Saint Romuald, Abbot
Bruno (Boniface) of Querfurt, OSB Cam. BM (RM)
Born at Querfurt, Germany, in 974; died at Braunsberg, Germany, on February 14, 1009; the Roman Martyrology also shows his feast as Bruno on October 15. Born into a noble Saxon family, Saint Bruno studied at the cathedral school of Magdeburg. He joined the court of Otto III, was made court chaplain, an accompanied the emperor to Rome c. 998. Near Ravenna, he received the habit of a Camaldolese monk from the founder Saint Romuald and the name Boniface. The following year he entered a monastery at Pereum founded by Otto. When two of its monks, Benedict and John, and three companions (the Five Martyred Brothers whose story he wrote) were martyred in 1003 at Kazimierz, near Gniezno, Romuald sent Boniface as a missionary to Germany. He was appointed missionary archbishop, preached to the Magyars with considerable success, and then went to Kiev to preach to the Pechenegs. He eventually worked to evangelize the Prussians, and on February 14, he and 18 companions were massacred on the Russian border near Braunsberg, Poland. He is often called "the Second Apostle of the Prussians" (Benedictines, Delaney).
Deodatus of Nevers B (AC)
(also known as Dié, Didier, Dieudonné, Adéodat)
Died 679. Bishop Deodatus of Nevers resigned his see to live as a hermit in the Vosges. He founded and became abbot of the monastery of Ebersheimmünster near Strasburg (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Deodatus's hand stretches to thunder clouds or he is shown exorcising a woman (Roeder). He is invoked for rain, and against thunderstorm, evil spirits, and plague (Roeder).
Deodatus of Jointures, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Didier, Dié)
Born in western France; died June 19, c. 680. Another bishop of Nevers, France, Deodatus took the cathedra in 655. He filled all his episcopal duties with great fear and trembling. About 664, he resigned, lived as a hermit for a time, and then founded the abbey of Jointures (Val-de-Galilée), which he placed under the Rule of Saint Columban, and later changed to that of Saint Benedict. Fearing the responsibility for other souls, he continued to live in a little cell nearby. He died in the arms of Saint Hidulphus. The town of Saint- Dié grew up around his monastery (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Gaudentius and Culmatius MM (RM)
Died at Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy, 364. Bishop Gaudentius and his deacon Culmatius are said to have been martyred under Valentinian I. A layman, named Andrew, his wife, children, and 53 companions suffered with them (Benedictines).
Gervase and Protase MM (RM)
2nd century. Untrustworthy tradition relates that Gervase and his twin brother Protase, the sons of Saints Vitalis and Valeria, suffered beheading for the faith. Gervase was said to have been beaten to death with a lead-tipped whip, and Protase was beheaded. They are considered the first martyrs of Milan ever since Saint Ambrose, guided by a vision, unearthed their remains in 386 (see Saint Augustine's City of God, 22). Saint Paulinus of Nola in his Life of Saint Ambrose says that the martyrs themselves appeared to Saint Ambrose in an apparition.
Ambrose was about to dedicate a new church, which was later called Saint Ambrose the Great, and the people wanted him to do it with the same solemnity as he had at the church dedicated to the holy Apostles. He, however, had no relics for the basilican church. After the vision Ambrose cause the area inside the rails enclosing the tomb of SS. Nabor and Felix to be dug up. There he found the bodies of two very big men, with their bones entire, and in their natural position, but the heads separated from their bodies, with a large quantity of blood, and all the marks which could be desired to ascertain the relics.
Even at the time the relics were discovered by Ambrose nothing was remembered about them except their names and that they were martyrs in an early persecution, perhaps under Nero. Their extant acta are worthless (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
These saints are pictures as youths holding the palm of martyrs. At times one may be holding a scourge loaded with lead and the other a sword, or they may hold stones and be shown with their father, Saint Vitalis. These martyrs are venerated in Milan (Roeder).
Hildegrin of Châlons-sur-Marne B (AC)
Died c. 827. Hildegrin was the younger brother of Saint Ludger whom he accompanied in his missions to the Saxons. About 802, he became bishop of Châlons-sur-Marne, but is believed to have retired to Werden and ended his life as a monk (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Innocent of Le Mans B (AC)
Died 559. Bishop Innocent governed the see of Le Mans for over 40 years (Benedictines).
Juliana Falconieri, OSM V (RM)
Born at Florence, Italy, 1270; died there in 1340; canonized in 1737. Saint Juliana was born into the noble Falconieri family and niece of Saint Alexis (the only one of the Seven Founders of the Servites to remain a lay brother). She seems destined for Christian glory. Her father, Chiarissimo, and her mother, Riguardata, were both devout. At their own expense they built the magnificent church of the Annunciation at Florence, Italy. Juliana's birth was an answer to the prayers of this older, childless couple.
After her father's death while she was still very young, her uncle Alexis shared in her upbringing. She never cared for the amusements that interested other girls, and when she learned, at age 15, that her relatives were trying to arrange her marriage, she told them that she wanted to consecrate her life to God. After being carefully instructed by her uncle, Juliana was given the Servite habit by Saint Philip Benizi in the Church of the Annunciation. A year later she was professed as a tertiary, which permitted her to continue to live at home for the next 18 years.
Although Riguardata originally opposed Juliana's chosen vocation, she eventually placed herself under her daughter's direction. When Riguardata died in 1304, Juliana moved to another house, where she founded the Third Order of Servites. At that house a number of women lived in community and devoted themselves to a life of prayer and ministry to the sick. Their habit resembled that of the male Servites, but to facilitate that work, they wore short sleeves, which caused them to be nicknamed "Mantellate," a term later used for women tertiaries in general.
