Anastasius II of Pavia B (RM)
Died 680. Anastasius converted from Arianism and became bishop of Pavia, Lombardy, in 668, and governed it until his death (Benedictines).
Blessed Andrew Franchi, OP B (AC)
Born in Pistoia, Italy, in 1335; died 1401; beatified in 1921. Blessed Andrew was born into the noble dei Franchi Boccagni family. He entered the Dominican Order at Pistoia about 1351, when the Italian peninsula was still under the shadow of the plague and was deeply involved in fratricidal wars. Another theory has it that he entered at Florence in 1348, which was the year the plague reached its peak. Whichever date he entered, he did so to give attention to his immortal soul, at a time when the world around him was apparently falling to pieces.
Andrew proved to be a good religious and an able administrator. He served as prior in three convents while still quite young. In 1378, he was appointed bishop of Pistoia, an office he filled with distinction and holiness for 23 years.
It is written of Andrew that he devoted himself to the poor, and spent his revenues to relieve their misery and to rebuild the ruined churches. He had a great personal devotion to Our Lady, to the Holy Childhood, and to the Three Holy Kings. As bishop, he lived a life of extreme simplicity, retaining his religious habit, and as much as he could of the rule. A year before his death, he resigned his office and retired to die at his old convent of Pistoia (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Basil and Emmelia (RM)
Died c. 370. Saint Basil and Saint Emmelia were the parents of Saints Basil, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebaste, and Macrina the Younger. They were exiled for their Christianity during the persecution of Galerius Maximinus but were later allowed to return to Caesarea, Cappadocia, where they lived the rest of their lives. Saint Basil was educated at home by his mother (Benedictines, Delaney).
I'm not sure which Eleutherius this should be. If you have information, please contact me.
Exuperantius of Ravenna B (RM)
Died 418. Bishop of Ravenna, Italy, 398 to 418 (Benedictines).
Felix I, Pope M (RM)
Died December 30, 274. Nothing is known of him except that he was a Roman, the son of one Constantius, was elected pope to succeed Saint Dionysius on January 5, 269. He ordered the celebration of Mass over the tombs of martyrs in the catacombs and was the first to condemn the heresy of Paul of Samosata, patriarch of Antioch. He died a natural death--not as a martyr as stated by the Roman Martyrology (Benedictines, Delaney). In art, Saint Felix is a pope with an anchor (Roeder).
Ferdinand III, King of Castile (RM)
Born near Salamanca, Spain, c. 1199; died in Seville, Spain, on May 30, 1252; canonized in 1671 at the request of Philip IV.
Ferdinand was the son of Alphonso IX, king of León, and Berengaria, the oldest daughter of Alphonso III, king of Castile. His maternal grandmother was the daughter of Henry II of England, and her sister Blanche became the mother of Saint Louis of France.
The death of Berengaria's brother, Henry, left her heiress to the throne of Castile in 1217, but she ceded her rights to the 18-year- old Ferdinand. He was a stern, but forgiving, ruler who ignored personal slights, and an excellent administrator. The archbishop of Toledo, Rodrigo Ximenes, was chancellor of Castile and his principal adviser for many years. Ferdinand married Beatrice, daughter of King Philip of Swabia in 1219.
Upon the death of his father in 1230, Ferdinand became king of León. There was opposition to this, for there were supporters of the claim of his two half sisters, but his union of the two kingdoms made a recovery from the Moors possible. He campaigned against the Moors without respite for 27 years, and his success won the great devotion of his people. He recaptured the greater part of Andalusia, including Ubeda, Cordova (1236), Murcia, Jaen, Cadiz, and Seville (1249).
It was in the battle of Xeres, when only 10 or 12 Spanish lives were lost, that Saint James (Santiago) was said to have been seen leading the host on a white horse. Saint James's chronicle is a principal source for Ferdinand's achievements. Ferdinand's military efforts were not so much imperialistic in motivation as driven by a wish to save Christians from the dominance of infidels.
Although he was a warrior, it was said of him that "he feared the curse of one old woman more than a whole army of Moors." In thanksgiving for his victories, Ferdinand rebuilt the cathedral in Burgos and converted the great mosque of Seville into a church. He restored to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostella the bells that had been removed by the Moors.
Once the Moors and Jews submitted, he pursued a course of tolerance, while encouraging the friars to convert them. He was the founder of the famed University of Salamanca in 1243. He married Joan of Ponthieu on the death of Beatrice. By his second wife he was the father of Eleanor, wife of King Edward I of England. It is interesting to note that upon his death he was buried in the habit of a Franciscan friar in the cathedral of Seville. At his death he was popularly acclaimed a saint but canonical recognition took another 400 years (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, White).
King Saint Ferdinand is depicted in art as a crowned knight with a greyhound. He is dressed royal regalia, cross on his breast, and the dog at his feet (Roeder). He is the patron saint of persons in authority (rulers, governors, magistrates, etc.)--a result of his wise appointments; the poor and prisoners (over whom such persons rule); engineers (a result of his technical military skills), and the Spanish army (White).
