Armogastes, Archinimus & Saturus MM (RM)
Died after 460. Armogastes and Saturus were orthodox Catholics and high officers at the palace of the Vandal king Genseric. When the king returned from Italy in 457, he enacted and enforced a more stringent penal code against the Catholics. Armogastes was stripped of his honors and cruelly tortured. As occurred with many other saints, his tormentors had a difficult time. No sooner had his tied him up with cords than they would break--repeatedly--each time Armogastes lifted his eyes to heaven. Finally, they hanged him upside-down by one foot. But the saint remained nonplussed, so Prince Theodoric ordered that he be beheaded. An Arian priest advised against it, saying that he should not be killed "lest the Romans should venerate them as martyrs." Therefore, he was sent to work in the mines of Byzacena from where he was condemned to work the remainder of his life as a cowherd near Carthage, Tunisia; however, he died soon afterwards.
Saturus was master of Huneric's household. Huneric threatened to deprive him of all he owned as well as his slaves, wife, and children unless he give up his faith. His own wife tried to convince Saturus to convert, but he courageously answered her in the words of Job: "You have spoken like one of the foolish women. If you loved me, you would give me different advice, and not push me on to a second death. Let them do their worst: I will always remember our Lord's words: 'If any man born to me, and hate not his father and mother, his wife and children, his brethren and sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.'" Like Armogastes he was deprived of everything. One sources reports that he too ended his days as a cowherd.
Archinimus of Mascula in Numidia also resisted the king's attempts to convert him to Arianism. Like Armogastes, he was condemned to beheading, but he received a reprieve while he stood under the axe. Although the Roman Martyrology names Archimimus and Masculas, as martyrs of this group, it apparently refers to Armogastes, with the meaning 'president of the Theater, a native of Mascula" or possibly we should understand "Archinimus, the Masculan" (Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth).
In art, they are depicted as early Christians who are condemned to being killed by herds of cows (Roeder).
Berthold of Mount Carmel, OC Founder (AC)
Born at Limoges, France; died c. 1195. Saint Berthold studied and was ordained in Paris. He went on the Crusades with Aymeric (Albert), his brother, and was in Antioch during its siege by the Saracens. During the siege Berthold had a vision of Christ denouncing the evil ways of the Christian soldiers. Thereafter, he labored to reform his fellows. He organized them and became superior of a group of hermits on Mount Carmel. Eventually Aymeric became the Latin patriarch of Antioch and appointed his brother superior general of the monks, gave them their rule, and, thus, is considered by some to be the founder of the Carmelites. He ruled there for 45 years.
The Carmelite Order may actually have survived because of a forgery. This was necessary because no new orders were permitted. When the Bollandists in the 17th century pointed to Saint Berthold as the founder of the order in 1155, a monk 'discovered' a document 'proving' that the Carmelites were founded by the prophet Elijah (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Sheppard).
Cyril of Heliopolis M & Mark BM (AC)
Died c. 362. From Heliopolis in Lebanon, this deacon was seized and put to death by pagans under Julian the Apostate (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Blessed Diemut of Wessobrunn, OSB Hermit (AC)
(also known as Diemoda, Diemuda)
Died c. 1130. Saint Diemut, a nun of Wessobrunn, Bavaria, was allowed to live as a solitary under the obedience of the monastery. She spent her time in copying manuscripts, some of which have survived (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Eustace of Luxeuil, Abbot (RM)
(also known as Eustasius)
Died 625. Saint Eustace was a favorite disciple and monk of Saint Columbanus, whom he succeeded as second abbot of Luxeuil in 611. He ruled over about 600 monks. During his abbacy the monastery was a veritable seminary for bishops and saints, perhaps because of the example he gave by his own humility, continual prayer, and fasting (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Firminus of Viviers B (AC)
6th century. Bishop of Viviers, France (Benedictines).
Gery of Sens
(also known as Jouery)
Died 711. Saint Gery was bishop of Sens and uncle to Saint Ebbo (Encyclopedia)
Gundleus of Newport, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Gwynllyw, Woolo, Woollos)
Died c. 500. Gundleus (Latin for Gwynllyw, which is Anglicized as Woolo) was a Welsh chieftain (who became Catholic so that others could pronounce his name?). Although he was the eldest, when his father died, Gundleus divided his inheritance among his six brothers. According to legend, he desired to marry Gwladys, daughter of Saint Brychan of Brecknock. When Brychan refused his daughter's hand, Gundleus kidnapped and married her. (One aspect of the legend has King Arthur helping to defeat the pursuing Brychan and being dissuaded from capturing Gwladys for himself by two of his knights.)
