Abibas (Abibo) (RM)
1st century. Abibas, the second son of Gamaliel (Acts 5:34; 22:3), converted to Christianity like his father and father's disciple, Saint Paul. He seems to have escaped the destruction of Jerusalem and lived until he was 80. In 415, his remains, together with those of Saints Stephen, Gamaliel, and Nicodemus, were found at Capergamela near Jerusalem (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Aspren (Aspronas) of Naples B (RM)
1st century. The Roman Martyrology contains this laus: At Naples in Campania, the birthday of Saint Aspren the bishop, who was cured of infirmity by Saint Peter the Apostle, and afterwards baptized and ordained bishop of that city." The historical records, however, indicate that he probably lived at the end of the 2nd or beginning of the 3rd century (Benedictines).
Blessed Augustine Gazotich of Lucera, OP B (AC)
Born in Trau, Dalmatia, c. 1260-1262; died 1323; cultus reconfirmed by Pope Clement XI in 1702. Augustine was born into a wealthy family who provided him with an excellent education. At 18, he and an Italian friend headed to the Dominican novitiate in France. Near Pavia, Italy, they were attacked by enemies of his family, who left the bodies of the two boys in the snow by the side of the road. Augustine was badly injured; his friend died. When he recovered from his injuries, Augustine continued to the novitiate. Augustine spent most of his life battling heresy: In his native Dalmatia, he fought the Manichæen heresy; in Sicily, Islam; in Hungary both. In every situation in which he found himself, Augustine gave proof of his virtue and good judgment. When Cardinal Boccasini came to Hungary as legate, he noted the wisdom and tact of his brother Dominican, and when he himself ascended the papal throne as Benedict XI, he appointed Augustine bishop of Zagreb in Croatia in 1303.
This diocese was in chaos when Augustine assumed the cathedra. His three predecessors had all tried, but failed, to repair the ravages of heresy, plague, and schism. The new bishop began by reforming the clergy. He finished building the cathedral and made a complete visitation of his diocese. His work was to bring him into violent conflict with the government, but, spiritually, he restored the entire see during his episcopacy.
Several charming miracles are related about Augustine. The river water of Zagreb was unfit to drink, so the Dominican fathers asked Augustine to pray for a new supply. At his prayer a fountain sprang up in the yard of the convent, abundantly supplying their needs. Another time he planted a tree in a little village and the leaves turned out to have healing properties. On one occasion, when Bishop Augustine was dining with Benedict XI, the pope, feeling that a missionary bishop must eat well to preach well, had a dish of partridge set before Augustine, who never ate meat. Because he did not want to offend the pope, he prayed for a resolution to the situation. The legend says that God turned the partridges into fish!
Augustine was transferred from Zagreb to Lucera (Nocera), Sicily. Here he continued his holy government, using his characteristic gentleness and his gift of healing. He promoted devotion to Saints Dominic, Thomas Aquinas, and Peter Martyr--all brother Dominicans. Feeling that he was near death, he returned to the Dominican convent in Nocera to die among his brethren. Under his statue in the cathedral of Nocera is the legend, "Sanctus Augustine Episcopus Lucerinus Ordinis Praedicatorum," an indication of the veneration in which he is held (Benedictines, Dorcy).
(Blessed) Benno of Metz, OSB B (AC)
Born in Schwabia (Germany); died August 3, 940. Benno left his noble family to become a priest at Strasbourg and, in 906, a hermit on Mount Etzel in the canton of Schwyz, Switzerland. He occupied the hermitage in which Saint Meinrad had lived, restored a shrine to Mary, and soon attracted disciples. In 927, the German King Henry the Fowler named Benno bishop of Metz in opposition to a locally elected candidate. Striving to remedy abuses, two years later he was blinded by the enemies his reforms and the method of his appointment had made. He resigned his see and returned to Mount Etzel, where he was joined in 934 by Eberhard, provost of Strasbourg cathedral, and Benno's hermitage was developed into a monastery that in time became the famous Einsiedeln Abbey. He has long been venerated as both a beatus and a saint, although his cultus has never been recognized formally (Benedictines, Delaney).
