St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

May 22



Aigulf of Bourges B (AC)
(also known as Aigulphus, Ayoul, Aieul, Aout, Hou)

Died after 835. After obtaining an excellent education, Saint Aigulf chose to live as a hermit. In 812, he was unwillingly consecrated bishop of Bourges, which he governed until his death (Benedictines).


Atto (Attho) of Pistoia, OSB Vall. B (RM)
Born at Badajoz, Spain; died 1153. Some Italian writers claim that Atto was Florentine, but the evidence is that he was Spanish. He joined the Benedictines at Vallumbrosa and eventually became abbot- general of the congregation and bishop of Pistoia. Atto wrote the vitae of Saint John Gualbert and Saint Bernard of Parma, and a work on Compostella in Spain (Benedictines).


Ausonius of Angouleme BM (AC)
1st or 3rd century. Ausonius is said to have been a disciple of Saint Martial of Limoges, and first bishop of Angoulême (Benedictines).


Basiliscus of Comana M (RM)
Died 312. Bishop Basiliscus of Comana, Pontus, Asia Minor, was beheaded under Maximin the Thracian (a.k.a. Maximinus Daia) and his body thrown into a river near Nicomedia. It was recovered and buried in Comana. This was the martyr who appeared to Saint John Chrysostom on the eve of the holy doctor's death in the church dedicated to Saint Basiliscus to encourage him (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Bobo (Beuvon) of Provence, Hermit (AC)
Died c. 985. Bobo, a knight of Provence, bravely fought the invading Saracens from Spain and Africa. Afterwards he retired to lead a life of a penitential hermit for many years. He died at Voghera near Pavia, Lombardy, Italy, while on a pilgrimage to Rome. He is held in veneration in Provence and in Lombardy (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Boethian of Pierrepont, OSB M (AC)
Born in Ireland, 7th century. A disciple of Saint Fursey, Boethian built the monastery of Pierrepont near Laon, France. He was murdered by those whom he had felt bound to rebuke. His shrine is still a place of pilgrimage (Benedictines).


Castus and Aemilius MM (RM)
Died c. 250. Castus and Aemilius suffered martyrdom in Africa under Decius. The first time they were captured, they gave way under torture. Upon their release they repented of their failure to remain steadfast in their faith. On being seized a second time, the were burned to death. Their contemporary Saint Cyprian in De lapsis, and later Saint Augustine in Serm. 285, were loud in their praise of these two martyrs (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Conall of Inniscoel, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Coel, Conald)

7th century. Abbot Conall ruled the monastery of Inniscoel in Donegal, where there is a holy well named after him. He is the most celebrated patron of that region (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Faustinus, Timothy and Venustus MM (RM)
Died c. 362. Roman martyrs under Julian the Apostate (Benedictines).


Fulk of Castrofurli (RM)
Died after 600; cultus approved in 1572. Fulk was a pilgrim to Rome who offered his services in the plague-stricken town of Santopadre or Castofuli near Arpino in southern Italy. He is venerated as the patron saint of that district (Benedictines).


Helen of Auxerre V (RM)
Died after 418. Saint Helen is mentioned as a maiden in the Acta of Saint Amator of Auxerre as assisting him on his deathbed (Benedictines).


Helen (Elen Luyddog) of Carnarvon (AC)
4th century; another feast day is celebrated on August 25. Saint Helen was a princess, the wife of Emperor Magnus Clemens Maximus who ruled Britain, Gaul, and Spain from 383 until 388, when he died at Aquileia while en route to Rome to obtain recognition. His wife accompanied him. Apparently they stayed at Trèves (Trier, Germany) for some time before travelling further. Welsh tradition attributes to her the making of roads (Sarn Elen or Fford Elen) and leading a military expedition into North Wales. She was reputed to have born five children, including one named Constantine. For this reason she is often confused with Saint Helena, the discoverer of the True Cross. She may be the patron of some of the Welsh churches bearing the name Helen and of Llanelen in West Gower (Farmer).


Hemming of Finland BM
Born at Balinge near Uppsala, Sweden, in 1290; died May 22, 1366. After studying theology in Paris, France, Hemming became a canon of Abo cathedral in Helsinki, Finland, and, in 1339, its bishop. Hemming was involved in the border disputes with Uppsala, from where Saint Henry of Finland evangelized Finland. He is also associated with Saint Bridget of Sweden, whom he accompanied to France. Saint Bridget and Hemming worked together to bring peace to the Hundred Years War between England and France and to end the Avignon papacy.

In 1352, Hemming convened a diocesan synod in which he demonstrated his zeal for proper celebrations of the feasts of the Church and the local saints of Scandinavia. He was also concerned with the custody of the Eucharist, the administration of Church property, and releasing poor people from the payment of stipends for dispensations or for funerals.

