Agericus of Verdun B (RM)
(also known as Aguy, Airy)
Born c. 521; died c. 591. In 554, Saint Agericus succeeded Saint Desiderius in the see of Verdun. He was greatly admired by his contemporaries Saints Gregory of Tours and Venantius Fortunatus, as well as by King Sigebert I and his son Childebert. He was buried in his own home, which was turned into a church and around which the Benedictine abbey of Saint-Airy was built in 1037 (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson).
Ananias of Arbela M (RM)
Dates unknown. Ananias, a martyr either at the Persian Arbela or the Assyrian Erbel, was a layman (Benedictines).
Ansanus the Baptizer M (RM)
Died at Siena, Italy, in 304. A scion of the Anician family of Rome, Saint Ansanus became a Christian at age 12. His own father denounced him to the authorities, but the boy contrived to escape, and converted so many pagans, first at Bagnorea and then at Siena, that he gained his surname 'the Baptizer' and is now known as the apostle of Siena. He was finally arrested. Faith made him lose his head under Diocletian, but he was the one who was right (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia). Saint Ansanus's emblem is dates. He is depicted as a young man holding a cluster of dates, though occasionally he may be shown (1) holding a liver; (2) holding a heart and liver; (3) with a palm and banner; (4) baptizing; (5) heart with IHS; (6) boiled in oil; or (7) beheaded. He is the patron of Siena (Roeder).
Blessed Antony Bonfadini, OFM (AC)
Born at Ferrara, Italy, 1400; died at Cotignola, diocese of Faenza, 1482; cultus confirmed in 1901. After becoming an Observant Franciscan, Blessed Antony was sent to the mission in the Holy Land (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
Candres of Maestricht B (AC)
5th century. Consecrated as a regionary bishop, Saint Candres evangelized the territory of Maestricht. He is still liturgically commemorated in the diocese of Rouen (Benedictines).
Castritian of Milan B (RM)
Died 137. Saint Castritian, predecessor of Saint Calimerius, governed the see of Milan for 42 years (Benedictines).
Blessed Christian of Perugia, OP (PC)
13th century. As one of the first disciples of Saint Dominic, Blessed Christian helped in the foundation of the friary at Perugia (Benedictines).
Constantian of Javron, Abbot (AC)
Born in the Auvergne, France; died 570. Saint Constantian was a monk at Micy (near Orléans) who became the abbot-founder of Javron abbey (Benedictines).
Diodorus, Marianus & Companions MM (RM)
Died 283. Saints Diodorus and Marianus were among a large group of Romans martyred under Numerian. In fact, it appears to have been a case of a Christian congregation surprised while assembled at prayer in the catacombs and disposed of by having the entrance to their subterranean oratory blocked up (Benedictines).
Edmund Campion, Alexander Briant, & Ralph Sherwin, MM (RM)
All three were martyred at Tyburn, December 1, 1581; Campion beatified in 1886; canonized among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales by Pope Paul VI in 1970. This group of three provides an interesting range of experience: one Protestant convert to Catholicism and two Catholics who apostatized and then returned to the Church.
Saint Edmund Campion, known as the "Pope's Champion," was born in London c. 1540, son of a bookseller. He was raised a Catholic and was educated at Christ's Hospital at the expense of the Grocers' Guild. At 15, he received a scholarship to Saint John's College (Oxford), newly founded by Sir Thomas White. He was appointed a junior fellow when only 17, and gained the reputation of a great orator.
Saint Edmund Campion
He was chosen to speak at the reburial of Lady Amy Dudley (Robsart), at the funeral of Sir Thomas White, and he was chosen by the university to give the welcoming speech to Queen Elizabeth I when she visited Oxford in 1566.
His brilliance attracted the attention of such leading personages as the Earl of Leicester, Robert Cecil, and even Queen Elizabeth. He took the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Elizabeth head of the Church in England and became an Anglican deacon in 1564.
