St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

March 11



Alberta of Agen VM (AC)
Died c. 286. Saint Alberta is said to have been one of the first martyrs under Diocletian, who suffered with Saint Faith. When some spectators objected to her execution, Procurator Dacian of Agen had them beheaded, too (Benedictines, Delaney).


Amunia of San Millán, OSB Widow (AC)
Died c. 1069. When her husband died, Saint Amunia, the mother of Saint Aurea, joined her daughter as a hermit under the obedience of the abbot of San Millán de la Cogolla in La Rioja, Spain (Benedictines).


Aurea of San Millán, OSB V (AC)
(also known as Oria)

Died c. 1069. Saint Aurea, a Spanish virgin, was a hermit attached to the Benedictine abbey of San Millán de la Cogolla in La Rioja, Spanish Navarre. Her spiritual direction was provided by Saint Dominic of Silos. Her mother, Saint Amunia, joined her before her death at the age of 27 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Benedict Crispus B (RM)
Died 725. Archbishop Benedict of Milan governed his see for 45 years. He composed the epitaph for the tomb of Saint Ceadwaller, king of Wessex, buried in Saint Peter's in Rome (Benedictines).


Candidus, Piperion & Comps. MM (RM)
Died c. 254-c. 259. The particulars of these 22 African martyrs have been lost. It is believed that they suffered in Carthage or Alexandria either under Valerian or Gallienus (Benedictines).


Blessed Christopher Macassoli, OFM (AC)
Born in Milan, Italy; died 1485; cultus confirmed in 1890. Christopher Macassoli joined the Franciscans and eventually founded the friary of Vigevano in the province of Milan, where thousands sought his help and advice (Benedictines).


Constantine of Scotland M (AC)
Died 576; feast in Cornwall and Wales is March 9. King Constantine of Cornwall is reputed to have been married to the daughter of the king of Brittany and to have led a life full of vice and greed until he was led to conversion by Saint Petroc. Upon the death of his wife, he is said to have ceded his throne to his son in order to become a penitent monk at St. Mochuda Monastery at Rahan, Ireland. He performed menial tasks at the monastery, then studied for the priesthood and was ordained. Constantine became a missionary to the Picts in Scotland under Saint Columba and then Saint Kentigern, preached in Galloway, and founded and became abbot of a monastery at Govan near the River Clyde. In his old age, on his way to Kintyre, he was attacked by pirates who cut off his right arm, and he bled to death. He is regarded as Scotland's first martyr, although his story is often contradictory and unreliable. It is probable that the Scottish martyr is not the same person as the British king. There are two places in Cornwall called Constantine: one on the Helford River and the other near Padstow. The church on the first site was the larger and survived as a monastery until the 11th century. He was also patron of the Devon churches of Milton Abbot and Dunsford (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth).


Constantine of Carthage M (RM)
Date unknown. All that is known is the entry in the Roman Martyrology, "At Carthage, Saint Constantine, confessor" (Benedictines).


Eulogius of Córdova M (RM)
Died 859. In 850, the Moors of Spain began a systematic persecution of the Christians, probably because of indiscreet attacks by Christians on Islam or attempted proselytism. Until that time extra tax had been paid by Christians for the freedom to worship, but the conversion of a Moor was punishable by death for the convert and those who helped him. Eulogius, a descendent of a wealthy family that had owned land near Córdova from the time of the Romans, was one of those arrested during the outbreak of persecution perhaps due to the injudicious words of Bishop Reccared of Andalusia.

Eulogius had been educated by Abbot Sperando and ordained. His younger brother became an important official in the local Islamic court. From the short biography written by his friend Alvarus we learn that Eulogius was renowned for his learning and knowledge of Scriptures, his candor and kindly disposition, and devotion. He was in the habit of visiting hospitals and monasteries, and, in fact, drew up the rules for many of the monasteries of Navarre and Pamplona. That Eulogius was a staunch Catholic, as well as a perceptive one, is evident from his Exhortation to Martyrdom addressed to two young ladies imprisoned with him, Saints Flora and Mary.

In it he urged, "They threaten to sell you as slaves and dishonor you, but be assured that they cannot injure the purity of your souls, whatever infamy they may inflict upon you. Cowardly Christians will tell you in order to shake your constancy that the churches are silent, deserted, and deprived of the sacrifice on account of your obstinacy. But be persuaded that for you the sacrifice most pleasing to God is contrition of heart, and that you can no longer draw back or renounce the truth you have confessed."

