St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

April 18



Agia of Mons, OSB Widow (AC)
(also known as Aia, Austegildis, Aye)

Died c. 714. Saint Agia was the wife of Saint Hidulphus of Hainault, who, like her husband, desired the religious life. She entered the convent of Mons (Castrilocus) and he joined the monks at Lobbes. Agia is especially venerated by the Beguines of Belgium (Benedictines).


Blessed Andrew Hibernon, OFM (AC)
Born at Alcantarilla (near Murcia), Spain, in 1534; died at Gandia (Candia), Spain, in 1602; beatified in 1791. Born of impoverished nobility, Andrew worked in order to help his sister financially, but was robbed of his savings. Disillusioned, he joined the Franciscans as a lay brother. In 1537, Andrew migrated to the Alcantarine Reform monastery at Elche. He converted many Moors by his frank simplicity, and died while helping to introduce the reform at Gandia (Attwater2, Benedictines).


Apollonius the Apologist M (RM)
Died April 21, c. 185-190; feast is recorded as April 18 in the Martyrology of Jerome, but is kept in the East on July 23.

O Lord Jesus Christ,
give us a measure of Thy spirit
that we may be enabled to obey
Thy teaching to pacify anger,
to take part in pity,
to moderate desire,
to increase love,
to put away sorrow,
to cast away vain-glory,
not to be vindictive,
not to fear death,
ever entrusting our spirit to immortal God,
who with Thee and the Holy Ghost
liveth and reigneth world without end."

--Saint Apollonius (from part of his defense before Perennis)

Apollonius was a Roman senator, a man of high social standing, and a very erudite. He was particularly well read in the philosophy of the pagans. He also read the Old Testament and the writings of Christians. Under their influence Apollonius became a Christian during one of the periods of toleration. Emperor Commodus turned a blind eye on the Christians because his empress, Marcia favored them (though it is unknown whether she herself converted). Nevertheless, the edicts issued under Marcus Aurelius remained in force.

One of Apollonius's slaves, named Severus, publicly denounced Apollonius as a Christian to Perennis, the praetorian prefect. Though the slave's legs were broken and he was put to death as an informer, the saint was brought before Perennis and told he must renounce his faith or die.

When the senator refused to apostatize, the case was remanded to the Senate, where a remarkable dialogue took place between Perennis and Apollonius. Because of his influence in society, those judging him paid close attention to his defense of Christianity, which is recorded in the Roman Martyrology.

"Are you bent on dying?" asked Perennis.

"No," said Apollinius, "I enjoy life; but love of life does not make me afraid to die. There is waiting for me something better: eternal life, given to the person who has lived well on earth."

Apollinius pointed out that everyone must die and that it was better to die for the sake of true belief and the true God than to die of some ordinary disease because a martyr becomes the seed of new Christians. He argued that Christianity is superior by its concepts of death and life: death is a natural necessity which has nothing frightening about it, while the true life is the life of the soul.

He explained that paganism is futile because idols are human artefacts without life, automony, reason, or virtue. Saint Apollinius then took the opportunity to give the whole court a reasoned apology of his Christian faith, which is a moving, direct summary of the entire Christian creed. Above all, he reasoned, Christianity surpasses paganism through the salvific work of Jesus Christ, the revealing Word of God and teacher of moral life, who became man to destroy sin by his death. Apollonius continued that Christ's death was prophesied both by Scripture and by Plato.

He remained steadfast in his refusal to renounce Christianity and in his belief in eternal life. Despite his eloquent defense, which remains one of the most priceless documents of Christian antiquity, Apollonius's legs were crushed and then he was beheaded. An authentic account of his examination by the magistrate was discovered in 1874 in an Armenian text and more recently in Greek. Saint Jerome, who had seen a copy of Apollonius's defense of the faith, admired its eloquence and profound demonstration of sacred and profane learning. He is also mentioned in the History of the Church (v. 21, 1-5) by Eusebius (Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).


Bitheus and Genocus (AC)
6th century. The British monks Bitheus and Genocus accompanied Saint Finnian of Clonard to Ireland, where they gained the reputation for sanctity (Benedictines).


Calocerus of Brescia M (RM)
Date unknown. Reliable accounts of Saint Calocerus are unavailable because he acta belong to a much later period. These connect him with SS. Faustinus and Jovita, and make him an officer of Hadrian at Brescia, Lombardy, Italy (Benedictines).


Cogitosus of Kildare (AC)
8th century. Saint Cogitosus may have been a monk at Kildare, Ireland. Traditionally, he is named as the author of the life of Saint Brigid, which provides the legends and miracles of Bride, although little that can be trusted as biographical fact. More importantly, the work details the monastic life at Kildare and description of the church during his life, including the separate accommodation made in the church for monks and nuns. The original manuscript is in the Dominican convent at Eichstadt in Bavaria (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Kenney, Montague, O'Hanlon, Stokes, Tommasini).


Corebus of Messina M (RM)
Died c. 117-138. Saint Corebus, prefect of Messina, Sicily, is said to have been converted to Christianity by the witness of Saint Eleutherius; however, the story seems to be entirely legendary (Benedictines).


