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BUTLER'S

LIVES OF THE SAINTS

COMPLETE EDITION
E U I TED. REV I S E 1) A;\ D SUI'I' L E :\1 E ;\ TED 13 Y

HERBERT]. THURSTON, S.].

AND DONALD ATTWATER

Foreword by Cardinal Basil Hume, O.S.B.

Archbishop of Westminster

VOLUME I
JANUARY-fEBRUARY-MARCH
General I ndex in ~/olllme IT'

CHRISTIAN CLASSICS
Westminster, Maryland
1990
NIHIL OBSTAT: PATRICIVS MORRIS, S .T.D., L.S.S.

CENSOR DEPVTATVS

IMPRIMATVR: E. MORROGH BERNARD

VICARIVS GENERALIS

WESTMONASTERII: DIE XXIII FEBRVARII MCMLIII

Christian Classics, Inc.


PC). BC)X 30

WEST'MINSrrER, MD. 21157

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced in any

form or by any means without

previous \vritten permission.

Lives of the Saints originally published 1756-9.

Revised edition by Herbert]. 'Thurston, S. ].,

published 1926-38. Copyright by Burns & Oates.

Second Edition, by Herbert ]. Thurston, S. ]. and

Donald Attwater, published 1956.

Copyright Burns & Oates 1956.

Reprinted 1981

Foreword copyright Burns & Oates 1981

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER: 56-5383


ISBN: Cloth 0 87061 0457, Paperback 0 87061 1372

PRINTED I\; THE UNITED STATES OF A~tFRICA


FOREWORD

We live in a sophisticated, if not cynical, age in which the former "certainties"


of faith, which brought comfort to so many, are now widely questioned. But
surely a living faith can have no absolute certainties? Which of us has matured
in religious belief without having experienced any intellectual difficulty? Faith,
by very definition, grows through a constant, indeed daily, process, whereby
doubts, old and new, must ever be conquered afresh.
This growth in faith can be helped by stories and legends of the saints. Some
of these members of the Church in glory who were commemorated liturgically
in former days are rather forgotten today. Yet they may have much to teach us.
Furthermore, the lives of good men and women can be, and often are, an
inspiration to us. Happily, their memory is recorded in this, one of the great
classic works on Christian sainthood.
The heroic men and women described and speculated upon in these pages
have bequeathed to us an inspiration that transcends ordinary history. It is not
surprising then, that there should be a demand today for yet another edition of
Butler's Lives. For this present generation seems to be seeking not the letter
which kills, but the spirit which awakens.
A fresh edition of this work then, is welcome, not least because of the
curiously attractive echoes of its original eighteenth-century style. The modern
re-editing, moreover, tends to belie Fr Thurston's modest comment that "This
book is not intended for scholars". I hope that many people will find
inspiration in reading it.

Archbishop of Westminster
PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION

T is now over a quarter of a century since Father Herbert Thurston, S.J., was

I asked to undertake a drastic revision and bringing up-to-date of Alban Butler's


Lives of the Saints. The first, January, volume was published in 1926.
Beginning with the second, February, volume (1930), Father Thurston invoked
the help of Miss Norah Leeson in the revision or rewriting of many of the lives that
appear in Butler and the compilation of others; and Miss Leeson continued to
contribute in this way down to the end of the June volume, as is testified by Father
Thurston's repeated grateful acknowledgements to her in the pertinent prefaces
(notably June, page viii). Beginning with the July volume (1932), the present
editor was entrusted with the preparation of practically the whole of the text and
the writing of additions thereto, down to the end of the series in 1938. Throughout
the whole work Father Thurston himself always wrote the bibliographical and
other notes at the end of each " life". The general principles upon which the
work was done are set out in Father Thurston's own words in the introduction
which follows.
The issuing of this second edition of the" revised Butler" in four volumes has in
volved a certain abbreviation of the 1926-38 text (one tenth was the proportion aimed
at). For example, while shortened forms of Butler's daily exhortations had gener
ally been retained, it has now been found necessary to discard them entirely. While
recognizing and welcoming the solid, unfanciful, scriptural character of Butler's
homilies-so characteristic of eighteenth-century English Catholicism-it must also
be recognized that they were often excessively repetitious and monotonous. Father
Thurston points out that" Butler's main purpose in writing was undoubtedly the
spiritual profit of his readers" _ And it can hardly be denied that in our day and
generation that purpose can be better served by letting the lives of the saints speak
for themselves than by direct exhortation and " moralizing" about them. More
over, some idea of the true life of a saint, such as we, and Butler, tried to give,
must be more conducive to true devotion than a false or doubtful idea: as Abbot
Fernand Cabrol once wrote, "The exact knowledge of facts is of the greatest
assistance to true piety" _ For a Lives of the Saints in English as wholly appropri
ate to our time as Butler's was to his, the work must be done again from the begin
ning: and for that we have to await the coming of another Alban Butler, another
Herbert Thurston. It has also been necessary to omit, especially in certain months,
some of the brief notices of the very obscure or uncertainly-venerated saints:
Father Thurston himself expressed the desirability of this in his preface to the
December volume. On the other hand, room has been made for the very con
siderable amount of fresh material provided by the beatifications and canonizations
of the past fifteen years, and also for some earlier holy ones who were not included
in the first edition. Butler's original work contained some 1,486 separate entries;
the present version contains about 2,565
v
THE LI\lES OF THE SAINTS
The eXCISIons from the 1926-38 text vary in length frorD one vlord to a
page or more. But need for compression, or the addition of fresh or different
matter, has also sometimes involved the re,vriting of passages, or even of a ,vhole
" life". * I have especially welcomed the opportunity to revise a great deal in
July-December \vhich I knew to be unsatisfactory, and to bring it at any rate more
into line with Father Thurston's commentaries and ",-ith the text of January-June,
written either by Father Thurston himself or more directly under his eye than were
my contributions. Apart from verbal modifications, abbreviations and the Eke,
the bibliographical and critical notes have been left as Father 'fhurston wrote them;
but some attempt has been made to bring the bibliographies up-to-date (lVIay 1954).
It was not possible to go through all the learned periodicals in various languages
that have appeared since 1925, but due attention has been paid to the . .4nalecta
Bollandiana,. and I have added what is, I hope, a representative selection of
new biographies and similar ,yorks. Among these last is included a number
of " popular lives" for the general reader. Some of Father Thurston's critical
notes have been incorporated at the end of the pertinent text for the convenience
of the more casual reader.
In this edition a uniform order of presentation has been adopted. With a few
special exceptions (e.g. lVlarch I, June 9, July 9, SepteInber 26) the first saint (or
feast) dealt ,vith each day is that which is commemorated in the general calendar
of the Western church, when there is one. The order of the rest is chronological.
The choice of day of the month on which a saint should be entered is a far less
simple matter. In general I have follo\\Ted Father Thurston's arrangement (\vhich
has involved not a few alterations of date): viz. to adopt in the case of canonized
saints the indications of the 1930 (secunda post typicam) edition of the Martyrologium
Romanum, and in the case of saints and beati not included in the martyrology, to
deal with them, so far as was ascertainable, on the days appointed locally for their
liturgical observance. This last rule, however, does not ahvays provide any
satisfactory guidance, for the same saint may be commemorated in half a dozen
different dioceses on half a dozen different days. But for those who belong to
religious orders a feast-day is usually assigned in the order itself, and this I have
done my best to adhere to. When for one reason or another (e.g. a very recently
beatified subject) I have been unable to ascertain the feast-day, that person is
entered under the day of his death. While this work was in progress, the Friars
Minor adopted a new calendar, too late for me to make more than some of the
consequent changes of date. In the title of each entry the saint is generally
described according to the categories of Western liturgical usage, except that the
description" confessor" is omitted throughout: any male saint not a martyr is a
confessor. Occasionally the description does not agree with the office at present
in use: e.g. on July 29, Felix" II " is referred to as ", pope and martyr" by the
Roman Martyrology and as " martyr" in the collects of the Missal and Breviary;
but he was neither a true pope nor a martyr.
As it has now been Iny privilege to have a considerable part in the revision of
Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints it is not out of place perhaps for me here to
express my complete submission to Father Thurston's judgement as to how and in
what spirit that work should be done, and our full agreement in adrniration of
:Me In doing which I have ever had in mind Alban Butler's own warning in his Introductory
Discourse: "Authors who polish the style, or abridge the histories of others, are seldom
to be trus ted ".
vi
PREFACE
Butler and his work. As I \\Tote in a foreword to the July volunle, I first came to
the work with a good deal of prejudice against Butler. But the prejudice \\'as due
to ignorance, and \vas soon dispelled. In conlillon, I think, \vith most people who
have never had occasion to read his Li'['es attentively, I had supposed him to
be a tiresome, credulous and uncritical \\1riter, an epitome of those hagiographer5
whose object is ~pparently at all costs to be "edifying", sometimes in 2.
rather cheap and shallo\v vlay. Certainly his manner of writing is tiresome, but it
does not obscure his sound sense and the solid traditional teaching of his exhorta
tions. Credulous and uncritical he is not. lIe is as critical a hagiographer as the
state of knowledge and available nlaterials of his age \vould allo,v, and if he from
time to time records as facts miracles and other events which we now, for one reason
or another, have to question or definitely reject, he neither attaches undue inlport
ance to them nor seeks to rrlultiply thenl: holiness meant to Butler humility and
charity, not marvels. In only one respect does his critical faculty seriously fail
him: he ,vill hear nothing against a saint and nothing in favour of a saint's opponent,
whether heretic, sinner or simply opposed. That is an attitude we can no longer
tolerate: without ,vanting to remove 8t Jerome's name from the calendar or to
canonize Photius, \ve now recognize that truth is better served by admitting that
8t Jerome gave rein to a censorious and hasty tongue and that Photius \vas a man of
virtuous life and great learning: that people on the right side of a controversy do
not always beha.ve ,vell or ,visely and those on the wrong side not always badly or
foolishly. It ,vas a saint, and one no less than Francis de Sales, who \vrote :
There is no harm done to the saints if their faults are shown as well as their
virtues. But great harm is done to everybody by those hagiographers who
slur over the faults, be it for the purpose of honouring the saints . . . or
through fear of diminishing our reverence for their holiness. It is not as they
think. These writers commit a ,vrong against the saints and against the \vhole
of posterity (CEuvres, Annecy ed., vol. x, p. 345).

In the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lvii (1939), there appeared a general review of
the revised edition of Butler's Lives from the pen of Father Hippolyte Delehaye,
s.J., president of the Bollandists. Therein he enumerates some of the writers \vho,
since the days of the Golden Legend of Bd James of Voragine, applied themselves
to the task of adapting the lives of the saints to the ever-changing needs of time and
place: "Among the nlore recent and the better known, who proceed above all from
Ribadeneyra, may be nalned Rosweyde, C;iry, Morin, Baillet, Butler, Godescard,
down to the deplorable conlpilation of Mgr Guerin, to whorn 'Ne owe the Petits
Bollandistes." And he adds: "The palm goes to Alhan Butler ...." But it is
only fitting that there should also be 'quoted here Father Delehaye's morc lengthy
appreciation of Father I-Ierbert Thurston.
Father Thurston is today unquestionably the savant ""ho is best up in
hagiographical literat.ure, in all related matters and in the surest critical
methods. lIis numerous ,vritings in this field keep him ahvays in touch with
the understanding public that takes interest in this branch of knowledge; and
there ,vas no one better qualified than he to find the answer to the delicate
problem of recasting the old collection [scil., Butler's Li'lJcs] in such a way as
to satisfy piety ",ithout incurring the scorn of a category of readers generally
difficult to please. . . . The summary commentary as he uses it gives the new
Vll
THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
" Butler" a scientific value which makes this work of edification a tool for
students as well.
Referring to Father Thurston's writings in general Father Delehaye says:
The considerable body of work wherein this learned man exercised his
unusual abilities of research and criticism nearly always bears a relation, direct
or indirect, to our [sciZ., the Bollandists'] studies: such are his articles on the
origin of Catholic feasts and devotions; and on those wonderful phenomena
that, rightly or wrongly, are looked on as supernatura!, of which the lives of
the saints are full: apparitions, stigmata, levitations-a world wherein one is
continually brushing against illusion and fraud, into which one may venture
only with a reliable and experienced guide. =I:
Those words had not long been in print when Herbert Thurston was called to
his reward, on November 3, 1939, to be followed eighteen months later by their
writer, Father Delehaye. There may suitably be applied to them certain words of
Alban Butler: "Great men, the wisest, the most prudent and judicious, the most
learned and most sincere, the most free from bias of interest or passion, the most
disengaged from the world, whose very goodness wa~ a visible miracle of divine
grace, are in themselves vouchers of the truth of the divine revelation of the Chris
tian religion. Their testimony is the more unexceptionable as they maintained it
in a spirit of humility and charity, and in opposition to pride and all human
interest."
I cannot leave this preface without expressing my' warmest thanks to Father
Paul Grosjean, Bollandist, for his great kindness in reading the proofs of this
second edition. That he should have undertaken this task is one more example
of the wide-spiritedness of the Society of Bollandists, whose learning is always
at the service of the humblest student, and whose interest extends to the most
modest work in the field of hagiography and associated subjects. Whatever errors,
omissions and faults of judgement this edition contains are all mine: it is thanks
to Father Grosjean that they are not more: and lowe to him a number of valuable
corrections and references. It was thanks to the work of the Bollandists that in
the first instance Father Thurston ,vas able to accept the formidable undertaking
of revising Butler. It is thanks to Father Grosjean that I can let this further
revision go before the public with considerably less trepidation than I should have
felt had the proofs not come under his eye: the eye, moreover, of a scholar whose
learning is particularly exercised upon the hagiological history of Great Britain
and Ireland.
DONALD ATTWATER.
FEAST OF ST BEDE THE VENERABLE,
May 27, 1954.

In 1952 Father Joseph Crehan, S.]., published a memoir of Father Thurston, which
includes an invaluable bibliography of his writings, from his first article published in The
Month in 1878 down to his death. Father Crehan has also edited in a single volume those
of his articles that deal with stigmatization, levitation, second-sight and the like, as manifested
in the lives of certain saints and others: The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism (1952).

viii
INTRODUCTION

[The following introduction has been compiled fron1 the relevant parts of Father Herbert
Thurston's prefaces to the volumes of the 12-volume edition of the revised Butler's Lives,
especially from the January preface. Words in square brackets are explanatory or connecting
additions by the present editor. These prefaces were written between 1925 and 1938;
and this must be borne in mind when reading, e.g. the second paragraph below, written in
October 1925. The number of canonizations, etc., since then reinforces Father Thurs~on's
words: it includes the beatification of groups of 191 French martyrs in 1926 and 136 Eng
lish martyrs in 1929.]

