Saints Chrysanthus and Daria, Martyrs
Blessed Albert of Sassoferrato, OSB Cam. (AC)
Died August 7, 1330; cultus confirmed 1837. Albert was a monk of Santa Croce di Tripozzo before the Camaldolese took over the house (Benedictines).
Chrysanthus and Daria MM (RM)
Died c. 283? Chrysanthus and Daria were certainly early martyrs, buried on the New Salarian Way outside Rome, but their popular and much-discussed legend is no more than a romance.
According to it, Chrysanthus was a young Alexandrian in Rome, whose father tried to wean him from Christianity by means of the blandishments of a Greek priestess of Minerva, Daria. Instead he converted her and they entered into a virginal marriage.
The couple was distinguished in Rome for their zealous profession and practice of the Christian faith. They in turn brought about many conversions, including a company of soldiers who were all beheaded.
They were themselves martyred under Numerian and Carinus by being buried alive in a sand-pit on the Salarian Way. While Christians were praying at their tomb, the emperor ordered its entrance to be blocked up and the worshippers were left there to perish (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
In art they are depicted as husband and wife with an axe and a torch. Sometimes they are pictured buried alive; in Parma with SS Philip and James Major (Roeder). These patrons of governors are venerated at Parma, Reggio, Salzburg, and Siena (Roeder).
Crispin and Crispinian MM (RM)
It is difficult to separate truth from legend in the story of Saint Crispin and his brother Saint Crispinian, who were martyred about the year 287. They may actually have been Christians who fled the persecutions in Rome and put their exile to good effect by evangelizing. The legend which follows is very late and without historical value.
There is a tradition that they were born of a noble Roman family in the 3rd century and went to preach in Gaul (Soissons) with Saint Quintinius and a number of other missionaries. According to this tradition they adopted the trade of shoemakers because they had left all their possessions behind them in Rome, or mainly as a disguise since Christians were still being persecuted in Gaul. It seems more probable that they were natives of Noviodunum (Soissons) and followed their trade as a matter of course.
Like Saint Paul, they preached by day and worked with their hands by night. Many conversions were attributed to them, for they preached not only by word of mouth but also by setting an example of charity and generosity, providing the poor with shoes for nothing and indeed taking no payment unless it was offered.
Their martyrdom took place at a time when the Emperor Maximian was travelling through Gaul. Crispin and Crispinian were accused and the Emperor ordered them to be taken before Rictiovarus who (if he really existed) was a fanatical persecutor of Christians.
The two brothers were subjected to a number of brutal tortures; they were immersed in water, molten lead, and boiling water. However they survived them all, and it is said that Rictiovarus became so furious at this that he jumped into the fire that had been prepared for them and killed himself (or other traditions say he drowned himself). Finally, on the orders of Maximian, the brothers were beheaded.
The truth may well be that they were Roman martyrs whose relics were brought to Soissons and enshrined there. These martyrs are particularly venerated in Soissons, France, where there was a church in their honor in the 6th century.
Tradition has it that a church was built over their tomb and their shrine was embellished by Saint Eligius the Smith, who was also one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. See the references to Crispin and Crispinian in Shakespeare's Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3.
Their cult spread through many countries, and there is a legend that they settled for a while at Faversham, Kent, on the south coast of England, when they fled from persecution. Formerly, there was an altar in Faversham bearing their names in the parish church.
To this day they are recognized as the patron of shoe-makers, cobblers, and leather-workers (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia). Their emblem in art is a shoe or a last (Roeder).
Cyrinus of Rome M (RM)
3rd century. Saint Cyrinus, a Roman martyr under Diocletian, is mentioned in the acta of Saint Marcellinus, pope and martyr (Benedictines).
Dulcardus of Micy, Hermit (AC)
Died 584. Saint Dulcardus, a monk of Micy (Saint-Mesmin) in Orléans, became a hermit near Bourges, where now stands the village of Saint-Doulchard (Cher) (Benedictines).
Forty Martyrs of England and Wales (RM)
Died 16th and 17th centuries; canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1970. Each of the individual saints has his own feast day in addition to the corporate one today. The dates vary in the diocesan calendars of England and Wales. The forty are only a small portion of the many martyrs of the period whose causes have been promoted. All suffered for continuing to profess the Catholic faith following King Henry VIII's promulgation of the Act of Supremacy, which declared that the king of England was the head of the Church of England.
