St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

April 1



Berhard B
Died 644. Berhard was a saintly bishop who had a great affection for Saint Valéry and who tried to have him buried in his cathedral in Amiens (Encyclopedia)


Caidoc and Fricor (Adrian) HH (AC)
7th century; they had four feast days at Centula: January 24, March 31, April 1, and May 30. The Irishmen Caidoc and Fricor evangelized the country of the Morini in Picardy, northern France, beginning about 622. Among the souls they won for Christ was the nobleman Riquier (Saint Ricarius), who intervened when some locals to offense to their preaching and took them into his home. Riquier became a fervent Christian, who engaged in penitential austerities and eventually was ordained. In 625, Riquier founded Centula based on the Rule of Columbanus, another Irishman. Their relics are still venerated at the parish church of Saint-Riquier in the diocese of Amiens, although they rested in Centula until the 17th century. Saints Caidoc and Fricor joined Riquier's community and remained there until they were buried in Saint Riquier's church (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick2, McCarthy, Montague, O'Hanlon).


Catherine Tomás, OSA V (RM)
(also known as Catherine Thomas or Catherine of Palma)

Born in Valdemuzza, Majorca, Spain, in 1533; died there in 1574; canonized in 1930; feast day formerly on April 5. Saint Catherine was an unhappy little girl who was subjected to indignities in the house of her paternal uncle. Eventually she passed into the service of the canonesses of Saint Augustine in their convent of Saint Mary Magdalen in Palma, where she spent the balance of her life. Her sanctity did not remain hidden for long. She was subjected to a great number of strange phenomena and mystical experiences that were both consoling and alarming, including the gift of prophecy. Although she tried never to allow these experiences to interfere with the discharge of her duties, during the last years of her life she was continually in ecstasy (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Cellach of Armagh B (AC)
(also known as Ceilach, Keilach)

9th century. It seems that Saint Cellach may have been the abbot of Iona. He also seems to have founded of the abbey of Kells before his consecration as archbishop of Armagh, Ireland (Benedictines).


Dodolinus of Vienne B (AC)
7th century. Bishop Saint Dodolin of Vienne's feast is celebrated in the Dauphiné (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Gerard of Sassoferrato, OSB Cam. (AC)
Born in 1280; died November 18, 1367. At nine years of age, Gerard received the Camaldolese habit at the abbey of the Holy Cross in Sassoferrato. After his ordination, he was entrusted with the pastoral care of the parish, which he served with untiring zeal (Benedictines).


Gilbert of Caithness B (AC)
Died April 1, 1245. Saint Gilbert was the son of William de Moravia, lord of Duffus and Strabrok, who owned enormous tracts of land in northern Scotland. King Alexander II appointed him archdeacon of Moray, which gave him secular and religious power during a turbulent period. Enemies set his accounting ledgers ablaze, but miraculously, they survived. In 1223, Gilbert was appointed bishop of Caithness to succeed Saint Adam, who had been burned alive. He held that position for 20 years during which he built the cathedral of the diocese. The statues of this cathedral of Dornoch were modelled on those of Moray and Lincoln. He also established several homes for the poor. Gilbert was a valued servant of the Scottish kings, a zealous upholder of Scottish independence against the archbishop of York (though this is disputed), and a great preacher and administrator. As patron of Caithness, his name is in the Aberdeen Breviary. Until the Reformation (1545) , Gilbert's relics were venerated and used for the swearing of oaths (Attwater2, Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).


Hugh of Bonnevaux, OSB Cistercian, Abbot (AC)
Died 1194. A nephew of Saint Hugh of Grenoble, Saint Hugh of Bonnevaux became a Cistercian monk at Mezières. In 1163, he was made abbot of Léoncel, and, in 1169, promoted to the abbacy of Bonnevaux. Hugh possessed singular powers of discernment and exorcism, but he is chiefly remembered as the mediator between


Hugh of Grenoble, OSB B (RM)
Born near Valence in the Dauphiné, France, in 1052; died in Grenoble, France, on April 1, 1132; canonized by Pope Innocent II in 1134. What an amazing modesty Saint Hugh possessed! You may shrug your shoulders, of course. The 20th century is without modesty and doesn't appreciate it. There is something about the modesty of Saint Hugh that governed and colored his life, yet repels and confounds us. We have lost the taste for that virtue in a world where we live like haggling beasts: industrious, envious, quarrelsome, wretched beasts!