HIS is not a book intended for scholars, though it is hoped that even scholars

T may sometimes find it useful. Its main object is to provide a short, but
readable and trustworthy, account of the principal saints who are either
venerated liturgically in the Western church, or whose names for one reason or
another are generally familiar to Catholics of English speech. The work has
developed out of a projected new edition of the well-known Lives of the Saints by
the Rev. Alban Butler, which was originally published in London between 1756
and 1759,* Upon a more careful examination of the text-many times reprinted
since the eighteenth century, but always without adequate revision-it soon became
apparent that to render this venerable classic acceptable to modern readers very
considerable changes were required, affecting both its form and its substance. Of
these modifications it is necessary to give some brief account.
To begin with, Alban Butler died in 1773, rather more than IS0 years ago.
During the interval the Church's roll of honour has been enlarged by the addition
of many new names. Even if we consider only the period which has elapsed since
the death of Pope Pius IX in 1878-i.e. not quite half a century-there have been
in that time twenty-five canonizations and fifty-one formal and independentt
beatifications, some of them involving large groups of martyrs. But over and above
this, we have a constant succession of equivalent beatifications, for the most part
attracting little public notice, which take the form of what is called a confirmato
cultus. This is a decree sanctioning authoritatively and after due inquiry the
rrhe full title of the first edition, which appeared without the author's nanle, was" The
Lives of the Fathers, l\tlartyrs and Other Principal Saints; compiled from original monu
ments and other authentick records; illustrated with the remarks of judicious modern
criticks and historians". Bishop Ward states that it was issued" nominally in four, really
in seven octavo volumes)); l\tlr Joseph Gillow, on the other hand, declares that there were
five. The fact seems to be that there were only four paginations, but that the more bulky
volumes, some of more than 1,000 pages, were divi.=!ed into two parts by the binders and new
title-pages supplied. On Bishop Challoner's advice some part of the notes, notably a long
dissertation on the \vritings of St John Chrysostom, was omitted when the work was first
published. These, however, with other supplementary matter, \vere printed from the
author's manuscript in the second edition, which appeared in twelve volumes at Dublin in
1779-1780, after Butler's death.
t Each saint canonized is previously beatified. Only those beatifications are here
numbered which have not so far been followed by canonization.
IX
TIlE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
veneration alleged to have been paid from time immemorial to this or that servant
of God ,vho lived before 1634, when the enactments of Urban VIII regarding the
canonization procedure came into force. Thus what is often called" the Beati
fication of the English lVlartyrs " [in 1886] ,vas not, strictly speaking, a beatification
at all. There was no solemn ceremony in St Peter's, no papal document taking the
form of bull or brief, but simply a confirmatio cultus, published in 1886 with the
pope's approval, but emanating from the Sacred Congregation of Rites. Never
theless, the effect of the decree was equivalent to that of a formal beatification. It
justifies, subject to certain restrictions, the public veneration of any of the fifty-four
martyrs therein named; it allows Mass to be celebrated in their honour; and it
permits the faithful to invoke them individually and collectively as " Blessed".
\Vhen it is remeInbered that in this group are included such champions of the faith
as Cardinal Fisher, Sir Thomas More, several monks of the London Charterhouse,
the Countess of Salisbury (mother of Cardinal Pole), and Father Edmund Campion,
S.J., not to speak of many others, secular priest.s, religious and laymen, it becomes
clear that in virtue of this one decree Butler's lists need to be supplemented by half
a dozen new entries, or possibly more.
[But many others have been added to this edition, over and above those
canonized or beatified since Butler's day. In the month of June, for example, over
half the separate entries] are concerned ,vith saints or groups of saints of whom there
is no record in Alban Butler~s original work. Of course such a computation of
numbers warrants no inference as to the adequacy or inadequacy of the selection
made. It would always be easy to add a multitude of other names borrowed from
the martyrologies, from local service-books and calendars, or from the oriental
synaxaries. But no good purpose would be served by attempting completeness
... completeness of any sort is a simple impossibility. No authority save that of
the Holy See can pronounce u pOll the claims of the thousands and thousands of
alleged martyrs or ascetics whose names are heaped together in local martyrologies,
synaxaries, episcopal or relic lists, and similar documents, and the lIoly See very
wisely has taken the course of remaining silent, unless on certain occasions when it
has been specially appealed to. The oriental and Celtic" saints", so called, would
alone create a most formidable problem. In the " Martyrology of Gorman", a
twelfth-century compilation, 72 presumably different CaImans are mentioned, and
there are also 24 Aeds, 23 Aedans and 21 Fintans. Similarly anyone who will
consult the index of the most recent edition of the Martyrologium Romanum will find
that 67 saints named Felix are therein commemorated. Even in the sixty-six folio
volumes of the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, quotquot toto orbe coluntar vel a catholicis
scriptoribus celebrantur, there is no assumption of exhaustiveness. Under each day
a long list is printed of praetermissi aut in alios dies rejecti, and the reason why these
names are passed over amounts in most cases either to a doubt whether a title to
inclusion on the ground of cultus has been made out, or else to the lack of information
concerning the facts of their individual history. At a period when the public
recognition of holiness amounted to no more than a local veneration, sanctioned at
least tacitly by the bishop, it is exceedingly hard to decide which of the devout
servants of God who have had the epithet" sanctus " or " beatus " at one time or
other attached to their names, are to be regarded as invested with the religious halo
of an aequipollent canonization.
The principal aim of such a revision as the present must be to provide a brief
account of the lives of those holy people whose claims to sanctity have either been
x
INTR'ODUCT'ION
attested by a formal pronouncement of the Holy See, or have met with definite
liturgical recognition at an earlier period in response to popular acclaim. Unfor
tunately we must admit that in not a few cases veneration has been widely paid to
personages of whose real history nothing certain is known, though the pious
imagination of hagiographers has often run riot in supplying the deficiency.
Further, there are names included in the Roman lVlartryology which stand only for
phantom saints, some of them due to the strange blunders of medieval copyists,
others representing nothing more than prehistoric sagas 'Nhich have been embel
lished and transformed by a Christian colouring. Where such stories have become
familiar and dear to the devout believers of earlier generations, it did not seem right
to pass them by entirely unnoticed, even though the extravagance of the fiction is
patent to all who read. *
It has been suggested above that in the case of holy people held in honour during
the first thousand years of the Church's history either for their virtues or for their
violent death in the cause of Christ, it is by no means easy to determine which
among them should be recognized as saints and as entitled to the prefix often
attached to their names in historical records. In none of these cases can v;e point
to a papal bull of canonization or to any formal acceptance by the Holy See other
than inclusion in the Missal or a notice in the official martyrology read at Prime.
So far as such servants of God have a claim to the honour of saintship, they owe the
privilege to what is called an " aequipollent " (i.e. virtual) canonization. It is a
sort of courtesy title in fact. In vie\v of the confused ideas entertained by many
people upon this subject, I have ventured, in Appendix II of the [last] volume, to
reproduce with some additions a brief statement on the matter which I had occasion
to \\!rite in another connection and which appeared in 1'he Tablet of January 15,
1938. Appendix I consists of some few biographical notes concerning Alban
Butler himself. The memoir published in 1799 by his nephew, Mr Charles Butler,
seemed to me too verbose and characteristic of the tone of the eighteenth century
to bear reprinting entire, but I have borrowed from it a few passages and excerpts
from letters which preserved matter of biographical interest.
More serious, however, than the cOlnparatively simple task of supplying the
lacunae of a book cornpiled nearly two centuries ago is the difficulty caused by the
peculiarities of Butler's style. Charles Butler, in a menloir prefixed to an edition
of the Lives brought out in 1798, seems to have formed an estimate of his uncle's
literary gifts which most modern readers will find it difficult to endorse. He says,
for example:
Our Author's style is peculiar to himself; it partakes more of the style of
the writers of the last century than of the style of the present age. It possesses
great merits, but sometimes is negligent and loose. Mr Gibbon mentioned it
to the editor [i.e. Charles Butler] in warm terms of commendation; and was
astonished when he heard how much of Our Author's life had been spent
abroad. Speaking of Our Author's Lives of the Saints, he calls it a " work of
merit-the sense and learning belong to the author, his prejudices are those
:tic [Even exploded legends have their spiritual, and other, significance: one reader has
pointed out what an excellent lesson in recollection and freedom from curiosity is provided
by St Marina's sojourn undetected in the monastery (February 12). But didactic fiction
has gone rather out of fashion, and it is not everyone who can say of his amusement at
hagiographical excesses that " it is a sympathetic and tolerant smile and in no way disturbs
the religious emotion excited by the picture of the virtues and heroic actions of the saints"
(H. Delehaye).-D. A.]
Xl
1'lIE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
of his profession". * As it is known what prejudice means in Mr Gibbon's
vocabulary, Our Author's relatives accept the character.

It will be noticed that Gibbon's judgement upon the style of the Lives of the
Saints is not recorded in his Decline and Fall. We only know it by Charles Butler's
report, and it is possible that the nephew was mistaken in attaching serious import
ance to phrases which may have been spoken merely out of politeness and not
without a suspicion of irony. Even when full allowance is made for the peculiarities
of eighteenth-century diction, Butler's English impresses the reader .nowadays as
being almost intolerably verbose, slipshod in construction, and wanting in any sense
of rhythm. He is hardly ever content to use one verb or one adjective where he
can possibly employ two, and it seems difficult to believe that when he had once
written a passage, it ever occurred to him to revise it with a view to making his
meaning clear. As compared with the language of such contemporaries as David
Hume, Smollett, Goldsmith, and even Samuel Johnson, I seem to detect a curiously
foreign and latinized note in all that Butler published. One gets the impression
that while he wrote in English, he often thought in French, and that a good many
of the oddities of phraseology which continually jar upon the modern ear are due
less to the fact that his diction is archaic than to a certain lack of familiarity with
the English idioms of his own time.
It may not perhaps be out of place to quote here a single example-and it is
typical-of how Butler has often filled out his space with mere verbiage. In his
account of St Ethelbert, King of Kent, the bretwalda who received St Augustine
and was converted by him to Christianity, Butler writes as follows. I quote from
the library edition of 1812 :
Divine providence by these means [i.e. the marriage with Bertha, etc.]
mercifully prepared the heart of a great king to entertain a favourable opinion
of our holy religion, when 8t Augustine landed in his dominions: to whose
life the reader is referred for an account of this monarch's happy conversion
to the faith. From that time he appeared quite changed into another man, it
being for the remaining twenty years of his life his only ambition and endeavour
to establish the perfect reign of Christ, both in his own soul and in the hearts
of all his subjects. His ardour in the exercises of penance and devotion never
suffered any abatement, this being a property of true virtue, which is not to
be acquired without much labour and pains, self-denial and watchfulness,
resolution and constancy. Great were, doubtless, the difficulties and dangers
which he had to encounter in subduing his passions, and in vanquishing many
obstacles which the world and devil failed not to raise; but these trials were
infinitely subservient to his spiritual advancement, by rousing him continually
to greater vigilance and fervour, and by the many victories and the exercise of
all heroic virtues of which they furnished the occasions.
Now this wordy panegyric is justified in precisely the measure in which such
statements would probably be true of any other holy person. We know absolutely
nothing about St Ethelbert beyond what Bede tells us, and there is no hint in Bede
of any of the things here dwelt upon. He says not one syllable about a sudden
change of conduct, or about unremitting " exercises of penance and devotion ", or
* See Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Ernpire (Bury's edition), vol. v (191 I),
p. 3 6, note 76.
xii
INTRODUCTION

about his struggles with temptation and the obstacles which the world and the
Devil failed not to raise. The whole description has been evolved by Butler out
of his inner sense of the probabilities of the case. This atmosphere of superlatives,
without foundation in known facts, is surely regrettable. It can hardly fail to
undermine all confidence in the author's statements, and when heroic deeds are
recounted which really are based on trustworthy evidence, the reader is naturally
led to ask himself whether these things also are mere padding introduced to give
substance to a narrative which was too conspicuously jejune.
I must confess, then, that in the almost hopeless effort to secure some sort of
harmony between Butler's Lives and the large number of biographies now added
to bring the work up to date, I have constantly treated his original text with scant
respect. It was impossible to leave unaltered such a description as the following
- I quote one example out of hundreds-" melting away with the tenderest
emotions of love, he [8t Odilo] fell to the ground; the ecstatic agitations of his
body bearing evidence to that heavenly fire which glowed in his soul"; or, again,
a few lines lower down, "he excelled in an eminent spirit of compunction and
contemplation. Whilst he was at prayer, trickling tears often watered his cheeks."*
Moreover, some considerable economy of space was necessary in order to make
room for the additional material and so I have more or less systematically eliminated
the footnotes and the small-type excursuses which are found in the second and
subsequent editions. Butler made excellent use of his authorities, and he un
doubtedly went to the best sources then available, but in almost every department
of knowledge new and momentous discoveries have been made since the beginning
of the nineteenth century, so that almost all the English hagiographer's erudition
is now out of date. The only practical course seemed to be to omit the notes,
replacing them at the end of each biography by a few references to standard authori
ties, and adding, where the matter seemed to call for it, a brief discussion of the
historical problems involved. In not a few instances it has, for one reason or
another, seemed best to set aside not only the notes, but the biography itself, and
to rewrite the whole. t
Butler's main purpose in writing was undoubtedly the spiritual profit of his
readers, and from the beginning of January to the end of December it is his practice
to conclude the first biography of the group belonging to each day with a short
exhortation.t In this connection an extract or two from Butler's preface to the
Lives will serve to illustrate the ideal which he had before him in compiling his
magnum opus, and will at the same time furnish a more favourable specimen of his
thought and of his style than is commonly met with in the body of the work. He
says, for example, very truly:
The method of forming men to virtue by example is, of all others, the
shortest, the most easy, and the best adapted to all circumstances and dis
positions. Pride recoils at precepts, but example instructs without usurping
the authoritative air of a master; for, by example, a man seems to advise
and teach himself. . . . In the lives of the saints we see the most perfect maxims
In the life of St Odilo on January I, vol. i, p. 43, of the edition of 1812.
t [On pages vi-viii of the March volume (193 I), readers interested in the matter will
find a note by Father Thurston about the relation between certain passages in the text of
Butler's" Lives" and passages in The Lives of the Saints (1872-77) by the Reverend Sabine
Baring-Gould.-D.A.]
t Cf page v above.
XU1
THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
of the gospel reduced to practice, and the most heroic virtue made the object
of our senseg, clothed as it were with a body, and exhibited to vie\v in its
most attractive dress. . . . Whilst we see many sanctifying themselves in all
states, and making the very circumstances of their condition, whether on the
throne, in the army, in the state of marriage, or in the deserts, the means of their
virtue and penance, we are persuaded that the practice of perfection is possible
also to us, in every lawful profession, and that we need only sanctify our
employments by a perfect spirit, and the fervent exercises of religion, to
become saints ourselves, without quitting our state in the world. . . . Though
we cannot imitate all the actions of the saints, we can learn from them to
practise humility, patience, and other virtues in a manner suiting our circum
stances and state of life; and can pray that \ve may receive a share in the
benedictions and glory of the saints. As they who have seen a beautiful
flower-garden, gather a nosegay to smell at the ,vhole day, so ought we, in
reading, to cut out some flowers by selecting certain pious reflections and
sentiments 'Nith which we are most affected; and these we should often
renew during the day; lest we resemble a man \vho, having looked at
himself in the glass, goeth away, and forgetteth what he had seen of himself.

xiv
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I

JANUARY

PAGE
1. Octave of the Birthday of Our Lord Jesus Christ

St Concordius, martyr . 3

St Almachius, or Telemachus, martyr 3

St Euphrosyne, virgin
4
St Eugendus, or Oyend, abbot
5
St Fulgentius, bishop 6

St Felix of Bourges, bishop 9

St Clams, abbot . 10

St Peter of Atroa, abbot 10

St William of Saint Benignus, abbot 12

St Odilo, abbot 12

Bd Zdislava, matron 14

Bd Hugolino of Gualdo . 14

Bd Joseph Tommasi 15

2. The Holy Name of Jesus 18

St Macarius of Alexandria 19

St Munchin, bishop 21

St Vincentian 22

St Adalhard, or Adelard, abbot 22

Bd Ayrald, bishop 23

Bd Stephana Quinzani, virgin 24

St Caspar del Bufalo 25

3. St Frances Xavier Cabrini, virgin. (See VOl. IV) p. 593ff)

St Anthems, pope and martyr 26

St Peter Balsam, martyr 26

St Genevieve, or Genovefa, virgin . 28

St Bertilia of Mareuil, widow . 3

4. St Gregory of Langres, bishop 3

St Pharaildis, virgin 3 1

St Rigobert, archbishop 32

Bd Roger of Ellant 32

Bd Oringa, virgin . 32

Bd Elizabeth Ann Seton (See Appendix III)

5. St Telesphorus, pope and martyr 33

St Apollinaris, virgin 33

St Syncletica, virgin 33

St Simeon the Stylite 34

St Convoyon, abbot 37

St Dorotheus the Younger, abbot 38

St Gerlac 38

Bd John Nepomucen Neumann (See Appendix Ill)

xv

January] THE LIVES OF TIlE SAINTS


PAGE
6. The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 39

St Wiltrudis, widow 42

St Enninold, abbot 42

St Guarinus, or Guerin, bishop 42

Bd Gertrude of Delft, virgin . 43

St John de Ribera, archbishop 43

Bd Raphaela Mary, virgin


44

7. St Lucian of Antioch, martyr . 46

St Valentine, bishop 47

St Tillo
47

St Aldric, bishop 48

St Reinold 48

St Canute Lavard, martyr 49

Bd Edward Waterson, martyr. 49

8. St Apollinaris of Hierapolis, bishop . 50

St Lucian of Beauvais, martyr 51

St Severinus of N oricum 52

St Severinus of Septempeda, bishop 53

St Erhard, bishop . 53

St Gudula, virgin . 54

St Pega, virgin 54

St Wulsin, bishop . S5

St Thorfinn, bishop SS

9. St Marciana, virgin and martyr 56

SSe Julian and Basilissa, and Companions, martyrs 56

St Peter of Sebastea, bishop 57

St Waningus, or Vaneng 58

St Adrian of Canterbury, abbot 58

St Berhtwald of Canterbury, archbishop 59

Bd Alix Le Clercq, virgin 59

10. St Marcian 63

St John the Good, bishop 63

St Agatho, pope 64

St Peter Orseolo 64

St William of Bourges, archbishop 65

Bd Gregory X, pope 66

11. St Hyginus, pope . 67

St Theodosius the Cenobiarch 68

St Salvius, or Sauve, bishop 70

12. St Arcadius, martyr 70

SSe Tigrius and Eutropius, martyrs 71

St Caesaria, virgin 72

St Victorian, abbot 72

St Benedict, or Benet, Biscllp, abbot 72

xvi

CONTENTS [January
PAGE
13. St Agrecius, bishop 74

St Berno, abbot
75

Bd Godfrey of Kappenberg
75

Bd Jutta of Huy, widow 7 6

Bd Veronica of Binasco, virgin 76

14. St Hilary of Poitiers, bishop and doctor 77

St Felix of Nola 80

St Macrina the Elder, widow. 82

SSe Barbasymas and his Companions, martyrs 82

The Martyrs of Mount Sinai . 83

St Datius, bishop . 83

St Kentigem, or Mungo, bishop 83

Bd Odo of Novara 85

St Sava, archbishop 86

Bd Roger of Todi . 88

Bd Odoric of Pordenone 88

Bd Giles of Lorenzana 89

St Antony Pucci 90

15. St Paul the Hennit 9 1

St Macarius the Elder 93

St Isidore of Alexandria
95

St John Calybites . 95

St Ita, virgin 96

St Maurus, abbot . 97

St Bonitus, or Bonet, bishop 97

St Ceolwulf . 98

Bd Peter of Castelnau, martyr 98

Bd Francis de Capillas, martyr 98

16. St Marcellus I, pope and martyr 100

St Priscilla, matron 100

St Honoratus of ArIes, bishop 100

St Fursey, abbot 101

Bd Ferreolus, bishop and martyr 102

St Henry of Cocket 103

SSe Berard and his Companions, martyrs 103

Bd Gonsalo of Amarante 10 3

17. St Antony the Abbot 104

SSe Speusippus, Eleusippus and Meleusippus, martyrs 109

St Genulf, or Genou, bishop 110

St Julian Sabas 110

St Sabinus of Piacenza, bishop III

St Sulpicius II, or Sulpice, bishop III

St Richimir, abbot 112

Bd Roseline, virgin 112

18. St Peter's Chair at Rome 113

St Prisca, virgin and martyr 115

St Volusian, bishop 116

St Deicolus, or Desle, abbot 116

xvii

January] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS


PAGE
Bd Beatrice d'Este of Ferrara, widow 116

Bd Christina of Aquila, virgin 117

19. SSe Marius, Martha, Audifax and Abachum, martyrs 117

St Germanicus, martyr . 118

St Nathalan, bishop 118

St Albert of Cashel, bishop 119

St Fillan, or Foelan, abbot 120

St Canute of Denmark, martyr 121

St Wulfstan, bishop 121

St Henry of Uppsala, bishop and martyr 123

Bd Andrew of Peschiera 123

Bd Bernard of Corleone 124


St Charles of Sezze 12S

Bd Margaret Bourgeoys, virgin 12S

Bd Thomas of Cori 127

20. St Fabian, pope and martyr 128

St Sebastian, martyr 128

St Euthymius the Great, abbot 13

St Fechin, abbot 132

Bd Benedict of Coltiboni 132

Bd Desiderius, or Didier, of Therouanne, bishop 133

21. St Agnes, virgin and martyr 133

St Fructuosus of Tarragona, bishop and martyr 137

St Patroclus, martyr 13 8

St Epiphanius of Pavia, bishop 139

St Meinrad, martyr 139

Bd Edward Stransham, martyr


14
BB. Thomas Reynolds and Alban Roe, martyrs 14

Bd Josepha of Beniganim, virgin 142

22. St Vincent of Saragossa, martyr 142

St Blesilla, widow . 144


St Anastasius the Persian, martyr 144
St Dominic of Sora, abbot 147

St Berhtwald of Ramsbury, bishop 147

Bd William Patenson, martyr . 14i

Bd Vincent Pallotti 148

23. St Raymund of Peiiafort 149


St Asclas, martyr . IS2
St Emerentiana, virgin and martyr IS2
SSe Clement and Agathangelus, martyrs IS3
St John the Almsgiver, bishop IS3
St Ildephonsus, archbishop ISS
St Bernard of Vienne, archbishop IS6
St Lufthildis, virgin IS7
St Maimbod, martyr IS7
Bd Margaret of Ravenna, virgin IS7
xviii

