Blessed Antony Neyrot, OP M (AC)
Born in Rivoli, Piedmont, Italy; died in Tunis, 1460; cultus approved by Clement XIII. Blessed Antony renounced his faith. He expiated his sin with an act of heroism that merited heaven, washing away in his own blood the denial that might have cost him his soul.
Little is known of Antony's childhood. He became a Dominican at Saint Antoninus. After completing his studies, Antony was ordained and lived for a time at San Marco, the famous Dominican monastery in Florence. Becoming restless, he asked for a change of mission and was sent to Sicily. He didn't like this either, so he set out for Naples. On this voyage, his ship was captured by pirates, and Antony, along with the other passengers, was taken, bound, to Africa. Here the passengers were led through the streets for all to see.
The battle of Lepanto was still 100 years in the future, but Turkish aggression, which was to bring about this great battle, was commonplace in Antony's time. Some captives were treated leniently, others very cruelly. The Islamic king of Tunis seems to have liked young Antony because he ordered that kindness should be shown to him. Antony was not even confined, until his arrogance angered his captors into more severe restrictions, but Antony was impatient and resented the very idea of captivity. Being placed in prison, living on a diet of bread and water, he soon collapsed. Then, as the Islamics had hoped, he denied his faith in order to buy his freedom.
Disaster followed disaster. He lost all faith in Christianity and began to translate the Koran. He was adopted by the king, married a Turkish lady of high rank, and was given the freedom of the city.
Into the false paradise came the news of the death of Saint Antoninus. Love for his old master stirred in Antony a yearning for the Truth he had abandoned. He resolved to return to the Christian faith, although it meant certain death.
In order that his return might be as public as his denial had been, he waited until the king returning in triumph from a victory over the Christians, had a public procession. Having confessed and made his private reconciliation with God, Antony, clothed in a Dominican habit, at that moment mounted the palace steps where all could see him.
In a loud voice he proclaimed his faith, and his sorrow at having denied it. The king at first disbelieved his ears, then he became angry. Failing to change the mind of the young man, he commanded that he be stoned to death.
Antony died under a shower of stones, proclaiming to the last his faith and his sorrow. It was Holy Thursday, 1460. His body was recovered at great expense from the Islamics and returned to Rivoli, where his tomb soon became a place of pilgrimage. Many miracles were performed there, and, until very recently, an annual procession was held at his shrine. In the procession, all the present-day members of his family, dressed in black, walked proudly behind the statue of Blessed Antony (Benedictines, Dorcy, Encyclopedia).
Apollonius of Alexandria M (RM)
Date unknown. Martyred at Alexandria under Decius (Benedictines).
Bademus of Persia, Abbot M (AC)
(also known as Bademe)
Born in Persia; died there c. 380. The rich and noble Saint Bademus founded and governed an abbey near Bethlapeta in Persia. There he passed whole nights in prayer, and sometimes went several days together without eating: bread and water were his usual fare. With sweetness, prudence, and charity, he conducted his religious in the paths of perfection. God crowned the virtues of Bademus with suffering by allowing the abbot and seven of his monks to be arrested for their faith, thrown into a dungeon, and whipped daily for four months.
Prince Nersan of Aria, a Christian member of the Persian court, was captured and imprisoned about that same time. He could not withstand the repeated torture and apostatized. To test Nersan's resolve, King Shapur promised to release Nersan and restore his former dignities, if the prince would murder Bademus with his own hands. Thus the wretch, fearing the he himself would be martyred, accepted the sword but frozen in fear as he was about to thrust it into the abbot's breast.
The undaunted Bademus stood before him and said: "Unhappy Nersan, to what a pitch of impiety do you carry your apostasy. With joy I run to meet death; but could wish to fall by some other hand than yours: why must you be my executioner?"
