Saint Joseph the Worker
Acacius and Aceolus MM (AC)
(also known as Acius or Ache and Acelus or Acheul)
Died c. 303. Deacon Acacius and Subdeacon Aceolus were martyred near Amiens, France, under Diocletian. Their cultus is widespread in that diocese; their acta, however, are untrustworthy. The church of Saint Acheul outside the walls of Amiens was the town's original cathedral (Benedictines, Husenbeth). These saints are depicted as a deacon and subdeacon holding their severed heads. Venerated in Amiens (Roeder).
Aldebrandus of Fossombrone B (AC)
(also known as Hildebrand)
Born in Sorrivoli (near Cesena), Italy, in 1119; died 1219. Aldebrandus became provost of Rimini, where he was known for his brave, outspoken stand against all licentiousness: once indeed he had to flee for his life because of his frank preaching. In 1170, he became bishop of Fossombrone. He was 101 years old at the time of his death (Attwater2, Benedictines).
In art, Saint Aldebrandus is portrayed as an old, ill bishop in bed raising to life the cooked partridge which has been brought to him on a fast day. (This tale is also told of Saint Benedict, while Saint Hugh of Grenoble is said to have turned the roast partridges at the Grande Chartreuse into tortoises.) Aldebrandus is the patron of Fossombrone and is venerated at Rimini and Sorrivoli (Roeder).
Amator of Auxerre B (RM)
(also known as Amatre, Amadour)
Died May 1, 418. Although Amator studied theology, he married a holy woman of Langres, venerated locally as Saint Martha, in order to please his parents. After their wedding they mutually agreed to live together as brother and sister. In a short time, Martha took the religious veil and Amator received the clerical tonsure. He was ordained bishop of Auxerre in 388 and governed the see until his death 30 years later. During his episcopacy he converted the remaining heathen in the diocese, built two churches, and was the instrument of many miracles. He ordained his successor, Saint Germanus, who wrote Amator's biography. A Latin vita, composed by someone named Stephen, is a work of fiction (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth). Saint Amator is depicted in art as a bishop with an axe and tree (Roeder).
Andeolus of Smyrna M (RM)
(also known as Andreolus)
Died 208. Andeolus, subdeacon of Smyrna, was sent to France by Saint Polycarp to preach the Gospel. His unreliable vita relates that he was beheaded by order of Severus near Viviers on the Rhône in France, where he is venerated (Attwater2, Benedictines, Husenbeth). In art, Andeolus is depicted either as a deacon or subdeacon with a club in his hand. Sometimes with a palm, book, club or wooden knife across his head (Roeder).
Blessed Augustine (Augustus) Schöffler and
John-Louis Bonnard MM (AC)
Died 1851; beatified 1900. Augustine Schöffler was born at Mittelbronn, Lorraine, in 1822. John-Louis Bonnard was born in France two years later. They joined the Paris Society of Foreign Missions and were sent to Annam (Vietnam), where they were beheaded for the faith in Tonkin (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Bertha of Avenay, OSB Abbess M (AC)
Died after 680. Bertha was the founder and abbess of Avenay in the diocese of Châlons-sur-Marne. She was killed and is venerated as a martyr (Benedictines).
Brioc, Abbot B (AC)
(also known as Brieuc, Briocus)
Born in Cardiganshire (Ceredigion), Wales; died in Brittany, c. 510; feast of his translation is October 18. Brioc was the founder of a monastery near Tréguier, Brittany, and another which grew into the town and see called Saint-Brieuc. According to legend, his father was named Cerpus and his mother was Eldrude, both of whom he is said to have converted following his ordination.
Brioc appears to have worked in southwestern Britain before migrating to Brittany; there is a place called Saint Breock or Breoke in Cornwall and Saint Briavels in the Forest of Dean is at root the same name. Saint Brioc's medieval biography contains a number of particulars and marvelous tales, but its historicity is slight. It says, for instance, that Brioc was trained in Gaul by Saint Germanus of Auxerre, who died in 448, which makes it highly unlikely.
Brioc is reputed to have built a famous church called Grande-Lann, where he gathered a number of disciples. In Tréguier, he converted a wealthy nobleman named Conan who provided the funds to build a monastery in northern Armorica. Then Brioc is said to have returned to Britain and with the help of his relative, Prince Rigald of Domnonia, built the church of Saint Stephen there.