CONTENTS [January
PAGE
24. St Timothy, bishop and martyr 15 8

St Babylas, bishop and martyr 160

St Felician, bishop and martyr 160

St Macedonius 161

Bd Marcolino of Forll 161

25. The Conversion of St Paul 162

St Artemas, martyr 164

SSe Juventinus and Maximinus, martyrs 164

St Publius, abbot . 165

St Apollo, abbot . 165

St Praejectus, or Prix, bishop and martyr 166

St Poppo, abbot 166

26. St Polycarp, bishop and martyr 167

St Paula, widow 171

St Conan, bishop . 172

St Alberic, abbot . 173

St Eystein, archbishop 174

St Margaret of Hungary, virgin 176

27. St John Chrysostom, archbishop and doctor 178

St Julian of Le Mans, bishop . 18 3

St Marius, or May, abbot 183

St Vitalian, pope 184

Bd John of Warneton, bishop . 184

28. St Peter Nolasco 18S

St John of Reomay, abbot 187

St Paulinus of Aquileia, bishop 188

Bd Charlemagne 188

St Amadeus of Lausanne, bishop 18 9

Bd James the Almsgiver 190

Bd Antony of Amandola 191

St Peter Thomas, bishop 191

Bd Mary of Pisa, widow 192

Bd Julian Maunoir 193

29. St Francis de Sales, bishop and doctor 195

St Sabinian, martyr 201

St Gildas the Wise, abbot 201

St Sulpicius " Severns ", bishop 202

30. St Martina, virgin and martyr 23


St Barsimaeus, bishop 23
St Bathildis, widow 24
St Aldegundis, virgin 25
St Adelelmus, or Aleaume, abbot 25
St Hyacintha Mariscotti, virgin 206

Bd Sebastian Valfre 207

xix

February] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS


PAGE
31. St John Bosco 208
SSe Cyrus and John, martyrs . 212
St Marcella, widow 21 3
St Aidan, or Maedoc, of Ferns, bishop 2 14
St Adamnan of Coldingham . 215
St Ulphia, virgin . 2 15
St Eusebius, martyr 2 15
St l'ficetas of Novgorod, bishop 216
Bd Paula GaInbara-Costa, matron . 216
St Francis Xavier Bianchi 2 17

FEBRUARY

1. St Ignatius of Antioch, bishop and martyr 21 9


St Pionius, martyr 224
St Brigid, or Bride, of Kildare, virgin 225
St Sigebert III of Austrasia 229
St John " of the Grating ", bishop . 229
Bd Antony the Pilgrim 23
Bd Henry Morse, martyr 23 1

2. The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary 232


St .Adalbald of Ostrevant, martyr 23 6
The Martyrs of Ebsdorf 237
St Joan de Lestonnac, widow. 237

3. St Blaise, bishop and martyr 239


St Laurence of Spoleto, bishop 24
St la, virgin . 24
St Laurence of Canterbury, archbishop 24 1
St Werburga, virgin 241
St Anskar, archbishop 24 2
St Margaret " of England ", virgin 243
Bd Simon of Cascia 244
Bd John Nelson, martyr 245
Bd Stephen Bellesini 245

4. St Andrew Corsini, bishop 24 6


St Theophilus the Penitent 247
St Phileas, bishop and martyr 24 8
St Isidore of Pelusium, abbot . 249
St Modan, abbot 249
Bd Rabanus Maurus, archbishop 249
St Nicholas Studites, abbot 25 1
St Rembert, archbishop . 25 1
St Joan of France, matron 252
Bd Thomas Plumtree, martyr . 253
St Joseph of Leonessa 253
St John de Britto, martyr 254
xx
CONTENTS [Fe6nuIry
PAGB
5. St Agatha, virgin and martyr 255

St Avitus of Vienne, bishop . 256

St Bertulf, or Bertoul 257

SSe Indractus and Dominica, martyrs 25 8

St Vodalus, or V001 258

St Adelaide of Bellich, virgin 2S8

The Martyrs of Japan, I 259

6. St Titus, bishop . 260

St Dorothy, virgin and martyr 261

SSe Mel and Melchu, bishops 262

St Vedast, or Vaast, bishop 262

St Amand, bishop 263

St Guarinus, bishop 264


Bd Raymund of Fitero, abbot 265

St Hildegund, widow 265

Bd Angelo of Furcio 266

7. St Romuald, abbot 266

St Adaucus, martyr 268

St Theodore of Heraclea, martyr 269

St Moses, bishop 270

St Richard, cc King JJ 270

St Luke the Younger 271

Bd Rizzerio . 272

Bd Antony of Stroncone 272

Bd Thomas Sherwood, martyr 273

BB. James Sales and William Saultemouche, martyrs 274

Bd Giles Mary 27S

Bd Eugenia Smet (See Appendix III)

8. St John of Matha 276

St Nicetius, or Nizier, of Besancon, bishop 278

St ElBeda, virgin 278

St Meingold, martyr 279

St Cuthman. 280

Bd Peter Igneus, bishop 281

St Stephen of Muret, abbot . 282

Bd Isaiah of Cracow 282

9. St Cyril of Alexandria, archbishop and doctor. 283

St Apollonia, virgin and martyr 286

St Nicephorus, martyr 286

St Sabinus of Canosa, bishop 288

St Teilo, bishop . 288

St Ansbert, bishop 290

St Alto, abbot 290

Bd Marianus Scotus 290

10. St Scholastica, virgin 292

St Soteris, virgin and martyr 293

St Trumwin, bishop 293

St Austreberta, virgin 294

xxi
February] THE LI\'ES OF THE S.AINT'S
PAGE

St William of Maleval 295

Bd Hugh of Fosses 29 6

Bd Clare of Rimini, widow 297

11. The Appearing of Our Lady at Lourdes 29 8

SSe Satununus, Dativus and other Martyrs


33
St Lucius, bishop and martyr 34
St Lazarus, bishop 34
St Severinus, abbot 35
St Caedmon 35
St Gregory II, pope 308

St Benedict of Aniane, abbot .


39

St Paschal I, pope 3 11

12. The Seven Founders of the Servite Order 3 11

St Marina, virgin . 3 13

St Julian the Hospitaller 3 14

St Meletius of Antioch, archbishop . 3 16

St Ethelwald of Lindisfame, bishop 3 17

St Antony Kauleas, bishop 3 17

St Ludan 3 18

BB. Thomas Hemerford and his Companions, martyrs 3 18

13. St Polyeuctus, martyr 320

St Martinian the Hermit 320

St Stephen of Rieti, abbot 321

St Modomnoc 322

St Licinius, or Lesin, bishop 322

St Ermengild, or Ermenilda, widow 323

Bd Beatrice of Omacieu, virgin 323

Bd Christina of Spoleto . 324

Bd Eustochium of Padua, virgin 325

Bd Archangela Girlani, virgin 327

St Catherine dei Ricci, virgin . 328

14. St Valentine, martyr 332

St Abraham, bishop 334

St Maro, abbot 334

St Auxentius 335

St Conran, bishop 33 6

St Antoninus of Sorrento, abbot 337

Bd Conrad of Bavaria 337

St Adolf of Osnabrock, bishop 33 8

Bd Nicholas Paglia 33 8

Bd Angelo of Gualdo 339

Bd J olm Baptist of Almodovar 339

15. SSe Faustinus and Jovita, martyrs 340

St Agape, virgin and martyr 34 1

St Walfrid, abbot. 34 1

St.Tanco, bishop and martyr. 342

St Sigfrid" bishop 342

xxii
CONTENTS [February
PAGE
Bd Jordan of Saxony
343

Bd Angelo of Borgo San Sepolcro


345

Bd Julia of Certaldo, virgin


345

Bd Claud la Colombiere
346

16. St Onesimus, martyr 349

St Juliana, virgin and martyr . 349

SSe Elias, Jeremy and their Companions, martyrs 35

St Gilbert of Sempringham 35 1

Bd Philippa lVlareri, virgin 352

Bd Verdiana, virgin 353

Bd Eustochium of Messina, virgin 354

Bd Bernard Scammacca 354

17. SSe Theodulus and Julian, martyrs. 355

St Loman, bishop . 35 6

St Fintan of Cloneenagh, abbot 35 6

St Finan, bishop 357

St Silvin, bishop 35 8

St Evermod, bishop 35 8

Bd Reginald of Orleans . 359

Bd Luke Belludi 359

Bd Andrew of Anagni 360

Bd Peter of Treia . 360

Bd William Richardson, martyr 361

The Martyrs of China, I 361

18. St Simeon, bishop and martyr 365

SSe Leo and Paregorius, martyrs 366

St Flavian, bishop and martyr 367

St Helladius, archbishop 369

St Colman of Lindisfarne, bishop 369

St Angilbert, abbot 37 1

St Theotonius 372

Bd William IIarrington, martyr 373

Bd John Pibush, martyr 373

19. St Mesrop, bishop 374

St Barbatus, bishop 375

St Beatus of Liebana 376

St Boniface of Lausanne, bishop 376

St Conrad of Piacenza 377

Bd Alvarez of Cordova 378

20. SSe Tyrannio, Zenobius and other Martyrs 379

St Sadoth, bishop and martyr 380

St Eleutherius of Tournai, bishop 381

St Eucherius of Orleans, bishop 38 1

St Wulfric 382

Bd Elizabeth of Mantua, virgin 383

21. St Severian, bishop and martyr 384

Bd Pepin of Landen 384

XXUI
February] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
PAGE
St Germanus of Granfel, martyr 385
St George of Amastris, bishop 386
Bd Robert Southwell, martyr . 386
Bd Noel Fmot, martyr . 39 1
22. St Peter's Chair 392
SSe Thalassius and Limnaeus . 395
St Baradates 395
St Margaret of Cortona . 396
23. St Peter Damian, bishop and doctor 399
St Serenus the Gardener, martyr 41
St Alexander Akimetes 402
St Dositheus 43
St Boisil, or Boswell, abbot 404
St Milburga, virgin 45
St Willigis, archbishop 406
24. St Matthias, apostle 407
SSe Montanus, Lucius, and their Companions, martyrs 408
St Praetextatus, or Prix, bishop and martyr 4 11
25. SSe Victorinus and his Companions, martyrs 4 12
St Caesarius of Nazianzus 4 13
St Ethelbert of Kent 4 14
St Walburga, virgin 4 15
St Tarasius, bishop 4 16
St Gerland, bishop 4 18
Bd Robert of Arbrissel, abbot 4 18
BB. Avertanus and Romaeus 4 19
Bd Constantius of Fabriano 420
Bd Sebastian Aparicio 420

26. St Nestor, bishop and martyr. 422


St Alexander of Alexandria, bishop 423
St Porphyry, bishop 423
St Victor the Hermit 426
Bd Leo of Saint-Bertin, abbot 427
Bd Isabel of France, virgin 427
27. St Gabriel Possenti 429
SSe Julian, Cronion and Besas, martyrs 43 1
St Thalelaeus the Hennit 43 1
St Leander of Seville, bishop . 432
St Baldomerus, or GaImier 433
St Alnoth 434
St John of Gorze, abbot 434
Bd Mark Barkworth, martyr 435
Bd Anne Line, martyr 43 6
28. Martyrs in the Plague of Alexandria 43 6
St Proterius, bishop and martyr 437
SSe Romanus and Lupicinus, abbots 43 8
xxiv
CONTENTS [March
PAGE
St Hilarus, pope 439
St Oswald of Worcester, bishop 439
Bd Angela of Foligno, widow . 44
Bd Villana of Florence, matron 444
Bd Hedwig of Poland, matron 445
Bd Antonia of Florence, widow 446
Bd Louisa Albertoni, widow 447

MARCH

1. St David, or Dewi, bishop 449


St Felix II (III), pope 45 1
St Albinus, or Aubin, of Angers, bishop 452
St Swithbert, bishop 452
St Rudesind, or Rosendo, bishop 454
Bd Roger Ie Fort, archbishop . 455
Bd Bonavita 45 6
Bd Christopher of Milan 45 6
Bd Peter Rene Roque, martyr 457
2. The Martyrs under the Lombards 457
St Chad, or Ceadda, bishop 457
Bd Charles the Good, martyr . 460
Bd Fulco of Neuilly 461
Bd Agnes of Bohemia, virgin . 462
Bd Henry Suso 464
3. SSe Marinus and Astyrius, martyrs . 466
SSe Emeterius and Chelidonius, martyrs 467
St Arthelais, virgin 467
St Non, or Nonnita 468
St Winwaloe, or Guenole, abbot 469
St Anselm of Nonantola, abbot 47
St Cunegund, widow 47
St Gervinus, abbot 472
Bd Serlo, abbot 473
St Aelred, abbot . 473
Bd Jacopino of Canepaci 47 6
Bd Teresa Verzeri, virgin 476
Bd Innocent of Berzo (See Appendix JI I)

4. St Casimir of Poland 478


St Lucius I, pope . 479
SSe Adrian and his Companions, martyrs 480
St Peter of Cava, bishop 481
Bd Humbert III of Savoy 482
Bd Christopher Bales, martyr . 482
Bd Placida Viel, virgin 483

5. SSe Adrian and Eubulus, martyrs 484


St Phocas of Antioch, martyr . 485
XXV
March] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
PAGE
St Eusebiu~ of C'....remona 4 85
St Gerasimus, abbot 486
St Kieran, or Ciaran, of Saighir, bishop . 4 87
St Piran, abbot 4 89
St Virgil of ArIes, archbishop. 4 89
St John Joseph of the Cross . 490

6. SSe Perpetua, Felicity and their Companions, martyrs 493


St Fridolin, abbot . 499
SSe Cyneburga, Cyneswide and Tibba 500
St Chrodegang, bishop 51
SSe Balred and Bilfrid 52
St Cadroe, or Cadroel, abbot . 52
St Ollegarius, or Oldegar, archbishop 53
St Cyril of Constantinople 54
Bd Jordan of Pisa . 55
St Colette, virgin . 506
7. St Thomas Aquinas, doctor 59
St Paul the Simple 5 13
St Drausius, or Drausin, bishop 515
St Esterwine, abbot 515
St Ardo 5 16
St Theophylact, bishop . 5 16

8. St John of God 5 17
St Pontius 520
SSe Philemon and Apollonius, martyrs 521
St Senan, bishop 522
St Felix of Dunwich, bishop 524
St Julian of Toledo, archbishop 524
St Humphrey, or Hunfrid, bishop 525
St Duthac, bishop 526
St Veremund, abbot 526
St Stephen of Obazine, abbot 527
Bd Vincent of Cracow, bishop 528

9. St Frances of Rome, widow 529


St Pacian, bishop . 533
St Gregory of Nyssa, bishop 533
St Bosa, bishop 53 6
St Catherine of Bologna, virgin 53 6
St Dominic Savio 539

10. The Forty Martyrs of Sebastea 54 1


SSe Codratus and his Companions, martyrs 544
St Macarius of Jerusalem, bishop 544
St Simplicius, pope 545
St Kessog, bishop and martyr 546
St Anastasia Patricia, virgin 546
St Droctoveus, or Drotte, abbot 547
St Attalas, abbot 547
xxvi
CONTENTS [March
PAGE
St Himelin
548

Bd Andrew of Strumi, abbot .


549

Bd John of Vallombrosa
55 0

Bd Peter Geremia
55 0

Bd John Ogilvie, martyr


552

11. St Constantine, martyr . 55 6

St Sophronius, bishop 557

St Vindician, bishop 55 8

St Benedict of Milan, archbishop 559

St Oengus, abbot-bishop 559

St Eulogius of Cordova, martyr 561

St Aurea, virgin 56 3

Bd Christopher Macassoli 56 3

Bd John Baptist of Fabriano 564

BB. John Larke, Jennyn Gardiner and John Ireland, martyrs 564

St Teresa Margaret Redi, virgin 5 65

12. St Gregory the Great, pope and doctor 566

St Maximilian, martyr 57 1

SSe Peter, Gorgonius and Dorotheus, martyrs 573

St Paul Aurelian, bishop 574

St Theophanes the Chronicler; abbot 576

St AIphege of Winchester, bishop 577

St Bernard of Capua, bishop 577

St Fina, or Seraphina, virgin . 577

Bd Justina of Arezzo, virgin 578

Bd Nicholas Owen, martyr 579

13. St Euphrasia, or Eupraxia, virgin 581

St Mochoemoc, abbot 58 3

St Gerald of Mayo, abbot 584

St Nicephorus of Constantinople, bishop 5 84

St Ansovinus, bishop 586

St Heldrad, abbot 5 87

SSe Roderic and Solomon, martyrs 588

Bd Agnello of Pisa 5 89

14. St Leobinus, or Lubin, bishop 59 1

St Eutychius, or Eustathius, martyr 59 I

St Matilda, widow 592

Bd James of Naples, archbishop 594

15. St Longinus, martyr


594

St Matrona, virgin and martyr


595

St Zachary, pope .
596

St Leocritia, or Lucretia, virgin and martyr


597

Bd William Hart, martyr


597

St Louisa de Marillac, widow .


