Pope Saint Pius V
Adjutor of Vernon, OSB Hermit (AC)
(also known as Ajutre, Adjoutr, Ayutre)
Died at Tiron, France, on April 30, 1131. Adjutor, a Norman knight and lord of Vernon-sur-Seine, participated in the First Crusade in 1095, was captured by the Islamics. While in prison he suffered many hardships and torments because he refused to abandon the faith. Finally, he escaped from prison. Consecrating himself and his estate to God upon his return to France, he became a monk at Tiron Abbey, where he led the life of a recluse during his final years (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth). In art, Saint Adjutor is a crusader recluse with a chain or bird near him. Sometimes he may be shown throwing part of his chain over a precipice (Roeder). He is venerated in Vernon-sur-Seine. He is the patron of swimmers and invoked against drowning (Roeder).
Aimo of Savigny, OSB (AC)
(also known as Aymon, Aimon, Hamon)
Born in the diocese of Rennes; died 1173. Aimo joined the abbey of Savigny (Avranches), Normandy, and was falsely suspected of having leprosy. In order to avoid being sent away, he offered to serve two religious who were actually lepers. Afterwards he was professed, ordained, and appointed to various offices. He nursed the victims of plagues with limitless devotion, perhaps because of the trials he had undergone. Aimo was also favored with mystical experiences (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Amator (Amateur), Peter & Louis MM (RM)
Died 855. Amator was born at Martos near Cordova, where he studied and was ordained a priest. He together with Peter, a monk, and Louis, their lay friend, were preachers who were arrested by the Saracens in a clean sweep of evangelists in Cordova (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Aphrodisius and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. Aphrodisius, an Egyptian priest, was martyred at Alexandria with thirty members of his flock (Benedictines).
Blessed Benedict of Urbino, OFM Cap. (AC)
Born at Urbino, Italy; died at Fossombrone, Italy, 1625; beatified in 1867. Born into the de'Passionei family, Benedict was a lawyer in his home town before joining the Capuchins at Fano in 1584. His previous training, complemented by his faith, made him an effective preacher. He was the companion of Saint Laurence of Brindisi, whom he followed to Austria and Bohemia (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Cynwl of Wales, Hermit (AC)
6th century. Cynwl, the brother of Saint Deiniol (Daniel), was the first bishop of Bangor. He lived an austere life in northern Wales. Many churches have been dedicated to his honor (Benedictines).
Desideratus of Gourdon, Hermit (AC)
Died c. 569. A French solitary who lived at Gourdon, near Châlon-sur-Saîne (Benedictines).
Donatus of Euraea B (RM)
Late 4th century. The sanctity of Bishop Donatus of Euraea, Epirus (Albania), was recorded by Sozomen and other Greek writers (Benedictines).
Erconwald of London, OSB B (RM)
(also known as Erkenwald)
Born in East Anglia; died at Barking, April 30, c. 686-693; second feast day on May 13. Erconwald is reputed to have been of royal blood, son of Annas or Offa. In 675, Saint Theodore of Canterbury appointed Erconwald bishop of the East Saxons with his see in London and extending over Essex and Middlesex. His episcopate was the most important in that diocese between that of Saint Mellitus and Saint Dunstan. His shrine in Saint Paul's Cathedral was a much visited pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages, where miracles were reported until the 16th century, but little is known of his life except that he founded a monastery at Chertsey in Surrey, which he governed, and a convent at Barking in Essex to which he appointed as abbess his sister, Ethelburga. Erconwald took some part in the reconciliation of Saint Theodore with Saint Wilfrid. In Saint Bede's time, miracles were recorded as a result of touching the couch used by Erconwald in his later years. At his death, Erconwald's relics were claimed by Barking, Chertsey, and London; he was finally buried in Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, which he had enlarged. The relics escaped the fire of 1087 and were placed in the crypt. November 14, 1148, they were translated to a new shrine behind the high altar, from where they were again moved on February 1, 1326 (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer)
Erconwald is portrayed in art as a bishop in a small 'chariot' (the Saxon equivalent of a bath chair) in which he travelled because of his gout. Sometimes there is a woman touching it or he may be shown with Saint Ethelburga of Barking (Roeder). Erconwald is invoked against gout (Roeder).
