All Souls Day
Solemnity of All Souls, November 2
"The Church, to which Jesus Christ promised the presence of the Holy Ghost and which therefore cannot be in error or mislead us, clearly teaches us the existence of Purgatory. It is then certain that there exists a place where the souls of the just complete the expiation of their sins before they are admitted to the joys of heaven.
"God is just in all that he does. When he rewards us for the smallest of our good deeds, he does so far beyond anything that we could desire; a good thought, a good wish--that is to say a wish to do good even if it cannot be carried out--all are rewarded.
"But also when it is time for him to punish us he does so with severity, and we will be thrown into purgatory for even the smallest offense. We cannot doubt the truth of this, for we see in the lives of the saints that several of them have gone to heaven only after first passing through the flames of purgatory.
"Saint Peter Damian tells us that his sister remained in purgatory for several years for having once listened to a dirty song with a certain amount of pleasure.
"The story is told of two monks who promised each other that the first one to die would return to tell the other what had happened to him. One of them died and God allowed him to appear to his friend. He told him that he had spent fifteen days in purgatory for having been too fond of having his own way, and when his friend congratulated him on having spent so short a time there, he replied: 'I would rather have been flayed alive for 10,000 years, for even that would have been nothing when compared with the tortures that I endured in the flames.'
"A priest told one of his friends that God had condemned him to several months in purgatory for having delayed the execution of a will which made provision for good works. Alas, my brothers, how many of us have just such a fault on our consciences? How many are there who perhaps eight or ten years ago were charged by their parents or friends to give alms and have Masses said for them, but have done nothing?
"But perhaps some of you will tell me: 'Our parents lived good lives, they were upright people.' Yet how little it takes to be sent to those fires of purgatory! Remember that Albert the Great, whose virtue shone with such extraordinary brilliance, said about that.
"One day he told one of his friends that God had sent him to purgatory for having felt just a little conceited about his learning. And what is even more astonishing is that some of the saints, even canonized ones, have been through purgatory.
"A long time after his death, Saint Severin, Archbishop of Cologne, appeared to a friend and told him that he had been in purgatory for having postponed until evening a prayer that he should have said in the morning. How many years in purgatory await those Christians who find it easy to postpone their prayers on the excuse that they have a lot of work to do!
"If we sincerely desired the joy of possessing Go we would avoid the little faults as well as the great ones, since separation from God is such a fearful torture for these poor souls.
"How right are they who say that the memory of the dead fades with the notes of the passing bell. Suffer, poor souls; in vain do you weep in the fire lit by God's justice. No one is listening to you, no one will bring you succor.
"Yet how quickly we could empty purgatory if we but really wished to."
--From the Writings of the Curé d'Ars.
Acindynus and Companions MM (RM)
Died 345. Acindynus, Pegasius, Aphthonius, Elpidephorus and Anempodistus were Persian Christians--priests and clerics--who suffered for the faith under Shapur II (Benedictines).
Ambrose of Agaune, Abbot (RM)
Died 523 and 582. There were two abbots named Saint Ambrose of the abbey of Agaune, Saint Moritz, Switzerland. The former, who had formerly been abbot of Sainte Barbe, near Lyons, is the one commemorated by the Roman Martyrology; the latter died in 582 (Benedictines).
Amicus of Rambara, OSB (AC)
Died early 11th century. Abbot of Rambara (Benedictines).
Baya and Maura VV (AC)
Died 10th century. The Scottish Saint Baya instructed Saint Maura in the eremitical life. Followers later gathered around Maura, who organized them into a community of which she was abbess. Some authors identify Saint Baya with Saint Begha or Bee. They might also be identical to Saints Maura and Britta (Benedictines, Delaney).
Carterius, Styriacus, Tobias, Eudoxius, Agapius & Comp. MM (RM)
Died c. 315. Ten Christian soldiers in the army of the emperor Licinius, burnt at the stake at Sebaste in Armenia (Benedictines).
Eustochium of Tarsus VM (RM)
Died 362. A maiden of Tarsus in Cilicia condemned to death under Julian the Apostate. She was barbarously tortured, and as a consequence died in prison, while engaged in prayer (Benedictines).
