Saint Pantaleon, Martyr
Anthusa of Constantinople V (RM)
8th century. Saint Anthusa was a recluse who became abbess of a convent near Constantinople. She was brought before Emperor Constantine Copronymus and tortured for her open veneration of the images of the saints. She was saved from martyrdom by the intervention of the empress, who befriended her. Anthusa lived to a ripe age and died in peace (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Blessed Berthold of Garsten, OSB Abbot (AC)
Born in Constance; died 1142. Scion of the family of the counts of Bogen, Berthold did as he was expected and married. At the age of 30 he was widowed and immediately joined the Benedictines of Blasien Abbey in the Black Forest. There he rose to the position of prior. He was then called to be prior of Göttweig in Austria, and finally abbot of Garsten in Styria, where he founded a hospice for the poor. He was known for his excellence as a confessor (Benedictines). In art, Berthold is a Benedictine abbot carrying fish and bread. Sometimes there is an angel near him holding fish on a plate or fishes come to him (Roeder). He is venerated in Constance, Saint Blasien (Schwärzwald, Germany), and Göttweig (Austria) (Roeder).
Congall of Iabnallivin (AC)
Date unknown. Before Congall's death he committed the governance of his monastery to his beloved disciple, Saint Fegnarnach. He is the titular patron of a parish on the upper part of Lake Erne, where his feast is a holy day of obligation (Husenbeth).
Blessed Conrad of Ottobeuren, OSB Abbot (PC)
Died 1227. Conrad was abbot of Ottobeuren Abbey in Bavaria from 1193 until his death. He is described as a "lover of the brethren and of the poor" (Benedictines).
Ecclesius of Ravenna B (AC)
Died 532. As bishop of Ravenna from 521 to 532, Ecclesius began the building of San Vitale, where there is a figure of him in mosaic (Benedictines). In art, Ecclesius is an early Christian bishop holding a basilica (Roeder).
Etherius of Auxerre B (RM)
Died 573. Bishop of Auxerre, France, from 563 to 573 (Benedictines).
Felix, Julia, and Jucunda MM (RM)
Date unknown. The Roman Martyrology erroneously assigns these martyrs to Nola. As to Saint Felix, the reference may simply be to the date of his consecration at Nola in southern Italy. Saints Julia and Jucunda are in older manuscripts assigned to Nicomedia in Asia Minor (Benedictines).
George, Aurelius, Natalia, Felix & Liliosa MM (RM)
Died 852. These martyrs suffered at Córdova, Spain, under the Caliph Abderrahman II. Aurelius, son of a Moor and a Spanish woman, was a secret Christian as was his half-Moorish wife, Natalia. Aurelius's relative Felix, who had converted to Islam for a time, married the Christian Liliosa and returned to the faith. Both couples openly professed their Christianity, perhaps because the women went about the city unveiled. They were arrested as apostates from Islam and beheaded. The deacon George, however, was a monk of Palestine. He was arrested for having openly spoken against the Prophet. Although he was offered pardon because he was a foreigner, he preferred to suffer with the others (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Hermolaus, Hermippus & Hermacrates MM (RM)
Died c. 300. Saint Hermolaus was an aged priest of Nicomedia. He is the one responsible for the conversion of the imperial physician, Saint Pantaleon, to the faith. Hermolaus and the two brothers, Hermippus and Heracrates, were martyred with Pantaleon (Benedictines).
Date unknown. All that is known of Saint Luican is that he is the titular patron of Kill-luicain parish in Ireland (Benedictines).
Blessed Lucy Bufalari, OSA V (AC)
Born at Castel Porziano, near Rome, Italy; died in 1350; cultus confirmed in 1832. Lucy, the sister of Blessed John of Rieti, became an Augustinian nun at Amelia. Later she was prioress. She is invoked against diabolical possession (Benedictines).
Blessed Mary Magdalen Martinengo, OFM Cap. V (AC)
Born in Brescia, Italy; died 1737; beatified in 1900. Mary Magdalen took the veil at the Capuchin convent in Brescia. She filled the post of novice mistress and prioress with marked success (Benedictines).
Maurus, Pantaleemon, and Sergius MM (RM)
Died c. 117. These three martyrs are venerated at Bisceglia on the Adriatic. Their untrustworthy acta describe Maurus as a native of Bethlehem, who was sent by Saint Peter to be Bisceglia's first bishop. They are said to have been martyred under Trajan (Benedictines).
