St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Francis Caracciolo
(Regional Memorial)
June 4



Adegrin of Baume, OSB (PC)
(also known as Adalgrin, Aldegrin)

Died 939. Saint Adegrin, a knight, joined Saint Odo of Cluny at Baume Abbey. After a short time he left the monastery to embrace the solitary life nearby (Benedictines).


Alexander of Verona B (RM)
Died 8th century. Bishop of Verona of whom nothing else is known (Benedictines).


Aretius (Arecius, Aregius) and Dacian MM (RM)
Date unknown. These Roman martyrs were buried in the catacombs on the Appian Way (Benedictines).


Blessed Boniface of Villers, OSB Cist. (PC)
Died c. 1280. Prior of the great Cistercian monastery of Villers in Brabant, Belgium (Benedictines).


Breaca of Cornwall V (AC)
(also known as Breague, Branca, Banka) 5th-6th century. Saint Breaca was a disciple of Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid. Obviously not too much is known of Breaca: Some consider it a male name; others female. She is said to have migrated with several companions from Ireland into Cornwall (c. 460), where she landed at Reyver on the eastern bank of the river Hayle in the hundredth of Penrith. There she led a solitary life in great sanctity and was honored with a church famous for pilgrimages and miracles. Montague claims martyrdom for the saint (Benedictines, Husenbeth, Montague).


Buriana of Cornwall V (AC)
6th century. Saint Buriana was another Irish woman who migrated to Cornwall, where Saint Buryan across from the Scilly Island perpetuates her name. King Athelstan built a college and church there to house her relics (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Clateus of Brescia B (RM)
Died c. 64. One of the earliest bishops of Brescia, Clateus suffered martyrdom under Nero (Benedictines).


Cornelius (Concord, Conchobar) McConchailleach, OSA B (AC)
(also known as Cornelius of Chambéry or of Lemniec or Cornelius MacConaille)

Born in Ireland c. 1120; died at Chambéry, Savoy, France, in 1176. Cornelius joined the Augustinian canons regular at Armagh in 1140. Eleven years later he was chosen to be its abbot. In 1174, one of the most critical periods of Irish history, he became archbishop of Armagh. The Norman invasions were developing into an occupation. At the same time, the native Irish clergy were under pressure from the Norman bishops under the authority of Canterbury and the Viking descendants who were disproportionately represented in the hierarchy. Saint Laurence O'Toole was defending Irish interests from his cathedra in Dublin. Cornelius made a pilgrimage to Rome to plead for the pope's support for the Irish cause. On his return he died in France. Miracles immediately began to occur at the tomb of Concord (as the Savoyards call him). A Confraternity of Saint Concord flourished for 500 years until 1671, when Pope Clement X sanctioned. He authorized a habit for its members. When Concord's body was exhumed in 1854 by a Vatican Commission, the brain was found incorrupt. As the patron of the area of Chambéry, he still venerated there while he has only recently been acknowledged by the Irish. There are now shrines with his relics in the Sacred Heart Convent in Armagh and in Presentation Convent in Drogheda (Benedictines, Montague).


Croidan, Medan, and Degan (AC)
6th century. Three disciples of Saint Petroc.


Edfrith (Eadfrith) of Lindisfarne, Monk B (AC)
Died 721. Edfrith's life is obscure prior to his becoming bishop in 698. He studied in Ireland and was well-trained as a scribe, an artist, and a calligrapher because it seems almost certain that he alone wrote and illuminated the Lindisfarne Gospels, which can now be seen in the British Library. His masterpiece was dedicated to Saint Cuthbert and would have taken at least two years to complete. He welcomed the new text of the Gospels and the new layout, both of which came to him from Italy via Wearmouth-Jarrow. He provided evangelist portraits as a creative artist in a field of Mediterranean expertise, but he also excelled in insular majuscule script and Irish geometric and zoomorphic decoration of extraordinary delicacy and accuracy. The fusion of all these elements in one work is a tribute to Edfrith's well-rounded education and the merging of Roman and Irish elements in Northumbria about 35 years after the Synod of Whitby.

The manuscript would have been enough to ensure Edfrith a place in art history; nevertheless, he was also a good bishop. Most of his memorable actions, however, are associated with Saint Cuthbert. The anonymous Life of Cuthbert was dedicated to Edfrith and he commissioned Saint Bede to write his prose Life of Cuthbert. He restored Cuthbert's oratory on the Inner Farne Island for the use of Saint Felgild. He may also have been the recipient of a letter from Saint Aldhelm.

Edfrith was connected with Cuthbert even in death: He was buried near his tomb. His relics, together with those of Saints Aidan, Eadbert, and Ethelwold, were taken with Cuthbert's in their wanderings through Northumbria from 875 to 995, when they reached Durham. When Cuthbert's relics were taken to the new cathedral, Edfrith's were translated, too. Today's feast is that of the translation (Farmer).


Elsiar of Lavedan, OSB (AC)
Died c. 1050. The Benedictine Saint Elsiar served God in Saint- Savin Abbey at Lavedan (Benedictines).