George of Vienne B (RM)
Dates unknown; canonized in 1251. Bishop Saint George of Vienne, France, probably flourished at the beginning of the 8th century, though some put November 2, 699, as the date of his death (Benedictines).
Blessed John Bodey M (AC)
Born at Wells, Somerset, England; died at Andover, 1583; beatified in 1929. John Bodey was a fellow of New College, Oxford, who converted to Catholicism and studied law at Douai. John returned to England and became a schoolmaster. He was condemned for repudiating the royal supremacy in spiritual matters and was hanged at Andover (Benedictines).
Jorandus of Kergrist, OSB Hermit (AC)
Died 1340. A monk-hermit at Kergrist and later Saint-Juhec in Pédernec (Benedictines).
Justus of Trieste M (RM)
Died 289 or 303. Although Saint Justus was citizen of Trieste devoted to penance and charity, he was martyred under Diocletian by being weighted down and cast into the sea. A priest named Sebastian buried his body when it washed up on the shore. Records at the cathedral in Trieste show that his relics were still there in 1040 and 1624 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer). In art, Saint Justus is shown in classical dress, holding a palm and a cathedral, with flowers across his chest. He is still much honored as the patron of Trieste (Roeder). The antiquity of his cultus is demonstrated by an extant 6th-century mosaic (Farmer).
Marcian of Chalcis, Hermit (RM)
Born in Cyrrhus, Syria; died 387. Marcian was a patrician who left the emperor's court and gave up a brilliant military career in order to lead the solitary life in the desert of Chalcis, which lies between Antioch and the Euphrates. He chose the most remote regions of the desert in order to hide himself away in a cell so narrow and low that he could neither stand nor lie in it without doubling over. As hard as he tried to hide his singular struggle for holiness, his reputation grew. First he attracted two illustrious disciples, Eusebius and Agapitus, but more and more followed. Marcian thereupon appointed Eusebius as abbot over the desert monks who came seeking Marcian.
Marcian was a wonder-worker, though he again tried to hide it. He would not listen to requests for miraculous intercession. When a hermit came to him on behalf of a Beroean to get some oil blessed for the man's sick daughter, Marcian refused peremptorily. At that same hour, however, the girl recovered.
One other item of note. As Marcian grew older, he felt that the vultures were indecently awaiting his death in hope of claiming his relics. Some, including his nephew Alipius, actually built chapels in which to house his future remains. Marcian coerced Eusebius to pledge to bury him secretly. Eusebius kept his promise. Marcian's relics were not discovered until fifty years after his death. At that time they were solemnly translated and became an object of pilgrimage (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Walsh).
Publius, Victor, Hermas, & Papias MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Martyrs in northwest Africa (Benedictines).
Theodotus of Laodicea B (RM)
Died 334. Theodotus was bishop of Laodicea at the time of the Arian troubles and a great friend of the Arianizing Eusebius the historian, who is loud in his praise. Theodotus subscribed to the Nicene formula, but seems to have sided with the Arians and the semi-Arians until his death (Benedictines).
Blessed Thomas of Walden, OC (PC)
(also known as Thomas Netter)
Born at Saffron Walden, 1375; died at Rouen, 1430. Thomas Netter was born at Saffron Walden and joined the Carmelites. He was an active opponent of Lollardism and a prominent member of the Council of Constance. King Henry V chose him as his confessor and died in his arms (Benedictines).
Victorinus of Pettau BM (RM)
Born in Greece; died in Styria, c. 303. Victorinus became bishop of Pettau in Styria, Upper Pannonia, and was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian.
One of his beliefs was that Christ would come a second time to reign on earth for a thousand years. This was later considered an error and a heresy. The result, sadly, is that scarcely any of Victorinus's writings have survived, for--although a saintly man and a martyr--his views were considered tainted. All we possess is a commentary he wrote on the Book of revelation and another book, a mixture of speculative science and theology, On the creation of the world.
In fact he was the first Christian ever to write Latin expositions of the Scriptures. Saint Jerome admired him, and tells us he wrote commentaries on many Old and New Testament books. He reports that, although the Latin was vulgar, Victorinus was a bishop of great learning. Thus a piece of unnecessary censorship has denied us access to the mind and thinking of one of our early Christian forefathers. Even the account of his sufferings and death at the hands of the emperor has disappeared (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).
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.