St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day

March 16

Abban of Kill-Abban, Abbot (AC)
5th century. The Irish Saint Abban was a contemporary of Saint Patrick and nephew of Saint Ibar. He founded Kill-Abban Abbey in Leinster and the convent for Saint Gobnait of Ballyvourney (Benedictines, Montague).

Abraham Kidunia (RM)
(also known as Abraham Kidunaia)

Born near Edessa, Mesopotamia; died there, c. 366; feast day on the Byzantine Calendar is October 29. Abraham's surnamed "Kidunaia" derives from the name of his parish at Beth-Kiduna. He was born into a wealthy family near Edessa. Although Saint Abraham felt called to the religious life, he bowed to the wishes of his parents to marry. Immediately after the wedding feast, which led up to the ceremony, he informed his bride of his vocation, and fled from a life of privilege and a promising marriage to live as a hermit in the nearby desert. His friends, who searched for him for 17 days, found him in his cell at prayer. He begged them to leave him there. When they agreed, he walled up the door to his cell, except for a small window through which he could receive the food needed for sustenance.

He spent his whole time in adoring and praising God, and tearfully imploring his mercy. He sole earthly possessions consisted of a cloak, a piece of sackcloth which he wore, and a little vessel out of which he both ate and drank. He lived alone in this penitential state for fifty years, daily drawing renewed vigor from them and growing in wisdom. Eventually he attracted many who sought his spiritual guidance. Ten years after he had retired to the desert, his parents died leaving him their great estates. Abraham commissioned a virtuous friend to distribute the revenues to the poor.

At the entreaty of his bishop, Abraham was ordained a priest and appointed as a missionary preacher to Beth-Kiduna, a pagan hold- out. After enduring ill-treatment at the hands of the towns inhabitants, he succeeded in completely converting them to Christianity through his prayers, tears, and patient endurance after three years. He was always afraid of getting too involved in the world, so after a year of instructing the neophytes and ensuring they were supplied with priests and other ministers, he went back to his cell.

A popular cultus sprang up immediately upon his death. His life was written by Saint Ephrem, who was his personal friend and admirer. The episodes connected with his niece Saint Mary are now considered spurious (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

Saint Abraham is painted as an old man with a flowing beard, clothed in skins. At times, he may be shown in his cell with his niece, Saint Mary, in the adjoining cell (Roeder).

Agapitus of Ravenna B (RM)
4th century. Bishop of Ravenna, Italy. In art, Saint Agapitus is a bishop standing between a miter and a suit of armor (Benedictines, Roeder).

Benedicta, Poor Clare V
Died 1260. She succeeded Saint Clare as abbess of the Poor Clares in Assisi (Gill).

Dentlin (AC)
(also known as Denain, Dentelin)

7th century. The little son of Saint Vincent Madelgar and Saint Waldetrudis, and brother of Bishop Saint Landericus and two other saintly siblings, Saint Dentlin died when he was seven. A church in the duchy of Cleves is dedicated in his honor (Benedictines). The child Saint Dentlin usually is depicted with his elderly father covering him and his brother with a cloak. Dentlin has a dove on his finger (Roeder).

Eusebia of Hamay, OSB, Abbess (AC)
Died c. 680. The eldest daughter of Saints Adalbald and Rictrudis, Saint Eusebia was placed by her mother in the abbey of Hamage (Hamay) which had been founded by her grandmother Saint Gertrude. When Saint Eusebia succeeded as abbess at the age of 12, her mother objected and summoned her daughter to Marchiennes. Eusebia and her entire community answered her mother and moved to Marchiennes. Later they were allowed to return to Hamage, where Eusebia continued to rule her convent in peace (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

Finnian Lobhar, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Finan the Leper)

Born at Bregia, Leinster, Ireland; died February 2, c. 560. Little is authentically known about Saint Finnian because the records of his life are conflicting. He is said to have been the son of Conail and descendent of Alild, king of Munster. He may have been a disciple of Saint Columba (or perhaps he was trained at one of Columba's foundations); others, that he was a disciple of Saint Brendan. He was ordained by Bishop Fathlad, and may have been consecrated by him.

