St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Pope Saint Callixtus, Martyr
(Optional Memorial)
October 14

Angadrisma, OSB V Abbess (AC)
(also known as Angadresima, Angadreme, Angradesma, Andragasyna)

Died c. 695-698. Angadrisma, cousin to Bishop Saint Lambert of Lyons, received the veil from Saint Ouen. Eventually she became abbess of the Benedictine convent of Oroër-des- Vierges, near Beauvais (Benedictines). She is depicted in art with her face pitted by smallpox (Roeder).

Bernard of Arce (RM)
9th century. Historians are not sure whether Bernard was from France or England. They do know that he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome. Thereafter he lived as a hermit at Arpino in the Campagna region of Italy. His relics are enshrined at Rocca d'Arce (Benedictines).

Burchard (Burckard) of Würzburg, OSB B (RM)
Died at Homburg-on-Main, Germany, on February 9, c. 754. Saint Burchard was an English priest and monk of Wessex who, c. 732, answered the call of Saint Boniface for laborers for God's vineyard. He joined that illustrious, evangelistic company that took the Gospel to Germany. Boniface consecrated Burchard the first bishop of Würzburg (Herbipolis in Franconia), the area evangelized by the martyr Saint Kilian just 50 years earlier. Burchard translated the Irish Kilian's relics to his own cathedral.

As bishop, Burchard founded several Benedictine abbeys of which the most important is Saint Andrew's (later named for him), as well as a school. About 753 Burchard received permission from Saint Lullus to resign his bishopric to Saint Megingaud. He spent the remainder of his life in prayer and penance with six fervent monk in a monastery near Saint Kilian.

Like Boniface, Burchard worked in close cooperation with the emperors; he led a mission to the Vatican in 749, which resulted in a decision about the succession to the Frankish imperial throne favorable to Pepin the Short. Out of gratitude for Burchard's help and veneration for his sanctity, in 752, Pepin made the bishops of Würzburg dukes of Franconia with all civil jurisdiction.

Upon his death, Burchard was buried near the relics of Saint Kilian at Mount Saint Mary's (Old Würzburg). On October 14, c. 983, Bishop Hugh of Würzburg, chancellor to Emperor Otto IV, translated Burchard's relics with the authorization of Benedict VII. This has become his principal feast. The life of Saint Burchard was written anonymously about 200 years after his death (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).

Burchard is represented in art as a venerable bishop with a sacred Host in his hands, sometimes holding a sword (Roeder).

Callistus (Callixtus) I, Pope M (RM)
Died c. 222; honored as a martyr in Todi, Italy, on August 14. Most of what is known about Callistus comes from untrustworthy sources, such as his arch-opponent. Callistus was a Roman from the Trastevere section of Rome, son of Domitius. His contemporary Saint Hippolytus says that when Callistus, a young Christian slave, was put in charge of a bank by his Christian master Carpophorus, he lost the money deposited with him by other Christians. He fled from Rome but was caught on board a ship off Porto (Portus). To escape capture, he jumped overboard into the sea. He was rescued and taken back to Carpophorus. He was sentenced to the dreaded punishment reserved for slaves--the hand mill. He was released at the request of the creditors, who hoped he might be able to recover some of the money, but was rearrested for fighting in a synagogue when he tried to borrow or collect debts from some Jews. Denounced now as a Christian, Callistus was sentenced to work in the mines of Sardinia. Finally, he was released with other Christians at the request of Marcia, a mistress of Emperor Commodus. His health was so weakened that his fellow Christians sent him to Antium to recuperate and he was given a pension by Pope Victor I.

About 199, Callistus was appointed by Pope Saint Zephyrinus as supervisor of the public Christian burial grounds on the Via Appia (which would come to be called the cemetery of San Callistus). (In its papal crypt most of the bishops of Rome from Zephyrinus to Eutychian, except Cornelius and Callistus, were buried.) He is said to have expanded the cemetery, bringing private portions into communal possession.

He was ordained by Saint Zephyrinus as a deacon and became his friend and advisor. When Zephyrinus died in 217, Callistus was elected pope by popular vote of the Roman people and clergy. Soon thereafter he was denounced by Saint Hippolytus (himself a nominee for the papal seat) for his kindness.

