Adulf (Adolph, Adulph), B(?) (AC)
Died c. 680. The relics of the noble Saxon, Saint Adulf, together with those of his brother of Saint Botulph, were translated to Thorney Abbey by Saint Ethelwold about 972. They have long been venerated there. While the hagiographer Folcard is probably wrong in identifying this Adulf as the bishop of Maestricht, famous for his teaching and almsgiving, it explains the reason today's saint is often honored as a bishop (Benedictines, Farmer).
Agrippinus of Como B (PC)
Died 615. There are well-founded doubts as to whether Bishop Agrippinus of Como in northern Italy deserves the title of saint (Benedictines).
Antidius of Besançon BM (RM)
(also known as Antel, Antible, Tude)
Died c. 265. Antidius was a disciple of Saint Froninus and succeeded him as bishop of Besançon. He was put to death by a horde of Vandals at a place called Ruffey (Benedictines).
Avitus (Avy) of Micy, Abbot (RM)
Born in Orléans, France; died c. 530. Saint Avitus became a monk at the small abbey of Menat in the Auvergne together with Saint Calais. This monastery was under the patronage of Queen Brunehault and Bishop Saint Bonitus of Clermont. Avitus and Calais soon migrated to Micy near Orléans, where Avitus became abbot, but the two saints did not tarry long at Micy either. Seeking greater solitude, Avitus and Calais retired to La Perche. Within a short time, so many others had been drawn to the holiness of the duo that Calais retired still further into the forest and Avitus was forced to build and govern a new foundation, now called Saint-Avy-de-Château-Dun in the diocese of Chartres. Three famous monks, Saint Leobin, Euphronius, and Rusticus, assisted Avitus to a happy death. His body was taken up the Loire to Orléans for burial. A church was built over the site. The cultus of Avitus is still kept in Orléans and Paris (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Bessarion of Egypt, Hermit (RM)
Died c. 400; feast day in the Eastern Church is February 20 and among the Greeks, June 6. Saint Bessarion, an Egyptian hermit and a disciple of Saint Antony, lived in the open air, and often lost himself in the trackless desert. He always carried a copy of the four Gospels under his arms. One day he met a naked beggar. Bessarion himself had only one garment, but he gave it to the beggar and went about with nothing on, still carrying the Gospels under his arm. When the commissioner of peace saw the saint, he asked "Who has stripped you?" Bessarion held out his book and replied, "This has stripped me." Another version continues the story that he sold even this book, his prized and only possession, to relieve a poor man (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia).
Botulph, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Botulf, Botolph)
Died c. 680; feast of his translation is December 1. Botulph and his brother, Saint Adulph, were two noble English brothers at the dawn of Christianity on that island. They were probably born in East Anglia. At some point they traveled into Belgian Gaul to learn more about Christian discipline in a monastery because they were then scarce in England. They progressed in the spiritual life to the point that Adulph is said to have been raised to the episcopate, though this is questioned. Botulph is said to have been chaplain to the convent where two of his king's sisters lived, possibly at Chelles. (Liobsynde, the first abbess of Wenlock (Salop), was from Chelles and Wenlock was initially dependent on Ikanhoe.)
Botulph returned to England with the treasure he had found and begged King Ethelmund of the South Saxons for land on which to set it. The king gave him the wilderness of Ikanhoe (Icanhoh), formerly thought to be near Boston (Botulf's stone) in Lincolnshire but now believed to be Iken in Suffolk. (Others relate that the land was provided by the king of East Anglia, either Ethelhere, 654, or more likely Ethelwold, 654-64.) There he built an abbey and taught the assembled brethren the rules of Christian perfection and the institutes of the holy fathers. He became one of the foremost missionaries of the 7th century.
