St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Saint Edward the Confessor
(Regional Memorial)
October 13

Berthoald of Cambrai B (AC)
Died 7th century. Saint Berthoald was the fifth bishop of the see of Cambrai-Arras (Benedictines).


Carpus of Troas (RM)
Born in Troas on the Hellespont; 1st century. Saint Paul (2 Timothy 4:13) says that he left his cloak with him. Nothing else is known about him; however, some Greek writers call him a bishop (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Chelidonia of Subiaco, OSB V (RM)
Born at Ciculum (Abruzzi), Italy; died 1152. Saint Chelidonia fled to a mountain refuge above Tivoli near Subiaco, where she lived as a hermitess in a cave now called Morra Ferogna. Cardinal Cuno of Frascati gave Chelidonia the Benedictine habit at the abbey church of Saint Scholastica, although she continued to live as a recluse. Her body now rests in the church where she professed her vows at Subiaco, whose principal patron she is (Benedictines).


Coloman of Stockerau (of Melk) M (RM)
(also known as Colman, Colomannus)

Died in Stockerau, Austria, on October 18, 1012. Saint Coloman, an Irish or Scottish monk of royal lineage who began a penitential pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was stopped at Stockerau, about six miles from Vienna. At that time there were continual skirmishes between Austria, Moravia, and Bohemia. So the stranger, who spoke no German, was accused of being a spy and, after various tortures, hanged to death with several robbers.

For 18 months Coloman's body remained on the gibbet, uncorrupted and unmolested by the birds and beasts--a miracle. The scaffolding itself was said to have taken root and sent forth green branches, one of which is preserved under the high altar of the Franciscan church at Stockerau. Many miracles were wrought by his incorrupt body.

Three years after Coloman's death, Bishop Megingard translated his relics to Melk (then called Mark, the capital of the ancient Marcomans near Moravia), at the request of Marquis Saint Henry of Austria, who built a tomb for him in the imposing abbey on the Danube River in western Austria. Four popes have granted indulgences to those who pray at the shrine of Saint Coloman (or Colman?) at Melk (Paschal II, Clement VI, Innocent VI, and Leo X). Melk burned a 70-pound wax candle in 1713 in petition for the saint's prayers against the plague that was devastating the land.

Many churches and chapels in Austria, Swabia, the Palatinate, Hungary, and Bavaria bear his name. On his feast day in Melk, hundreds of horses and cattle are brought to the abbey for Coloman's blessing. Dozens of neighboring parishes made a pilgrimage to his chapel near Würtemberg on Whitsunday until the 18th century (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Encyclopedia, Fitzpatrick, Gougaud, Husenbeth, Kenney, Tommasini).

In art, Saint Colman is a pilgrim monk with a rope in his hand. At times he may be shown (1) hanged on a gibbet; (2) with tongs and rod; and (3) as a priest with a book and maniple. He is venerated in Melk and Ireland. Colman is the patron of hanged men and horses. He is invoked against plague (Roeder) and for husbands by marriageable girls (D'Arcy).


Comgan of Scotland, Abbot (AC)
8th century. Saint Comgan, an Irish prince, was the brother of Saint Kentigern. He embraced the monastic life in Scotland, where his feast is kept in the diocese of Aberdeen (Benedictines).


Edward the Confessor, King (RM)
Born at Islip (near Oxford) c. 1004; died January 5, 1066; canonized 1161. Edward was the son of Ethelbert the Unready (or Ethelred III), king of the English, and Emma, sister of Duke Richard I of Normandy. After Edward's father was defeated by the Danes under Sweyn and his son Canute, Edward and his mother fled to Normandy in 1013. Canute remained in England and in 1016 married Emma, who had returned to England after Ethelred's death.

Edward spent his life from age ten until 1041 in exile in Normandy, returning to England only when Canute the Great died. The following year he succeeded to the throne with the support of Earl Godwin, when his half-brother Hardicanute died.