598

St Clement Hofbauer
601

Bd Placid Riccardi (See Appendix II I)

16. St Julian of Antioch, martyr


St Abraham Kidunaia
MaTch] THE LIV-ES OF THE SAINTS
PAGE
St Finnian Lobhar, abbot 606
St Eusebia, abbess 60 7
St Gregory Makar, bishop 608
St Heribert, archbishop. 608
Bd John of Vicenza, bishop and martyr 610
Bd Torello . 611
BB. John Amias and Robert Dalby, martyrs 612

17. St Patrick, archbishop .


St Joseph of Arimathea .
The Martyrs of the Serapeum
St Agricola, bishop
St Gertrude of Nivelles, virgin
St Paul of Cyprus .
Bd John Sarkander, martyr

18. St Cyril of Jerusalem, archbishop and doctor 623


St Alexander of Jerusalem, bishop and martyr . 626
St Frigidian, or Frediano, bishop 626
St Edward the Martyr 627
St Anselm of Lucca, bishop 628
Bd Christian, abbot 63 0
St Salvator of Horta 63 0
19. St Joseph 63 1
St John of Panaca. 633
SSe Landoald and his Companions . 634
St Alcmund, martyr ~35
Bd Andrew of Siena 635

20. SSe Photina and her Companions, martyrs 63 6


St Martin of Braga, archbishop 63 6
St Cuthbert, bishop 637
St Herbert 642
St Wulfram, archbishop 642
The Martyrs of Mar Saba 643
BB. Evangelist and Peregrine . 644
Bd Ambrose of Siena 644
Bd John of Parma 646
Bd Maurice of Hungary 647
Bd Mark of Montegallo . 64 8
Bd Baptist of Mantua 649
Bd Hippolytus Galantini 65 0

21. St Benedict, abbot 65 0


St Serapion of Thmuis, bishop 655
St Enda, abbot, and St Fanchea, virgin 65 6
Bd Santuccia, matron 657

22. St Paul of Narbonne 657


St Basil of Ancyra, martyr 65 8
St Deogratias, bishop 65 8
xxviii
CONTENTS [March

PAGE
Bd Isnardo of Chiampo 659
St Benvenuto of Osimo, bishop 659
Bd Hugolino of Cortona 660
St Nicholas von Flue 660

23. SSe Victorian and his Companions, martyrs 663


St Benedict the Hennit . 664
St Ethelwald the Hennit 664
Bd Peter of Gubbio 665
Bd Sibyllina of Pavia, virgin 665
St Joseph Oriol 666

24. St Gabriel the Archangel 667


St Irenaeus of Sirmium, bishop and martyr 668
St Aldemar, abbot 669
St Catherine of Vadstena, virgin 669
SSe Simon of Trent and William of Norwich 671
Bd Didacus, or Diego, of Cadiz 672

25. The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary . 673


The Good Thief 676
St Barontius 677
St Hennenland, abbot 677
St Alfwold, bishop 67 8
Bd Thomasius 679
Bd Margaret Clitherow, martyr 679
Bd James Bird, martyr 682
St Lucy Filippini, virgin 68 3

26. St Castulus, martyr 684


St Felix of Trier, bishop 684
St Macartan, bishop 68 4
St Braulio, bishop 68 5
St Ludger, bishop 686
St Basil the Younger 688

27. St John Damascene, doctor 68 9


St John of Egypt 69 1
Bd William Tempier, bishop . 692

28. St John of Capistrano 693


St Guntramnus 695
St Tutilo 696

29. SSe Jonas and Barachisius, martyrs . 696


SSe Mark of Arethusa, bishop, and Cyril, martyr 697
SSe Annogastes, Archinimus and Satums, martyrs 69 8
SSe Gundleus and Gwladys 699
St Rupert, bishop . 700
Bd Diemoda, or Diemut, virgin 71
St Berthold . 71
St Ludolf, bishop . 702
xxix
March] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
PAGE
30. St Regulus, or RieuI, bishop . 72
St John Climacus, abbot 73
St Zosimus, bishop 74
St Osburga, virgin 70 5

Bd Dodo 706

Bd Amadeus IX of Savoy 706

31. St Balbina, virgin . 707

St Acacius, or Achatius, bishop 70 8

St Benjamin, martyr 79

St Guy of Pomposa, abbot 70 9

Bd Joan of Toulouse, virgin . 710

Bd Bonaventure of Forn 711

Index. 7 1 3

BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS

Acta Sanctorum-This without qualification refers to the Acta Sanctorum of the


Bollandists.
BHG.-The Eibliotheca hagiographica graeca of the Bollandists.
BHL.-The Bibliotheca hagiographica latina of the Bollandists.
BHO.-The Bibliotheca hagiographica orientalis of the Bollandists.
Burton and Pollen, LEM.-Lives of the English Martyrs, second series, ed. E. H.
Burton and J. H. Pollen.
Caronl, LEM.-Lives of the English Martyrs, first series, ed. Bede Carom.
CMH.-H. Delehaye's Commentary on the Hieronymian Martyrology, in the Acta
Sanctorum, November, volume ii, part 2.
DAC.-Dictionnaire d'Archiologie chretienne et de Liturgie, ed. F. Cabrol and H.
Leclercq.
DCB.-A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. William Smith and Henry Wace.
DHG.-Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Geographie ecclesiastiques, ed. A. Baudrillart et all
DNB.-The Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Leslie Stephen et ale
DTC.-Dictionnaire de Theologie catholique, ed. A. Vacant et ale
KSS.-Kalendars of Scottish Saints, ed. A. P. Forbes.
LBS.-Lives of the British Saints, by S. Baring-Gould and John Fisher.
LIS.-Lives of the Irish Saints, by John O'Hanlon.
Mabillon-Acta Sanctorum Ordinis Sancti Benedicti, ed. J. l\fabillon.
MGH.-Monumenta Germaniae Historica ed. G. H. Pertz et ale
J

MMP.-Memoirs of Missionary Priests, by Richard Challoner, referred to In the


edition of 1924, ed. J. H. Pollen.
PG.-Patrologia graeca, ed. J. P. Migne.
PL.-Patrologia latina, ed. J. P. Migne.
REPSJ.-Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, ed. Henry Foley.
Ruinart-Acta primorum martyrum sincera et selecta, ed. T. Ruinart.
Stanton's Men 0 logy-A lklenology of England and Wales, by Richard Stanton.
VSH.-Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae, ed. Charles Plummer.

Father H. Delehaye's Les origines du culte des martyrs is referred to in the" deux
ieme edition revue" of 1933.
There is an English translation by Mrs V. M. Crawford of Father Delehaye's
Les legendes hagiographiques (" The Legends of the Saints "), made from the first
edition. The third French edition (1927) is revised and is therefore sometimes
referred to.
The English title of the work herein referred to as " Leon, L'Aureole seraphique
(Eng. trans.) " is Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the Three Orders of St Francis
(1885-87), by Father l.Jeon (Vieu) de Clary. A corrected and enlarged edition of this
work in Italian, by Father G. C. Guzzo, began publication in 1951: Aureola serafica.
By 1954 four volumes had appeared, covering J anuary-.A.ugust.
It has not been deemed necessary to give every reference to such standard works
8S the Dicttonary of Christian Biography, the Dictionnaires published by Letouzey,

xxxi
THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
and A. Fliche and V. Martin's Histoire de I'Eglise, though these are often referred
to in the bibliographical notes. The first two volumes of Fliche and Martin, by
J. Lebreton and J. Zeiller, have been translated into English by Dr E. C. Messenger
(The History of the Pril1litive Church, 4 vols.), and the first two English volumes of
the continuation, The Church in the Christian Roman Empire, are also published.
The reader may here be reminded once for all that for all modern saints and
beati the surest source of infonnation on the more strictly spiritual side is the
summarium de virtutibus with the criticisms of the Promotor fidei which are printed
in the process of beatification. Copies of these are occasionally to be met with in
national or private libraries, though they are not published or offered for sale to the
general public. And for all saints named in the Roman Martyrology the standard
short reference is in the Acta Sanctorum, Decembris Propylaeum: Martyrologium
Romanum ad formam editionis typicae scholiis historicis instructum (1940). This great
work provides a running commentary on the entries in the Roman Martyrology,
correcting where necessary conclusions expressed in the sixty-odd volumes of the
Acta Sanctorum, and anticipating much that will be said at greater length in those
volumes that have yet to appear; and there are summary bibliographies throughout.
I t is indispensable for all serious study and reference.
Attention may be drawn to the following recently published general works:
R.-F. AGRAIN, L'Hagiographie: ses sources, ses methodes, son histoire (Paris, 1953).
Les RR. PP. Benedictins de Paris, Vies des saints et des bienheureux. J anuary
December, 12 volumes. Especially the last six volumes.
E. G. BOWEN, The Settlements of the Celtic Saints in Wales (University of Wales
Press, Cardiff, 1954).
E. DEKKERS, Clavis Patrum Latinorum (Bruges, 1951). The best guide to the editions
of the Fathers from Tertullian to Bede.
J. DELORME, Chronologie des civilisations (Presses universitaires de France, 1949).
A. EHRHARD (continued by Fr Heseler), Ueberlieferung und Bestand der hagio
graphischen und homiletischen Literatur der griechischen Kirche. Three volumes
in Texte und Untersuchungen (Leipzig, 1937-1943).
E. GRIFFE, La Gaule chretienne a l'epoque romaine, v(,lume i (Paris, 1947). From
the beginning to the end of the fourth century.
A. HAMANN, La Geste du sang (Paris, 1953). Translations of authentic texts of
passions of the martyrs.
R. JANIN, Les eglises et les monasteres (de Constantinople), volume iii in La Geographie
ecclesiastique de l'empire byzaniin, Part I (Paris, 1954). Important for cultus
and relics of saints.
M enologium cisterciense a monachis ordinis cisterciensis strictioris observantiae com
positum . . . (Westmalle, 1952).
And also, in relation to particular places in France, the work of J. Hubert and
F. Benoit (Aries), M. de Laugardiere (Bourges), J. de La Martiniere (Orleans),
J. Perrin (Sens) and, especially, Rene Louis (Auxerre). In the Revue d'histoire
ecclesiastique (Louvain) the ;:>ertinent reviews of books and also the bibliographies (in
a separate supplement) are particularly valuable.

xxxii
BUTLER'S

LIVES OF THE SAINTS

JANUARY

1: OCTAVE OF BIRTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST


IRCUMCISION was a sacrament of the Old Law, and the first legal

C observance required by Almighty God of that people which He had chosen


preferably to all the nations of the earth to be the depositary of His revealed
truths. These were the descendants of Abraham, upon whom He had enjoined it
several hundred years before the giving of the law to Moses on Mount Sinai. And
this on two accounts: First, as a distinguishing mark between them and the rest of
mankind. Secondly, as a seal to a covenant between God and that patriarch:
whereby it was stipulated on God's part to bless Abraham and his posterity;
whilst on their part it implied a holy engagement to be His people, by a strict con
fonnity to His laws. It was therefore a sacrament of initiation in the service of
God, and a promise and engagement to believe and act as He had revealed and
directed.
This law of circumcision continued in force till the death of Christ: hence, our
Saviour being born under the law, it became Him, who came to teach mankind
obedience to the laws of God, to fulfil all justice and to submit to it. Therefore,
He was" made under the law"-that is, was circumcised-that He might redeem
them that were under the law, by freeing them from the servitude of it: and that
those who were in the condition of servants before might be set at liberty, and
receive the adoption of sons in baptism, which by Christ's institution succeeded to
circumcision. On the day He was circumcised He received the name of JESUS, the
same which had been appointed Him by the angel before He was conceived. The
reason of His being called Jesus is mentioned in the gospel: "For He shall save
His people from their sins." This He effected by the greatest sufferings and
humiliations, humbling Himself, as St Paul says, not only unto death, but even to
the death of the cross; for which cause God hath exalted Him, and hath given Him
a name which is above all names, that at the name of JESUS every knee shall bow;
agreeably to what Christ says of Himself, " All power is given unto Me in heaven
and in earth ".

Considered liturgically, three, if not four, distinct elements may be recognized


in the festival which the Church keeps on the first day of each year. It is, to begin
with, the octave of Christmas, and-possibly as a consequence of this-a special
commemoration is made of the Virgin Mother whose pre-eminent share in the
mystery could not adequately be recognized on the feast itself. Secondly, our
ancient mass-books and other documents preserve many traces of the observance
of the day in a spirit of penance, seemingly to protest against and atone for the
debaucheries and other excesses customary among pagans at the outset of the new
year. Thirdly, the eighth day after bilth was the day when our Infant Saviour
I
January I] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
was circumcised, an incident pregnant with significance which called for suitable
celebration on its own account.
So far as our liturgical evidence goes the earliest recognition of the feast is to
be found in the Lectionary of Victor of Capua. This, which bears witness to the
usage of southern Italy in the year 546, has an entry De crcumcisione Domin, and
indicates as a reading for that day the passage from St Paul to the Romans (xv. 4-14)
in which our Lord is spoken of as " Minister of the circumcision for the truth of
God to confirm the promises made to the fathers". Only a very little later we find
in the 17th canon of the second Council of Tours (A.D. 567) a statement that from
Christmas to the Epiphany each day was treated as a feast except that triduum
(apparently from January I to January 3) "duringwhich our fathers, to stamp out the
custom of the pagans, imposed a private celebration of litanies on the first of January,
in order that psalmody might be carried on in the churches, and that on the day itself
Mass of the Circumcision might be offered to God at the eighth hour". Here,
besides the reference to the Mass of the Circumcision, all the associations of the
word It"taniae were distinctly connected by the usage of the times with penitential
practices. Further, in the archetype of the martyrology known as the Hieronym
anum, which dates from about the year 600, the Circumcision is again mentioned,
and this is also the case with the majority of the calendars, martyrologiesJ lectionaries
and other service-books of the seventh and following centuries. Although in the
present Roman liturgy no trace remains of the early efforts made to wean Christian
converts from taking part in the pagan idolatries and debaucheries which ushered
in the new year, still the so-called" Gelasian " sacramentaries, more or less modified
by the uses which prevailed in Gaul, Germany and Spain, constantly provide a
second Mass for this day which is headed " ad prohibendum ab idolis "-i.e. against
idolatrous practices. In this Mass all the prayers echoed the petition that those
who had been brought to the pure worship of the Christian fa1th might have the
courage utterly to turn their backs upon the old, profane and evil ways of paganism.
It is to be noted that even before any special church celebration can be connected
with new year's day, we find St Augustine, in a sermon preached on that morning,
exhorting his hearers to behave as Christians amid the excesses of their gentile
neighbours at that season.
It is certain, then, that a wish to rescue the weaker mernbers of the Christian
community from the contamination of the new-year celebrations played a great part
in the institution of a church festival on that day. St Augustine's words suggest
that he realized how hopeless it was to impose a general fast upon an occasion which
was a holiday for the rest of the world. Ordinary human nature would have rebelled
if too much had been exacted of it. All that could be done in practice was to carry
out the principles enunciated by such wise pastors as 8t Gregory Thaumaturgus
and St Gregory the Great, that when pagan observances were ineradicably fixed in
the customs of a people, the evil must be neutralized by e&tablishing a Christian
celebration in place of the heathen one. On the whole it would seem that outside
Rome-in Gaul, Germany, Spain, and even at Milan and in the south of Italy-an
effort was made to exalt the mystery of the Circumcision in the hope that it might
fill the popular mind and win the revellers from their pagan superstitions. In
Rome itself, however, there is no trace of any reference to the Circumcision until a
relatively late period. What our actual missal preserves for us, even down to the
present day, is a liturgy which, while echoing, as the octave naturally would, the
sentiments proper to Christmas, refers in a very marked way to the Mother of God,
2
ST....<\'LMACHIUS, OR TELEMACHUS [January 1

e.g. in the collect for the feast. How comes it that our Lady is thus appealed to on
the first day of the year? This may, as mentioned above, be simply the result of
her intimate connection with the mystery of the Incarnation, but there is some
evidence that the liturgy for to-day represents the service for the octave of Christmas
a8 solemnized in the ancient Roman basilica of our Lady, Old St Mary's (c/. D.
Bunner in the bibliography). But whether or not a feast of special solemnity was
observed on January 1 in this ancient church to serve as an antidote to pagan licence,
it is unfortunately certain that the expedient ,vas only partially successful, and that
the riotous excesses of the season still survived in the" Feast of Fools" and other
abuses, against which the better sort of ecclesiastics protested throughout the
middle ages, but often protested in vain.
See Abbot Cabrol, Les origines liturgiques (1906), pp. 203-210; also in the Revue du
clerge franfais, january, 1906, pp. 262 seq., and in DAC., S.v. " Circoncision "; F. Bunger,
Geschi~hte der Neujahrsfeier in der Kirche (1909); D. Bunner, "La fete ancienne de la
Circoncision ", in La Vie et les Arts Liturgiques, january, 1924; G. Morin in Anecdota
Maredsolana, vol. i, pp. 426-428. See also Mansi, Concilia, vol. ix, p. 796; Maasen,
Concilia Merov., p. 126; St Augustine, sermon 198 in Migne, PL., vol. xxxviii, c. 1025 ;
and W. de Gruneisen, Ste Marie Antique, pp. 94, 493. There occurs above a reference to
the Hieronymianum, which will be frequently mentioned in these notes. The" Martyrology
of jerome ", so called because it was erroneously attributed to St jerome, was the foundation
of all similar Western calendars of martyrs and other saints. It was compiled in Italy during
the second half of the fifth century: the archetype on which all existing manuscripts of it
are based is a recension made in Gaul about the year 600. Father Delehaye's Commentary
on the Hieronymianum (CMH) is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. ii, part 2.