Everyone loved Botulph: He was humble, mild, and affable. He always practiced what he preached, finding an upright example far more important than sermons. Nevertheless, Saint Ceolfrid travelled all the way from Wearmouth to converse with this man "of remarkable life and learning" before joining Saint Benedict Biscop at Wearmouth. Botulph thanked God in good times and in bad, knowing that God works all things to the good of those who love Him. He lived to a venerable age and was purified by a long illness before his happy death
Although his monastery was destroyed by the Danes, his relics were carried to Ely (the head) and Thorney Abbeys. It is said that when Ethelwold sent his disciple Ulfkitel to collect the relics of Botulph for Thorney Abbey, he found that he could not move them without also taking those of Adulph as well. Saint Edward the Confessor gave some of them to Westminster and others are at Bury Saint Edmunds. More than 70 English churches were dedicated to Saint Botulph, including four parishes in London. Name other place names also recall his sanctity including the town of Boston in Lincolnshire and Botulph's bridge, now Bottle-bride, in Huntingdonshire (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Adulph, bishop, and Saint Botulf, abbot, hold the Abbey of Ikanhoe, Suffolk, England. The four gates of the City of London are dedicated to them (Roeder).
Briavel (Brevile), Hermit (AC)
Date unknown. Nothing is known of Saint Briavel's life, which was not recorded until 1130, but he is the titular patron of a parish in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. He seems to have been a Celtic saint, whose name, according to Ekwall, dates from the Old Celtic Brigomagls (Benedictines, Farmer).
Emily de Vialar V (RM)
Born at Gaillac (near Albi), Languedoc, France, in 1797; died at Marseilles in 1856; canonized in August 14, 1951; feast day formerly on August 24.
"Quietly to trust in God is better than trying to safeguard material interests--I learned that by bitter experience."--Mother Emily de Vialar
Emily, daughter of Baron James de Vialar and Antoinette de Portal, studied in Paris. She and her father were estranged after the death of her mother because she refused to marry. He was a dominating, violent-tempered man who once went so far as to throw a decanter at her when she persisted to resist his demands that she marry. He was further antagonized with she began to teach abandoned and poor children and to care for the sick and destitute in his home. Nevertheless, from the age of 15 until she was 35, Emily looked after her cantankerous father and ministered to the children and the needy on his estate in Gaillac.
Her services were especially needed in France at that time. Although the worst excesses of the French Revolution were over, the Church had been stripped of many temporal possessions and Christian schools had been almost entirely suppressed. Thus, God called Emily and her contemporary, Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, to fill the void.
Emily was sustained by her faith during this difficult period, and God favored her with a vision of his body bearing the stigmata. When her grandmother died in 1832 and left her a fortune, Emily bought a house at Gaillac. With the assistance of her spiritual director, Abbé Mercier, she and three companions began a congregation. Within three months of moving into their new home, their number grew to 12, and with the permission of Archbishop de Gauly of Albi they took the habit and constituted themselves as the Congregation of Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Apparition (Matthew 1:18-20). In 1835, the congregation numbered 18 and their rule was formally approved. They dedicated themselves to the care of the sick and needy and the education of young children in France and abroad. That same year they were invited to open a house in Algeria.
Emily travelled constantly, and the congregation soon spread all over the Near East--Algeria, Tunisia, Greece, Malta, Jerusalem, and the Balkans. A jurisdictional dispute with Bishop Dupuch of Algiers. He excommunicated Emily in 1842. Although the dispute was decided in her favor, it forced the closing of the house in Algiers. On her return to Gaillac in 1845, she found the organization in chaos and its existence threatened by lawsuits due to financial mismanagement by a trustee and quarrels among the nuns. She moved the motherhouse to Toulouse (and in 1854 to Marseilles).
Emily herself was often the victim of doubts and spiritual anxieties. Despite these and other obstacles the order flourished. Emily may have had inner trials, but she was also capable, intelligent, and adamant on matters that concerned the well-being of her order. Church dignitaries questioned her long journeys; others criticized the elegance of their habits, but Emily was too busy founding new houses. By the time of her death, there were 40 houses around the world, from Europe to Burma and Australia (Attwater, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Blessed Euphemia of Andechs, OSB Abbess (PC)
Died 1180. Euphemia, daughter of the count of Andechs, became a nun and abbess of Altomünster in Bavaria (Benedictines).