Francis Cararcciolo (RM)
Born at Villa Santa Maria, Abruzzi, Italy, October 13, 1563; died June 4, 1608; canonized in 1807.

Francis was baptized Ascanio. His father was related to the Neapolitan princes of Caracciolo, and his mother was related to Saint Thomas Aquinas. At 22, Francis developed a skin disease similar to leprosy, and his case was thought to be hopeless. He vowed that if he recovered, he would devote his life to God and to serving others. His speedy recovery was thought to be miraculous.

He went to Naples to study for the priesthood and, after his ordination, joined the confraternity Bianchi della Giustizia, devoted to the care of prisoners and who prepared them to die a holy death.

In 1588, Fr. John Augustine Adorno, a Genoese, set out to found an association of priests who would combine the active life of pastoral work and the strictest possible discipline to encourage contemplative life. A letter inviting the cooperation of another Ascanio Caracciolo was mistakenly delivered to Francis, rather than his distant kinsman. Agreeing with Adorno's vision, Francis felt the God must have misdirected the letter to him. Francis wished to join Adorno, offered his help, and the two made a 40-day retreat to draw up the rules for the proposed order.

When they had gathered 12 followers, they went to Rome to obtain approval from the pope. Sixtus V approved their new order, the Minor Clerks Regular, on June 1, 1588. They did missionary work and cared for the sick and prisoners. The next year, Caracciolo made his solemn profession and took the name of Francis, in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi. The company settled in a house in the suburbs of Naples, and Francis and Adorno travelled to Spain, in keeping with the pope's wishes that they establish themselves there.

The court of Madrid refused permission for the house, however, and they were forced to return. They were shipwrecked on the way back, and by the time they arrived in Naples, their foundation had flourished and was unable to contain all those who wished to join it. They were invited to take over the monastery of Santa Maria Maggiore, whose former superior, Fabriccio Caracciolo, had joined their order.

The Minor Clerks Regular worked mostly as missioners, but some worked in hospitals and prisons. Hermitages were provided for those who wished solitude. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is one of the main duty of the order.

Francis contracted a serious illness; soon after his own recovery, Adorno died at the age of 40. Against his wishes, Francis was named superior, but he swept rooms, made beds, and washed up in the kitchen just as the others did. During his life, he refused several bishoprics because the Minor Clerks Regular took a fourth vow: Never to seek any office or dignity either within the order or outside it. Returning to Spain in 1595 and 1598, Francis successfully founded houses in Madrid, Valladolid, and Alcalá.

After seven years as superior, he obtained permission from the pope to resign and became prior of Santa Maria Maggiore and master of the novices. In 1607, he gave up his administrative duties for a time of contemplation to prepare for death. He lived in a recess beneath the staircase of a Neapolitan house, where he was often found in ecstasy.

Meanwhile, Saint Philip Neri offered the Minor Clerks Regular a house at Agnone in the Abruzzi, and Francis was asked to help with the new establishment. He travelled there but he soon developed a fever, which rapidly worsened. While feverish, he dictated a letter in which he exhorted his brethren to remain faithful to the rule. He fell into meditation. An hour before sunset, he cried out, "To heaven!" A moment later, he died. Miracles, ecstasies, and prophecies have been attributed to him (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).


Blessed Francis Ronci, OSB Cel. (AC)
Born at Abri (southern Italy) in 1223; died 1294. Francis was one of the first disciples of Saint Peter Celestine. He accompanied Celestine to the hermitages of Orfente and Morrone. In 1285, Francis became prior of Santo Spirito and Majella and the first general of the order until his death. Saint Peter created him cardinal in September 1294--one month before his death (Benedictines).


Blessed Luke Loan M (AC)
Born in Tonkin in 1756; died 1840. Loan was an ancient, native priest of Vietnam who was beheaded for his priesthood (Benedictines).


Blessed Margaret of Vau-le-Duc, OSB Cist. V (PC)
Died 1277. Duke Henry II of Brabant, Belgium, founded the Cistercian Vau-le-Duc Convent in his realm. His daughter Margaret took the veil there and later became its second abbess. She has always been venerated as a beata by the Cistercians (Benedictines).


Metrophanes of Byzantium B (RM)
Died 325. Bishop Metrophanes of Byzantium is reputed to have been the first occupant of that episcopal chair (313 to 325), which is unlikely. He died at a very venerable age (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Nennoc V (AC)
(also known as Nenooc, Nennoca, Nennocha, Ninnoc, Ninnocha, Gwengustle) Died c. 467. Saint Nennoc is said to have been a daughter of the prolific Saint Brychan of Brecknock. After serving God in her native Britain, she is said to have followed Saint Germanus of Auxerre into France, where she became abbess of one or more monasteries in Armorica. Many miracles are ascribed to her in her legend in the monastery of the Cross of Quimperlé in the diocese of Quimper in Brittany (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).


Optatus of Milevis B (RM)
Died c. 387.

