St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Memorial of the Queenship of Mary
August 22

Agathonicus, Zoticus, and Companions MM (RM)
End 3rd century. These Christians were Martyred near Constantinople under Maximian Herculeus. They included the patrician Agathonicus, the Bithynian philosopher Zoticus, and several of his disciples. A magnificent cathedral was built in their honor at Constantinople (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Andrew of Ireland, OSB Abbot (RM)
(also known as Andrew of Tuscany or Andrew of Fiesole)

Born in Ireland or Scotland; died at Fiesole, Tuscany, Italy, c. 880. The story of St. Andrew is probably a pious fiction according to some who say there is no satisfactory evidence of his existence. Others say that he was a pilgrim who became the abbot-restorer of San Martino Abbey in Mensula. Beyond that all we have is embellished legend. He is reputed to be an Irish travelling companion of Bishop Saint Donatus of Fiesole, who later became the bishop's archdeacon. Donatus was one of the many Irishmen who journeyed on the continent in the early Middle Ages. Nevertheless, Saint Andrew has an approved cult, is included on the calendar, and has several churches dedicated to him (Attwater, Benedictines, Husenbeth, Montague). Generally, he is portrayed as a deacon curing a paralytic girl. Sometimes he is shown (1) appearing to a sleeping priest; (2) with his sister St. Brigid miraculously transported to his death-bed by angels; or (3) with an Irish wolfhound at his feet (Roeder). He is venerated in the environs of Florence: Fiesole, Settignano, San Martino e Mensola (Roeder).


Antoninus of Rome M (RM)
Died 186. Saint Antoninus is mentioned in the passio of Saints Eusebius, Pontian, Vincent, and Peregrinus. He is said to be a Roman executioner under Commodus who converted to the faith (Benedictines).


Arnulf of Eynesbury, Hermit (AC)
9th century. Saint Arnulf's relics were venerated in Arnulphsbury (Eanulfesbyrig or Eynesbury), Huntingdonshire, before the Danish invasions. He seems to have been forgotten by about 1000 AD, because On the resting-places of the saints mentions Saint Neot but not Arnulf. He is described as an English hermit of the area, but he may well be a duplicate of Saint Arnulf of Metz, which would explain why he was forgotten (Benedictines, Farmer).


Athanasius, Anthusa and Companions MM (RM)
Died c. 257. Bishop Saint Athanasius of Tarsus (Cilicia) baptized a noblewoman named, Anthusa of Seleucia, and her two slaves Charisius and Neophytus of Nicaea. The three men were martyred under Valerian, but Anthusa survived for another 23 years. The acta of Anthusa, the source of this story, closely resemble those of Saint Pelagia of Tarsus (Benedictines).


Bernard of Offida, OFM Cap. (AC)
Born at Appignano, near Ascoli-Piceno, Italy, in 1604; died 1694. Bernard, an Italian peasant, took his vows as a Capuchin lay- brother at Offida. There and at the friary of Fermo, he became famous for his wisdom and miracles (Benedictines).


Ethelgitha of Northumbria, OSB Abbess (AC)
Died c. 720. Saint Ethelgitha was a holy abbess of a convent in Northumbria, England (Benedictines).


Fabrician and Philibert MM (RM)
Date unknown. Fabrician and Philibert were martyred in Spain, where they are venerated at Toledo (Benedictines).


Gunifort of Pavia M (RM)
Date unknown. The legends of Saint Gunifort bear a remarkable resemblance to those of King Saint Richard. He was said to be from Britain or Ireland and martyred at Pavia, Italy (Benedictines).


Hippolytus of Porto BM (RM)
Date unknown (c. 236-252?). This is probably a duplicate of Saint Hippolytus of Rome, although the Roman Martyrology calls him a bishop of Porto, who was martyred by drowning during the reign of Gallus. The confusion probably arose because this saint has a basilica dedicated to him at Rome (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Hippolytus is depicted tied to four horses and dragged asunder. He may also be shown (1) dragged by one horse before the king; (2) as a knight with a sword and palm; or (3) as a richly dressed youth. He was extremely popular during the Middle Ages (Roeder).


John Kemble, Priest MM (RM)
Born at Saint Weonard's, Herefordshire, England, in 1599; died at Hereford, in 1679; beatified in 1929; canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

John Kemble was born to Catholic parents, studied for the priesthood at Douai, and was ordained in 1625. He then labored in the English mission in Herefordshire and Monmouthshire for 53 years. During the hysteria, in 1678, surrounding the Titus Oates Plot, Father Kemble was arrested at Pembridge Castle, his brother's home, which he had used as his headquarters. He was charged with complicity in the fraudulent plot to assassinate King Charles II. When no evidence could be found of his involvement, he was examined by the Privy Council in London and found guilty of being a Catholic priest. The 80-year-old Father Kemble was so respected that he was allowed to die upon the gallows before the other grisly rituals of the drawing and quartering were carried out. Thus, he was thus spared much of the agonies that others suffered. One of his hands was cut off and is kept as a relic in the Catholic Church in Monmouth (Benedictines, Delaney).


John Wall, OFM Priests M (RM)
Born near Preston, Lancashire, England; died at Redhill, Worcester on August 22, 1679; beatified in 1929; canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. John had his early education at Douai, France, then completed his studies for the priesthood at the Roman college and was ordained in Rome in 1645. He served as a missionary for a time. When Father John Wall entered the Friars Minor in 1651 at Saint Bonaventure's in Douai, he took the new name of Father Joachim of Saint Anne. He joined the English mission at Worcester in 1656, where he labored under the aliases of Francis Johnson, Dormer, and Webb until his arrest 22 years later in December 1678 at Bromsgrove. After being imprisoned for five months, he was acquitted of any complicity in the Titus Oates Plot. Nevertheless, he was hanged, drawn, and quartered for refusing to deny the faith and his priesthood (Benedictines,Delaney).


