Agilbert (Aglibert) of Paris, OSB B (PC)
Died c. 685. Saint Agilbert, a Frank, studied under abbot Ado at Jouarre monastery in Ireland. He studied scripture in France and then crossed over to England and preached in Wessex.
King Coenwalh (Coinwalch) of the West Saxons invited him to remain in Wessex as bishop. He was active in missionary activities, ordained Saint Wilfrid, and with him led the group seeking to replace the Celtic customs with Roman at the Synod of Whitby.
He resigned his see when Coenwalh, growing impatient with a foreign prelate, divided his diocese. Agilbert returned to France, where he was consecrated bishop of Paris in 668. Coenwalh later invited him back but he refused and sent his nephew Eleutherius in his place. Agilbert is buried at Jouarre (Benedictines, Delaney).
Alexander Sauli, Barnabite B (RM)
Born at Milan, Italy, in 1534; died at Colozza (near Pavia) on October 11, 1593; beatified in 1741 or 1742; canonized by Pope Saint Pius X in 1904. At the age of 17, Saint Alexander, son of an important Genoese family, joined the Barnabites, which had been recently founded by Saint Antony Zaccharia, studied at the order's college at Pavia, endowed the college with a library, and was ordained in 1556. He was the confessor of Saint Charles Borromeo and Cardinal Sfondrati (later Pope Gregory XIV). Alexander earned the reputation as a zealous preacher during the time he was teaching at the university in Pavia.
In 1567, he was elected general of his congregation. About this time, Borromeo was given the mandate to reform the Humiliati. With the support of Pope Saint Pius V, Borromeo favored merging the group into the lively Barnabites. As provost general Sauli resisted Borromeo's efforts to incorporate the Humiliati friars into the Barnabites because he feared that they would reduce the discipline of his congregation. The assassination attempt on the life of Charles Borromeo in 1571, led to the complete suppression of the order soon afterwards.
Later (1570) he began his 20 years of service to the Church as a bishop of the Corsican diocese of Aleria. There he carried out religious reforms that were as unwelcome as they were necessary and overdue. The saint found that the clergy were ignorant and the people irreligious, engaging in frequent vendettas and brigandage. The bishop moved his cathedral from Aleria to Cervione and began a systematic visitation. He promulgated the decrees of the Council of Trent assiduously.
Sauli refused translation to the see of Tortona and then Genoa, but just before his death in 1592, Bishop Sauli was transferred to the Italian see of Pavia at the command of Pope Gregory XIV. His friend, Saint Philip Neri, considered that Sauli's reforms had transformed the disreputable Corsican diocese into a model for others. He died during a visitation of his new diocese.
The bishop was reputed to have performed miracles of prophecy, healing, and calming of storms both during his life and after his death. He was a learned man with a special aptitude for canon law, preaching, and catechesis. Although he is not as charismatic as some of the saints of the Counter-Reformation, Saint Alexander Sauli was an exemplary pastor in an age of abuse and corruption (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Orsenigo, Yeo).
Anastasius, Placid, Genesius and Companions MM (RM)
Date unknown. In fact, little is known about this group of martyrs, except what the Roman Martyrology tells us: Their names and that Anastasius was a priest (Benedictines).
Andronicus, Tarachus (Tharacus), and Probus MM (RM)
Died 304. These three martyrs were considerably different from one another, except in their love for Jesus and willingness to put sell everything to purchase the pearl of great price. Tarachus (c. 239- 304) was a Roman born at Claudiopolis, Isauria. He became a soldier in the Roman army but left he army when he became a Christian, because he feared he might be required to act contrary to the law of God. When he was 65, Tarachus was arrested with Andronicus, a patrician from one of the leading families of Ephesus, and Probus, a plebeian born at Side in Pamphylia of a Thracian father who gave up a considerable fortune to follow Christ, at Pompeiopolis in Cilicia during the persecutions of Diocletian and Maximian.
They were tried before Numerian Maximus, the governor, subjected to three interrogations (at Tarsus, Mopsuestia, and Anazarbus), and cruelly tortured. They remained steadfast in their faith and were ordered thrown to wild beasts in the arena near Anazarbus in Cilicia; when the beasts did not harm them, gladiators killed them by sword.
Their authentic acta come from the proconsular register, which some Christians purchased from the public notaries for 200 denarii. (Though this is disputed.) An epilogue was added by three eyewitnesses of the martyrdom: Marcian, Felix, and Verus. These same witnesses later retrieved the bodies from the guards, interred them, and kept watch over them the rest of their lives. They also asked that they be buried in the same vault as the martyrs.
The acta begin at Tarsus with Maximus addressing himself to the elderly Tarachus and asking his name.
