Saint Anthony Claret
Today the Church honors two 6th century saints, an Italian named Martin or Mark and a Frenchman named Senoch. Both displayed lives of heroic self-discipline--with just a hint of self- satisfaction.
Anthony (Antony) Mary Claret B, Founder (RM)
Born in Sallent, Spain, December 23, 1807; died in Narbonne, France, October 24, 1870; canonized 1950.
"When I see the need there is for divine teaching and how hungry people are to hear it, I am atremble to be off and running throughout the world, preaching the Word of God. I have no rest. My soul finds no other relief than to rush about and preach."
"If God's Word is spoken by a priest who is filled with the fire of charity--the fire of love of God and neighbor--it will wound vices, kill sins, convert sinners, and work wonders."
"When I am before the Blessed Sacrament I feel such a lively faith that I cannot describe it. Christ in the Eucharist is almost tangible to me. . . . When it is time for me to leave, I have to tear myself away from His sacred presence."
--St. Antony Claret
As the son of a weaver, Antony became a weaver himself and in his free time he learned Latin and printing. At the age of 22 he entered the seminary at Vich, Catalonia, Spain, and was ordained in 1835. After a few years he began to entertain the idea of a Barthusian vocation but it seemed beyond his strength, so he travelled to Rome to join the Jesuits with the idea of becoming a foreign missionary. Ill health, however, caused him to leave the Jesuit novitiate and he returned to pastoral work at Sallent in 1837. He spent the next decade preaching parochial missions and retreats throughout Catalonia. During this time he helped Blessed Joachima de Mas to establish the Carmelites of Charity.
He went to the Canary Islands and after 15 months there (1848-49) with Bishop Codina, Anthony returned to Vich. His evangelical zeal inspired other priests to join in the same work, so in 1849 he founded the Missionary Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (the Claretians), dedicated to preaching missions. The Claretians have spread far beyond Spain to the Americas and beyond.
In 1850, Queen Isabella II, appointed him archbishop of Santiago, Cuba. The people of this diocese were in a shocking state, and Claret made bitter enemies in his efforts to reform the see--some of whom made threats on his life. In fact, he was wounded in an assassination attempt against his life at Holguin in 1856, by a man angered that his mistress was won back to an honest life.
At the request of Queen Isabella, he returned to Spain in 1857 to become her confessor. He resigned his Cuban see in 1858, but spent as little time at the court as his official duties required. Throughout this period he was also deeply occupied with the missionary activities of his congregation and with the diffusion of good literature, especially in his native Catalan. He was also appointed rector of the Escorial, where he established a science laboratory, a natural history museum, and schools of music and languages. He also founded a religious library in Barcelona.
He followed Isabella to France when a revolution drove her from the throne in 1868. He attended Vatican Council I (1869-70) where he influenced the definition of papal infallibility. An attempt was made to lure him back to Spain, but it failed. Antony retired to Prades, France, but was forced to flee to a Cistercian monastery at Fontfroide near Narbonne when the Spanish ambassador demanded his arrest.
Anthony Claret was a leading figure in the revival of Catholicism in Spain, preached over 25,000 sermons, and published some 144 books and pamphlets during his lifetime. His continual union with God was rewarded by many supernatural graces. He was reputed to have performed miraculous cures and to have had gifts of prophecy. Both in Cuba and in Spain he encountered the hostility of the Spanish anti-clerical politicians (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).
He is the patron saint of weavers; and of savings and savings banks, a result of his opening savings banks in Santiago in an effort to help the poor (White).
Aretas and Martyrs of Nagran (Nadjran) (RM)
Died 523. Chief of the Beni Harith community of Hadran in southwestern Arabia and also known as Abdullah Ibn Kahn (or Kaab). He and 340 of the townspeople were massacred after they had been offered and accepted amnesty from the band of Jews under Dhu Nowas (Dunaan), a convert to Judaism who had led a revolt against the Aksumite Ethiopians.
"After these," adds the R.M., "a Christian woman was delivered to the flames, and her son of five years old in his lisping voice confessed Christ, and could not be moved from his purpose by promises or threats, but threw himself headlong into the fire where his mother was burning."
The massacre horrified the entire civilized world and was denounced by Mohammed in the Koran (Benedictines, Delaney).