ST CONCORDIUS, MARTYR (c. A.D. 178)


A SUBDEACON who, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius, was apprehended in the desert,
and brought before Torquatus, governor of Umbria, then residing at Spoleto.
The martyr, paying no regard to promises or threats, in the first interrogatory was
beaten with clubs, and in the second was stretched on the rack, but in the height of
his torments he cheerfully sang, " Glory be to thee, Lord Jesus!" Three days
after, two soldiers were sent by Torquatus to behead him in the dungeon, unless he
would offer sacrifice to an idol, which a priest who accompanied them carried with
him for this purpose. The saint showed his indignation by spitting upon the idol,
upon which one of the soldiers struck off his head.
See his acts in the Acta Sanctorum, january I; and Tillemont, Memoires . . ., vol. ii,
P439

ST ALMACHIUS, OR TELEMACHUS, MARTYR (c. A.D. 400 )


ALL that we know of this interesting martyr is derived from two brief notices, the
one contained in the Ecclesiastical History of Theodoret (bk v, c. 26), the other in
the ancient" Martyrology of Jerome" referred to in the note above. In the
first we read that the Emperor Honorius abolished the gladiatorial combats of the
arena in consequence of the following incident: "An ascetic named Telemachus
had come from the East to Rome animated with a holy purpose. Whilst the
abominable games were in progress he entered the stadium and, going down into
the arena, attempted to separate the combatants. The spectators of this cruel
pastime were infuriated, and at the instigation of Satan, who delights in blood, they
stoned to death the messenger of peace. On hearing what had happened the
3
January I] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
excellent emperor had him enrolled in the glorious company of martyrs, and put
an end to these criminal sports."
In the Hieronymianum the notice, preserved to the present day in the Roman
Martyr~logy, reads: "January 1st . . . the feast of Almachius, who, when he said
, To-day is the octave day of the Lord, cease from the superstitions of idols and
fr0m polluted sacrifices', was slain by gladiators at the command of Alipius, prefect
of the city." As against Dom Germain Morin, who is inclined to regard this
alleged martyrdom as only an echo of the fantastic legend of the dragon of the
Roman Forum, Father H. Delehaye, the Bollandist, believes the incident to be
historical, and, in spite of certain difficulties, considers that the martyr's name was
really Almachius, and that he perished about A.D. 400.
See Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxiii (1914), pp. 421-428. Cf. l't'lorin, in Revue Bene
dictine, vol. xxxi (1914), pp. 321-326, and CMH., p. 21.

ST EUPHROSYNE, VIRGIN (FIFTH CENTURY?)

THE Greeks call St Euphrosyne " Our Mother ", and pay her great honour, but
we have no authentic accounts of her life. Her so-called history is nothing but a
replica of the story of St Pelagia, as narrated for Western readers in the Vitae Patrum
or in the Golden Legend, a. tale which struck the popular fancy and which, with
slight variations, was adapted as an embellishment to the lives of St Marina, St
Apollinaris, St Theodora, etc.
According to this fiction, St Euphrosyne was the daughter of Paphnutius, a
pious and wealthy citizen of Alexandria. He and his wife had long been childless,
but Euphrosyne was born to them in answer to the prayers of a holy monk whose
intercession they had sought. The little girl was fascinating and marvellously
beautiful, and because of the joy she caused to her parents they named her Euph
rosyne. When she was eleven, her mother died. Her father set about finding her
a husband and affianced her to a young man of great wealth. At first she does not
seem to have objected, but after an interview with the old monk who had prayed for
her before her birth, she began to feel the call to a higher life and ceased to care for
the things of this world. She tore off her jewellery and gave it away to the poor,
she avoided young people of her own age, consorting only with pious, elderly
women, and, in order to make herself less attractive, we are told that she ceased
washing her face "even with cold water". All this seems to have ITlade no
impression on her father, who went off to a three days' retreat in honour of the holy
founder of a monastery of which he was a benefactor. As soon as he was gone,
Euphrosyne sent a servant she could trust to ask for an interview with the old monk.
She told him how she felt, and he replied that our Lord had said that if anyone
would not leave father, mother, brothers and everything for the kingdom of
Heaven's sake, he could not be His disciple. She then confessed that she feared
to anger her father, as she was the only heir to his property. The monk answered
that her father could find as many heirs as he wanted among the poor and the sick.
Finally she asked him to give her the veil-which he did then and there.
When the interview was over, and Euphrosyne began to think matters out, she
came to the conclusion that she could not count upon being safe from her father in
any nunnery in that country, for he would be sure to find her and carry her off by
force. She therefore secretly changed into man's attire and slipped out of the house
by night-her father being still away. She found her way to the very monastery
4
ST' EUC;ENl)lJS, ()l{ ()YE~D [J(Jnua}'y 1

her father frequented, and asked for the superior, \\-ho \vas surprised to see this
exceptionally beautiful youth. Euphrosyne told him that her name \\"as Smaragdus,
that she had heen attached to the court but had fled from the distractions of the city
and the intrigues of the courtiers, and that she no\v desired to spend her life in peace
and prayer. The abbot \vas greatly edified and offered to receive her if she \vould
submit to the direction of an elder to teach her the discipline of the religious life
she heing evidently quite inexperienced. She replied that, far from objecting to
one, she \vould welcome many masters to teach her the way of perfection. No one
ever suspected her sex, and she soon gave proof of extraordinary progress in virtue.
She had many trials and temptations, hut she overcame them all. Because her
beauty and charm \\"ere a cause of distraction to the other monks, she retired to a
solitary cell \vhere she sa\v only those \\'ho desired her advice. Her fame for holi
ness and \\riselom spread far and ,,"ide, .and after a time her father, in his despair at
losing her, asked leave to consult this venerated ascetic, Srnaragdus. She recog
nized him, but he did not kno\v her, since her face \vas alrnost hidden and she \vas
much changed by her austerities. She gave him spiritual consolation, but did not
n1ake herself known to him till she was on her death-bed many years later. After
her death, her father Paphnutius retired from the world and inhabited her cell for
ten years.

See l)elehaye, Les legelldes hagiographiques (1927), pp. 18q-H)2, and Quentin, Les mar
tyrologes histori'/lll>S, pp. 165--166. Although. a commenloration of St Euphrosyne appears
in the Roman l\1artyrology under January I, and the Carmelites claim her as belonging to
their order and keep her feast on January 2, there is the gravest reason to doubt 'whether such
a person e\'er existed. No local eu/tus exists in this case to \vhich we can trace the origin
of the legend. In the Greek synaxaries she is cOlnmen10rated on September 25, and in the
n1ajority of the l atin martyrologies her elogium occurs on January I; but in the Acta
Sanctorum her story is given on February 11. A C;reek life is printed in the Analeeta
Bollandiana, vol. ii, pp. 196-205, and the Latin yersions are catalogued in BHL., nne 2722
2726. The atmosphere of all these is decidedly one of pure romance. At the same time
there do seem to be authentic cases of women hiding themselyes in male attire in monasteries
and remaining for a while undetected. 'rhere is more or less contemporary evidence that
this \vas done by the girl " I IiJdegund ", \vho died in the Cistercian abhey of Schonau on
April 20, 1188; but the question of her sanctity is another matter.

ST EUGENDUS, OR OYEND, ABBOT (c. A.D. 510)


AFTER the death of the brothers St Romanus and 8t Lupicinus, founders of the
abbey of Condat, under whose discipline he had been educated from the age of
seven, Eugendus becarne coadjutor to lVlinausius, their imrnediate successor, and
soon after, upon his demise, abbot of that famous monastery. His life \vas most
austere, and he \vas so dead to himself as to seen1 incapable of betraying the least
emotion of anger. His countenance was ahvays cheerful; yet he never laughed.
He \vas well skilled in Greek and IJatin and in the Holy Scriptures, and a great
promoter of studies in his monastery, but no importunities could prevail upon him
to consent to be ordained priest. In the lives of the first abbots of Condat it is
mentioned that the monastery, which \vas built by 8t Romanus of timber, being
consumed by fire, 8t Eugendus rebuilt it of stone; and also that he built a hand
SOIne church in honour of SSe Peter, Paul and Andrew. His prayer \vas almost
continual, and his devotion most ardent during his last illness. Having called the
priest among his brethren to whom he had committed the office of anointing the
sick, Eugendus caused him to anoint his breast according to the custom then

5
January I] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
prevalent, and he breathed forth his soul five days after, about the year 510, and of
his age sixty-one. The great abbey of Condat, seven leagues from Geneva,
received from this saint the name of Saint-Oyend, till in the thirteenth century it
exchanged it for that of Saint-Claude, after the bishop of Besan~on who is honoured
on June 6.
See the life of St Eugendus by a contemporary and disciple of his, which has been critically
edited in modern times by Bruno Krusch in the MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. iii, pp.
154-166. Krusch, in his introduction and in a paper on " La falsification des vies des saints
burgondes " in Melanges Julien Havet, pp. 39-56, pronounces this life to be a forgery
of much later date; but Mgr L. Duchesne, in Melanges d'archeologie et d'histoire (1898),
vol. xviii, pp. 3-16, has successfully vindicated its authenticity and trustworthiness.

ST FULGENTIU8, BISHOP OF RUSPE (A.D. 533)


FABIUS CLAUDIUS GORDIANUS FULGENTIUS was the descendant of a noble senatorial
family of Carthage, born in 468, about thirty years after the Vandals had dismem
bered Africa from the Roman empire. He was educated with his younger brother
under the care of his mother Mariana, who was left a young widow. Being by her
particular direction taught Greek very young, he spoke it with as proper and exact
an accent as if it had been his native language. He also applied himself to Latin;
yet he knew how to mingle business with study, for he took upon himself the ad
ministration of the family concerns in order to ease his mother of the burden. His
prudence, his virtuous conduct, his mild carriage to all, and more especially his
deference for his mother caused him to be respected wherever his name was known.
He was chosen procurator-that is, lieutenant-governor and general receiver of the
taxes of Byzacena. But it was not long before he grew disgusted with the world;
and being justly alarmed at its dangers, he armed himself against them by reading,
prayer and severe fasts. His visits to monasteries were frequent; and happening
to read a sermon of St Augustine on the thirty-sixth psalm, in which that saint treats
of the world and the short duration of human life, he felt within him strong desires
of embracing the monastic state.
Huneric, the Arian king, had driven most of the orthodox bishops from their
sees. One of these, named Faustus, had founded a monastery in Byzacena. It
was to him that the young nobleman addressed himself; but Faustus, taking
exception to the weakness of his constitution, discouraged his desires with words
of some harshness: "Go", said he, " and first learn to live in the world abstracted
from its pleasures. Who can suppose that you, on a sudden relinquishing a life of
ease, can put up with our coarse diet and clothing, and can inure yourself to our
watchings and fastings?" Fulgentius modestly replied that, "He who hath
inspired me with the will to serve Him can also furnish me with courage and
strength." This humble yet resolute answer induced Faustus to admit him on
trial. The saint was then in the twenty-second year of his age. The news of so
unthought of an event both surprised and edified the whole country; but Mariana,
his mother, ran to the monastery, crying out at the gates, " Faustus! restore to me
my son, and to the people their governor. The Church protects widows; why,
then, rob you me, a desolate widow, of my son?" Nothing that Faustus could
* The rich abbey of Saint-Claude gave rise to a considerable town built about it, which
was made an episcopal see by Pope Benedict XIV in 1748, who, secularizing the monastery,
converted it into a cathedral. The canons to gain admittance were required to give proof
of their nobility for sixteen degrees, eight paternal and as many Inaternal.
6
ST FULGENTIUS [January 1

urge was sufficient to calm her. This was certainly as great a trial of Fulgentius's
resobJtion as it could well be put to; but Faustus approved his vocation, and
accordingly recommended him to the brethren. But soon, persecution breaking
out anew, Faustus was obliged to withdraw; and our saint repaired to a neigh
bouring monastery, of which Felix, the abbot, would fain resign to him the govern
ment. Fulgentius was much startled at the proposal, but at length was prevailed
upon to consent that they should jointly execute the functions of superior. It
was admirable to observe with what harmony these two holy abbots for six
years governed the house. No contradiction ever took place between them: each
always contended to comply with the will of his colleague. Felix undertook the
management of the temporal concerns; Fulgentius'3 province was to preach and
instruct.
In the year 499, the country being ravaged by an irruption of the Numidians,
the two abbots were compelled to fly to Sicca Veneria, a city of the proconsular
province of Africa. Here it was that an Arian priest ordered them to be arrested
and scourged on account of their preaching the consubstantiality of the Son of God.
Felix, seeing the executioners seize first on Fulgentius, cried out, " Spare that poor
brother of mine, who is too delicate for your brutalities: let them rather be my
portion, who am strong of body." They accordingly fell on Felix first, and the old
man endured their stripes with unflinching resolution. When it was Fulgentius's
turn he bore the lashes patiently enough; but feeling the pain excessive, that he
might gain a little respite he requested his judge to give ear to something he had to
impart to him. The executioners being commanded to desist, he began to dis
course pleasantly of his travels. The cruel fanatic had expected an offer to surrender
on terms, but finding himself disappointed he ordered the torments to be redoubled.
At length the confessors were dismissed, their clothes rent, their bodies inhumanly
torn, their beards and hair plucked out. The very Arians were ashamed of such
cruelty, and their bishop offered to punish the priest if Fulgentius would undertake
his prosecution. His answer was that a Christian is never allowed to seek revenge,
and that a blessing is promised for the forgiveness of injuries. Fulgentius went
aboard a ship bound for Alexandria, wishing to visit the deserts of Egypt, renowned
for the sanctity of the solitaries who dwelt there. But the vessel touching at Sicily,
Eulalius, abbot at Syracuse, diverted him from his intended voyage by assuring him
that " a perfidious dissension had severed that country from the communion of
Peter", meaning that Egypt was full of heretics, with whom those who dwelt there
were obliged either to join in communion, or be deprived of the sacraments.
Fulgentius, having laid aside the thought of visiting Alexandria, embarked for
Rome, to offer up his prayers at the tombs of the apostles. One day he saw
Theodoric, the king of Italy, enthroned in state, surrounded by the senate and his
court. "Ah!" said Fulgentius, " how beautiful must the heavenly Jerusalem be,
if earthly Rome is so glorious! What glory will God bestow on the saints in
Heaven, since here He clothes with such splendour the lovers of vanity!" This
happened towards the latter part of the year 500 , \vhen that king made his first
entry into Rome. Fulgentius returned home shortly after, and built a spacious
monastery in Byzacena, but retired himself to a cell beside the seashore. Faustus,
his bishop, obliged him to resume the government of his monastery; and many
places at the same time sought him for their bishop, for King Thrasimund having
prohibited by edict the ordination of orthodox bishops, several sees had long been
vacant. Among these was Ruspe, now a little place called Kudiat Rosfa in Tunisia.
7
January x] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
For this see St Fulgentius was drawn out of his retreat and consecrated bishop in
508 .
His new dignity made no alteration in his manners. He never wore the orarium,
a kind of stole then used by bishops, nor other clothes than his usual coarse garb,
which was the same in winter and summer. He went sometimes barefoot; he
never undressed to take rest, and always rose for prayer before the midnight office.
It vras only when ill that he suffered a little wine to be mingled with the water which
he drank; and he never could be prevailed upon to eat flesh-meat. His modesty,
meekness and humility gained him the affections of all, even of an ambitious deacon
Felix, who had opposed his election and whom the saint treated with cordial charity.
His love of retirement induced him to build a monastery near his house at Ruspe ;
but before the building could be completed, orders were issued from King Thrasi
mund for his banishment to Sardinia, with others, to the number of sixty orthodox
bishops. Fulgentius, though the youngest of the band, was their oracle when in
doubt and their tongue and pen upon all occasions. Pope St Symmachus, out of
his fatherly charity, sent every year provisions in money and clothes to these
champions of Christ. A letter of this pope to them is still extant, in which he en
courages and comforts them; and it was at the same time that he sent them certain
relics of SSe Nazarius and Romanus, " that the example and patronage (patrocinia),"
as he expresses it, " of those generous soldiers of Christ might animate the confessors
to fight valiantly the battles of the Lord".
St Fulgentius with some companions converted a house at Cagliari into a
monastery, which immediately became the resort of all in affliction and of all who
sought counsel. In this retirement the saint composed many learned treatises for
the instruction of the faithful in Africa. King Thrasimund, hearing that he was
their principal support and advocate, sent for him. The Arian king then drew up
a set of objections, to which he required his answer; the saint complied with the
demand: and this is supposed to be his book entitled An Answer to Ten Objections.
The king admired his humility and learning, and the orthodox triumphed in the
advantage their cause gained by this rejoinder. To prevent the same effect a second
time, the king, when he sent him new objections, ordered them to be only read to
him. Fulgentius refused to give answers in writing unless he was allowed to take
a copy of them. He addressed, however, to the king an ample and modest con
futation of Arianism, which we have under the title of his Three Books to King
Thrasimund. The prince was pleased with the work, and granted him permission
to reside at Carthage till, upon repeated complaints from the Arian bishops of the
success of his preaching, he was sent back to Sardinia in 520. Being ready to go
aboard the ship, he said to a Catholic whom he saw weeping, " Grieve not; I shall
shortly return, and we shall see the true faith of Christ flourish again in this kingdom
with full liberty ; but divulge not this secret to any." The event confirmed the
truth of the prediction. His humility concealed the multiplicity of miracles which
he wrought; and he was wont to say, " A person may be endowed with the gift of
miracles, and yet may lose his soul. Miracles insure not salvation; they may
indeed procure esteem and applause; but what will it avail a man to be esteemed
on earth and afterwards be delivered up to torments?" Having returned to
Cagliari, he erected a new monastery near that city, and was careful to supply his
monks with all necessaries, especially in sickness; but would not suffer them to ask
for anything, alleging that" We ought to receive all things as from the hand of God,
with resignation and gratitude".
8
ST I-."ELIX OF BOURGES [January J

King Thrasimund died in 523, having nominated Hilderic his successor, and in
Africa the professors of the true faith called hon1e their pastors. The ship which
hrought them back was received at Carthage with great demonstrations of joy, more
particularly ,vhen Fulgentius appeared on the upper-deck of the vessel. The
confessors went straight to the church of St Agileus to return thanks to God; on
their way, being surprised by a sudden storm, the people, to sho\v their singular
regard for Fulgentius, made a kind of umbrella over his head with their cloaks to
defend him from the downpour. The saint hastened to Ruspe and immediately
set about reforming the abuses that had crept in during the seventy years of perse
cution; but this reformation was carried on with a sweetness that won sooner or
later the hearts of the rnost obdurate. 8t Fulgentius had a wonderful gift of oratory;
and Boniface, Archbishop of Carthage, never heard him \vithout te3rs, thanking
God for having given so great a pastor to His Church.
About a year before his death, Fulgentius retired into a monastery on the little
island called Circinia to prepare himself for his passage to eternity. The impor
tunities of his flock, however, recalled him to Ruspe a little before the end. He
hore the pain of his last illness with admirable patience, having this prayer almost
always upon his lips: "Lord, grant me patience now, and hereafter mercy and
pardon." 1"he physicians advised him to take baths, to whom he answered, " Can
baths make a mortal man escape death, when his life has reached its term? "
Summoning his clergy and monks, who were all in tears, he begged their forgiveness
if he had ever offended anyone of them; he comforted them, gave them son1e
moving instructions, and calmly breathed forth his soul in the year 533, of his
age the sixty-fifth, on January I, on which day his name occurs in many
calendars. In some fe"" churches his feast is kept on May I 6, perhaps the day
on which his relics were translated, about 714, to Bourges, in France, where they
were destroyed in the Revolution. The veneration for his virtues was such that he
was interred within the church, contrary to the law and custom of that age, as is
remarked by the author of his life. 8t Fulgentius had chosen the great 8t
Augustine for his Inodel; and as a true disciple, imitated him in his conduct,
faithfully imbibing his spirit and expounding his doctrine.

