Mother of Saint Geraud (Encyclopedia).
Alberic of Utrecht, OSB B (AC)
Died 784. Nephew of Saint Gregory of Utrecht, Alberic was prior of Saint Martin's cathedral, and on his uncle's death in 775 succeeded to the see of Utrecht. Perhaps because he himself was a highly educated man, Alberic was a great friend of Blessed Alcuin. His apostolate among the pagan Teutons was exceedingly fruitful (Benedictines).
Clementinus, Theodotus & Philomenus MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Martyrs of Heraclea in Thrace. Nothing else is known of them (Benedictines).
Dubricius B (AC)
(also known as Dubritius, Dubric, Dyfig, Dyfrig, Devereux)
Born at Madley (?), near Hereford; died c. 545. Saint Dyfrig was an important church leader, probably a monk, in southeast Wales and western Herefordshire. His earliest foundation was Ariconium (Archenfield, Hereford), but his most important centers were at Hentland (Henllan) and Moccas in the Wye valley. Dyfrig attracted numerous disciples to the two monasteries, and from them founded many other monasteries and churches.
He was associated with Saint Illtyd and, according to the 7th-century vita of Saint Samson, with the island of Caldey for whose monastery he appointed Saint Samson (July 28) abbot. Later he consecrated Samson bishop. An ancient, but incomplete, inscription at Caldey reads Magl Dubr ("the tonsured servant of Dubricius").
Dyfrig and Saint Deinol (Daniel) were the two prelates who convinced Saint David to attend the synod of Brefi. Dyfrig spent the last years of his life at Ynys Enlli (Bardsey) and died there.
In later medieval legends he becomes the 'archbishop of Caerleon' (Caerlon-on-Usk) and, according to the unreliable Geoffrey of Monmouth, crowns 'King' Arthur at Colchester (he is the high saint of Idylls of a King), and the ecclesiastical politics of the 12th century claimed him as founder of the Normans' see of Llandaff, where he was one of the four titular saints of the cathedral.
The later vita written by Benedict of Gloucester claims that Dyfrig was a disciple of Saint Germanus of Auxerre, but this is unlikely. Legend also inaccurately states that Saint David resigned in his favor as metropolitan of Wales.
The reputed relics of Saint Dyfrig were translated from Bardsey to Llandaff in 1120. He is the 'Dubric the high saint, Chief of the church in Britain' of Tennyson's Coming of Arthur, and the place-name Saint Devereux in Herefordshire is a corruption of the saint's name.
Church dedications to him at Gwenddwr (Powys) and Porlock (Somerset) suggest that his disciples were active in the expansion of Christianity to the west and southwest, possibly in association with the multitudinous children Saint Brychan of Brecknock (Attwater, Benedictines, Doble, Delaney, Farmer).
In art Saint Dubricius is depicted holding two croziers and an archiepiscopal cross. He is venerated in Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, and Caldey Island (Roeder).
Gregory Palamas M
(also known as Gregory of Sinai)
Probably born at Constantinople c. 1296; died at Salonika, 1359; canonized by the Orthodox Church, 1368.
"The prayer of the heart is the source of all good, which refreshes the soul as if it were a garden." --Saint Gregory Palamas
Gregory Palamas was the foremost exponent and upholder of an ascetical and mystical doctrine, practice, and technique that caused great controversy in the Orthodox Church during the 14th century. It is called Hesychasm, or sometimes, after Gregory, Palamism.
Together with the monks of Mount Athos, he believe that by perfect quieting of a person's body and mind, the Christian may be granted an extraordinary vision of God's uncreated light. It is a gift from God bringing purity and deep spiritual insight.
In 1333 his teaching involved him in a controversy that lasted ten years with an able Greek monk from southern Italy, Barlaam. Barlaam and other members of the Eastern church believed that these mystics (known as 'hesychasts') were wrong. Barlaam said that this 'uncreated light,' the light that surrounded Jesus at his transfiguration, was part of God's essential unity and transcendence, and that no human being could experience it.
Hesychasm would almost certainly have been condemned at the Council of Constantinople in 1341 had it not been vigorously defended by Gregory Palamas. He had the powerful support of the Athonite monks, but his writings were condemned and he was excommunicated.