Eutropius of Saintes BM (RM)
Date unknown. Eutropius is honored as the first bishop of Saintes, in southwest France. He was sent by Pope Saint Clement to evangelized the inhabitants. The aides of he Roman governor split his head open with an axe. He was buried by Eustella, the governor's daughter. He is also alleged to have accompanied Saint Dionysius to Paris. Since these dates are widely separated only one could possibly be true (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Forannan, Abbot (AC)
Died 982. A Benedictine bishop, Saint Forannan followed a dream and left Ireland to join a community at the abbey of Waulsort on the Meuse in Belgium. The year of his arrival (962), he was elected its abbot, perhaps because Otto I of Germany had chartered it as an Irish abbey over which an Irish monk was to rule in perpetuity as long as there was one in the community. He spent some time at Gorze studying the monastic observance established by Saint John in order to introduce it at Waulsort, which he did most successfully. The community attracted so many postulants that Forannan had to negotiate the annexation of the neighboring Hastiers Abbey. Waulsort became a sanctuary for pilgrims (Attwater2, Benedictines, D'Arcy, Gougaud, Encyclopedia, O'Hanlon).
Blesseds Francis Dickenson and
Miles Gerard MM (AC)
Died at Rochester, England, 1590; beatified 1929. Francis Dickenson was born in Yorkshire and converted to Catholicism. He was educated for the priesthood at Rheims, France, ordained in 1589, and sent to the English mission, where he was martyred the following year at Rochester together with Father Gerard.
Miles Gerard served as a priest for a few years more than did Fr. Dickenson, perhaps because he used an alias, William Richardson. He was born near Wigan and taught school before studying for the priesthood and being ordained at Rheims in 1583 (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Genistus of Beaulieu, OSB M (AC)
Died c. 1100. The Benedictine monk Genistus of Beaulieu, Limousin, diocese of Limoges, was killed by his nephew at Aynac-en-Quercy. He is venerated as a martyr and as patron of Aynac (Benedictines).
Gualfardus, OSB (AC)
(also known as Wolfhard)
Born in Augsburg, Germany; died 1127; feast day formerly on May 11. Saint Gualfardus was a saddler, who plied his trade in Verona, Italy, until those around him began to regard him as a saint. Then he retired to live as a hermit in the Camaldolese priory of San Salvatore near Verona (Benedictines). In art, Gualfardus is a Benedictine hermit with a stone coffin near him (Roeder). He is venerated in Augsburg, Germany, and Verona, Italy, and, because of his profession, is the patron of saddlers (Roeder).
Blessed Hildegard, Empress (AC)
Died in Thionville (Diedenhofen), France, in 783. Said to have been the daughter of the duke of Swabia, Hildegard was known for her aid to religious and was much venerated at the time of her death. She was just 17 when Charlemagne put Hermengard aside and made her his second wife in 771. She had nine children during their 12- year marriage. She is said to have had a special fondness for Saint Lioba. Her tomb is at Kempten Abbey, of which she is considered the foundress (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia). Hildegard, who is generally shown with Charlemagne or as an empress tending the sick, is the patroness of the sick (Roeder).
5th century. "A virgin who was blotted out of existence and found again" (Encyclopedia).
Laurence of Novara & Companions MM (RM)
Died c. 397. Laurence came from the west, either from Spain or France. He is said to have assisted Bishop Saint Gaudentius of Novara in the Piedmont. He was put to death with a group of children whom he was catechizing (Benedictines).
Louis von Bruck M (AC)
(also known as Ludwig)
Born in Ravensburg, Swabia, Germany; died 1429. Ludwig is another of the boy martyrs claimed to have been martyred by Jews at Easter (Benedictines).
Marian, James & Companions MM (RM)
Died in Africa, May 6, 259. Marian, a lector, and James, a deacon, were thrown into prison at Cirta (Constantine in Algeria) during the persecution of Valerian. They were savagely tortured to persuade them to apostatize, but each was strengthened by a dream of his triumphant martyrdom to come. They were put to death at the military town of Lambaesis (Lambesa) in Numidia, with others victims so numerous that they were drawn up in rows and the executioner passed down the ranks striking off heads, 'in a rush of fury.' Marian and James are known from an authentic, touching account written by a man who shared their imprisonment but was later released (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Marian is shown hung up by his thumbs with weights on this feet (Roeder).
Bl. Mary of the Incarnation, OCD Widow (AC)
(also known as Madame Barbé Acarie)
Born in Paris, France, in 1566; died 1618; feast day formerly April 18; beatified in 1791.