Blessed Nevolo of Faenza, OSB Cam. Hermit (AC)
Died 1280; cultus approved in 1817. Nevolo was a shoemaker by trade. He married and led a frivolous life until at the age of 24 he experienced a complete conversion. He became the first Franciscan tertiary and later enter the Camaldolese monastery at San Maglorio at Faenza as a lay-brother (Benedictines).
Pantaleon the Physician M (RM)
(also known as Panteleemon, Panteleimon)
Died c. 305. Saint Pantaleon is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, known for their efficacious prayer, who are especially venerated in France and Germany. All of them have highly embroidered life stories, although they themselves are rather shadowy figures about whom almost nothing is known for certain. Pantaleon's unreliable vita may have developed because his name in Greek, means "the all-compassionate."
It is said that he was a doctor of such skill that Emperor Maximian, a great persecutor of Christians employed Pantaleon as the court physician. He was the son of a pagan father, Eustorgius, and a Christian mother, Eubula, who raised him as a Christian. In the fanatically anti-Christian and dissolute court of Maximian, he lost his faith and nearly his soul with his self-indulgent lifestyle.
In time, however, a fellow-Christian named Hermolaos reminded the doctor of the faith he had abandoned. From that time Pantaleon's skills were at the disposal of the poor. The wealth he had gained from his successful practice was given away.
Other physicians, jealous of his position at court, saw Pantaleon's renewed faith as a way of discrediting him at court. When the persecution of Christians under Emperor Diocletian broke out in Nicomedia in 303, Pantaleon, Hermolaos, and two other Christians were arrested. This time Pantaleon refused to reject the faith; instead he chose death. Vain attempts were made to put him to death in six different ways--including drowning, fire, and wild beasts--before he was successfully beheaded amidst a halo of other marvels.
What is probably true is that he was a physician, who practiced without payment, and who was martyred under Diocletian, probably at Nicomedia. He cultus is primarily connected with Bithynia, where Emperor Justinian rebuilt his church at Nicomedia. Churches are dedicated to him in Constantinople and Rome. In the East he is known as the Great Martyr and Wonder Worker. A reputed relic of Pantaleon's blood kept at Ravello in southern Italy displays the phenomenon of liquefaction on his feast day, similar to that of Saint Januarius (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Sheppard)
In art, Saint Pantaleon is a physician holding a phial of medicine. At times he may be depicted (1) healing a sick child; (2) bound with hands above his head to an olive tree, to which he is nailed, with a sword at his feet; (3) nail through his hands into his head; (4) pushed off a rock with a pitchfork; (5) with a stone tied to his neck; (6) killed with a club; or (7) with a sword and vase or phial (Roeder). Click here to see an image of the saint by Photios Kontoglou.
Together with Saints Cosmas and Damian, Pantaleon is the patron of the medical profession (Bentley). He is invoked against lung disease (Sheppard).
Blessed Rudolph Acquaviva, &amo Four Comps., SJ MM (AC)
Born at Atri in 1550; died near Goa, India, July 25, 1583; beatified in 1893. Rudolph was the nephew of Claudio Acquaviva, the fifth general of the Society of Jesus. Under the influence of his uncle, he too became a Jesuit and went to the society's mission in the East Indies. He was martyred on the peninsula of Salsette with four companions (Benedictines).
Seven Sleepers of Ephesus MM (RM)
Died 250-362. Maximian, Malchus, Martinian, Dionysius, John, Serapion, and Constantine--the names vary in different versions of the legend--were walled up in a cave under Decius (250) and found alive there 200 years later. They died soon after they awoke to find Ephesus Christian and were venerated as saints.
The long sleep is a common theme of myth and folklore, and this Christianized version was already current in the 6th century. The most ingenuous was written in Syriac about 500 by Saint James of Sarugh. Saint Gregory of Tours spread the story to Europe. But its popularity was heightened in Medieval Europe when it was included in The Golden Legend by the Dominican Blessed James of Voraigne (based on the translation by William Caxton):
The Seven Sleepers were born in Ephesus. And when Decius the Emperor came to Ephesus to persecute Christian men, he commanded that temples be built in the middle of the city, so that all should come and offer sacrifice to the idols with him. He sought out all the Christians and obliged them to sacrifice or suffer death. Because of this, every man was so afraid of the pains in store for himself that friend betrayed friend, son repudiated father, and the father the son.