Tarachus: I am Christian.
Maximus: Speak not of your impiety, but tell me your name.
Tarachus: I am a Christian.
Maximus: Strike him upon the mouth, and bid him not answer one thing for another.
Tarachus was buffeted on his jaws.
Tarachus: I tell you my true name. If you would know that which my parents gave me, it is Tarachus; when I bore arms I went by the name of Victor.
Maximus: What is your profession, and from what country do you come?
Tarachus: I am of a Roman family, and was born at Claudiopolis, in Isauria. I am by profession a soldier, but quit the service because of my religion.
Maximus: Your impiety rendered you unworthy to bear arms; but how did you procure your discharge?"
Tarachus: I asked it of my captain, Publio, and he gave it to me.
Maximus: In consideration of your gray hairs, I will procure you the favor and friendship of the emperors, if you will obey their orders. Draw near, and sacrifice to the gods, as the emperors themselves do all the world over.
Tarachus: They are deceived by the devil in so doing.
Maximus: Break his jaws for saying the emperors are deceived.
Tarachus: I repeat it, as men they are deluded.
Maximus: Sacrifice our gods, and renounce your folly.
Tarachus: I cannot renounce the law of God.
Maximus: Is there any law, wretch, but that which we obey?
Tarachus: There is, and you transgress it by adoring stocks and stones, the works of men's hands.
Maximus: Strike him on the face, saying, 'Abandon your folly.'
Tarachus: What you call folly is the salvation of my soul, and I will never leave it.
Maximus: But I will make you leave it, and force you to be wise.
Tarachus: Do with my body what you please, it is entirely in your power.
Maximus: Strip him, and beat him with rods.
And the old man was beaten.
Tarachus: You have now made me truly wise. I am strengthened by your blows, and my confidence in God and in Jesus Christ is increased.
Maximus: Wretch, how can you deny a plurality of gods, when, according to your own confession, you serve two gods? Did you not give the name of God to a certain person, named Christ?
Tarachus: Right; for this is the Son of the living God; he is the hope of the Christians, and the author of salvation to such as suffer for his sake.
Maximus: Forbear this idle talk; draw near, and sacrifice.
Tarachus: I am no idle talker; I am sixty-five years old; thus have I been brought up, and I cannot forsake the truth.
Demetrius, the centurion, said: "Poor man, I pity you; be advised by me, sacrifice; and save yourself.
Tarachus: "Away, you minister of Satan, and keep your advice for your own use.
Maximus: Let him be loaded with large chains, and carried back to prison. Bring forth he next in years.
Demetrius: He is here, my lord.
Maximus: What is your name?
Probus: MY chief and most honorable name is Christian; but the name I go by in the world is Probus.
Maximus: From what country do you come, and of what family?
Probus: My father was of Thrace: I am a plebeian, born a Sida, in Pamphylia, and profess Christianity.
Maximus: That will do you no service. Be advised by me, sacrifice the gods, that you may be honored by the emperors, and enjoy my friendship.
Probus: I want nothing of that kind. Formerly, I was possessed of a considerable estate; but I relinquished it to serve the living God through Jesus Christ.
Maximus: Take off his garments, gird him, lay him at his full length, and lash him with ox's sinews.
Demetrius, the centurion, said to him, while they were beating him: "Spare thyself, my friend; see how your blood runs in streams on the ground."
Probus: Do what you will with my body, your torments are sweet perfumes to me.
Maximus: Is this your obstinate folly incurable? What can you hope for?
Probus: I am wiser than you are, because I do not worship devils.
Maximus: Turn him, and strike him on the belly.
Probus: My Lord, assist your servant.
Maximus: Ask him, at every stripe, Where is your helper?
Probus: He helps me, and will help me; for I take so little notice of your torments, that I do not obey you.
Maximus: Look, wretch, upon your mangled body; the ground is covered with your blood.
Probus: The more my body suffers for Jesus Christ, the more is my soul refreshed.
Maximus: Put fetters on his hands and feet, with his legs distended in the stocks to the fourth hole, and let nobody come to dress his wounds. Bring the third to the bar.
Demetrius: Here he stands, my lord.
Maximus: What is your name?
Andronicus: My true name is Christian, and the name by which I am commonly known among men, is Andronicus.
Maximus: What is your family?
Andronicus: My father is one of the first rank in Ephesus.
Maximus: Adore the gods, and obey the emperors, who are our fathers and masters.
Andronicus: The devil is your father while you do his works.
Maximus: Youth makes you insolent; I have torments ready.
Andronicus: I am prepared for whatever may happen.