Gregory Palamas insisted that for true meditation a Christian must take a mentor, never forget the supremacy of the Eucharist and, if possible, be attached in some way to a monastic community. Nevertheless, two synods condemned his views, although the monks of Mount Athos never ceased to support him.
Gregory Palamas was restored to the sacraments and appointed bishop of Thessalonica in 1347, when John Cantacuzenus seized the imperial throne and sought the support of the monks of Athos, whose influence among the people was immense. His appointment, however, reopened the controversy.
Finally Gregory's cause triumphed and his teaching was declared to be orthodox by the church of Constantinople in 1351; but by then he was worn out and his health was seriously impaired. In 1368, eight years after his death, a synod declared him 'Father and Doctor of the church.' As well as being a speculative theologian of importance, Saint Gregory Palamas was a devoted teacher and pastor.
In recent years there has been a revival of interest in Hesychasm and it has been the subject of considerable study in both the East and West (Attwater, Bentley, Meyendorff).
Hypatius of Gangra BM (RM)
Died after 325. Bishop Hypatius of Gangra in Paphlagonia attended the council of Nicaea, where he was a prominent defender of the divinity of Christ. While on his return from Nicaea, he was attacked by a band of heretics and stoned to death (Benedictines). The Novgorod Icon Book has a Pectoral Icon of Saint Hypatius (anonymous 12th-century Russian icon).
Blessed John Liccio, OP (AC)
(also known as John Licci)
Born in Sicily in 1400; died 1511; beatified in 1733.
The man who holds the all-time record for wearing the Dominican habit--96 years-- was also a person about whom some delightful stories are told. Perhaps only in Sicily could so many wonderful things have happened to one man.
John was born to a poor family. His mother died at his birth and his father, too poor to hire a nurse for the baby, fed him on crushed pomegranates and other odds and ends. He was obliged to leave the baby alone when he went out to work in the fields, and a neighbor women, who heard the child crying, took the baby over to her house and fed him properly.
She laid the baby in bed beside her sick husband, who had been paralyzed for a long time. Her husband rose up--cured, and the woman began to proclaim the saintly quality of the baby she had taken in. When John's father came home, however, he was not only unimpressed by her pious remarks, he was downright furious that she had interfered in his household. He took the baby home again and fed it more pomegranates.
At this point, the sick man next door fell ill again, and his wife came to John's father and begged to be allowed to care for the child. Begrudgingly, the father let the wonderful child go. The good woman took care of him for several years, and never ceased to marvel that her husband had been cured a second time--and that he remained well.
Even as a tiny baby, John gave every evidence that he was an unusual person. At an age when most children are just beginning to read, he was already reciting the daily Office of the Blessed Virgin, the Office of the Dead, and the Penitential Psalms. He was frequently in ecstasy, and was what might be called an "easy weeper"; any strong emotion caused him to dissolve in floods of tears.
At the age of fifteen, John went to Palermo on a business trip for his father, and he happened to go to confession to Blessed Peter Geremia, at the church of Saint Zita. The friar suggested that he become a religious. John believed himself quite unworthy, but the priest managed to convince him to give it a try. The habit, which he put on for the first time in 1415, he was to wear with distinction for nearly a century.
Humble, pure, and a model of every observance, Brother John finished his studies and was ordained. He and two brothers were sent to Caccamo to found a convent, and John resumed his career of miracle-working, which was to bring fame to the order, and to the convent of Saint Zita.
As the three friars walked along the road, a group of young men began ridiculing them and finally attacked them with daggers. One boy attempted to stab John, but his hand withered and refused to move. After the friars had gone on, the boys huddled together and decided that they had better ask pardon. They ran after the Dominicans and begged their forgiveness. John made the Sign of the Cross, and the withered hand was made whole.
The story of the building at Caccamo reads like a fairy tale. There was, first of all, no money. Since the friars never had any, that did not deter John Liccio, but he knew it would be necessary to get enough to pay the workmen to begin the foundations.
John went into the parish church at Caccamo and prayed. An angel told him to "build on the foundations that were already built." All he had to do was to find them. The next day, he went into the woods with a party of young woodcutters and found the place the angel had described: foundations, strongly and beautifully laid out, for a large church and convent. It had been designed for a church called Saint Mary of the Angels, but was never finished.