His elder brother Alfred, had been brutally murdered by Godwin, Earl of Kent. Nevertheless, for reasons of state, in 1044 Edward married Godwin's daughter Edith, who turned out to be the opposite of her father.

Edward's reign was outwardly peaceful and he was a peace-loving man; but he had to contend with the ambitious and powerful Godwin's opposition and other grave difficulties (rivalry between Norman and Saxon courtiers), and he did so with a determination that hardly supports the common picture of Edward as a tame and ineffectual ruler. His was a good ruler and remitted odious taxes.

His anonymous contemporary biographer gives a convincing portrait of him in his old age that has obscured the evidence concerning his middle life. The chronicler as that though physically tall and strong, Edward was unambitious and somewhat lacking in energy, and it seems that his character and temperament were more suited to the cloister than to the throne.

When Robert, the former abbot of Jumieges whom he had brought with him from Normandy and had promoted to the archbishop of Canterbury in 1051, declared Godwin to be an outlaw, Edward did little to support him. Godwin took refuge in Flanders but returned the following year with a fleet ready to lead a rebellion. Armed revolt was avoided when the two men met and settled their differences; among them was the archbishop Robert returned to France and was replaced by Stigand. After Godwin's death in 1053, his son Tostig, earl of Northumbria, led an unsuccessful revolt and was exiled by Edward to the continent. On the other hand a chronicler speaks of 'the king's just and religious administration' and to the people he was 'good King Edward.'

The belief that Edward was a saint was supported by his general reputation for religious devotion and for generosity to the poor and infirm, by the relation of a number of miracles and, too, by the assertion that he and his wife were so ascetic as always to have lived together as brother and sister. Edward and Edith were certainly childless; but that this was due to life-long voluntary abstinence is unlikely in the circumstances of their marriage and is not supported by adequate evidence.

Frugal in his own life, he was generous to monasteries and churches and gave freely to the poor. In commutation of a vow that he had made to undertake a pilgrimage to Rome he rebuilt the abbey at Westminster, where his relics still rest behind the high altar.

According to legend, as Saint Edward was returning from Mass one day, he gave his ring as an alms to Saint John the Baptist, who appeared to him as a poor pilgrim. Twenty-four years later, two English pilgrims returning from the Holy Land met another pilgrim who introduced himself to them as Saint John. Through them he sent word to King Edward that he thanked him for his alms. Through the pilgrims he promised the king that in six months Edward should be with him forever. The message brought joy to the royal heart.

As predicted, Saint Edward died at Westminster on January 5, 1066. He was succeeded by Harold, the son of Godwin, whose brief reign ended with the Battle of Hastings. "Weep not," said Edward to his queen as he lay on his deathbed, "I shall not die but shall live. Departing from the land of the dying, I hope to see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living" (Appleton, Attwater, Barlow, Encyclopedia, Tabor)

His emblem is a finger ring, which he is sometimes shown handing to a pilgrim (Roeder). King Edward is generally shown in royal robes, holding a sceptre surmounted with a dove (Tabor).


Faustus, Januarius, and Martial MM
Died c. 304. Faustus was arrested for his Christianity during Diocletian's persecution at Cordova, Spain. All three were subjected to terrible tortures and then burned to death. They were called "the Three Crowns of Cordova" by Prudentius, the Christian Latin poet (Delaney).


Florentius of Thessalonica M (RM)
Died 312. Saint Florentius was burned at the stake in Thessalonica under Emperor Maximinus Daza (Benedictines).


Fyncana and Fyndoca VV MM (AC)
Date unknown. These virgin martyrs are included in the Aberdeen breviary, but nothing is known of them (Benedictines).


Gerald of Aurillac, Confessor
Born 855 at Saint-Cirgues; died 909. He was of noble birth and suffered lengthy illness in his youth. For this reason, he gave much time to meditation, study, and prayer instead of the martial pursuits that ordinarily would have been expected.

When he succeeded his father as count of Aurillac in Auvergne, and owner of considerable estates, he continued his life of devotion and became noted for his piety and generosity to the poor. He was distinguished for the justice and efficiency with which he discharged the duties of a wealthy nobleman.