By contrast Saint Hugh took to heart Saint Paul's admonition: "Let love be sincere . . . love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. . . . do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation" (Romans 12:9, 16). And again Paul urges: "Do nothing out of selfishness or vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves. . . ." (Philippians 2:3).

When Hugh of Grenoble was born at Châteauneuf, the French churchmen were very undisciplined. He was the son of the second marriage of Odilo, a knight of excellent reputation, who later became a Carthusian monk. His father lived to the venerable age of 100, before he died in his son's arms after having received viaticum from him. Odilo's goodness inspired his son to greatness.

As a youth, Saint Hugh was a pupil of Saint Bruno at Rheims. He later studied in the best foreign centers for education.

Good looks and a diffident manner, added to his abilities, seem to have helped Hugh's swift rise in ecclesiastical office. He won all hearts through his courtesy and modesty that led him to underrate his own talents and learning. Hugh, though a layman, was made a canon of Valence Cathedral at age 25, and set out to reform the church. Bishop Hugh of Die soon saw the young man's zeal and appointed the young man to his household. This bishop was particularly keen to stamp out simony (that is sale for personal gain of positions in the church) and Hugh played a huge part in his campaign.

In 1080, the bishop took Hugh to a council at Avignon. One of the purposes of the council was to sort out the disorders that had arisen in the diocese of Grenoble, whose bishop had just died.

To Hugh's surprise, the participants decided that this 27-year-old was by far the best person to be consecrated bishop. He protested that he was only a layman.

"But I repeat to you that I am not worthy of it!" sighed Hugh.

"What fairy tale is this that you're telling me?" asked the papal legate, Bishop Hugh of Die. "Who is asking you to act on your own strength? Count first on God, who will give you help."

Nevertheless, the bishop ordained him and then took him to Rome where the pope consecrated Hugh as bishop though he was barely 30.

Hugh discovered that diocese of Grenoble was in a far worse state than he had imagined. Although the clergy had taken vows of celibacy, many of them lived more or less openly with women. Influential laymen had seized most of the property of the church. Hugh manfully set about putting matters aright. He was unpopular with the nobility, whose confiscation of church property the bishop dealt with firmly. Only Hugh, however, failed to see the excellent results of his policies. Two years after his consecration, believing that he had vainly opposed these disorders, as well as simony and usury, through sermons, threats, example, fast, and prayers, Hugh left the city and withdrew to the abbey of Chaise- Dieu (Cluniac).

This was the first of several times he despaired because of his lack of progress and went to live as a monk. "But I repeat to you that I can't do anything that's good and worthwhile!" he complained gently to those who wanted him to give up this sudden Benedictine vocation and his seeming lack of faith.

Each time the pope insisted that he must take up the struggle again. "Very well, granted. You can't do anything, my son," Pope Saint Gregory VII said to him, "but you are bishop, and the sacrament can do everything." Each time Hugh obeyed. This first time it took a year of discussion before Hugh returned to Grenoble with a crushing sense of his unworthiness and inferiority.

Bishop Hugh of Grenoble sustained the papacy in its dispute with Emperor Henry V, and was persecuted for his loyalty. Grenoble was in the emperor's territory, but his flock rallied to his support.

It was then, in 1084, that Saint Bruno and his companions came in search of silence, solitude, and a perpetual conversation with God on the fringes of the scandals of the world. Hugh was waiting for them. He rolled up his cassock and, like a guide, led them through the craggy rocks of the desert called the Chartreuse. He gave this land to the monks who built there the famous monastery of Grande Chartreuse. The charter Hugh gave them still exists.

Hugh knew the way to the Grande Chartreuse very well, and often visited the monks. He came so often, in fact, and liked it so much that Saint Bruno often had to send him away, reminding him of his flock and episcopal duties. When he visited them in their solitude, Hugh would join in their exercises and perform the most menial tasks. Hugh saw himself as a bad bishop and wanted nothing more than to stay in the monastery. Hugh's close association with the Carthusians has ensured the custom that the diocesan bishop was always expected (contrary to other monastic orders) to guide and cherish Charterhouses in their diocese.