Maximus: Strip him naked, gird him, and stretch him on the rack.
Demetrius: Obey, my friend, before your body is torn and mangled.
Andronicus: It is better for me to have my body tormented, than to lose my soul.
Maximus: Sacrifice before I put you to the most cruel death.
Andronicus: I have never sacrificed to demons from my infancy, and I will not now begin.
Athanasius, the cornicularius, or clerk to the army, said to him: "I am old enough to be your father, and therefore take the liberty to advise you: obey the governor."
Andronicus: You give me admirable advice, indeed, to sacrifice to devils.
Maximus: Wretch, are you insensible to torments? You don't yet know what it is to suffer fire and razors When you has felt them, you wilt perhaps, give over your folly.
Andronicus: This folly is expedient for us who hope in Jesus Christ. Earthly wisdom leads to eternal death.
Maximus: Tear his limbs with the utmost violence.
Andronicus: I have done no evil, like a murderer. I contend for that piety which is due.
Maximus: If you had but the least sense of piety, you would sacrifice to the gods whom the emperors so religiously worship.
Andronicus: That is not piety, but impiety to abandon the true God, and worship marble.
Maximus: Execrable villain, are then the emperors guilty of impieties? Hoist him again, and gore his sides.
Andronicus: I am in your hands; do with my body what you please.
Maximus: Lay salt upon his wounds, and rub his sides with broken tiles.
Andronicus: Your torments have refreshed my body.
Maximus: I will cause you to die gradually.
Andronicus: Your menaces do not terrify me; my courage is above all that your malice can invent.
Maximus: Put heavy chain about his neck, and another upon his legs, and keep him in close prison.
Thus ended the first examination; the second was held at Mopsuestia, where Flavius Clemens Numerianus Maximus sat before his tribunal and issued a command to his centurion Demetrius.
Maximus: Bring forth the impious wretches who follow the religion of the Christians.
Demetrius: Here they are, my lord.
Maximus: Old age is respected in many, on account of the good sense and prudence that generally attend it; wherefore, if you have made a proper use of the time allowed you for reflection, I presume your own discretion has wrought in you a change of sentiments; as a proof of which, it is required that you sacrifice to the gods, which cannot fail of recommending you to the esteem of your superiors.
Tarachus: I am a Christian, and I wish you and the emperors would leave your blindness, and embrace the truth which leads to life.
Maximus: Break his jaws with a stone, and bid him leave off his folly.
Tarachus: This folly is true wisdom.
Maximus: Now they have loosened all your teeth, wretch, take pity on yourself, come to the altar, and sacrifice to the gods, to prevent severer treatment.
Tarachus: Though you cut my body into a thousand pieces, you will not be able to shake my resolution; because it is Christ who gives me strength to stand my ground.
Maximus: Wretch, accursed by the gods, I will find means to drive out your folly. Bring in a pan of burning coals, and hold his hands in the fire till they are burnt.
Tarachus: I fear not your temporal fire, which soon passes; but I dread eternal flames.
Maximus: See, your hands are well baked, they are consumed by the fire; is it not time for you to grow wise? Sacrifice.
Tarachus: If you have any other torments in store for me, employ them; I hope I shall be able to withstand all your attacks.
Maximus: Hang him by the feet, with his head over a great smoke.
Tarachus: "After having proved an overmatch for your fire, I am not afraid of your smoke.
Maximus: Bring vinegar and salt, and force them up his nostrils.
Tarachus: Your vinegar is sweet to me, and your salt insipid.
Maximus: Put mustard into the vinegar, and thrust it up his nose.
Tarachus: Your ministers impose upon you; they have given me honey instead of mustard.
Maximus: Enough for the present; I will make it my business to invent fresh tortures to bring you to your senses; I will not be baffled.
Tarachus: You will find me prepared for the attack.
Maximus: Away with him to the dungeon. Bring in another.
Demetrius: My lord, here is Probus.
Maximus: Well, Probus, have you considered the matter; and are you disposed to sacrifice to the gods, after the example of the emperors?
Probus: I appear here again with fresh vigor. The torments I have endured have hardened my body; and my soul is strengthened in her courage, and proof against all you can inflict. I have a living God in heaven: him I serve and adore, and no other.
Maximus: What! villain, are not ours living gods?
Probus: Can stones and wood, the workmanship of a statuary be living gods? You know not what you do when you sacrifice to them.
Maximus: What insolence! At least sacrifice to the great god Jupiter. I will excuse you as to the rest.
Probus: Do not you blush to call him god who was guilty of adulteries, incests, and other most enormous crimes?
Maximus: Beat his mouth with a stone, and bid him not blaspheme.
