Saints Felix and Adauctus, Martyrs
Agilus of Rebais, Abbot (AC)
(also known as Aile, Ail, Aisle, Ayeul, Ely)
Born c. 580; died 650. Saint Agilus, son of Childebert II's courtier Agnoald, followed the models of virtue found in his family. Upon the advice of Saint Columbanus, his parents consecrated him to God in the monastery of Luxeuil. After his father's death, Saint Columbanus had no defender in the Austrasian court leaving the way open for Brunehault to persecute the saint for refusing admittance of women into his monastery. Saint Agilus intervened by seeking an audience with King Thierry and convinced him to leave the monks in peace. Eventually, however, Columbanus was forced out and made his way to Bobbio, Italy. Saint Agilus remained at Luxeuil even after Saint Eustatius succeeded its founder. After studying Scripture and the ways to Christian perfection, he and Saint Eustatius responded to the call of the bishops for evangelists to preach the Gospel in Bavaria. After a successful mission, Saint Agil returned to France and resumed his penitential exercises, until he was called to undertake the governance of the monastery of Rebais in the diocese of Meaux near Paris, which had been founded by Saint Ouen, where he was abbot until his death (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
Boniface and Thecla MM (RM)
Died c. 250. Saint Boniface, his wife Thecla, and their 12 children were all martyred at Hadrumetum in Africa during the Decian persecution. Reconciling the details of their acta is problematic. Some believe that the 12 children may be the Twelve Holy Brothers (Benedictines).
Bononius of Locedio, OSB Cam. Abbot (RM)
Born in Bologna, Italy; died 1026. Bononius, a Benedictine monk of Saint Stephen's in his hometown, became a disciple of Saint Romuald. After preaching the Gospel in Syria and Egypt, he became superior of the monastery of Lucedio in the Piedmont, Italy (Encyclopedia).
Blessed Bronislava of Poland, O.Praem. V (AC)
Died 1259; cultus confirmed in 1839. Bronislava, a cousin of the Dominican Saint Hyacinth of Poland, was a Premonstratensian nun who later became a hermit (Benedictines).
Blessed Edward Shelley M (AC)
Died 1588; beatified in 1929. Edward Shelley, a gentleman of Warminghurst in Sussex, England, was hanged at Tyburn for giving refuge to priests (Benedictines).
Fantinus of Calabria, Abbot (RM)
Died after 980. Saint Fantinus was a monk in Calabria at the Basilian monastery of Saint Mercury. He was an old man when his monastery was destroyed by the Saracens, but he fled to the East and died there (Benedictines).
Felix and Adauctus MM (RM)
Died c. 304.
"Felix, truly and rightly named, for you were happy to have confessed Christ and looked for the kingdom of heaven, despising the prince of this world and departing with you faith unimpaired. Adauctus, too, another conqueror, reveals, my brothers, the most precious faith which hastened his journey to heaven."--inscription on the tomb of Saints Felix and Adauctus.
The priest Felix, the "happy one," was apprehended in Rome at the beginning of the Diocletian persecution and underwent cruel tortures with admirable constancy. Eventually he was condemned to beheading. En route to his place of execution, his coming martyrdom so excited a Christian stranger that the bystander was unable to contain himself. He cried out, "I too follow and believe the same commandments that this man professes; I too confess the same Jesus Christ; and it is also my desire to lay down my life in this cause." The magistrates seized him when they heard this and the two were decapitated. The second was called "adauctus" or "the one added" because his name was unknown. Both were reverently buried in the cemetery of Commodilla on the Ostian Way. Later Pope Saint Damasus had their tomb restored and added the inscription; Pope Saint Siricius added another epitaph. These martyrs are commemorated in the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory the Great and many ancient calendars, including the Deposito Martyrum (354). A church built over their tomb was uncovered in 1905 (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
Gaudentia and Companions VV MM (RM)
Date unknown. Some believe that Saint Gaudentia, a virgin, was martyred with three other Christians at Rome; however, the most ancient martyrologies do not include her among the martyrs (Benedictines).
Blessed John Roche M (AC)
Died on August 30, 1588; beatified in 1929. John Roche (alias Neale), the Irish manservant of Saint Margaret Ward. She smuggled a rope into Bridewell Prison to assist Father Richard Watson in escaping. The priest broke an arm and a leg in the process. John Roche exchanged clothes with the priest, who managed to get away, but was himself arrested. John and his mistress were promised immunity if they were reveal the priest's hiding place and renounce their faith. They refused both conditions and were executed (Benedictines, Delaney, Montague).
Loarn of Downpatrick (AC)
Born in western Ireland, 5th century. Saint Loarn was a disciple of Saint Patrick, whom some describe as a regionary bishop of Downpatrick (Benedictines).
Margaret Ward M (RM)
Born at Congleton, Cheshire, England; died August 30, 1588; beatified in 1929; canonized in 1970 by Pope Paul VI as one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales. The gentlewoman Margaret was serving as a companion in the home of the Whittle family in London when she was arrested together with her servant, Blessed John Roche, for helping Father Richard (William?) Watson to escape from Bridewell Prison. She had smuggled a rope into the priest's cell so that he might climb down from the roof. He was injured, but did escape with the help of John Roche. The rope was traced back to Margaret, who was severely tortured. They were tried at the Old Bailey on August 29, and offered their freedom if they would reveal the whereabouts of Watson and convert to the Protestant faith. Upon refusing, they were hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, together with a priest and three other laymen (Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Kalberer).