Gundulphus of Bourges B (RM)
6th century. Not much is known about Saint Gundulphus. He was a bishop in Gaul and died at Bourges (Benedictines).
Hervé of Brittany, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Harvey, Herveus, Huva)
6th century. Saint Hervé is venerated throughout Brittany but we have few reliable particulars on him--his life was not written until the late medieval period. All we really know is that he was a hermit in Brittany, where he is still highly venerated and where Hervé is one of the most popular names for boys.
The story goes that a young British bard named Hyvarnion, a pupil of Saint Cadoc, lived at the court of Childebert, king of the Franks. After four years, desiring to return to his native land, he set off through Brittany, where one day, riding through a wood, he heard a young girl singing. The sweetness of her voice made him curious and, dismounting from his horse, he made his way through the trees to where in a sunny glade he found a maiden gathering herbs. He asked her what they were for. "This herb," she replied, "drives away sadness, that one banishes blindness, and I look for the herb of life that drives away death." Hyvarnion, forgetting his homeward journey, in that hour loved her, and later he married her.
After three years they had a son who was born blind, and in their sorrow they called him Hervé, which means bitterness. When he was two years old, his father died, and the mother, Rivanon, and child were left poor and friendless. In her grief she sang to him and he grew up to love poetry and music. When Hervé was seven, Rivanon gave him into the care of a holy man named Arthian and she became a hermit. The child wandered about the countryside singing and begging, led by a white dog which he held on a string. To this day the Bretons sing a ballad of the blind child, led by his dog, singing as he shivered in the wind and the rain, with no shoes on his bare feet, his teeth chattering with the cold.
At age 14, with his mother's approval, he sought out an uncle who was a hermit and kept a monastic school in the forest at Plouvien. His uncle welcomed him, and soon Hervé excelled in knowledge beyond all his other pupils. On his uncle's death, he became abbot. Every morning the children gathered to be taught by their blind master, and every evening they left "like a swarm of bees issuing from a hollow oak." He instructed them in music and poetry, and, above all, in the Christian way of life.
"When you wake up in bed," he said, "offer your hearts to the good God, make the sign of the Cross and say with faith and hope and love, 'I give You my heart, my body and my soul. Make me a good man.' When you see a crow fly, think of the devil, black and evil. When you see a dove fly, think of your angel, gentle and white. Think of God, as the sun makes the wild roses bloom on the mountains. In the evening, before going to bed, say your prayers that a white angel may come from heaven and watch you till the dawn. This is the true way to live as Christians. Practice my song, and you will lead holy lives."
In addition to teaching, Hervé worked the fields near the school. He was venerated for his holiness and his miracles. The most extravagant of which relates that one day a wolf ate the donkey with which he was plowing the fields. The young child who was Hervé's guide cried out in fear, but at Hervé's prayers, the wolf put himself into the donkey's harness and finished the work to be done.
Later he decided to move the community to León. There the bishop wanted to ordain him priest, but Hervé humbly declined. Thus, although he was never a priest, Hervé is said to have participated in the solemn anathematizing of the tyrannical ruler Conomor, c. 550. From León the holy group travelled west. Beside the road to Lesneven is the fountain of Saint Hervé, which he is said to have caused to flow to satisfy the thirst of his companions. Finally, they settled and Hervé built a monastery at Lanhouarneau in Finistère, which earned a great reputation.
From his monastery, where he lived for the rest of his life, Hervé would travel forth periodically to preach or act as exorcist. He was no longer led by a white dog, but by his little niece, Kristine, who lived near him in a cottage of thatch and wattle built for her by the monks, and who, gay as a fairy, sang to him as she gathered flowers for the altar. When he came to die, he said to her: "Tina, my dear, make my bed ready, but make it not as is wont. Make it on the heard earth, before the altar, at the feet of Jesus. Place a stone for my bolster, and strew my bed with ashes." Weeping, she carried out his wish, and said: "May I follow in due course, as the boat follows the ship."