Euphronius of Autun B (RM)
Died after 475. There is an extant letter (Patrologia Latina col. 66-67) from Bishop Saint Euphronius of Autun to his friend Saint Lupus of Troyes (Benedictines).
Finding of the Body of St. Stephen, Protomartyr
A.D. 415. More will be added on this at a later date.
1st century. One of the great teachers of the Mosaic law, Gamaliel is honored in rabbinical circles with the title Rabban. He was the Pharisee who taught Saint Paul the law in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3). Gamaliel was also the one who counselled the Sanhedrin not to confute God's will by surreptitiously killing Peter and the Apostles who had been arrested for preaching Jesus. His eloquent speech caused that body to release Peter and the apostles with only a flogging (Acts 5:34-41). According to an ancient tradition recorded by Saint John Chrysostom, Gamaliel became a Christian even before Saint Paul. He witnessed the martyrdom of Saint Stephen and buried the protomartyr's body on his own estate about 20 miles outside Jerusalem. At his own death, Gamaliel was buried in the same sepulchre, where the relics of both were found, together with those of his son, Saint Abibas and Saint Nicodemus, in 415 following a vision by Lucian, as recorded in the Roman Martyrology (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).
Blessed Gregory of Nonantula, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 933. A Benedictine abbot of the great Italian abbey of Nonantula near Modena (Benedictines).
Hermellus (Hermylus) of Constantinople M (RM)
Lydia Purpuraria, Matron (RM)
Born at Thyatira (Ak-Hissar) in Asia Minor, 1st century. Saint Lydia was born in a town famous for its dye works. She was a seller of purple dye, when she became Saint Paul's first convert at Philippi (Acts 16:14-15), Macedonia, and in Europe. She and her entire household were baptized, which probably included young children. Thereafter, Paul made his home with her while in Philippi (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Mancus (Manaccus) of B (AC)
Date unknown. Mancus is the titular patron of Lanreath church in Cornwall, where, according to William Worcestre, his relics were venerated. His image appears in the 16th-century Young Women's Window at Saint Neot's Church in Cornwall (Farmer).
Marana and Cyra MM (RM)
5th century. Saints Marana and Cyra were two maidens who became hermits near Beroea, Syria. They are said to have kept holy silence throughout the year, except on Whitsunday (Benedictines). In art, this duo is depicted as two female hermits in mantles and hoods with chains on their shoulders (Roeder).
Nicodemus M (RM)
1st century. The Sanhedrin, the supreme council and highest court of justice of the Jews in Jerusalem, had wanted to condemn Jesus. Any member of the Sanhedrin who showed sympathy towards Jesus would have been considered by his colleagues as a traitor and an outcast. Yet we know that at least one member, Nicodemus, did.
Even before Jesus was tried, Saint John tells us that Nicodemus came to see Jesus, secretly and at night, to talk to him about what it means to see the kingdom of God (John 3). On this occasion Nicodemus partly confessed his belief in Jesus, saying: "We know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." Jesus tried to teach him about being born again by the Holy Spirit and by baptism. Saint John even says that it was to Nicodemus that our Lord said, "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
Nicodemus spoke out on Jesus' behalf before the chief priests and the Pharisees, pointing out to them that the Law demanded the accused be given a hearing before judgment was passed (John 7:50- 52).
Together with Saint Joseph of Arimathea, he had the privilege of laying Jesus' body in the tomb on Good Friday. He brought with him large quantities of costly myrrh and aloes to the tomb and with Joseph wrapped Jesus' body "with spices in linen cloth" (John 1939-42).
One of the apocryphal gospels was circulated under his name in the early centuries of the Church. Saint Nicodemus has always been venerated as a martyr, although nothing is mentioned about his conversion or martyrdom in the New Testament (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).
