St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

August 26

Adrian of Nicomedia M (RM)
Died c. 304; other feast days are celebrated on March 4 and September 8 with his wife Natalia. Adrian was a particularly interesting character. Although he was a pagan officer of the imperial court at Nicomedia, he befriended Christian prisoners. Eventually he was discovered and himself imprisoned. His wife Natalia tended to them all. They entire group was martyred on March 4. Natalia survived to obtain her husband's relics and translate them to Argyropolis. Later the relics were removed to Rome. Saint Adrian is the patron of soldiers and butchers (Benedictines).


Alexander of Bergamo M (RM)
Died 297(?). Nothing is known of Saint Alexander. A later manuscript calls him a centurion of the Theban legion who escaped from prison but was recaptured. He is the patron of Bergamo, Italy, where there has been a church dedicated to him since the 4th century (Benedictines).


Bregwin (Bregowine) of Canterbury, OSB B (AC)
Died 765. The 12th archbishop of Canterbury (761-765), Bregwin's vita was written by Eadmer. According to this, he was a Continental Saxon who went to England to receive his education at the abbey-school run by Saint Theodore. He received the pallium from Pope Saint Paul I. As archbishop he tried to recover Cookham Abbey in Berkshire from King Cynewulf of Wessex and he convened a synod.

Like his predecessor Saint Cuthbert, he was buried in the baptistery of Canterbury cathedral, rather than in the abbey church of Saint Augustine, which had been traditional. When the baptistery was destroyed in 1067 by fire, Bregwin's relics were placed in a vault over the north transept with those of the other archbishops buried there.

An attempt was made to translate Bregwin's body c. 1121 by a German monk named Lambert to a monastery he was planning to build. He had obtained permission from the dying archbishop Ralph, but he himself died suddenly and was buried at Canterbury. Later Bregwin's relics were moved to the altar of Saint Gregory in the south transept of the cathedral, which was the occasion of the short vita by Eadmer.

His letters to Saint Lullus at Mainz can still be read. One of them refers to their friendship made during a visit to Rome, indicates regret that war had led to the loss of contact, and refers to a reliquary he was sending as a gift. There is no surviving indication of an early cultus. His death has been cited as August 24 or 26 depending on the calendar used (Benedictines, Farmer).


Elias of Syracuse, OSB B (AC)
Died at Syracuse in 660. Benedictine monk of Sicily, who became bishop of Syracuse (Benedictines).


Felix of Pistoia, Hermit (RM)
9th century. Almost nothing is known about Saint Felix, except that he was a hermit in Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy, who was venerated as a saint (Benedictines).


Gelasinus (Gelasius) of Heliopolis M (AC)
Died 297. In a remarkably similar manner, this saint, whose name also sounds much like that of yesterday's Saint Genesius, was baptized in jest in a warm bath on the stage in Heliopolis, Phoenicia. Arising from the tub, he professed himself a Christian and was stoned to death by the audience. The incident is recorded in the chronicle of Alexander and referred to by Theodoret, when he says that some on the stage have been moved from the worship of demons to the rank of martyr. He may well be the same person as Saint Genesius (Benedictines, Husenbeth).


Blessed Herluin of Bec, OSB Abbot (PC)
Born in Normandy; died 1078. Herluin was raised to become a professional soldier. He served as a knight in the court of Brionne, but left it to found a monastery on his own estate at Bonneville, of which he became abbot. This community moved in 1040 to a new site on the River Bec, where two of its first novices were Blessed Lanfranc and Saint Anselm. With these three great men to commend the abbey, it became one of the foremost educational centers in Christendom (Benedictines).


Irenaeus and Abundius MM (RM)
Died c. 258. Saints Irenaeus and Abundius were drowned in the public sewers of Rome during the Valerian persecution (Benedictines).


(Joan, Jeanne) Elizabeth Bichier des Âges (Anges) V (RM)
Born at the Château des Âges, Le Blanc (near Bourges), France, in 1773; died at Le Pay, Poitiers, August 26, 1838; canonized in 1947.