Compassionate towards repentant sinners, Callistus established the practice of the absolution of all repented sins. Saint Hippolytus was especially upset by the pope's admitting to communion those who had repented for murder, adultery, and fornication. Saint Hippolytus, Tertullian, Novatian, and the Rigorists called Callistus a heretic, claiming that he taught that committing a mortal sin was not sufficient to depose a bishop, that multi- married men could be admitted to the clergy, and that marriages between free women and Christian slaves were legitimate.

This last was Callistus's resolution of the problem of wealthy Christian women who were unable to find suitable Christian husbands. He saw marriages to Christian slaves as a better alternative than risking excommunication for themselves and their children by marrying pagans.

He was known for his gentleness and forgiveness. Hippolytus also accused him of leniency to heretics, despite the fact that Callistus had excommunicated Sabellius, the leader of the heretics who denied the plurality of the Divine Persons (Monarchianism).

It is possible that Callistus was martyred around 222, perhaps during a popular uprising, but the legend that he was thrown down a well has no authority. He was buried on the Aurelian Way.

The chapel of San Callistus in Trastevere is probably a successor to the one built by the pope on a piece of land adjudged to the Christians by Alexander Severus against some innkeepers--the emperor declared that any religious rites were better than a tavern (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White)

Saint Callistus is depicted in art wearing a red robe with a tiara (sign of a pope); or being thrown into a well with a millstone around his neck; or with a millstone around his neck (White). Often there is a fountain near him (Roeder).

Carponius, Evaristus (Everistus), and Priscian MM (RM)
Died 303. This trio, together with their sister Saint Fortunata, were martyred under Diocletian at Caesarea, Palestine. Their relics are now housed in Naples (Benedictines).

Dominic Lauricatus (Loricatus), OSB Hermit (RM)
Born in Umbria, Italy, in 995; died 1060. Throughout his life Dominic wore a coat of rough iron chain mail next to his skin (hence the name Loricatus, which means clothed in armor). He wore it not for protection, but for mortification. His father had him ordained a priest in contravention of canon law by means of a bribe. Upon learning about this, Dominic determined to do penance for the rest of his life.

He remembered the words of St Paul: "I find then a law that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" (Romans 7:21-24). Dominic took stock of the respective strength of his body and his soul, and found that his body was the stronger. He therefore attacked it resolutely, violently, scourging himself without mercy.

He became a hermit, then a Benedictine monk. Fontavellana Abbey to which he belonged had no fixed rule, each inmate was left to perfect himself as his own way and to invent his own method of mortification. Saint Dominic's was to wear his iron coat of mail next to his skin, removing it only when scourging himself, at which time he also recited Psalms. His particular exercise was to recite the psalter as quickly as possible, and at the same time give himself as many strokes as possible.

We would be wrong to laugh at him, for our own century is even more ridiculous with its constant search for records, and moreover Dominic harmed no one, not even himself, since in the long run he proved himself worthy of God.

The only chink in his armor was that he could not live peacefully with the other monks and had to change his hermitage frequently. A champion of violence against himself, he was perhaps too violent with others as well, not physically but in his attitude. Violent personalities such as his often arouse hostility and fear.

His superior, Saint Peter Damian, once pointed out to him that "gentle patience is a virtue," but Dominic preferred to suffer physically at his own hands than to suffer in his spirit at the hands of others. And if there is more than a touch of pride in this, we should remember that Dominic was a man like the rest of us.

It might perhaps seem that he was insulting his Creator by thus maltreating the body that had been given him. (It was so much against his nature to treat his body other than harshly that he died of the first medicine that, out of obedience, he was obliged to take). But God sees into our hearts and souls, and the strange and disconcerting attitude of Dominic was, in the last analysis, an attitude of love. For far greater than the love or hate of one's body is the love of God, and if Dominic scourged his body it was from love of God.

Everyone is free to express this love in his own way--there are probably no two ways which are exactly alike for reaching God. Few will follow that of Saint Dominic; for even Saint Paul, who despised his body, did not advise us to clothe ourselves in armor literally, but rather to arm ourselves in spirit:

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God" (Ephesians 6:11- 17) (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

He is portrayed as a hermit scourging himself in the cold with a coat of mail nearby. Venerated at Fontevellana (Roeder).