Deicola (AC)
(also known as Dicuil)

7th century. Founder of the abbey at Bosham, Sussex, England. He went there from Saint Fursey's Abbey at Burgcastle, East Anglia (Montague).


Eleutherius and Anthia MM (RM)
Died c. 117-138. Eleutherius, bishop of Illyrium, was said to have been questioned under Hadrian, tortured, and had his throat slit along with Anthia, his mother, and eleven others. The story has proven to be merely a pious romance of Greek origin (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Galdinus of Milan B (RM)
(also known as Galdimus)

Born in Milan, Italy, 1100; died there in 1176. Following his ordination, Galdinus, a member of the influential della Scala family became chancellor and archdeacon to Archbishop Hubert. In 1161, he fled Milan when Frederick Barbarossa approached the city. In his absence Galdinus was elected archbishop of Milan and named a cardinal (in 1165). After his return to Milan, he was instrumental in rebuilding the city, which had been razed by Barbarossa. He died immediately after delivering a sermon against a heretical doctrine in his cathedral. The Milanese always invoke Galdinus after SS. Ambrose and Charles Borromeo because he is considered one of its finest bishops. He discharged his office with determination, despite the hardships imposed by his times and his health (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).


Gebuinus of Lyons B (AC)
Died 1080. Saint Gebuinus, archbishop of Lyons, is the patron of the cathedral chapter of Langres (Benedictines).


Idesbald of Dunes, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC)
Born in Flanders, 1100; died 1167; cultus confirmed in 1894. Saint Idesbald spent his youth at the court of Flanders. In 1135, he was made a canon of Furnes, but resigned his office to become a Cistercian at Our Lady of the Dunes between Dunkirk and Nieuport. He governed the foundation as its third abbot for 12 years (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).

Saint Idesbald is portrayed in art as a Cistercian abbot holding a sailing ship in his hand (Roeder). He is the patron of sailors and invoked against rheumatism, gout, and fever (Roeder).


John
Died at Constantinople in 1526. A tailor of Janina, Saint John was buried alive for adhering to his faith (Encyclopedia).


Laserian of Leighlin B (AC)
(also known as Laisren, Molaisse, Lamliss)

Born in Ireland; died April 18, c. 639. Probably identical to Saint Lamliss, Saint Laserian was the grandson of King Aidan of Scotland, nephew of Saint Blane, and son of Cairel and Blitha. This noble Ulster couple entrusted the education of their precious son to Saint Murin at Iona. He is said to have travelled to Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Saint Gregory the Great. Returning to Ireland, he settled near Saint Goban's abbey of in Carlow, built a cell, and gathered disciples around himself. He succeeded Goban as abbot of the monastery of Leighlin and is said to have founded Inishmurray in County Sligo.

At the national synod in March 630, held in the White Fields, he, Cummian of Clonfert, and others advocated abandoning the Irish method of calculating Easter in deference to the Roman tradition. Because of the opposition to the change offered by such luminaries as Saint Munnu, a delegation with Laserian at its head was sent to Rome to investigate the question more fully.

As a result of the delegation's report, all of Ireland, except Columba's monasteries, adopted the new reckoning for Easter in 633. An additional outcome was Laserian's consecration as bishop (either without a particular see or of Leighlin--this is disputed) and appointment by Pope Honorius I as apostolic legate to Ireland, where he strenuously upheld the Roman observance. (Leighlin was folded into the diocese of Kildare in 1678, during the penal period following the Reformation.)

Laserian returned to Ireland with the relics of Saint Aidan of Ferns. In the 11th century an intricately wrought shrine with blue glass insets and particolored enamel work was designed for the relics. Stokes details the beauty of the surviving portions of the piece which now resides in the National Museum. "Of an original 21 saints arranged in three rows, eleven figures and three pairs of feet survive. Three nuns in uniform habits with their hair hanging in long curls. Eight male figures are in varied dress and various postures, one with a sword, one 'standing in sorrow his cheek resting in his hand.'"

According to one legend, Saint Laserian voluntarily offered himself as a victim soul. He accepted illness caused by 30 diseases simultaneously in order to expiate his sins and avoid purgatory after death. His current cultus is partially indebted to this legend.

In 1330, at a synod held at Dublin, the feasts of Saints Patrick, Laserian, and Bridget were enumerated among the double festivals to be kept throughout the province of Dublin. His cultus center on Inishmurray, where there are notable monastic ruins and a series of praying-stations. He is also venerated in Scotland, where a cave hermitage bearing his name survives on Holy Island in Lamlash Bay, off Arran (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Farmer, Husenbeth, Kenney, Montague, Muirhead, Porter, Stokes).


Perfectus of Cordova M (RM)
Died 851. Saint Perfectus was a Spanish priest of Cordova, Spain, who was martyred by the Moors on Easter Sunday (Benedictines).


Wicterp of Augsburg B (AC)
(also known as Wiho, Wicho)

Died 749. Saint Wicterp, abbot of Ellwangen, actively worked on the foundation of the abbeys at Füssen, Wessobrünn, and Kempten--all of which became famous in Medieval Germany. Eventually, Wicterp was elected to the bishopric of Augsburg (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.