There is a trustworthy b~ography of this saint, written by a contemporary, whom many


belieye to have been his disciple, Fulgentius Ferrandus. It has been printed in the Acta
Sanetorum, January I, and elsewhere. See the important work of G. G. Lapeyre, St Fulgenee
de Ruspe (1929), which includes the vita in a separate volume. For an account of the theo
logical and controyersial ,vritings of 8t Fulgentius reference may be rnade to Bardenhewer's
Patrolof.!J' , pp. 616-618 in the English translation (1908) or to D'rC., vol. vi, cc. 968 seq.
See also Abbot Chapman in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. vi, pp. 316-317; and Dr H. R.
Reynolds in DCB., vol. ii, pp. 576-583.

ST FELIX, BISHOP OF BOURGES (c. A.D. 580)


NOT very much is known of this saint, but there can be no doubt regarding his
historical existence or the veneration in which he was held by his contemporaries.
8t C;ermanus of Paris officiated at his consecration; we cannot be sure of the exact
date. 8t Felix took part in the Council of Paris (A.D. 573), and Venantius Fortun
atus addressed a little poem to him commending a golden pyx (turris) which he had
had made for the reservation of the Eucharist. 8t Felix is commemorated in the
diocese of Bourges on January I, but the year of his death cannot be accurately
deterrnined. His tomb was in the church of 8t Austregisilus de Castro, outside the
9
January I] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

city walls. Twelve years after his death, as we learn from Gregory of Tours, the
slab covering his remains was replaced by another of more precious material. The
body was then found to be perfectly free from corruption, and numerous cures are
said to have been obtained by those who drank water in which some of the dust of
the old crumbling slab had been mingled.
See Duchesne, Fastes episcopaux de l'ancienne Gaule, vol. ii (1900), p. 28. Venantius
Fortunatus, Carmina, bk iii, no. 25 (Migne, PL., vol. lxxxviii, c. 473; in the text edited for
MGH. by F. Leo this poem is printed as bk iii, no. 20); and Gregory of Tours, In gloria
confessoru1n, c. 102, in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. i.

ST CLARUS, ABBOT (c. A.D. 660)


ST CLARUS, whose name was given him in his youth from his " brightness", not
so much in human learning as in his perception of the things of God, is believed to
have been made abbot of the monastery of St Marcellus at Vienne in Dauphine,
early in the seventh century. A Latin life, which must be more than a hundred
years later in date, relates many marvellous stories of the miracles he worked, but
it is probably trustworthy when it tells us that Clarus was first a monk in the abbey
of St Ferreol, that he was highly esteemed by Cadeoldus, Archbishop of Vienne,
that he was made spiritual director of the convent of St Blandina, where his own
mother and other widows took the veil, and that he ended his days (January I,
c. 660) as abbot of St Marcellus. His cultus was confirmed in 1903.
See Acta Sanctorum, January I, and M. Blanc, Vie et culte de S. Clair (2 vols., 1898).

ST PETER OF ATROA, ABBOT


A LIFE of St Peter of Atroa, who was born in 773 near Ephesus, was \vritten by one
of his own disciples and is still extant. It goes into some detail, but is principally
made up of edifying anecdotes of no great interest, particulars of the saint's numer
ous journeys and, above all, accounts of his even more numerous miracles.
He was the eldest of three children, and was christened Theophylact, and nobody
was surprised when, at the age of eighteen, he decided to be a monk. Directed, it
is said, by the All-holy Mother of God, he joined St Paul the Hesychast (Recluse)
at his hermitage at Crypta in Phrygia, who clothed Theophylact with the holy habit
and gave him the name of Peter. Immediately after his ordination to the priest
hood at Zygos some years later, at the very door of the church, there happened the
first wonder recorded of him, when he cured a man possessed by an unclean spirit.
Shortly afterwards St Peter accompanied his spiritual father on his first pil
grimage, when they directed their steps towards Jerusalem; but God in a vision
turned them aside, telling them to go to the Bithynian Olympus, where St Paul was
to establish a monastery at the chapel of St Zachary on the edge of the Atroa. This
accordingly was done, the monastery flourished, and before his death in 805 Paul
named Peter as his successor. He was then thirty-two years old, and the access
of responsibility made him redouble his fervour and his extreme austerities.
The monastery continued to flourish for another ten years, when St Peter
decided to disperse his community in the face of the persecution by the Emperor
It is perhaps desirable to remind the reader once for all that only Almighty God can
do nliracIes. The use of the above and similar expressions is permissible by custom, but
in fact the miracle is done by God through the agency or at the intercession of the saint
concerned.
10
ST PETER OF ATROA [January I

Leo the Armenian of those ""ho upheld the orthodox doctrine concerning the
veneration of images. Peter himself went first to Ephesus and then to Cyprus; on
his return, at a conference of some of his refugee brethren, he escaped arrest by
imperial troops only by making himself invisible. Then, with one companion,
Brother John, he continued his wanderings and visited his home, where his brother
Christopher and his widowed mother received the monastic habit at his hands. He
tried to settle down as a recluse in several places, one of which was Kalonoros, The
Beautiful Mountain, at the end of the Hellespont; but so great was his reputation
as a wonder-worker and reader of consciences that he was never left in peace for
long. But at Kalonoros he remained for some years, making journeys about
western Asia Minor from time to time, each of which was starred with miracles.
The death of Leo the Armenian in 820 made for a little more tranquillity in the
Church, and with the stimulus of persecution taken away for a time the pettiness of
small minds reasserted itself. Certain bishops and abbots, jealous of his popularity
and his miracles, accused 5t Peter of practising magic and of casting out devils by
the power of Beelzebub. \Vhen they refused to listen to his modest expostulations,
Peter decided to seek the advice of 5t Theodore 5tudites, who was living in exile
with some of his monks at Kreskentios, on the gulf of Nicomedia. When he had
made careful enquiry and questioned Peter closely, 5t Theodore wrote a letter (it
can be found in his works) to all the monks around Mount Olympus, declaring that
the conduct and doctrine of Peter of Atroa were irreproachable and that he was as
good a monk as could be found. The detractors were thus rebuked, and the
vindicated Peter returned to Kalonoros.
He then undertook the restoration of 5t Zachary's and the reorganization of two
other monastelies that he had established, taking up his own residence in a hermit
age at Atroa. But a few years later the Iconoclast troubles began again and, the
local bishop being an opponent of images, Peter judged it wise once more to disperse
his monks to more remote houses. He was only just in time, for soon after the
bishop came to 5t Zachary's with the intention of driving theln out and arresting
those who resisted. 5t Peter, meanwhile, having seen his community safely housed
elsewhere, stayed for a period with a famous recluse called James, near the Monas
tery of the Eunuchs on Mount Olympus. It was while staying here that he
miraculously cured of a fever 8t Paul, Bishop of Prusias, who had been driven from
his see by the image-breakers: the instrument of the bishop's cure was a good
square meal.
Persecution becoming more envenomed in Lydia, Peter and James retired to
the monastery of 5t Porphyrios on the Hellespont, but soon after 5t Peter decided
to go back to Olympus to visit his friend 5t Joannicius at Balea, from whence he
returned to his hermitage at 5t Zachary's. A few weeks later 5t Joannicius had a
vision: he seemed to be talking with Peter of Atroa, at the foot of a mountain whose
crest reached to the heavenly courts; and as they talked, two shining figures
appeared who, taking Peter one by each arm, bore him away upwards in a halo of
glory. At the same moment, in the church of 5t Zachary's, while the monks were
singing the night office with their abbot on a bed of sickness in the choir, death came
to 5t Peter of Atroa, after he had lovingly addressed his brethren for the last time.
It was January I, 837.
There seems to have been no liturgical cultus of St Peter of Atroa, but it is nevertheless
curious that his contemporary biography should have been ignored or overlooked by hagio
logists for so long. As is said above, it is largely taken up with the saint's miracles, but it is
II
January I] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS
interesting as a good specimen of ninth-century Byzantine hagiography and for what it tells
of monastic life during the Iconoclast troubles. Rescuing the manuscript" from wherever
the caprice of the learned had,hidden it ", as Fr V. Laurent puts it, Fr B. Menthon published
a translation in L'Unite de I'Eglise, nos. 60 and 71 (1934-35), as one chapter from his \vork
on Les moines de I'Olympe. Father Menthon was pastor of the Latin Catholics at Brusa, and
had an intimate kno\vledge of the topography and archaeology of the neighbouring mountain,
where scanty ruins of St Peter's monastery of St Zachary, and of numerous others, can still
be seen.

ST WILLIAM OF SAINT BENIGNUS, ABBOT (A.D. 103 I)


ST WILLIAM, who must be regarded as one of the remarkable men of his age, was
born in the castle of the island of San Giuglio, near Novara, in 962, at the very
time when this stronghold was being defended by his father, Count Robert of
Volpiano, against the besieging forces of the Emperor Otto. The garrison was
eventually forced to capitulate upon honourable terms, and the emperor and his
consort, laying aside all resentment, acted as sponsors to the newly-born infant.
He was educated in a monastery, and later became a monk at Locadio, near Vercelli.
In 987 he met St Majolus, and followed him to join the already famous abbey over
which the latter ruled at Cluny. The Cluniac reform was then rapidly extending
its sphere of influence, and William, after being sen~ for a while to reorganize the
monastery of Saint-Sernin on the Rhone, was finally chosen to go with twelve other
monks to revive the ancient foundation of Saint Benignus at Dijon. William now
received the priesthood and was blessed as abbot. In a short time the whole abbey
underwent a transformation both materially and spiritually. The edifice was
enlarged, a great minster was built, schools were opened, the arts encouraged,
hospitality developed, and works of charity in every form set on foot. Ultimately
the community of Saint Benignus became the centre of a great network of associated
monasteries, either reformed or newly founded, in Burgundy, Lorraine and Italy.
St William's own character was one in which great zeal and firmness were joined
with tender affection for his subjects. He did not hesitate on occasion to oppose,
both by action and by his writings, the most powerful rulers of his time, men like
the Emperor St Henry, Robert, King of France, and Pope John XIX, when he felt
the cause of justice was at stake. In the interests of the Cluniac reform he was
constantly active, making many journeys and travelling as far as Rome. His
biographer claims that he inspired St Odilo, who is also commemorated on this day,
with the love of high perfection, and amongst his other works he refounded Fecamp
in Normandy, a monastic institution which afterwards had an important influence
on the religious life in England. It was at Fecamp that St William breathed his
last, as day was dawning, on Sunday, January I, 131.
The life of William, written by his disciple Ralph Glaber shortly after his death, has been
printed by the Bollandists, by Mabillon, and others. See also E. Sackur, Die Cluniacenser;
Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vol. iii; G. Chevallier, Le Venerable Guillaume (1875);
and B.H.L., n. 1284.

ST ODILO, ABBOT
ODILO was very young when he received the monastic habit at Cluny from the hands
of St Mayeul or Majolus, by whose appointment he was made his coadjutor in 991,
though only twenty-nine years of age; and from the death of St Mayeul in 994 he
was charged with the entire government of that great abbey. Notwithstanding the
12
,....

ST ODILO [January I

austerities practised on himself, his dealings with others were always gentle and
kindly. It was usual with him to say that of the two extremes, he chose rather to
offend by tenderness than by a too rigid severity. In a great famine in 1006 his
liberality to the poor was by ~any censured as extravagant; for to relieve their
necessities he melted down the sacred vessels and ornaments, and sold the gold
crown which St Henry had presented to the abbey. Odilo journeyed to Rome four
times, and when out of devotion to St Benedict he paid a visit to Monte Cassino,
he earnestly begged leave to kiss the feet of all the mdhks, obtaining his request
with difficulty.
Under the rule of St Odilo the number of abbeys which accepted Cluniac
custorDS and supervision increased, and a greater degree of organization and de
pendence of the subordinate monasteries on Cluny developed. The particulars
varied somewhat according to the status of the monastery concerned and its distance
from the mother-house: but many priories were dependent on Cluny in the
strictest sense, and were controlled by her even to the extent of their superiors
being nominated by Cluny. In this and in other developments there was a
modification of principles laid down in the Rule of St Benedict, and historically a
distinction is made between Cluniac monks and Benedictines pure and simple.
Massacres and pillage were so common in that age, owing to the right claimed
by every petty lord to avenge his own injuries by private wars, that the agreement
called " the truce of God" was set on foot. By this, among other articles, it was
agreed that churches should be sanctuaries to all sorts of persons, except those that
violated this truce, and that from the Wednesday till the Monday morning no one
should offer violence to another. This pact met with much opposition among the
Neustrians, but was at length received and observed in most provinces of France,
through the exhortations and endeavours of St Odilo, and Richard, Abbot of Saint
Vanne, who were charged with this commission. Prince Casimir, son of Mice~law,
King of Poland, retired to Cluny, where he became a monk, and was ordained
deacon. He was afterwards, by a deputation of the nobility, called to the crown.
8t Odilo referred the matter to Pope Benedict IX, by whose dispensation Casimir
mounted the throne in 141, married, had several children, and reigned till his
death in 1058.
Itwas 8t Odilo who instituted the annual commemoration of all the faithful
departed on November 2, to be observed by the members of his community with
alms, prayers and sacrifices for the relief of the suffering souls in Purgatory; and
this charitable devotion he often much recommended. He was very devout to the
Blessed Virgin; and above all sacred mysteries to that of the divine Incarnation.
As the monks were singing that verse in the church, " Thou, about to take upon
thee to deliver man, didst not abhor the womb of a virgin", he was rapt in ecstasy
and swooned away. Most of his sermons and poems treat of the mysteries of our
redemption or of the Blessed Virgin. Having patiently suffered during five years
many painful diseases, St Odilo died at Souvigny, a priory in the Bourbonnais.
whilst employed in the visitation of his monasteries, on January 1, 1049, being then
eighty-seven years old, and having been fifty-six years abbot. He insisted on being
carried to the church to assist at the Divine Office, and he died, having received
the viaticum and extreme unction the day before, lying upon the ground on sack
cloth strewn with ashes.
See his life by his disciple Jotsald, edited by the Bollandists and ~1abiIIon. A portion
of the text lacking in these copies has been printed in the Neues Archiv (1890), vol. xv, pp.
13
January I] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
117 seq. Cf. also E. Sackur, Die Cluniacenser,. P. Jardet, Saint Odilon (1898); BHL., n.
908; and Mabillon, Annales, vol. i, p. 57. Ceillier demonstrates against Basnage that the
Life of St Alice the Empress is the work of St Odilo, no less than the Life of St Mayeul.
"r e have four letters, some poems, and several sermons of this saint, which may be found
in Migne, PL., cxlii. See also Neues Archiv (1899), vol. xxiv, pp. 628-735.

BD ZDISLAVA, MATRON

THIS holy associate of the Dominican Order was born early in the thirteenth
century in that part of Bohemia which now forms the diocese of Litomerice. Her
piety as a child was remarkable, and it is said that at the age of seven she ran off
into the forest with the intention of leading a solitary life given up entirely to prayer
and penance. She was, of course, brought back, and some years later, in spite of
her reluctance, she was constrained by her family to marry. Her husband, a
wealthy nobleman, to whom she bore four children, seems to have treated her
somewhat brutally, though by her patience and gentleness she secured in the end
considerable freedom of action in her practices of devotion, her austerities and her
many works of charity. She made herself at all times the mother of the poor, and
especially of the fugitives who, in those troublous days of the Tartar invasion,
poured down upon the castle of Gabel, where she and her husband resided. On
one occasion her husband, coming indignantly to eject a repulsive fever-stricken
mendicant to whom she had given a bed in their house, found in his place, not a
living man, but a figure of Christ crucified. Deeply impressed by this (c/. what is
said about a similar incident in the life of St Elizabeth of Hungary, November 19),
he seems to have left his wife free to found a Dominican priory and to join their
third order.
Zdislava had visions and ecstasies, and even in those days of infrequent com
munion she is said to have received the Blessed Sacrament almost daily. When
she fell grievously ill she consoled her husband and children by saying that she
hoped to help them more from the next world than she had ever been able to do
in this. She died on January I, 1252, was buried in the priory of St Laurence
which she had founded, and is stated to have appeared to her husband in glory
shortly after her death. This greatly strengthened him in his conversion from
a life of worldliness. The cult paid to her in her native country was approved
by Pope Pius X in 197. 1-'he alleged connection of Bd Zdislava Berka with
the third order of St Dominic remains sornewhat of a problem, for the first
forInal rule for Dominican tertiaries of which we have knowledge belongs to a
later date.
See Analecta Ecclesiastica (1907), p. 393 ; and M. C. Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines
(Paris, 19 13), pp. 49-67.

