Saint Peter Chrysologus, Doctor
Abdon and Sennen MM (RM)
3rd or 4th century. Abdon and Sennen are said to have been Persian princes or nobles (but may have been servants) who had become Christians and were captured during one of either Diocletian's or Decius's persecutions--possibly already having been taken prisoner during a Roman campaign in Persia. In Rome they devoted themselves to serving Christian prisoners and burying the bodies of martyrs. Following the glorious tradition of those Christians who preferred death to renouncing Jesus, when the Romans brought idols to be worshipped by the two saints, Abdon and Sennen spat on them.
Their story has one strange twist. The two men were taken to the Roman Coliseum to be torn apart by wild beasts. But, we are told, the bears and lions simply refused to touch or harm them. They had to be cut in pieces by gladiators, who thus showed themselves more savage than untamed animals.
A brave Roman Christian named Quirinus gathered together their dismembered corpses and buried them. And when Emperor Constantine the Great became a supporter of Christianity, they were buried with honor in the cemetery of Pontianus on the via Portuensis. Their cultus was recorded in the Deposito martyrum written in 354 and in early Roman Sacramentaries (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer).
In art, Abdon and Sennen are depicted in a den of lions and bears. They are the patrons of children and invoked for a good harvest (Roeder). In a 6th- or 7th-century fresco in the Roman cemetery of Pontianus are painted two martyrs in Persian apparel, inscribed with the names Abdon and Sennen (Bentley, Farmer).
Blessed Archangelus of Calafatimi, OFM (AC)
Born at Calafatimi, Sicily; died 1460; cultus confirmed in 1836. At the time when Pope Martin V suppressed the hermitages in Sicily, the hermit Archangelus joined the Observant Franciscans. Thereafter, he was a great promoter of this new branch of the congregation throughout Sicily (Benedictines).
Blessed Edward Powell, Richard Featherstone, Thomas Abel MM (AC)
Died at Smithfield, England, July 30, 1540; beatified in 1886 as one of 54 English martyrs by Pope Leo XIII.
Edward Powell was a Welshman who became a canon of Salisbury and a fellow of Oriel. He was well known in Europe as the author of various treatises against Luther. He was chosen by Queen Catherine of Aragon, wife of King Henry VIII, as one of her counsellors. He was imprisoned for refusing to sign the Act of Supremacy.
Richard Featherstone was educated at Cambridge. He became the tutor to Princess Mary Tutor and archdeacon of Brecknock. As one of the chaplains of Queen Catherine, he defended her in convocation and was charged and found guilty of treason.
Thomas Abel was born c. 1497. After receiving his doctorate in divinity from Oxford, he was ordained, and became chaplain to Catherine of Aragon. Sent with a letter from Catherine to Emperor Charles V to secure the brief of Pope Julius II permitting Henry to marry Catherine, he told the emperor the queen had been coerced into writing the letter and returned to England without the brief. Henry evidently suspected what he had done and harassed him and when he published Invicta Veritas, opposing university support of Henry's efforts to end his marriage to Catherine, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1532. Released, he was again arrested, supposedly for his implication in the Holy Maid of Kent affair in 1533, and after six years' imprisonment he was briefly released on parole by the warden. He was again brought back to prison, and the warden was sent to the Tower. Abel was convicted of high treason in 1540 for denying the ecclesiastical supremacy of the king.
Edward Powell, Thomas Abel, and Richard Featherstone were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Smithfield with (Benedictines, Delaney).
Ermengytha of Thanet, OSB V (AC)
Died c. 680. Saint Ermengytha was a nun at Minster in Thanet under obedience to her sister Saint Ermenburga (Domneva) (Benedictines).
Blessed Everard Hanse M (AC)
Born in Northamptonshire; died at Tyburn, England, 1581; beatified in 1886. Everard was educated at Cambridge for the Protestant ministry. After his conversion to Catholicism, he was ordained at Rheims, France, in 1581, and returned to the English mission. Within a few months he was arrested and hanged at Tyburn near London. His dying words were: "Oh happy day!" (Benedictines).
Hatebrand of Olden-Klooster, OSB Abbot (AC)
Born in Frisia; died 1198. Hatebrand was a Benedictine at Saint Paul's Abbey in Utrecht. In 1183, he became abbot of Olden- Klooster in Frisia, and revived the Benedictine Rule throughout his homeland (Benedictines).
Blessed John Soreth, OC (AC)
Born in Caen, Normandy, France, c. 1420; died 1471; cultus approved in 1865. John Soreth, prior general of the Carmelites from 1451 to 1471, was a forerunner to Saint Teresa of Ávila in his efforts to return to the primitive observance and to admit convents into the order (Benedictines).