Reluctantly, Juliana acquiesced to her community's request for her to become their general. She drew up a code of regulations that were formally confirmed 120 years later for their successors by Pope Martin V. Juliana is considered the founder of the order because she framed their constitutions, although she was not the first to be admitted into its ranks.
The rest of her life was spent in Florence where, like her spiritual benefactor, Philip Benizi, she was particularly active in reconciling enemies--this was a time when the quarrels between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines were sowing discord in almost every town in Italy. Austere and zealous, she was also charitable and sympathetic to all.
Her mortifications seriously impaired her health, and towards the end of her life she suffered from gastric problems. She had been in the habit of receiving Communion three times weekly, which made these stomach ailments all the more sorrowful. When she was dying and could not receive Communion, the corporal and host were laid on her breast. Almost as soon as It touched her, the Host disappeared, miraculously incorporated into her body. A mark of the host was found on her breast after death. This image of a host emanating rays of light is now worn on the left breast of Servite nuns (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Martindale, Walsh).
Blessed Odo of Cambrai, OSB B (AC)
Born at Orléans, France; died 1113. Saint Odo was the headmaster of the cathedral school of Tournai. About 1090, his heart was converted by reading Saint Augustine on free will. He then founded a community of Benedictines in the abandoned abbey of Saint Martin at Tournai. In 1105, he was promoted to bishop of Cambrai, but, on refusing to receive secular investiture, he was exiled to the abbey of Anchin, where he died. Odo was one of the most erudite scholars of his time (Benedictines).
Romuald, OSB, Abbot Founder (RM)
Born at Ravenna, Italy; died Val di Castro, Piceno, Italy, on February 7 (or June 19?), 1027; he has a second (local) feast day on February 7. Today celebrates the anniversary of the translation of his relics from Val di Castro, near Camaldoli to Fabriano.
Born into the Honesti (or Onesti) family, son of Serge, duke of Ravenna, Romuald had an uneventful childhood and was an unremarkable youth. One day he witnessed his hot-tempered father kill a relative in a duel over some land. Romuald, his father's second in the duel, is shaken at the wages of avarice. It is said that while Romuald was hunting in the forest one day, he stopped, began to pray, and resolved to atone for this crime. Whether the incident is true or not, at age 20, Romuald retired to Sant'Apollinare Monastery in Classe (about a mile from Ravenna) for 40 days to expiate his father's sin and his own complicity.
He would have returned to his normally loose lifestyle had he not made the friendship of a holy lay-brother and experienced conversion. Instead of returning home, Romuald requested the Benedictine habit. At first the abbot feared Serge's anger over his son's becoming a monk, but the archbishop of Ravenna, another Onesti, intervened and Romuald entered the order. After three years at that monastery, he left in quest of a more austere life and became a disciple of the hermit Marinus near Venice.
Romuald's early experience in his family made him very stern against those who pursued their public careers violently. About 978, Marinus and Romuald, together with Abbot Guarinus (Guerin) of Cuxa in Catalonia persuaded Peter Orseolo, doge of Venice, to resign (he had become doge by murdering or acquiescing to the murder of his predecessor).
Peter accompanied Marinus and Romuald back to Cuxa and became a Benedictine there, while Romuald and Marinus built a hermitage near the monastery and lived as hermits. Romuald returned to Italy ten years later to help his father, Serge, who had become a monk at Saint-Severin, resolve his doubts about his vocation. (His father died a short time later.)
Emperor Otto III appointed Romuald abbot of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, the place Romuald first sought refuge, but he left after two years to live as a hermit near Pereum (Piseno). He then set out to evangelize the Magyars in Hungary but was forced to turn back because of illness and probably by his age. Romuald spent the rest of his life founding monasteries and hermitages in northern and central Italy, notably at Vallombrosa in 1012, and in 1023 at Camaldoli near Arezzo. The five hermitages he built at Camaldoli developed into the mother house of the Camaldolese Order, which combined the cenobitic tradition of the West and the Eastern type of eremitical life under a modified Benedictine rule that Romuald drew up. The order was approved in 1072--about 45 years after its founder's death (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Saint Romuald can be identified as a White Benedictine (Camaldolese) abbot pointing to a ladder by which monks ascend--two by two--to heaven. Sometimes he may be shown (1) experiencing this vision without a ladder; (2) old and bearded with a hermit's tau-staff; (3) enthroned with a long candle, surrounded by votaries, also with candles, as he points to Christ above; or (4) enthroned with a book and a model of the monastery (Roeder). Saint Fra Angelico painted a picture of Saint Romuald.
He is venerated at Camaldoli and Fabriano (Roeder).
Blessed Thomas Woodhouse, SJ M (AC)
Died 1573; beatified in 1886. During the persecutions in England, Father Woodhouse lived in Lincolnshire and worked as a private tutor in Wales. In 1561, he was taken to Fleet prison where he remained until his death. During this time, he was admitted by letter to the Society of Jesus. He was hanged at Tyburn (Benedictines).
Ursicinus of Ravenna M (RM)
Died c. 67. Saint Ursicinus is said to have been a physician in Ravenna who, on being sentenced to death for the faith, wavered, but was encouraged by the soldier Saint Vitalis and accepted martyrdom. His acta are unreliable (Benedictines). In art, Ursicinus is an early Christian bishop in an alb, chasuble and stole, with a book in his hand and a lamp hanging over him (Roeder).
Zosimus of Spoleto M (RM)
Died 110. Martyr at Spoleto, Umbria, Italy, under Emperor Trajan (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
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.