Jeanne Elizabeth Marie Lucy was born into a family with political connections. Her father, Antony Bichier, was a public official and her mother, Mary Augier de Moussac, was the daughter of another man who held public office. The name was rather long for a small child, so she was generally called Elizabeth. She was educated at a convent in Poitiers, which made her feel at home. Her maternal uncle the Abbé de Moussac, was vicar general of Poitiers, and the superioress of her convent school was a relative, too. The only other detail we have of her childhood is that she liked to build sandcastles.

When Elizabeth was 19, her father died. A few weeks later (February 1792), the National Assembly issued a decree against the property of those citizens, the émigrés, who had left France in the face of the Revolution. Because her eldest brother was among these émigrés and mother was too old and sick to help, Elizabeth undertook the management of her brother's property. She asked the Abbé de Moussac to teach her property law and financial accounting. Although she was unable to master these disciplines, what she did learn assisted her in the future. Armed with a little knowledge, she fought and won a long court battle to retain control of the family property.

In 1796, Elizabeth and her mother left their family home and went to live at La Guimetière, near Béthines in Poitou. The local parish was in upheaval due to the Revolution: Most loyal priests were exiled, leaving only atheism and constitutional priests. In order to keep the faith alive, each night Elizabeth would gather the farmers and their wives for prayers, hymns, and spiritual reading at La Guimetière. Soon she heard rumors of a priest saying Mass in a barn 25-miles away at Maillé. The priest was Abbé Saint Andrew Fournet.

Elizabeth immediately sought him out at Maillé and the two became fast friends. She often visited the barn at Petits Marsillys, and Fournet wrote up a rule for her to follow as she began her life of teaching and other works of charity, while discouraging her entry into the Trappistine convent. So she continued her life at Béthines, leading prayer, teaching young children, and tending the sick and needy.

Eventually, Andrew Fournet knew that Elizabeth was just the woman to implement his vision of a small community of nuns to tend the sick and teach rural girls. He told her, "There are ruins to be rebuilt, ignorance to be remedied." Elizabeth felt that she did not have the background or experience to lead such a project because she had never been a nun, much less a superior. Upon her mother's death in 1804, the two decided that she should undertake a year's novitiate at the Carmelite convent at Poitiers. Knowing that she might never come out again, Andrew soon arranged for her to be transferred to the Society of Providence.

In the meantime, the Abbé Fournet wasted no time. He began to form a community at La Guimetière, which included Madeleine Moreau, Mary Anne Guillon, and two other young women. Despite her protests, Elizabeth was called out of the convent after only six months. In May 1806, they moved the community from La Guimetière to the Château de Molante near Maillé. Here they began to teach the children, to shelter and care for the elderly and sick, and to make reparations for the outrages and sacrilege wrought by the Revolution against Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.

Thus, the Daughters of the Cross or Sisters of Saint Andrew were formed in Poitiers when the sisters made temporary vows in early 1807. Elizabeth and Andrew only intended that it should be a local congregation affiliated with an established order, but by the end of 1811, it was clear that they would have to stand alone. They moved into a bigger place, Rochefort, in Maillé itself to house the 25 members of the community. Five years later their rule was approved by the diocesan authorities of Poitiers.

Despite jurisdictional disputes, thirteen new convents were opened in 1819-1820. The civil authorities did not object to small communities of religious assisting the people throughout the countryside. Between 1821 to 1825, 15 more house were opened in a dozen dioceses. Soon the bishops were inviting them into their dioceses and the sisters established communities in Bayonne, Béarn, the Basque country, Gascony, and Languedoc. By 1830, they had 60 convents in France to which Elizabeth travelled regularly. When the Basque house of Igon was opened, its spiritual director was the young curate who became Saint Michael Garicoîts, who helped Mother Elizabeth tremendously after the death of Saint Andrew in 1834. She, in turn, encouraged Saint Michael in the founding of the society of missioners called the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Bétharram.

