Blessed Alda, OSB Vall. (AC)
(also known as Aldobrandesca, Aude, Blanca, Bruna)
Born in Siena, Italy, 1249; died 1309. Blessed Alda married a very pious man and lived with him in conjugal continence. Upon his death, Alda joined the third order of the Humiliati and devoted her life to almsdeeds and mortification. She is greatly honored in Siena (Benedictines).
Basileus of Amasea BM (RM)
Died 319. Basileus, a zealous bishop of Amasea in Pontus, was cast into the sea under Licinius. The Roman Martyrology adds that one of his disciples, Elpidiphorus, was directed to his body by an angel which he recovered and gave Christian burial (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Clarentius of Vienne B (RM)
Died c. 620. Clarentius succeeded Saint Etherius in the see of Vienne (Benedictines).
Cletus, Pope M (RM)
(also known as Anacletus)
Died c. 91. The Roman Cletus, elected pope in the year 76, was the second successor to Saint Peter after Saint Linus. Like Peter, he was fated to be a martyr. He divided Rome into 25 parishes, and was put to death under the Emperor Domitian around 91 AD. He was buried near Saint Linus on the Vatican, where his relics remain. His name is mentioned in the Canon of the Mass (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Blesseds Dominic & Gregory, OP (AC)
Died 1300; cultus approved by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Very little is known about these two Dominican preachers. Their legend tells us that they evangelized the mountainous Somontano region of Moorish Spain near Barbastro, Aragon. One day they were caught in a storm as they travelled from one village to another. The storm loosed the rocks of the cave in which they had sought shelter and they were buried in a landslide. The bells of Perarúa rang out of their own accord, indicating that something remarkable was afoot, and villagers, who ventured out after the storm, found the cave surrounded by lights and angelic music. Digging into the rubble, they found the two Dominicans crushed to death. Miracles surrounded their burials and their tombs at Besians in the diocese of Barbastro, where pilgrims came to pray, especially against the danger from storms. Formerly on Rogation days, and in times of drought, their relics were carried in procession (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Exuerantia of Troyes V (RM)
(also known as Esperance, Exuperance)
Died 380 (?). A virgin whose relics are venerated in Troyes, France. Nothing else is known about her (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Franca Visalta, OSB Cist. Abbess (AC)
(also known as Franca of Piacenza)
Born in Piacenza, Italy, in 1170; died 1218; cultus confirmed with the title of saint by Gregory X. Franca was offered to God at the Benedictine convent of Saint Syrus when she was seven. At age 14, she was professed and while still very young, she became abbess. Apparently, she was overly severe, which led to her deposition. After some years she was made abbess of the Cistercian convent at Pittoli, where she exhibited a remarkable patience (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Blessed John of Valence, OSB Cist. B (AC)
Born in Lyons, France; died 1146; cultus approved in 1901. John, a canon of Lyons, entered Clairvaux under Saint Bernard following a pilgrimage to Compostella. In 1117, he was sent to found Bonneval (Bona Vallis) on the Loire, and proved to be an excellent abbot. In 1141, he was elevated to bishop of Valence but had to be carried by force to the altar for his consecration (Benedictines).
Lucidius of Verona B (RM)
Date unknown. Bishop Lucidius was famous for his life of prayer and study (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Marcellinus, Pope M (RM)
Born in Rome; died there on October 25, 304, his second feast day. Marcellinus was the son of Projectus. After his election to succeed Pope Saint Caius on June 30, 296, he witnessed the beginnings of Emperor Diocletian's persecution of Christians. According to an ancient legend that may have been Donatist-inspired and which was included in the Roman Breviary until 1883 (since discredited), Marcellinus seems to have apostatized and surrendered the sacred books and offered incense to pagan gods but later repented. He may have died a martyr's death by beheading, but this is still very uncertain; the Liberian calendar places him among those popes who were not put to death for the faith (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).
Paschasius Radbertus, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died April 26, 860. Radbertus was a monk who thought about the future, about eternity, to be sure, and equally about the time that would follow his death. He dictated a last will and testament that is considered precious. He had no possessions to bequeath. Instead, he requested only that no one write the story of his life. He asked to be forgotten, which makes him an original in a Church that forgets nothing. Radbertus simply asks for prayers to God.