Nevertheless, Gundleus and Gwladys led a riotous life, engaging in violence and banditry until their first son, Saint Cadoc, convinced them to adopt and follow a religious life together at Stow Hill near Newport (Gwent), Monmouthshire. Later he had them separate and live as hermits.
Gundleus spent his last years completely retired from the world in a solitary little dwelling near a church which he had built. He wore sackcloth, ate barley-bread strewn with ashes, and drank water. To constant prayer and contemplation he added the work of his hands. On his deathbed, Gundleus was visited by Saint Dyfrig and his own son Cadoc, who provided him with the Last Rites of the Church. There is a church dedicated to him at Newport (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Gwaladys, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Gladys, Gladusa, Claudia)
Born in Wales in the 5th century. One of the 24 children of Brychan of Brecknock, wife of Saint Gundleus, and mother of Saints Cadoc and, possibly, Keyna, Saint Gladys led a very interesting life. It is said that after their conversion by the example and exhortation of their son, she and Gundleus lived an austere life. It included the rather interesting practice throughout the year of taking a nightly baths in the Usk, followed by a mile-long walk in the nude. Her son finally convinced them to end the practice and to separate. Gladys moved to Pencanau in Bassaleg. The details of her story come from a 12th-century vita, which includes miracles that took place in the time of Saint Edward the Confessor and William I (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Blessed Hugh of Vaucelles, OSB Cist. (AC)
Died 1239. Hugh was dean of the church at Cambrai, then a monk of the Cistercian Abbey of Vaucelles (Benedictines).
Blessed Jane Mary de Maillé, OFM Tert. V (AC)
Born 1331; died 1414; cultus confirmed in 1871. The daughter of the baron de Maillé, Jeanne-Marie married the baron de Silly, with whom she lived in virginity for 16 years. After his death in 1362, she joined the Franciscan tertiaries and retired to Tours, where she spent the rest of her life in poverty and privation due to the persecution of her husband's relatives (Benedictines)
Jonas, Barachisius and Comp. MM (RM)
(also known as Jonah and Berikjesu)
Died December 24, 327.
In the 18th year of his reign, the Sassanian King Shapur II began a vicious persecution against the Christians in Persia. He cast many into prison, and two brothers of the city of Beth-Asa decided, in spite of the danger, to visit and comfort them in their last hours of torment and death.
The two men were arrested for this, and brought to trial. We are lucky that the eyewitness accounts of their martyrdom with nine other Christians survive. The judge told them they must venerate the King of Persia and also the sun, the moon, fire and water. They answered him that only a fool would worship a mortal man rather than the immortal king of heaven.
At the advice of the Magians, the brothers were separated, and Barachisius was cast into a very narrow close dungeon. Jonas was detained. When he still refused to sacrifice to the elements, the tortures began. While he was beaten with clubs and having a stake under his navel, he managed yet to praise God. Next he was set in a frozen pond, and left to die.
After Shapur has a nap and dinner, he called for Barichisius and cruelly told him his brother had sacrificed. The martyr said it was impossible, and spoke so powerfully about the Holy Trinity that all were astonished. The authorities declared that future interrogations should be held under the wrap of night lest many be converted to Christianity. Nevertheless, Barichisius was also tortured. Red-hot iron plates and hammers were placed under each arm, and he was told: "If you shake off either of these, by the king's fortune, you deny Christ." He meekly replied: "I fear not your fire; nor shall I throw off your instruments of torture. I beg you to try without delay all your torments on me. He who is engaged in combat for God is full of courage." So, they invented new torments: Melted lead was dropped into his nostrils and eyes, then he was thrown into a cell where he was hung by one foot.