Flora and Mary were beheaded after receiving Eulogius's encouragement, but Eulogius and others were released a few days later. During the continued persecution the next seven years, Eulogius was tireless in bolstering the spirits of his fellow Christians. He collected a record, called the Memorial of the Saints, describing the sufferings of martyred saint to encourage the persecuted Christians. There had been a good deal of anti-Islamic agitation, and a church council in Córdova had warned Christians against deliberately provocative behavior. Saint Eulogius in an Apologia, defended martyrs who sought death by proclaiming their faith.

Eulogius was elected archbishop of Toledo, but never set foot within his see for Eulogius did not have to wait long for the destiny he urged on others. In 859, he was again arrested and was martyred for protecting Lucretia (Leocritia), a girl convert from Islam, whom the law condemned to death for apostasy. Eulogius attempted to evangelize the kadi before whom he was tried but to no avail. Sentence was immediately passed and he was beheaded. Lucretia was martyred four days later. After the translation of Eulogius's remains from Córdoba in 883, the bodies of Saints Lucretia and Eulogius rest together in the cathedral of Oviedo (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).

In art, Saint Eulogius is a priest with a palm, book, sword in his breast, scimitar in his head, a Moor at his feet, and a missioner's cross. At times the picture may include (1) Saint Lucretia who was killed by the Moors with him; (2) Lucretia holding a palm and book with seven seals; (3) Eulogius holding a heart; (4) a whip; or (5) Saint Eulogius praying in the wilderness (Roeder). He is the patron of carpenters and coppersmiths (Roeder).


Euthymius of Sardis BM (RM)
Died 840 (?). Saint Euthymius left his monastery to become the bishop of Sardis, Lydia. He was banished by Emperor Nicephorus for courageously opposing the Iconoclasts. Several times he was given permission to return to his see if he would become an Iconoclast, but he refused and remained in exile for 29 years until he was finally scourged to death (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Firmian of Fermo, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Fermanus, Firminus)

Died c. 1020. Saint Firmian was the abbot of the Benedictine monastery of San Sabino Piceno, near Fermo, in the Marches of Ancona (Benedictines).


Firminus of Amiens, Abbot (RM)
Date unknown. This entry in the Roman Martyrology may be the result of confusion between Abbot Saint Firmian of Fermo and Bishops Saint Firminus of Amiens (feasts September 1 and September 25). No abbot-saint named Firminus was ever venerated at Amiens (Benedictines).


Gorgonius and Firmus (Firminus) MM (RM)
3rd century. Saints Gorgonius and Firmus were martyred either in Nicaea, Bithynia, or Antioch, Syria (Benedictines).


Heraclius and Zosimus MM (RM)
Died c. 263. Heracluius and Zosimus were martyred in Carthage under Valerianand Gallienus (Benedictines).


Blessed John Righi, OFM (AC)
(also known as Blessed John of Fabriano)

Born in Fabriano, Ancona, Italy, 1469; died 1539; cultus approved in 1903. John Baptist Righi was a professed Franciscan who lived as a hermit at Massaccio (Benedictines).


Martyrs of Antioch (RM)
Died c. 300. The entry in the Roman Martyrology reads, "Many holy martyrs . . . under Maximian set upon red hot gridirons and condemned not to death but continued torture," while others underwent assorted torments (Benedictines).


Oengus the Culdee, Abbot B (AC)
(also known as Aengus, Oengoba)

Born in Ireland; died c. 830. The appellation "Culdee," Ceile De, or Kele-De means "worship of God," which became the name of a monastic movement otherwise known as the "Companions of God." Oengus was of the race of the Dalaradians, kings of Ulster. In his youth, renouncing all earthly pretensions, he chose Christ for his inheritance by embracing the religious life in the monastery of Cluain-Edneach (Clonenagh) in East Meath (County Laois). Here he became so great a proficient both in learning and sanctity, that no one in his time could be found in Ireland that equaled him in reputation for every kind of virtue, and for sacred knowledge.

To shun the esteem of the world, he disguised himself and entered the monastery of Tamlacht (Tallaght Hill), three miles from Dublin, where he lived for seven years as an anonymous lay brother. There he performed all the drudgery of the house, appearing fit for nothing but the vilest tasks, while interiorly he was being perfected in love and contemplation absorbed in God. After his identity was discovered when he tried to coach an unsuccessful student, he returned to Cluain-Edneach, where the continual austerity of his life, and his constant application to God in prayer, may be more easily admired than imitated. For example, he would daily recite one-third of the psalter (50 Psalms) while immersed in cold water.

He was chosen abbot, and at length raised to the episcopal dignity: for it was usual then in Ireland for eminent abbots in the chief monasteries to be bishops. He was known for his devotion to the saints. He left both a longer and a shorter Irish Martyrology, and five other books concerning the saints of his country, contained in what the Irish call Saltair-na-Rann. The short martyrology was a celebrated metrical hymn called Felire or Festilogium. The longer, Martyrology of Tallaght was composed in collaboration with Saint Maelruain of Tallaght.