Most of them were hanged, drawn, and quartered--a barbaric execution, which meant that the individual was hanged upon a gallows, but cut down before losing consciousness. While still alive--and conscious, they were then ripped up, eviscerated, and the hangman groped about among the entrails until he found the heart--which he tore out and showed to the people before throwing it on a fire (Undset).
The list below gives very basic details. More information is given on the individual feast day listed.
Alban Bartholomew Roe--Benedictine priest (born in Suffolk; died at Tyburn, 1642) (f.d. January 21).
Alexander Briant--priest (born in Somerset, England; died at Tyburn, 1851) (f.d. December 1).
Ambrose Edward Barlow--Benedictine priest (born in Manchester, England, 1585; died at Lancaster, 1641) (f.d. September 10).
Anne Higham Line--widow, for harboring priests (born at Dunmow, Essex, England; died at Tyburn, 1601) (f.d. February 27).
Augustine Webster--Carthusian priest (died at Tyburn, 1535) (f.d. May 4).
Cuthbert Mayne--Priest (born in Youlston, Devonshire, England, 1544; died at Launceston, 1577) (f.d. November 30).
David Lewis--Jesuit priest, (born at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1616; died at Usk 1679) (f.d. August 27).
(Brian) Edmund Arrowsmith--Jesuit priest (born Haydock, England, 1584; died at Lancaster in 1628) (f.d. August 28).
Edmund Campion--Jesuit priest (born in London, England, c. 1540; died at Tyburn, 1581) (f.d. December 1).
Edmund Jennings (Genings, Gennings)-- priest (born at Lichfield, England, in 1567; died at Tyburn 1591) (f.d. December 10).
Eustace White--priest (born at Louth, Lincolnshire, England; died at Tyburn, 1591) (f.d. December 10).
Henry Morse--Jesuit priest (born at Broome, Suffolk, England, in 1595; died at Tyburn, 1645) (f.d. February 1).
Henry Walpole--Jesuit priest (born at Docking, Norfolk, England, 1558; died at York in 1595) (f.d. April 7).
John Almond--priest (born at Allerton, near Liverpool, England, 1577; died at Tyburn, 1612) (f.d. December 5).
John Boste--priest (born in Dufton, Westmorland, England, c. 1544; died at Dryburn near Durham, 1594) (f.d. July 24).
John Houghton--Carthusian priest (born in Essex, England, in 1487; died at Tyburn, 1535) (f.d. May 4).
John Jones (alias Buckley)--Friar Observant (born in Clynog Fawr, Carnavonshire, Wales; died at Southwark, London, in 1598) (f.d. July 12).
John Kemble--priest (born at Saint Weonard's, Herefordshire, England, in 1599; died at Hereford in 1679) (f.d. August 22).
John Lloyd--priest, Welshman (born in Brecknockshire, Wales; died in Cardiff, Wales, in 1679) (f.d. July 22).
John Paine (Payne)--priest (born at Peterborough, England; died at Chelmsford, 1582) (f.d. April 2).
John Plessington (a.k.a. William Pleasington)--priest (born at Dimples Hall, Lancashire, England; died at Barrowshill, Boughton outside Chester, England, 1679) (f.d. July 19).
John Rigby--household retainer of the Huddleston family (born near Wigan, Lancashire, England, c. 1570; died at Southwark in 1601) (f.d. June 21).
John Roberts--Benedictine priest, Welshman (born near Trawsfynydd Merionethshire, Wales, in 1577; died at Tyburn, 1610) (f.d. December 10).
John Southworth--priest (born in Lancashire, England, in 1592; died at Tyburn 1654) (f.d. June 28).
John Stone--Augustinian friar (born in Canterbury, England; died at Canterbury, c. 1539) (f.d. December 27).
John Wall--Franciscan priest (born in Lancashire, England, 1620; died at Redhill, Worcester, in 1679) (f.d. August 22).
Luke Kirby--priest (born at Bedale, Yorkshire, England; died at Tyburn, 1582) (f.d. May 30).
