St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

March 15



Aristolubus M (RM)
1st century. Saint Aristolubus is said to have been one of the 72 disciples commissioned by our Lord Jesus to preach the coming of the Kingdom. Saint Paul mentions him in Romans 16:11. He has been identified with Zebedee, the father of the "sons of Thunder," Saints James and John. Legend says that after the Resurrection of Jesus, he evangelized Britain and died a martyr's death (Benedictines).


Clement Maria Hofbauer, C.SS.R. (RM)
(ne John Dvorák)

Born in Tasswitz, Moravia, December 26, 1751; died in Vienna, Austria, March 15, 1820; canonized in 1909 by Pius X, who named him patron of Vienna in 1914. "O My Redeemer, will that terrible moment ever come when but few Christians shall be left who are inspired by the spirit of faith, that moment when Your indignation shall be provoked and Your protection shall be taken from us? Have our vices and our evil lives irrevocably moved Your justice to take vengeance, perhaps this very day, upon Your children?

"We beg You, the Beginning and the End of faith, with contrite hearts, not to let the light of faith be extinguished in souls.

"Remember Your mercies of old, turn Your eyes in compassion upon the vineyard planted by Your own right hand, and watered by the tears of the Apostles, by the precious blood of countless martyrs, and made fruitful by the prayers of so many confessors and innocent virgins.

"O divine Mediator, look upon those zealous souls who raise their hearts to You and pray without ceasing for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Yours, the True Faith. Keep us safe in the true Catholic and Roman Faith. Preserve us in Your holy faith, for if we are rich with this precious gift, we shall gladly endure every sorrow and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness. Without this great treasure of faith, our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit.

"O Good Jesus, Author of our faith, preserve it pure within us; keep us safe in the bark of Peter, faithful and obedient to his successor, and Your vicar here on earth, so that the unity of the holy Church may be maintained, holiness fostered, the Holy See protected in freedom, and the Church universal extended to the benefit of souls.

"O Jesus, Author of our faith, humble and convert the enemies of Your Church; grant true peace and concord to all Christian kings and princes and to all believers; strengthen and preserve us in Your holy service to the end, that we may live with You and die in You.

"O Jesus, Author of our faith, let me live for You and die for You. Amen."

--Saint Clement-Maria Hofbauer

John Dvorák was the youngest of the nine children of a Czech butcher and a German mother. His father changed the family name from the Moravian Dvorák to the German Hofbauer. John was raised in a humble, pious family. As a baker's apprentice and then as a journeyman baker, as a servant at the Premonstratensian Klosterbruck, and as a student, he strove to draw nearer to his constant goal: the priesthood. However, neither he nor his family could afford the cost of educating him for service to the Church. Unable to attain his goal of the priesthood, he became a hermit. When Emperor Joseph II abolished hermitages in Austria, Hofbauer became a baker in Vienna.

On a pilgrimage to Rome, he received the habit of a hermit at the hands of the Bishop Chiaramonti of Tivoli, the future Pope Pius VII, who changed John's name to Clement. Thus, he again became a hermit with a friend, Peter Kunzmann, but found that he was more suited to an active life than to that of a recluse. One day after Mass, Hofbauer struck up a friendship with two ladies who agreed to pay for his studies at the University of Vienna and in Rome.

During this second pilgrimage to Rome, Hofbauer and his friend, Thaddeus Hubl, became acquainted with the Redemptorist order and entered it in 1784, while Saint Alphonsus Liguori was still alive. At that time Hofbauer took the name Maria.

In 1785, he and Hubl were ordained; and, after two years of further study, they were sent to Vienna to found a Redemptorist house, but under the regime of Joseph II it was impossible to found a monastery in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. During all of Clement's life, the influence of the Enlightenment and Joseph II's anti-papal Erastianism were at their height. So, the two friends were sent to Courland.