Finnian built a church that is believed to have been at Innisfallen in County Kerry and so is considered by some scholars to have been the founder of that monastery. Later he lived at Clonmore Abbey in Leinster and then went to Swords near Dublin, where he was made abbot by Columba when he left. Another account has him abbot of Clonmore Monastery, where he was buried, for the last thirty years of his life.

Lobhar means "the Leper," a name he acquired when he reputedly assumed the disease of a leper to cure a young boy of an illness. As is evident, much of the information about Finnian is uncertain and conflicting, and it is not even certain what century he lived in (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).

Gregory Makar B (AC)
Born in Armenia; died in Pithiviers, France, c. 1000-1010. Saint Gregory became a monk at a monastery near Nicropolis, Little Armenia. He was a successful preacher after his ordination by the bishop of Nicropolis, and chosen bishop of Nicropolis on the death of his predecessor. Desirous of living as a solitary, he went to Italy and then to France, where he lived as a recluse at Pithiviers in the diocese of Orléans. His reputation for spiritual wisdom and as a miracle healer spread and attracted crowds of people. He spent the last seven years of his life at Pithiviers and died there (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney).

Heribert of Cologne B (RM)
(also known as Herbert)

Born in Worms, Germany; died in Cologne on March 16, 1022.

As a boy, Saint Heribert was sent to the monastery at Gorze in Lorraine for his studies. Upon his return to Worms, he was given a canonry and ordained. Like so many prelates of his time, he was actively engaged in secular as well as church affairs and not much is known of his personal life. Heribert developed into one of the strongest and most distinguished German statesman of the age: by 994, he had become chancellor to Emperor Otto III.

Heribert was elected archbishop of Cologne in 998. In the depths of winter he took off his shoes and walked into the city where he was consecrated on Christmas Eve 999, and from that time on he always wore a hair shirt underneath the rich robes of an archbishop.

Even as archbishop his duties as chancellor did not end. As imperial chancellor, he travelled with the Otto to Italy and brought back the dead Otto's body to Aachen for burial.

He incensed the ambitious men who wanted to succeed Otto by refusing to hand over the imperial insignia until a new emperor had been properly appointed. Heribert was even imprisoned for a time by Duke Henry of Bavaria for his obstinacy. This man, who became Emperor Saint Henry II, bore a grudge against Heribert for many years, but in the end came to acknowledge the saint's wisdom and probity to the point that Heribert became Henry's chancellor, too.

At a time when many clerical statesmen forgot or neglected their spiritual duties under the pressure of serving the state, Heribert was a devoted chief pastor of his flock. As archbishop he was a rich man; but his entire income was divided between the church and the poor, save for the little that was absolutely necessary for his own needs.

Heribert built the Benedictine monastery at Deutz (outside Cologne) on the Rhein (where he was buried on his death in 1021), was an active peacemaker, maintained strict clerical discipline, and is reputed to have performed miracles, one of which caused a heavy rainfall ending a severe drought and that causes him to be invoked for rain. Already during his lifetime Heribert was looked upon as a saint; after his death, his cultus was encouraged by the monks of Deutz. But the bull of formal canonization, attributed to Pope Saint Gregory VII, is now known to be a forgery, produced in the 17th century (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).

In art, Saint Heribert is an archbishop calling down rain by his prayers. Sometimes he is shown with Emperor Saint Henry, kneeling before him (Roeder).

Hilary, Tatian, Felix, Largus & Denis MM (RM)
Died c. 284. Hilary was a bishop of Aquileia, Tatian his deacon, and the rest laymen. All were beheaded under Numerian (Benedictines).

Blessed John Amias M (AC)
(also known as John Anne)

Born near Wakefield, England; died at York in 1589; beatified in 1929. Blessed John began life as a clothier (or clothmonger) at Wakefield. He married, but on his wife's death, studied for the priesthood at Rheims and was ordained in 1581. He was executed for his priesthood at York together with Blessed Robert Dalby (Attwater2, Benedictines).