His personal life was no less virtuous, and markedly well-ordered and religious. He dressed modestly, ate little, rose every morning at 2:00 a.m.--even when travelling--to say the first part of the Divine Office, and then he assisted at Mass.

But it is possible that he would not have become well-known had he not founded the monastery at Aurillac. After a pilgrimage to Rome, he built a church under the invocation of Saint Peter, and, c. 890, a Benedictine abbey at Aurillac, which was to become famous when it was taken over by the Cluniac order.

He led a life of great goodness for someone of his rank during this rather immoral period in history. He considered becoming a monk at his monastery but was persuaded against it by Gausbert, the bishop of Cahors, who counseled that he would be more useful acting as a layman who devoted himself to his neighbors and dependents. He gave a great part of his revenue to the poor and endowed the monastery generously.

He was blind for the last seven years of his life. He died at Cezenac, Quercy, and was buried at his abbey. He is the patron saint of Upper Auvergne.

Saint Odo of Cluny wrote a Life of Saint Gerald that made him celebrated in medieval France. A later member of Saint Gerald of Aurillac's family was Saint Robert of Chaise-Dieu (d. 1087; canonized c. 1095) who founded the great abbey of that name in Auvergne (Attwater, Encyclopedia, Sitwell, White).


Blessed Gerbrand of Bloemkamp, OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
Died at Foigny, Laon, in 1218. Gerbrand, the second abbot of the Cistercian monastery of Klaarkamp in Frisia, founded Bloemkamp in 1191. He died en route from a general chapter and has always been venerated at Foigny since that time (Benedictines).


Blessed Mary Magdalen dei Panattieri, OP V (AC)
Born at Trino, diocese of Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy, in 1443; died 1503; cultus approved by Leo XIII. Mary Magdalen modelled her life on that of Saint Catherine of Siena. Like her heroine, she was a Dominican tertiary who lived out her vocation in her own home. In this situation she was able to devote herself to charitable works among her neighbors (Benedictines).


Maurice of Carnoet, OSB Cist. Abbot (RM)
Born in Loudéac, Brittany, c. 1114; died 1191; cultus confirmed by Clement XI. After completing his education in Paris, Saint Maurice joined the Cistercians at Langonel in 1144. Three years later he was abbot there, and, in 1177, he became the abbot- founder of Carnoet. Maurice influenced secular affairs in Brittany through his friendships with its dukes (Benedictines).


Regimbald of Speyer, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Reginbald, Regimbaut, Reginobaldus) Died 1039. Before being appointed bishop of Speyer, Germany, in 1032, Regimbald was a Benedictine monk of Saints Ulric and Afra monastery. In 1015, he migrated to Ebersberg Abbey. Seven years later he became abbot of Lorsch from where he founded the daughter community at Heiligenberg (Benedictines).


Romulus of Genoa B (AC)
Died at Matuziano (later called San Remo), Italy, after 641. Saint Romulus was bishop of Genoa, but nothing else is known with certainty about him.


Simbert of Augsburg, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Simpert, Sintbert)

Died c. 808-809; canonized by Nicholas V. Saint Simbert spent much of his life at Murbach Abbey near Colmar in Alsace, France, as a student, monk, then abbot. In 778, he was consecrated bishop of Augsburg, Germany, but continued to govern the monastery. Simbert was a remarkable prelate who did much to restore ecclesiastical discipline and improve theological studies (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Theophilus of Antioch B (RM)
Died c. 181. Saint Theophilus, a philosopher, was converted to Christianity by reading the Scriptures in an effort to attack them. He became the fifth bishop of Antioch after Saint Peter. Because Theophilus authored of many works of doctrine and apologetics, most of which have been lost, he is known as one of the Apologists of the 2nd century. An introduction his work can be found at the Wheaton College site, which also includes Theophilus to Autolycus (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Venantius of Tours, Abbot (RM)
5th century. Abbot of the monaster of Saint Martin in Tours, France (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.