John moved his base of operations to the woods where the angel had furnished him with the foundations. One day, in the course of the construction, the workmen ran out of materials. They pointed this out to John, who told them to come back tomorrow anyway. The next day at dawn a large wagon, drawn by two oxen, appeared with a load of stone, lime, and sand. The driver politely inquired where the fathers would like the material put; he capably unloaded the wagon, and disappeared, leaving John with a fine team of oxen--and giving us a fascinating story of an angel truck-driver.
These oxen figured at least once more in the legends of John Liccio. Near Christmas time, when there was little fodder, a neighbor insisted on taking the oxen home with him "because they were too much care for the fathers." John refused, saying that they were not too heavy a burden, and that they had come a long way.
The man took them anyway, and put them into a pasture with his own oxen. They promptly disappeared, and, when he went shamefacedly to report to the fathers, the man found the team contentedly munching on practically nothing in the fathers' yard. "You see, it takes very little to feed them," John said.
During the construction, John blessed a well and dried it up, until they were finished with the building. Whereupon, he blessed it again, and once more it began to give fine sweet water, which had curative properties.
Beams that were too short for the roof, he simply stretched. Sometimes he had to multiply bread and wine to feed his workers, and once he raised from the dead a venturesome little boy who had fallen off the roof while watching his uncle setting stones.
Word of his miraculous gift soon spread, of course, and all the neighbors came to John with their problems. One man had sowed a field with good grain, only to have it grow up full of weeds. John advised him to do as the Scriptures had suggested--let it grow until the harvest. When the harvest came, it still looked pretty bad, but it took the man ten days to thresh the enormous crop of grain that he reaped from that one field.
John never let a day pass without doing something for some neighbor. Visiting a widow whose six small children were crying for food, John blessed them, and he told her to be sure to look in the bread box after he had gone. Knowing there had been nothing in it for days, she looked anyway; it was full, and it stayed full for as long as the need lasted.
Once when a plague had struck most of the cattle of the vicinity, one of John's good friends came to him in tears, telling him that he would be ruined if anything happened to his cattle. "Don't worry," John said, "yours won't get sick." They didn't.
Another time a neighbor came running to tell him that his wife was dying. "Go home," said John. "You have a fine new son, and you shouldn't waste any time getting home to thank God for him."
John was never too famous as a preacher, though he did preach a good deal in the 90 years of his active apostolate. His favorite subject was the Passion, but he was more inclined to use his hands than his speech. He was provincial of Sicily for a time, and held office as prior on several occasions.
John Liccio is especially invoked to help anyone who has been hit on the head, as he cured no less than three people whose heads were crushed by accidents (Dorcy).
Jucundus of Bologna B (RM)
Died c. 485. A bishop of Bologna, Italy.
Laurence O'Toole, OSA B (RM)
(also known as Lorcan O'Tuathail)
Born at Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland, 1128; died at Eu, Normandy, France, on November 14, 1180; canonized 1225 by Pope Honorius III.
Born Lorcan O'Tuathail (or ua Tuathail), his mother was an O'Byrne and his father Murtagh O'Tuathail, a Leinster chieftain of the Murrays--both sides were of princely stock. In the 2nd century, the Celt Tuathail was one of the great Irish kings. Another of the line reigned in 533. One of the seven churches of Glendalough served as the burial site for many generations of O'Tuathails.
When Lorcan was born his family had been ousted from their ancient throne and Dermot MacMurrough was the representative of the usurping line. Dermot was a large, violent, war-loving, vocal man hated by strangers and feared by his own people. (It was he who invited King Henry of England to come and take possession of Ireland.) Nevertheless, Lorcan's father had many soldiers, servants, land, and cattle.
At age 10 Lorcan was sent to Dermot as a hostage to guarantee his father's fidelity to the new order. For a time Lorcan lived in Dermot's castle, until the day his father refused to obey an order. Lorcan was taken to a stony, barren region, to be punished for his father's sin. At the end of the journey was a miserable, dilapidated hut with a leaky roof. There he forced to practice austerity because he was given only enough bread and greens and water to keep him alive, no clothes, and no companionship except a guard. For two years he lived in this desolate manner until threats restored him to his father.
