St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Beheading of John the Baptist
(Memorial)
August 29

Adelphus (Adelphius) of Metz B (RM)
5th century. Adelphius was bishop of Metz, France--nothing else known. His early cultus in the area is indisputable. His relics were translated to Neuvillers (Strasbourg), Alsace, in 826 was greeted with joy (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Roeder). In art, Saint Adelphus is depicted as a bishop standing on a dragon. He may be shown (1) leading a beggar woman by the hand; (2) sitting on a throne, surrounded by the poor; or (3) appearing after death to superintend the translation of his bones (Roeder).


Blessed Alberic of Ocri, OSB Cam. Hermit (AC)
Died c. 1050. The relics of this Camaldolese hermit of Ocri in the diocese of Sartena are enshrined in San Anastasio Church of the order in the diocese of Montefeltro (Benedictines).


Basilla of Smyrna V (RM)
Date unknown. According to the Roman Martyrology, the holy virgin Basilla died in Smyrna. Other martyrologies place her death in Sirmium in Pannonia (Mitrovica) (Benedictines).


Beheading of John the Baptist (RM)
1st century. Shortly after he had baptized Jesus, John the Baptist began to denounce Herod Antipas, the tetarch of Galilee. Herod had divorced his own wife and taken Herodias, the wife of his half- brother Philip and also his own niece. John the Baptist declared, "I is not lawful for you to have her," so Herod threw him into prison.

Not only did Herod fear John and his disciples, he also knew him to be a righteous man, so he did not kill him. Herodias determined to bring about John's death. From prison John followed Jesus's ministry, and sent messengers to question him (Luke 7:19-29). One day Herod gave a fine banquet to celebrate his birthday. His entire court was present as well as other powerful and influential Palestinians. Herodias's daughter Salome so pleased Herod when she danced to entertain the company that he promised her whatever she would ask--even half of his kingdom. Salome asked her mother for counsel and was told to request the head of the Baptist (Matthew 14:1-12).

Because of his pride Herod, though deeply sorry, could not decline the request; thus, as Saint Augustine says, "an oath rashly taken was criminally kept." He sent a soldier of the guard to behead John in prison. Thus, the "voice crying in the wilderness" was silenced. The head was placed on a platter and taken to Salome, who gave it to her mother.

When John's disciples heard what had happened, they took away his body and laid it in a tomb, probably at Sebaste in Samaria, where he was venerated in the 4th century. His tomb was desecrated by Julian the Apostate. John's relics are claimed by many places, but it is unlikely that they are authentic. His cultus is ancient in both the East and West, because intercession to Saint John was believed to the coming of Christ in the soul, just as it was in history. There are a vast number of medieval churches in England dedicated to Saint John. He is the patron of the Knights Hospitallers, whose principal work was to guard the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem and protect pilgrims (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer).


Candida of Rome VM (RM)
Date unknown. Long venerated in Rome, Saint Candida's remains were enshrined in Saint Praxedes church there by Pope Saint Paschal I in the 9th century. She was one of a group of martyrs executed for their faith on the Ostian Way outside the gates of Rome (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Euthymius of Perugia (RM)
4th century. During the Diocletian persecution in Rome, Saint Euthymius fled the city with his wife and son, Saint Crescentius. They ended up in Perugia, where Euthymius is venerated (Benedictines).


Hypatius and Andrew MM (RM)
Died 735. Saint Hypatius, deacon, and Saint Andrew, priest, were natives of Lydia who were martyred at Constantinople under Emperor Leo the Isauria because they defended the veneration of icons (Benedictines).


Medericus (Merry) of Autun, OSB Abbot (RM)
Born in Autun, France; died c. 700. While he was about 13, Saint Merry took the Benedictine habit, probably at Saint Martin's in Autun, where 54 fervent monks lived, whose penitential and regular lives were an object of edification to the whole country. Being chosen abbot much against his own inclination, Merry pointed out to his brethren the narrow path of true virtue by example, walking before them in every duty, and the reputation of his sanctity drew the eyes of all men. The distractions that continual consultations from all parts gave him, and a fear of becoming vain, caused him to resign his office and retire into a forest four miles from Autun. There he hid for some time. He earned his living by the work of his hands. When his hiding place became known and he fell ill about the same time, he was obliged to return to the monastery.

