St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

September 4

Blessed Agnes of Bagno, OSB Cam. (AC)
Died c. 1105; cultus confirmed in 1823. Agnes, whose relics are enshrined in the village church of Pereto, was a nun at the Camaldolese convent of Santa Lucia near Bagno di Romagna, Tuscany (Benedictines).


Boniface I, Pope (RM)
Died September 4, 423. In 418, Saint Boniface, an old Roman priest, was elected pope the day after a group of dissidents had seized the Lateran and elected Eulalius pope. Emperor Honorius called two councils, decided in favor of Boniface, and ousted Eulalius and his faction. Later in his papacy he had to deal with the ever-recurring claims of the patriarch of Constantinople. Boniface continued his predecessor's opposition to Pelagianism, persuaded Emperor Theodosius II to return Illyricum to Western jurisdiction, and gently, but firmly, defended the rights of the Holy See. He supported Saint Augustine, who dedicated several treatises against Pelagianism to him (Benedictines, Delaney).


Caletricus of Chartres B (AC)
Born at Chartres in 529; died c. 580. Caletricus succeeded Saint Leobinus as bishop of Chartres about 557 (Benedictines). In art, Saint Caletricus is shown administering Extreme Unction to the dying Saint Leobinus (Roeder).


Candida the Elder VM (RM)
Died c. 78. Long-venerated in Rome, Saint Candida is said to have been the first to welcome Saint Peter to Naples as he passed through on his way to Rome, and to have been miraculously cured of an illness by the apostle. In her turn, she converted Saint Aspren, who became the first bishop of Naples. Candida was martyred with a group of other Christians on the Ostian Way. In the 9th century, her relics were enshrined in Saint Praxedes church by Pope Saint Paschal I (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Catherine Mattei, OP Tert. V (AC)
(also known as Catherine of Racconigi)

Born in the diocese of Cuneo in the Piedmont, Italy, 1487; died 1574; cultus confirmed in 1810. Catherine was born into poverty and hunger following the devastation of war. Her father, an unemployed locksmith, became despondent and quarrelsome as so many do when they lose their livelihood. Her mother supported the family by weaving coarse cloth at home. Catherine and her brother grew up in an atmosphere that was absent the peace of Christ.

Surprisingly, God reached the heart of little Catherine when she was only five. It was then that her mystical experiences began. Our Lady appeared to her while the tiny child was praying alone in her tiny room and told Catherine that Jesus wished to make her His spouse. Then as a child her own age, Jesus himself appeared, accompanied by many other saints including Catherine of Siena and Peter Martyr, and the Blessed Mother place the ring of espousal on her finger. Like the ring of Saint Catherine of Siena, it was visible to today's saint but could not be seen by others.

Thereafter Catherine had frequent ecstasies and visions. Jesus always appeared to her as a man her own age. He talked with her, taught her how to pray, and several times took her heart away to cleanse it. When He appeared with His Cross, he offered to help Him. He let it rest on her should a moment, and it left a wound for the rest of her life. She also received the stigmata, though it too remained invisible to others and, at her request, it was only revealed by her confessor after her death.

And, of course, Jesus worked many miracles on behalf of His friend: made a broken dish whole again, and provided money and food when the family's poverty was extreme. In times of trial, the heavenly hosts came to comfort the girl who received great consolation from the aspiration, "Jesus, my hope!"

Because her family opposed her becoming a Dominican, she took the habit of a tertiary. Her mystical experiences roused a storm of gossip among her neighbors, who were terrified at the lights and sounds that came from her home. The devil stirred up more trouble to mitigate her influence over other souls. Even the Dominican fathers ostracized her and eventually she was forced out of town and settled in Racconigi.

There rich and poor sought out Catherine for her wise counsel, prayers, and material assistance. She was almost continually in ecstasy. The particular object of Catherine's prayers was the salvation of soldiers dying in battle. Numerous miracles occurred before and after her death, and a cult arose at her tomb almost immediately. Even her persecutors were aware of her sanctity and retracted their bitter words (Benedictines, Dorcy).


Frezal of Mende
"Bishop of Mende, who converted all the notable pagans except one of his nephews, who was avaricious, and who cut off his head" (Encyclopedia).


Hermione of Ephesus V (AC)
Died c. 117. In the Acts of the Apostles (21:9), Saint Hermione is mentioned as a prophetess and the daughter of Saint Philip the Deacon. Tradition records that she was martyred at Ephesus (Benedictines).