Margaret Middleton Clitherow--wife, mother, and school mistress (born in York, England, c. 1555; died at York in 1586) (f.d. March 25).
Margaret Ward--gentlewoman who engineered a priest's escape from jail (born in Congleton, Cheshire, England; died at Tyburn in 1588) (f.d. August 30).
Nicholas Owen--Jesuit laybrother (born at Oxford, England; died in the Tower of London in 1606) (f.d. March 2).
Philip Evans--Jesuit priest, (born in Monmouthshire, Wales, in 1645; died in Cardiff, Wales, in 1679) (f.d. July 22).
Philip Howard--Earl of Arundel and Surrey (born in 1557; died in the Tower of London, believed to have been poisoned, 1595) (f.d. October 19).
Polydore Plasden--priest (born in London, England; died at Tyburn, in 1591) (f.d. December 10).
Ralph Sherwin--priest (born at Rodsley, Derbyshire, England; died at Tyburn, 1851) (f.d. December 1).
Richard Gwyn--poet and schoolmaster; protomartyr of Wales (born at Llanidloes, Montgomeryshire, Wales, in 1537; died at Wrexham, Wales, in 1584) (f.d. October 17).
Richard Reynolds--Brigittine priest (born in Devon, England, c. 1490; died Tyburn in 1535) (f.d. May 4).
Robert Lawrence--Carthusian priest (died at Tyburn in 1535) (f.d. May 4).
Robert Southwell--Jesuit priest (born at Horsham Saint, Norfolk, England, c. 1561; died at Tyburn in 1595) (f.d. February 21).
Swithun Wells--schoolmaster (born at Bambridge, Hampshire, England, in 1536; died at Gray's Inn Fields, London, 1591) (f.d. December 10). Mrs. Wells was also condemned to death, but was reprieved and died in prison, 1600).
Thomas Garnet--Jesuit priest (born at Southwark, England; died at Tyburn, in 1608) (f.d. June 23).
Fronto and George B (RM)
1st century. An early missionary to Périgord (Perigueux), France, Fronto's untrustworthy legend has him born in Lycaonia, of the tribe of Judah. He became a follower of Jesus, was baptized by Peter, and was one of the 72 disciples commissioned by Christ. He was with Peter in Antioch and Rome, whence he and a priest named George were sent to preach to the Gauls.
Fronto made his center at Périgord, of which he is considered the first bishop, and was most successful in his missionary activities, as was George, who is considered the first bishop of Le Puy.
Another legend has Fronto born at Leucuais in the Dordogne near Périgord. All kinds of extravagant miracles were attributed to him in these legends (Benedictines, Delaney).
Fructus (Frutos), Valentine & Engratia HH (AC)
Died c. 715. Two brothers and their sister who were living at Sepulveda in Old Castile at the time of one of the Saracen raids. Valentine and Engratia were killed by the Moors, but Frutos escaped and died a hermit. They are now venerated as the patron saints of Segovia, Spain, where their relics are enshrined (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Gaudentius of Brescia B (RM)
Died c. 410. Saint Gaudentius was apparently educated under Saint Philastrius, bishop of Brescia, Italy, and considered him his spiritual father.
He made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem hoping to escape the attention his reputation has gained him at home, and then became a monk at Caesarea in Cappadocia. During this time, Saint Philastrius died, and the clergy and people of Brescia chose Gaudentius to succeed him, overruling his objections. He was consecrated by his friend, Saint Ambrose of Milan, c. 387.
A nobleman named Benevolus, who had been disgraced by Empress Justina because he failed to support the Arians, had retired to Brescia. Due to ill health, he was unable to attend Gaudentius's Easter sermons, and he asked Gaudentius to write them down. For this reason, ten of the saint's sermons survive.
Saint Gaudentius is remembered, however, chiefly in connection with Saint John Chrysostom. After Chrysostom was banished for the second time in 404, the Western emperor, Honorius wrote on his behalf to Emnperor Arcadius at Constantinople.
The letter, with another form Pope Saint Innocent I, was carried by a deputation, of which Gaudentius was a principal member. They were stopped by officials outside Constantinople and ordered to give up the letters, and when they refused to deliver them to anyone but Arcadius in person they were taken from them by force.