The bishop of Glendalough was the mediator between Dermot and O'Tuathail and young Lorcan was sent across the hills to him. The bishop first introduced Lorcan in Saint Kevin's sanctuary to the quiet recollectedness of Christian life and studies. His father arrived a few days later and, in thanksgiving for the safe return of his son, proposed dedicating one of his sons--to be chosen by casting lots--to the service of God and Saint Kevin. Lorcan laughed for the only time in his dolorous life, telling his father that he would most willingly choose God as his inheritance.
So, he became a student at the school for novices in Glendalough, where he stayed for 22 years as novice, monk, then abbot. Lorcan's character was annealed in the ascetic training of the early Irish Church whose austerities would seem fabulous if they were not well authenticated. He stood in the direct descent of Saint Kevin and the early anchorites of Glendalough, spending each Lent throughout his life in lonely, but joyful, contemplation on the rocky shelf beneath Saint Kevin's monastery, and practicing austerities as a normal part of his life.
The tall, extremely thin Lorcan was elected abbot in 1153 at the age of 25. His tenure of office gave him the widest exercise of ruling men (abbots in Ireland even overruled bishops). Within the household he had to reckon with the envy and malice provided by his early elevation; outside the enclosure he had distress to alleviate in the mountainous lands that gave precarious support to the population, and he had to ensure peace and order along roads harassed by robbers.
Lorcan's unbounded charity first became evident during a famine that marked the beginning of his office. He used the resources of the monastery and also his father's fortune to minister to the poor as a servant, rather than a prelate. He spent freely on church building, and from this period dates the beautiful priory of Saint Saviour's at the eastern end of the valley.
After four years of service as abbot, his spiritual stature was so plainly evident that men sought to make him bishop of Glendalough. He refused stating that he was not of canonical age. For 10 years the administration of the monastery engaged his full zeal and charity; he was in touch with the great reform synod of Kells in 1152. His name is inscribed on the 1161 charter of the new Augustinian foundation at Ferns, where years later the fugitive King Dermot, its founder, sought a monk's disguise when he was deserted by his kinsmen and friends.
In 1161 Gregory, archbishop of Dublin, died and Lorcan was unanimously elected to succeed him by Danish and native clergy and laity, including the High King O'Loughlin and even his former captor, Dermot McMurrough, who was now married to Lorcan's sister Mor.
Momentously for the Irish Church, Lorcan was consecrated the following year in the Danish Christ Church, Dublin, founded by Sitric, which had never seen a native prelate. And the sacrament was conferred by Gelasius of Armagh, the primate, in the presence of his suffragan bishops. Dublin had been a Norse town for 300 years, and, because the Norse were evangelized by Anglo-Saxons, the Irish Church had always looked to Canterbury rather than Armagh. The vicissitudes of his immediate predecessor are evidence of the racial and ecclesiastical jealousies that his election allayed and the manner of his consecration (at the hands of the Irish primate, rather than the English one) is signal testimony to the new consolidation of the Irish hierarchy, which was a principal object of the Irish Reform movement in the 12th century.
Reform was necessary because the monastic system had been corrupted under the Norse rule during which the abbot or comarba who ruled the monastery as heir of the saintly founder was commonly a layman. The vices of laicisation were rampant, even in the primatial see of Armagh which was in lay hands for generations. There was a collateral necessity to organize according to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church; the authority of the bishop, archbishop, and primate had to be defined and established upon a territorial basis.
Behind every reform movement there is a saint. In Ireland that person was Saint Malachy, having as precursors Cellach of Armagh and Gilbert of Limerick. Their movement carried on from synod to synod beginning with Rath Bresail in 1111, achieved its main purpose in the synod of Kells in 1152, when among other decisions the sees of Dublin and Tuam were erected to archbishoprics and the number and limits of the present dioceses were substantially fixed. Minor outstanding disciplinary reforms were completed in synods held in 1162, 1167, and 1172--all of which were attended by Lorcan.
After his consecration Lorcan had to move from being an 'other worldly' man to a man of the world. He might have lamented like Saint Bernard: "I am become the chimaera of my century, neither cleric nor layman." Nevertheless, Lorcan managed with saintly charm to integrate his inner and outer life. Tall, graceful Lorcan wore the bishop's vestments with dignity, and a hairshirt underneath, for example.