Brioc is styled a bishop in an inscription in marble at his shrine built in 1210, but it is not certain that he was a bishop; more likely he was an abbot of the Celtic type who kept a bishop in his monastery as one of his subjects because no legend claims his successor in the see, which dates only to 844. Brioc's relics were translated to the abbey of Saint-Sergius in Angers in the mid-9th century to protect them from Norse invaders. Saint Henry II was present for their translation in 1166. In 1210, an arm, two ribs, and some cervical bones were given back to Saint Brieuc's (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Brioc is a bishop with a fiery pillar above him. He is venerated in Treguier, Brittany, and Cornwall (Roeder). Because of the legends regarding his great charity, Brioc is considered the patron of purse-makers (Farmer).
Ceallach of Killala BM (AC)
(also known as Kellach)
6th century. A disciple of Saint Kieran of Clonmacnoise, Saint Ceallach became bishop of Killala but ended his life as a hermit, perhaps as a martyr (Benedictines).
Evermarus of Tongres M (AC)
Died c. 700. Evermarus was a pilgrim who was murdered by robbers at Rousson, near Tongres, Belgium. Each year the villagers of Rousson hold a procession in his honor (Attwater2, Benedictines).
Grata of Bergamo, Widow (RM)
4th or 8th century. Saint Grata, daughter of Duke Saint Lupo of Bergamo and his wife Saint Adelaide, did not become a Christian until after the death of her husband, at which time she converted her parents. She gained a reputation as a holy woman in her native Bergamo, Italy, especially for her zeal in securing Christian burial for the bodies of martyrs. It is said that she wrapped the head of Saint Alexander, one of the soldier-martyrs of the Theban Legion, in a napkin and honorably buried his remains. After her father's death, Grata governed Bergamo with wisdom and benevolence. Looking at the variation in dates, it's obvious that the evidence regarding her life is conflicting (Benedictines, Tabor). In Bergamese art, Saint Grata is a widow carrying the head of the martyr Saint Alexander. Sometimes her parents are included in the picture (Tabor). She is venerated in Bergamo, Italy (Roeder).
Isadora of Egypt V (AC)
(also known as Isidora)
Died c. 365. Isadora, a nun in an Egyptian monastery, escaped the honor of her sisters by fleeing to a desert hermitage, where she ended her days (Benedictines).
Jeremiah, Prophet (RM)
(also known as Jeremias)
Died c. 590 B.C. He is the second of the greater prophets. The tradition concerning Jeremiah is that at age 55 he was stoned to death in Egypt by the Jews who shared his captivity. His feast is observed chiefly in Venice, Italy, where some of his alleged relics are enshrined (Benedictines).
Joseph the Worker (RM)
1st century. In 1870, Pope Pius IX, who declared Joseph to be patron of the Universal Church, promoted the "Patronage" (later Solemnity) feast of Saint Joseph on the third Wednesday after Easter. In 1955, Pope Pius XII replaced this feast with that of Saint Joseph the Worker on May 1 to counterbalance the May Day celebrations of the Communists. It is exceedingly appropriate that the Church, which has promoted the cause of justice for workers should honor the foster father of Jesus and, by extension, all workers under his patronage in opposition to dialectical materialism. From the Scriptures we know that Saint Joseph was either a carpenter or, more likely, a builder (there wasn't much of a call for furniture in that time and place). The work of our hands should give praise to God. Today's feast is a reminder of that truth. For more on Saint Joseph, see the entry under his primary feast day and prayers to the saint.
This is the prayer to Saint Joseph, Patron of Workers:
O glorious patriarch, Saint Joseph, humble and just craftsman of Nazareth, you gave to all Christians, but particularly to us, an example of a perfect life of assiduous work and of admirable unity with Mary and Jesus. Help us in our daily work so that we might find in it an effective means of glorifying our Lord, of sanctifying ourselves and of being useful to the society in which we live. Obtain for us from our Lord, O beloved protector, humility and simplicity of heart, attachment to work, benevolence towards those who work with us, compliance with the divine will in the difficulties of this life and joy in bearing them, consciousness of our specific social mission and the sense of our social responsibility, a spirit of discipline and prayer, docility and respect for our superiors, fraternity towards our equals, support in times of stress, charity and indulgence for our dependents. Help us to follow your example and to keep our sight fixed on Mary, our Mother, your gentle wife, who wove silently in a corner of your humble shop, smiling sweetly. May we never avert our eyes from Jesus, who worked with you at your carpenter's bench, so that we may in like manner lead peaceful and holy lives on earth, the prelude to the eternally happy one which awaits us in heaven for ever more. Amen.