Then a vain attempt was made to bribe the deputation to recognize Chrysostom's intruded successor as archbishop. Gaudentius saw that their mission was hopeless, and at his request they were eventually allowed to go back home.
They were shipped on a vessel so unseaworthy that it had to be left at Lampsacus. Chrysostom sent a letter of thanks for their efforts to Saint Gaudentius and the others, a rather stiff and cool missive which suggests it was written by a secretary rather than by the warm-hearted John.
Rufinus (who wrote one of the first ecclesiastical histories) had a high opinion of Saint Gaudentius as a teacher, but only a few homilies have survived (Attwater, White).
Goeznoveus (Gouernou) B (AC)
Born in Cornwall; died 675. Bishop Saint Goeznoveus of Quimper, Brittany, brother of Saint Maughan, founded a monastery near Brest, where he died (Benedictines).
Hilary of Mende B (RM)
Born in Mende (Gavallus), France; died 535. Saint Hilary was baptized as an adult. He became a hermit on the banks of the Tarn, monk of Lérins, and finally bishop of Mende (Benedictines).
Hildemarca of Fécamp OSB Abbess (AC)
Died c. 670. A nun of Saint Eulalia at Bordeaux, France, who was invited by Saint Wandrille to govern his new monastery at Fécamp (Benedictines).
Lupus of Bayeux B (AC)
5th century. The aged bishop Saint Lupus of Bayeux is said to have ruled that diocese about the year 465 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Marcellinus, Claudius, Cyrinus (Quirinus) & Antoninus MM (RM)
Died 304. Claudius, Cyrinus, and Antoninus are named on this day as having been beheaded together with Pope Saint Marcellinus (Benedictines).
Martyrius and Marcian MM (RM)
Died 351. Martyrius, a subdeacon, and Marcian, a chorister, were martyred at Constantinople under the Arian patriarch Macedonius on a trumped-up charge of sedition (Benedictines).
Minias (Miniato) of Florence M (RM)
Died in Florence, Italy, c. 250. Saint Minias, a soldier stationed at Florence, spread the faith among his comrades, and for this was martyred under Decius (Benedictines). Florentine tradition relates that Minias was a merchant from the East, whom the popular imagination turned into an Armenian prince, who became a Christian and made a penitential pilgrimage to Rome. Thereafter, he is said to have moved to Florence, where he became a victim of the Decian persecutions. It is said that, because of his royal heritage, he was offered many inducements to apostatize, but rejected them all. Thereupon, he was executed close to the present Piazza della Signora.
According to a tradition set down by the chronicler Giovanni Villani, Minias picked up his severed head "and set it again on his trunk, and on his feet passed over the Arno, and went up the hill where now stands his church." At that time the Mons Fiorentinus was crowded with pagan temples, and a little oratory dedicated to Saint Peter (Jepson).
In art he is represented as a young prince holding a crown; crowned with a rod and palm; crowned with a lily, rod and palm; or carrying his severed head (Roeder). He is venerated in Florence, where the city's most beautiful and venerable church, begun by Saint Hildebrand in 1013 with monies donated by Emperor Henry II "for the good of his soul," is dedicated to Minias. His relics rest in a lovely crypt. The mosaic on the facade of the church shows Saint Minias holding what appears to be a sextant as he stands on one side of the Pantocrator with the Blessed Virgin on the other (Jepson).
Protus and Januarius MM (RM)
Died 303. Protus, a priest, and Januarius, a deacon, were sent by the pope to work in Sardinia, where they were beheaded at Porto Torres, not far from Sassari, in the persecution of Diocletian (Benedictines).
Tabitha (Dorcas), Widow (AC)
1st century. The widow Tabitha of Joppa believed in Jesus Christ. She was raised from the dead by Saint Peter (Acts 9:36- 43).
Blessed Theodoric of Saint-Herbert, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1087. Educated at Maubeuge, Theodoric became a Benedictine at Lobbes. In 1055, he was appointed to be abbot of Saint-Hubert in the Ardennes. Here and at the neighboring abbeys of Stavelot- Malmédy he successfully introduced the Cluniac observance (Benedictines).
Theodosius, Lucius, Mark & Peter MM (RM)
Died 269. They belonged to a group of fifty soldiers martyred in Rome under Claudius (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.