Mother Elizabeth was a gentle, resolute women, who was undaunted by difficulties. Her sole concern was the good of others.

Elizabeth's health began to fail in the fall of 1836. By spring she suffered continual, acute pain and was subject to fits of delirium. After ten days of agony borne with patience, Elizabeth died peacefully (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Kalberer, Walsh).


Blessed John Bassano (Bassand), OSB Cel. (AC)
Born in Besançon, France, in 1360; died in 1445. John joined the canons regular of Saint Paul, but soon migrated to the Celestine branch of the Benedictines at Paris. In addition to holding several important offices within the congregation, he was the spiritual director to Saint Colette. He also made great efforts to establish the congregation in England and Aragon (Benedictines).


Blessed John of Caramola, OSB Cist. (PC)
Born at Toulouse, France; died 1339. John became a hermit on Mount Caramola in the Basilicata, Italy, and later was a Cistercian lay- brother at Sagittario Abbey near Chiaramonte, Naples, Italy (Benedictines).


Margaret of Faenza, OSB Vall. Abbess (AC)
Born at Faenza, Italy; died near Florence, Italy, in 1330. Saint Margaret was a nun under Saint Humilitas and then the second abbess of the Vallombrosan convent of Saint John the Evangelist near Florence (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Pandwina (Pandwyna, Pandonia) of Ettisley, OSB (AC)
Born in Scotland or Ireland; died c. 904. Pandwina was a nun at Eltisley, located about four miles from Saint Neots in Cambridgeshire, where the church is dedicated to her honor. The hagiographer Leland (in Itinerary v. 218) records that she was a daughter of a king of the Scots, who fled from those who would deflower her to a kinswoman who was prioress of Eltisley. She was buried near Saint Pandonia Well in Eltisley and was translated into the church there in 1344. Leland repeats the lessons used at her translation by the parish priest named Richard. The vita itself exists no longer, but the date of her death derives from it. Pandwina was included in a litany in a breviary produced in Flanders for English use, which is now at Saint Peter Hungate Museum in Norwich. She may have been a virgin martyr (Benedictines, Farmer).


Pelagia, Widow (AC)
Died 584. Saint Pelagia was the mother of Saint Aredius. Many miracles were attributed to her intercession (Encyclopedia).


Rufinus of Capua B (RM)
5th century. The relics of Bishop Saint Rufinus of Capua are enshrined in his cathedral (Benedictines).


Secundus of Ventimiglia M (RM)
3rd century. Legend makes Secundus a soldier of the Theban legion, who was martyred near Ventimiglia (Benedictines).


Simplicius, Constantius & Victorian MM (RM)
Died c. 161. The Roman Martyrology records that Simplicius and his two sons martyred under Marcus Aurelius. Modern hagiographers believe that the three may have been grouped artificially and are identical to Simplicius of Rome, Victorian of Amiternum, and Constantius of Perugia (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Teresa of Jesus Jornet e Ibars (Ihars) V (RM)
Born at Aytona (Lérida), Catalonia, Spain, in 1843; died at Liria, Valencia, Spain, in 1897; beatified in 1958; canonized ?. Saint Teresa was the daughter of peasant farmers. She worked on the farm while studying to become a teacher. Desiring the religious life, Teresa joined the Poor Clares but was forced to leave because of her fragile health. Upon the advice of her spiritual director, Father Saturnino Lopez Novoa, she founded a secular institute on January 27, 1872, to care for the elderly poor of Barbastro--the Little Sisters of the Poor (or Aged Poor)--and became its superioress. During her lifetime, 58 houses were established, the congregation received papal approval (1887), and it spread to other countries. The saint's deep spiritual insight, unflagging energy, firmness of spirit, and endurance, led to the success of her venture. Teresa is the patron of old people and old-age pensioners (Benedictines, Kalberer, White).