Kevoca of Kyle V (AC)
(also known as Kennotha, Quivoca)
7th century; feast day may be March 13 instead. Oddly enough, the Benedictines say that Kevoca should possibly be identified with Saint Mochoemoc, abbot of Leamokevoge. She is venerated at Kyle, Scotland (Benedictines).
Marculf, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Marcou, Marcoul, Marculfus)
Born at Bayeux, Gaul; died May 1, 558. Born of noble parents, Marculf was ordained by Bishop Possessor of Coutances when he was 30 and did missionary work in Coutances. Desirous of the eremitical life, he was granted land by King Childebert at Nanteuil in Normandy. Unfortunately, solitude was not in store for him. He soon attracted numerous disciples and built a monastery in the Egyptian model over which he governed as abbot, which became a great monastery and an important pilgrimage center after his death.
Although the monastery grew, many of Marculf's monks continued to live as hermits. Several of them, including Saint Helier, settled on the island of Jersey. Marculf is said to have stayed there with them and saved the inhabitants from a raid of marauding Saxons by praying for a violent storm, which dashed the invaders against the rocky shore. It is said the two of Marculf's most faithful disciples--Saints Domardus and Cariulfus (Criou)--died on the same day that he did.
In 898, Marculf's relics were enshrined at Corbigny, diocese of Laon, to where the kings of France would proceed after their coronation at Rheims. There the new king would observe a novena in person or through his almoner. After touching the relics of the saint they were able to heal those afflicted with "the king's evil" (scrofula; a skin disease). He is commemorated in the martyrologies of Coutances and Evreux among others. His shrine was destroyed during the Reformation (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Husenbeth, Walsh).
In art, Saint Marculf is portrayed as an abbot touching the chin or elbow of a suppliant (curing the king's evil). At times he may be depicted (1) confirming the king with power to touch for scrofula; (2) holding a plantain (herbe Saint Marcoul); (3) as a woman with devil's foot stands before him or is put to flight as he blesses bread; or (4) with Saint Cloud (Clodoaldus) (Roeder). His relics lie at Corbigny. Marculf is invoked against scrofula and all skin diseases (Roeder).
Orentius and Patientia MM (RM)
Died c. 240. Orentius and Patientia were a married couple who lived at Loret near Huesca in northern Aragon (Spain). An ancient Spanish tradition makes them the parents of Saint Laurence.
Orentius of Auch B (RM)
(also known as Orientius)
Died c. 439. Orentius is another reluctant bishop who would rather have remained a hermit in the Lavendan Valley near Tarbes, but the people of Auch insisted that he must become their shepherd. He governed that see for over forty years (Benedictines).
Panacea of Quarona V (AC)
(also known as Panexia, Panassia)
Born in Quarona (diocese of Novara) in 1378; died 1383; cultus confirmed in 1867. When Panacea was only five years old her stepmother killed her with a spindle while she was at prayer (Benedictines).
Peregrine Laziosi, OSM (RM)
(also known as Peregrinus Latosius)
Born at Forli, Italy, in 1260; died 1345; canonized in 1726. Peregrine was born into a wealthy family. He was active in his youth in the antipapal party in Romagna. During the course of a popular revolt, he struck Saint Philip Benizi in the face as he was trying to quiet the battle. Peregrine was so startled by Philip's patient acceptance of the blow that he changed his lifestyle. He joined the Servites at Siena, was ordained, and then went to Forli and founded a new Servite house. He became famed for his preaching, austerities, holiness, and as a confessor--a fame that became widespread when an advanced cancer of his foot was seemingly miraculously cured overnight after he had experienced a vision (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Wyndham Lewis).