Probus: Why this evil treatment? I have spoken no worse of Jupiter than they do who serve him. I utter no lie; I speak the truth, as you yourself well know.
Maximus: Heat bars of iron, and apply then to his foot.
Probus: This fire is without heat; at least, I feel none.
Maximus: Hoist him on the rack, and let him be scourged with thongs of raw leather till his shoulders are flayed.
Probus: All this does me no harm: invent something new, and you will see the power of God who is in me and strengthens me.
Maximus: Shave his head, and lay burning coals upon it.
Probus: You have burnt my head and my feet. You see, notwithstanding, that I still continue God's servant, and disregard your torments. He will save me; your gods can only destroy.
Maximus: Do you not see all those that worship them standing about my tribunal, honored by the gods and the emperors? They look upon you and your companions with contempt.
Probus: Believe me, unless they repent and serve the living God, they will all perish, because against the voice of their own conscience they adore idols.
Maximus: Beat his face, that he may learn to say the gods, and not God.
Probus: You unjustly destroy my mouth, and disfigure my face because I speak the truth.
Maximus: I will also cause your blasphemous tongue to be plucked out to make you comply.
Probus: Besides the tongue which serves me for utterance, I have an internal, an immortal tongue, which is out of your reach.
Maximus: Take him to prison. Let the third come in.
Demetrius: He is here.
Maximus: Your companions, Andronicus, were at first obstinate; but gained nothing thereby but torments and disgrace, and have been at last compelled to obey. They shall receive considerable recompenses. Therefore, to escape the like torments, sacrifice to the gods, and you shall be honored accordingly. But if you refuse, I swear by the immortal gods, and by the invincible emperors that you shall not escape out of my hands with your life.
Andronicus: Why do you endeavor to deceive me with lies? They have not renounced the true God. And had that been so, you should never find me guilty of such an impiety. God, whom I adore, has clothed me with the arms of faith; and Jesus Christ, my Savior, is my strength; so that I either fear your power, nor that of your masters, nor of your gods. For a trial, cause all your engines and instruments to be displayed before my eyes, and employed on my body.
Maximus: Bind him to the stakes, and scourge him with raw thongs.
Andronicus: There is nothing new or extraordinary in this torment.
Athanasius: Your whole body is but one wound from head to foot, and cost you count this nothing?
Andronicus: They who love the living God, make very small account of all this.
Maximus: Rub his back with salt.
Andronicus: Give orders, I pray you, that they do not spare me, that being well seasoned I may be in no danger of putrefaction, and may be the better able to withstand your torments.
Maximus: Turn him, and beat him upon the belly, to open afresh his first wounds.
Andronicus: You saw when I was brought last before your tribunal, how I was perfectly cured of the wounds I received by the first day's tortures: he that cured me then, can cure me a second time.
Maximus, addressing himself to the guards of the prison: "Villains and traitors," said he, "did I not strictly forbid you to suffer any one to see them, or dress their wounds? Yet, see here!"
Pegasus, the jailer, said, "I swear by your greatness that no one has applied anything whatever to his wounds, or had admittance to him; and he has been kept in chains in the most retired part of the prison on purpose. If you catch me in a lie I'll forfeit my head."
Maximus: How comes it, then, that there is nothing to be seen of his wounds?
Pegasus: I swear by your high birth that I know not how they have been healed.
Andronicus: Senseless man, the physician that has healed me is no less powerful than he is tender and charitable. You know him not. He cures not by the application of medicines, but by his word alone. Though he dwells in heaven, he is present everywhere, but you know him not.
Maximus: Your idle prattling will do you no service; sacrifice, or you art a lost man.
Andronicus: I do not change my answers. I am not a child, to be wheedled or frightened.
Maximus: Do not flatter yourself that you shall get the better of me.
Andronicus: Nor shall you ever make us yield to your threats.
Maximus: My authority shall not be baffled by you.
Andronicus: Nor shall it ever be said that the cause of Jesus Christ is vanquished by your authority.
Maximus: Let me have several kinds of tortures in readiness against my next sitting. Put this man in prison loaded with chains, and let no one be admitted to visit them in the dungeon.
The third examination was held at Anazarbus. In it Tarachus answered first with his usual constancy, saying to all threats that a speedy death would finish his victory and complete his happiness; and that long torments would procure him the greater recompense. Then Maximus had him bound and stretched on the rack.
Tarachus: I could allege the rescript of Diocletian, which forbids judges to put military men to the rack. But waive my privilege, lest you should suspect me of cowardice.
Maximus: You flatter yourself with the hopes of having your body embalmed by Christian women, and wrapped up in perfumes after you art dead, but I will take care to dispose of your remains.