As his monks watched at his deathbed, they were said to have heard the music of the heavenly choirs welcoming him to heaven. So died the blind Breton saint, who had taught in the school in the forest, and who all his life, despite his blindness, had given glory to God. Until the French Revolution, a chapel (now destroyed) near Cleder in Finistère possessed a most unusual relics: the cradle in which Saint Hervé had been rocked (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill, White).
In art, Saint Herveus is a blind abbot telling frogs to be quiet or being led by a wolf (Roeder) or his child guide. He is invoked against eye problems (Delaney). Breton mothers threatened their mischievous children with his wolf (White).
Himerius (Imier) of Cremona B (RM)
Born in Calabria, Italy; died in Amelia, Umbria, Italy, c. 560. Himerius was a monk who was appointed bishop of Amelia (Ameria). He is described as a very austere man, first with himself and then with others. In 995, his relics were translated to Cremona, where he is venerated as one of its principal patron saints (Benedictines).
Hypatius of Bithynia, Abbot (RM)
Born in Phrygia; died c. 450. At the age of 19, Saint Hypatius embraced the life of a hermit in Thrace. Later he migrated to Chalcedon and Bithynia, where he headed a flourishing laura and from which he staunchly opposed the heresy of Nestorius (Benedictines).
Isaurus, Innocent, Felix, Jeremias & Peregrinus MM (RM)
Date unknown. These Athenians were found hiding themselves from persecution in a cave at Apollonia, Macedonia. They were beheaded (Benedictines).
Manuel, Sabel, and Ismael MM (RM)
Died 362. This trio were sent from Persia to negotiate peace with Julian the Apostate at Chalcedon. According to tradition, when Julian discovered that they were Christians, he had them beheaded. Theodosius the Great dedicated a church in their honor near Byzantium (Benedictines).
Moling of Wexford (of Ferns) B (AC)
(also known as Molling, Mullins, Myllin, Molignus, Dairchilla)
Born in Wexford; died 697. Saint Moling is said to have been a monk at Glendalough. Later he was founder and abbot of Aghacainid (Teghmolin, Saint Mullins) in County Carlow beside the Barrow River on which he is reputed to have established the ferry service which continues to today. For a time he lived in a nearby hermitage. Afterwards he succeeded Saint Aidan as bishop of Ferns, which included the entirety of Leinster.
Moling was a singular benefactor to his country. In 693, he persuaded King Finacta to release the people of Leinster from the heavy tribute of oxen which had been imposed by king Tuathal Techmar. He resigned his see some years before his death. In addition to his eminent sanctity, manifested by the gifts of prophecy and miracles, this saint is celebrated in Ireland for the abundant Gaelic poetry he wrote--more than any other saint except Columba. At his death Moling was interred in his own monastery of Teghmoling.
The Book of Mulling is a 9th-century Book of the Gospels, which was probably copied from Moling's autograph as its colophon suggests. It was described by Gerald of Wales (c. 1200) and survives in a splendid jewelled shrine in Trinity College library in Dublin. It is especially noted because of its plan for Moling's monastery; some crosses on the plan probably indicate places of sanctuary. The cultus of Moling was early and widespread (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague).
Below is a sample from the many legends that arose around Moling's pet fox.
"The blessed bishop Moling used to keep animals both wild and tame about him, in honor of their Maker, and they would eat out of his hand. And among these was a fox. Now one day the fox stole a hen that belonged to the brethren and ate it. The brethren brought their complaint, and the man of God scolded the fox and accused him of being perfidious above other animals.
"The fox, however, seeing his master wroth with him, gazed upon him with solicitude, and made off to a convent of nuns that were under Saint Moling's care, captured a hen by guile, and bringing her to his lord, presented her safe and sound. And the Saint, smiling, said to him: 'Thou hast offered rapine to atone for theft. Take back this hen to her ladies, and deliver her to them unharmed; and hereafter do thou live without stealing, like the rest of the animals.' Hearing this, the fox took the hen between his teeth and deposited her unharmed in her ladies' cloister. And those who saw so great a marvel wrought in either place, made merry over it and blessed God.
