Saint Elizabeth of Portugal
Aggaeus (Aggeus, Haggai), Prophet (RM)
Died c. 516 BC. The tenth of the Minor Prophets, Haggai belongs to the period after the exile. The purpose of his divine message was to forward the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem (Benedictines).
Albert Quadrelli B (AC)
Born at Rivolta d'Adda, diocese of Cremona, Italy; died at Lodi, Italy, 1179. Albert was a parish priest in his native town for 25 years. In 1168, he was chosen as bishop of Lodi (Benedictines).
Andrew of Crete (of Jerusalem) B (RM)
Born Damascus, Syria, c. 660; died in Crete, c. 740. Andrew became a monk at Mar Sabas and then of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem when 15, where he lived with the community for ten years. He was sent to Constantinople by Patriarch Theodore of Jerusalem to accept the decrees of the Council of Constantinople in 685, and stayed there as head of an orphanage and of an old men's home. There he also served as a deacon at Santa Sophia in Constantinople.
About 700, Andrew was named archbishop of Gortyna, Crete, and in 712 attended a synod invoked by Phillipicus Bardanes, a Monothelite, who had seized the imperial crown and denounced the decisions of the Council of Constantinople. When Anastasius II defeated Bardanes, Pope Constantine accepted the explanation of Andrew's patriarch that he had attended under duress.
Andrew was an exceptionally eloquent preacher, but he is best known for his Greek liturgical poetry. He wrote many short hymns, each with its own melody, called idiomela, and is believed to have inaugurated a form of hymnody known as kanon in the Byzantine liturgy. This is a form that tends to length and verbosity: Saint Andrew's 'Great Kanon,' a penitential hymn for Lent, runs to 250 strophes; it is still sung in the Byzantine liturgy.
This Andrew of Crete should not be confused with the saint of the same name celebrated on October 20 (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney)
Aurelian of Lyons, OSB B (AC)
Died 895. Saint Aurelian, a monk and abbot of Ainay, later became archbishop of Lyons, France (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Bertha of Blangy, OSB Widow (AC)
Died c. 725. Bertha, daughter of Count Rigobert and his wife Ursana, was related to one of the kings of Kent. At the age of 20, she married Sigefroi and bore him five daughters. She founded the abbey of Blangy in Artois, where she donned the veil after her husband's death. Two of her daughters, Saints Gertrude and Deotila, joined her in holy retirement. This angered the courtier Roger who endeavored to throw aspersions upon her character because she refused Gertrude's hand in marriage. But King Thierry III, convinced of her innocence, took her under his protection and allowed her to return to Blagny.
Upon her return, she finished Blagny and built three churches in honor of Saints Audomarus, Vedast, and Martin of Tours. Having established regular observance in her community, she is said to have spent the rest of her life immured in a cell beside the church, with a single window giving on to the altar. Most of her relics are kept at Blagny (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Bertha is depicted kneeling before an altar with her daughter. She is venerated at Blagny in the Artois (Roeder).
Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal, OFM Tert. Queen (RM)
Born in Aragon, Spain, 1271; died at Estremoz on July 4, 1336; canonized in 1625 (1626?); feast day formerly on July 8.
Elizabeth, daughter of King Peter III of Aragon, was named after her great-aunt, Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, but she is known in Portugal by the Spanish form of that name, Isabella. At age 12 she married the dissolute and selfish Denis, king of Portugal. The first of their two children was born seven years later. King Denis was not a good man, but he was a strong, effective ruler and did not interfere with her commitment to good works though he did not join her in them.
She rose early each morning to pray, made provision for pilgrims and poor strangers, and sought out and relieved the distress of those in want. She provided dowries for girls and founded many charitable establishments: a hospital at Coimbra, hospices for travellers, a residence in Torres Novas for wayward women who wanted to leave a life of sin, shelters for wayward girls, and an orphanage. She herself would tend the sick.
With heroic patience she endured the infidelity of her husband and even provided for the education of his illegitimate children. Her son Alfonso, who was to succeed his father, grew up rebellious, partly in response to his father's treating his illegitimate sons favorably. Twice he sought to start wars, and in both cases his mother brought about a reconciliation between the opposing parties.
She also suffered persecution when unjustly accused of inciting her son against the king. All her goods were confiscated and she was banished from court. Despite all this, she refused to join with insurrectionists and urged loyalty to the king. She was finally vindicated of the false charges brought against her.
Elizabeth was a gifted arbitrator, and she cut short of prevented war between Ferdinand IV of Castile, and his cousin Alfonso IV of Aragon; and between Ferdinand and her brother, James II of Aragon. She came to be called the "Peacemaker."