Blessed Thomas Percy M (AC)
Born in 1528; died at York, England, on August 22, 1572; beatified in 1896. Thomas was the son of Sir Thomas Percy, who was hanged at Tyburn in 1537 as one of the leaders of the Pilgrimage of Grace. The son became earl of Northumberland in 1557. He served Queen Mary during her reign and, in 1558, married Anne Somerset, daughter of the earl of Worcester. They had four children. Though viewed with suspicion by Queen Elizabeth I's court because of his Catholicism, the queen bestowed on him the Order of the Garter, one of England's highest honors, in 1563. He supported Mary, Queen of Scots, when she took refuge at Carlisle in 1568. He and Charles Neville, earl of Westmoreland, refused to appear before Elizabeth when ordered to do so in 1569 and became the leaders of what came to be known as the Rising of the North. They were defeated by the royal troops led by the earl of Sussex, who destroyed towns and hanged hundreds to avenge the uprising. Percy fled to Scotland but was captured by the earl of Moray, the Scottish regent. He was imprisoned at Lochleven Castle for nearly three years until the earl of Mar became regent and sold him to Elizabeth for 2,000 pounds. He was taken to York, offered his freedom if he would apostatize to Protestantism, and when he refused, was beheaded (Benedictines, Delaney).


Blessed Timothy of Montecchio, OFM (AC)
Born at Montechhio (near Aquila) Italy, in 1414; died 1504; cultus confirmed in 1870. Timothy was a Franciscan Observant who was celebrated for his gift of infused knowledge (Benedictines).


Victor (Vitores) of Cerezo (Caesarea) M (RM)
Died c. 950. Victor's 15th-century passio reports that he was a Spanish priest martyred by the Moors. Older documents from the 11th century, found in Silos Abbey in Spain, say that he was martyred at Caesarea in Mauretania (now called Cherchel, Algeria), North Africa, in a 10th-century persecution. This document tells us that Victor came to Caesarea to preach to the Moors. He was endowed with the gift of prophecy and of reading hearts.

The tale continues that Victor hoped to suffer martyrdom in imitation of his Master. One day Victor met with two officials returning from the frontier. One was evil; the other honest. Victor predicted that the first would soon be imprisoned and the second promoted. Then he told them that when they saw the governor, they were to tell him that if he sentenced Victor to be crucified, he would be cured of the gout. It all came to pass.

Without delay the governor promoted one, demoted the other, and condemned Victor. Immediately his gout was cured. Victor was crucified on a Sunday in the midst of a carnival atmosphere. When the executioner bent the nail he was driving into Victor's foot, the saint told him to take it out and use another. The passio is full of details of the crowd's derisive comments and miracles worked by the victor (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Vyevain of York B (AC)
Died 1285. Archbishop Vyevain of York was honored with a liturgical cultus at Pontigny, France (Benedictines).


Zephyrinus, Pope M (RM)
Born in Rome, Italy; died there on December 20, c. 217. Zephyrinus was born of humble origins, but was elected to succeed Pope Saint Victor I in 199. He named Saint Callixtus as his deacon and adviser. His pontificate was marked by numerous controversies and persecutions, including the especially bloody one instituted by Severus. He strove to combine firmness with charity and was ever ready to welcome back repentant sinners and erroneous theologians. Though he excommunicated the two Theodati for the Monarchianism, he was denounced by Saint Hippolytus, a severe critic who later became an anti-pope, for failure to act decisively and authoritatively in suppressing prevalent heresies and as a tool of Callixtus in his Philosophoumena. Apparently the pope acted too charitably for Hippolytus. Although Zephyrinus is listed as a martyr in the Roman Martyrology, it is unlikely that he was killed for the faith because his body lies intact in San Sisto Vecchio Church in Rome. He may be considered a martyr because of all the trials that taxed his patience and strength (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia). In art, Saint Zephyrinus is a pope with a sword (Roeder). First epistle and second epistle.



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.