin was a native of Britain who labored in Ireland at the time of Saint Patrick and then crossed over to Guic-Sezni in Brittany, where he is said to have founded a monastery and where his relics are now venerated (Benedictines).
Victor, Victorinus, Claudian, and Bassa MM (RM)
Date unknown. This group of Bithynians died in prison at Nicomedia for the faith. Bassa was the wife of Claudian (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
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.