En route Clement's old friend Kunzmann joined them as a lay brother. At the request of the papal nuncio, they went to Warsaw, Poland, and, in 1787, founded the first Redemptorist house beyond the Alps. Hofbauer's untiringly zealous work in Warsaw from 1787 to 1808 in the German national church of Saint Benno was profoundly effective, although it was somewhat retarded by the Napoleonic Wars. Five times each day he and his companions preached in Polish and German. During his stay in Poland he established other houses, initiated many charitable and educational (including a free school for 350 poor children, and a high school) enterprises, preached so well that both Jews and Protestants were converted, and sent Redemptorist missionaries to Germany (the first house was built at Jestetten near Schaffhausen in 1802) and Switzerland.

In 1808, the French government had him removed and imprisoned with his companions at the fortress of Kuestrin, and after four weeks each was sent to his homeland. Thus, Hofbauer ended up back in Vienna, where he spent the last 12 years of his life firmly planting the Redemptorist Institute in Germanic lands. His work led to the establishment of the order in Belgium, Ireland, England, and the Commonwealth. Hofbauer, the propagator of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer north of the Alps, is venerated by his order as a second founder.

In Vienna the saint became the center of a group of German romantics, who gave a decisive impulse to the 19th century. To this circle belonged men like Adam von Mueller, Friedrich von Schlegel, and Zacharias Werner. The saint had no advantage of birth or general education, but he earned a great reputation for wisdom in religious and social matters.

He worked unobtrusively in the Italian quarter and later was chaplain to Ursuline nuns and rector of their church. Again, he became widely known as a preacher and director of souls. Hofbauer's confessional was crowded not only with humble folk, who venerated him as the father of the poor, but also with men and women of the highest rank, influential government officials, statesmen of the Congress of Vienna, leading scholars and artists.

In Vienna, Hofbauer founded a Catholic college and became enormously influential in revitalizing the religious life of the German nations. Hofbauer and Prince Rupert of Bavaria even thwarted a plan at the Congress of Vienna to set up a German Church independent of the papacy. Clement also fought the whole concept of Josephinism, that is secular domination of the Church and hierarchy by the secular ruler. Hofbauer was accused by the Austrian chancellor of being a Roman spy, but the archbishop of Vienna supported him, knowing the value of Hofbauer's contribution to the Catholic revival, so Emperor Francis I forbade his expulsion. Hofbauer also tirelessly cared for the sick and the dying and showed sensitive consideration to devout and conscientious Protestants because he had a deep understanding of the causes of the Protestant Reformation and its religious motives among the German peoples.

In 1819, he was mortally ill of several diseases. He died the next year after participating in the funeral of a notable benefactor. His funeral in Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral was attended by thousands. Soon afterwards the cause for which he had long labored, the founding of Redemptorist houses in Austria, became a reality. His friend Werner said that he knew only three men of superhuman energy--Napoleon, Goethe, and Clement Hofbauer (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Hofer, Schamoni).


Leocritia of Córdova VM (RM)
(also known as Lucretia)

Born in Córdova, Spain; died there in 859; feast day formerly March 11. Saint Leocritia's parents were wealthy Moorish followers of Islam. At a time when conversion to Christianity was a capital offense in Spain, Leocritia secretly followed her heart into the faith of the Church. When her parents learned of her conversion, they drove her from their home and she found shelter with Saint Eulogius; for this breech of the civil law he was scourged and beheaded, as was Leocritia, by the Moors (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).


Longinus the Centurion M (RM)
1st century; feast day in the East is October 16. According to tradition, the name of the centurion at the Crucifixion who acknowledged Christ as "the son of God" (Matt. 27:54; Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47) was Longinus. This centurion is also identified as the soldier who "pierced His side with a lance" (John 19:34), probably because the name is derived from the Greek word longche, meaning a lance. Untrustworthy legend exemplified by the Golden Legend says that the blood pouring from Christ's side immediately healed him of incipient blindness. Therefore, he was converted, left the army, took instruction from the Apostles, and then became a monk (centuries before there were monasteries) at Caesarea, Cappadocia, allegedly his homeland. The story continues that he was arrested for his faith and tortured. His teeth were knocked out and tongue plucked. He is said to have destroyed idols with a nearby axe in the presence of the governor who was trying him. From the broken idols came evil spirits that possessed, maddened, and blinded the governor. Longinus told his judge that he would be healed only after his own death. So, Longinus was immediately beheaded; whereupon the governor was healed and converted. An earlier cultus of Longinus was revived and strengthened with the discovery of the Holy Lance in a church of Antioch during the First Crusade, which had transformed the morale of the Christian soldiers (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer).