He dispensed discreetly liberal hospitality to rich and poor in his home beside his cathedral; among rich foods choosing for himself the plainest and coloring water with wine for courtesy and company's sake. Each day at his table 30 to 60 of the poor dined among his other guests that the rich may be encouraged to do the same. From the day he donned the white Augustinian robes he never ate meat, and on Fridays he fasted on bread and water.
Three times daily he used the discipline (self-flagellation); his nights were lonely vigils or spent in the choir. Assiduous in attendance at Divine Office, when at dawn the canons left the choir for their cells, he remained in solitary prayer. Twice during his long periods of adoration, the Corpus on the Crucifix before the kneeling prelate spoke. When day came he regularly went out to the cemetery to chant the office of the dead. His life was what the old Irish homily calls the "white martyrdom" of abnegation and labor.
The bull of his canonization recites his constancy in prayer and his austere mortification. These were the secret springs of his energy and profuse charity. This white-robed figure of whose speech hardly four sentences remain is seen always in the gracious gesture of giving and with the gravity of silence about him.
Crowds depend upon him, recognizing in him a source of supernatural power. The records of his canonization attest to his miracles. He lived through two famines and two sieges and saw the city of his adoption sacked. He moves through hardships with the equilibrium of the saint and a saint's equal mind. But also with the saint's energy.
He had hardly taken his episcopal seat when his zeal turned to the reform of his clergy. His predecessors had been trained in a milder climate and under laxer monastic rules. The service of the cathedral had suffered. Looking abroad for a model he persuaded his secular canons to join him in community life as Augustinian regulars of the Arroasian Rule and converted the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity into a priory. His community became a school for bishops: Albin of Ferns, Marianus of Cork, and Malachy of Louth who were subsequent witnesses to his sanctity.
In the Irish monasteries psalmody occupied a central place in the monk's life. Lorcan raised the Gregorian chant, still so little heard in Irish churches, to its proper place about the altar and restored its appropriate splendor to the Divine Office. He commended the rebuilding of the cathedral and added to the number of parish churches.
During a famine which afflicted the city that destitute flocked to his doors. He exerted himself in the public relief, not merely by prodigally multiplying his personal charities but by organized assistance, quartering the city poor upon the abbey lands of his cathedral--Swords, Lusk, and Finglas. When these were filled and the famine still continued, he sent others farther afield throughout Ireland, recommending them to the popular charity and chartering a vessel at great cost to convey others to England.
King Dermot McMurrough is often associated with Lorcan in these charities, but Dermot's later actions invited the Anglo-Normans into Ireland. Dermot abducted Dervorgilla, wife of Prince Tiernan O'Rourke of Brefni. In 1166, O'Rourke and his allies reduced Dermot to ruin. He sailed to England for help, taking with him his daughter Eva, Bishop O'Toole's niece, whose beauty and nobility made her a desirable as a potential spouse. Although King Henry II of England was still engaged in his conflict against Saint Thomas Becket and Aquitaine, he saw the revolt and Dermot's arrival as an opportunity to realize his designs to possess Ireland.
Then came the scourge of war in 1170, King Henry promised Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke ("Strongbow"), the hand of the beautiful Eva and succession to the throne of Leinster. He dispatched Strongbow at the head of an army of nobles and his Anglo-Norman adventurers landed in Ireland and took Waterford. Richard de Clare married Lorcan's niece Eva in Waterford Cathedral before marching on to Dublin.
The rest of Lorcan's episcopate was conditioned by the events that followed. He was in the very act of negotiating terms with Dermot, when the city was seized by Strongbow's sudden, treacherous irruption, and the peacemaker turned to save the wounded, to bury his dead, to guard ecclesiastical property from spoliation, and to recover the looted Church vessels and books.
Thoroughly aroused for his country, the saint urged a united front under King Roderick (Rory, Ruaidri) O'Connor. Henceforth he had to double as both a Mercier soldier and a Saint Vincent de Paul. The princes of Ireland were moved to action by the patriotic zeal of the archbishop, who joined with Ruaidri in rallying the country and its allies, sending missives abroad to Gottred of Man and to the other lords of the Isles.