Peregrine is generally portrayed as a penitent with clasped hands before a picture of the Blessed Virgin. He has a bandage around his leg and foot (because he was cured of a cancer of the foot). He might also be shown with Saint Philip Benizzi or as a Servite with a book and crucifix (Roeder). He is venerated at Forli and Siena, Peregrine is invoked against cancer and foot troubles (Roeder).
Richard Pampuri (RM)
(also known as Erminio Filippo)
Born Trivolzio (near Pavia), Italy, August 2, 1897; died in Milan, May 1, 1930; beatified by Pope John Paul II on October 4, 1981; canonized by the same pontiff on November 1, 1989.
Erminio, the son of Angela and Innocente Filippo, was orphaned early. His mother died when he was three; seven years later his father was killed in an accident on the road. In 1915, Erminio entered medical school at the University of Pavia. Following his graduation in 1921, he worked in Milan, where his faith was exhibited in the care he rendered his patients. At the same time he fostered the growth of a parish youth group of Catholic Action under the patronage of Pope Saint Pius X.
In 1927, he more firmly linked his piety to his practice of medicine by joining the Hospitallers of Saint John of God at Brescia and taking the name Richard. He professed his initial vows the following year. The renown of his sanctity grew as he continued his work in the order's hospital at Brescia. Mothers brought their babies to him to be touched and blessed.
Meanwhile, John suffered from some lung disease which was aggravated by an illness contracted while he was in military service during World War I. His health deteriorated rapidly. Although he was taken back to Milan for treatment, he died at the age of 32. His body was returned to his home town for burial. There it has been venerated in a chapel dedicated to him (Walsh).
Sigismund of Burgundy, King M (RM)
Died 523. Gunebald, ruler of the kingdom of Burgundy, in the early 6th century, claimed to be a Christian but denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. His son and heir, Sigismund, under the influence of Bishop Saint Avitus of Vienne, accepted the truth. In 515, Sigismund built the famous monastery of Saint- Maurice at Agaune in Valais, where many hermits had lived in scattered cells.
Sigismund succeeded his father in 516. Although he had intellectually become a Christian, his temper and savage ways remained those of a Vandal pagan. He had been king for scarcely a year when his son Sigeric fell out with his stepmother, Sigismund's second wife, who accused him of conspiracy to kill his father. The king took the stepmother's part. So great became his rage during the course of the quarrel that he ordered his officers to strangle the prince.
When Sigismund's temper cooled, he was appalled at what he had done to his son. He strove to make amends. He retired to the monastery of Saint-Maurice, bringing with him enough monks to ensure that the voice of praise could be heard at all times.
The king became a lover of the poor, liberally distributing his goods in their service. But still he felt he had not properly made amends for the murder of Sigeric. Only some great calamity, he felt, could atone for such an action; and in his prayers Saint Sigismund welcomed anything that might happen to him by way of punishment in this life that he might not suffer in the next.
Gunebald had killed the grandfather of three royal sons of Clovis, king of the Franks. They decided not only to take revenge by attacking Sigismund; they also aimed at overrunning Burgundy, too. The three men conquered Sigismund in battle.
Sigismund disguised himself in a monk's habit and hid in a cell near the abbey of Agaunum. For some time Sigismund escaped their swords, but he was eventually found, captured, and taken to Orléans for execution. His corpse was flung down a well at Columelle. His shrine is near the Abbey of Agaunum, where he is honored as a martyr; however his relics were translated to the cathedral of Prague by Emperor Charles IV (Benedictines, Bentley, Husenbeth).
Sigismund is depicted in art as an old king with a sword and well or font near him. At times he may be shown (1) with his two sons by him; (2) enthroned with royal regalia, a greyhound at his feet, Sigismondo Malatesta before him; (3) with a sword and palm, armor by him; or (4) as a young ruler, crowned holding an orb and scepter (Roeder). Sigismund is venerated at Rimini (Templo Malatestiana) and is invoked against fever (Roeder).
Theodard of Narbonne, OSB B (AC)
Died at Saint Martin's, Montauriol, France, 893. Theodard was educated at Saint Martin's Abbey in Montauriol, France, and at some point received the Benedictine habit. He was elevated to archbishop of Narbonne. He is described in the Montauban breviary as "an eye to the blind, feet to the lame, a father of the poor, and a comfort to the afflicted." Later, the abbey where he died was renamed after him, Saint Audard (Attwater2, 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.