"Another time another fox stole a book from the brethren, and carried it off to hide it in one of his earths, intending to come back shortly and gnaw it there. But on his return to the monastery, he was found stealing and eating a honeycomb. Whereupon the brethren laid hold on him and brought him to Saint Moling, and accused him of stealing the book.
"And the holy man bade the brethren to let him go free. And when he was released, the Saint said to him, 'O wise and crafty one, be off, and bring me back that book unharmed, and quickly.' At that, off went the fox, and hastened to bring the book from his cave, and set it down dry and unharmed before the holy bishop.
"And then he lay upon the ground before the man of God, as if seeking forgiveness. And the Saint said, 'Get up, you wretch, and fear naught; but never touch a book again.' And the fox got up rejoicing, and fulfilled in marvelous wise the Saint's behest; for not only did he never touch books again, but if any one would show him a book in jest, he took to flight" (Plummer).
Montanus of Gaeta M (RM)
Died c. 300. Saint Montanus, a soldier, was taken to the island of Ponza off the Italian coast and martyred by being thrown into the sea with a heavy stone tied around his neck. The Christians there recovered his body and enshrined it at Gaeta (Benedictines).
Nectan (Nighton) of Hartland M (AC)
6th century. The Welsh saint Nectan has always been venerated as a martyr killed by robbers, although we have no details about his life. He is the patron of Hartland, Devonshire, which is near the site of his hermitage. The fullest surviving vita dates only to the 12th century in the Gotha manuscript.
This work describes Nectan as the oldest of the 24 children of Saint Brychan of Brecknock. It tells us that Nectan was already a monk when he and his many relatives sailed from southern Wales to northern Devonshire. Seeking solitude, he settled in the dense forests. His family would meet him at his hermitage the last day of each year. After several years he found an even more remote valley with a spring. There he helped a swineherd find his pigs; later the owner rewarded Nectan with a gift of two cows, which were stolen. Nectan found them, remonstrated with the thieves, and tried to convert them to Christ. They rewarded his efforts by cutting off his head. After his death, we are told, he carried his head for half a mile to the spring by his hut.
Nectan's cultus was substantial i the West Country. Bishop Lyfing of Crediton (1021-1046) provided treasures for the church at Hartland, including bells, lead for the roof, and a sculpted reliquary. Nectan's staff was decorated with gold, silver, and jewels. Manors were built around the church to give it some protection from against Danish invaders. Hartland has had other illustrious benefactors: King Harthacnut, Earl Godwin, and Godwin's wife. Canons restored the church, which was in their care until the Reformation.
Five churches are dedicated to Nectan in Devon and Cornwall and possibly two Breton placenames may be connected with him. His feast is commemorated at Launceston, Exeter, Wells, and elsewhere. The date of his death is thought to be May 18; December 4 is the date of his translation (Benedictines, Farmer).
Nicander and Marcian MM (RM)
Died 173 or 303? Two martyrs in the imperial army who were probably martyred at Moesia in Illyricum, the area of contemporary Roumania and Bulgaria, although some modern scholars place their death at Venafro, Naples. They left the army when edicts were universally published against the Christians. Desertion added to their crime. They were impeached by Governor Maximus and commanded to sacrifice to the gods.
Then the judge spied Nicander's wife, Daria, who was encouraging her husband to remain steadfast. Maximus asked her, "Wicked woman, why would you have your husband die?"
Daria responded: "I do not wish for his death, but that he live in God, so as to never die."
Maximus goaded her that she desired his death, so that she could marry another.
"If you suspect that," said she, "put me to death first."
The judge said his orders did not extend to women; the first edict apply only to those in the armed services. Nevertheless, he commanded that she be taken into custody. Later she was released and returned to see the judgment of the trial.