Gabinus and Crispulus MM (RM)
Died c. 130. Gabinus and Crispulus are the proto-martyrs of Sardinia. They suffered under Hadrian at Torres, where they had preached the Gospel (Benedictines).
Hubert (Hugbert) of Brétigny, OSB (AC)
Died c. 714. With much opposition from his family, Saint Hubert enter Brétigny Abbey near Noyon at the age of 12. There his life was an uninterrupted series of portentious occurrences (Benedictines).
Isaac of Constantinople, Abbot (AC)
Died c. 410. Saint Isaac bravely defended the Catholic faith against the Arian Emperor Valens, whom he publicly denounced. Isaac narrowly escaped death, and became a monk, then abbot, of a large monastery in Constantinople (Benedictines).
Blessed James Bertoni, OSM (AC)
Born in Faenza, Italy, c. 1444; died 1483; cultus confirmed 1766. At the age of nine, James joined the Servites, whom he served as procurator of the friary from the time of his ordination till his death (Benedictines).
Joan (Jeanne) of Arc V (RM)
Born at Domrémy, Champagne, Lorraine, France, 1412; died at Rouen, France, May 31, 1431; beatified in 1909; canonized in 1920; declared patroness of France in 1922.
Joan's father, Jacques d'Arc, was a well-respected peasant farmer. Joan never learned to read or write. She was 13 or 14 when she had the first of her supernatural experiences. She heard a single voice addressing her from nearby, accompanied by a blaze of light. She typically received visions while tending her father's sheep. Later visions were composed of more voices, and she was able to identify the speakers as Saints Michael, Catherine of Siena, and Margaret, among others [Image 1] and [Image 2}.
By 1428, their messages to her had become specific. She was to present herself to Robert Baudricourt, who commanded the king's armies in the neighboring town of Vaucouleurs. Joan convinced an uncle to take her to him, but Robert laughed at her and commented that her father ought to discipline her.
But the visions continued. Secretly, she left home and returned to Vaucouleurs. Baudricourt's doubt of her was somewhat mollified when news reached him of a serious defeat of the French--at the Battle of Herrings outside Orléans--in February 1429 which Joan had predicted. He sent her to the king with an escort, and she chose to travel in men's clothes for her own protection.
At Chinon, Charles disguised himself, but she identified him, and by a secret sign communicated to her by her visions, she convinced him to believe in the divine origin of her mission. She asked for a troop of soldiers that she could lead to Orléans. Her request was questioned by much of the court, and she was sent to be examined by a panel of theologians at Poitiers. After a searching three-week examination, the panel advised Charles to make use of her services.
She was given a force, and a special standard was made for her bearing the words: "Jesus:Maria" and a symbol of the Trinity to whom two angels presented a fleur-de-lys. Joan wore white armor, and the force entered Orléans on April 29. Her presence invigorated the town, and by May 8, the English forts surrounding the town were captured. She was wounded in the breast by an arrow, which enhanced her reputation.
She joined in a campaign on the Loire with the duc d'Alençon, who became a good friend. The campaign was a great success, due in part to her strengthening the morale of the troops and the British were routed at Patay and then at Troyes.
Joan now pushed for the dauphin to accept his responsibilities and pushed for his coronation. On July 17, 1429, Charles VII was finally crowned, and Joan's mission as set forth by her visions was completed. From then on, she experienced only military defeats. An attack on Paris failed, mainly due to the fact that Charles had supplied neither his support nor his presence as promised, and Joan was wounded in the thigh.
During a winter of truce, Joan stayed at court, where she was still viewed with skepticism. When hostilities began again, she went to Compiegne, which was holding off the Burgundians. The drawbridge was closed too soon, and Joan and some of her troops were left outside. She was dragged from her horse and taken to the duke of Burgundy, May 24, 1430. She remained his prisoner until late autumn.
King Charles made no efforts for her release. She had foretold that she would be captured by the Burgundians and handed over to the English, and so it happened. She was sold to the English leaders. The determination of the English to get rid of her is a measure of her power over her followers.
The British could not execute her for fighting them in a war, so they arranged to have her sentenced as a sorceress and heretic. On February 21, 1431, she appeared before a tribunal led by Peter Cauchon, the bishop of Beauvais, who hoped the English would help to make him the archbishop of Rouen. She was interrogated about her "voices," her faith, and her wearing of male clothing.
An unfair summary of her statements was made, and her visions were held to be unholy in nature, an opinion supported by the University of Paris. The tribunal declared that if she refused to retract, she would be handed over to the secular court as a heretic. She refused to recant, even after being threatened with torture.
When she was brought for formal sentencing into the cemetery of Saint Ouen before a huge crowd, however, she recanted to some degree, although it is uncertain how much. She was led back to prison but unaccountably reassumed the male dress that she had agreed to give up. She regained her courage and declared that all she had said during her testimony was true and that God had truly sent her.