Bernard of Calvó, OSB Cist. B (AC)
Died 1243. A native of Manso Calvó, Catalonia, he became a Cistercian and eventually the first abbot of Santas Creus, near Tarragona. In 1233 he was chosen bishop of Vich (Benedictines).
Cadfarch of Wales (AC)
6th century. A Welsh saint, disciple of Saint Illtyd, and member of a family of saints. He is said to have founded churches at Penegoes and Abererch (Benedictines).
Ebregislus of Cologne BM (RM)
(also known as Ebergesilus, Evergislus)
5th century. A bishop of Cologne and martyr at the hands of heathen robbers. Very probably he died at a much later period and not as a martyr (Benedictines).
Elesbaan, King (RM)
Died c. 555. At the request of Emperor Justin I and the patriarch of Alexandria, Aksumite King Elesbaan (called by Abyssinians "Calam-Negus") led an expedition against Dunaan (Dhu-newas), a convert to Judaism, who had led a revolt of Jews and Arabs against the rule of Aksumite Ethiopians at Yemen and had slaughtered every Christian man, woman, and child in the town of Najran (see under St. Aretas above) in southern Arabia who would not apostatize. Elesbaan defeated and killed Dunaan and then permitted atrocities against Dunaan's followers as dreadful as those committed by Dunaan. Elesbaan is said to have turned over his throne to his son, and he became an exemplary anchorite for the rest of his life. Though he is listed in the Roman Martyrology, he may have been a Monophysite (Benedictines, Delaney).
Felix, Audactus, Januarius, Fortunatus, & Septimus MM
Died 303. Felix Africanus was a bishop of Thibiuca. The accounts of the other martyrs with him are not trustworthy (Benedictines).
Felix of Thibiuca BM (RM)
Died at Carthage, July 15, 303. The bishop of Thibiuca in north Africa was one of the earliest victims of the measures taken by Diocletian to restrain Christianity. The first edict order, among other things, the destruction of all Christian writings, and Bishop Felix was told to hand in the sacred books to the authorities. He refused, and maintained his refusal before the proconsul at Carthage: "It is better that I should be burned," he said, "than that the holy Scriptures should be treated thus; it is better to obey God rather than men." He was executed for his disobedience, and buried at Carthage.
The early account of the passion of St. Felix was later interpolated with a story that he was handed over by the proconsul to the praetorian prefect, who conveyed him to Italy. There Felix repeated his refusal, and was beheaded at Venosa in Apulia. This addition is wholly fictitious (Attwater, Benedictines).
Fromundus of Coutances, OSB B (AC)
Died c. 690. Irish monk, abbot, missionary, and then bishop of Coutances (Benedictines). He is depicted in art as an old man with a hat, cloak, and long cross of a missioner. Sometimes he appears in a cloud with a bag around his neck and glory surrounding him. Venerated at Bonfal (Roeder).
Blessed John Angelo Porro, OSM (AC)
Died 1504; cultus approved 1737. A native of Milan, Italy, who joined the Servites, and after a time spent at Monte Senario, returned to Milan where he worked to the end of his life (Benedictines).
Blessed Joseph Thi M (AC)
Died 1860; beatified in 1909. A native captain in the army of King Tu-duc of Cochin-China. He was garroted at An-hoa (Benedictines).
Maglorius (Maelor, Magloire) of Wales B (RM)
Died 586. Abbot Maglorius of Lammeur, Brittany, was born in south Wales and educated under Saint Illtyd. He was a cousin of Saint Samson, with whom he crossed over to Brittany, where they became abbots of two monasteries. St. Samson became bishop of Dol, and on his death he is said to have been succeeded by St. Maglorius, who finally retired to the Channel Islands and built an abbey on Sark, where he died (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). He is represented in art giving Holy Communion to an angel and is sometimes shown with Saint Samson of Dol. Venerated at Sark (Roeder).
Marcius (Mark, Martin, Marcus) OSB, Hermit (RM)
Died 679. He is an Italian hermit at Monte Cassino, mentioned by St. Gregory the Great in the life of Saint Benedict. The Cassinese tradition adds the Marcius (or Martin) became a monk at the abbey and then retired to a cave on Mount Massicus (Mondragone) where he died.
Mark lived as a hermit in a cave in Campania, Italy. He had in his early days, he said, suffered many temptations of the devil and came to fear no earthly danger. His cave was not very safe, and one overhanging rock seemed likely to fall at any moment. Some of his followers begged leaven to loosen it, so as to let it crash down harmlessly. Mark agreed--provided that he could stay in the cave while they worked.