Maximus asked Nicander to decide whether he would choose life or death. To which Nicander answered: "I have already deliberated upon the matter, and have decided to save myself."
The judge, understanding that he intended to save his life by sacrificing to the idols, began to congratulate and rejoice with Suetonius, one of his assessors, for their imagined victory. But Nicander soon cleared the matter by praying aloud for God to deliver him from the dangers and temptations of the world.
"How now," said the governor, "you but just now desired to live, and at present you ask to die."
Nicander replied: "I desire that life which is immortal, not the fleeting life of this world. To you I willingly yield up my body; do with it what you please, I am a Christian."
"And what are your sentiments, Marcian?" said the judge, addressing himself to the other. He declared that they were the same as those of his fellow-prisoner. Maximus then ordered that they should be both confined in the dungeon for twenty days.
Thereafter they were again brought before the governor, who asked them if they would obey the edicts of the emperors. Marcian answered: "All you can say will never make us abandon our religion or deny God. We behold Him present by faith, and know where He calls us. Do not, we beseech you, detain us; but send us quickly to Him, so that we may behold the One Who was crucified, the One we honor and worship."
The governor, saying that he was only doing his job, granted their request, and ordered their decapitation. The martyrs thanked him then said, "May peace be with you, O most clement judge."
They joyfully walked to the place of execution, praising God as they went. Nicander was followed by his wife Daria and his child who was carried in the arms of Papinian, the brother of Saint Pasicrates. Marcian's wife, unlike Daria, continued to persuade him to apostatize and save himself. When she persisted, he ask Zoticus, a zealous Christian, to keep her behind. At the place of execution he called for her, embraced his son, and, looking up to heaven, said, " Lord, all-powerful God, take this child into thy special protection." Then he bade his wife to go away in peace, because she would not have the courage to see him die.
Daria continued to exhort her husband to constancy and joy. "Be of good heart, my Lord," she said. "For ten years I have lived at home away from you, never ceasing to pray that I might see you again. Now am I favored with that comfort, and I behold you going to glory, and myself made the wife of a martyr. Give to God that testimony you owe to his holy truth: that you may also deliver me from eternal death." By this she was asking that by his sufferings and prayers he might obtain mercy for her. Once the executioner bound their eyes with their handkerchiefs, he struck off their heads (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Blessed Paul Burali d'Arezzo B (AC)
Born at Itri, diocese of Gaeta, Italy, in 1511; died in Naples, 1578; beatified in 1772. Saint Paul was a lawyer for ten years in Naples. In 1549, he was appointed royal counsellor, but in 1558, he joined the Theatines and was eventually made superior at the houses of Naples and Rome. Pope Saint Pius V appointed him bishop of Piacenza and created him a cardinal. Finally he was promoted to the see of Naples (Benedictines).
Blessed Peter Gambacorta of Pisa, Founder (AC)
Born in Pisa or Lucca, Italy, 1355; died 1435; solemnly beatified by Innocent XII in 1693. Peter Gambacorta's father was ruler of all he saw. He spoiled his children with worldly distractions, which makes Peter's conversion rather remarkable. At the age of 25, after a misspent youth, Peter Gambacorta repented and gave his heart entirely to God. He left his father's court disguised as a poor penitent and retired to the solitude of Montebello, diocese of Urbino. He begged in the neighboring village for his subsistence.
It is said that he converted 12 robbers of Montebello with whom he founded the institute of the Poor Brothers of Saint Jerome. In 1380, he build a church with twelve cells. Saint Jerome was chosen as their patron because his father had a devotion to him following a visit to the hermitages of Egypt and Syria. Peter prescribed four annual periods of 40-days of fasting for his brethren and fasts on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, as well as prolonged periods of private prayer following the Divine Office. The institute was approved by Pope Martin V in 1421.