In art, Saint Longinus is a soldier piercing Christ's side at the Crucifixion. He may also be depicted (1) as a soldier with a lance; (2) pointing to his eyes (he received his sight when the water from Christ's side fell upon him); or (3) with a lance, flinging wide his arms (Roeder). Click here to see Lucas Cranach the Elder's version of the The Crucifixion with the Converted Centurion.


Louise de Marillac, Widow (RM)
Born in Ferričres-en-Brie (near Meaux), Auvergne, France, on August 12, 1591; died in Paris, France, March 15, 1660; beatified in 1920; canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1934; declared patroness of social workers by Pope John XXIII in 1960.

Saint Vincent de Paul, when he held missions conducted by his priests, made efforts to create the lay apostolate of the (female) Servants of the Poor and of the (male) Helpers of the Poor for the services of the poor and sick in all his parishes. His manifold occupations made it impossible for the saint personally to supervise and direct these numerous charitable groups.

Saint Vincent found in the person of Louise de Marillac his best instrument for the direction of the women. Louise was a woman of the highest social status--a paternal uncle was marshal of France, another was garde des sceaux--and well-educated by the Dominican nuns of Poissy after her mother's early death. Her father died when she was 15. On the advice of her confessor, Louise had decided not to join the Capuchin nuns, and in 1613, at the age of 22, married Antoine Le Gras, secretary to Marie de Medici. Her husband, a pious and high-minded man, allowed her to do all the good to which her kind heart prompted her in slums and in tenements of want, and protected her in those circles of society that felt outraged by her activities. After his death in 1625, she devoted herself to the education of their son, who eventually married and had children.

When he had outgrown her guardianship, she lived entirely for works of Christian charity. Louise had met St. Vincent prior to her husband's death, and he had agreed to become her confessor. He had been trying to organize devout, wealthy women to help the poor and sick in often appalling conditions. It soon became clear that many of these ladies, although well-intentioned, were unfit to face the ugliness and suffering of poverty and illness. The practical work of nursing the sick in their own homes, caring for neglected children, and dealing with often rough husbands and fathers was best accomplished by women of similar social status to the principal sufferers. Louise, he realized, was made of sterner stuff.

The aristocratic ladies were better suited to the equally necessary task of fund raising and dealing with correspondence. Louise was the exception. In her Vincent saw a woman of a clear mind, great courage, endurance, and self-effacement. In 1629, in order to test his assessment, he sent Louise to make a visitation of the "Charity" of Montmirail he had founded. She passed the test and, despite unstable health, Louise made many more such missions.

Vincent chose Louise to train and organize girls and widows, mainly of the peasant and artisan classes. In the home Louise rented on the rue des Fossé-Saint-Victor in Paris, beginning in 1633 with four country girls, she trained groups of women for ambulatory care of the sick. Louise wanted to draw up a rule of life, but St. Vincent convinced her to wait for a sign from God. Vincent had not intended to start a religious order. The sisters, he said, should consider themselves simply as Christians devoted to the sick and poor: "your convent will be the house of the sick, your cell a hired room, your chapel the parish church, your grill the fear of God, your veil modesty."

Finally assured of Louise's dedication, Vincent permitted her to draft a rule in 1634; essentially, this rule that was formally approved in 1655 is the rule still used today. Vows are taken only for one year and renewed. Louise made her vows in 1634, and in 1642, the first four candidates were professes as Sisters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul in 1638. Vincent himself preferred the name, Daughters of Charity. Formal approval placed the community under Vincent and his Congregation of the Mission with Louise as their superioress until her death.

This sisterhood, according to the wishes of Saint Vincent, was to realize the idea that had animated his friend, Saint Francis de Sales, in creating this foundation--the idea of an uncloistered religious community for all the evangelical tasks in the world, especially on behalf of the poor, the sick, and the little children.