Doubts about Protestantism increasingly beset him, and at the end of his term as junior proctor of the university in 1569, he went to Dublin, Ireland, where he helped to found a university (later Trinity College). While there, he wrote a short history of Ireland and dedicated it to Leicester. Further study during his time in Ireland convinced him he had been in error, and he returned to Catholicism.
Forced to flee the persecution unleashed on Catholics by the excommunication of Elizabeth by Pope Pius V, he returned to England in disguise in 1571 and was present at the trial of Blessed John Storey in Westminster Hall. He quickly departed for Douai, the English college in France, but was stopped because he had no passport. He bribed the officials with his luggage and some money.
At Douai Saint Edmund studied theology and was ordained a subdeacon before he went to Rome in 1573 to join the Jesuits. As there was no English province at the time, he was sent to Brno, Bohemia, the following year for his novitiate. He taught at the college in Prague and in 1578 was ordained there.
Dr. Allen (later cardinal) convinced Pope Gregory XIII to send Jesuits to England, and in 1579, Campion and Fr. Robert Persons were the first Jesuits chosen for the English mission. Campion set out for Rome in 1580, visited Saint Charles Borromeo in Milan, and landed at Dover disguised as a jewel merchant.
The Jesuits were not well received by English Catholics who feared they would cause trouble. In London Edmund ministered to Catholic prisoners and wrote a challenge to the Privy Council, which was prematurely published--his famous Brag (which he had written to present his case if he was captured).
The Brag described his mission as one "of free cost to preach the Gospel, to minister the Sacraments, to instruct the simple, to reform sinners, to confute errors; in brief, to cry alarm spiritual against foul vice and proud ignorance, wherewith many of my dear countrymen are abused." The publication also made him the infamous object of one of the most intensive manhunts in English history.
As soon as their arrival was uncovered, Campion left London for Berkshire, then Oxfordshire, and Northhamptonshire, where he made converts. After meeting Persons in London, where persecutions had heightened, he went to Lancashire, where he preached almost daily and very successfully. Always one step ahead of spies, but barely escaping capture on several occasions.
It seems to have given Edmund Campion some amusement when, disguised as Mr. Edmundes, he tumbled into a Shakespearean tavern scene: with a tankard on the table before him and his rapier across his knees he sat bewitching the whole company with his sparkling humor and his charm--which his fellow Catholics never tired of praising and his enemies could never curse sufficiently. The "seditious Jesuit" charmed all with whom he came into contact. More often than not these casual encounters in roadside inns ended in one or another of his hearers resolving at all costs to continue his acquaintance with Mr. Edmundes--and then Mr. Edmundes led the conversation round to religious questions and finally spoke of 'the King,' Christ. Campion's words, when he speaks of Christ, ring with a note of chivalry; he is like a knight praising his heroic King.
During this time he wrote a Latin treatise, Decem rationes, which listed ten reasons why he had challenged the most learned Protestants to discuss theology with him. The treatise was secretly printed on a press at the house of Dame Cecilia Stonor in Berkshire. On June 27, 1581, 400 copies of the publication were found distributed on the benches at Saint Mary's University Church at Oxford. It raised a great sensation and attempts to capture him intensified.
He decided to retire to Norfolk. On the way he stayed at the house of Mrs. Yate at Lyford, and people gathered there to hear him preach. A traitor was among them. Campion was betrayed by a man named Eliot, who had just received communion from Campion's hands, all the while appearing pious and devout, and within 12 hours the house was searched three times--Campion and two other priests were found hiding above a gateway.
He was taken to the Tower of London, bound, and labeled "Campion, the seditious Jesuit." After he spent three days in the "little ease," the earls of Bedford and Leiscester tried to bribe him into recanting, without success. Other attempts failed as well, and he was racked.
While still weak from torture, he was confronted by Protestant dignitaries four times. He answered them eloquently. He was racked again, this time so painfully that when he was asked the following day how he felt, he responded, "Not ill, because not at all."