They found Jonas still alive the next morning and attempted to undermine his faith, too, by saying his brother had renounced Christ. The martyr, interrupting them, answered: "I know that long ago he renounced the devil and his angels." The Magians urged: "Take care lest you perish, abandoned both by God and man." Jonas replied: "If you are really wise, as you boast, judge if it be not better to sow the corn than to keep it hoarded up. Our life is a seed sown to rise again in the world to come, when it will be renewed by Christ in immortal light." The Magians said, "Your books have drawn many aside." Jonas answered: "They have indeed drawn many from worldly pleasures. When a servant of Christ is in his sufferings inebriated with love from the passion of his Lord, he forgets the transitory state of this short life, its riches, estates, gold, and honors; regulars of kings and princes, lords and noblemen, where all eternity is at stake, he desires nothing but the sight of the only true King, whose empire is everlasting, and whose power reaches to all ages."
Thereafter, the two saints were barbarously put to death. After hideous tortures (including the severing of his fingers, toes, tongue, and scalp; burning in boiling pitch), Jonah's mangled body was placed in a wine-press, and the saint was crushed to death. Even when he was dead, they continued. His body was sawed into pieces and thrown into a dry cistern, which was guarded to prevent other Christians from stealing the relics.
Barichisius was treated with equal brutality. Hundreds of reeds were cut into sharp splinters and inserted into his flesh. Then Barichisius was rolled along the ground, so that the long splinters pierced him deeply. As he endured the hideous pain, the judge called out that he could still save himself. Barachisius replied, "God, the maker of this body, will restore it; and he will judge you and your king." And so he joined his brother in death when burning pitch was poured down his throat
Upon the news of their death, Abtusciatus, an old friend, came and purchased their bodies for five hundred drachmas and three silk garments, binding himself also by oath never to divulge the sale. The acts are closed by these words: "This book was written from the mouths of witnesses, and contains the acts of the saints, Jonas, Barachisius, and others, martyrs of Christ, who by his succor fought, triumphed, and were crowned, in whose prayers we beg place may be found, by Esaias, son of Adabus of Arzun, in Armenia, of the troop of royal horse-men, who was present at their interrogatories and tortures, and who wrote the history of their conflicts." These authentic acts were originally written in Chaldaic (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Husenbeth).
Lasar V (AC)
(also known as Lassar, Lassera)
6th century. The Irish nun Saint Lasar (meaning 'Flame') was the niece of Saint Forchera. Still very young, she entered religious life under the care of SS. Finnian and Ciaran at Clonard (Benedictines).
Ludolf of Ratzeburg, O. Praem. B (AC)
(also known as Ludolphus)
Died 1250. The Premonstratensian canon Ludolf became bishop of Ratzeburg and had to endure much persecution at the hands of Duke Albert of Sachsen-Lauenberg (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Mark of Arethusa BM (AC)
Died c. 362. Bishop Mark of Arethusa on Mount Lebanon, Syria, one of those caught in the web of unfortunate history. Mark was present at the synod of Sirmium where he produced a creed for which he was unjustly accused of Arianism by Baronius, who excluded his name from the Roman Martyrology nor is he venerated in the Western Church. He had been long engaged in the errors and intrigues of the Semi-Arians; but the encomiums given him by Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Theodoret, and Sozomen, when they relate his sufferings, show that towards the end of the reign of Conmantius, he joined in the orthodox communion.
When Emperor Constantius and his eldest son were killed by his uncle, Julius Constantius, the two younger sons, Gallus and Julian, narrowly escaped death. Bishop Mark concealed and provided for Julian, later to be known as the Apostate. When Julian ascended the throne, he commanded that the Christians rebuild the temples that they had demolished. On the authority of Constantius, Mark had destroyed a magnificent, highly esteemed temple and built a church in its place. When the pagans again found themselves in authority and sought revenge upon him, Mark went into hiding.
From his refuge he learned that members of his flock were suffering in his stead, so he returned and surrendered himself. He was seized and dragged through the streets by his hair, stripped, scourged, and finally handed over to schoolboys. Like Saint Cassian of Imola, Saint Mark is said to have been maimed, then stabbed (to death?) by iron pens.
The myth continues that he survived many other tortures and insults, and continued to refuse to rebuild their temple, because it would be impious to contribute to such idolatrous work. At length the fury of the people was turned into admiration of his patience, and they set him at liberty; and several of them afterwards begged of him to instruct them in the faith that was capable of inspiring such a resolution. Having spent the remainder of his life in the faithful discharge of the duties of his station, he died in peace under Jovian or Valens.