Julitta (Giulietta) of Caesarea, Widow M (RM)
Died 303. Diocletian's persecution of the Christians began by denying them all the protection of the law, thus putting them at the mercy of the most venial of their neighbors. A powerful man of Caesarea (Cappadocia) unlawfully confiscated a considerable portion of the property of the rich widow Julitta. She brought a lawsuit against his to regain her goods and land. When it appeared that she would prevail, he denounced Julitta as a Christian.
The judge immediately called for fire and incense to be brought into the court. He ordered her to offer sacrifice, but she courageously responded: "May my estates perish, or be disposed of to strangers; may I also lose my life; and may this my body be cut in pieces, rather than that by the least impious word I should offend the God who made me. If you take from me a little portion of this earth, I shall gain heaven for it."
Without hesitation the exasperated judge decided in favor of the defendant, and condemned Julitta to the flames. When the saint hear this sentence, she was flushed with joy and thanked God for allowing her to share in His suffering. She movingly exhorted the Christians to constancy and fervor, which amazed the pagans. It seemed incongruent to see a noblewoman of her age and fortune condemned in such a fashion, and accepting it so calmly. When the fire was laid, Julitta laid herself cheerfully upon the pile, and there died of asphyxiation. The flames arched around her body without touching it; thus, the Christians were able to retrieve it in its entirety. Her body was interred in the porch of the principal church in Caesarea.
Her story is told in a homily (t. 2, F. 33, hoary. 5) by another Cappadocian, Saint Basil, who wrote about 375: "[Her body] enriches with blessings both the place and those who come to it." He assures us that "the earth which received the body of this blessed woman sent forth a spring of most pleasant water, whereas all the neighboring waters are brackish and salt. This water preserves health, and relieves the sick." (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
Leopold Mandic of Castelnovo, OFM Cap. Priest
Born at Castelnuovo, Dalmatia on May 12, 1866; died in Padua, Italy, on July 31, 1942; beatified by Pope Paul VI in 1976; canonized in 1983 by John Paul II.
The canonization of Leopold, baptized Adeodato Mandic, was accelerated. Canon law requires that 50 years pass after candidate's death before beatification may be considered, yet the holiness of Leopold was so obvious that it took less than 30 years for his beatification. It was an example of the sense of the faithful prevailing over canon law.
Adeodato, the 12th child of the family, was extremely small of stature (only 4'5") and very frail of health, but he was great in the things that matter: humility, serenity, and an ability to place himself completely in the presence of God. He became an aspirant to the Capuchin order at Udine, a novice in 1884, studied at Padua and Venice, Italy, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1890 and took the name Leopold.
Although he longed to be a missionary in Eastern Europe, he continued to work in the Venetian province, living at Padua for the next forty years. Having been raised in a region of diverse ethnic and religious groups, he dreamed and worked toward the restoration of the perfect unity of the Church.
Like Saint John Vianney, the famous Curé d'Ars, Leopold's special charism was the ability to read hearts. He was so sought after as a confessor and spiritual director that he described himself as "a bird in a cage." Cardinal Larraona wrote in the 1962 decree regarding Leopold's beatification: "This was his daily routine; after saying Mass early in the morning, he used to sit in the confession room and stay there the whole day long hearing confessions. He kept this up for about forty years without any complaint."
He became holy principally in bringing other pardon and peace. His life reminds priests of the importance of the ministry of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and its incomparable good, and penitents of the sacrament's powerful help and incomparable comfort during their earthly pilgrimage (Capuchin Franciscans of New York/New England, Farmer).
Blessed Manes de Guzmán, OP (AC)
(also known as Mannes, Manez)
Born at Calaruega, Burgos, Spain; died at Saint Peter's Monastery, Gumiel d'Izan, near Calaruega, in 1230 (there is a possibility that he may not have died until 1235); cultus approved by Pope Gregory XVI in 1834.
Son of Felix de Guzmán and Blessed Joan of Aza, and elder brother of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers, Manes was one of the 16 original Dominicans. He made his profession at Prouille in 1217. He and six others were sent to Paris to make the first French Dominican foundation, Saint James, in the same year. He then became chaplain to the Dominican nuns at Prouille, in 1218 was sent to Madrid as chaplain to a convent of Dominican nuns there, and spent the rest of his life in Madrid (Benedictines, Delaney).
Maxima, Donatilla, and Secunda VV MM (RM)
Died 304. Three maidens who were martyred at Tebourba in North Africa under Maximinus. Secunda was just 12 years old at the time (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Olav of Sweden, King M (AC)
Died c. 950. Olav, a son of Eric the Conqueror, was king of Sweden 993 to 1024. He was converted to the faith by Saint Sigfrid and established Christianity in Sweden. In a coalition with King Sweyn of Denmark and Erick, jarl of Lade, he defeated King Olaf I Tryggvesson of Norway at the battle of Svolder in 1000 and annexed part of his territory. Olav was murdered by rebellious followers at Stockholm when he refused to sacrifice to pagan gods (Benedictines, Delaney).
