Blessed Agnellus of Pisa, OFM (AC)
Born in Pisa, Italy, in 1194; died at Oxford, England, 1236; cultus confirmed in 1892. Saint Francis of Assisi himself received Agnellus as a Friar Minor and sent him to Paris to open a new house. Francis later appointed him the first Franciscan provincial in England. Agnellus landed in Dover in 1224 and founded houses at Canterbury and Oxford. He also spent time in London. He established a famous school at Oxford (Benedictines).
Ansovinus of Camerino B (RM)
Born in Camerino, Italy; died 840. Ansovinus was a hermit at Castel Raimondo near Torcello who was consecrated bishop of Camerino. He accepted the office on the condition that his see should be exempt from the service of recruiting soldiers, then imposed upon most bishops in their capacity as feudal lords (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Saint Ansovinus is depicted as a bishop with a barn near him. He may also be shown with fruit and garden produce (Roeder). He is venerated in Camerino, is the patron of gardeners, and is invoked for good harvests (Roeder).
Christina of Persia VM (RM)
Date unknown. A Persian maiden who was martyred by scourging (Benedictines).
Euphrasia of Constantinople V (RM)
(also known as Euphraxia)
Born in Constantinople, Byzantium; died c. 420. Saint Euphrasia's father, Antigonus, was a blood relative of Emperor Theodosius I. Her mother, Eupraxia, was no less illustrious for her birth and virtue. Because of his close ties with her parents and the fact that she was an only child, the emperor took an interest in Euphrasia and, when she was only five, found her a rich senator for her future husband. After her birth, her pious parents mutually consented and vowed themselves to perpetual continence. From that time they lived together as brother and sister in order to devote themselves to prayer, alms-giving, and penance.
Antigonus died within a year, and the holy widow withdrew with her daughter to her large estates in Egypt in order to avoid importunate suitors for marriage and the distraction of friends. Near her home in Tabenisi was a monastery of one hundred and thirty austere nuns, who fasted severely and regularly, wore and slept on sackcloth that they made themselves, and prayed almost without interruption. When sick, they bore their pains with patience and thanksgiving, esteeming them an effect of the divine mercy: nor did they seek relief from physicians, except in cases of absolute necessity. Delicate and excessive attention to health nourishes self-love and often destroys the health that it anxiously tries to preserve.
The example of these holy virgins, moved the devout mother to greater fervor in the exercise of faith and charity. She frequently visited these servants of God, and earnestly entreated them to accept a considerable annual revenue, with an obligation that they should always be bound to pray for the soul of her deceased husband. But the abbess refused the estate, saying: "We have renounced all the conveniences of the world, in order to purchase heaven. We are poor, and such we desire to remain." She could only be prevailed upon to accept a continuous supply of oil for the votive lamp and incense for the altar.
The seven-year-old Euphrasia asked her mother for permission to serve God in this convent. Eupraxia joyfully gave permission and soon after presented Euphrasia to the abbess, who, taking up an image of Christ, gave it into her hands. The tender virgin kissed it, saying: "By vow I consecrate myself to Christ." Then the mother led her before an image of our Redeemer, and lifting up her hands to heaven, said: "Lord Jesus Christ, receive this child under your special protection. She seeks and loves You alone and commends herself only to You." Then turning to her dear daughter, she said: "May God, who laid the foundations of the mountains, strengthen you always in his holy fear." And leaving her in the hands of the abbess, she left the monastery weeping.
At first the nuns supposed the youngster would soon tire of the austerities of religious life. None of the burdens, however, discouraged Euphrasia. Of course, she probably wondered at times whether she had missed some great pleasure by quitting the world, but her greatest joy was in serving God by serving others.
When Eupraxia later fell deathly ill, she gave her last instructions to her daughter: "Fear God, honor your sisters, and serve them with humility. Never think of what you have been, nor say to yourself that you are of royal extraction. Be humble and poor on earth, that you may be rich in heaven." The good mother then died.