On November 14, he was indicted in Westminster Hall with Ralph Sherwin, Thomas Cottam, Luke Kirby, and others (including Fathers Hanse, Lacy, Kirkman), on the trumped up charge of having plotted to raise a rebellion in England and formed a conspiracy against the life of Queen Elizabeth I. Most of these priests have never seen one another until they met in court. But false witnesses, who were a special feature of the time, came forward as usual. When asked to plead the charge, Campion was too weak to move his arms; one of his companions kissed his hand and held it up for him.
Edmund defended himself and the others brilliantly, protesting their loyalty to the queen, blasting the evidence, raising doubts about the witnesses, and establishing clearly that their only crime was their faith. Although the packed jury found them guilty, it took them an hour to come to that decision. The priests and others were condemned to death for having "seduced the Queen's subjects to disobedience." The Act of 1585 made it high treason to have been ordained priest by a Catholic bishop, and simple treason to have housed or abetted a priest.
When he was condemned, Edmund said, "In condemning us you condemn all your own ancestors, all the ancient bishops and kings, all that was once the glory of England. . . . Posterity's judgment is not liable to corruption as that of those who are now going to sentence us to death."
On December 1, Campion was taken to Tyburn to undergo the penalty for high treason in England: hanging--but with the added torture that the victim was cut down while still alive, castrated, disembowelled, his heart torn out and burnt together with his entrails. The body was quartered and the pieces were dipped in boiling pitch to preserve them; after that the head and quarters were set up on poles in suitable positions near the place of execution, as a warning to sympathizers. Some of Edmund's blood splashed on the young Henry Walpole who would also become a Jesuit and be canonized with Edmund as one of the Forty Martyrs.
Saint Alexander Briant born in Somerset, England, he studied at Oxford, where he returned to the Church, and then went to France to study at Douai. He was ordained in 1578 (the Benedictines say that he was a secular priest who was later admitted to the Jesuits). In 1579 Fr. Briant returned to England. He was active in Somerset but came to London in 1581, where he was arrested at the home of Fr. Robert Persons. He was mercilessly tortured for a month in a futile effort to get him to reveal the whereabouts of Persons, and then was tried with other Catholics on the trumped up charge of plotting in Rome a rebellion in England. He was found guilty and, at age 25, executed at Tyburn.
Saint Ralph Sherwin was born at Rodsley, Derbyshire, England. Born at Rodsley in Derbyshire, Saint Ralph was granted a fellowship to Exeter College at Oxford, where he became a classical scholar of distinction and received his MA in 1574. He became a Catholic in 1575, went first to Douai and then to the English College in Rome (1577) to study for the priesthood. In 1580 he was ordained in Rome and a few months later was sent on the English mission. He arrived in England on August 1 and in November was arrested in London, imprisoned in the Tower, and tortured. Queen Elizabeth offered him the bribe of a bishopric if he would apostatize, which he indignantly refused. Brought to trial the next year with Edmund Campion and others, he was convicted of attempting to foment a rebellion and condemned to death. He was hanged drawn and quartered at Tyburn. He is the protomartyr of the venerable English College in Rome (Benedictines, Delaney, Undset, White).
Eligius of Noyon B (RM)
(also known as Eloi, Loy)
Born at Chaptelet (Chaptel or Chatelac), near Limoges, France, c. 588; died at Noyon, December 1, 660.
Saint Eligius's parents (Eucherius and Terrigia) were both of Gallo-Romans. Eucherius was a goldsmith and metalworker who lived near Limoges, and when his son showed similar talent, he apprenticed Eligius to Abbo, the master of the mint at Limoges. Eligius acquired great skill at working in precious metals, his handiwork can still be seen in the catalogue of Merovingian coins at the National Library in Paris).
When Eligius finished his apprenticeship, he decided to seek his fortune in Paris. There he came to the notice of Bobbo, treasurer to King Chlotar (Clotaire) II. The king needed a treasurer at Marseilles, and the post was given to Eligius. Chlotar gave Eligius an order to make him a chair of state, decorated with gold and precious stones. With the materials given to him, Eligius made two chairs, which impressed the king with the saint's honesty and skill. Chlotar took him into his household and made him master of the mint.