Ida of Herzfeld, Widow (AC)
Died c. 813. As the great-granddaughter of Charles Martel, Saint Ida was reared in the Merovingian court. Her marriage to Lord Egbert was arranged by Blessed Charlemagne. She was still very young when she was widowed. This state gave her the freedom to increase her devotions to God, engage in austerities, and direct most of the revenues of her estate to the poor. She built a small chapel for herself within a church that she had founded near her house at Hofstadt in Westphalia. When her son, Warin, became a monk at Corvey, Ida moved to Herzfeld (Westphalia), where she established a convent. It is said that she had a stone coffin made for herself and had it filled daily with food for the poor in order to remind herself of her duty to her neighbor and her own mortality. She suffered a painful illness the last years of her life but endured it with patience. She was buried in the cemetery of the Herzfeld convent. In art, she is shown filling a tomb with food for the poor; or with a dove over her head; or carrying a church (Benedictines, White).


Marcellus of Lyons M (RM)
Died c. 178. Saint Marcellus, a priest of Lyons, escaped from prison, where he was being held because of his faith. When he was again captured, the authorities buried him up to his waist along the banks of the River Saône and left him to die, which he did three days later (Benedictines). In art, Saint Marcellus is portrayed as a priest who is half buried alive. He is especially venerated in Lyons (Roeder).


Marcellus of Trèves B (RM)
Date unknown. There is no good record of Saint Marcellus, whose name first appears in the 10th century. He may have been a bishop of Trèves (Trier, Germany) or of Tongres (Benedictines).


Marinus of San Marino, Hermit Deacon (RM)
Born near Dalmatia, fifth century. His specious story is that he was a stonemason, who had been ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Saint Gaudentius of Rimini. Marinus fled to a hermit's cell on Monte Titano (now San Marino) to escape a woman who falsely claimed to be his wife (Attwater, Benedictines). Saint Marinus is portrayed in art as a bearded layman with a stonemason's hammer. He may also be depicted (1) as a young deacon with a hammer; (2) serving as a deacon to Saint Leo the Great or (3) Saint Gaudentius; or (4) with two oxen near him. He is the patron of the tiny country of San Marino, which is named after him (Roeder).


Monessa (Munessa) of Ireland V (AC)
Died 456. According to tradition, Saint Monessa was the daughter of an Irish chieftain who was baptized by Saint Patrick. Immediately after rising from the water, she died in a state of grace. Nothing else is known about her (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Montague).


Rosalia of Palermo V (RM)
Died 1160 (?); she has another feast day on July 15 (perhaps the finding of her relics?).

"I, Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, the lord of Quisquina and Rosae, for the love of my Lord Jesus Christ left the world to live in this cave." --Inscription of the wall of Saint Rosalia's cave. Saint Rosalia, a hermitess at Palermo, is honored because of a miracle that occurred five centuries after her death: her relics are said to have rescued the city from the throes of a plague. Although she was a princess (or just of a good family), the young girl had no use for the pomps of court or vanities of its courtiers. She wanted no company except that of the Lord. She gathered a few possessions--a wooden crucifix, a silver Greek cross, another of terracotta, a string of one large and 12 small prayer beads (a early form of the Rosary)--and retired to a cave on Mount Coschina (near Bivona, Sicily). Unable to find the solitude she desired because of the number of petitioners who came to her, she migrated to a grotto on Monte Pellagrino near Palermo. There she is said to have died and her body covered by deposits from a stalagmite.

A victim of the plague of 1624, had a vision of Rosalia that led to the finding of her alleged relics, the silver and terracotta crosses, and her "rosary." Near them was found the inscription shown at the beginning of this piece. Her remains were placed in a reliquary and carried throughout the ravaged city; the epidemic ended and Rosalia was acclaimed patroness of Palermo. In gratitude, the people built a church dedicated to her.

Both the Benedictines and Greek religious have claimed her as a nun. There is some evidence that she may have been associated with a Greek convent because there is a wooden crucifix in the Byzantine Archabbey of Saint Savior in Messina inscribed "I, Sister Rosalia Sinibaldi, place this wood of my Lord, which I have ever followed, in this monastery." The cross is now at Palermo (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, White).

In art, Saint Rosalia is portrayed as a young girl with a wreath of roses. She may be shown (1) receiving the wreath from the Blessed Virgin and Christ Child as angels bring roses and with a skull near her; (2) with a distaff, book, and palm (Roeder); (3) holding a double Greek cross, distaff and book or palm; or writing her name on the wall of the cave (White). She is invoked against the plague (Roeder).


Ultan of Ardbraccan B (AC)
7th century. Ultan is a popular name among Irish saints; this one is said to have been the first bishop of Ardbraccan (Meath), Ireland, and apostle to the Desi of Meath. He had a special place in his heart for children, especially orphans and foundlings for whom he provided for founding a school, where he educated and fed them. He is also reported to have collected the writings of Saint Brigid and wrote her vita. No life of Saint Ultan has survived, but there is a long notice in the Martyrology of Oengus and a poem praising him (Benedictines, 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.