St. Vincent opened an orphanage, and the sisters taught the children. They also took charge of the Hôtel-Dieu in Paris. Louise established other orphanages and hospitals, nursed plague victims herself in Paris, reformed a neglected hospital in Angers, and oversaw all the activity of the order despite her fragile health. She traveled all over France founding more than 40 daughter houses (including one in Madagascar and another in Poland) and charities. Just before her death, she exhorted her sisters to be diligent in serving the poor "and to honor them like Christ Himself." At the time of her death the sick poor were tended in their homes in 26 Parisian parishes, hundreds of women were given shelter, and other good done. These sisters of charity accomplished immeasurable good in every part of the world through their self-sacrificing love for their fellow men. (Attwater, Benedictines, Calvet, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Schamoni, White).

In art, Saint Louise is depicted in the original habit of the order--a gray wool tunic with a large headdress or cornette of white linen, the usual dress of the peasant women of Brittany in the 17th century. She is the patron saint of social workers (White).


Malcoldia of Asti, OSB Hermit (AC)
Died c. 1090. Saint Malcoldia was a Benedictine nun, who became a hermit near the abbey church of Saint Anastasia in Asti, Italy (Benedictines).


Mancius of Evora M (RM)
Born in Rome; 5th century. Saint Mancius seems to have been bought as a slave by Jewish traders and taken to Evora, Portugal, where he was martyred by his masters (Benedictines).


Matrona of Thessalonica VM (RM)
Died c. 350. Saint Matrona was the servant of a rich Jewess in Thessalonica. She was scourged to death upon the order of her mistress, when it was discovered that she was a Christian. Her acta are rather ambiguous (Benedictines).


Menignus the Dyer M (RM)
Died 251. Saint Menignus, a cloth dyer, was martyred for the faith under Decius at Parium on the Hellespont. His fingers were cut off because he tore down the imperial edict against the Christians. Later he was beheaded (Benedictines).


Nicander the Physician M (RM)
Died c. 304. The physician Saint Nicander was beheaded in Egypt during Diocletian's persecution. He had been condemned for ministering to the Christians in prison and burying the dead (Benedictines).


Probus of Rieti B (RM)
Died c. 571. Saint Gregory the Great describes the deathbed scene of Saint Probus, bishop of Rieti, Italy, during which Saints Juvenal and Eleutherius appeared to him in a vision (Benedictines).


Raymund of Fitero, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC)
Born in Aragon, Spain; died 1163; cultus approved in 1719. Saint Raymund was a priest of Tarazona cathedral, who became a Cistercian at the abbey of Scala Dei in France. His abbot sent him to Fitero in the Spanish Navarre to found and govern an abbey there. In 1158, when the Knights Templar abandoned Calatrava in New Castile, Raymund founded the military order of Calatrava under the Benedictine Rule and Cistercian Customary for the city's defense. The order won a glorious name for itself in Spanish history (Benedictines).


Sisebutus of Cardena, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1082. Under Abbot Saint Sisebutus, the Benedictine monastery of Cardena (Burgos diocese), Spain, became a influential focus of church and civic life. He gave shelter to El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar), the celebrated hero of the Christian reconquest of Spain from the Moors (Benedictines).


Speciosus of Terracina, OSB (RM)
Died at Capua, Italy, c. 555. Saint Speciosus, a wealthy landowner in Campania, Italy, and his brother Gregory were received into religious life by Saint Benedict at Montecassino. Thereafter, he was sent to the new foundation at Terracina. He died at Capua while undertaking an errand for his community (Benedictines).


Blessed William Hart M (AC)
Born in Wells, England; died at York, 1583; beatified in 1886. William, a Protestant, was educated at Lincoln College, Oxford. After his conversion to Catholicism, he studied for the priesthood at Douai, Rheims, and Rome. He returned to England following his ordination in 1581, and was betrayed by an apostate in the house of Saint Margaret Clitherow (Benedictines).


Zachary I, Pope (RM)
(also known as Zacharias)

Born at San Severino, Calabria, Italy; died 752; feast day formerly on March 22; feast day in the East is September 5.