Soon Eligius's great talent for engraving and smithing made him a person of rank and wealth. He wore clothes embroidered with gold and adorned with precious stones; he sometimes wore nothing but silk, which was very rare in France then. But he was not corrupted by his good fortune. His wealth was devoted to the poor. Once a stranger asked the way to his home in Paris and was told to go to a certain street where he would recognize the house by the great concourse of poor persons outside. Eligius developed into a deeply religious man.
Eligius postponed swearing an oath of allegiance to Chlotar, which angered the king. Finally, Chlotar came to understand that conscience was the motive, and he assured Eligius that this was a more secure pledge of allegiance than the vows of others.
He held on to this post after Chlotar's death in 629, and gained considerable influence with Chlotar's son and successor, Dagobert I, who also valued Eligius and appointed him chief counsellor in 629. You can imagine the extent of his power when you realize that no ambassador visited the King of the Merovingians without arranging for an interview with Eligius.
The saint was pious, influential, and sought after as a counsellor. Desiderius (who later became bishop of Cahors) and young Dado (a.k.a. Ouen or Audenus, future bishop of Rouen) were his best friends. They formed a small, very religious society related to Saint Columbanus's monastery in Luxeuil, protecting the new monasteries and, with a munificence that became legendary, honoring the relics of the saints.
Eligius had accumulated sufficient wealth that when King Dagobert gave him land at Solignac in Limousin, he founded a monastery there, as well as setting up the first ever workshop for producing Limoges enamels. In 632 the monastery was filled with monks who followed a combination of the rules of Saint Columba and Saint Benedict.
Dagobert also gave Eligius a house in Paris, and the saint used his considerable resources to convert it into a convent for women under the supervision of Saint Aurea. Eligius asked for and received an additional piece of land to complete the construction; when he found he had gone over its border, he went to the king to apologize. Dagobert, taken aback at his honesty, said, "Some of my officers do not scruple to robe me of whole estates; whereas Eligius is afraid of having one inch of ground which is not his."
Dagobert selected Eligius to go on a diplomatic mission to the Bretons in 636, during which the saint convinced the Breton King Judicael to accept the authority of the Frankish king. (Dagobert I died in January 639.)
Saint Eligius was ordained in 640. In 641 Dagobert's successor, Clovis II, chose him to be bishop of Noyon and Tournai, at the same time his friend Saint Audoenus was named bishop of Rouen. During this period, bishoprics were often given as benefices to retiring ministers of state. But, Christians to the end, both Eligius and Audoenus decided to be real bishops rather than pensioners. And, so, Eligius discharged that office with vigor for 19 fruitful years.
With concentrated enthusiasm he spread the Gospel through his vast diocese and into Flanders among the heathen Frisians. He preached in Antwerp, Ghent, and Courtrai. The crude inhabitants shunned him as a foreigner, they couldn't understand him, but he persisted. After taking care of the sick, protecting them from oppression, and undertaking other charitable causes, he won them over, and some were converted. Where speech and acts of charity failed, miracles worked.
His sermons sprang from deep faith. They were direct, simple and straight forward. Of the surviving homilies attributed to Eligius, one is notable for his warnings against pagan superstitions such as fortune-telling, watching for omens, and keeping Thursdays holy in honor of Jupiter. His homilies revealed a modest man with sure learning.
At Noyon, he established a convent and brought his protege Saint Godebertha from Paris to govern it. He also wrote the rule for the sisters.
As bishop he also actively promoted the cultus of local saints; the beautiful reliquaries of Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Dionysius at Saint- Denis, Saint Germanus of Paris, Saint Geneviève, and others are attributed to his workmanship, in addition to the Great Cross of Saint Denis, and at least some of which still exist.
After Clovis II came to the throne, he became a friend and counsellor to the queen Saint Bathildis, in part, because they shared a concern for slaves (she had originally been brought to the court as a slave). Eligius ransomed many slaves, some of whom remained in his service for the rest of his life. One of them, a Saxon named Tillo, also became a saint. These men and women became Eligius's most loyal assistants. During the Council of Chalon, c. 677, the sale of slaves was forbidden in the kingdom, and it was decreed that slaves must be free to rest on Sundays and holidays.