Saint Hemming was buried in his cathedral, where miracles were reported at his tomb. In 1514, his relics were translated and enshrined. A surviving, embroidered altar frontal survives which depicts Saints Hemming and Bridget together as an angel holds the mitre over the bishop's head (Farmer).


Humility of Faenza, OSB Vall. Widow (AC)
(also known as Humilitas, Rosanna)

Born in Faenza, Romagna, Italy, in 1226; died in Florence, Italy, May 22, 1310. Humility was born to wealthy parents and baptized Rosanna. She longed to enter a convent from her earliest years, to model herself on Saint John and the Blessed Virgin who stood by Jesus on the Cross. But when she was 15 her parents insisted instead that she marry a nobleman named Ugoletto. He was apparently frivolous and uncaring, mocking his bride's spiritual ways. Her sorrows were increased when the two boys she bore died in infancy.

After a near-fatal illness of Ugoletto when Rosanna was 24, her husband was brought to conversion of heart. Chastened, he agreed to allow Rosanna to enter a convent. They chose a mixed monastery- -Saint Perpetua at Faenza--where he went to live as a brother and she as a sister, taking the name Humility.

Soon she decided that she needed even more discipline than the rules of the convent demanded. One of her relatives built her a cell against the wall of the church of Saint Apollinaris. A hole was cut into the wall, so that she could follow the services inside the church. Then she was bricked into her cell.

Her spiritual welfare was in the care of Vallombrosan monks of Saint Crispin Abbey. Each day she ate only bread and water and sometimes a few herbs. She slept on her knees, her head resting against the wall.

After 12 years of this life, she was persuaded to leave her cell by the master general of the Vallombrosan order, who begged her to become abbess of the first Vallombrosan convent, Santa Maria Novella at Malta, near Faenza. She helped to found this nunnery at Faenza, before becoming abbess of the second one in Florence. And, in spite of her heroic fasting and savagely austere life, she lived to be 80 years old (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).

In art, Saint Humilitas is a Vallombrosian nun in a black veil, white wimple, and grey-brown habit with a lambskin over her head (Roeder).


Blessed John Baptist Machado, SJ M (AC)
Born at Terceira, the Azores, in 1580; died 1617; beatified in 1867. John Baptist Machado became a Jesuit at Coimbra, Portugal, and in 1609 went to Japan to serve in the mission field. He was beheaded at Nagasaki with two companions (Benedictines).


Blessed John of Cetina and Peter de Dueñas, OFM MM (AC)
Died 1397. Peter de Dueñas was born at Palencia, Spain, in 1378 (his feast day was formerly on May 19). John of Cetina was a Spanish Franciscan, who with Peter de Dueñas, was commissioned to evangelize the Moors at Granada, Spain. Both were beheaded in the attempt (Benedictines).


Blessed John Forest, OFM M (AC)
Born probably in Oxford, England; died 1538; beatified in 1886. John Forest joined the Observant Franciscans when 17 at Greenwich, England. He studied theology at Oxford, and acquired a reputation for wisdom and learning. He returned to Greenwich, where he was Queen Catherine of Aragon's confessor and knew King Henry VIII.

He thought he had convinced Henry in 1529 not to suppress his order for their opposition to his divorce of Catherine, but when the pope denied the petition for divorce, Henry suppressed the order in 1534 and John was imprisoned for a time in London. Reportedly he gained his freedom by submitting, but in 1538, he was at a Conventual house in Newgate under what amounted to house arrest.

Accused of denouncing the Act of Supremacy, he was arrested, agreed to several propositions, but when asked to sign them refused, denying the king's ecclesiastical supremacy. He was then ordered burned at the stake, dragged on a hurdle to Smithfield, and burned to death. Also burned with him was a wooden statue of Saint Derfel of which centuries earlier it had been predicted would one day be used to set a forest afire (Benedictines, Delaney).


John of Parma, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died c. 982. John was born in Parma, Italy, and early in life was made a canon of the cathedral there. He is said to have made six pilgrimages to Jerusalem and to have taken the Benedictine habit in the Holy Land. He was abbot of Saint John's at Parma from 973 to c. 982, which was then under Cluniac observance. He is a minor patron of Parma (Benedictines).


Julia of Corsica VM (RM)
5th century. According to legend, Julia was of a noble Carthaginian family who was sold as a slave to a Syrian merchant named Eusebius when Genseric captured Carthage in 439. While on the way to Gaul, the ship on which she was a passenger with her master stopped at Cape Corso in northern Corsica. A heathen festival was just being observed by the islanders when the ship docked. When Julia did not disembark with her master to participate in the pagan ritual, the governor of the island, Felix, discerned that she was a Christian and ordered her to sacrifice to the gods. When she refused to do so, he offered Julia her freedom if she would apostatize. When she still refused, he had her tortured and nailed to a cross. Some scholars believe she may have lived a century or two later and was murdered by Saracen raiders. She is the patroness of Corsica (Benedictines, Delaney).