During his 52-year episcopacy, Hugh vainly tendered his resignation to each pope--Gregory VII, Gelasius II, Calixtus II, Honorius II, Innocent II, and others--and they refused him because of his outstanding ability. He never ceased imploring them to release him from the duties of his episcopal office up to the day of his death. During his last, painful illness he was tormented by headaches and stomach disorders that resulted from his long fasts and vigils, yet never complained. For a short time before his death, he lost his memory for everything but prayer, and would recite the Psalter and the Our Father unceasingly.

It was this humility--which once almost became a blasphemy against Divine Providence--that unwittingly made Hugh such a good bishop. Out of the fear and shame that he was better nourished, housed, and dressed than the poor, he sold his ring, other jewels, furs, a golden chalice, and ornaments to raise money and gave it to those in need. His generosity stirred other rich men to liberally follow his example.

He wept when he heard a penitent's confession and when the disorders of his retinue were brought to his attention, he blamed himself as though it were a personal fault. Hugh also founded three hospitals at Grenoble, built a marketplace, and provided a stone bridge over the Isere, in addition to restoring the cathedral and Saint Laurence's Church. For 52 years Hugh labored as bishop of Grenoble, dying at age 79, having restored the diocese both financially and morally.

He took upon himself all the sins of others, and the cross that he carried was so heavy laden, so holy, and so redemptive that two years after his death, he was canonized amid the jubilation of the people and of his church. By order of Pope Innocent II, Hugh's Carthusian friend Gigues wrote the saints Life which brings out the attractiveness of this modest man's character (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Walsh).

In art, Saint Hugh is a bishop seeing a vision of seven stars. Sometimes he is shown (1) with a lantern; (2) with three flowers; (3) with Saint Bruno, to whom he entrusted the Grande Chartreuse; or (4) turning partridges served to Carthusians on a fast day into tortoises (Roeder). Zurbaran gave Hugh a prominent place in his paintings of the early Carthusians in the museum of Seville (Farmer). Saint Hugh is invoked against headache (Roeder).


Jacqueline V Hermit
Died 1220. The Roman orphan Jacqueline lived in a hut in Greece and passed herself off as a monk. Later she continued her life as a recluse in Sicily, where she lived in a tree. She reprimanded Pope Innocent III (Encyclopedia).


Leuconus B
Died 666. Leuconus was the 18th bishop of Troyes, who founded Notre-Dame-des-Nonnains (Encyclopedia).


Macarius the Wonder-Worker, Abbot (RM)
Born in Constantinople; died on Aphusia Island, Bithynia, on August 18, c. 830.

"To you, O Master, who loves all mankind
I hasten on rising from sleep.
By your mercy I go out to do your work
and I make my prayer to you.
Deliver me from every evil thing of this world
and from pursuit by the devil.
Save me and bring me to your eternal kingdom,
For you are my Creator,
You inspire all good thoughts in me.
In you is all my hope and to you I give glory,
now and forever." --Saint Macarius

Piously baptized Christopher in Constantinople, he took the name Macarius upon becoming a monk at Pelekete nearby. Eventually he was elected abbot and became known for the miracles he wrought.

Macarius was ordained by Patriarch Tarasius of Constantinople, was imprisoned and tortured for his opposition to the iconoclasm proclaimed by Emperor Leo the Armenian, and was released by Leo's successor, Emperor Michael the Stammerer. When he refused Michael's demands that he support the iconoclastic heresy, he was exiled to the island of Aphusia off the coast of Bithynia and died there (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).


Marcella
Date unknown. A little shepherdess of the Auvergne (Encyclopedia)


Melito of Sardis B (AC)
Died c. 180. Bishop Melito of Sardis, Lydia, was an ecclesiastical writer of the period of the apologists. There are some writings attributed him that are now believed to have been composed by an unknown writer. Nevertheless, he was endowed with a powerful gift of prophecy, which led to the surname of "the Prophet," as attested by Saint Jerome and Eusebius (Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Blessed Nicholas of Neti, OSB Cist. (AC)
Died c. 1220. A Cistercian monk of the community of Santa Maria dell'Arcu near Neti, Sicily (Benedictines).


Quintian and Irenaeus MM (RM)
Date unknown. Armenian martyrs about whom nothing else is known (Benedictines).