Some people wonder why God does not intervene more in the affairs of our troubled world. Perhaps He would, if there were more men and women who responded to their vocations to be saints. Nevertheless, it is wondrously amusing to see how Almighty God will insist on getting things done His way, through all sorts of individuals who unknowingly aid in the completion of his design. Barbara Avrillot, generally called Barbe, was born for a particular work to be done. Her mother, doctors and some clergy tried to put obstacles in her way, but God overcame them all.
This saintly French woman was born to well-bred Catholic parents. In fact, her father became a priest after her mother's death. Due to politics, her father lost his property. Her mother was harsh and often violent to her, so she became a timid, frightened child. Barbe was educated in a convent and wanted to be a nun, but her mother insisted on her marriage at age 16 to Pierre Acarie, formerly a King's Councillor; thus, history generally remembers Barbe as the beautiful Madame Acarie.
Pierre was a hot-headed adventurer, indolent, and critical. He censored his wife's reading and asked her confessor for a supply of books she should read on the spiritual life. This worked on behalf of God's plan by opening a new world of mystical reality to her. She was especially impressed with one sentence, "Too greedy is he for whom God does not suffice." These words transformed her whole being at age 22. She became gayer, more decisive and efficient in the management of her household. At once she reached the heights of contemplative prayer and had frequent ecstasies. These ecstasies did not sap her strength or ruin her health, nor did they interfere with her bearing six children.
Madame Acarie found it impossible to read spiritual and mystical books without immediately falling into ecstasy, so she had someone read them to her. The presence of another person generally kept her on the natural plane. As she advanced toward perfection, she gained better control over her inner life and ecstatic seizures became more infrequent. She also received the stigmata.
Her mystical life was passive, rather than active; God seized her without effort on her part. Vocal prayer, like reading, was difficult. She was very reserved regarding her mystical illuminations and always very humble.
Pierre Acarie, perhaps chagrined at his wife's spiritual progress and renown as a mystic, began studying pious books. Part II of God's plan. He had the writings of Blessed Angela de Foligno translated into French for his wife, but she refused to read them. His pride hurt, he tried to make life uncomfortable for her at home and to malign her to the priests.
She never neglected her household duties. Her husband's recklessness soon reduced the family to poverty. He was always prey to get-rich-quick schemes. For political reasons, he was exiled (comfortably) for four years by Henry IV. Barbe used these years of independence to save her house and rehabilitate her husband's reputation. She acted on his behalf as an attorney in a legal suit and he was exonerated.
Barbe took a deep interest in her children's education, and personally trained their characters. She hated falsehood. She also did her best to combat vanity in her children. She taught her three daughters to carry themselves well and dress fashionably, for she did not want to force them into a convent. All three girls became Carmelites, and two of her sons became priests.
The grace she drew from contemplation directed and guided her in all her manifold beneficent activities and in raising her children. Her second daughter, known in religion as Marguerite du Saint- Sacrement, is regarded by the Abbé Brémond as the ideal Carmelite.
Mssr Gauthier, Councillor of State, and an intimate friend, during her canonization process said she was responsible for at least 10,000 conversions. "All who approached her were impressed by her genuine spirituality, and felt that in talking with her they were coming very close to God Himself." Therefore, she "liberated grace" in countless men and women, including many priests.
While her husband was in exile, she inspired women who often gathered in her home to form the Congrégation de Sainte- Geneviève to enable them to live a holy life in common and instruct little girls. This congregation prepared France for its first Carmelite and Ursuline houses, as most of its members joined these two new orders.
Barbe was led to write to Saint Teresa of Ávila, because of a vision she had of her, who told Barbe in the vision to confer with the proper authorities for the needed permission to bring the order to France. A second vision of Saint Teresa told her later to now proceed without delay. Barbe summoned her group and was joined by the visiting Saint Francis de Sales, who also fell under the spell of her sanctity. The first Carmel was established in Paris in 1606; within nine years, six more were established around France.
While she was still living with her husband, Barbe personally selected and trained many women who became Carmelites. She even counselled Carmelite superiors--ordinarily women religious do not willingly defer to a married woman; however, she had a high degree of discernment of spirits. Her home became a center for religious activity. Her husband was a troublesome interloper, and vented his irritation (probably jealousy).