Pammachius the Senator (RM)
Died at Rome, Italy, in 410. The Roman senator, proconsul, and scholar, Pammachius, belonged to the house of the Furii. In 385, he married Paulina, the second daughter of Saint Paula. He spent much of his time in study and religious affairs. He was a great friend of Saint Jerome, his former school fellow.
Pammachius was probably one of the religious men who denounced to Pope Saint Siricius a certain man named Jovinian, who maintained among other errors that all sins and their punishments are equal; he certainly sent copies of the heretic's writings to Jerome, who replied to them in a long treatise. This reply did not meet with the entire approval of Saint Pammachius: he found its language too strong (a failing to which Jerome was generally very inclined) and that it contained exaggerated praise of virginity and depreciation of marriage; so he wrote and told him so. Jerome replied in two letters, thanking him for his interest and defending what he had written. Meanwhile, Jovinian was condemned at a synod at Rome in 390 and by Archbishop Saint Ambrose of Milan.
When Paulina died in childbirth in 397, Pammachius provided a banquet for all the poor of Rome following her funeral Mass. He received a long letter of condolence from his friend Saint Paulinus of Nola, who praised her goodness and her husband's faith and fortitude. The letter ended: "Your spouse is now a pledge and a powerful intercessor for you with Jesus Christ. She now obtains for you as many blessings in heaven as you have sent her treasures [Masses] from hence, not honoring her memory with fruitless tears, but making her partner of these living gifts (i.e., by alms given for the repose of her soul); she is honored by the merit of your virtues; she is fed by the bread you have given to the poor." Saint Jerome tells us that Pammachius watered her ashes with the balm of alms and mercy, which obtains the pardon of sins; that from the time of her death he made the needy their coheirs.
Thus, Pammachius devoted the balance of his life to study, prayer, and works of charity. (Some say that he donned the monastic habit and received ordination to the presbyteriate, but this seems unlikely.) Together with Saint Fabiola he built at Porto a large hospice to shelter pilgrims coming to Rome, especially the poor and the sick. This was the first such enterprise in the West. Pammachius and Fabiola spent much time there personally tending to their guests.
Pammachius was enormously disturbed by the bitter controversy between Jerome and Saint Rufinus over the teachings of Origen. He wrote to Jerome urging him to undertake the translation of Origen's De principiis, and gave Jerome very useful help in his controversial writings, but he could not convince Jerome to tone down the language of his works.
Pammachius also wrote to the people living on his estates in Numidia in North Africa to urge them to abandon the Donatist schism and return to the Church. This action drew a letter of thanks from Saint Augustine in 401. Pammachius converted his home on the Coelian Hill into the present Passionist church of Saint John and Saint Paul, which was called the titulus Pammachii. Remains of the original house have been found beneath the church (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).
Pelagius, Arsenius, and Silvanus MM (AC)
Died at Burgos, Old Castile, c. 950. According to an old tradition, these hermits were killed by Saracens. Their cell became the foundation of the Benedictine abbey of Artanza. They are still highly venerated in the province of Burgos (Benedictines).
Peter of Trevi (RM)
Born at Carsoli, diocese of Marsi, Italy; died at Trevi, c. 1060; canonized in 1215. After his ordination, Saint Peter successfully preached to the country folk in the areas of Tivoli, Anagni, and Subiaco. He died at a young age (Benedictines).
Blessed Richard Leigh and Richard Martin MM (AC)
Died at Tyburn, England, August 30, 1588; beatified in 1929. Richard Leigh, a native of London, was educated at Rheims and Rome and ordained in 1586. The gentleman Richard Martin haled from Shropshire and was educated at Broadgates Hall, Oxford. They were martyr with four others, including Blessed John Roche and Saint Margaret Ward. Leigh suffered for being a priest; Martin for harboring God's servants (Benedictines).
Rumon (Ruan) (AC)
6th century. This patron of the abbey of Tavistock and Romansleigh in Devonshire, and of Ruan Lanihorne, Ruan Major and Minor in Cornwall is reputed to have been a brother of Saint Tudwal. William of Malmesbury tells us that his vita was destroyed by the wars, but that Rumon was a bishop of an unidentified see. About this time a well- meaning canon provided a vita from Rumon by taking an abbreviated life of the Breton Saint Ronan and changing the name to Rumon throughout. It does, however, describe the translation of Rumon's relics on January 5, 981, from Ruan Lanihorne, a Celtic monastery and the most ancient center of his cultus, to Tavistock. Saint Rumon was highly venerated at Tavistock, the earl Ordulf built a church under his invocation in the 10th century and requested his relics, which remained there throughout the Middle Ages. Glastonbury also claimed Rumon's relics. He may have been a monk at Glastonbury, who founded a monastery on the Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall. He is also venerated in Norwich and Ramsey (Encyclopedia, Farmer, 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.