St. Patrick Catholic Church
Saint of the Day
 

Saint Saturininus, Martyr
(Regional Memorial)
November 29



Blaise & Demetrius MM (RM)
Dates unknown. Saints Blaise and Demetrius were martyred at Veroli in central Italy. Their connection with Saint Mary Salome is discarded by most writers (Benedictines).


Brendan of Birr, Abbot (AC)
Died c. 562. Born into the family of Fergus MacRoy, Saint Brendan of Birr a contemporary of Saint Brendan the Voyager, and his fellow-disciple under Saint Finian at Clonard Abbey. An ancient, but incomplete, manuscript says that the 12 apostles of Ireland, who were together at Finian's school, saw a wonderful flower from the Land of Promise. Although today's saint was chosen by lot to go in search of that land, he was too old or frail for adventuring. Brendan of Clonfert went in his stead.

His abbey of Birr was somewhere near Parsonstown, Offaly. He was the great friend and adviser of Saint Columba. He intervened at a synod of Meltown (Meath) to end Columba's excommunication. Later, Columba had a vision of Saint Brendan's soul being carried by angels to heaven at the moment of his death. Columba immediately said a special Requiem Mass for Brendan at Iona many days before he had confirmation of his mentor's death.

From the Gospels of MacRegal (9th century), we know that Brendan's school at Birr was endured through that time. This book, now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, is a wonderful example of Irish illumination (Anderson, Benedictines, D'Arcy, Farmer, Healy, Kenney, Montague, Ryan).


Blessed Dionysius & Redemptus of the Cross, OCD M (AC)
Died 1638; beatified in 1900. Dionysius of the Nativity (Peter Berthelot) was a French shipmaster and trader who became a Carmelite at Goa, India, in 1635, and was ordained in 1638. That same year he was sent on an embassy to Sumatra as both pilot and chaplain accompanied by a Portuguese Carmelite lay-brother, Redemptus of the Cross (Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha). The embassy failed and both friars were put to death by the Sumatrans (Attwater 2, Benedictines).


Blessed Frederick of Ratisbon, OSA (AC)
Died 1329; cultus approved in 1909. Born to poor parents in Ratisbon (now known as Regensburg, Germany), Blessed Frederick was received as a lay-brother by the Augustinian hermits in his hometown, where he was employed as a carpenter and wood-chopper (Attwater 2, Benedictines).


Gulstan of Rhuys, OSB (AC)
(also known as Gustan, Constans)

Died c. 1010. Saint Gulstan joined the Benedictine abbey of Saint Gildas in Rhuys, Brittany, under the rule of Saint Felix, who had restored the abbey (Benedictines).


Hardoin of Brittany B (AC)
(also known as Ouardon, Wardon, Hoarzon, Huardo)

7th century. Bishop of Saint Pol-de-Lon in Brittany (Benedictines).


Illuminata of Todi V (RM)
Died c. 320. Saint Illuminata, a virgin venerated at Ravenna in the Middle Ages, is still greatly venerated in Todi, Italy (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Jutta of Heiligenthal, OSB Cist. Abbess (AC)
(also known as Julitta)

Died c. 1250. Jutta founded and served as the first abbess of the Cistercian convent of Heiligenthal for 16 years (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Blessed Nicolino Magalotti, OFM Tertiary Hermit (AC)
Died 1370; cultus approved in 1856. Nicolino, a member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, lived as a hermit near Camerino for 30 years (Benedictines).


Paramon and Companions MM (RM)
Died 250. A group of 375 martyrs, venerated especially by the Greeks. They are said to have suffered on the same day during the Decian persecutions (Benedictines).


Philomenus of Ancrya M (RM)
Died 275. A martyr of Ancyra (Ankara, Turkey) in Galatia under Emperor Aurelian (Benedictines).


Radbod of Utrecht, OSB B (AC)
Died 918. Saint Radbod's maternal great-grandfather (also named Radbod) was the last pagan king of Friesland, who said that he preferred to be in hell with his ancestors than in heaven without them. The fruit of his loins was made of different, though equally tenacious, stuff. Although Radbod's father was a noble Frank, he received his initial education at the hands of Bishop Gunther of Cologne, his maternal uncle. His tuition was completed in the courts of Charles the Bald and Louis the Stammerer, where the greatest scientific minds of the time were to be found.

Little else is known of his life until Radbod, upon his ordination to the priesthood in 900, wrote: "I Radbod, a sinner, have been taken, though unworthy, into the company of the ministers of the church of Utrecht; with whom I pray that I may attain to eternal life." Later that year he was unanimously chosen and consecrated bishop of Utrecht. Immediately he donned the Benedictine habit because all his predecessors had been monks. Radbod ruled the monastic cathedral and the diocese as an exemplary abbot-bishop. As a Benedictine he never again ate meat, fasted frequently for several days at a time, and was exceedingly generous to the poor.

Saint Radbod spread the life and miracles of Saint Martin in whose honor he wrote hymns and an office. He also composed an eclogue and sermon on Saint Lebuin, a hymn on Saint Swithbert, and other poems. At the end of his life when the Danes invaded, he moved his see to Deventer, where he died (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).

In art, Saint Radbod is pictured as a bishop washing the feet of the poor (Roeder).


Sadwen of Wales, Hermit (AC)
(also known as Sadwrn, Saturninus)

6th century. Brother of Saint Illtyd and disciple of Saint Cadfan to whom some Welsh churches are dedicated. He has been confused with Saint Saturninus (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).