He died at Disertbeagh (now Desert Aenguis or Dysert Enos), which became also a famous monastery, and took its name from him. Although he was famous in his time, there are no early vitae now extant and he is now commemorated liturgically in any Irish diocese (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague).


Peter the Spaniard (RM)
Date unknown. Saint Peter was a Spanish pilgrim to Rome who became a hermit at Babuco, near Veroli, Italy. He wore a coat of mail next to his skin as a means of physical mortification (Benedictines).


Sophronius the Sophist B (RM)
(also known as Sophronius of Jerusalem)

Born in Damascus, Syria, c. 560; died in Alexandria, Egypt, c. 639. Saint Sophronius travelled about the Near East with the mystic John Moschus, when Moschus was collecting material for his famous ascetical work called The Spiritual Meadow. About 580 he and John Moschus entered the St. Sabas monastery in Egypt, then he continued his journey in faith at St. Theodosius (Palestine). He spent ten years in Alexandria under Patriarch Saint John the Almsgiver. After making pilgrimages to monasteries and hermits in Egypt and another to Rome (where John Moschus died about 620), reading philosophy and the Scriptures, and practicing austerities, Sophronius was elected patriarch of Jerusalem in 634. During his episcopacy he contended with two dangers to the Christian faith: one was heresy, the other the seemingly relentless advance of the Saracens.

The heresy, finally condemned in 649 by the Lateran Council, is called Monothelitism--the denial that Jesus had two wills, one human and the other divine. In these early centuries, Christians were trying to understand how Jesus could be both God and man. The question was debated for centuries after Sophronius's death, but he was the most vigorous defender of the view that eventually was accepted by the Church: that Jesus had a divine and a human will. He sent letters to the pope and to the patriarch of Constantinople, begging them to give their weight to his side. So important was the question of right doctrine to Saint Sophronius that he made his assistant, Bishop Stephen of Dor, stay in Rome for ten years in order to defend orthodoxy.

His second problem caused much pain. In 636, the Saracens took Damascus. They reached Jerusalem two years later. At Christmas, Sophronius sadly comforted his flock, who were unable to leave the besieged city for their customary celebration of the birth of Jesus at Bethlehem. When Khalif Omar took the city, Sophronius managed to win him to a greater tolerance of Christians by personally conducting him around the holy sites of the city. Nevertheless, Sophronius was banished and died soon after Omar conquered Jerusalem.

In all this activity, Saint Sophronius remained a disciplined monk. Among his writings is a panegyric of the Egyptian martyrs Cyrus and John. With John Moschus he also wrote a biography of their friend Saint John the Almsgiver, which has not survived. He also wrote several doctrinal theses, homilies, and poems (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).


Teresa Margaret Redi, OCD V (RM)
(Baptized as Anna Maria Redi)

Born in Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, July 15, 1747; died March 7, 1770; canonized 1934. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was born of a distinguished family, baptized Anna Maria, and raised by the Benedictine nuns of Santa Apollonia in Florence.

One day on entering her room, she distinctly heard herself addressed with the words: "I wish to have you among my daughters." She felt herself irresistibly drawn to the chapel, where the same voice said to her: "I am Teresa of Jesus, and I tell you that soon you will be in my convent."

Teresa Margaret returned to her parents' house for a few weeks, then, in the summer of 1764, was received on probation in the convent of the discalced Carmelites in Florence. The nuns were amazed at this novice, who set them an example of the perfect conventual life. Her motto was: "To suffer, to love, to be silent."

Under the spiritual sufferings of the path of purification she matured quickly to mystical union with God. On the evening of March 6, 1770, she was suddenly overcome by violent pains, and the very next day she peacefully and joyfully gave back her soul to God, whom she had always loved and for whom she had constantly yearned. She was 22 at the time of her death. The rumor that a saint had died rapidly spread through Florence, and her body had to be kept above ground for 15 days (Benedictines, Schamoni).


Trophimus and Thalus MM (RM)
Died c. 300. Trophimus and Thalus were crucified at Laodicea, Syria, under Diocletian (Benedictines).


Vigilius of Auxerre BM (AC)
Died 685. In 661, Saint Vigilius succeeded Saint Palladius as bishop of Auxerre. He was martyred by order of the mayor of the palace, Waraton, in a forest near Compiègne (Benedictines).


Vindician of Cambrai B (AC)
Died 712; feast day formerly on March 12. Bishop Saint Vindician of Arras-Cambrai, a disciple of Saint Eligius, courageously protested against the excesses of the Merovingian kings and the powerful mayors of the palace. In his last days he lived primarily in Saint-Vaast Abbey (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.