St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

October 29

Abraham of Rostov, Abbot (RM)
On the new Roman calendar, but no other information.


Anne, Widow Hermit (AC)
(also known as Euphemian, Euphemianus)

Born at Constantinople; died 820. Like many a well-born maiden, Saint Anne was married against her will. After the death of her husband, she donned masculine attire and assumed the name Euphemianus in order to become a monk at an abbey on Mount Olympus. Here she made rapid progress in virtue, and was asked to take charge of an abbey built by the Patriarch of Constantinople. She declined, and died instead in a small, out-of-the-way monastery. Anne is venerated by the Greeks (Benedictines).


Blessed Berengarius of Formbach, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1108. In 1094, Saint Berengarius became the first abbot of the Benedictine abbey of Formbach in Bavaria, Germany (Benedictines).


Bond of Sens, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Baldus, Baud)

7th century. A penitent hermit venerated in Sens, France (Benedictines). In art he is depicted with a dead branch stuck in the ground and blossoming. Sometimes he is shown killing his parents in bed (similar to Julian the Hospitaller, who is more generally represented by this incident) (Roeder). Saint Bond is invoked on behalf of cattle, for peace in the family, and against colic, gout, and toothache (Roeder).


Colman of Kilmacduagh B (AC)
Born at Corker, Kiltartan, Galway, Ireland, c. 550; died 632; cultus approved in 1903. Son of the Irish chieftain Duac, Colman was educated at Saint Enda's monastery in Aran. Thereafter he was a recluse, living in prayer and prolonged fastings, at Arranmore and then at Burren in County Clare. With King Guaire of Connaught he founded the monastery of Kilmacduagh, i.e., the church of the son of Duac, and governed it as abbot-bishop. The "leaning tower of Kilmacduagh," 112 feet high, is almost twice as old as the famous town in Pisa. The Irish round tower was restored in 1880.

There is a legend that angels brought King Guaire to him by causing his festive Easter dinner to disappear from his table. The king and his court followed the angels to the place where Colman had kept the Lenten fast and now was without food. The path of this legendary journey is called the "road of the dishes."

As with many relics, Saint Colman's abbatial crozier has been used through the centuries for the swearing of oaths. Although it was in the custodianship of the O'Heynes of Kiltartan (descendants of King Guaire) and their relatives, the O'Shaughnessys, it can now be seen in the National Museum in Dublin (Attwater, Benedictines, Carty, D'Arcy, Farmer, MacLysaght, Montague, Stokes).

Other tales are recounted about Saint Colman, who loved birds and animals. He had a pet rooster who served as an alarm clock at a time before there were such modern conveniences. The rooster would begin his song at the breaking of dawn and continue until Colman would come out and speak to it. Colman would then call the other monks to prayer by ringing the bells.

But the monks wanted to pray the night hours, too, and couldn't count on the rooster to awaken them at midnight and 3:00 a.m. So Colman made a pet out of a mouse that often kept him company in the night by giving it crumbs to eat. Eventually the mouse was tamed and Colman asked its help:

"So you are awake all night, are you? It isn't your time for sleep, is it? My friend, the cock, gives me great help, waking me every morning. Couldn't you do the same for me at night, while the cock is asleep? If you do not find me stirring at the usual time, couldn't you call me? Will you do that?"

It was a long time before Colman tested the understanding of the mouse. After a long day of preaching and travelling on foot, Colman slept very soundly. When he did not awake at the usual hour in the middle of the night for Lauds, the mouse pattered over to the bed, climbed on the pillow, and rubbed his tiny head against Colman's ear. Not enough to awaken the exhausted monk. So the mouse tried again, but Colman shook him off impatiently. Making one last effort, the mouse nibbled on the saint's ear and Colman immediately arose--laughing. The mouse, looking very serious and important, just sat there on the pillow staring at the monk, while Colman continued to laugh in disbelief that the mouse had indeed understood its job.

When he regained his composure, Colman praised the clever mouse for his faithfulness and fed him extra treats. Then entered God's presence in prayer. Thereafter, Colman always waited for the mouse to rub his ear before arising, whether he was awake or not. The mouse never failed in his mission.

