Augustine and Paulinus, OSB (AC)
Died 6th century. According to the Cassinese tradition, Augustine and Paulinus were monks sent by Saint Benedict to the monastery of Terracina in southern Italy (Benedictines).
Bertila of Chelles, OSB V (AC)
(also known as Bertilla)
Born in Soissons; died c. 705. With the encouragement of Saint Oüen, Bertila convinced her parents to allow her to enter the convent at Jouarre, near Meaux, in Brie, France. There she was trained in sanctity at the school of Saint Columbanus and later was received as a professed nun by Saint Thelchildes.
Bertila was convinced that she could never deserve to be the spouse of Jesus Christ, unless she endeavored to follow him in the path of humiliation and self-denial. By her perfect submission to all her sisters, she seemed everyone's servant. Her whole conduct was a model of humility, obedience, regularity, and devotion.
She held the offices of infirmarian, headmistress of the convent school, and prioress. When Saint Bathildis, the English wife of Clovis II, restored the convent of Chelles, she asked the abbess to send to it her most experienced and virtuous sisters. Saint Bertila was made its first abbess and she governed it for half a century. Many placed themselves under her direction, including Queen Bathildis herself, when Clotaire reached his majority.
The Venerable Bede writes that many Anglo-Saxon girls, including Saint Hereswitha, wife of King Anna of the East Angles, sister of Saint Hilda, and mother of Saints, Sexburga, Withburga, and Ethelburga, were also attracted to Chelles under her governance. Thus, two holy queens vied with Bertila to outdo one another in submission, charity, and humility (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).
Dominator of Brescia B (RM)
Died c. 495. The 14th bishop of Brescia in Lombardy (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Domninus, Theotimus, Philotheus, Sylvanus & Comp. MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Domninus, a young physician, and Sylvanus, a Syrian bishop, were together condemned to work in the mines. The former was burned alive somewhere in Palestine, the latter was martyred much later. The rest seem to have suffered under Maximian (Benedictines).
Domninus of Grenoble B (AC)
4th century. This Domninus was the first bishop of Grenoble, France (Benedictines).
Elizabeth, Widow, and Zachary, Prophet (RM)
1st century. Elizabeth and Zachary were the parents of John the Baptist, forerunner of Jesus. All we know about them is found in the first chapter of Luke's Gospel. "Both were righteous in the eyes of God, observing all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blamelessly" (Luke 1:6, NAB). Zachary was a priest of the Old Covenant and Elizabeth was of the family of Aaron.
Having reached middle age without the blessing of children, Zachary, while officiating in the temple, had a vision of an angel who told him that his prayers for a son would be answered. Zachary was incredulous. Perhaps to prevent Zachary from sinning against hope, he was struck dumb until the birth of his son who was to be called John, "who shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even in his mother's womb and who should bring back many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God."
Elizabeth was visited by Mary, the Mother of God, at which time Mary spoke the hymn of praise now known as the Magnificat, although a few manuscripts indicated it was Elizabeth who sang it.
Generally a child is named after a dead relative. This is what Elizabeth and Zachary's friends and neighbors expected. Yet his mother insisted that he was to be named John, and his father wrote that he agreed.
The Canticle of Zachariah or Benedictus is prayed daily by Christians in Morning Prayer. It is a song of high praise:
Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel.
He has come to His people to set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of His servant David.
Through His holy prophets He promised of old
that He would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember His holy covenant.
This was the oath He swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship Him without fear,
holy and righteous in His sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way,
to give His people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow
and to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1::68- 79).
Tradition, supported by Saint Basil and Cyril of Alexandria, asserts that Zachary died a martyr, killed in the Temple "between the porch and the altar" by command of Herod, because he refused to disclose the whereabouts of his son. The Roman Martyrology does not report this incident (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, White).
In art, Elizabeth is shown clad as an elderly lady, holding the infant John the Baptist (anonymous Russian icon); or pregnant and greeting the Virgin Mary (Piero di Cosimo; Marx Reichlich). Zacharias (anonymous Russian icon) is generally pictured as an old priest with a censer and Saint Elizabeth nearby. Sometimes he is shown in scenes of the birth and childhood of Saint John the Baptist (Roeder), or holding a lighted taper (White).
Felix and Eusebius MM (RM)
1st century. Alleged martyrs of Terracina, an Italian city between Rome and Naples (Benedictines).
Fibitius of Trèves B (RM)
Died c. 500. Abbot of a monastery at Trèves (Trier, Germany), and the 21st bishop of that city (Benedictines).
Galation (Galacteon) & Episteme MM (RM)
Died 225. According to the legend, the Christian Galation converted his wife, upon which each retired to a monastery. They were martyred under Decius at Emessa in Phoenicia. It is now generally agreed that these two martyrs never existed: they are simply the hero and heroine in what may be described as the Christian, continuation of the romance of Clitophon and Leucippe (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). The legendary Galacteon is portrayed in art having his tongue plucked out (Roeder).