When King Denis fell ill in 1324 and was dying, she forgave all his cruelties and nursed him in his last illness until he died in Santarem in 1325. The only time she left his side was to attend Mass. During his illness the king, who had been a capable leader, repented.
Elizabeth was 54 at the time of her husband's death. After his funeral, Elizabeth made a pilgrimage to Compostella. She then tried unsuccessfully to enter the convent of the Poor Clares that she had founded at Coimbra, Portugal. Failing that, she became a Franciscan tertiary and lived the monastic rule very simply in a house she built near her convent. It was her lifelong practice to pray the Liturgy of the Hours. There she devoted herself wholly to the service of God and the needy people of the neighborhood.
Elizabeth died seeking peace and reconciliation amongst the fierce monarchs of her age. Her son was now King Alfonso IV, and in 1336, he set out to do battle with his son-in-law the King of Castile. Elizabeth, though sick, set off to bring peace between them. She succeeded in her mission, but the exertions and heat were too much for her ailing body and she died before she could return to her beloved nuns at Coimbra. Nevertheless, Elizabeth was buried in the magnificent convent she founded in Coimbra, where she had often humbly served the other nuns at table.
Her chapel in honor of the Immaculate Virgin at the convent of the Trinity in Lisbon is perhaps one of the first sanctuaries in which the Immaculate Conception was venerated. It is said that Saint Elizabeth's last words were, "Mary, Mother of grace." One of her favorite sayings was, "If you love peace, all will be well." Miracles were reported at her tomb (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Martindale, White).
In art, Saint Elizabeth is depicted carrying roses in her lap in winter; crowned with roses; or as a Franciscan tertiary nun, sometimes with a beggar near her or with a rose or jug in her hand (Roeder, White). She is easily confused with Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who is also a queen and Franciscan tertiary. Elizabeth is venerated in Saragossa and is invoked in time of war (Roeder).
Finbar of Wexford, Abbot (AC)
6th century. This Saint Finbar was the founder and abbot of a famous monastery on the Isle of Crimlen or Innis Doimhle, Wexford (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Blessed Hatto of Ottobeuren, OSB (AC)
Born in Swabia, Germany; died 985. Hatto, born into a noble family, donated all his property to the Benedictine monastery of Ottobeuren, then entered the abbey himself. Later he lived as a hermit. When the abbot discerned that Hatto was showing too much attachment to his old property, he recalled him to community life-- and Hatto obeyed immediately (Benedictines).
Blessed Henry of Albano, OSB Cist. B Card. (AC)
Innocent, Sebastia (Sabbatia) & Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. This group of 32 martyrs suffered by Sirmium (Mitrovica) in the Balkans (Benedictines).
Blessed John Cornelius, SJ, Thomas Bosgrave,
John Carey, and Patrick Salmon MM (AC)
Died at Dorchester, England, 1594; beatified in 1929.
John Cornelius was born at Bodmin of Irish parents. He became a fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, and a student at Rheims and then at Rome, where he was ordained a priest in 1583. He worked for ten years on the English mission at Lanherne and became a Jesuit only in 1594.
Thomas Bosgrave was a gentleman, the nephew of Sir J. Arundel. Martyred with Cornelius and Bosgrave were two of Bosgrave's servants: John Carey and Patrick Salmon. They were accused of sheltering priests.
The Act of 1585 made it high treason to have been ordained a Roman Catholic priest and simple treason to aid a priest. The penalty for laypeople dealing with the outlawed priest was liable to vary according to local custom--some may have gotten off fairly lightly. On the other hand, a man might be hanged for buying a priest a tankard of ale.
John Cornelius was condemned for his priesthood. Thomas Bosgrave had taken off his hat and crammed it on the head of Mr. (Father) Cornelius, when the Jesuit was being carried away as a prisoner-- "The honor I owe to your function may not suffer me to see you go bareheaded." Mr. Bosgrave was instantly arrested, led away, and hanged together with Mr. Cornelius.
(Note: At that time in England, priests were addressed 'mister.' It was not until the mid-19th century that the Irish Catholic practice of using 'father' became customary in England) (Benedictines, Undset).
Jucundian of Africa M (RM)
Date unknown. African who was martyred by being thrown into the sea (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Laurian(us) of Seville M (RM)
Born in Hungary; died in Bourges, France, c. 544. Saint Laurian was a world traveller, if his doubtful vita is to be trusted. Although he is said to have been born in Hungary, he was ordained deacon in Milan, Italy, and appointed archbishop of Seville, Spain. He was supposedly martyred at Bourges in France (Benedictines).
Namphanion and Companions MM (RM)
Died c. 180. Namphanion, of Carthaginian descent, was martyred with several companions, his compatriots, at Madaura, Numidia. He is usually styled by African writers as the "Archmartyr" (Benedictines).
