Feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle
Blessed Alice Rich, OSB V (AC)
Died c. 1270. Alice, sister to Archbishop Saint Edmund Rich, was a Benedictine nun, then prioress, of Catesby (Benedictines).
Aurea of Ostia VM (RM)
Died c. 260. Although the acta of Saint Aurea are pious fiction, she was a genuine martyr with a very early cultus at Ostia, near Rome. It is claimed that she was a Roman virgin martyred by drowning at Ostia for helping imprisoned Christians (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Aurea is depicted as she is thrown into the sea with a millstone around her neck (Roeder).
Bartholomew, Apostle (RM)
1st century; feast day in Epternach and Cambrai is August 25 and in Persia, June 13. The only things that we know with certainty about Saint Bartholomew can be found in the Scriptures. He is one of the 12 apostles. His name, a patronymic, means "son of Tolomai" and scholars believe he is the same person as Nathanael mentioned in John, who says he is from Cana and that Jesus called him an "Israelite . . . incapable of deceit." The surprised Bartholomew asked, "How do you know me?" And Jesus answered, "Before Philip called you, I saw you sitting under a fig tree."
Bartholomew's earlier skepticism disappeared. He said to Jesus, "Teacher, you are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel." To this Jesus responded: "Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these." And he did. But Jesus continued, "Truly, truly, I tell you, you will see the heavens opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Bartholomew lived to see the Resurrection.
The Roman Martyrology says that Bartholomew preached in India and Greater Armenia, where he was flayed alive and beheaded by King Astyages at Derbend on the Caspian Sea. Tradition has the place as Abanopolis on the west coast of the Caspian Sea and that he also preached in Mesopotamia, Persia, and Egypt. Pantenus of Alexandria (2nd century) is said by Eusebius to have found in "India" a Gospel of Saint Matthew attributed to Bartholomew and written in Hebrew. The Gospel of Bartholomew is apocryphal and was condemned in the decree of Pseudo-Gelasius.
His relics were said to have been interred on the island of Lipara and eventually translated to Benevento, Italy, then Rome, where the church of Saint Bartholomew on Isola San Bartolomeo in the Tiber claims them. One of his arms was said to have been given to Canterbury in the 11th century by King Canute's wife, Queen Emma (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer).
In art, Saint Bartholomew is portrayed as a bearded, sometimes middle-aged, sometimes venerable man, with a book and a butcher's knife used for his flaying. At times he holds his own flayed skin (Roeder).
Bartholomew is the patron of bookbinders, butchers, corn-chandlers, dyers, glovers, furriers, leather-workers, plasterers, shoemakers, tailors, tanners, vine-growers, and Florentine salt and cheese merchants. He is invoked against nervous disorders and twitchings (Roeder).
Eutychius of Phrygia (RM)
Born in Phrygia; 1st century. Eutychius, a disciple of Saint Paul, was raised from the dead by Paul when he fell out a window while listening to Paul's preaching (Acts 20:7-12). According to the apocryphal Acta of Saint John, Eutychius was with Saint John on Patmos while the evangelist wrote Revelation. He is said to have preached the Gospel in several countries before being subjected to imprisonment and torture for his faith (Benedictines, Delaney).
George Limniotes M (RM)
Died c. 730. Saint George, a 95-year-old hermit on Mount Olympus in Asia Minor, was tortured, then martyred by the emperor Leo the Isaurian for defending the veneration of relics and images (Encyclopedia).
Irchard of Scotland B (AC)
(also known as Erthard, Yrchard)
Born in Kincardineshire, 5th or 7th century. Saint Palladius is reputed to have sent Saint Servanus to preach in the Orkney Islands and Saint Ternan, titular patron of Abernathy cathedral, to the Picts. Saint Irchard, according to some, was Ternan's disciple and later consecrated bishop to the Picts by Saint Gregory the Great in Rome. There is some debate over the exact period of his life (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Blessed Luke Mellini, OSB Cel. Abbot (AC)
Died c. 1460. Pope Nicholas V appointed Luke general of the Benedictine Celestine congregation (Benedictines).