BD HUGOLINO OF GUALDO (A.D. 1260)


HARDLY anything appears to be recorded concerning the life of this religious
beyond the fact that he entered the Order of the Hermits of St Augustine, and that
somewhere about the year 1258 he took over a monastery in his native place, Gualdo
in Umbria, which monastery had formerly belonged to the Benedictines. There
he died in the odour of sanctity only a short time afterwards on January I, 126o.
It would seem that a local cult gradually grew up in the diocese of Spoleto, and that
his body, which for many months had remained incorrupt, was translated by
14
BD JOSEPH TOMMASI [January I

Bartholomew Accorambone, Bishop of Spoleto, to the parish church of SSe Antony


and Antoninus. This cult was confirmed in 1919.
For the decree confirmationis cultus from which the above is taken, see the Acta Apostolicae
Sedis for 1919, p. 181.

BD JOSEPH TOMMASI, CARDINAL OF THE HOLY ROMAN CHURCH


(A.D. 1713)
By the beatification of Cardinal Joseph Mary Tommasi, the Church may be said
to have set her seal upon the principle that neither profound learning nor the critical
spirit of accurate scholarship nor independence of judgement, so long as it is kept
in check by regard for dogmatic truth, are inconsistent with the highest sanctity.
Bd Joseph Tommasi has been described by a high modern authority, Edmund
Bishop, as " the prince of liturgists", and he has been honoured by Anglicans on
that ground almost as much as by Catholics; yet amid all his literary labours he
practised heroic virtue, and was faithful to the minutest observances of a strict
religious rule.
He was born on September 12, 1649, at Alicata in Sicily. His father was duke
of Palermo and prince of Lampedusa, with other honourable titles; his mother's
name was Rosalia Traino. They had already four daughters, who became nuns
in the Benedictine monastery at Palma founded by their father. One of them,
Isabella, the cardinal's great confidant (in religion Maria Crocifissa), is also a
candidate for beatification and may be styled" Venerable". No pains were spared
in Joseph's education, and even as a boy he was a good Greek scholar. The music
of the Church also had ever a great attraction for him, and before he was fifteen the
superior general of the Theatines was struck with his unusual ability. His distinct
call to the religious life came about this time-manifested in his increasing love of
prayer and solitude, and his growing distaste for the things of earth. Many
obstacles were in the way, besides his father's wish that he should take up a position
at court. One was most unexpected. His mother had already entered a convent
as an oblate or tertiary, and now his father determined to do the same and to leave
the world, making over everything to Joseph. However, after a time he gave his
consent to his son's fulfilling his vocation. He was drawn to the Theatine clerks
regular, as his uncle, Don Carlo, was a distinguished and most saintly member of
that order, and his vocation was finally determined by a sermon which he heard.
He entered the noviciate at Palermo in 1664, and after his profession, being very
delicate, he was sent to Palma for change and rest, giving great edification to all he
met. He next went to Messina to study Greek, thence to Rome and to the Uni
versities of Ferrara and Modena. In the process of beatification is a letter from
Mgr Cavalcante, Bishop of Pozzuoli, speaking of the great virtue, humility and love
of silence of the young religious.
A few years later we hear of a prophecy of Maria Crocifissa that her brother
would one day be a cardinal, accompanied by a sisterly reminder that, however fine
a horse's trappings may be, he still re~ains a horse. In 1673 Joseph was called to
Rome, being twenty-four years old. His superior offered to ordain him before the
full time, but he refused the offer. Maria Crocifissa wrote him a letter of encour
agement, telling him not to shrink from the priesthood, but to see that his soul was
like wax, ready to receive its indelible seal. "I give you ", she wrote, " the great
book of Christ crucified. Pass your time reading it, for I find your name inscribed
15
January r] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
there." He prepared most earnestly for his ordination, and sang his three Christ
mas lVlasses at San Silvestro, where for forty years, with the exception of a journey
to Loreto, he lived the ordinary life of his order. He was already looked upon as a
saint in Rome. At the very sight of him quarrels and disputes, unkind or loose
talk ceased. But Don Joseph, like all the chosen of God, passed through a time
of bitter spiritual trial and desolation. In 1675 he writes to Maria Crocifissa
imploring her prayers. She answered exhorting him to patience and humility in
accepting his cross from the hand of God, telling him that she, too, was not without
her spiritual trials. He answered that the days of actual physical martyrdom are
over, and that we are now in the days of hidden martyrdom, seen only by God; the
lesson of it all being trust in God. He was at this time so scrupulous that he could
not be allowed to hear confessions or preach.
Don Joseph's life was almost that of a hermit, devoted to prayer and study. He
made a special study of Greek philosophy, Holy Scripture and the Breviary. A
knowledge of eastern languages was a necessity, and his Hebrew teacher, Rabbi
Moses da Cave, owed his conversion from Judaism in 1698, at the age of seventy
and after long years of resistance, to the prayers of Don Giuseppe and his sisters.
His first book was an edition of the Speculum of St Augustine. In 1680 appeared
the Codices Sacrameniorum, being four texts of the most ancient liturgies he could
Ineet with. These precious documents had been stolen from the library of Fleury
Abbey, and dispersed by the Calvinists in the sixteenth century. They had been
gradually collected together again in Rome, partly by Queen Christina of Sweden.
Tommasi's work became celebrated and Mabillon transcribed a great part of it in
his Liturgia Gallicana. Out of modesty his next book, the Psalterium, was pub
lished under the name of Giuseppe Caro. It was a work of very great learning,
giving an account of the two most important translations of the psalms, the Roman
and the Gallican, and it opened up for liturgists a whole new field of research.
There were many other treatises of the same class, particularly on the A ntiphonarium,
all displaying great erudition and fervent piety. His work on the psalms attracted
the notice of Pope Innocent XII, and in 1697 Tommasi entered the Vatican, under
obedience, for the first time. The year 170 4 saw him appointed theologian to the
Congregation. of Discipline of Regulars. In this latter capacity he laboured for
the reform of the orders, and all who came in contact with him were impressed with
his zeal and holiness.
Don Tommasi, having been chosen as confessor by Cardinal Albani, had re
quired his penitent in 1700 to accept the papacy under pain of mortal sin. Soon
after, Clement XI insisted on raising the Theatine scholar to the cardinalate, saying,
Tommasi l' ha fatto a Noi, e Noi 10 faremo a lui. (" What Tommasi did to us, we
will do to him.") It was promptly refused, and the whole day was spent in dis
cussion between Don Tommasi and the high ecclesiastics. Eventually he wrote
the pope a grateful letter of thanks, " representing to your Holiness the obstacles
and impediments, my 'grave sins, my passions ill-controlled, my ignorance and want
of ability, and my conscience bound by vo~#s never to accept any dignity, which
make it imperative to implore from your Holiness the permission to refuse the
honour". This letter was read to the Congregation of the Holy Office, and Car
d~nal Ferrari was deputed by Clement to tell Tommasi that the same reasons
applied to him as to the pope, whom he had urged to accept the still more onerous
burden of the papacy_ Being finally persuaded that it was the will of God, he
submitted, saying, Oh via! sara per pochi mese (" Well! it will only be for a few
16
BD JOSEPH TOMMASI [January 1

months "), and went to receive the hat from his Holiness. He wrote to Maria
Crocifissa to implore her prayers, saying that Saul among the prophets fell terribly,
and that Judas was an apostle and perished.
Joseph Tommasi continued his simple life, going to choir with his brethren,
and as much as possible avoiding all ceremony. The members of his household
were dressed as poor people; amongst them was an old beggar, a converted Jew.
His food was of the plainest, and even of that he ate so little that his doctor remon
strated. The new cardinal took the title of San Martino ai Monti, remembering
that he had left home to begin his religious life on St Martin's day, and also because
it had been the title of St Charles Borrome~, who was his great pattern in his life
as cardinal. He found it necessary to leave his monastery ir: order to live near his
church, which belonged to the Carmelites, 1Vith whom he frequently joined in their
offices as one of themselves. People flocked from all over Rome to be present at
his Mass, whereat he allowed nothing but plainsong, accompanied by the organ
only. At the classes' of Christian doctrine on Sunday he himself instructed the
smallest children, explaining the catechism and singing hymns with them. Owing
to the extreme moral laxity of the day, he, with the pope's approval and following
the example of Borromeo, insisted on the separation of the sexes in the church and
in approaching the altar. This raised a storm of opposition and abuse, but he
persevered quietly in what he thought to be right.-
Bd Joseph was absorbed in the love of God, and often walked about hardly
knowing what he was doing. Those who served his Mass bore witness to the
extraordinary graces vouchsafed to him, and he was several times found in ecstasy
before the Blessed Sacrament or his crucifix. He showed his love for God's
creatures by his almsgiving and care for all who came to him in need-net even
allowing the birds to go hungry. The poor and suffering besieged his house and
pressed round him when he went out, just as long ago they pressed round his
Master. His humility had eve~, at times, been exaggerated, and his uncle Don
Carlo once reproved him for calling himself a ne'er-do-well, telling him not to be
abject but humble. To Maria Crocifissa he once called himself a tristo, which may
mean scoundrel, to which she replied that she must decline to correspond with such
a character. We read also of his patience in bearing constant bad health; of his
very severe bodily mortifications, and of the wise moderation of the advice he gave
to all who sought his help. He more than once foretold his own death, and when
in December 1712 Pope Clement fell ill, the cardinal observed, " The pope will
recover; I shall die." He chose the spot where he should be buried in the crypt
of his church, to which he went for the last time on St Thomas's day and joined the
friars at Compline. After the office, he made arrangements with the prior about
the alms to be given to the poor, advising him to keep back the coal as the cold
would increase after Christmas.
On Christmas eve he was very ill, but insisted on attending the services at St
Peter's, and offered his three Masses in his own chapel. He suffered greatly from
cold, and, refusing all food, could only sit crouching over the fire. Mter two days
he took to his bed. Hearing the lamentations of his famiglia and of the poor people
who were crowding into the lower part of the house, he sent them word that he
had asked the pope to provide for them. At times he was delirious, but his confessor
Separation of men from women at public worship is normal in most parts of the East,
and is considered theoretically desirable in the West too: c/. the Code of Canon Law,
canon 1262, I.
January 2] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

repeating the name of Jesus he recovered consciousness at once. He would not


have the prayers for the dying said until he asked for them. Very shortly before
his death he received viaticum, and thus strengthened by the Lord he had so dearly
loved, he passed quietly through thejanua caeli of death on January 1, 1713. Even
before his death the sick were healed through touching his clothing, and when the
end had come cures multiplied round his bier. Bd Joseph Tommasi was beatified
in 1803.
See D. Bernino, Vita del V. Card. G. ]vl. Tomasi (1722); and the anonymous Theatine
bio~raphy compiled from the process of beatification, Vita del B. Giuseppe ]vl. Tommasi
(1803). Vezzosi published a collected edition of his works in eleven volumes in Rome,
1747-1769; but some few tractates have only been printed in recent times by Cardinal G.
Mercati (Studi e Testi, vol. xv, 195), who points out that the beatus in signing his own name
spelt it with one " m "; but the commonly received form is Tommasi.

2 : THE HOLY NAME OF JESUS


" THOU shalt call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their
sins" (Matt. i 21). A feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is observed in the
Western church on the Sunday that falls between the Circumcision and
the Epiphany; and when there is no such Sunday, on this date, January 2. As
we honour Christ's passion summed up in the material cross, so the name Jesus
brings to the mind all that name stands for (cf. Phil. ii 9-10). " To speak of it
gives light; to think of it is the food of the soul; to call on it calms and soothes
the heart": so said St Bernard of Clairvaux, than whom no one has spoken of the
Holy Nanle more movingly or more profoundly.
The Council of Lyons in 1274 prescribed a special devotion towards the name
of Jesus, and it was to the Order of Preachers that Bd Gregory X specially turned
to spread it. But its great diffusion-in the face of a good deal of opposition-was
due to the two Friars Minor, St Bernardino of Siena and St John of Capistrano.
It was they who popularized the use of the monogram IHS, which is simply an
abbreviation of the name Jesus (Ihesus). The subsequent adoption of this mono
gram as part of the emblem of the Society of Jesus gave it a yet wider diffusion. A
feast of the Holy Name was granted by the Holy See to the Fraaciscans in 1530
and was subsequently allowed elsewhere. Not till 1721 was it extended to the
whole Western church, and it was not many years later that Pope Benedict XIV's
commission for the reform of the Breviary recommended that it should be with
drawn from the general calendar. The feast is in a sense only a double of the
Circumcision, and the lessons of the third nocturn at Matins are taken from St
Bernard's sermons on that mystery.
It is interesting to note that the Name of Jesus figures in the calendar of the
Book of Common Prayer, on August 7, the date selected by some late medieval
bishops in England and Scotland when they adopted the feast on their own
initiative. And Father Edward Caswall's translation of the lovely Vespers hymn,
Jesu dulcis memoria (anonymous, but often wrongly attributed to St Bernard), has
made it known perhaps better among Protestants than Catholics. St Bernardino
and St John of Capistrano may have been the originators of the Litany of the Holy
Name, which in fact is concerned' rather with the attributes of our Lord than with
His name: Bishop Challoner in the original Garden of the Soul calls it simply the
18
ST MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA [January 2

Litany of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The great English contribution to the devotion
was Jesu's Psalter, by the Bridgettine Richard Whytford, with its triple invocations
of Jesu. Nowadays it too often is printed in a debased form.
See the Acta Sanctorurtz, October, vol. x, pp. 319-320; C. Stengel, Sacrosancti nominis
Jesu cultus et miracula (1613); lives of St Bernardino of Siena; F. G. Holweck, Calen
darium liturgicum festorum Dei et Dei Matris (1925); and the issue of La Vie Spirituelle for
January 1952. For the Eastern tradition of the Holy Name, see La priere de Jesus (Cheve
togne, 1951). An account of the work and projects of Pope Benedict XIV's commission,
referred to above and elsewhere herein, may be most easily found in S. Baumer, Histoire du
breviaire, vol. ii (1905), cap. 12 (trans. from the German and supplemented by R. Biron).

ST MACARIUS OF ALEXANDRIA (c. A!>. 394)


ST MACARIUS the Younger, a citizen of Alexandria, followed the business of a
confectioner. Desirous to serve God with his whole heart, he forsook the world
in the flower of his age and spent upwards of sixty years in the desert in penance
and contemplation. He first retired into the Thebaid about the year 335. Having
acquired some proficiency in virtue under masters renowned for their sanctity,
he quitted Upper Egypt and came to the Lower before the year 373. In this part
were three deserts almost adjoining each other: that of Skete, on the borders of
Libya, that of the Cells, contiguous to the former, this name being given to it on
account of the hermit-cells with which it abounded; and a third, which reached
to the western branch of the Nile, called Nitria. St Macarius had a cell in each of
these deserts, but his chief residence was in that of the Cells. Each anchoret had
here a separate cell in which he spent his time, except on Saturday and Sunday
when all assembled in one church to celebrate and receive the divine mysteries.
When a stranger came to live among them, everyone offered him his cell, and was
ready to build another for himself. Their cells were not within sight of each other.
Their manual labour, which was that of making baskets or mats, did not interrupt
the prayer of the heart, and a profound silence reigned throughout the district.
Our saint here received the priesthood, and shone as a bright sun influencing this
holy company, whilst St Macarius the Elder lived no less eminent in the wilderness
of Skete. Palladius has recorded a memorable instance of the self-denial observed
by these hermits. A present was made to St Macarius of a newly-gathered bunch
of grapes; the holy man carried it to a neighbouring monk who was ill, and he sent
it to another. In this manner it passed to all the cells and was brought back to
Macarius, who was exceedingly rejoiced to perceive the abstinence of his brethren,
but would not eat the grapes himself.
The austerities of all the inhabitants of that desert were extraordinary, but St
Macarius went far beyond the rest. For seven years together he lived only on raw
vegetables and beans, and for the three following years contented himself with four
or five ounces of bread a day, and consumed only one little vessel of oil in a year,
as Palladius assures us. His watchings were not less surprising. God had given
him a body capable of bearing the greatest rigours; and his fervour was so intense
that whatever spiritual exercise he heard of or saw practised by others he resolved
to adopt for himself. The reputation of the monastery of Tabennisi, under St
Pachomius, drew him to this place in disguise, some time before the year 349. St
Pachomius told hirn that he seemed too far advanced in years to accustom himself
to their fastings and watchings; but at length admitted him on condition he would
observe all the rules. Lent approaching soon after, the monks prepared to pass
19
January 2] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
that holy time each according to his strength and fervour: some by fasting one,
others two, three or four days, without any nourishment; some standing all day,
others only sitting at their work. Macarius took palm-tree leaves steeped in water
as materials with which to occupy himself, and standing in a retired place passed
the \vhole time without eating, except for a few green cabbage leaves on Sundays.
His hands were employed in almost continual labour, and his heart conversed with
God. Such a prodigy astonished the monks, who even remonstrated with the
abbot at Easter deprecating a singularity which, if tolerated, might on several
accounts be prejudicial to their community. St Pachomius prayed to know who
this stranger was; and learning by revelation that he was the great Macarius,
en1braced him, thanked him for the edification he had given, and desired him, when
he returned to his desert, to offer up his prayers for them.
The virtue of this great saint was often exercised by temptations. One was a
suggestion to quit his desert and go to Rome to serve the sick in the hospitals;
which, on due reflection, he discovered to be a secret artifice of vainglory inciting
him to attract the eyes and esteem of the world. True humility alone could dis
cover the snare which lurked under the specious disguise of charity. Finding this
enemy extremely importunate, he threw himself on the ground in his cell, and cried
out to the fiends, " Drag me hence, if you can, by force, for I will not stir". Thus
he lay till night, but as soon as he arose they renewed the assault; and he, to stand
firm against them, filled two baskets with sand, and laying them on his shoulders,
set out to tramp the wilderness. A friend, meeting him, asked him what he was
doing, and made an offer to relieve him of his burden; but the saint only replied,
" I arn tormenting my tormentor". He returned home in the evening, freed from
the telTIptation. Palladius informs us that St Macarius, desiring to enjoy heavenly
contemplation at least for five days without interruption, immured himself within
his cell, and said to his soul, " Having taken up thy abode in Heaven where thou
hast God and His angels to converse with, see that thou descend not thence: regard
not earthly things." The first two days his heart overflowed with rapture; but
on the third he met with so violent a disturbance from the Devil, that he was
obliged to return to his usual manner of life. God oftentimes withdraws Himself,
as the saint observed on this occasion, to make religious people sensible of their
own weakness and to convince them that this life is a state of tria1. St Jerome and
others relate that a certain anchoret in N itria having left one hundred crowns at his
death, \vhich he had acquired by weaving cloth, the monks met to deliberate what
should be done with the money. Some were for having it given to the poor, others
to the Church: but Macarius, Pambo, Isidore and others, who were called The
Fathers, ordained that the one hundred crowns should be thrown into the grave,
and that at the same time should be pronounced the words, " May thy money be
with thee to perdition". This example struck terror into the monks and put an
end to the hoarding of money.
Palladius, who from 39 I lived for a time under our saint, was eye-witness of
several miracles wrought by him. He relates that a certain priest whose head was
consumed by a cancerous sore came to his cell, but was refused admittance ;
lVlacarius at first would not even speak to him. Palladius strove to prevail upon
him to give at least some answer to the unfortunate man. Macarius on the contrary
urged that God, to punish him for a sin of the flesh, had afflicted him with this
disorder: however, that upon his sincere repentance and promise never more to
celebrate the divine mysteries he would intercede for his cure. The priest con
20
ST MlJNCflIN [January 2