Odo (Oda) the Good of Canterbury, OSB B (AC)
Born in East Anglia; died 959; feast day in Canterbury formerly on June 2. Born of Danish parents in England, Odo became bishop of Ramsbury (Wessex). He was with King Athelstand when the king defeated the Danes, Scots, and Northumbrians at the Battle of Brunanburh in 937.
In 942, he became archbishop of Canterbury. He tried to escape consecration by declaring that, unlike previous archbishops, he was not a monk. He only consented to accept the dignity after he had received the Benedictine habit from the hands of the abbot of Fleury-sur-Loire in France (reformed by another Saint Odo--of Cluny, who had died in 942).
Odo played an active role in secular as well as ecclesiastical affairs during the reigns of Kings Edmund and Edgar and paved the way for monastic restoration under SS. Dunstan, Oswald (Odo's nephew), and Ethelwold. He is reputed to have performed several miracles (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Osee (Hosea), Prophet (RM)
8th century BC. Hosea lived in a period when, as is usual in the history of the world, things were going badly. He seems to have been a contemporary of Isaiah, but his prophecies were directed at his compatriots of Samaria, the destruction of whose kingdom he foretold. The Hebrews who had settled in Judea had reached a high point during the reigns of David and Solomon, but since then they had separated into two kingdoms: the kingdom of the north, Israel, and the southern kingdom of Judah.
The kings of Israel were a poor lot and there was anarchy everywhere--military, political, and religious anarchy. For a country to be defeated in a war is a far smaller tragedy than for a country to lose its sense of vocation, and Hosea lamented this falling-off not only with his preaching but also with his life.
The prophets of the Old Testament were very fond of striking people's imaginations by what we would today call publicity stunts, such as walking half naked through a town with a shaven head and carrying the yoke of an ox. Hosea drew attention to himself by getting married, which may not sound very original in itself but was what God wanted him to do, and God never hesitates to outflank our limited intelligences.
Moreover He ordered Hosea to marry a prostitute--and please don't be scandalized, because you will soon see that this story comes closer to home than you might think. "Go, take a harlot wife," said God (Hosea 1:2), and Hosea obeyed. He married a woman called Gomer, by whom he had a son called Jezreel, and soon after that Gomer returned to her former trade.
Hosea wasn't surprised, but he had known Gomer long enough to come to love her, and to love her with all his heart. She had two more children: a daughter, Lo-ruhamah, which means "not loved," and a son, Lo-ammi, which means "not of my people."
Hosea continued to love Gomer and when God ordered him to take her back he obeyed, buying her for 15 pieces of silver and a barrel and a half of barley. And that is all that we know about him, because that is all that God wanted us to know, just the story of this marriage and of Hosea's great love for a sad, even wretched, despised person. For the story of Hosea's tender love is the story of God's tender love, and in the story of God's love the prostitute is us.
For what is the story of Hosea if not the story of God who loves His people, who is betrayed by His people--even by those who are the most faithful--but Whose love is yet stronger than their betrayal? To make us understand His love God begins by telling us about a marriage and ends by sending His Son to live the Crucifixion. His love was in the beginning and will endure for ever, for God has never brought Himself to hate man completely. Sometimes He leaves man to himself, and that is His greatest punishment (5:15).
Hosea's whole life as well as his book bear witness to this great love of God. Through his mouth we hear God weeping in rage and frustrated love over the sins of mankind: "I will have no pity on her children, for they are the children of harlotry. Yes, their mother has played the harlot; she that conceived them has acted shamefully. . . . " (2:7).
But soon his anger abates and he takes new hope: "Then she shall say, 'I will go back to my first husband; for it was better with me then than now" (2:9). Surely we have here an echo, a herald of that other story, the story of the Prodigal Son, and of his words: "I will arise and go to my father. . . ." (Luke 15:18).
Hosea continues: "So, I will allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak to her heart. From there I will give her the vineyard she had, and the valley of Achor as a door of hope. She shall respond there as in the days of her youth (Hosea 2:16-17). . . . I will espouse you to me forever. I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy (2:21). . . . And I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, you are my people; and they shall say, You are my God."
This crisis in God's love for His people and for mankind is the theme of the book of Hosea. Neither Hosea nor God would admit defeat; they threatened terrible calamities, they wept over betrayals and desertions, but all the time they were waiting for the great reconciliation. Neither had any illusions about vice and sin; they met it head on, face to face.
They blamed the priests: "My people perish for want of knowledge! Because you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you from my priesthood, since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons (4:6). . . ." After the priests they blamed the folly of the people: "My people ask counsel at their stocks, and their staff declares to them." They blamed the iniquity of the rulers: "The princes of Judah have become like those that move a boundary line (5:10). . . . For I am like a lion to Ephraim, like a young lion to the house of Judah" (5:14)
Nor were Hosea or God deceived by superficial repentance. In one of the finest passages in the Old Testament, Hosea says: "For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings" (6:6).