Pierre Acarie died in 1613; then Barbe joined the Carmelites, but only as a lay sister, taking the name of Marie of the Incarnation. She lived in the convent of Amiens, then in Pontoise, where she died. Barbe radiated with God's love and often said, "The Kingdom of God is within you" (Benedictines, S. Delany).
Blessed Marie of the Incarnation Martin, OSU (AC)
Born in Tours, France, on October 28, 1599; died in Quebec, Canada, on April 30, 1672; beatified in 1980 by John Paul II. If you're not confused, I am. There appears to be two beatae of the same name on this day. This Marie of the Incarnation had a very different beginning than did Mme Acarie, though she also had her roots in France.
Marie Guyard was the daughter of a baker and married a silk manufacturer named Claude Martin when she was 17. The couple had one son before Claude died two years later. Marie became a bookkeeper for her brother-in-law.
In 1629, Marie joined the Ursulines at Tours and took the name Marie of the Incarnation. Ten years later she was sent to Canada, where she laid the foundation for the first Ursuline convent in Quebec in 1641. She rebuilt the convent after fire destroyed it in 1650. As part of her apostolate, she compiled dictionaries in Algonquin and Iroquois and taught the Indians until her death.
Like Mme Acarie, Marie experienced mystical visions. She also suffered periods of spiritual aridity about which she wrote. Her letters give a valuable account of life in Quebec in 1639-71 (Delaney).
Maximus of Ephesus M (RM)
Died May 14, c. 251. Maximus, a citizen of Ephesus, was a merchant by profession. On the publication of the edict of Decius against the Christians in 250, he presented himself to Proconsul Optimus as a Christian and was martyred. His proconsular Acta are still state that when Optimus asked his name and state in life, Maximus responded: "I am born free, but am the slave of Jesus Christ."
Optimus: "What is your profession?"
Maximus: "I am a plebeian, and live by my dealings."
Optimus: "Are you a Christian?"
Maximus: "Yes, I am, though a sinner."
Optimus: "Have not you been informed of the edicts that are lately arrived?"
Maximus: "What edicts, and what are their contents?"
Optimus: "That all the Christians forsake their superstition, acknowledge the true prince whom all obey, and adore his gods."
Maximus: "I have been told of that impious edict, and it is the occasion of my appearing abroad."
Optimus: "As then you are apprised of the edicts, sacrifice to the gods."
Maximus: "I sacrifice to none but that God to whom alone I have sacrificed from my youth, the remembrance of which affords me great comfort."
Optimus: "Sacrifice as you value your life: if you refuse to obey, you shall expire in torments."
Maximus: "This has ever been the object of my desires: it was on this very account that I appeared in public, to have an opportunity offered me of being speedily delivered out of this miserable life, to possess that which is eternal."
Then the proconsul commanded him to be beaten, and in the meantime said to him, "Sacrifice, Maximus, and you shall be no longer tormented."
Maximus: "Sufferings for the name of Christ are not torments, but comfortable unctions; but if I depart from his precepts contained in the Gospel, then real and eternal torments would be my portion."
Next, Optimus ordered him to be stretched on the rack, and while he was tortured, said to him, "Renounce, wretch, your obstinate folly, and sacrifice to save your life."
Maximus: "I shall save it if I do not sacrifice; I shall lose it if I do. Neither your clubs, nor your our iron hooks, nor your fire, give me any pain, because the grace of Jesus Christ dwells in me, which will deliver me out of your hands to put me in possession of the happiness of the saints, who have already, in this same conflict, triumphed over your cruelty. It is by their prayers I obtain this courage and strength which you see in me."
Optimus: "I command that Maximus, for refusing to obey the sacred edicts, be stoned to death, to serve for an example of error to all Christians."
Saint Maximus was immediately seized by the executioners and carried outside the city walls, where they stoned him to death. The Greeks honor him on May 14; the Roman Martyrology today (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Pius V, OP Pope (RM)
(also known as Michael Ghislieri)
Born in Bosco (near Alessandria), Italy, on January 17, 1504; died May 1, 1572; canonized in 1712; feast day formerly on May 5.
People who know nothing else about Pius V are quite apt to remember him as the Pope of the Rosary, recalling his remarkable connection with the Battle of Lepanto.
Antonio Michael was born into the distinguished but impoverished Ghisleri. His parents could not afford to educate their alert little boy, who seemed far too talented to be a shepherd. One day, as he was minding his father's small flock, two Dominicans came along the road and fell into conversation with him. Recognizing immediately that he was both virtuous and intelligent, they obtained permission from his parents to take the child with them and educate him. He left home at age 12 and did not return until his ordination many years later.