Marcian (Mariano) of Ravenna B (RM)
Died c. 127. From c. 112 to c. 127, Marcian was the fourth bishop of Ravenna, where he is known as San Mariano (Benedictines).


Blessed Matthias of Arima M (AC)
Died 1622; beatified in 1867. Matthias was a native Japanese catechist of the Jesuit fathers and servant of the provincial. Because he refused to betray his master, he was subjected to a most revolting martyrdom (Benedictines).


Blessed Michael Ho-Dinh-Hy M (AC)
Born in Nhu-lam, Cochin-China, c. 1808; died at An-Hoa, near Hue, in 1857; beatified in 1909. Though Michael was born to Christian parents, he became a Great Mandarin and superintendent of the royal silk mills. For a long time he did not practice his faith, but he eventually became a leader to and protector of his fellow- Christians. It was for this reason he was beheaded (Benedictines).


Peter Parenzi M (AC)
Born in Rome, Italy; died 1199. Peter was sent to Orvieto in 1199 as papal governor to repress the excesses of the Catharist heretics. He adopted severe measures with the result that the heretics seized him and put him to a cruel death (Benedictines).


Blessed Peter of the Assumption, OFM M (AC)
Born at Cuerva, diocese of Toledo, Spain; died at Nagasaki, Japan, in 1617; beatified in 1867. Peter went to Japan with a band of 50 Franciscan missionaries in 1601. He was appointed guardian of the friary of Nagasaki, where he was beheaded together with Blessed John Machado (above). He was the first martyr of the second great Japanese persecution (Benedictines).


Quiteria VM (RM)
5th century. According to legend, Quiteria was the daughter of a Spanish Galician prince who fled to escape his demand that she marry and give up her Christianity. His followers found her at Aire, Gascony, and on his orders, beheaded her there. Quiteria is greatly venerated along the borders of France and Spain, especially in Spanish and French Navarre (Benedictines, Delaney).


Rita (Margarita) of Cascia, OSA Widow (RM)
Born in Roccaporena in the Apennines near Spoleto, Italy, in 1381; died at Cascia, Umbria, Italy, May 22, 1457; canonized in 1900. Rita was born to elderly parents and showed an early vocation for religious life. She wanted to enter an Augustinian convent, but she gave into her parents' wishes and married at the age of 12.

Her husband was a cruel and brutal man, well known in the neighborhood

Rita applied three times to the Augustinian convent at Cascia but was turned away because its rule permitted only virgins. But in 1413, as a result of her persistence and strong faith, an exception was made, and she took the habit. I much prefer the version of the story that I learned in my youth: When the convent repeatedly denied her entry into the convent, Rita continued to pray until one night her prayer was answered. Miraculously, she was transported into the convent at night despite the locked doors. When the sisters found her inside they decided that it must be God's will for Rita to be accepted.

Once professed Rita enforced hard austerities upon herself, becoming known for her penances and concern for others. She cared for the other nuns when they were ill and worked to return Christians who had neglected the faith back to observance.

In 1441, she heard a sermon by Saint James della Marca on the Crown of Thorns. Soon afterward, as she prayed, she became conscious of pain, as if a thorn had become embedded in her forehead. The location developed into an open wound, and it became so unattractive that she was separated from her sisters. The wound healed enough for her to attend a pilgrimage to Rome in 1450, but it reappeared after her return and remained with her until her death of tuberculosis, necessitating that she live in seclusion.

Several miracles were attributed to her after her death. In fact, her body is said to have remained incorrupt until recent times. The earliest biography of Saint Rita was not written until nearly 150 years after her death; thus, it should be recognized that the details of her story are not well attested (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, White).

In art, Saint Rita is depicted as an Augustinian nun praying before a crucifix, a thorn from the crown wounds her brow. She may also be shown receiving a crown of roses from the Virgin and a crown of thorns from the saints (Roeder). Rita's emblem in art is roses, which are blessed on her feast day (White).

She is patron of those in desperate situations (perhaps an allusion to her own life), of parenthood, and against infertility. In Spain Rita is known as "La Abogada de Imposibles", the patron saint of desperate cases, particularly matrimonial difficulties. An Italian poll showed that her popularity is greater than that of the Madonna (White). Rita is especially venerated in Cascia and Spoleto (Roeder).


Romanus of Subiaco, OSB Abbot (RM)
Died c. 560. Romanus, a monk at a monastery near Monte Subiaco, discovered the young Saint Benedict when he had first fled from the world and encouraged him. He took Benedict to the cave where the founder lived as a hermit for three years, and supplied him with food during that time. According to legend, Romanus left Italy during the invasion of the Vandals, went to France, and founded Fontrouge Abbey near Auxerre, where he died, but there is no historical evidence of his having been an abbot (Benedictines, Delaney).



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.