On May 30, 1431, she was led into the marketplace of Rouen to be burned at the stake. She was not yet 20. Her ashes were thrown into the Seine.
In 1456, her mother and two brothers appealed for a reopening of the case, which Pope Callistus III agreed to do. The trial and its verdict were quashed. She was canonized as a holy maiden, not a martyr. She was called La Pucelle, "the Maid of Orléans" (Benedictines, Bentley, White).
Joan is portrayed in art as a bareheaded girl in armor, with a sword, a lance, or a banner with the words "Jesus: Maria" upon it; or she may wear an envisored helmet (White). In early pictures, her long hair flows down her back to show that she is a maiden. She may also be shown (1) with lilies of France; (2) exhorting the king; (3) followed by a train of knights; or (4) in female clothing with a sword (Roeder).
She is the patron saint of France and French soldiers (White) and venerated at Orléans, Rouen, and Domrémy (in Lorraine) (Roeder).
Blessed Laurence Richardson,
Thomas Cottam & William Filby MM (AC)
Died 1582; beatified in 1886. These three were martyred at Tyburn together with Saint Luke Kirby.
Laurence Richardson was born at Great Crosby, Lancashire, England. He was educated at Brasenose College, Oxford, and after his conversion to Catholicism, studied for the priesthood at Douai. He was ordained in 1577 and sent to the English mission, where he changed his name from Johnson to Richardson.
Thomas Cottom was born at Dilworth, Lancashire, in 1549, and like Richardson, was educated at Brasenose, converted to Catholicism, and studied for the priesthood at Douai. He finished his studies in Rome, was ordained, and received into the Society of Jesus. He returned to England in 1580, but was arrested upon landing at Dover and imprisoned in the Tower, where he waited two years to be hanged.
William Filby was born in Oxfordshire and educated at Lincoln College, Oxford. He, too, was a convert to the faith, but attended the seminary at Rheims, where he was ordained in 1581. The following year he was martyred (Benedictines).
Luke Kirby, Priest M (RM)
Born at Bedale, Yorkshire, England; died at Tyburn near London, May 30, 1582; canonized by Pope Paul IV in 1970 as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. Saint Luke graduated from Cambridge, converted to Catholicism, and, in 1576, went to Douai to study for the priesthood. After further study in Rome, he was ordained in 1577 and sent on the English mission in 1580. Soon after his arrival he was arrested and charged with conspiring against the queen, though in reality because he was a Catholic priest. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London, subjected to the terrible torture known as "the scavenger's daughter," and then hanged, drawn, and quartered with Blessed Laurence Richardson, Thomas Cottam and William Filby (Benedictines, Delaney).
Madelgisilus, OSB Hermit (AC)
(also known as Maguil, Mauguille)
Died c. 655. Saint Mauguille, as he is known among the French, was an Irish monk, disciple, and confidant of Saint Fursey. After living some years at Saint-Riquier Abbey, Mauguille and Saint Vulgan (Pulcan?) became hermits near Monstrelet in Picardy, where Mauguille died (Benedictines).
Blessed Maurus (William) Scott, OSB, & Richard Newport MM (AC)
Died at Tyburn, England, in 1612; beatified in 1929. William was born at Chigwell, Essex, England. He studied law at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He was converted to the truths of Catholicism by reading Catholic literature. He was received into the Catholic Church by Saint John Roberts, who sent him to the Benedictine Abbey of Satagún, Spain. William took the name Maurus upon professing himself as a Benedictine in 1604. Upon his ordination he was sent back to England as a missionary. Shortly after his arrival, he witnessed the martyrdom of his mentor, John Roberts. He himself enjoyed freedom for only a short time before he was captured and martyred for his priesthood at Tyburn.
Richard Newport, born at Harringworth, Northamptonshire, used the alias Smith upon his return to England following his ordination in Rome in 1597. He worked for some time in the London district before his execution with Maurus Scott (Benedictines).
Sycus and Palatinus MM (RM)
Date unknown. Martyrs of Antioch, Syria. The original entry in the Roman Martyrology may have been Hesychius Palatinus (Benedictines).
Venantius of Lérins, Hermit (AC)
Died Modon, Morea, c. 400. Venantius was the elder brother of Saint Honoratus of Arles, who founded Lérins Abbey. After living as a hermit on an island near Cannes, France, both travelled to the East to study the monastic life (Benedictines).
Walstan of Norfolk (AC)
Born at Bawburgh, Norfold, England; Died 1016. Walstan spent his life as a farm laborer at Taverham and Costessey. He was noted for his charity to all in need. His cultus, although a local one, is undisputed (Benedictines). In art, Saint Walstan is depicted as a crowned farm laborer holding a scythe. At time the picture may include (1) the word Opifer by him; (2) scythe and sceptre; (3) scythe, crown, and two calves; or scythe and ermine cape (Roeder).
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.