Blessed John Sordi, OSB BM (AC)
(also known as John Cacciafronte)

Born in Cremona, Italy; died in Vicenza, Italy, 1183. John joined the abbey of Saint Lawrence in Cremona and became abbot in 1155. He is described as most loyal to and gentle with his monks. He sided with the pope against the emperor Barbarossa, by whom he was banished from his abbey.

Thereafter, he was forced to live as a hermit near Mantua until, in 1174, he was raised to the episcopacy of that city upon the deposition of the incumbent by the pope. Three years later the former bishop repented and Blessed John asked permission to resign in his favor. He was transferred to Vicenza in 1177, where he was killed by a man whom he had rebuked for embezzling episcopal revenues (Benedictines).

Julian of Antioch M (RM)
(also known as Julian of Anazarbus)

Born in Anazarbus, Cilicia; date unknown though some say c. 302. Saint Julian was a Christian of senatorial rank, who suffered under Diocletian. According to unreliable reports, Julian was subjected to brutal punishments, paraded daily for a whole year through various cities of Cilicia, then sewn up in a sack half-filled with scorpions and vipers, and cast into the sea to drown at an unknown location.

Antioch claimed to have recovered and enshrined his relics in the basilica, and Saint John Chrysostom preached a homily there in his honor. Chrysostom eloquently tells how much these sacred relics were honored, affirms that no devil could stand their presence, and that men were cured of physical and spiritual ills by them. The people of his time celebrated Saint Julian's feast with special devotion at Antioch (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

Saint Julian is portrayed as being cast into the sea in a sack full of serpents and scorpions. He may also be shown (1) as his coffin floats with four angels seated on it or (2) led bound on a dromedary (Roeder).

Megingaud of Würzburg, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Mengold, Megingoz)

Died 794. Born of a Frankish family, Saint Megingaud became a monk at Fritzlar (738) and, after some years as teacher in the abbey school, was elected abbot. About 754, he succeeded Saint Burchard as bishop of Würzburg. In 787, he resigned and retired to the abbey of Neustadt where he died (Benedictines).

North American Martyrs (RM)
All born in France; died 1642-49; canonized in 1930. The main feast day on the Roman calendar is September 26; however, the Jesuits commemorate six priests (Antony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Gabriel Lalemant, Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf, and Noel Chabanel) and two laybrothers (John Lalande and René Goupil) on March 16. They were working among the Hurons when they met their deaths at the hands of the Iroquois, the mortal enemies of the Hurons. The Iroquois were animated by bitter hatred of the missionaries, whom they subjected to indescribable tortures before putting them to death. Further information and biographies of each are presented for their main feast (Attwater, Benedictines, Parkman, Wynne).

Papas of Lycaonia M (RM)
Died c. 300. A martyr of Lycaonia in Asia Minor under Diocletian (Benedictines).

Patrick of Auvergne B (RM)
Date unknown. Saint Patrick is registered in the Roman Martyrology as bishop of Auvergne, but his name is not to be found in the lists of the sees of Auvergne. Quite probably the copyists wrote Arvernia for Hibernia, i.e., Ireland, and thus duplicated the apostle of that country who is celebrated on March 17. At Malaga, Spain, a feast is kept on March 16 for Saint Patrick, a native and bishop of that city, who, according to the local tradition, fled to Auvergne, and died there c. 307 (Benedictines).

Blessed Robert Dalby MM (AC)
Born in Hemingborough, Yorkshire, England; died at York in 1589; beatified in 1929. Blessed Robert was a convert from the Protestant ministry and was ordained a priest at Rheims in 1588. He was hanged for his priesthood with Father John Amias (Attwater2, Benedictines).

Blessed Torello of Poppi, OSB Vall. Hermit (AC)
Born in Poppi, Tuscany, Italy, in 1201; died 1281; cultus confirmed by Benedict XIV. Although Saint Torello led a dissolute life in bad company, he experienced a sudden conversion. After repenting he received the habit of a recluse from the Vallumbrosan abbot of San Fedele. He lived as an austere recluse, walled up in his cell near Poppi, for 60 years. Both Vallumbrosans and Franciscans claim him. It seems certain that he was, at any rate, a Vallumbrosan oblate (Attwater2, Benedictines).

About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on 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.