When news of her death reached the ears of the emperor, Theodosius sent for the noble virgin to court, having promised her in marriage to a favorite young senator. But in her own hand the virgin wrote him: "Invincible emperor, having consecrated myself to Christ in perpetual chastity, I cannot be false to my engagement, and marry a mortal man, who will shortly be the food of worms. For the sake of my parents, be pleased to distribute their estates among the poor, the orphans, and the church. Set all my slaves at liberty, and discharge my vassals and servants, giving them whatever is their due. Order my father's stewards to acquit my farmers of all they owe since his death, that I may serve God without let or hindrance, and may stand before him without the solicitude of temporal affairs. Pray for me, you and your empress, that I may be made worthy to serve Christ."
The messengers returned with this letter to the emperor, who shed many tears in reading it. The senators who heard it burst also into tears, and said to his majesty; "She is the worthy daughter of Antigonus and Eupraxia, of your royal blood, and the holy offspring of a virtuous stock." The emperor punctually executed all she desired, a little before his death, in 395.
Saint Euphrasia was to her pious sisters a perfect pattern of humility, meekness, and charity. If she found herself assaulted by any temptation she immediately confessed it to the abbess, to drive away the devil by that humiliation, and to seek a remedy. The discreet superioress often enjoined her on such occasions, some humbling and painful penitential labor; as sometimes to carry great stones from one place to another; which employment she once under an obstinate assault, continued thirty days together with wonderful simplicity, till the devil being vanquished by her humble obedience and chastisement of her body, he left her in peace. Her diet was only herbs or pulse, which she took after sunset, at first every day, but afterwards only once in two or three, or sometimes seven days. But her abstinence received its chief merit from her humility; without which it would have been a fast of devils.
She cleaned out the chambers of the other nuns, carried water to the kitchen, and, out of obedience, cheerfully employed herself in the meanest drudgery; making painful labor a part of her penance. To mention one instance of her extraordinary meekness and humility: it is related, that one day a maid in the kitchen asked her why she fasted whole weeks, which no other attempted to do besides the abbess. Her answer was, that the abbess had enjoined her that penance. The other called her a hypocrite. Upon which Euphrasia fell at her feet, begging her to pardon and pray for her. In which action it is hard to say, whether we ought more to admire the patience with which she received so unjust a rebuke and slander or the humility with which she sincerely condemned herself; as if, by her hypocrisy and imperfections, she had been a scandal to others.
She was favored with miracles both before and after her death at the age of 30. Her name is still mentioned in the preparation of the Byzantine Mass (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Gerald of Mayo, Abbot (AC)
Born in Northumbria, England; died in Galway, Ireland, 732. Saint Gerald became a monk at Lindisfarne and probably followed Saint Colman to Innisbofin Island, Galway, Ireland, when the Celtic liturgical practices were forbidden in Northumbria. He became a monk, then abbot, of the abbey known as Mayo of the Saxons, which Colman founded for the English following a quarrel between the English and Irish monks. The abbey flourished and was so well known for the erudition of its monks that Blessed Alcuin corresponded with its abbot and monks. He lived to a great age and may have witnessed the introduction of Roman observances into his abbey. Gerald is sometimes said to have been consecrated bishop, but this is uncertain. He is believed to have founded the abbeys of Elytheria, or Tempul-Gerald in Connaught, as well as Teaghna-Saxon, and a convent that he put under the care of his sister Segretia. He was buried at Mayo, where a church dedicated to God under his patronage remains to this day (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Heldrad of Novalese, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Eldrad)
Born in Provence; died 842; cultus approved in 1904. Saint Heldrad spent his large fortune in carrying out good works and then set out on a pilgrimage to Rome. After hearing many good reports about the Benedictine abbey of Novalese at the foot of the Alps from other pilgrims, Heldrad joined the community and eventually became its abbot. He governed the monastery for 30 years. The library was his special concern, but he was also a great builder: he had a hospice erected at the highest point of Mount Cenis pass (Benedictines).
(also known as Kennotha, Quivoca)
7th century. Saint Kevoca is the titular patron of a church at Kyle, Scotland. She is probably identical with Saint Mochoemoc (Benedictines).
Macedonius, Patricia & Modesta MM (RM)
Died c. 304. This group of Nicomedian martyrs are a husband, wife, and daughter. Earlier martyrologies extended the group to 22 (Benedictines).