He was generous to the poor and to the Church--founding many convents and churches.
Eligius had the gift of clairvoyance, which later became a gift of prophecy. He sometimes gave direct proof--about Mayor Flaochad, Mayor Erchinoald, some public disorders, and his own death. He prophesied it often enough with a patience and longing the people appreciated. As mentioned, Eligius foresaw his own death and told his clergy of it. Falling ill with a fever, on the sixth day he called together his household. As death approached in 659, Eligius said to his flock, 'Do not weep. Congratulate me instead. I have waited a long time for this release.' He commended his people to God and died a few hours later.
Hearing of his illness, Queen Bathildis set out from Paris, but she arrived the morning after his death. She prepared to carry the body to her monastery at Chelles, and others wished to take it to Paris, but the people of Noyons strongly opposed the removal, and so his body lies in Noyon cathedral. Eligius was widely respected during his own time and became one of the most beloved saints of the Middle Ages--one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).
Saint Eligius is a bishop with a hammer, anvil, and horseshoe. At times he is depicted (1) shoeing a horse; (2) holding a horse's leg, which he detached to shoe it more easily; (3) with a horse by him; (4) with hammer and crown, smithy in the background; (5) with hammer, anvil, and Saint Anthony; (6) holding a chalice and goldsmith's hammer; (7) working as a goldsmith; or (8) with Saint Godeberta, to whom he gives a ring. Sometimes he is shown as a bishop, at other times as a courtier (Roeder).
He is the patron of all smiths, farriers, jewelers, craftsmen, and metal workers (Attwater, Roeder). He is also patron of coin and metal collectors, horses and veterinarians, of blacksmiths, and garage or gas-station workers (White). To this list is added the patronage of harness makers, cartwrights, boilermakers, cutler, watchmakers, locksmiths, farmers, jockeys, gilders, and minters (Encyclopedia).
His association with horses originates from an episode occurring after his death. A horse that Eligius had been riding was inherited by a priest, but the new bishop liked the horse and took it for himself. The horse became ill as soon as he was stabled under the bishop's roof and nothing could cure him. Meanwhile the priest prayed for the horse's return. The bishop gave back the useless horse, and the animal promptly recovered, a cure attributed to Saint Eligius. Since that time Eligius is invoked on behalf of sick horses and, in some places, are blessed on his feast day. By extension Eligius gains patronage of gas stations and garages, which can be considered modern versions of stables (White).
Evasius of Asti BM (RM)
Died c. 362. Saint Evasius is said to have been the first bishop of Asti in the Piedmont of Italy. He was driven there by the Arians, and reputed put to death under Julian the Apostate at Casale Monferrato. The accounts given of him are very untrustworthy (Benedictines).
Grwst of Wales (AC)
7th century. The Welsh saint whose name can't be pronounced and whose memory is perpetuated by the place name Llanrwst, Denbighshire (Benedictines).
Blessed John of Vercelli, OP (AC)
(also known as John Garbella)
Born at Mosso Santa Maria (near Vercelli), Italy; died at Montpellier, France, in 1283; cultus approved in 1903.
John Garbella was born early in the 13th century, somewhere near Vercelli. He studied at Paris and was ordained priest before 1229. He taught canon law at the University of Paris. While he was professor there, Jordan of Saxony (who was a friend of Saint Albert the Great) came to Paris, and John saw one after another of his best pupils desert their careers to join the Dominicans. He seems to have considered them quite objectively, without reference to himself, until he day an interior voice spoke to him that it was God's will for him to join the Dominicans. No one can say that John did not respond with alacrity; he dropped everything and ran down the street. ("Let me go; I am on my way to God!") Jordan received him happily and gave him the habit.