Then in the city were found seven Christian men named, Maximian, Malchus, Marcian, Denis, John, Dionysius, Serapion, and Constantine. And when they saw this, they were saddened, and because they were the first in the palace that despised the sacrifices, they hid themselves in their houses, fasted, and prayed.
And then they were accused before Decius, and came thither and were found to be very Christian men. They were given a chance to repent before being brought again before Decius. In the meantime they expended their patrimony in alms to the poor, and assembled themselves together and took counsel, and went to the Mount of Celion and there ordained to be more secretly and hid themselves a long time. And one of them administered and served them always; and when he went into the city he clothed himself in the habit of a beggar.
When Decius returned, he commanded that they should be fetched, and then Malchus, who was their servant and ministered to them meat and drink, returned in great dread to his fellows and told them about the great fury and madness of them, they were very afraid. . . . Suddenly, as God willed, they slept, and when they were sought in the morning they could not be found. . . . Then Decius thought what he should do with them and, as our Lord would, he enclosed the mouth of the cave wherein they were with stones, so that they should die of hunger and thirst.
Then the ministers and two Christian men, Theodore and Rufinus, wrote their martyrdom and laid it subtly among the stones. And when Decius was dead, and all that generation, 362 years after and the 30th year of Theodosius the Emperor, when the heresy of them that denied the resurrection of dead bodies began to grow . . . God, merciful and piteous, seeing, would comfort them that were sorrowful and weeping and give to them hope of the resurrection of the dead, opened the precious treasure of His pity and raised the aforesaid martyrs in the following manner:
He put into the will of a burgess of Ephesus that he would make in the mountain, which was desert and rough, a stable for his pastures and herdsmen. And it happened that by chance the masons that made the said stable opened the cave. And then these holy saints that were within awoke, and got up and saluted one another and supposed verily that they had slept but one night only and remembered of the heaviness that they had the previous day. . . .
Maximian commanded Malchus to go and buy bread in the city, and bade him bring more than he did yesterday and also to enquire and demand what the emperor had commanded to do. And then Malchus took five shillings and issued out of the cave, and when he saw the masons and the stones before the cave he began to bless him and was much amazed. But he thought little on the stones, for he thought about other things.
Then came he all doubtful to the gates of the city, and was totally amazed. For he saw the signs of the cross above the gate, and then, without tarrying, he went to that other gate of the city and found there also the sign of the cross thereon, and then he had great marvel, for upon every gate he saw set up the sign of the cross, and therewith the city was garnished. And then he blessed himself and returned to the first gate and knew he had dreamed; and after he advised and comforted himself and covered his visage and entered into the city.
And when he came to the sellers of bread and heard the men speak of God, yet then was he more abashed and said, 'What is this that no man durst yesterday name Jesus Christ, and now every man confesses himself Christian? I trust this is not the city of Ephesus, for it is all otherwise built. It is some other city. I don't know what to think.'
And when he demanded and heard verily that it was Ephesus, he supposed that he had erred and thought verily to go back again to his fellows, and then went to them that sold bread. And when he showed his money, the sellers marvelled and said that one to that other, that this young man has found some old treasure. And when Malchus saw them talk together, he doubted not that they would lead him to the emperors; show it to us, and we shall be fellows with thee and keep both money and bread, but they held him and said to him, "From where do you come? For you have found treasure of the old emperors; show it to us, and we shall be fellows with you and keep it secret."
And Malchus was so afeared that he did not know what to say to them for dread. And when they saw that he spoke not, they put a cord about his neck and drew him through the city unto the middle thereof. . . . And when Saint Martin, the bishop, and Antipater, the consul, which were new come into this city, heard of this thing, they sent for him that they should bring him wisely to them and his money with him.
And when he was brought to the church he knew well he should have been led to the Emperor Decius. And then the bishop and the consul marvelled of the money and they demanded him where he had found this treasure unknown. And he answered that he had nothing found but it was come to him of his kindred and patrimony. . . . And then said the judge, "How may we believe that this money is come to you from your friends when it appears from the inscription that it is more than 372 years since it was made and forged and is of the first days of Decius the emperor and it resembles nothing of our money?"
. . . . And Malchus said, 'Sir, hereof I am greatly abashed and no man believes me, for I know well that we fled for fear of Decius the emperor, and I saw him that yesterday he entered into this city, if this be the city of Ephesus.'