Radbertus, who allowed himself to be called Paschasius, was probably born in Soissons, France, without a known father or mother. He was found one day on the doorstep of Notre Dame Convent in Soissons. He was a little baby who was waiting for someone to take him in. Thus, he was raised by the good sisters, educated by the monks at nearby Saint Peter's, received the Benedictine habit at an early age, and was ordained a deacon.
But he, thinking that the community was exaggerating the nature of the world, left the monastery to live his own life. He tried an easy lifestyle and was very uncomfortable with it, so, when he was about 22, he returned to the monastery of Corbie and began to pray, read, and write.
The abbot of the monastery was named Adebard (Adalard), the brother of Theodrade, the abbess who had given a home to the abandoned infant. Both of them were first cousins to Charlemagne and belonged to the fashionable world.
Being educated--Radbertus knew Greek and Hebrew--he was involved in the Carolingian Renaissance. He was sent to Saxony on his first assignment, where Charlemagne spent 30 years trying to subdue the people. Charlemagne had organized 18 expeditions and beheaded 4,500 hostages in order to baptize the rest by force and in order to issue edicts, for example, mandating observance of fasts under pain of death. During this period, Radbertus and Adalard founded monasteries in Saxony.
After Charlemagne it was the turn of Louis the Pious to have recourse to Radbertus: it wasn't easy to get along with a man like Louis. He was big, strong, and trembled like a leaf; he was lost in pater nosters, and on the lookout for cosmic events. Louis had hesitated to become a monk and to the detriment of his country, he did not follow his vocation. It was a difficult assignment to engage in missionary and political activities with a man of this kind, in perpetual conflict with his children who several times amused themselves by degrading him in public. It required an uncommon dose of common sense to attempt to calm down all these people.
Radbertus did not grow vain over his successes; although a simple deacon, in 822, he was sent to help found New Corbie in Westphalia. Radbertus considered himself as dishwater, scrapings, or as the scum of monastic life: it is the translation of the word "Peripsema" which he used, the same word used by Paul in his splendid tirade addressed to the pride of the Corinthians.
Radbertus preached to the monks on Sundays and holidays, and gave public lectures daily on the sacred sciences. Under his direction the schools of Corbie became famous. Among his scholars were Blessed Adalard the Younger, and Saints Anscharius, Hildemar, and Odo, who were successively bishop of Beauvais. His busy schedule never prevented him from assisting at the public office in the choir, and all other general observances of the rule.
Humble though he was, Radbertus helped make the Corbie schools famous while he served there as master of novices. He then accepted the uncomfortable position as abbot in 844. The distractions of this station made him earnestly endeavor to resign, but he could not do so until seven years later, in 851. Being freed from administrative tasks, he retired to the abbey of Saint- Riquier to finish some of his works; but after some time he returned to Corbie to die.
When Radbertus was not busy pacifying the kings of France, he was engaged in writing. He had finished a treatise on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist (De Corpore et Sanguine Christe), which raised some questions about 15 years after its initial publication. Some took offense at certain expressions, chiefly taken from the writings of Saint Ambrose, in which the author so strongly affirmed the body of Christ present in the Eucharist to be the same flesh which was born of the Virgin Mary and nailed to the cross that they imagined Radbertus taught a heresy. They thought he meant that Christ in the Eucharist is in the same mortal state in which he suffered, and that he understood this sacred mystery in the carnal sense of the Capharnaits. In a letter the Brother Frudegard at New Corbie, Radbert defended the manner in which he had expressed himself and showed his orthodoxy. Radbertus left other works dealing with the body and blood of Christ.
His principal work is a commentary on Saint Matthew's Gospel (12 volumes), which was preached before it was read. In it he refutes the errors assumed by Felix of Urgel, Claudius of Turin, Gotteschalk, and, especially, John Scotus Erigena against mystery of the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. He also composed a treatise on the Virgin to defend her perpetual virginity, a long exposition on Psalm 44, and another on the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in order to practice crying over his own miseries. In general this last is a long, rather overly detailed and boring work, but very well documented. He also wrote biographies of two abbots of Corbie: Adalard and his brother Wala, who had been Radbertus's friend and confidant.