The monk had another strange pet: a fly. Each day Colman would spend some time reading a large, awkward parchment manuscript prayer book. Each day the fly would perch on the margin of the sheet. Eventually Colman began to talk to the fly, thanked him for his company, and asked for his help:

"Do you think you could do something useful for me? You see yourself that everyone who lives in the monastery is useful. Well, if I am called away, as I often am, while I am reading, don't you go too; stay here on the spot I mark with my finger, so that I'll know exactly where to start when I come back. Do you see what I mean?"

So, as with the mouse, it was a long time before Colman put the understanding of the fly to the test. He probably provided the insect with treats as he did the mouse--perhaps a single drop of honey or crumb of cake. One day Colman was called to attend a visitor. He pointed the spot on the manuscript where he had stopped and asked the fly to stay there until he returned. The fly did as the saint requested, obediently remaining still for over an hour. Colman was delighted. Thereafter, he often gave the faithful fly a little task that it was proud to do for him. The other monks thought it was such a marvel that they wrote it done in the monastery records, which is how we know about it.

But a fly's life is short. At the end of summer, Colman's little friend was dead. While still mourning the death of the fly, the mouse died, too, as did the rooster. Colman's heart was so heavy at the loss of his last pet that he wrote to his friend Saint Columba. Columba responded:

"You were too rich when you had them. That is why you are sad now. Trouble like that only comes where there are riches. Be rich no more." Colman then realized that one can be rich without any money (Curtayne).


Donatus of Corfu (RM)
Date unknown. About 600, Saint Gregory the Great directed that the relics of Donatus, which had been brought to Corfu by a refugee from Asia Minor, should be enshrined in one of the churches of the island of Corfu. Nothing further is known about Donatus (Benedictines).


Blessed Martyrs of Douai (AC)
16th and 17th centuries. During the persecution of Catholics, the sons of British Catholics had to travel to the Continent for religious studies. One of the major centers for theological study was located at Douai. More than 160 alumni priests from the English College there were martyred in England and Wales during the century following the seminary's foundation in 1568. Over 80 of them were beatified in 1929. A collective feast is kept in their honor in several English diocese, though each also has his own feast (Benedictines).


Elfleda of Ramsey, OSB Abbess (AC)
Died c. 1000. Saint Elfleda, daughter of Earl Ethelwold, founded Ramsey Abbey, where she became a nun and eventually abbess (Benedictines).


Ermelinda of Meldaert V (AC)
(also known as Ermelindis)

Died c. 595. Ermelinda was a Belgian princess, who became a recluse at Meldaert, near Tirlemont (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Eusebia of Bergamo VM (RM)
Born in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy; died late 3rd century. Eusebia, a maiden niece of Saint Domnio, was martyred under Maximian Herculius (Benedictines).


Hyacinth, Quintus, Felician & Lucius MM (RM)
Date unknown. Martyrs of Lucania in southern Italy (Benedictines).


John of Autun B (RM)
Dates unknown. Almost nothing is known about Saint John, except that he was a bishop and is venerated at Autun, France (Benedictines).


Kennera of Scotland VM (AC)
Born in Scotland, 5th century. Saint Kennera is said to have been educated with Saint Ursula and Saint Regulus of Patras. Later she became a recluse at Kirk-Kinner in Galloway, Scotland (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Maximilian of Lorch BM (RM)
Born at Novicum (the territory between the Inn and the Danube Rivers, now part of Austria); died 284; feast day formerly on October 12. Maximilian founded the church of Lorch (Laurencum), near Passau, Germany, and was martyred at Cilli, Styria, under Numerian. Saint Rupert of Salzburg erected churches in his name, which is coupled in the Roman Martyrology with Saint Valentine, of whom nothing is known (Benedictines). He is shown in art holding a sword. He is venerated at Lorch and Salzburg (Roeder).


Narcissus of Jerusalem B (RM)
Born in Greece; died c. 222. Saint Narcissus was at least 80 when he was made the 30th bishop of Jerusalem. In a letter written in 212, Saint Alexander, who later became his coadjutor, refers to Narcissus as being 116 years old. He was one of those who at a council held at Jerusalem favored the Roman custom of celebrating Easter.