When Dermot died suddenly, the Earl of Pembroke declared himself king of Leinster, but was recalled to England by Henry. Before Pembroke could return, the Irish united behind O'Connor, and the earl barricaded himself in Dublin as the Irish forces attacked. While Lorcan was trying to effect a settlement, Pembroke suddenly attacked and won an unexpected victory.
The rest of Lorcan's political life was busied with embassies of peace. When Henry II came to Dublin in October 1171. Although his real purpose was to receive the submission of the Irish princes, he publicly denounced the misconduct of the English in Ireland, portraying a benevolent king on a mission of welfare. His overture was rejected by Bishop Gelasius, the high king, and the northern princes, but the princes of the south took King Henry at face value. The patriot Lorcan journeyed to Connaught to call forth the dissident nobility.
Henry arranged with the papal legate, Christian of Lismore, for the convocation of a synod at Cashel. The English king's decrees presented nothing not already observed in Ireland, except the celebration of the Divine Office according to the English usage. At this time, Armagh was recognized as the primatial see of Ireland under the submission of no see but that of Rome. This was the beginning of the Irish "troubles" with England that were to endure for another eight centuries. On the strength of such fair assurances the leaders of both Church and State accepted Henry.
Then Henry began to distribute Crown lands, until he was forced to leave Ireland in April 1172 in the face of threatened excommunication for the murder of Thomas Becket. In the meantime, Henry's envoys reached Rome with the news of his success in Ireland. Henry was pardoned by Pope Alexander III after walking through the streets barefoot in penance.
In 1175 the situation is reversed; Lorcan is Ruaidri's (Rory O'Connor) envoy to King Henry II, sent to negotiate the Treaty of Windsor, a mission that required the high qualities of skill and statesmanship, where the contracting parties represented the feudal system opposed to Irish law and custom.
The task was not made easier by a mischance that occurred. While saying Mass at the shrine of Saint Thomas at Canterbury, a madman who had heard of Lorcan's reputation for sanctity, thought that he would meritoriously make another martyr and felled the saint to the ground with a club before the high altar. The traces of this blow on the head were verified by the Cardinal Archbishop of Rouen in 1876 on examining the body. Unlike the martyred Becket, Lorcan was able to finish the Mass.
Meanwhile synods had been held at Armagh, Cashel, and Dublin, which Lorcan attended in his subordinate place. None of them shows any trace of his leadership or statesmanship.
In 1178, Henry II provided his son John with the title "Dominus Hiberiae," which was not as exalted as the royal title allowed by Rome in order to ensure Ireland's subordinate position. That same year, the papal legate to Scotland and Ireland, Cardinal Vivian, arrived in Ireland. He was indignant at the incursions and slaughter of the invading de Courcy, whom he admonished to withdraw. When his command was unheeded, the cardinal exhorted King MacDunlevy of Ulster to defend his country.
In 1179, Lorcan left for Rome to attend the Third General Lateran Council with five other Irish bishops, more than attended from Scotland and England combined. On their passage through England, Henry compelled them to promise not to seek anything at the council that was prejudicial to the king or his kingdom.
Some 300 bishops attended the council, and from that great assembly Lorcan passed into the closest confidence of the Holy See. He obtained from Alexander III a bull confirming the rights and privileges of the see of Dublin. Jurisdiction was conferred over five suffragan sees and the pope took the archbishop's church in Dublin and all its possessions under Saint Peter's protection and his own, defining and confirming its possessions and ensuring it and the property of his suffragans by strictest penalties against any lay or ecclessial interference. Finally, on his return home Alexander gave him the supreme mark of his confidence in naming Lorcan as papal legate.
In the brief space of life that was left to him, Lorcan exercised his new powers with exemplary decision. With the invaders new abuses had crept amongst his clergy. Some abuses he refused to forgive and dispatched at least 140 clerics to Rome.
Henry was not pleased with the steps Lorcan had taken in Rome. A new Thomas Becket had touched his authority. And, therefore, on a final peace mission for Ruaidri, when Lorcan crossed the Irish Sea to take the king's son as a hostage to Henry, he found the Channel ports closed against his return by royal edict. After three weeks of virtual imprisonment in the monastery of Abingdon, Lorcan followed the king to Normandy. He landed near Treport at a cove which still bears his name, Saint-Laurent. There the saint fell ill and was taken to Saint Victor's abbey at Eu, where he was received by the monks and where his bones still rest.