Tarachus: Do what you please with my body, not only while it is living, but also after my death.
Maximus ordered his lips, cheeks, and whole face, to be slashed and cut.
Tarachus: You have disfigured my face, but have added new beauty to my soul. I don't fear any of your inventions, for I am clothed with the divine armor.
The tyrant ordered spits to be heated and applied red hot to his armpits, then his ears to be cut off.
Tarachus: My heart will not be less attentive to the word of God.
Maximus: Tear the skin off his head, then cover it with burning coals.
Tarachus: Though you should order my whole body to be flayed, you will not be able to separate me from my God.
Maximus: Apply the red-hot spits once more to his armpits and sides.
Tarachus: O God of heaven, look down upon me, and be my judge.
The governor then sent him back to prison to be reserved for the public shows the day following, and called for the next. Probus being brought forth, Maximus again exhorted him to sacrifice; but after many words ordered him to be bound and hung up by the feet: then red-hot spits to be applied to his sides and back.
Probus: My body is in your power. May the Lord of heaven and earth vouchsafe to consider my patience, and the humility of my heart.
Maximus: The God whom you implore has delivered you into my hands.
Probus: He loves men.
Maximus: Open his mouth, and pour in some of the wine which has been offered upon the altars, and thrust some of the sanctified meat into his mouth.
Probus: See, O Lord, the violence they offer me, and judge my cause.
Maximus: Now you see that after suffering a thousand torments rather than to sacrifice, you have nevertheless partaken of a sacrifice.
Probus: You have done no great feat in making me taste these abominable offerings against my will.
Maximus: No matter; it is now done: promise now to do it voluntarily and you shall be released.
Probus: God forbid that I should yield; but know that if you should force into me all the abominable offerings of your whole altars, I should be no ways defiled: for God sees the violence which I suffer.
Maximus: Heat the spits again, and burn the calves of his legs with them.
To Probus: There is not a sound part in your whole body, and still you persistent in your folly. Wretch, what can you hope for?
Probus: I have handed my body over to you that my soul may remain whole and sound.
Maximus: Make some sharp nails red hot, and pierce his hands with them.
Probus: O my Savior, I return you most hearty thanks that you have been pleased
to make me share in your own sufferings.
Maximus: The great number of your torments make you more foolish.
Probus: Would to God your soul was not blind, and in darkness.
Maximus: Now that you have lost the use of all your members, you complain to me for not having deprived you of your sight. Prick him in the eyes, but by little and little, till you have bored out the organs of his sight.
Probus: Behold I am now blind. you have destroyed the eyes of my body, but cannot take away those of my soul.
Maximus: You continue still to argue, but you are condemned to eternal darkness.
Probus: If you knew the darkness in which your soul is plunged, you would see yourself much more miserable than I am.
Maximus: You have no more use of your body than a dead man, yet you continue to talk.
Probus: So long as any vital heat continues to animate the remains which you have left me of this body, I will never cease to speak of my God, to praise and to thank him.
Maximus: What! Do you hope to survive these torments? Can you flatter yourself that I shall allow you one moment's respite?
Probus: I expect nothing from you but a cruel death, and I ask of God only the grace to persevere in the confession of his holy name to the end.
Maximus: I will leave you to languish, as such an impious wretch deserves. Take him hence. Let the prisoners be closely guarded that none of their friends who would congratulate with them, may find access. I desire them for the shows. Let Andronicus be brought in. He is the most resolute of the three.
The answers and behavior of these saints were usually respectful towards their judges; this is a duty, and the spirit of the Gospel. Nevertheless, by an extraordinary impulse of the Holy Spirit, some on certain occasions have deviated from this rule, e.g., Saint Paul called his judge a "whited wall" and threatened him with the angel of God. Like him, Andronicus answers harshly. The governor pressed Andronicus again to comply, adding, that his two companions had at length sacrificed to the gods, and to the emperors themselves.
Andronicus: This is truly the part of an adorer of the god of lies; and by this imposture I know that the men are like the gods whom they serve. May God judge you, O worker of iniquity.
Maximus ordered rolls of paper to be made, and set on fire upon the belly of the martyr; then bodkins to be heated, and laid red hot between his fingers. Even after all this, Andronicus was still unshaken.
Maximus: Do not expect to die at once. I will keep you alive till the time of the shows, that you may see your limbs devoured one after another by cruel beasts.
Andronicus: You are more inhuman than the tigers, and more insatiable with blood than the most barbarous murderers.
Maximus: Open his mouth, and put some of the sanctified meat into it, and pour some of the wine into it which has been offered to the gods.
Andronicus: Behold, O Lord, the violence which is offered me.