Then the bishop thought in himself and said to the judge that this is a vision that our Lord will have showed this young man. Then said the young man, 'Follow me, and I will show you my fellows which are in the mount of Celion, and believe them. This I know well, that we fled from the face of the Emperor Decius.'
And then they went with him and a great multitude of the people of the city with them. And Malchus entered first into the cave to his fellows and the bishop came next. And there found they among the stones the letters sealed with two seals of silver. And then the bishop called them that had come with them and read them before them all, so that they that heard it were all abashed and marvelled. And they saw the saints sitting in the cave and their visages like unto roses flowering, and they, kneeling down, glorified God. And anon the bishop and the judge sent to Theodosius, the emperor, asking him to come quickly to see the marvels of our Lord that He had late showed. . . .
And as soon as the blessed saints of our Lord saw the emperor come, their visages shone like the sun. And the emperor entered then and glorified our Lord and embraced them, weeping upon each of them, and said, 'I see you now like as I should see our Lord raising Lazarus.'
And then Maximian said to him, 'Believe us, for forsooth our Lord has raised us before the day of the great resurrection. And to the end that you believe firmly the resurrection of the dead, verily we be raised as you see here, and live. And in likewise as the child is in the womb of his mother without feeling harm or hurt, in the same wise we have been living and sleeping in lying here without feeling anything.'
And when they had said all this they inclined their heads to the earth and rendered their spirits at the command of our Lord Jesus Christ, and so died. Then the emperor arose and fell on them, weeping strongly, and embraced them and kissed them debonairly. And then he commanded to make precious sepulchers of gold and silver and to bury their bodies therein.
That same night they appeared to the emperor and said to him that he should allow them to lie on the earth, as they had lain until the time that our Lord had raised them, until the time that they should rise again. Then commanded the emperor that the place should be adorned nobly and richly with precious stones, and all the bishops that would confess the resurrection should be assoiled. It is in doubt of that which is said that they slept 362 years, for they were raised the year of our Lord 478 and Decius reigned but one year and three months, and that was in the year of our Lord 270, and so they slept but 208 years.
The story most likely originated with a misunderstanding of the term "slept in the Lord" when discussing the discovery of some forgotten relics. Or it may have been a pious romance written in connection with controversy about the resurrection of the body. Gradually its heroes came to be honored as saints.
They are much honored by the Eastern Church. The cave in which their bodies were found became a famous place for pilgrimages. Their relics were conveyed to Marseilles in a large stone coffin, which can still be seen in Saint Victor's church. Baronius challenged the authenticity of the story, but retained their feast in the Roman Martyrology. The feast has been removed from the Roman Calendar (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
In art, they are seven youths asleep in a cave (Roeder). In the Museum Victorium at Rome is a statue representing the Seven Sleepers with their names. Near Constantine and John are exhibited two clubs; near Maximian a knotty club; near Malchus and Martinian two axes; near Serapion a burning torch, and near Danesius (whom others call Vionysius) a great nail, such as sometimes were used as an instrument of torture. From this ancient monument some infer that these martyrs were put to death by various torments. In this group of figures, these martyrs are represented all as very young, and without beards, which concurs with ancient martyrologies that say they were boys (Husenbeth).
Theobald of Marly, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC)
(also known as Thibaut)
Born at Marly Castle, Montmorency, France; died December 8, 1247. Saint Theobald, son of Bouchard of Montmorency, was trained to take up the profession of arms, although he had always displayed an inclination to a life of prayer. Nevertheless, he was a distinguished knight at the court of King Philip Augustus II, even while he resorted frequently to the convent church of Port-Royal. He abandoned his worldly goods in order to enter the Cistercian monastery of Vaux-de-Cernay in 1220. He was highly esteemed by King Saint Louis of France, as well as his brothers in religion who elected him prior in 1230 and abbot in 1235. Even as abbot he lived in the midst of his brethren as the servant of every one, and surpassed all others in his love of poverty, silence, and holy prayer. Theobald's shrine at Vaux-de- Cernay is visited by many people on Whitsundays. His solemn feast is kept there July 8 and in some places on July 9, which is probably the day on which his relics were first translated (Benedictines, Husenbeth, Walsh). In art, Saint Theobald is a knight bearing the arms of Thann. He may, at times, wear armor under his Cistercian habit with his miter at his feet (Roeder). He is venerated in Thann (Alsace) and Hemel Hempstead (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.