After a preliminary course of studies, he received the Dominican habit at the priory of Voghera at age 14 and, as a novice, was sent to Lombardy. Here, for the first time, he met the well-organized forces of heresy which he was to combat so successfully in later years.
After his ordination in 1528, he went home to say his first Mass, and he found that Bosco had been razed by the French. There was nothing left to tell him if his parents were alive or dead. He finally found them, however, in a nearby town. After he said Mass, he returned to a career that would keep him far from home for the rest of his life. He began as a lector in theology and philosophy for 16 years.
Then he served as novice-master, than as prior of several convents, Michael proved to be a wise and charitable administrator. He was made inquisitor at Como, Italy, where many of his religious brethren had died as martyrs to the heretics. By the time of Michael's appointment there, the heretics' chief weapon was the printed word; they smuggled books in from Switzerland, causing untold harm by spreading them in northern Italy. The new inquisitor set himself to fight this wicked traffic, and it was not the fault of the heretics that he did not follow his brethren to martyrdom. They ambushed him several times and laid a number of complicated plots to kill him, but only succeeded in making him determined to explain the situation more fully to the pope in Rome.
He arrived in Rome on Christmas Eve, tired, cold, and hungry, and here it was not the heretics that caused him pain, but his own brothers in Christ. The prior of Santa Sabina saw fit to be sarcastic and inhospitable to the unimportant looking friar, who said he was from Lombardy. The pope knew very well who he was, however, and immediately gave him the commission of working with the heretics in the Roman prisons.
He was a true father to these unfortunates, and he brought many of them back to the faith. One of his most appealing converts was a young Franciscan, a converted Jew of a wealthy family, who had lapsed into heresy through pride in his writing. Michael proceeded to straighten out his thinking, to give him the Dominican habit, and to assure him of his personal patronage, thus securing for the Church a splendid Scripture scholar and writer.
In 1556, Michael was chosen bishop of Nepi and Sutri. The next year he was named inquisitor general against the Protestants in Italy and Spain and was appointed cardinal, in order, as he said, that irons should be riveted to his feet to prevent him from creeping back into the peace of the cloister. In 1559, Pope Pius IV made him bishop of the war-depleted Piedmont see of Mondovi, to which he soon brought order. Insofar as possible, Michael continued to adhere to the Dominican Rule.
He constantly opposed nepotism. Michael opposed Pius IV's attempt to make 13-year-old Ferdinand de'Medici a cardinal, and defeated the attempt of Emperor Maximilian II of Germany to abolish clerical celibacy.
January 7, 1565, when the papal chair was vacant following the death of Pius IV, the cardinals, chiefly through the influence of Saint Charles Borromeo, elected Cardinal Ghislieri pope. With great grief, he accepted the office and chose the name Pius V. Charles Borromeo had backed Michael during the election, trusting that he would act as a much-needed reformer.
His judgment proved true: on Pius's coronation, the money usually distributed to the crowds was given to the hospitals and the poor, and money for a banquet for the cardinals and other dignitaries was given to poor convents. When someone criticized this, he observed that God would judge us more on our charity to the poor than on our good manners to the rich. Such an attitude was bound to make enemies in high places, but it endeared him to the poor, and it gave right-thinking men the hope that here was a man of integrity, and one who could help to reform the clergy and make a firm stand against the Lutheran heresy.
Pope Saint Pius
There were massive problems of immediate urgency during the brief reign of Pius V. From within, the peace of the Church was disturbed by the several heresies of Luther, Calvin, and the Lombards, and by the need for clerical reform. In addition, England was tottering on the brink of a break with Rome. The Netherlands were trying to break away from Spain and had embraced Protestantism. The missions across the sea needed attention. And all through the Mediterranean countries, the Turkish were ravaging Christian cities, creeping closer to world conquest. In the six years of his reign, Pope Pius V had to deal with all these questions--any one of which was enough to occupy his entire time.
One of Pius's first actions was to demand that bishops should live in their dioceses and parish priests in their parishes. His efforts at regulating his see embraced issues ranging from the abolition of bullfighting, bear-baiting and prostitution, to cleaning out the Roman curia and eliminating nepotism, to cutting down the activities of bandits. He insisted that Sunday must be hallowed. Once a month he held a special court for anyone who felt they had been treated unjustly. He also brought in shipments of corn during a famine at his own expense.