Maximus: What will you do now? You have tasted the offerings taken from the altar. You are now initiated in the mysteries of the gods.
Andronicus: Know, tyrant, that the soul is not defiled when she suffers involuntarily what she condemns. God, who sees the secrets of hearts, knows that mine has not consented to this abomination.
Maximus: How long will this frenzy delude your imagination? It will not deliver you out of my hands.
Andronicus: God will deliver me when he pleases.
Maximus: This is a fresh extravagance: I will cause that your tongue to be cut out to put an end to your prating.
Andronicus: I ask it as a favor that those lips and tongue with which you imagine I have concurred in partaking of the meats and wine offered to idols, may be cut off.
Maximus: Pluck out his teeth, and cut out his blasphemous tongue to the very root; burn them, and then scatter the ashes in the air, that none of his impious companions or of the women may be able to gather them up to keep as something precious or holy. Let him be carried to his dungeon to serve for food to the wild beasts in the amphitheater.
Thus, the trial of the three martyrs concluded. Maximus sent for the pontiff and the first magistrate of Cilicia, and ordered that public games be produced the following day. Crowds flocked to the amphitheater near the town of Anazarbus. The governor arrived there about noon. The three eyewitnesses who wrote this epilogue watched from the hillside, afraid to enter the amphitheater. The governor had the tortured bodies of the three brought into the arena. Their bodies were so mangled that they had to be carried in on the backs of porters and thrown in the pit before the governor.
"We advanced," say the authors, "as near as we could on an eminence behind, and concealed ourselves by piling stones before us as high as our breasts, that we might not be known or observed. The sight of our brethren in so dismal a condition, made us shed abundance of tears: even many of the infidel spectators could not contain themselves. For no sooner were the martyrs laid down, but an almost universal deep silence followed at the sight of such dismal objects, and the people began openly to murmur against the governor for his barbarous cruelty.
"Many even left the shows, and returned to the city: which provoked the governor, and he ordered more soldiers to guard all the avenues to stop any from departing, and to take notice of all who attempted it, that they might be afterwards called to their trial by him. At the same time, he commanded a great number of beasts to be let loose out of their dens into the pit. These fierce creatures rushed out, but all stopped near the doors of their lodges, and would not advance to hurt the martyrs.
"Maximus, in a fury, called for the keepers, and caused one hundred strokes with cudgels to be given them, making them responsible for the tameness of their lions and tigers, because they were less cruel than himself. He threatened even to crucify them unless they let out the most ravenous of their beasts.
"They turned out a great bear which that very day had killed three men. He walked up slowly towards the martyrs, and began to lick the wounds of Andronicus. That martyr leaned his head on the bear, and endeavored to provoke him, but in vain. Maximus possessed himself no longer, but ordered the beast to be immediately killed. The bear received the strokes, and fell quietly before the feet of Andronicus.
"The pontiff Terentianus seeing the rage of the governor, and trembling for himself, immediately ordered a most furious lioness to be let out. At the sight of her, all the spectators turned pale, and her terrible roarings made the bravest men tremble on their safe seats. Yet when she came up to the saints, who lay stretched on the sand, she laid her self down at the feet of Saint Tarachus, and licked them, quite forgetting her natural ferocity. Maximus, foaming with rage, commanded her to be pricked with goads. She then arose, and raged about in a furious manner, roaring terribly, and frightening all the spectators; who, seeing that she had broke down part of the door of her lodge, which the governor had ordered to be shut, cried out earnestly that she might be again driven into her lodge.
"The governor, therefore, called for the confectors or gladiators to dispatch the martyrs with their swords; which they did. Maximus commanded the bodies to be intermixed with those of the gladiators who had been slain, and also to be guarded that night by six soldiers, lest the Christians should carry them off. The night was very dark, and a violent storm of thunder and rain dispersed the guards. The faithful distinguished the three bodies by a miraculous star or ray of light which streamed on each of them. They carried off the precious treasures on their backs, and hid them in a hollow cave in the neighboring mountains, where the governor was not able, by any search he could make, to find them. He severely chastised the guards." Thus, the three witnesses pledged to guard the precious relics for the balance of their days (Benedictines, Delaney, Husenbeth).
Ansilio of Lagny, OSB (AC)
Died late 7th century. The relics of the monk Saint Ansilio were enshrined in the Benedictine abbey of Lagny in Meaux (Benedictines).