Myths and innuendo aside, the Bollandists have vindicated Saint Mark of any complicity in semi-Arianism. They state that he actually died a martyr under Julian the Apostate (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Pastor, Victorinus & Comp. MM (RM)
Died c. 311. A group of seven martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia under Galesius (Benedictines).
Rupert of Salzburg, OSB B (RM)
(also known as Hrodbert, Robert, Rupprecht)
Died in Salzburg, Austria, on March 27, c. 710-720; feast day formerly March 27; feast of the translation of his relics is kept in Bavaria and Austria on September 25.
There have been varying opinions as to where Rupert was born and when (with variations of 100 years). While more reliable sources make him a Frankish nobleman, others, including Colgan insist he was an Irishman with the Gaelic name Robertach. From his youth he was renowned for his learning, extraordinary virtues, austerity, and charity that sought to impoverish himself to enrich the poor. People came from remote provinces to receive his advice. He would remove all their doubts and scruples, comfort the afflicted, cure the sick, and heal the disorders of souls. His virtuous life led to him being consecrated bishop of Worms, Germany, from where he began his missionary work in southern Bavaria and Austria. (One version says he was expelled by the pagans at Worms, others that he was simply a zealous, evangelical Christian.)
Rupert travelled to Regensburg (Ratisbon) with a small company about 697, perhaps with credentials from the French King Childebert III, or because Duke Theodo of Bavaria had heard of his reputation for miracles and invited him. They went to Duke Theodo, whose permission they needed to proceed. While Theodo was not a Christian, his sister, Bagintrude, is said to have been one. He agreed to listen to their preaching and was converted and baptized. Many of the leading men and women of the land followed the duke's example and embraced Christianity, which had been preached there 200 years earlier by Saint Severinus of Noricum.
Instead of knocking down pagan temples, as many missionaries did, Rupert preferred to consecrate them as Christian churches. For example, those at Regensburg and Altötting were soon altered for Christian services. (It is said that the statue of the Blessed Mother at Altötting was brought there from Ireland by an Irishman named Rupert.) Where there was no suitable temple to adapt churches were built, and Regensburg became primarily Christian. God confirmed Rupert's preaching by many miracles. Soon the missionary work met with such success that many more helpers from Franconia were needed to meet the spiritual needs of Rupert's converts.
The group continued down the Danube, converting still more. After Ratisbon, the capital, the next seat of his labors was Laureacum, now called Lorch, where he healed several diseases by prayer, and won many other souls to Christ. But in neither of these flourishing towns did Rupert establish his bishopric. He made the old, fallen-down town of Juvavum, given to him by the duke of Bavaria, his headquarters. The town was restored and he named it Salzburg (Salt Fortress). There with the help of his companions Saints Virgilius, Chuniald, and Gislar, Rupert founded Saint Peter's church and monastery with a school along the lines of the Irish monasteries.
He made a trip home to gather twelve more recruits. His sister, Saint Ermentrudis, entered a convent he founded at Nonnberg (setting for The sound of music) and became its first abbess. He did much to foster the operation of the salt mines. Rupert, the first archbishop of Salzburg, is considered to be the Apostle of Bavaria and Austria. He died on Easter Day after having said Mass and preached the Good News. Thereafter, he became so renowned that countries such as Ireland claimed him as a native son and celebrate his memory liturgically. The Duchy of Salzburg cast his likeness with that of the Saint Virgilius on the coin of the realm called a rubentaler (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gougaud, Husenbeth, Kenney, Walsh, White).
The Saint Pachomius Library contains two versions of the Life of Saint Robert.
Rupert's emblem in art is a barrel of salt, because of his association with the reopening of the salt mines. He may be shown holding a basket of eggs; baptizing Duke Theodo(re) of Bavaria; or with Saint Virgilius of Salzburg (Farmer, Roeder, White).
Secundus of Asti M (RM)
Died 119; feast day celebrated some places on March 30. Saint Secundus was a patrician of Asti, Piedmont, Italy, and a subaltern officer in the imperial army. He was beheaded at Asti under Hadrian, but is remembered as one of the martyrs of the Thebn Legion (Benedictines, Tabor). In art, he is portrayed as a young warrior with a horse and is sometimes shown with SS. Maurice and Exuperius (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.