In subscribing to the council of Paris, in 846, he took only his own name, Radbert; but in the works which he composed after that time, he always prefixed to it that of Paschasius. This he took according to the custom which then prevailed among men of letters in France, for every one to adopt some Roman or scriptural name. Thus, in his epitaph or panegyric on his second abbot, Wala, he styles him Arsenius.
Radbertus was buried in Saint John's Chapel. His body was translated into the great church, in 1073, by authority of the Pope Saint Gregory VII. From that time he has been honored as a saint at Corbie, and in the Gallican and Benedictine Martyrologies (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
In art, angels bring a monstrance to Paschasius Radbertus. There will be books on a table (Roeder).
Peter of Braga BM (RM)
Date unknown. Allegedly, Peter was the first bishop and martyr of Braga, Portugal. The local tradition connects him with the apostolate of Saint James the Great (Santiago) in Spain. However, historians believe he lived in the 5th or 6th century (Benedictines).
Richarius, Abbot (RM)
(also known as Riquier)
Born in Centula (Celles) near Amiens, France; died at Forêt- Moutier, April 26, c. 645; feast of his translation is October 9. As a young pagan, Richarius protected two Irish missionaries--Cadoc and Frichor--who were in danger from the local people. They then instructed him in the Christian faith. From that time he began to fast strenuously, cry copiously for his sins, and pray without ceasing. He became a priest and went to England for several years. Upon his return to France, Richarius founded an abbey in Centula in 638, afterwards called Celles, became famous as a preacher, and admonished King Dagobert and other luminaries. The gifts he received from the wealthy, he handed on to the poor. He was the first to devote himself to the work of ransoming captives. After some years as abbot he resigned and spent the rest of his life as a hermit. His relics were moved to the town now called Saint- Riquier (Somme), where a monastery was later founded. Saint Riquier appears frequently in ancient calendars and litanies. His reputation extended across the Channel: A church in Aberford, West Yorkshire, England, is dedicated to his memory (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Stephen of Perm B
Born at Ust Yug in 1345; died in Moscow in 1396. In the early days of Christianity in the region, the Russian Church had sent out missionaries to preach the Gospel to the Mongols and Finns. But it wasn't until the 14th century that this zeal was revived. Saint Stephen, one of the great Russian missionary bishops, had been born among the Zyriane people (Permiaks or Komi), who lived southwest of the Ural mountains but east of the Volga, and he longed to convert his own folk to Christianity. After about 15 years in a monastery at Rostov preparing himself for a missionary work, he set out on a preaching mission among them.
Soon Saint Stephen, a worthy successor to Saints Cyril and Methodius, realized that he needed to make a translation of the Scriptures and liturgy into their tongue. His biographer tells us that he believed that every people should worship God in its own tongue, because languages also are from God. Because the Zyrians at that time did not possess even an alphabet, and Stephen was so convinced that every people has its own peculiar contribution to make to God's service that he would not give his converts even the Russian characters. Instead, this Russian invented an alphabet for them using for letters parts of the traditional elements of Zyrian carvings and embroidery. He set up schools to teach this alphabet to his converts.
Like many other Russian missionaries, Stephen used the celebration of public worship as an initial means of attracting the heathen by its beauty and impressive solemnity. Having distinguished himself as a missionary and as a champion of the downtrodden and oppressed as far away as Novogorod and Moscow, he was recognized by being name the first bishop of Perm (now Molotov) in 1383. As bishop, he had to oppose the first Russian dissenters, known as Strigolniks, who had much in common with the Lollards and Hussites (Attwater, Bentley, Walsh).
Trudpert of Münstethal, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Trudbert)
Died c. 644. Irish pilgrim who, upon his return from Rome, began a solitary in Münstethal. Here (or at Neumagen) some day- laborers, paid by the local lord to clear an impossible terrain to establish a foundation for Trudpert, became fed up with their hard job, killed him. Trudpert, therefore, is venerated as a martyr, though his vita is considered a legend (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
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.