"Ephraim," says God, "is a hearth cake not turned (7:8). . . . a silly dove without heart" (7:11). And yet: "How could I give you up, O Ephraim? . . . . My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred. I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; for I am God and not man" (11:8-9).
And so the book of the prophet Hosea ends with the victory of love; and as long as it is read, despair shall never triumph:
"I will heal their defection, I will love them freely, for my wrath is turned away from them. I will be as the dew unto Israel; he shall blossom like the lily, he shall strike root like the Lebanon cedar, and put forth his shoots. His splendor shall be like the olive tree (14:5-7). . . . Straight are the paths of the Lord, in them the just walk, but sinners stumble in them (14:10) (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Blessed Peter of Luxembourg, Cardinal B (AC)
Born at Ligny, Lorraine, in 1369; died 1387; beatified in 1527. Peter was born into the family of the counts of Lützelburg. Due to his station in life and his disposition to the clerical life, he was given canonries in Paris, Chartres, and Cambrai while he was still very young. Before he was 14 years old, he was named archdeacon of Dreux and appointed bishop of Metz. At 16, he was made cardinal of San Giorgio in Velabro. Although he died at the age of only 18, he had demonstrated great promise and holiness of life (Benedictines). In art, Peter is portrayed as a young cardinal with a shield bearing a rampant lion near him. He might also be shown (1) presenting before the crucifix, or (2) presenting a donor to the Virgin. He is venerated in Avignon, France (Roeder).
Theodore of Cyrene BM (RM)
Died c. 310. Bishop Theodore of Cyrene in Libya was skilled in copying books. He was brutally martyred under Diocletian for refusing to hand over his manuscripts of the Scriptures (Benedictines).
Ulric of Augsburg B (RM)
(also known as Uldaricus, Udalric)
Born at Augsburg, Germany, in 890; died at Saint Gall, Switzerland, 973; canonized by Pope John XV in 993. At the age of seven, Ulric was sent to the Benedictine Saint Gall Abbey to be educated. He also had the advantage of education at the hands of his uncle Saint Adalbero, bishop of Augsburg, whom he succeeded in 923. During his 50 as bishop of Augsburg, Ulric took conspicuous part in ecclesiastical and secular affairs and labored zealously for the good of his flock.
He protected his people against the invading Magyars. After the horrors of plundering, he led its inhabitants in the task of rebuilding the city and its cathedral. In his old age, he retired to Saint Gall, named his nephew as his coadjutor and successor, and was accused of nepotism for his action.
He was the first person recorded to have been canonized by a pope after an account of his life and miracles was submitted to the holy father at a council in Rome. A letter against clerical celibacy ascribed to Saint Ulric has been shown to be a later forgery (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
In art, Saint Ulrich is depicted as (1) a bishop enthroned and holding a fish; (2) at dinner with Saint Wolfgang, Saint Ulrich rewards a messenger with a goose leg, which turns into a fish on Friday morning; (3) giving a fish or garment to a beggar; (4) often with Saint Afra his co-patron of Augsburg; (5) riding through the river on his horse as his companion sinks; or (6) with a cross given to him by an angel. Ulrich is the patron of weavers. He is invoked for a happy birth and peaceful death and against birth pangs, fever, frenzy, mice, moles, and faintness (Roeder).
Blessed William Andleby and Companions (AC)
Died York, England, 1597; beatified in 1929. William Andleby was born at Etton, near Beverley, and educated at Saint John's College, Cambridge. After his conversion to Catholicism, he studied for the priesthood at Douai and was ordained in 1577. He labored in Yorkshire for twenty years--longer than many of his contemporaries. He was martyred together with three Catholic laymen: Edward Fulthrop, Thomas Warcop, and Henry Abbot.
Edward Fulthrop was a Yorkshire gentleman who also converted to Catholicism. Thomas Warcop, another gentleman of Yorkshire, was hanged for sheltering priests. Another convert, Henry Abbot, a native of Howden in Yorkshire, was executed because of his conversion (Benedictines).
Blessed William of Hirsau, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1091. After William, a monk of Saint Emmeram at Ratisbon (Regensburg), was named abbot of the recently restored abbey of Hirsau in Würtemberg, he introduced there the observance of Cluny. He founded a monastic school and seven new abbeys. As abbot he restored the scriptorium, attended to the instruction and well-being of the tenants and serfs of the abbey estates. William is also known for having supported Gregory VII against Henry IV and for the learned treatises that he wrote. These activities, coupled with great holiness of life, show him to have been typical of the great Benedictine abbots of his time (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.