Tewdric, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Theodoric)

5th to 6th century; feast day is sometimes listed as January 3. Saint Tewdric, prince of Glamorgan, is discussed in the Book of Llan Dav, written much later. According to this source, in his later years he resigned his position in favor of his son Meurig in order to become a hermit at Tintern. During an invasion of the Saxons, he placed himself at the head of his people. In the ensuing battle, he was mortally wounded by a lance. Tewdric was buried at Mathern, near Chepstow, formerly called Merthyr Tewdrig, where the church still bears his name. He is the reputed founder of the churches at Bedwas Llandow and Merthyr Tydfil. In the early 17th century, Bishop Francis Godwin of Llandaff found the saints bones, including a badly fractured skull in the church at Mathern (Farmer).


Theodora of Rome M (RM)
Died 132. According to the Acta of Pope Alexander I, Theodora buried Saint Hermes, her brother, after assisting him in prison and as he was tortured. She was herself martyred some months later. Brother and sister were buried side by side (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Venantius of Spalato BM (RM)
Died c. 255. Saint Venantius was a Dalmatian bishop whose body was brought to the Lateran at Spalato by Pope John IV in 641 (Benedictines).


Victor and Stephen MM (RM)
Date unknown. Egyptian martyrs (Benedictines).


Walaricus of Leucone, Abbot (RM)
(also known as Valéry, Walericus)

Born in Auvergne, France; died in Leucone, Picardy, France, on December 12, c. 622; feast of his translation is December 12.

Valéry discovered Benedictine life at Issoire, developed it at Auxerre, fructified it at Luxeuil under Saint Columbanus, and multiplied it with missionary work at Leuconnais (Leuconay), in the Somme region of northern France.

Born into a peasant family in the Auvergne, Valéry tended his father's sheep in his childhood, which gave him plenty of time to develop his prayer life. Out of an ardent desire to grow in spiritual knowledge, he learned to read at an early age and memorized the Psalter. Dissatisfied with his life as a shepherd, he took the monastic habit in the neighboring monastery of St. Antony's at Autumo.

His fervor from the first day of monastic life led him to live the rule perfectly. Sincere humility permitted him to meekly and cheerfully subjected himself to everyone. Seeking a stricter rule, he migrated to the more austere monastery of St. Germanus, where he was received by Bishop Saint Anacharius of Auxerre. He was drawn to Luxeuil by the reputation of the penitential lives of its monks and the spiritual wisdom of Saint Columbanus. There he spent many years, always esteeming himself an unprofitable servant and a slothful monk, who stood in need of the severest and harshest rules and superiors. Next to sin, he dreaded nothing so much as the applause of men or a reputation of sanctity. At Luxeuil he also distinguished himself as a horticulturalist--the preservation of his fruit and vegetables against the ravages of insects that destroyed most other crops was considered miraculous.

When Saint Columbanus was banished from Luxeuil by King Theodoric, the monastery was placed in Valéry's hands until he was sent by Saint Eustasius with his fellow-monk Waldolanus to preach the Gospel in Neustria. There King Clotaire II gave them the territory of Leucone in Picardy, near the mouth of the river Somme. In 611, with the permission of Bishop Bertard of Amiens, they built a chapel and two cells. Saint Valéry by his preaching and the example of his virtue, converted many and attracted fervent disciples with whom he laid the foundation of a monastery.

His fasts he sometimes prolonged for six days, eating only on the Sunday; and he used no other bed than twigs laid on the floor. His time was entirely occupied with preaching, prayer, reading, and manual labor. By this he earned something for the relief of the poor, and he often repeated to others, "The more cheerfully we give to those who are in distress, the more readily will God give us what we ask of him."

When Valéry died, cures were claimed at his tomb and a cultus developed, which eventually spread to England during the Norman Conquest. William the Conqueror exposed Valéry's relics for public veneration. He was invoked for a favorable wind for the expedition in 1066, which sailed from Saint-Valéry

Valéry is honored at Chester Abbey in England and in France, where a famous monastery arose from his cells. His vita was carefully written in 660, by Raimbert, second abbot of Leucone after him. King Richard the Lion Hearted had his relics restored to Saint-Valéry-en-Caux; however, his original abbey later recovered them. Two towns in the Somme district are called Saint- Valéry after him, and there are several dedications to him in England as well (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).



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.