Ouen of Rouen B (RM)
(also known as Aldwin, Audoënus, Dado, Owen)
Born at Sancy, near Soissons, France, c. 600; died at Clichy on August 24, 684. The 20th bishop of Rouen, Saint Ouen, was the son of the Frankish Saint Authaire. While he and his brother Ado were still children living at Ussy-sur- Marne, their father extended hospitality to the exiled Saint Columbanus. The brother were well educated at Saint Médard Abbey and both were provided situations at the court of King Clotaire II, when they were of age. There Ouen became a member of a remarkable group of young men that included Saints Eligius (whose biography he wrote), Wandrille, Romanus, Didier, and Sulpicius Pius.
Ouen was a favorite of both Clotaire and his successor Dagobert I, who made him his chancellor. In this office Ouen steadily opposed the prevalent simony. Dagobert gave him land in the forest of Brie where he built a monastery in 636, which is now called Rebais. On the advice of Bishop Saint Faro of Meaux, he appointed Columbanus's disciple Saint Aile as its first abbot. Saint Ouen wanted to retire to Rebais, but neither Dagobert nor his courtiers would give consent.
When Dagobert was succeeded by his son, Clovis II, in 639, Ouen was induced to remain in the office of chancellor. Finally Clovis agreed to allow Ouen to receive ordination at the hands of Bishop Dieudonné (Deodatus) of Mâcon. Shortly thereafter Ouen was elected bishop of Rouen--about the same time that Eligius was chosen to be bishop of Noyon. Each took time to prepare for consecration with prayer and fasting. The friends both received episcopal consecration together at Rheims in 641.
Ouen was an exemplary bishop. His added privileges led him to increase his humility, austerities, and charities. He encouraged learning by founding monasteries, and sent missionaries to the remotest parts of his diocese. He also continued his efforts to extirpate simony and other clerical abuses. Ouen participated in the synod of Châlons in 644. Even on the episcopal chair Ouen was unable to withdraw completely from politics. He became the trusted advisor of a fourth king, Thierry III, and his mother Saint Bathildis. In this position he upheld the policy of the manipulating Ebroin, mayor of the palace, to such a degree that he was involved, though perhaps not culpably, in Ebroin's ill-treatment of Saints Leger and Philibert.
Ouen died at Clichy (near Paris) on his return from a political mission in Cologne, Germany, where he negotiated a peace between Neustria and Austrasia. Some of his relics were enshrined in Canterbury cathedral about 950 (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh).
Patrick the Elder, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Sen-Patrick)
Died c. 450. This is another confusing saint with conflicting traditions. He may have been a kinsman and contemporary of Saint Patrick of Ireland or the abbot of a monastery in Nevers, France (Benedictines).
Ptolemy of Nepi BM (RM)
1st century. Saint Ptolemy is said to have been a disciple of Saint Peter, who consecrated him bishop of Nepi in Tuscany, Italy, where he was martyred (Benedictines).
Romanus of Nepi BM (RM)
1st century. Romanus was Saint Ptolemy's successor as bishop of Nepi, Italy. He too was martyred for the faith (Benedictines).
Blessed Sandratus (Sandradus) of Gladbach, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 986. While Sandratus was a monk at Saint Maximinus abbey in Trier, Germany, Emperor Otto I sent him to restore monastic observance at Saint Gall's. Shortly thereafter he was abbot of Gladbach, then, in 981, abbot of Weissenburg. He returned to Gladbach in his last illness (Benedictines).
Tation of Claudiopolis M (RM)
Died c. 304. Saint Tation was martyred at Claudiopolis in Bithynia under Diocletian (Benedictines).
The Martyrs of Utica (Massa Candida) MM (RM)
Died c. 260-285. About 258, proconsul Valerian of African visited Carthage and commanded that all Christian prisoners be brought before him. In his Sermon 306, Saint Augustine of Hippo numbers them as 153, although the Roman Martyrology gives the number as 300. The proconsul order that a huge pit of burning lime be prepared in the midst of a field. Next to it a pagan altar was set up with salt and liver for sacrifices. Setting his tribunal in the open field, the prisoners were brought before him and offered the choice of sacrificing or being thrown into the fiery pit. Unanimously they chose death. It was said that they are called Massa Candida or White Mass because their remains conglomerated into one great white mass; however, it now appears that it is the name of a place near Utica (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
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.