In 1232, John was sent to Vercelli to establish a convent there. He built this and several other convents in Lombardy as houses of regular observance. While provincial of Lombardy, he also became inquisitor. It was a particularly difficult moment. His brother in religion, Peter of Verona, had just been killed by the heretics in Como. The entire countryside was in a state of war, with roving bands of heretics and robbers. It was the task of the new inquisitor to try to bring order out of this chaos, and what John did was remarkable, considering the situation. In spite of his heavy labors, which included the supervision of 600 friars in 28 different cities (he reached them only by walking), John of Vercelli established the ideals of study and regular observance in all of his houses.
It was the good fortune of John of Vercelli to live in an age that was well peopled by saints. He formed a close friendship with Saint Louis, the king of France. Several of his tasks in the order, particularly the Commission on the Program of Studies, he shared with Saint Albert the Great, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and Peter of Tarentaise (the future Pope Innocent V). In such company one would need to have a superior set of talents; John did.
In 1264 the chapter of the order met at Paris. Blessed Humbert had resigned as master general of the order. John went to the chapter hoping that he could resign as provincial of Lombardy. Instead of escaping one office, he fell heir to a still more difficult one. He was elected master general in 1264 and served in that capacity until 1283. John was then a man in his sixties and was, moreover, handicapped by a crippled leg. However, he accepted the office which would require him to walk, not only all over Lombardy, but all over Europe. It took a brand of courage and obedience that was little short of heroic.
During the generalate of John of Vercelli, the relics of Saint Dominic were transferred to the new tomb that had been prepared for it by Nicholas of Pisa. When the transfer was made, John of Vercelli fixed his seal on the tomb; the seals were still intact on their examination in 1946. During the translation of the relics, according to the account in the Vitae Fratrum, when the body of Saint Dominic was exposed to view, the head was seen to turn towards John of Vercelli. John, embarrassed, moved to another part of the church and gave his place to a cardinal. Whereupon, the head of Saint Dominic was seen by all to turn again in John's direction.
On the death of Clement IV, John of Vercelli was very nearly elected pope. Being warned of the possibility, he fled in fright. However, his good friend Cardinal Visconti, was elected and took the name Gregory X. He appointed John as legate on several different missions.
He was commissioned by the pope to draw up the Schema for the second ecumenical council of Lyons in 1274--that council to which Saint Thomas Aquinas was hurrying when death found him on the road. At the council John distinguished himself for his assistance by offering to the council the talents of his best men. At the council, he accepted for the Dominican Order the special commission of promoting reverence for the Holy Name of Jesus and fighting blasphemy, which was, in that day as in ours, a prevalent vice. He can thus be considered the founder of the Holy Name Society, even though the Confraternity was not formed until 1432.
Several precious relics were suitably enshrined by John of Vercelli. These included several thorns from the Crown of Our Lord, which had been given him by Saint Louis of France. The cord of Saint Thomas, with which he had been guided by the angels and which he had worn until death, was given into the care of the master general, who gave it to the convent of Vercelli for safe keeping.
John's career was rapidly reaching its end. In 1279, he presided over the famous chapter of Paris at which the order made the doctrine of Saint Thomas officially its own. The following year he laid the foundations of the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. One of his last official acts was to provide for a work on the instruction of novices (Benedictines, Dorcy).
Blessed John Beche, OSB, Abbot M (AC)
(also known as Thomas Marshall)
Died at Colchester, England, in 1539; beatified in 1895. As a young Benedictine Blessed John studied for a doctorate of divinity at Oxford and eventually became abbot of Saint Werburgh at Chester, from which he was promoted in 1533 to the abbacy of Saint John's in Colchester. He was a great friend of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More, and opposed Henry VIII's ecclesiastical policy. He took the oath of supremacy, but when in 1538 his abbey was dissolved, he openly denied the king's right to do this. Within the year he was charged with treason for the same reason as Blessed Richard Whiting and Blessed Hugh Faringdon and executed at Colchester two weeks after them. He is venerated in the dioceses of Westminster and Brentwood, and by the English Benedictines (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
Leontius of Fréjus B (AC)
Died c. 432. Saint Leontius was consecrated bishop of Fréjus, France, c. 419 and governed the see until his death. He was a great friend of Saint John Cassian, who dedicated to him his first ten conferences (Benedictines).