Nersan vacillated between fear of King Shapur and fear of the King of kings. Finally he struck with a trembling hand that made his sword unsteady and forceless. Thus, Bademus was pierced numerous times before Nersan could deliver the ultimate thrust that severed the head of Bademus. The martyr's body was cast outside the city gates, but was secretly retrieved and buried by the Christians. His disciples were released from their chains four years later at the death of Shapur (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Bede the Younger, OSB Monk (AC)
Died 883. Bede, a chief official at the court of the French Charles the Bald, became a Benedictine at the abbey of Gavello, near Rovigo in northern Italy. He refused several bishoprics. His relics were translated to Subiaco in the last century (Benedictines).
Beocca, Ethor (Hethor) & Comp., OSB MM (AC)
Died c. 870. The Danes, in their continual raids on England, singled out the Anglo-Saxon abbey as their special object of their ferocity. Thus, at Chertsey Abbey in Surrey, they put to death SS. Beocca, abbot; Ethor, monk-priest; and some 90 monks. At Peterborough, the Danes killed Saint Hedda's community; and at Thorney Abbey, Saint Torthred. All of these are venerated as martyrs. Their memories were kept alive by chronicles and the writings of William of Malmesbury (Benedictines, Farmer).
Ezekiel, Prophet (RM)
(also known as Ezechiel)
6th century BC. Ezekiel is one of the four major prophets of the Old Testament. Tradition says that he was put to death, while in captivity in Babylon, by one of the Jewish judges who had apostatized, and that he was buried there in the tomb of Shem. He grave was a site of pilgrimage for the early Christians (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Raphael painted this Vision of Ezekiel.
Fulbert of Chartres B (AC)
Born in Italy c. 952-960; died in Chartres, France, on April 10, 1029.
"Ye choirs of new Jerusalem,
Your sweetest notes employ,
The Paschal victory to hymn
In strains of holy joy."
--Saint Fulbert of Chartres
The glory of his century was born into a humble Italian family. Because of Fulbert's promise as a student he was sent to study at a Benedictine abbey at Rheims, France. He was one of their finest, for when the celebrated Gerbert, who taught him mathematics and philosophy, became Pope Sylvester II, he called Fulbert to Rome.
When the next pope succeeded Gerbert in 1003, Fulbert returned to France, and Bishop Odo of Chartres gave him a canonry and appointed him chancellor of the cathedral, thus, charging Fulbert with the government of the cathedral schools. Fulbert made them into the greatest educational center in France, attracting students from all over Europe.
Fulbert himself was a true poet and scholar, with a great range of learning, including all the sciences then taught. He was chosen to succeed Bishop Roger when he died. Fulbert's influence had now become impressive, for he acted as a counselor to the spiritual and temporal leaders of France. He became a respected statesman, and was consulted by the duke of Aquitaine and the king of France.
Yet he called himself 'the very tiny bishop of a very great church,' and continued to preach regularly and see to the instruction of the territories under his jurisdiction. He rebuilt the Chartres Cathedral when it burned down almost immediately after his consecration. It was built with great magnificence. All kinds of people gave him assistance, including Canute, king of England. Although much of the current cathedral is of a later date, Fulbert's Romanesque steeple still dominates the city.
Having a great devotion to the Virgin Mary, in whose honor he composed several hymns, he arranged that when the new cathedral opened, the newly introduced feast of her birthday be celebrated there, and that it be observed through the diocese.
He vigorously opposed simony and the bestowal of ecclesiastical endowments upon laymen. After ruling for 22 years, he died. He is the author of "Ye Choirs of New Jerusalem" and sermons, hymns, and letters; several of his treatises survive.
Fulbert's pupils loved him. Shortly after his death a pupil from Liége named Adelman (who later became bishop of Brescia) wrote: "With what dignity of spiritual interpretation, with what weight of literal sense, with what sweetness of speech did he expound the deep secrets of philosophy" (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, Walsh, White).
In art, Saint Fulbert is a bishop receiving milk from the Virgin as he lies ill in bed (Roeder).
