St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

May 23



Blessed Bartholomew Pucci-Franceschi, OFM (AC)
Died May 6, 1330; cultus confirmed in 1880. Bartholomew was a wealthy citizen of Montepulciano, Italy, who, with his wife's consent, became a Franciscan friar, and is usually described as having become "a fool for Christ's sake" (Benedictines).


Desiderius (Didier) of Langres BM (RM)
Died c. 407. Saint Desiderius was said to have been a native of Genoa, who preached in Langres and was eventually made bishop there. Like his Master, he was a good shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep. During the turbulent time of barbarian invasions, Saint Desiderius and his clergy went outside the city in an attempt to convince the warriors not to massacre his flock. He and those with him were killed. Some say this occurred during the invasion of Chrocus under Gallien; others place it a bit later (411) when the Alands, Sueves, and Vandals plundered the country (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Desiderius of Vienne BM (RM)
Born in Autun, France; died 608; second feast on February 11. Desiderius was educated in Vienne, where he became archdeacon and rose to be bishop. This was a time of much laxity among the clergy and the new bishop zealously set about reforming them. He was ready to rebuke the highest in the land for their immorality.

One of these was Queen Brunhildis. Desiderius found the behavior of her courtiers shameful, and said so. The queen appealed to Pope Gregory the Great, accusing the bishop of being too much interested in the writings of pagans. Pope Gregory remonstrated with him for personally giving lessons in so profane a subject as grammar--Latin grammar. (Gregory also wrote to Desiderius to request hospitality for Saint Augustine of Canterbury on his way to England from Rome.)

For several years the bishop was banished but eventually Gregory the Great came to see that he was innocent of Brunhildis's charges and restored him to Vienne. Desiderius also attacked the queen's grandson, King Thierry II of Burgundy, whose life was as immoral as his grandmother's. Thierry found a new false charge to bring against Desiderius: He alleged that Desiderius had an immoral relationship with a lady named Justa. In consequence, Desiderius was banished from his diocese for some years.

On his return from exile, he was soon in trouble again for having rebuked King Thierry for his shameful life. As he was being taken into detention, three of his escort set on him (at a place now called Saint-Didier-sur-Chalaronne) and cruelly murdered him, apparently on the initiative of the soldiers rather than by order of Thierry.

Desiderius is venerated as a martyr because he was put to death in the execution of his duty as a bishop (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley).

In art, Saint Desiderius is a bishop holding a rope, or strangled. He is invoked against fever (Roeder).


Epitacius and Basileus MM (RM)
1st century. It is likely that Saint Epitacius was the first bishop of Tuy in Spanish Galicia and Basileus the first bishop of Braga, Portugal (Benedictines).


Euphebius of Naples B (RM)
Date unknown. All we knew about Saint Euphebius is that he was a bishop of Naples (Benedictines).


Euphrosyne of Polotsk V (RM)
(also known as Efrasinnia, Euphrasinne)

Born in Polacak, Belorussia, in 1110; died 1173. Pradslava, the only East Slav virgin saint, was the granddaughter of Prince Polacak Usiaslau from whom she inherited a strong will. Determined to devote her life to God, she refused all marriage proposals and, finally, ran away to join her aunt's convent, Holy Wisdom. There she took the veil and the name Euphrosyne. The money Euphrosyne earned in copying books, she distributed to the poor. Later she founded and ruled her own convent, Holy Savior, as well as a monastery. In trying to convince her father, Prince Sviataslau, to allow her sister Hardzislava join her at the convent, she argued that in this way Hardzislava would learn to read and write. She was also joined by two nieces and a cousin. Euphrosyne commissioned a beautiful, gem-studded cross, which she gave to Holy Savior Church in 1161. This cross disappeared without a trace during World War II. Late in life she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where she died. After the conquest of Jerusalem by Saladin in 1187, Euphrosyne's relics were translated Monastery of the Caves in Kiev, Ukraine. In 1910, they were returned to Polacak (Nadson). For further information on Saint Eusophryne see this page Polotsk.