"You cannot deny that you are aware that in the city of Rome the episcopal chair was given first to Peter; [Picture] the chair in which Peter sat, the same who was head--that is why he also called Cephas [Rock]-- of all the apostles; the one chair in which unity is maintained by all." --Optatus in The Schism of the Donatists 2:2

Bishop Optatus of Milevis, Numidia (now Algeria), was a convert from paganism to Christianity. He survived the persecutions of Diocletian and Julian the Apostate. We know very little about him because the writings that are still extant give almost no personal information. Optatus was a champion of orthodox doctrine and the unity of the Church, which he defended against the attacks of the Donatists. In his apologia, he is firm but conciliatory. He wrote six treatises against them which are quoted by Saint Augustine and Fulgentius of Ruspe (Benedictines, Roeder). In art, Saint Optatus is depicted as an early Christian bishop trampling heretics (Roeder).


Petroc of Cornwall, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Petrock, Pedrog, Perreux)

Died at Treravel, Wales, c. 594. Cornwall's most famous saint was the son of a prince from southern Wales. Petroc studied theology in Ireland. He settled at Haylesmouth in Cornwall, had an active apostolate, and founded a monastery at Lanwethinoc (later called Petrocston, now Padstow). After 30 years there, Petroc made a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem, at which time he is also reputed to have reached the Indian Ocean and lived for a time on an island as a hermit. Returning to Cornwall, he founded another monastery at Little Petherick (Nanceventon) with a mill and chapel, and a hermitage at Bodmin, where Saint Goran met him. After meeting the hermit, Petroc travelled south. He built a cell for himself by the river and a monastery on the hilltop for his twelve disciples, among which were Saints Croidan, Medan, and Degan. Like several other hermit saints, Petroc had a special affinity with wild animals.

Petroc was buried at Padstow, which became the center of his cultus. There are 18 churches dedicated to him in Devon, plus others in Cornwall and south Wales. About 1000, his shrine and relics, including his staff and bell, were translated to Bodmin. In 1178, his relics were stolen by a disgruntled priest named Martin and given to Saint-Méen's Abbey near Rennes, Brittany, but were returned to Bodmin the next year at the request of its Prior Roger after the intervention of Bishop Bartholomew of Exeter and King Henry II. A rib was left at Saint-Méen's. During the reign of Henry VIII, his shrine and tomb were in the church of Bodmin on the eastern side of the high altar. During the Reformation the fine Sicilian-Islamic reliquary containing Petroc's head was hidden. It was rediscovered in the 19th century and remains in the parish church at Bodmin.

Petroc may also have evangelized in Brittany, where more than 30 churches are dedicated to him under the name Perreux. His is also the titular saint of a church in the Nivernais. It is possible, however, that his many disciples carried his cultus across the Channel. The extant vita of Saint Petroc are unreliable (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art, Petroc is generally portrayed with a stag--a reminder of one he sheltered from hunters.


Quirinus of Tivoli M (RM)
Date unknown. Quirinus was martyred at Tivoli near Rome (Benedictines).


Quirinus of Croatia BM (RM)
Died 308. Bishop Quirinus of Sisak (Seseg), Croatia. He fled from his city to escape the persecution of Galerius, was captured, and brought back. Ordered to sacrifice to the gods, he refused and was, therefore, barbarously beaten before being handed over to the governor of Pannonia Prima at Sabaria (now Szombathely in Hungary). Upon his continued refusal to apostatize, he was drowned in the Raab River (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

In art, Saint Quirinus is a bishop with a millstone near him. He might also be shown (1) being thrown into the River Raab with a millstone tied to him; (2) floating on a millstone, preaching to a crowd; or (3) as a deacon with a millstone (erroneously) (Roeder). He is venerated in Hungary (Roeder).


Rutilus and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. Martyrs at Sabaria (Sabar) in modern Hungary (Benedictines).


Saturnina of Arras VM (RM)
Date unknown. There is probably no historic validity to this story of a young German virgin who is said to have been killed by her suitor from whom she had fled into Arras (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Vincentia (Vincenza) Gerosa V (AC)
Born in Lovere, Lombardy, Italy, 1784; died 1846; canonized 1950; feast day formerly on June 28. The first 40 years of Vincentia's life were quite ordinary. She was a homemaker. Then she came to know Saint Bartolomea Capitanio, the foundress of the Italian Sisters of Charity at Lovere in Lombardy. The women had been moved by the ignorance and neglect in which so many people lived, so their foundation was designed to teach the young and nurse the sick. When Bartolomea died in 1833, Vincentia succeeded her and under her guidance, the institute expanded widely (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Walter of Serviliano, OSB Abbot (AC)
Born in Rome, Italy; died c. 1250. Walter became a hermit in his youth. By exercises of self-denial and contemplation he grew spiritually. Hearing God's call, he migrated to San Serviliano in the diocese of Fermo, in the Marches of Ancona. After some time he built a monastery there and was chosen its first abbot. Walter is best remembered for his extraordinary devotion to the Cross and the Passion. His relics are enshrined on the right side of the high altar in the parish church of Saint Mark at San-Serviliano. Several churches in the area also keep his festival (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Walter of Fontenelle, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1150. Saint Walter is said to have been an Englishman, who became the 34th abbot of Fontenelle in France. He is commended for his humility, piety, and zeal by Pope Innocent II (Benedictines, Husenbeth).



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.