Macarius of Ghent (RM)
(also known as Macaire of Antioch)
Died 1012. Saint Macarius is said to have been born in Antioch, Pisidia, and to have been a bishop, who travelled westward as a pilgrim. He was received by the Benedictines of Saint Bavo in Ghent, in whose hospice he died of the plague then rampant in Belgium (Benedictines). Saint Macarius is portrayed as a Flemish bishop with three arrowheads. He may also be shown with his mitre and crozier on the ground to symbolize his resignation of the bishopric (Roeder). He is venerated at Ghent and invoked against plague (Roeder).
Born in Italy; died in 1835. Saint Madelaine was an orphan who attracted the attention of Napoleon Bonaparte because of her faith. She taught catechism and nursed the sick in Verona, Venice, Milan, and China as a member of the Order of the Daughters of Charity (Encyclopedia)
Malchus of Waterford, OSB B (AC)
Died 1110. Irish Saint Malchus entered the Benedictine monastery of Winchester, England, and was consecrated the first bishop of Waterford by Saint Anselm. He was one of the preceptors of Saint Malachy O'More. His life has been confused with those of several of his contemporaries (Benedictines).
Blessed Mark Fantucci, OFM (AC)
Born in Bologna, Italy; died at Piacenza, Italy, in 1479; cultus approved in 1868. Saint Mark studied law and, in 1430, became a Franciscan. He held several offices in the order and preached throughout Italy, Istria, and Dalmatia. He also visited the friars in Austria, Poland, Russia, and the Levant (Benedictines).
The Martyrs under the Danes (RM)
See under Saint Beocca.
Martyrs of Rome (RM)
Died c. 115. This is a rather unusual story. While Pope Saint Alexander was imprisoned in a public jail in Rome, he preached to the criminals he found there. They were converted and baptized. Later, the criminals were taken to Ostia and put on board an old boat which was then sent out to sea and scuttled. (Note that there is some doubt that Saint Alexander was the pope) (Benedictines).
Michael of Sanctis, O. Trin. (RM)
(also known as Michael of the Saints)
Born at Vich, Catalonia, Spain, in 1591; died at Valladolid, Spain, in 1625; canonized in 1862. Saint Michael joined the calced Trinitarians at Barcelona in 1603, and took his vows at Saragossa in 1607. That same year he migrated to the discalced branch of the order and renewed his vows at Alcalá. After his ordination he was twice superior at Valladolid. He was one of the greatest apostles of the order in the 17th century, and is often surnamed 'the Ecstatic One' (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Palladius of Auxerre B (AC)
Died 661. Abbot Saint Palladius of Saint Germanus Abbey in Auxerre, became bishop of that city in 622. He founded several monasteries (Benedictines).
Paternus of Abdinghof, OSB Hermit (AC)
Born in Ireland; died in Germany, 1058. Paternus was probably born in Ireland, but he travelled to Westphalia, and became one of the first monks at the monastery of Abdinghof in Paderborn founded by Saint Meinwerk. Wishing for solitude, he moved to a cell adjoining the abbey.
He predicted that the city would be razed by fire within 30 days if the inhabitants did not turn from their sins, but he was mocked as a visionary. On the Friday before Palm Sunday in 1058, fires broke out simultaneously in seven parts of the city. The city and the monastery were destroyed. The monks escaped, with the exception of Paternus, who, refusing to break the vows of enclosure, remained in his cell and was killed.
His death made a great impression on his contemporaries. Saint Peter Damien greatly revered Paternus. Blessed Marianus Scotus, who visited the ruins two weeks after his death, prayed on the mat where he had died. This mat became the center of his cultus because it miraculously escaped the flames (Benedictines, Montague, White).
Terence, Africanus, Pompeius & Comp. MM (RM)
Died 250. A band of 50 martyrs who were imprisoned with snakes and scorpions and finally beheaded at Carthage under Decius (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.