Eutychius and Florentius (RM)
6th century. Two monks who successively governed a monastery in Valcastoria near Norcia (Nursia?), Italy. Saint Gregory the Great praised their virtues and miracles (Benedictines).


Goban Gobhnena of Old-Leighlin (AC)
6th or 7th century. This saint is supposed to be the Goban mentioned in the life of Saint Laserian as governing the monastery of Old-Leighlin. He migrated from there to Tascaffin, County Limerick (Benedictines).


Guibert (Guibertus) of Gembloux, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died at Gorze on May 23, 962; canonized in 1211. Guibert, a noble of Lorraine, was a well-known military leader, but he abandoned his military career for the religious life. He became a hermit on his estate at Gembloux, Brabant, and with the help of his Grandmother Gisla, in 936 founded a Benedictine monastery on the estate with Herluin as abbot and donated the estate to the monastery.

Guibert then became a monk at Gorze but was summoned before Emperor Otto I to defend his right to donate the estate (it was an imperial fief) to the monastery--which he did successfully. He was again obliged to defend the monastery when the count of Namur seized its revenues, claiming that it belonged to his wife, and again successfully defended the monastery against the count, his brother- in-law. Guibert was active in missionary work among the Hungarian and Slav soldiers who remained in Brabant after an invasion in 954 (Benedictines, Delaney).


Ivo (Yvo) of Chartres, OSA B (AC)
Born at Beauvais, France, c. 1040; died December 23, 1115. Ivo was a canon at Nasles and then became a canon regular of Saint Augustine at Saint-Quentin. After teaching Scripture, theology, and canon law there, he became prior about 1078 and was elected bishop of Chartres in 1091. Because of his expertise in canon law, he was counselor of King Philip I. When Ivo denounced the king's plan to divorce his wife, Bertha, to marry Bertrada, third wife of Count Fulk of Anjou, Ivo was imprisoned in 1192 and his revenues were confiscated by the crown. He was freed through the intercession of the pope and later reconciled Philip to the Holy See after Bertha died. Ivo acted as mediator in several investiture disputes and openly protested the simony of several members of the papal court. He wrote widely on canon law, and his Decretum had considerable influence on its development. Ivo was also a voluminous correspondent, and many of his letters reflecting the religious issues of his time are still extant (Benedictines, Delaney).


John Baptist de Rossi (RM)
Born in Voltaggio, diocese of Genoa, Italy, in 1698; died in Rome in 1764; canonized in 1881. When John was young, a nobleman and his wife, who summered in the village of Voltaggio, took him back to Genoa to be trained in their home. He stayed for three years, and during that time he gained the good opinion of two Capuchin friars who visited his patrons. They told his uncle, the minister provincial of the Capuchins, of the boy's potential. This resulted in an invitation from his cousin, Lorenzo Rossi, a canon of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, to come to Rome.

John entered the Roman College at 13. He completed the classical course of studies but began practicing severe mortifications after reading an ascetical book. Their severity, combined with a heavy course load and a bout of epilepsy, led to a breakdown, and he was forced to leave the college. He recuperated and completed his training at Minerva but was never again very strong.

At age 23 (1721) he was ordained, and he celebrated his first Mass in the Roman College. He had visited hospitals as a student, and now he focused his attention upon them. He concentrated especially on the hospice of Saint Galla, an overnight shelter for paupers that had been founded by Pope Celestine III. He divided his labors among Saint Galla's, the hospital of the Trinita dei Pellegrini, and serving the people of the area.

John combined the enfleshment of the social Gospel with the cure of souls. He catechized teamsters, farmers, and the cattlemen from the country who came to the marketplace, and he sought to help homeless women and girls who lived in the streets, beggars and prostitutes. He was penniless except for paltry Mass stipends, but with a local donation and a donation from the pope, he rented a house behind the hospice and made it a refuge, placing it under the protection of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga.