Lucius, Rogatus, Cassian & Candida MM (RM)
Nothing is known of these Roman martyrs; not even the date (Benedictines).
Martinus and Declan (AC)
8th century. Saints Martinus and Declan contributed to the evangelization of the Germanic peoples by extending the Irish activity begun by Saint Boniface of Crediton (D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick, O'Hanlon).
Nahum, Prophet (RM)
Died c. 660 BC. One of the minor prophets supposed to have been a native of northern Palestine. His short prophecy of three chapters is directed against Niniveh, whose destruction he lived to see (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Natalia of Nicomedia, Widow (RM)
Died on December 1, c. 311. The story is told that after a turbulent life, Saint Natalia died peacefully in Argyropolis near Constantinople. She was the young Christian wife of an imperial officer of Nicomedia named Adrian. Her husband was so impressed by the patient suffering of some persecuted Christians that he openly declared he was a Christian himself, though he had not yet been baptized.
Adrian was at once thrown in jail, where Natalia visited him and arranged for his instruction in the faith. It is said the Natalia also ministered bravely to other imprisoned Christians during the persecution of Diocletian. After Adrian had been sentenced to death visitors were forbidden to him, but Natalia disguised herself as a boy and bribed her way in to ask him to pray for her in heaven.
At Adrian's execution, Natalia watched as her husband was broken limb by limb. After his death on September 8 about the year 304, a fire was built to burn the bodies of the martyrs, so that there would be nothing left for burial. Natalia had to be restrained from casting herself into the fire when Adrian's body was burned. A rain storm put out the fire, and Christians gathered the remains and buried them.
Natalia managed to recover Adrian's hand, then fled to Argyropolis, on the Bosporus, to escape the importune wooing of another imperial official. When Natalia died she was buried among the martyrs. It is not known what, if any, truth lies behind this romantic tale. There were apparently two Adrians martyred at Nicomedia, one under Diocletian, the other under Licinius. In art she is shown holding her husband's hand (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Roeder).
Olympiades of Rome M (RM)
Died 303. Saint Olympiades is reputed to have been a Roman of consular rank tortured to death at Almeria (now Amelia) in central Italy under Diocletian (Benedictines).
Proculus of Narni BM (RM)
Died c. 542. Bishop Proculus of either Narni or Terni was put to death by order of the Gothic King Totila (Benedictines).
Blessed Richard Langley M (AC)
Died at York, England, in 1586; beatified in 1929. Richard Langley, a Yorkshire gentleman of Ousethorpe, near Pocklington, was hanged for sheltering priests in his house. The formal charge on which he was arrested was that of "relieving" a priest seems to stem from his having paid sixpence for the dinner of Blessed Robert Morton (Attwater 2, Benedictines).
Tudwal B (AC)
(also known as Tual, Tugdual, Tugdualus, Tudgualus)
Died c. 564. The Welsh monk Tudwal crossed to the Channel to Brittany with his numerous family and monks. After establishing a monastery on his cousin's land at Lan Pabu, he obtained confirmation of the title from King Childebert I, who insisted that he be consecrated a bishop. Thus, Tudwal became the first bishop of Tréguier, where he is still venerated, especially around Léon. Three places in the Lleyn Peninsula (Cardigan Bay) in Carnarvonshire perpetuate his memory, although he is not found on ancient Welsh calendars. Saint Tudwal's Island East (Ynys Tudwal) has a ruined chapel, which is mentioned in the tax rolls of 1291. His relics are claimed by Tréguier, Laval, and Chartres. This is believed to have been his original hermitage (Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer). (He may identical to a saint with a similar name on November 30; some calendars also show his feast on December 2.) In art, Saint Tudwal is depicted as a bishop holding a dragon with his stole.
Ursicinus of Brescia B (RM)
Died 347. Bishop Saint Ursicinus of Brescia (Lombardy, Italy) participated in the council of Sardica in 347. His shrine still exists at Brescia (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.