Peter of Anagni, OSB B (RM)
Born at Salerno, Italy; died 1105; canonized in 1109. Saint Peter became a Benedictine in Salerno, and was appointed bishop of Anagni by Pope Saint Gregory VII in 1062. There he built a new cathedral. He participated in the first crusade and was sent as papal legate to Constantinople (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Senach (Snach) of Clonard B (AC)
6th century. A disciple of Saint Finnian and his successor at Clonard (Benedictines).
Trea of Ardtree V (AC)
5th century. After her conversion to Christianity by Saint Patrick, Saint Trea became a recluse at Ardtree in Derry, Ireland (Benedictines).
Waltheof of Melrose, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC)
(also known as Waldef, Walden, Wallevus, Walène, Walthen)
Died August 3, c. 1160. Waltheof was the grandson of the Northumbrian patriot Saint Waldef, and the second son of Earl Simon of Huntingdon and Matilda (Maud), daughter of Judith, the niece of William the Conqueror. During their childhood, his elder brother Simon loved to build castles and play at soldiers, but Waltheof's passion was to build churches and monasteries of wood and stones. When grown up, Simon inherited his father's martial disposition as well as his title; but Waltheof had a strong inclination toward the religious life, and was mild and peace-loving.
When their father died, King Henry I gave their mother in marriage to King Saint David of Scotland. Waltheof followed his mother to the Scottish court, where he became an intimate friend of Saint Aelred, who was master of the royal household at that time.
Soon Waltheof decided to enter religious life. He left Scotland, and, about 1130, professed himself an Augustinian canon regular at Nostell, near Pontefract in Yorkshire. He was soon chosen prior of the recently founded Kirkham (1134) in the same country, and, realizing the obligations he now had to work for the sanctification of others as well as himself, he redoubled his austerity and regularity of observance.
In 1140, Waltheof was chosen by the canons of York to succeed Thurstan as archbishop, but King Stephen quashed the election because of Waltheof's known Scottish sympathies.
Waltheof, impressed by the life and vigor of the Cistercian monks, became anxious to join them. At first he tried to unite his community en bloc with that of Rievaulx, but met with opposition. Naturally he was encouraged by the advice of his friend Aelred, then abbot of Rievaulx, and accordingly he took the habit at Wardon (Waldron) in Bedfordshire.
Perhaps because one of his own traits was undaunted cheerfulness, Waltheof found Cistercian life excessively severe. The canons also put obstacles in his way. But he persevered as a Cistercian and moved to Rievaulx, where Aelred had been elected abbot in 1148. Only four years after profession, Waltheof was chosen abbot of Melrose in 1149, recently founded on the banks of the Tweed by King David. He had succeeded a man of ungovernable temper, so his sweetness must have been a shock for his brothers. He won their love and respect through humility, simplicity, and kindness. Like Saint Mayeul of Cluny, he preferred to be damned for excessive mercy rather than for excessive justice. With the help of King David, he also founded monasteries at Cultram and Kinross.
Whenever he fell into the smallest failing by inadvertence, Waltheof immediately made his confession, a practice of perfection which the confessors found rather trying, as one of them admitted to Jordan, the saint's biographer. In 1154 (or 1159), Waltheof was chosen archbishop of Saint Andrew's; but he prevailed upon Aelred to oppose the election and not to oblige him to accept it.
Upon his death, this saint of unbounded generosity to the poor was buried in the chapter house at Melrose. In 1207, his body was found to be incorrupt and was translated. When it was again translated in 1240, it was corrupted. Waltheof was never formally canonized but a popular cultus continued until the time of the Reformation.
Many miracles were recorded of Saint Waltheof during his lifetime. He had Eucharistic visions of Christ in the form appropriate to the feasts of Christmas, Passiontide, and Easter, and visions of heaven and hell. He multiplied food and had the gift of healing (Benedictines, Farmer, Walsh).
In art, Saint Waltheof is portrayed as a Cistercian kneeling by a block of stone at sunrise. Sometimes he may be shown restoring sight to a blind man (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.