Donatian of Rheims B (RM)
(also known as Donas, Donatien, Donazianus)

Died 390. The Roman Saint Donatian was consecrated the seventh bishop of Rheims and governed the see for 30 years. His bones were initially enshrined at Corbie (near Amiens), then at Torhout. Charles the Bald gave his relics to Earl Baldwin of Flanders and, in 863, the earl deposited them in the church of Bruges, Belgium, which now bears the name of today's saint and served as the cathedral since 1559. After the French Revolution (1806), the relics were encased in a new reliquary (Benedictines, Farmer, Husenbeth). In art, Saint Donatian is a bishop holding a wheel outlined in candles (Roeder). Examples of his iconography can be found in Bruges, Tournus, and Meissen (Farmer). He is the patron saint of Bruges (Roeder) and of Rheims (Farmer).

Fortunata of Caesarea VM (RM)
Died 303. The relics of Saint Fortunata were translated to Naples in the 8th century together with those of her brothers Carponius, Evaristus, and Priscian--all of whom were martyred under Diocletian in Caesarea, Palestine (Benedictines).

Fortunatus of Todi B (RM)
Died 537. Bishop of Todi, Italy, who was greatly esteemed by Saint Gregory the Great, who also recorded his miracles. Fortunatus is reputed to have saved the city of Todi from being sacked by Totila the Goth (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

Gaudentius of Rimini BM (RM)
Died c. 360. An Asiatic, who joined the Roman clergy (332) and in 346 became bishop of Rimini. He suffered much at the hands of the Arians, who dominated the council of 357, and was put to death by them (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

Justus of Lyons B (RM)
Born near Viviers; died in Egypt c. 390; feast day formerly September 2. Deacon Justus of Vienne became bishop of Lyons in 350. He was a model priest--fearing and wanting nothing but God, exhibiting patience in every trial. Together with two other Gaulish prelates, he participated in the great synod at Aquileia in 381, which was chiefly concerned with the Arian heresy. He may have gained the respect of Saint Ambrose during this assembly. Two later extant letters from the bishop of Milan concern questions regarding Holy Scripture addressed to Justus.

Just prior to the synod, Justus's conscience was disturbed by the fear that an action of his had been instrumental in bringing about a man's violent death at the hands of a mob. A madman had stabbed some people in the streets and then sought refuge in the cathedral. In order to appease the mob, the bishop handed the murderer over to the authorities on the promise that his life would be spared. But the angry mob killed him. Justus felt that because he may have been an accessory to murder, he was no longer qualified to continue his ministry of the altar, but his flock would not allow him to retire to a monastery.

In consequence he left his see by stealth c. 382 by taking a detour en route back from Aquileia. He sought peace of mind in a large monastery in Egypt, where he was anonymous. His hiding place was discovered by chance, but he resolutely refused to leave it even when the priest Antiochus was sent to persuade him to return. The priest decided to remain in Egypt with Justus, who died in his arms. After his death, Saint Justus's body was taken back to Lyons, together with that of one of his clergy, Saint Viator, who had been with him in retirement (Attwater, Benedictines, Husenbeth).

Manacca, Abbess (AC)
5th or 6th century. This may be another interpretation of Saint Manakus. Saint Manacca may have been an Irish abbess and the sister of Saint Selevan. She is said to have given her name to a village in Cornwall called Manaccan, which leads to the conclusion that she may be a duplicate of the male saint (Farmer).

Manakus (Manaccus) of Wales, Abbot (AC)
6th century. Abbot Manakus of Holyhead monastery in Wales appears to have died in Cornwall and to have been associated with Saint Cuby. Manaccan Minster near Falmouth is said to have been named in his honor (Benedictines).

Manechildis of Champagne V (AC)
(also known as Manehildis, Ménéhould)

Born at Perthois, died c. 490. Manechildis is the youngest of seven sisters, all of whom are honored as saints in different parts of Champagne. She is the patroness of Sainte- Ménéhould on the River Aisne (Benedictines).

Rusticus of Trèves B (RM)
Died 574. Bishop Rusticus of Trier, Germany, was accused of sexual impurity by Saint Goar. Thereupon he resigned his see and placed himself under obedience to Saint Goar as a hermit (Benedictines).

Saturninus and Lupus MM (RM)
Date unknown. Neither the date nor other details of their martyrdom is known beyond the place: Caesarea in Cappadocia (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.