Pope Zachary I came from a Greek family in Calabria. He became a deacon in Rome, known for his learning and sanctity, and was chosen pope in 741 to succeed Saint Gregory III. His holiness was so great that, instead of seeking revenge, he heaped benefits on those who had persecuted him before his promotion to the pontificate.

When King Liutprand of the Lombards was about to invade Roman lands at Terni because of the rebellion of the dukes of Spoleto and Benevento, Zachary risked his own life in order to meet with the barbarian. Through persuasion Zachary won the freedom of all prisoners of war and the Roman territory Liutprand had occupied during 30 years was returned. It is said that the Lombards were moved to tears at the devotion with which they heard him say Mass. Another time, he dissuaded Liutprand from invading Ravenna.

Zachary achieved a great deal with the Lombards by negotiation, leading to peace between the Lombards and the Greek Empire. In fact, he gave the Benedictine habit to Saint Ratchis, king of the Lombards. By contrast, Zachary's successor had to enter into the defensive alliance with the Frankish Pepin the Short, which had the ambiguously felicitous result of leading to the revival of the Western Empire and led also to the protective domination of the emperor over the Roman Church which for centuries determined the course of Western history.

This Papal-Frankish alliance was prepared for by Pope Zachary's acquiescence in the deposition of the Merovingian puppet-kings and through his anointing of Pepin, who had been mayor of the palace, in 751 by the hand of his legate, Boniface at Soissons.

As a result of the iconoclastic movement, religious and political relations with Byzantium, which were noticeable weakened in these disturbances, grew ever looser. Zachary denounced the iconoclastic policy of Emperor Constantine Copronymus.

On the other hand, the Church made vast strides in the realm of the Franks, above all in Germany, through the work of reorganization and the missionary zeal of Saint Boniface, whom he consecrated archbishop of Mainz. Zachary assisted the labors of the Apostle of the Germans in every way. Two interesting letters of the pope to Boniface have survived, which give the impression of a man of great vigor and deep sympathy. He told Boniface to suspend polygamous and murderous priests, to abolish superstitious practices even if these were practiced at Rome, and to recognize the baptisms of those whose Latin was extremely inaccurate (the intention was there to do what the Church intends, even though the form was defective). At his synod of 745, he condemned the heretics Clement and Adalbert who had caused Boniface a good deal of grief.

On the other hand, Boniface was proven to be all too human on another occasion. He wrote to Zachary against an Irish priest named Virgilius, saying that he sowed the seeds of discord between him and Duke Odilo of Bavaria, and erroneously taught that there were other men under the earth, another sun and moon, and another world. Pope Zachary answered, that if he taught such an error he ought to be deposed. This cannot be understood as a condemnation of the doctrine of Antipodes (that the earth is round), as some have mistaken. Rather, there was a heresy that maintained there was another race of men, who did not descend from Adam, and were not redeemed by Christ. Nor did Zachary pronounce any sentence in the case: for in the same letter he ordered that Virgilius should be sent to Rome so that this doctrine might be examined. It seems that he cleared himself, for we find this same priest soon after made bishop of Salzburg, Austria, and, in 1233, formally canonized as Saint Virgilius. It seems that the friction between the two saints was probably a result of jurisdictional conflicts and the tension between Roman and Celtic liturgical customs. In any case, Pope Zachary was a peace-maker and judged no man without a hearing.

Zachary was also responsible for restoring Montecassino under Saint Petronax and himself consecrated its abbey church in 748. The saint was known for aiding the poor, provided refuge to nuns driven from Constantinople by the iconoclasts, ransomed slaves from the Venetians, forbade the selling of Christian slaves to the Moors of Africa, and translated Saint Gregory the Great's Dialogues into Greek. Since "Zacharias embraced and cherished all people like a father and a good shepherd, and never allowed even the smallest injustice to happen to anyone," he was venerated as a saint immediately after his death (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Schamoni).

Saint Zacharias is depicted making peace with King Luitprand. Sometimes he may have a dove and olive branch over him (do not confuse him with Saint Silvester (Roeder).



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.