Bruno the Great of Cologne B (AC)
Born in 925; died at Rheims, France, in 965; cultus confirmed in 1870. Bruno was the youngest son of Emperor Henry the Fowler and Saint Matilda. He was sent to the cathedral school of Utrecht at the age of four, where he benefitted from the ministrations of Bishop Baldericus. His bedside reading as a child was Prudentius--he was definitely a young man devoted to learning. At the age of 14, Bruno joined the imperial court and, in 940, he became personal secretary to Emperor Otto I, his brother.
He was ordained in 950, became Otto's chancellor, and in 953 was appointed archbishop of Cologne until 961. He also was the commendatory of Lorsch and Corvey abbeys. For Bruno there was no conflict between his religious duties and those as a secular prince. He saw both callings as requiring an attempt to rebuild the heavenly Jerusalem on earth. As bishop he insisted on high ecclesiastical standards, reformed monasteries, and encouraged learning.
Bruno founded the abbey church of Saint Pantaleon at Cologne, the finest memorial to the archbishop's religious impulse. Bruno wished to found a Benedictine monastery in his native city. He rebuilt a small church outside the city gates as its basis. The building marked the beginning of a new age of architecture in Cologne. Although work on it did not begin until 15 years after Bruno's death, the inspiration was his. Saint Pantaleon's represented the Romanesque ideal of the Holy City.
He was made duke of Lorraine by Otto when the emperor deposed Duke Conrad the Red for leading a rebellion, played a leading role in imperial as well as ecclesiastical affairs, helped settle numerous political disputes, and influenced the consolidation of the German states. Bruno served as coregent of the empire with his half- brother when Otto travelled to Rome to be crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope. Later they were appointed guardians of the young king of the Romans. (He should not be confused with Saint Bruno founder of the Carthusians) (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney).
Canice, of Kilkenny, Abbot (RM)
(also known as Caimnech, Cainnic, Canicus, Cainnech, Kenneth, Kenny)
Born at Glengiven (Derry), Ireland, c. 515-527; died at Aghaboe (the ox's field) in Laois, c. 599. All we know about Canice is from unreliable legend, according to which he was the son of a scholar-poet, who became a pupil of Saint Finnian at Clonard. He may have gone with Saints Kieran, Columba, Comgall on mission to Saint Mobhi at Glasnevin, preached for a time in Ireland. When plague scattered the community, Canice became a monk under Saint Cadoc at Llancarfan, Wales, where he was ordained.
Canice was a close friend of Saint Columba whom he accompanied on a visit to King Brude of the Picts at Inverness, because he was of the Pictish race and spoke the language. Thus, he assisted Columba in establishing his base at Iona, where there was once a Killchainnech. He served similarly in introducing Comgall at Lismore.
For a time Canice worked in the Western Isles and on the mainland of Scotland, where he is known as Kenneth. A number of place names and old dedications confirm his presence in Scotland, notably the islet called Inch Kenneth in Mull. He founded churches on Tiree, South Uist, Coll, and Kintyre. He was the first person to build a church at Saint Andrews, then known as Rigmond. As Aengus records, "Aghaboe was his principal church and he has a Recles (monastery) at Kill-Rigmonaig in Alba." At the Reformation, the Irish abbot of Rigmond, Riaghail or Regulus, was transformed by a fanciful legend into a 4th-century Greek monk named Rule, who carried the relics of the apostle Saint Andrew to Rigmond. But the relics were not acquired until 736, at which time the name was changed to Saint Andrews.
When he returned to Ireland he founded the monastery of Aghaboe in Ossory, c. 577. Other foundations included Drumahose in Derry and Cluain Bronig in Offaly. Saint Canice is said also to have had a foundation at Kilkenny. That city is named after Canice, who was the titular patron of the Brethren of Saint Kenneth.
Canice copied a manuscript of the four Gospels. He was known as an effective preachers, when, according to the saint, he was divinely illuminated by God.
Until the Reformation, the society maintained the abbey at Maiden Castle. Canice is one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland and patron of Kennoway in Fife (Attwater, Benedictines, D'Arcy, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Montague, Montalembert, Mould, Moran, Ryan, Skene).
Like other Irish monastics saints, Canice periodically lived as a hermit and enjoyed the close communion such a life afforded with nature. These three short tales tell us a little about the legends of Saint Canice, called Cainnic by Plummer:
"One Sunday Saint Cainnic was lodged on the island of Inish Ubdain; but the mice of that place gnawed his shoes and nibbled them and ate them. And the holy man, when he was aware of their naughtiness, cursed the mice, and cast them out of that island forever. For all the mice, assembling in a body, according to the word of Saint Cainnic, precipitated themselves into the depths of the sea, and mice on that island have not been seen unto this day" (Plummer).