Mochoemoc of Leamokevoge, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Kennoch, Mo-Chaomhog, Mochaemhog, Pulcherius, Vulcanius)
Born in Munster, Ireland; died c. 656. Mochoemoc was raised by his aunt, Saint Ita, and educated by Saint Comgall in the Bangor Abbey, County Down, where he also entered religious life. Comgall sent him to establish a house at Arderin. Later Mochoemoc founded and became abbot of the great monastery of Liath-Mochoemoc (Liath-mor, now Leamokevoge), in County Tipperary, around which a large town was raised, which still bears that name. The supposed Scottish Kevoca, titular of the church of Quivox, is really the Irishman Mochoemoc (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Nicephorus of Constantinople BM (RM)
Born in 758; died June 2, 828; feast day formerly June 2. It's no wonder that Nicephorus was a staunch opponent of iconoclasm; his father, the emperor's secretary, had been tortured and exiled for refusing to accept Emperor Constantine Copronymus's decrees banning sacred images. Nicephorus became imperial commissioner known for his eloquence, scholarship, and statesmanship. He built a monastery near the Black Sea.
Although he was still a layman and did not desire any preference, he was named patriarch of Constantinople in 806 to succeed Saint Tarasius. Nicephorus incurred the enmity of Saint Theodore Studites for giving absolution to the priest who had illicitly married Emperor Constantine VI and Theodota while Constantine's wife Mary was still alive. The two were later reconciled.
Nicephorus devoted himself to reforming his see, restoring monastic discipline, and reinvigorating the faith of his flock. The patriarch also brought Saint Methodius of Constantinople, who later became patriarch, from his monastery on Chios. He resisted the efforts of Emperor Leo the Armenian to reimpose iconoclasm, but was deposed by a synod of iconoclastic bishops assembled by the emperor. Several attempts were made on the life of Nicephorus and he was exiled to the monastery he had built on the Black Sea, where he spent the last 15 years of his life.
Nicephorus wrote several treatises against iconoclasm and two historical works, Breviarum and Chronographia (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney).
Blessed Peter II of Cava, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1208; cultus confirmed in 1928. From 1195 until his death, Peter was the abbot of Cava Monastery near Salerno. He is described as "an enemy of all litigation" (Benedictines).
Ramirus and Companions MM (AC)
Died c. 554 or c. 630. Two days after the martyrdom of his abbot, Saint Vincent, by the Arian Visigoths, Saint Ramirus, the prior of Saint Claudius Abbey in Léon, Spain, and all his monks were massacred while chanting the Nicene Creed in the choir of the abbey church (Benedictines).
Roderic and Solomon MM (RM)
(also known as Rodriguez or Rudericus and Salomon)
Died 857. Roderic was a priest of Cabra near Córdova. One of his brothers had become an Islamic; the other was a lapsed Christian. One night his brothers got into a fight, and Roderic tried to separate them. They turned on him and beat him unconscious. The Islamic had him placed on a litter and carried through the streets, while announcing Roderic had apostatized and wished to be recognized as an Islamic before he died.
Roderic heard all this in anguish but was too injured to speak. He escaped as soon as he was able. He ran into his Islamic brother on the streets later, and the brother accused him to the kadi of having reverted to Christianity after having declared himself an Islamic--an offense punishable by death even though the Christians themselves were tolerated. Roderick denied having ever embraced Islam, but the kadi did not believe him and had him imprisoned in the most notorious prison in the city.
There Roderic met another prisoner, Solomon, who had been incarcerated for the same reason. They comforted each other, while the kadi left them in prison for a long time, hoping to break them down. They were separated after it was ascertained that they would hold firm. Even alone, however, they remained stoic; they were condemned and beheaded. Saint Eulogius witnessed the guards throw the bloodied pebbles into a stream so that the Christians could not collect them as relics (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, White).
In art, Saint Roderic is portrayed as a priest in Mass vestments holding a palm as an angel brings him a wreath of roses (Roeder). He is venerated in Cabra and Cordova (Roeder).
Sabinus of Egypt M (RM)
Died 287. The noble Saint Sabinus was drowned in the Nile during the persecutions of Diocletian (Benedictines).
Theusitas, Horres, Theodora,
Nymphora, Mark & Arabia MM (RM)
Date unknown. Earlier martyrologies include many more names with this group of martyrs at Nicaea in Bithynia. Horres was the young son of Theusitas (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.