Blessed Lambert of Chézery, OSB Cist. Abbot (AC)
Died 1151. Lambert was both a blood and spiritual brother to Saint Peter of Tarentaise. They were both Cistercians at Bonnevaux. In 1140, he was sent as abbot-founder for the new abbey at Chézery, in the diocese of Belley, France (Benedictines).


Martial, Saturninus, and Companions MM (RM)
Died c. 300. Martial, Saturninus, Epictetus, Maprilis, Felix, and others are only mentioned in the passio of Saint Aurea. Nothing else is known about them (Benedictines).


Maurus and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. The priest Maurus led a company of 50 martyrs, whose death the Roman Martyrology assigns to Rheims, France. They probably suffered under Valerian (c. 260) or Diocletian (c. 300) (Benedictines).


Sigfrid of Wearmouth, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died on August 22, 688. Nothing is known about the early life of Saint Sigfrid, a disciple of Saint Benedict Biscop. He was known for his knowledge of Scripture, his temperance, and obedience. During Benedict's absence on his fifth visit to Rome, Saint Esterwine died. Saint Ceolfrid and the other monks elected the deacon-monk Sigfrid to take Esterwine's place as coadjutor abbot of Jarrow and abbot of Wearmouth in 686. Both saints fell deathly ill upon Benedict's return to Jarrow. Knowing that their earthly lives were about to end and wanting a final meeting to inquire about the welfare of each other and their monks, Sigfrid, suffering from a lung disease, was carried on a stretcher to Benedict's cell. They were both too weak to even embrace one another unaided. After consulting Sigfrid, Benedict sent for Ceolfrid and appointed him abbot over both monasteries. Benedict and Sigfrid, of one heart in life, died the same year. Sigfrid was buried by Saint Ceolfrid in the abbey-church of Saint Peter next to his master, Saint Benedict, and his predecessor, Saint Esterwine. Saint Bede testifies to the date of his death and the development of a cultus at Wearmouth and Jarrow (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh).


Symphorian(us) of Autun M (RM)
Died c. 180. Because Symphorian is one of the most celebrated French martyrs, his story has been often embellished. He was a member of a senatorial family in Gaul, son of Faustus and Augusta, in the important Roman city of Autun--one of the most fashionable towns of the 1st century with its ramparts, huge gates, luxurious temples, and famous schools that drew the young student and secret Christian, Symphorian, to it. Here the pagan goddess Cybele (Berecynthia) was particularly revered. On her feast day the image of this goddess was wheeled through the streets of Autun on a chariot, while the mob bowed and worshipped. Taking part in the ceremonies was the provincial governor, Heraclius. When he noticed that Symphorian did not reverence the idol, he commanded him to worship Cybele as the mother of all the gods. Perhaps he thought that Symphorian was just trying to demonstrate his adolescent independence. Declaring that he worshipped the one true God, Symphorian asked for a hammer to smash the pagan idol. Heraclius was taken aback. He did not previously realize that Symphorian was a Christian, he said, "You must have kept it a close secret," because everyone had thought he was a good citizen and, thus, a fervant pagan.

Learning that Symphorian came from a noble family, the governor decided to give him another chance. When the said persisted in his faith, he was flogged and thrown into prison. A few days later the now-beraggled prisoner was again brought before Heraclius. The governor tried to bribe him, offering him an army commission if he would recant. But all this was in vain, and he eventually condemned the saint to be killed by the sword.

Soldiers led him to the place of execution outside the city walls. There on the ramparts stood his mother, to whom the embarrassed crowd gave a wide berth. Augusta, with no more tears to shed at the condition of her beloved son, who was as full of pride as she was of agony, cried out, "Do not be afraid, Symphorian. You death will lead straight to eternal life. Life will not be taken from you, only changed" (vita mutatur non tollitur). The swordsman cut off his head and he was buried in a tomb. Near the end of the 5th century, a church was built in his honor at Autun (Attwater, Benedictines, Doble, Encyclopedia, Bentley).

In art, Saint Symphorian is portrayed as a young man being dragged to martyrdom as he is encouraged by his mother. He is the patron of children and students, and invoked against eye problems and syphilis (Roeder).


Timothy of Rome M (RM)
Died 311. Syrian priest from Antioch who preach in Rome for about one year before his martyrdom there during the Diocletian persecutions. He was beheaded at the behest of the tyrant Maxentius, son of Maximian Herculeus. His relics are enshrined in a chapel near Saint Paul-Outside-the-Walls, where they were highly venerated during the Medieval period (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).


Blessed William Lacey and Richard Kirkman MM (AC)
Died at York, England, in 1582; beatified in 1886. William Lacey, born at Horton, Yorkshire, was a gentleman of substance and a staunch Catholic. During his 14 years of married life, he offered his home as a refuge to persecuted Catholics. After the death of his second wife, he studied for the priesthood at Rheims, France, and was ordained in Rome. He returned to his homeland and ministered in the area around York until he was captured in York prison acting as deacon for the sung Mass of Blessed Thomas Bell. Richard Kirkman was a native of Addingham in Yorkshire. Following his education at Douai, he was ordained in 1579. For a time he was tutor in the family of Dymoke of Scrivelsby. The two were martyred together for denying the queen's supremacy in spiritual matters (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.