When his father and two brothers were murdered by their secretary in 1393, Peter was tempted to avenge them. But he refused to leave his cell. He continued in his holy exercises, and, like his sister, Blessed Clare Gambacorta, fully forgave the assassins. When he died at the age of eighty, he had a reputation for holiness and miracles (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Prior of Egypt, Hermit (AC)
Born in Egypt; died c. 395. Saint Prior was one of the first disciples of Saint Antony. He was about one hundred years of age at his death (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Rainerius Scacceri of Pisa, OSB Hermit (RM)
(also known as Raynerius, Rainerius, Rainier, Rainieri, Ranieri, Raniero, Regnier)
Born in Pisa, Italy, in 1117; died 1160; probably canonized by Pope Alexander III.
Among the saints were men of gay and exuberant spirit, one of whom was Rainerius, son of a prosperous merchant. As a youth Rainerius learned Latin, but he was not a scholar. Rainerius of the joyful spirit was a strolling minstrel. He sang his way with his fiddle from town to town, playing in the market places for people to dance to his tunes, and sleeping at night where he could, in a barn or under a hedge. Often he hardly slept at all, because he was playing the whole night long at a revel or feast.
One day, when performing in a castle where a great company was gathered, he met a holy man and he was so impressed that he paused in the singing of his ballads and asked him to pray for him. Afterwards he talked with him and, as a result, he was converted. Before the whole company, as a sign that he had finished for ever with his frivolous life, he threw his fiddle on the fire and wept for his sins. Those present were astonished at his action and to see the minstrel, of all men, weeping, and some indeed thought he was mad.
Rainerius was not so mad, however, as they supposed. He became a devoted Christian, and set himself up as a trader in order to earn money to enable him to travel to the Holy Land. He worked hard, selling his goods to the sailors in the harbor, rowing out in his boat to the vessels at anchor, and amusing all whom he met, for though he had thrown away his fiddle he had not lost his wit, and was a merry follower of our Lord.
In the course of time he amassed a fair sum of money; but one day when he opened his purse such a smell came from it that he thought it was of the devil. This made him give up all further thought of making money; he resolved to do without it and he embraced a life of poverty. Later he made his pilgrimage to Palestine, begging his way as he went, and when he had finished visiting the holy shrines in 1153, he returned to Pisa and entered Saint Andrew's monastery. Thereafter he migrated to San Vito (Saint Guy).
His early knowledge of Latin gave him access to the Bible and the Divine Office and enabled him to preach occasionally. His fame spread, for he had great wisdom and generosity; also innumerable cures were attributed to him. People came from far and wide to seek his counsel, and he became the philosopher and guide of many of his fellow citizens. In the monastery of San Vito, in the monk who had been a troubadour and who had thrown away his fiddle for Christ, they found one who understood their inner needs and who spoke to them wisely out of his own heart.
To the end he retained his high spirits and happy nature, which no doubt added to his fame and popularity, for they were wholly dedicated to his sacred calling. He was God's minstrel; God had put a new song into his mouth. With a glad and gay spirit he cared for the sick, set free the captive and exercised himself in countless other works of mercy and goodwill. We remember him among the happiest of the saints. He was held in the highest regard, and long after his death his name is venerated.
His acclaim was so great that he was immediately buried in Pisa cathedral, where it remains to this day. His name was entered in the Roman Martyrology in the 17th century. A contemporary vita was written by his confidant and counsellor Canon Benincasa (Benedictines, Farmer, Encyclopedia, Gill).
In art, Saint Raynerius is a bearded hermit in a hairshirt holding a rosary. He may also be portrayed (1) as a young pilgrim in a hairshirt carrying a banner with the Pisan cross; (2) being raised up by devils (like Saint Antony Abbot); or (3) dying in a hairshirt (Roeder). He is the patron of Pisa, Italy (Roeder).
Rambold (Ramnold) of Ratisbon, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1001. While Saint Rambold was a monk at Saint Maximinus at Trèves (Trier), Germany, Saint Wolfgang called him to Ratisbon (Regensburg) to be abbot of Saint Emmeram Abbey. He died at the venerable age of 100 (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.