Saturninus of Toulouse BM (RM)
(also known as Saturnin, Sernin)

Born in Rome; died c. 257. Saint Sernin forms a link between Gaul and Judea, and between our civilization and Jesus Christ himself. According to legend, Sernin was Greek and lived during the time of Jesus. He heard of John the Baptist, went to hear him, and was so deeply moved that he stayed to become one of his disciples. He was baptized in the Jordan on the same day as Jesus, whom he thereafter followed, even becoming one of the 72 disciples. He remained with the Apostles after the Crucifixion, and was with them in the cenacle when the Holy Spirit appeared to them. He went with Peter to evangelize the Middle East, and then went with him to Rome. From there he was sent to Gaul, and after stopping in Arles and Nmes he settled in Toulouse with his two companions, Papoul whom Peter had sent with him, and Honestus whom he had converted on the way.

Yes, this is a legend trying to connect the foundation of the church of Toulouse back to the origins of Christianity. But like all legends they point to even more miraculous truths. It is a miracle that the message of Jesus Christ spread far and wide to all corners of the earth--to all nations, races, and peoples--pure, authentic, and unchanged.

You know how difficult it is for a group of people to agree upon anything, yet the Gospel remains the Gospel. You'd probably think of the founders of the group as having a good idea that is now out- of-date. But the work of Sernin first in Pamplona, Navarre, Spain, then in Toulouse, France, of others in Munich, in Armenia, in China, and in Africa has endured right down to the present. They belonged to different races, but they all preached the same religion--the same Jesus Christ, the same Saint Peter, the same John the Baptist.

They were often isolated, lost, or forgotten, and yet, centuries later, there is still no need to rectify their teaching. And if that isn't a direct connection with Jesus Christ, then what is? Take comfort in the fact that the more historians try to undermine the miracle, the greater it becomes.

About 245 Saint Sernin was sent by Pope Fabian from Rome to preach the Gospel in Pamplona. From there he travelled to France, where Bishop Trophimus of Arles needed missionaries. Sernin was consecrated bishop of Toulouse.

When Sernin arrived in Toulouse he began by destroying the pagan idols, which caused a stir but was still only negative work. People were suspicious and something else was needed. Then one day Sernin cured the leprosy of Austris of Saxony, the daughter of Marcellus, the governor of Toulouse, and immediately afterwards half the town was converted.

You don't believe in miracles? Then how do you explain that one fine morning half the town awoke and found themselves Christians? Take away Sernin, take away the miracle, and you're left with an even bigger miracle, and one which is even harder to explain.

With Austris cured and Toulouse converted, Sernin didn't want to be bishop, so he set off to make new conquests. He stayed for a while at Auch and sent his disciples Honestus to Pamplona, where he later joined him and together they pushed on as far as Toledo. After converting both these towns, he returned to Toulouse, which he found in good condition. And this is another miracle: the evangelists went away for years and yet when they returned it was as if they had never been absent.

Sernin's work wasn't finished, for no work ever is, but he had done the essential part of it. Now all that remained for him was to die, and to die in the tradition of John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, and Saint Peter.

He lived in Toulouse not far from the capitol, which was a pagan temple. He drove the demons out of the capitol--we don't know how, but we do know that the pagans felt that their temple was empty. One source says that to show his contempt for the pagan gods, Sernin took a house on one side of the pagan temple and built a small church on the other side. This is said to have silenced completely the pagan oracles, from which the pagan priests drew their principal income.

These pagan priests, assuming that Sernin's behavior had displeased their gods, one day seized Sernin, hauled him into their temple, and they tried to force him to sacrifice a bullock to their gods.

They had to act quickly, for crowds are easily moved one way or another, and so they began to beat and scourge him. No one intervened. God didn't come to protect him, so they went further. They tied him by the feet to an already excited bull that was waiting to be sacrificed. Sernin was dragged behind the bull and trampled until his body was dashed to pieces, his head smashed and his brains spilled out on the ground. And so Sernin was sacrificed instead of the bull.

Sernin probably didn't know Jesus and Saint Peter in the flesh, but Jesus triumphed when he died forgiving his executioners. At the very moment when the others believed that they had won, the real victory went to Jesus. It was not a negative forgiveness, but one which gave life.

Sernin also forgave his executioners. If his pardon came only from himself it would not have been worth much, but coming also from Jesus Christ it was effective. The connection between Sernin and Jesus Christ was direct, and that is the real miracle.

Today the church of Saint Sernin in Toulouse is the largest Romanesque church in France, and the saint's body lies in the choir, in a great tomb constructed in 1746 and resting on bulls of bronze (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Bentley, Coulson, Encyclopedia).

Saint Sernin is usually portrayed as a bishop dragged by a bull or with a bull at his feet (Roeder).


Saturninus & Sisinius MM (RM)
Died c. 309. Saturninus was a Roman priest, though by birth, it is said, a Carthaginian. He and his deacon Sisinius were sentenced to hard labor and subsequently martyred. They were buried in the cemetery of Saint Thraso on the Salarian Way. They have no connection with SS Cyriacus, Largus, and Smaragdus, as has been alleged (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson).


Walderic of Murrhardt, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died c. 817. Saint Walderic built and become the abbot-founder of Murrhardt with the help of Emperor Louis the Pious (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.