His friends had no choice but to agree, and the saint meditated, unconcerned that at any moment the rock might come crashing down and kill him. Fortunately, it missed.
Then he took to chaining himself to the ground. At this St. Benedict of Nursia intervened. Mark, he believed, was indulging in public display. Benedict told him that God's servants needed only the spiritual chains of Christ to bind them, not links of iron. Rebuked, Mark humbly threw his chain away (Benedictines, Bentley).
In art, Marcus is represented as a hermit to whom an angel brings the Blessed Sacrament in a spoon. Sometimes there is a wolf bringing him a stray sheep (Roeder).
Martin of Vertou, Abbot (RM)
Died 601. Abbot-founder of Vertou Abbey, near Nantes, of Saint- Jouin-de-Marnes and of other monastic establishments. The particulars of his life, as they have come down to us, are rather confused. He is venerated in the province of Poitou (Benedictines).
Proclus of Constantinople B (RM)
Born at Constantinople; died c. 446. Proclus was a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom, became a lector, and then was secretary to John's opponent, Patriarch Atticus of Constantinople, who ordained him. He was named bishop of Cyzicus but the people there would not accept him. In 428, Nestorius was named Patriarch of Constantinople by Emperor Theodosius II, and Proclus, by now famous for his preaching, opposed his teachings.
He was firm but gentle in his treatment of heretics, notably the Nestorians.
In 434 Maximian, who had succeeded Nestorius when he was deposed in 431, died, and Proclus was name patriarch. He continued his opposition to Nestorianism, ministered to the people of the city when it was struck with a devastating earthquake, and was known for his dedication and tactful handling of those with whom he disagreed.
He wrote several treatises, notably Tome to the Armenians, which opposed the Nestorian-flavored teaching of Theodore of Mopsuestia without mentioning him by name. Several of his letters and sermons have survived. According to tradition he instituted the singing of the Trisagion in the liturgy in miraculous circumstances (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
Senoch, Abbot (RM)
Born at Tiffauges, Poitou. Senoch founded a small monastery about the year 536, making himself abbot over three disciples. They built their house in some Roman ruins and there fasted or lived on bread and water. Senoch was friendly with Bishop Euphronius of Tours, and when that saint died, went to his funeral and there met Euphronius's successor, Saint Gregory of Tours.
The abbot was fond of spending much time alone in his cell, not speaking and hardly eating. He paid a visit to his home town and there was so much admired that he came back exceedingly conceited. Fortunately, St. Gregory reproved Senoch and made him spend far more time with his three fellow-monks (Bentley).
Blessed Tadhg MacCarthy B (AC)
Born 1455; died in Ivrea, Savoy, Italy, 1492; beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1895.
Tadhg was born into the ancient royal line of Munster; the MacCarthys were the most prominent family in southern Ireland and inevitably were pitted against the Norman Fitzgeralds who seized Irish lands during the reign of Henry II of England. A bitter enmity existed between the two families that lasted for centuries.
When Pope Sixtus IV consecrated Tadhg MacCarthy as bishop of Ross, the Fitzgeralds reacted by contriving to place a rival claimant in the office. When Tadhg returned from his consecration in Rome he found the see occupied. About that same time Sixtus died and Tadhg's enemies seized the opportunity to vehemently denounce him to the new Pope Innocent VIII. The charges were so outrageous that the holy father immediately excommunicated the lawful bishop. An investigation, however, revealed that Tadhg was innocent of the charges whereupon Innocent issued three bulls that totally exonerated Tadhg and appointed him to the bishopric of Cork and Cloyne.
The Fitzgeralds still opposed him and refused to surrender the property of the see or to allow him to occupy it. Innocent intervened by issuing such a strong decree that the Fitzgeralds finally relented. Tadhg set out from Rome to assume the leadership of his see. He travelled as a humble pilgrim and stayed overnight in the hospice of Ivrea. The next morning he was found dead.
Tradition says that the bishop of Ivrea was unable to sleep that night, disturbed by a vivid dream of a bishop, unknown to him, being taken into heaven. When it was discovered that Tadhg was a bishop, this dream was considered the first of numerous miracles connected with him. Many cures have been reported at his under the high altar of the cathedral of Ivrea, where he continues to be the subject of veneration (Montague).
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.