Eusebius states that in his time many of the miracles wrought by Saint Narcissus were still remembered by the people of Jerusalem. One Easter Eve, when the supply of oil for the lamps in the church had run out, Narcissus told his deacons to bring him some water from the neighboring wells. After he had prayed over it, he had the deacons pour the water into the lamps, which they did. To the amazement of the faithful, the water was miraculously converted into oil. Some of this oil was kept there as a memorial at the time when Eusebius wrote his history.

Although Narcissus was ancient when he assumed the see of Jerusalem, he was not a weak bishop. He censured slackness among the laity and clergy throughout his diocese. Perhaps because of the severity with which he enforced the observance of discipline, he provoked the hostility of three perjurers who accused him of some crime that Eusebius does not specify but that the three men affirmed with violent oaths. "May I be burned alive if I am lying," said the first. "May I be stricken with leprosy," said the second. "May I be deprived of my sight," said the third. Not long afterwards, the first died with his entire family in a house fire, and the second died of leprosy. The third was so terrified by what had befallen his fellow calumniators that he confessed the conspiracy and slander. His tears of repentance were so copious that he is said to have lost his sight before he died.

Though vindicated--indeed few people at the time had believed the accusation brought against him--Narcissus use the scandal as an excuse to go into retreat to pray constantly without distraction, an ambition which he had long cherished.

During his absence, first Dius (or Pius), then Germanius, and then Gordius filled his see. Narcissus lived in such complete solitude that it was widely assumed that he had died, and his sudden return to Jerusalem had the same effect as if he had indeed come back from the dead. He was received with great rejoicing by the people of his diocese who urged him to stay and resume his episcopal functions. Narcissus agreed but, on account of his great age, appointed Saint Alexander to help him. He continued in his office until his death, which is believed to have taken place in about 220-222 (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Narcissus is depicted as a bishop holding a thistle in blossom. Sometimes there is a pitcher of water near him or an angel is shown carrying his soul to heaven (Roeder).


Blessed Paula of Montaldo, OFM Widow (AC)
Born at Montaldo (near Mantua), Italy, 1443; died 1514; cultus approved in 1906. At the age of 15, Paula joined the Poor Clares at Santa Lucia in Mantua, where she was elected abbess three times. She was favored with mystical experiences (Benedictines).


Sigolinus of Stavelot, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Sighelm)

Died 670. Abbot of Stavelot-Malmédy in Belgium (Benedictines).


Stephen of Caiazzo, OSB B (AC)
(also known as Stephen of Cajazzo)

Born at Macerata, Italy, in 935; died 1023. After completing his education at Capua, Italy, Saint Stephen was appointed abbot of San Salvatore Maggiore. In 979, he was consecrated bishop of Cajazzo, where he is venerated as the principal patron (Benedictines).


Terence of Metz B (AC)
Died 520. 16th bishop of Metz (Benedictines).


Theuderius of Vienne, Abbot (RM)
> (also known as Chef, Theudar, Theodore)

Born in Arcisia (Saint-Chef-d'Arcisse), Dauphiné, France; died c. 575. Theuderius, son of a distinguished family and a disciple of Saint Caesarius of Arles who ordained him, was a monk of Lérins who returned to his native city of Vienne. There he attracted several disciples and built for them first cells and later three monasteries near Vienne. In an extension of the custom of the monastic celebrant of the Mass retiring for a week in prayer and fasting, the people of Vienne had a custom of choosing a holy monk to lead a penitential, eremitical life on behalf of the people. Saint Theuderius was selected and willingly became an anchorite, walled-up in a cell at the church of Saint Laurence. He discharged this office fervently during the last 12 years of his life. Extraordinary miracles attended his prayers. At his death, Theuderius was buried in the monastery of Saint Laurence. His relics were translated to a collegiate church, of which he is the titular patron, and which gives the name of Saint-Chef to the town (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).


Blessed Wirnto of Göttweig, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died 1127. Wirnto, a Benedictine of Göttweig, Austria, became abbot of Formbach, Bavaria (Benedictines).


Zenobius of Antioch M (RM)
Died 310. A priest and physician at Sidon, who was martyred at Antioch under Diocletian by being torn with iron hooks (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.