After edifying his brethren for many years and strengthening them in religious perfection, he again left them in old age in order to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Germanus of Paris (also a native of Autun). In a northern suburb of Paris with one companion, Saint Frou (Frodulf), he chose to live in a small cell adjoining a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter. He suffered a painful, lingering illness for about three years then died happily. On the site of his cell rose the church of Saint Merry (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).

In art, Saint Medericus is portrayed as an abbot with prisoners and chains near him. He may also be shown experiencing a vision of God the Father or teaching monks. Care should be taken not to confuse him with Saint Leonard, who is always young (Roeder). He is venerated especially at Autun and Paris (Roeder).


Nicaeas and Paul MM (RM)
Date unknown. Syrian martyrs at Antioch (Benedictines).


Blessed Philippa Guidoni, OSB Abbess (AC)
Died 1335. Philippa, a disciple of Blessed Santuccia Terrebotti of Gubbio, founded the Benedictine convent of Santa Maria di Valverde at Arezzo, Italy, and became its first abbess (Benedictines).


Blessed Richard Herst (Hurst, Hayhurst) M (AC)
Born near Preston, Lancashire, England; died at Lancashire in 1628; beatified in 1929. Richard Herst was a farmer who was hanged on an unsubstantiated charge of murder because he was a recusant Catholic (Benedictines).


Sabina of Rome M (RM)
Died c. 127. According to Saint Sabina's untrustworthy acta, she was a rich and noble widow (of Valentine?) from Umbria, Italy. Her virginal, Syrian servant, Saint Seraphia, was such a model of Christian charity and obedience that she converted her mistress, who soon outshone her teacher in fervor and piety. At the beginning of Hadrian's persecution, Beryllus, governor of the province, arrested Sabina and Seraphia. The latter was beaten to death with clubs. Sabina was released because of her high station at the pleading of her friends. She was retaken the following year and martyred at Rome. The Bollandists have proven that she was, indeed, a Roman martyr. About 430, a basilica was dedicated to her in Rome, which was one of the station churches of Lent. Some say that she gave her home to the Christians as a church and that this was the site for the later erection of the basilica. Saint Dominic had a special devotion to this Saint Sabina (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth). In art, Saint Sabina is depicted giving alms to a cripple. She may also be portrayed as a princess with a book, palm, and angels (Roeder). This patron of Rome is the patroness of children who have difficulty in walking and of housewives. She is invoked against hemorrhage (Roeder).


Sabina of Troyes V (RM)
Died c. 275. Saint Sabina, the alleged sister of Saint Sabinian, is said to have sought out her missing brother in Troyes, France. When she found him, he was already dead and being venerated as a saint. She herself died soon after and was highly venerated because of the miracles wrought at her intercession at Troyes, Sens, and throughout the region (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). Saint Sabina is generally portrayed in art with her brother, Saint Sabinian (Roeder). She is venerated at Troyes (Roeder).


Sebbe (Sebba, Sebbi), OSB King (RM)
Died c. 694. Sebbe, king of the East Saxons (Essex, Hertfordshire, and London) during the time of the Heptarchy, was the uncle of King Sighere who married Saint Osyth. He sustained Bishop Jaruman of Mercia in his evangelization of his people after the apostasy of Sighere. After reigning for 30 years (664-694), Sebbe retired to London where he lived as a hermit, known for his prayers, penance, and almsgiving. Saint Bede gives an account of his dignified death. Sebbe was buried in Old Saint Paul's in London by the north wall. He is reputed to have built the first monastery at Westminster (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer).


Velleicus (Willeic) of Kaiserswerth, OSB Abbot (AC)
8th century. The Anglo-Saxon Saint Velleicus, disciple of Saint Swithbert, helped to evangelize Germany and later became abbot of Kaiserwerth on the Rhein (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Vitalis, Sator, and Repositus MM (RM)
3rd/4th century. This trio belongs to the group of martyrs at Velleianum, Apulia, Italy, known as the Twelve Brothers (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.