Later, his cousin obtained for John the position of assistant priest at Santa Maria in Cosmedin at the foot of the Aventine. The church had not been well-attended, but John now drew throngs of penitents of all classes to his confessional. He was so sought after as a confessor that he was released from his choir obligation. When his cousin died in 1736, the canonry was given to John, who used the compensation from the office to buy the church an organ and to pay an organist. He chose to live in an attic, giving the house that had been his legacy from his cousin to the chapter.

Pope Benedict XIV chose John to instruct prison and other state officials, including the public hangman. His preaching was in great demand, and he was often asked to give addresses in religious houses.

His ever-frail health compelled him in 1763 to move to the Trinita dei Pellegrini, where he suffered a stroke that same year and received the last sacraments. He recovered enough to resume celebrating Mass, but, in 1764, he had another stroke and died at the age of 66. The hospital of the Trinita undertook to pay for the poor priest's burial. His funeral was attended by 260 priests as well as the papal choir. Archbishop Lercari of Adrianople spoke at the requiem Mass. In 1965, his relics were translated into the new parish church in Rome, which is under his patronage (Benedictines, Farmer, White).


Leonitus of Rostov BM (RM)
I can find no information on him. If you know something about him, please send an email.


Martyrs of Cappadocia (RM)
Died 303. A group of martyrs who died under Galerius after extreme torture (Benedictines).


Martyrs of Mesopotamia (RM)
Died c. 307. These martyrs suffered under Maximian Galerius (Benedictines).


Merculialis of Forli B (RM)
Died c. 406. Merculialis was the first bishop of Forli, central Italy. He was a zealous opponent of paganism and Arianism. His life became the subject of many extravagant legends (Benedictines).


Michael of Synnada B (RM)
Died c. 820. Saint Michael was consecrated bishop of Synnada in Phrygia by his mentor Saint Tarasius of Constantinople. Tarasius chose Michael to carry his synodal letter to Pope Saint Leo III in Rome. Because Michael was a fearless opponent of the iconoclasts, image breakers, he was exiled to Galatia by Emperor Leo the Armenian (Benedictines).


Quintian, Lucius and Julian MM (RM)
Died c. 430. These are the only names known of a group of 19, including several women, who were martyred in Africa by the Arian Vandal Huneric (Benedictines).


Syagrius (Siacre) of Nice, OSB B (AC)
Died c. 787. Saint Syagrius, kinsman of Blessed Charlemagne, was a monk of Lérins. Later he founded and became the abbot of Saint Pons at Cimiez in Provence, from where he was consecrated at bishop of Nice in 777 (Benedictines).


William of Rochester M (AC)
(also known as William of Perth)

Born in Perth, Scotland; died 1201; papal approval given in 1256; other feast day on April 22. A baker (or fisherman according to Farmer) by trade, Saint William experienced conversion as a young man. Thereafter, he devoted himself to the care of the poor and orphans. Once he saved an infant who was left at the door of the church and raised him as his own. In 1201, he set out on a pilgrimage to Canterbury or the Holy Land, taking with him one companion, his adopted son. Near Rochester, the son diverted him on a short-cut and killed him for his few possessions. His body was found by a madwoman who garlanded it with honeysuckle, and through it was cured of her insanity. As a result of this and other miracles wrought at his intercession after death, he was acclaimed a martyr by the people and his body was enshrined in the cathedral of Rochester. First it was in the crypt, then in the north-east transept, where offerings at his shrine contributed towards the rebuilding of the church.

Some type of papal approval of the cultus was sought by Bishop Laurence of Rochester in 1256 and granted. Offerings at the shrine were recorded for King Edward I (1300) and Queen Philippa (1352). Bequests by the local people continued through the 15th and 16th centuries. Saint William's Hospital on the road to Maidstone marks the site of the saint's death (Benedictines, Farmer, Gill).



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.