A priest companion was sent to find Henry. He brought back word that Henry would again meet with King Rory. Saint Lorcan had done all that he could.
Only two sentences are recorded of his last hours. Asked by the abbot to make his will: "God knows, I have not a penny under the sun." A little later a farewell in his native tongue, thinking of his own people.
A good and just man, Giraldus calls him; he died in exile--an exile and a fugitive, the Abbot Hugues wrote to Innocent III, pro libertate ecclesiae--an exile as well, he might have written, of charity and patriotism.
So many miracles were reported at his tomb that less than five years after his death, his remains were enclosed in a crystal case and translated to a place of special honor before the high altar of the church at Eu. The canons and faithful of that city forwarded his formal canonization.
His life was written and rewritten at Eu from information eagerly gathered by the canons from the saint's disciples and other pilgrims from Ireland who journeyed to his shrine; from his nephew Thomas, Abbot of Glendalough; his intimates Albin, bishop of Ferns, Marianus of Cork, and Malachy of Louth; and from Jean Comyn, who succeeded him in the see of Dublin. In 1225, 45 years after his death, he was canonized by Honorius III and thereupon became patron of the archdiocese of Dublin (Attwater, Curran, Curtayne, Curtis, D'Arcy, Delaney, Healy, Kenney, Legris, Messingham, O'Hanlon, Plummer, Sullivan).
Modanic of Aberdeen B (AC)
(also known as Modan)
Dates unknown, possibly 8th century. The feast of the Scottish bishop Modanic was kept at Aberdeen and Philorth (Fraserburgh), but of whom we have no reliable particulars. His silver head-relic at Philorth was previously carried in procession to invoke rain or otherwise improve the weather. He is principally associated with the foundation at Timhood (Benedictines, Farmer).
Montan of Lorraine, Hermit B
Saint Montan may have been a bishop or an actor. It is difficult to establish the truth of the various traditions (Encyclopedia).
Serapion of Algiers, O. Merc. M (RM)
Born in England; died 1240; cultus confirmed in 1728. Serapion left his homeland to battle against the Moors in Spain, but instead, with the help of Peter Nolasco and Saint Raymond Nonnatus, converted them. While in Spain he joined the Mercedarian Order and surrendered himself as a hostage at Algiers, where he was crucified for preaching the gospel while awaiting his ransom (Benedictines, Encyclopedia). In art Saint Serapion is shown as a young Mercedarian hanged on a cross with his arms tied above his head. Serapion is venerated in Spain (Roeder).
Serapion of Alexandria M (RM)
Died 252. During the reign of Emperor Philip, mobs at Alexandria ranged the streets torturing and killing Christians. Among their victims was Saint Serapion, who was tortured and thrown from the roof of his home to his death (Benedictines, Delaney). In art this Saint Serapion is represented as being flung from a window by an angry mob. Sometimes this is changed to being flung from a rock or a housetop (Roeder).
Sidonius of Saint-SaŽns, OSB Abbot (AC)
(also known as SaŽns)
Died c. 690. Saint Sidonius, an Irishman, became a monk at JumiŤges (an offshoot of the Irish foundation of Luxeuil) under Saint Philibert in 644. Later Sidonius was appointed by Saint Ouen, one of the three brothers Saint Columbanus blessed in their childhood, to be the first abbot of a small monastery which that bishop had founded near Rouen: this monastery was later called Saint-SaŽns (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Gougaud, Kenney, Montalembert, Tommasini).
Veneranda of Gaul VM (RM)
2nd century. The Roman Martyrology describes the virgin Veneranda as leaving her native Gaul to preach the Gospel and being martyred under Antoninus in Rome. It seems that Veneranda is a later corruption of Venera (from dies Veneris--Friday) the Latin counterpart of Parasceves, and that she is identical with a Parasceves, at one time venerated by the Greeks (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Venerandus of Troyes M (RM)
Died 275. An influential citizen of Troyes in France, martyred under Aurelian (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.