"Another time Saint Cainnic was lodged one Sunday on another island, called En inish, the Isle of Birds. but the birds on it were garrulous and extremely loquacious, and gave annoyance to the saint of God. So he rebuked their loquacity, and they obeyed his command, for all the birds got together and set their breasts against the ground, and held their peace, and until the hour of Matins on Monday morning they stayed without a movement, and without a sound, until the Saint released them by his word" (Plummer).
"Another time when Saint Cainnic was in hidden retreat in solitude, a stag came to him, and would hold the book steady on his antlers as the Saint read on. But one day, startled by a sudden fear, he dashed into flight without the abbot's leave, carrying the book still open on his antlers; but thereafter, like a fugitive monk to his abbot, the book safe and unharmed still open on his antlers, he returned" (Plummer).
Emilian of Rennes, Hermit (RM)
Date unknown. The Roman Martyrology states that Saint Emilian was a recluse at Rennes in Brittany; however, no saint of this name is recorded locally. It is suggested that there may be some confusion and that the saint may be Bishop Melanius of Rennes (Benedictines).
Eufridus of Alba, OSB (AC)
7th century. Saint Eufridus has a local cultus at Albi in the Piedmont, where he was a monk of Asti (Benedictines).
Firminus of Uzès B (RM)
Born in Narbonne, France; died 553. Saint Firminus succeeded his uncle as bishop of Uzès at the tender age of 22 and governed the see until his death fifteen years later. He was a friend of Saint Caesarius (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Germanus of Besançon BM (RM)
Died c. 390. Saint Germanus, successor to Saint Desideratus in the see of Besançon, may have been martyred by the Arians (Benedictines).
Gratus of Oloron B (AC)
Died after 506. Saint Gratus was the first to hold the episcopacy in the ancient see of Oloron in southern France. The diocese was suppressed long ago (Benedictines).
Gummarus (Gomer, Gommaire) of Lier, Hermit (RM)
Born at Emblehem (diocese of Malines), Brabant, c. 717; died October 11, c. 774. Like Saint Gengou, Saint Gomer served under Pepin the Short in his wars, and on his return home had to face the same domestic troubles. Though their stories end differently, Gomer and Gengou, are the patrons of those who married badly.
Gomer was born into a rich and influential family. Before long Gomer had an important position at the court of Pepin the Short. The young man had all the virtues--gentility, piety, innocence, and simplicity. He preferred religious devotions to court socials, and spent his time with wise old men instead of pretty young girls.
Eventually he married a woman called Gwinmarie. She was rich, beautiful, and was personally recommended by Pepin the Short. At first it was a blissful marriage. Gwinmarie, who had thought that men were rough and crude creatures, was charmed by Gomer's delicate manners. But she had barely unpacked her trousseau, when Gomer was called off to the wars.
She dried her tears and busied herself with running their estate. She did it very well, so well in fact that when Gomer came home on leave he found everything just a little too neat and well-ordered. Gwinmarie had got used to the exercise of authority and made no secret of it. Gomer put on his slippers, scratched his head and realized that he was no longer master in his own house. So he went back to the wars.
For the next eight years he was fighting away in Lombardy, Saxony, and Aquitaine, and since he saw his wife only very rarely the wall between them grew steadily higher. Knowing and understanding each other less and less, they both remained on their separate sides and became set in their ways. Gwinmarie became harsh, severe, and doubtless because she was afraid of not being obeyed, made her farmers and laborers feel the full weight of her privileges. She threatened, punished, and scrutinized them closely.
By the time Gomer came home for good he had seen enough chaos and injustice in the wars, and had no intention of letting his wife continue to run things in her autocratic way. In next to no time he had redressed all the wrongs she had committed, restored the people she had dispossessed from their property, and given generously to the poor.
Gwinmarie cried, scratched, sulked, threatened, but it was no good: Gomer was not the man to set his wife above the honor of God. However, since there was no peace at home, Gomer gathered a few friends together and set off on a pilgrimage to Rome until the storm had blown over.
He didn't get very far. A miracle (a tree fell down and he set it up again) and a revelation (from an angel) obliged him to build a monastery and a church on his own estate. And so he became half- husband, half-monk. (The town of Lierre (Lier) has arisen around his hermitage.)
But he continued to visit Gwinmarie. She was becoming more and more sour-tempered, but although she didn't want to listen to Gomer's lectures and homilies she had to do as he told her, for he was always putting her in her place with a convenient miracle.
However the story has a happy ending: Old, sick, and lonely, Gwinmarie was afraid of dying and called Gomer to her. He came at once, calmed and comforted her, and treated her with such gentleness that all her sourness disappeared. She died peacefully, and Gomer followed her. Before they died a large number of children were miraculously born to them, according