Blessed Peter of Mogliano, OFM (AC)
Born at Mogliano, diocese of Fermo, Italy; died 1490; cultus approved in 1760. Peter studied law at Perugia and joined the Observant Franciscans there. Later he preached with Saint James della Marca. Apparently Blessed Peter had a wonderful sense of humor and a joyful disposition, (Benedictines).
Peter Chrysologus B, Doctor (RM)
Born at Imola, Emilia, Italy, c. 400; died at Imola, July 31, c. 450; feast day was December 4. Although Saint Peter Chrysologus ('golden speeched') has been included among the Doctors of the Church by Pope Benedict XIII in 1729, very little is known about his life. All his writings have perished except a large collection of short sermons. There is no account of him earlier than nearly 400 years after his death, and it is unreliable.
Saint Peter studied under the direction of and was ordained deacon by Bishop Cornelius of Imola, of whom he speaks with veneration and gratitude. Peter successively was appointed by Emperor Valentinian III and his mother Galla Placida as archdeacon and then archbishop to succeed John of Ravenna, who was a frequent correspondent with Pope Gregory the Great. An unlikely legend says that he was named bishop of Ravenna around 433 by Pope Saint Sixtus III, who reputedly selected him in place of another elected by the people because of a vision Sixtus had telling him to do so.
At any rate, he at once set about the reform of his lax see and to eradicate paganism. He was known for his charities, and preached so effectively that he was surnamed Chrysologus. His first sermon impressed Empress Galla Placidia enough that thereafter she generously supported his ambitious building projects, including a baptistery and church dedicated to Saint Andrew in Classis, the port of Ravenna. Her son, Valentinian, and Saint Leo the Great respected and supported him as well. Sometimes he would become so caught up in the excitement of his own preaching that he would become momentarily speechless.
Peter was one of those who received a letter from the Monophysite leader Eutyches protesting his condemnation by Saint Flavian of Constantinople. Peter advised Eutyches to stop attempting to justify himself after his condemnation by the synod of Constantinople in 448 and not to cause dissension in the Church. He referred him to the teaching authority of the bishop of Rome.
Bishop Peter received Saint Germanus of Auxerre in Ravenna in 448, and when Germanus died there on July 31, Saint Peter officiated at his funeral, and kept his hood and sackcloth as relics. Peter was forewarned of his own death soon thereafter and returned to Imola for his final days.
Peter's sermons, almost all on Gospel subjects, are simple, practical, and clear, but are without the eloquence that his surname suggests. Nevertheless, these extant homilies were the reason Pope Benedict XIII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1729 (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Walsh, White).
In art, Saint Peter is shown being presented to Pope Sixtus III by SS. Peter and Apollinaris of Ravenna; or with a dish in his hand (White).
Rufinus of Assisi M (RM)
Date unknown. An early martyr at Assisi (Benedictines).
Blessed Simon of Lipnicza, OFM (AC)
Born at Lipnicza, Poland; died in Cracow, 1482; beatified in 1685. Simon joined the Franciscans because of a sermon given by Saint John Capistrano. He himself became a power preacher. Simon died while tending the sick during a plague (Benedictines). In art, Blessed Simon is a Franciscan giving food to a poor man. He is venerated in Cracow (Roeder).
Tatwin of Canterbury, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Tatuini, Tadwinus)
Died July 30, 734. Saint Tatwin, a monk of Bredon (Brenton) in Worcestershire, was described by Saint Bede as a man of remarkable prudence, devotion, and learning. At the recommendation of the Mercian King Ethelbald, Tatwin was chosen to succeed Saint Brithwald as archbishop of Canterbury in 731 and received the pallium in 733. Thereafter he consecrated bishops for Lindsey (Lincolnshire) and Selsey (West Sussex), which are the only recorded acts of his episcopacy.
He did, however, leave behind several works including Riddles (Enigmata), consisting of 40 acrostics similar to those of Saint Aldhelm. They treat of such diverse subjects as philosophy, charity, the alphabet, the pen, scissors, and swords. His Grammar (Ars Tatwini) expands upon that of Consentius and borrows from Donatus, Priscian, and other sources.
Tatwin was buried in the abbey church of Saint Augustine at Canterbury, and received an unofficial cultus. His relics, as well as the others buried there, were translated in 1091 when the church was enlarged. The epitaph on his tomb praised him for the same qualities described by Bede (Benedictines, Farmer).
Ursus of Auxerre B (RM)
Died 508. Ursus was a hermit at the church of Saint Amator at Auxerre. He was made bishop of Auxerre at the age of 75 after he had saved the town from a fire by his prayers (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.