Gerald of Beziers B (AC)
Died 1123. Gerald, canon regular, became bishop of Beziers in southern France. He spent all his revenues on relieving the distress of the poor in his diocese (Benedictines). Saint Gerald is represented in art as a bishop with his almoner (Roeder).
Blessed Gomidas Keumurjian M (AC)
(also known as Gomides)
Born in Constantinople in 1656; died at Parmark-Kapu (near Constantinople) in 1707; beatified in 1929. Gomidas was the son of a dissident Armenian priest, he married Huru (who deserves a place in the calendar) at 20, was ordained, had seven children, and was assigned to Saint George Armenian Church.
He became known for his eloquence and religious fervor, and in 1696, when he was 40, with his wife, made his submission and was reconciled to Rome. He stayed on at Saint George's, and his success in reuniting five of the twelve priests there to Rome caused much opposition from the dissidents, who complained to the Turkish authorities. He then went to Jerusalem, where his activities at Saint James Armenian Monastery incurred the opposition of a John of Smyrna.
When Gomidas returned to Constantinople in 1702, John was vicar of Patriarch Avedik. Avedik was exiled for a time to Cyprus, and while there was kidnapped by the French ambassador. This angered the dissidents and they persuaded the Turkish authorities to move against the Catholics.
Gomidas was arrested in 1707 and condemned to the galleys, but was ransomed by friends. He continued to preach reunion with Rome and was again arrested later in the same year at the instigation of dissident Armenian priests.
By now John of Smyrna had become patriarch of the Armenians. Gomidas was accused of being a Frank (which meant being either a foreigner or a Latin Catholic), though he had been born in Constantinople, and of fomenting trouble among the Armenians in the city.
Though the judge, Mustafa Kamal, the chief kadi, knew Gomidas was an Armenian priest, Kamal was unable to do anything in the case when a stream of perjured witnesses testified that Gomidas was a troublemaker, a Frank, and an agent of hostile Western powers, and Gomidas was found guilty.
He was offered his freedom if he would apostatize to Islam, and was beheaded at Parmark-Kapu, on the outskirts of Constantinople, when he refused. He is sometimes mistakenly called Cosimo di Carbognano, but this was his son's name (Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
(also known as Gonsalou)
8th century. Because Goussaud was a hermit in Auvergne, peasants still commit their cattle to his care (Encyclopedia).
Hermenegild of Salcedo, OSB (AC)
Died 953. A Spanish Benedictine of Salcedo in the diocese of Tuy, in Spanish Galicia, Hermengild helped spread the Benedictines throughout northwest Spain under Saint Rudesind (Benedictines).
Kanten of Wales (AC)
(also known as Cannen)
8th century. Founder of Llanganten Abbey (Brecknock) (Benedictines).
Kea B (AC)
(also known as Kay, Ke, Kenan, Quay)
6th century. The British saint Kea left his name to Kea in Cornwall and Landkey in Devon, where he is still venerated. He passed some of his life and died in Brittany, where he is venerated as Saint Quay (at Saint-Quay in northern Brittany and Saint-Quay- Portrieux near Saint Brieuc). The details of his life are very uncertain; however, it is possible that as Kea, Fili, and Saint Ruadan travelled from Glastonbury into Devon and Cornwall they founded churches and monasteries. Less certain is Kea's noble parentage and association with Saint Gildas, who is said to have made his bells (Benedictines, Farmer). In art he is depicted as a bishop ploughing with seven stags (in pictures from Brittany); sometimes waters gushes from a rock that he has struck (Roeder). Saint Kea is invoked against toothache (Farmer).
Laetus of Orléans, Priest (RM)
(also known as Lie)
Died 533. Honored in the diocese of Orléans, Laetus's relics are enshrined in the village of Saint-Lié-la- Forêt in that diocese. He is said to have embraced the monastic state at the age of 12 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Magnus of Milan B (RM)
Died 525. Little further is known about Magnus other than he was archbishop of Milan from c. 520-525 (Benedictines).
Blessed Raynerius of Todi, OFM Cap. (AC)
Born at Sansepolcro, Italy; died at Todi c. 1586; cultus confirmed by Pius VII. Raynerius married to please his parents, but on the death of his wife he became a Capuchin friar (Benedictines). In art Raynerius is shown as a Capuchin with a bull or an ox near him. Sometimes he is tossed but suffering no harm (Roeder).
Spinulus of Moyen-Moûtier, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as Spinula, Spin)
Died 707 or 720. A Benedictine monk of Moyen-Moûtier under Saint Hidulphus, Spinulus became the abbot-founder of the small abbey of Bégon-Celle (now Saint- Blasien) (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.