In his personal life he continued to be a devout mendicant friar; as pope he set himself to enforce the decrees of the Council of Trent with energy and effect. The catechism ordered by the Council of Trent was completed during his rule (1566), and he ordered translations made. The breviary reformed (1568) and missal (1570). He also commissioned the best edition to date of the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas; it was he who made Thomas a Doctor of the Church in 1567.
His was a rigorous character; he made full use of the Inquisition and his methods of combatting Protestantism were ruthless. Pius had hoped to convert Queen Elizabeth of England. The unfortunate Mary Queen of Scots enjoyed his sympathy and encouragement. He sent reassuring letters to her, and once, at a time when no priest was allowed to go near her, he granted her special permission to receive Holy Communion by sending her a tiny pyx that contained consecrated Hosts. It was he who finally had to pronounce excommunication on Elizabeth of England in 1570, after he had given her every possible chance of repentance.
Pius V had a high estimate of papal power in secular matters, though sometimes showing little talent for dealing with them. When he excommunicated Elizabeth I, he absolved her subjects of the allegiance to her as queen. This served only to endanger the Catholics in her realm, however, and many were accused of treason and martyred. (It is interesting to note that Elizabeth II visited Pope John XXIII at the Vatican on Pius V's original feast day, May 5, nearly four centuries later.) That he also came into conflict with Philip II of Spain shows with what consistency he applied his principles.
He encouraged the new society founded by Saint Ignatius of Loyola and established the Jesuits in the Gregorian University. He consecrated three Jesuit bishops for India, gave Saint Francis Borgia his greatest cooperation, and helped to finance missionaries to China and Japan. He built the church of Our Lady of the Angels for the Franciscans and helped Saint Philip Neri in his establishment of the Oratory. Probably the act for which he will be longest remembered in his leadership at the time of the Battle of Lepanto.
In 1565, the Knights of Saint John defended Malta against a tremendous attack by the Turkish fleet and lost nearly every fighting man in the fortress. It was the pope who sent encouragement and money with which to rebuild their battered city. The pope called for a crusade among the Christian nations and appointed a leader who would be acceptable to all. He ordered the Forty Hours Devotion to be held in Rome, and he encouraged all to say the Rosary.
When the Christian fleet sailed out to meet the enemy, every man on board had received the sacraments, and all were saying the Rosary. The fleet was small, and numerically it was no match for the Turkish fleet, which so far had never met defeat. They met in the Bay of Lepanto on Sunday morning, October 7, 1565. After a day of bitter fighting, and, on the part of the Christians, miraculous help, the Turkish fleet--what was left of it--fled in disgrace, broken and defeated, its power crushed forever.
Before the victorious fleet returned to Rome, the pope had knowledge of the victory through miraculous means. He proclaimed a period of thanksgiving; he placed the invocation, "Mary, Help of Christians" in the Litany of Loreto and established the feast in commemoration of the victory. It was almost the last act of his momentous career for he fell victim to a painful illness that killed him in less than a year. He was attempting to form an alliance of the Italian cities, France, Poland, and other Christian nations of Europe to march against the Turks when he died. He is enshrined at Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.
Although he was criticized for 'wanting to turn Rome into a monastery,' Saint Pius had the respect of the Roman people, who knew his personal goodness and concern for everybody's welfare. He gave large sums to the poor, lived a life of austerity and piety, and personally visited the sick in hospitals. Pius V is remembered as one of the most important popes of the Counter-Reformation (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Dorcy, White).
In art, he is shown reciting a rosary; or with a fleet in the distance; or with the feet of a crucifix withdrawn as he tried to kiss them (White).
Pomponius of Naples B (RM)
Died 536. Pomponius was bishop of Naples from 508 to 536. He was a strong opponent of Arianism, then under the patronage of the Gothic king Theodoric (Benedictines).
Sophia of Fermo VM (RM)
Died c. 250. Sophia, a maiden of Fermo in central Italy, was martyred under Decius. She is still venerated there, where her head is displayed in a rich reliquary in the cathedral (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Swithbert the Younger B (AC)
Born in England; died 807. Swithbert may have been a Benedictine monk. He joined the missionaries in Germany and eventually became bishop of Werden in Westphalia (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.