fessed his sin, \vith the prornise required. The saint thereupon absolved him by
the imposition of hands; and a few days after the priest came back perfectly healed,
glori~ying God and giving thanks to his servant.
The two saints of the name of Macarius happened one day to cross the Nile
together in a boat, when certain officers could not help observing to each other that
these men, from the cheerfulness of their aspect, must be happy in their poverty.
l\1acarius of Alexandria, alluding to their name, \vhich in Greek signifies happy,
made this ans\ver, " You have reason to call us happy, for this is our name. But
if \ve are happy in despising the world, are not you miserable who live slaves to it ? "
These words, uttered with a tone of voice expressive of an interior conviction of
their truth, had such an effect on the tribune who first spoke that, hastening home,
he distributed his fortune among the poor, and embraced an eremitical life.
In the desert of Nitria a monastery bearing the name of St Macarius survived
for many centuries. 8t Jerome, in his letter to Rusticus, seems to have copied
many things from a set of constitutions attributed to this saint. The Concordia
Regularum, or " collection of rules", gives another code under the names of the
two SSe Macarius, Serapion (of Arsinoe, or the other of Nitria), Paphnutius (of
Bekbale, priest of Skete), and thirty-four other abbots. According to this latter,
the monks fasted the whole year, except on Sundays and the time from Easter to
Whitsuntide; they observed the strictest poverty, and divided the day between
manual labour and prayer. Hospitality was much recommended, but for the sake
of recollection it was strictly forbidden for any monk, except one who was deputed
to entertain guests, ever to speak to any stranger without leave. The definition of
a monk or anchoret given by Abbot de Rance, of La Trappe, seems to trace the
portrait of the great Macarius in the desert. When, says he, a soul relishes God
in solitude, she thinks no more of anything but Heaven. This Macarius is namt=d
in the canon of the Coptic Mass.
See Palladius, Lausiac History, ch. 18, and Acta Sanctorum, January 2. Cj. Schiwietz,
Morgenlandische Miinchturn (1904), vol. i, pr. 104 seq.; Amelineau in Annales du Musee
Guimet, xxv, 235 seq.,. BHL., n. 757; Codex Regularurn in Migne, PL., vol. ciii; and
COllcordia Regularum, ed. H. Menard (1638). Although there may be some confusion in
the stories told regarding the different ascetics who bore the name Macarius, it is impossible
to identify this Macarius "the Younger" (of Alexandria) with Macarius the Elder (the
Egyptian), for Palladius distinctly tells us that he knew them both.

ST MUNCHIN, BISHOP (SEVENTH CENTURY)


THE martyrologies of Oengus, Tallaght and Gorman all mention on this day a
Munchin, who is also described as " the Wise", but that he was ever bishop of
Limerick, or bishop at all, seems most doubtful. There is no extant life of the
saint and the only data about his ancestry and career are to be found in the pedigree
of the Dal Cais, the ruling sept in north Munster during early Christian times.
Among the sept is numbered " Sedna from whom Maincin of Luimneach " in the
Book of Vi Maine. The rare references to Sedna's folk show that the territory of
his people lay by the coast of the present County Clare. The connection of
Maincin (the name means" Little Monk ") with the island at Limerick is explained
in another entry in the genealogy: "Dioma had three sons, Dubduin, Aindlid and
Feardomnach who gave Sibtand to Maincin of Luimneach". The donor's
brethren figure in well-vouched history and we are enabled to date the lifetime of
Munchin to the late seventh century. Inis Sibtand was the island at the head of
21
January 2] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

the Shannon tideway where in the early tenth century the Norsemen founded
Limerick.
St Munchin is the principal patron of the diocese of Limerick, and his feast is
kept throughout Ireland.
The substance of the above notice is due to Mgr Canon Michael Moloney, of Limerick.
Canon J. Begley's surmise in his history of the diocese of Limerick (1906), pp. 71-72, is no
more than an arbitrary guess. See also LIS., vol. i, pp. 27-34.

ST VINCENTIAN (A.D. 672 ?)


THE only information which we possess concerning this saint is quite untrustworthy.
It come to us in a biography which professes to have been written by a certain
deacon Hermenbert, who was his tutor when a boy but survived him long enough to
write this account. The life states that Vincentian lost his parents as a child and
was brought up by one Berald, Duke of Aquitaine, who eventually agreed to the
request of St Didier, Bishop of Cahors, that so promising a child should be trained
for the priesthood. But Berald died soon after, and his son and successor compelled
the bishop to send the youth back to the ducal household, where he was placed in
charge of the stables. In the interval Vincentian had acquired the habits of the
most fervent piety. He .gave away to the poor his clothes and his food, he refused
a bride who was pressed upon him, and, in the end, he was so cruelly beaten,
persecuted and threatened that he ran away and hid himself in the forest, leading a
solitary life as a hermit. It is useless to detail the extravagant miracles which mark
the different stages of the story. Eventually death came to release Vincentian at
the time which had been revealed to him in a vision, viz., January 2, 672. The
dead body was placed on a car to be drawn by two oxen to the spot which his
relics were destined to render famous. On the way a bear killed one of the oxen,
but a disciple of the saint commanded the bear to drag the car in the place of the
beast it had killed, and it at once obeyed.
The life has been printed by W. Levison in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v, pp. 112-128,
with an introduction in which he proves that the story cannot be the work of a contemporary
as pretended but that it is a pure fabrication, two or three hundred years later in date. See
also Bruno Kru~ch in Neues Archiv, vol. xviii, p. 561. There is nothing even to show that
such a person as St Vincentian ever existed.

ST ADALHARD, OR ADELARD, ABBOT

THE family of this holy monk was most illustrious, his father Bernard being son of
Charles Martel and brother of King Pepin, so that Adalhard was first cousin to
Charlemagne. He was only twenty years old when, in 773, he took the monastic
habit at Corbie in Picardy, a monastery that had been founded by Queen St Ba
thildis. The first employment assigned him was that of gardener, in which, whilst
his hands were employed in digging or weeding, his thoughts were on God and
heavenly things. The great example of his virtue defeated the projects of his
humility and did not suffer him to live long unknown, and some years after he was
chosen abbot. Being obliged by Charlemagne often to attend at court, he soon, in
fact, became the first among the king's counsellors, as he is styled by Hincmar, who
had seen him there in 796. He was even compelled by Charlemagne to quit his
monastery altogether, and act as chief minister to that prince's eldest son Pepin,
who, at his death at Milan in 810, appointed the saint tutor to his son Bernard.
22
BD AYRALD [January 2

After the death of Charlemagne, Adalhard was accused of supporting the revolt
of Bernard against Louis the Debonair, who banished him to a monastery in the
little island of Heri, called afterwards Noirmoutier, on the coast of Aquitaine. The
saint's brother Wala (one of the great men of that age, as appears from his curious
life, published by Mabillon) he obliged to become a monk at Lerins. This exile
8t Adalhard regarded as a great gain, and in it his tranquillity of soul met with no
interruptions. The emperor at length was made sensible of his innocence, and
after five years' banishment recalled him to court towards the close of the year 821 ;
but he soon had again to retire to his abbey at Corbie, where he delighted to take
upon himself the most humbling employments of the house. By his solicitude and
powerful example his spiritual children grew daily in fervour; and such was his
zeal for their advancement, that he passed no week without speaking to everyone
of them in particular, and no day without exhorting them all in general by his
discourses. The inhabitants of the country round had also a share in his labours,
and he expended upon the poor the revenues of his monastery with a profusion
which many condemned as excessive, but which Heaven sometimes approved by
sensible miracles. The good old man would receive advice from the least of his
monks. When entreated to moderate his austerities, he answered, " I will take
care of your servant", meaning himself, " that he may serve you the longer."
During his banishment another Adalhard, who governed the monastery by his
appointment, began at our saint's suggestion to prepare the foundation of the
monastery of New Corbie, commonly called Corvey, in the diocese of Paderborn,
that it might be a nursery of evangelical labourers for the conversion of the northern
nations. 8t Adalhard, after his return to Corbie, completed this undertaking, and
to perpetuate the strict observance which he established in his two monasteries he
compiled a book of statutes for their use, of which considerable fragments are
extant. Other works of 8t Adalhard are lost, but by those which we have, and also
by his disciples 8t Paschasius Radbertus, 8t Anskar and others, it is clear that he
was a zealous promoter of literature in his monasteries. Paschasius assures us
that he instructed the people not only in the Latin, but also in the Teutonic and
vulgar French languages. Alcuin, in a letter addressed to him under the name of
Antony, calls him his son, whence many infer that he had been scholar to that great
man. 8t Adalhard had just returned from Germany to Corbie, when he fell ill
three days before Christmas and died on January 2, 827, in his seventy-third year.
Upon proof of several miracles the body of the saint was translated with solemnity
in 1040; of which ceremony we have a full account, by an author, not 8t Gerard,
who also composed an office in his honour, in gratitude for having been cured of
intense pains in the bead through his intercession.
See his life, compiled with accuracy but in a tone of panegyric, by his disciple, Paschasius
Radbertus, printed in the Acta Sanctorum, and more correctly in Mabillon (vol. v, p. 306).
C/. also U. Berliere in DHG., vol. i, cc. 457-458; and BHL., n. II.

BD AYRALD, BISHOP OF MAURIENNE (A.D. 1146?)


THE identity of this holy bishop is involved in much confusion and obscurity. His
cultus was confirmed in 1863, and in the decree published on that occasion a sum
mary of his life is given.
If we may credit this account, he was a son of William II, Count of Burgundy.
Of his three brothers, one was elected pope under the name of Callistus II; another,
23
January 2] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
Raymond, became king of Castile; and the third, Henry, count of Portugal.
Ayrald himself, however, according to the same summary, entered the Carthusian
Order at Portes, and was made prior. From this life of seclusion he was called
away to rule the see of Maurienne, but we are told that he still paid long visits to
his old monastery to renew his spirit of fervour, and that he died at a comparatively
early age. While one Carthusian chronicler, Dom Le Vasseur, is in substantial
agreement with this account, assigning January 2, 1146, as the date of Ayrald's
death, another, Dom Le Couteulx, contradicts it at almost every point. The fact
seems to be that in the twelfth century there were three different bishops of
Maurienne named Ayrald or Ayrard. One of these, either the first or the third,
but not the second, had been a Carthusian monk at Portes.
In honour of the bishop who was beatified and with whom we are here concerned,
the following epitaph was engraved of old upon his tomb in the cathedral of
Maurienne:
Hic jacet Airaldus, claro de sanguine natus,
Portarum monachus, Pontificumque decus ;
Ecclesiae lumen, miserorum atq ue columen,
Virtute et signis splendidus innumeris.
" Here lies Ayrald, a man of noble blood, monk of
Portes, glory of pontiffs, a light of the Church, stay of the
unfortunate, shining with goodness and unnumbered
miracles. "
A lively controversy, of which a full bibliography may be found in U. Chevalier's
Repertoire--Bio-bibliographie, has been carried on regarding the identity of Bd Ayrald. See
especially C. F. Bellet, l.In probleme d'hagiographie (1901), and Truchet, Le B. Ayrald (1891) ;
also Le Vasseur, Ephemerides, vol. i, pp. 3-6; Le Couteulx, Annales Ord. Carth., vols. i,
382 seq., and ii, 43 seq. Cf. Historisches Jahrbuch, 1903, p. 142, and 190 4, p. 279.

BD STEPHANA QUINZANI, VIRGIN (A.D. 1530)


STEPHANA QUINZANI was born in 1457 near Brescia, of a middle-class family.
Strange things are related of her childhood, and she is said to have consecrated
herself to God at a very early age. Her precise vocation, however, was not decided
until her father and mother moved to Soncino, and she came under the influence
of the Dominicans. There she had a vision of St Andrew the Apostle holding a
cross. Receiving the habit of the third order of St Dominic, she spent her time in
nursing the sick and relieving the poor until she was able herself to found a convent
at Soncino. The most interesting document which has been preserved concerning
her is a contemporary account, drawn up in 1497 and signed by twenty-one wit
nesses, describing one of the ecstasies in which she represented in her own person
the different stages of the Passion, including the scourging, the crowning with
thorns and the nailing to the cross. In these ecstasies the wound marks, or
stigmata, seem to have shown themselves in her hands and feet, and her frame
became so rigid that the onlookers could not change her position or bend her limbs.
She is said to have performed many miracles of healing and to have multiplied
food and money.
The Legenda Volgare, from which all accounts of Bd Stephana ultimately derive,
is called by its editor, Mgr Guerrini, " a mystical romance in full flower, written as
ascetical edification rather than history, full of elevations and mystical ramblings
for women readers". Another source, the fragments of the beata's own letters,
ST CASPAR DEL BUFALO [January 2

has not yet been properly explored and studied; she corresponded with many
people in northern Italy. Bd Stephana died on January 2, 1530, and her cultus
was confirmed in 1740.
See P. de l\1icheli, La b. Stefana Quinzani: memorie e dorumenti, and P. Guerrini, La
prima Legenda Volgare de fa b. Stefana Quinzani (1930). See also M. C. Ganay, Les Bses.
Dominiraines (1913), pp. 4 13-434, and pp. 545--548 where is printed part of the refazione
referred to above.

ST CASPAR DEL BUFALO, FOUNDER OF THE MISSIONERS OF THE


PRECIOUS BLOOD (A.D. 1837)
CASPAR, who was born in Rome, the son of a chef, in 1786, received his education
at the Collegio Romano and was ordained priest in 1808. Shortly after this Rome
was taken by Napoleon's army, and he, ,vith most of the clergy, was exiled for
refusing to abjure his allegiance to the Holy See. He returned after the fall of
N"apoleon to find a wide scope for work, as Rome had for nearly five years been
almost entirely without priests and sacraments.
In 1814 he conducted a mission at Giano, in the diocese of Spoleto, and there
the idea of the Congregation of the Most Precious Blood first came to him. He
found a house at Giano suitable for his purpose, and with the help of Cardinal
Cristaldi, ever his kind friend, and the hearty approval of Pope Pius VII, the new
congregation ,vas formally approved in 1815. The house and adjoining church of
San Felice in Giano were given him by the pope. The second foundation was
made in 1819 and the third shortly afterwards at Albano. His wish was to have a
house in every diocese, the most neglected and wicked town or district being chosen.
The kingdom of Naples was in those days a nest of crime of every kind; no one's
life or property was safe, and in 1821 the pope wrote with his own hand to del
Bufalo asking him to found six houses there. He joyfully responded, but met with
endless difficulties before subjects and funds were collected. His biographer tells
us that Providence had scherzato (played practical jokes) with him, as over and over
again one difficulty was overcome only to be replaced by a greater; but by degrees
men gathered round him, and at last he could say he had more than all the money
he wanted.
Grave difficulties arose under Pope Leo XII; but these were cleared up, and
in 1824, the houses of the congregation were opened to young clergy ho wished'v
to be trained specially as missioners. The ideal was high, the work arduous. A
missioner, the founder said, like a soldier or sailor, must never give in, nlust be
ready for anything. He required from his sons not only devotion, but also hard
study. "ro evangelize the whole world, which was their aim, they must learn
foreign languages besides theology and Holy Scripture. In his life-time their work
covered the whole of Italy. Journeying from town to town, enduring endless
hardships, threatened often even with death, their founder always taking the most
arduous work himself, they preached their message.
Del Bufalo's biographer gives us a graphic account of a mission, describing its
successive stages~ Some of his methods were distinctly dramatic, e.g. the mis
sioners took the discipline in the public piazza, which always resulted in many
conversions. On the last day forbidden firearms, obscene books, and anything else
that might offend Almighty God were publicly burnt. A cross was erected in
memoriam, a solemn Te Deum sung, and the missioners went away quietly. Caspar
25
January 3] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

would often say at the end of a mission, exhausted but thankful, " If it is so sweet
to tire ourselves for God, what will it be to enjoy Him!" One of his principles
was that everybody should be made to work. He therefore founded works of
charity in Rome for young and old, rich and poor of both sexes. He opened the
night oratory, where our Lord is worshipped all night by men, many coming to
Him, like Nicodemus, by night who would not have the courage to go to confession
by day.
His last mission was preached in Rome at the Chiesa Nuova during the cholera
outbreak of 1836. Feeling his strength failing, he returned at once to Albano,
and made every preparation for death. He suffered terribly from cold, and at
night from parching thirst, but he would not take anything to drink, so that he
might be able to celebrate Mass. He asked to be left alone as much as
possible, that his prayer might be less interrupted. After the feast of St Francis
Xavier he went to Rome to die. On December 19 the doctor forbade him to
say Mass; he received the last sacraments on Decerrtber 28, and he died the
same day.
Various miracles had been worked by Don Caspar during his lifetime, and after
his death many graces were obtained by his intercession. We have, in fact, a long
list of cures and other miraculous occurrences. He was canonized in 1954.
See the summarium presented to the Congregation of Rites in the process of beatification,
and Sardi, Notizie intorno alia vita del beato Gaspare del Bufalo (1904). The English form
of the name Caspar or Gaspar is properly Jasper.

3 : ST ANTHERUS, POPE AND MARTYR (A.D. 236)


HE name of St Antherus occurs in the list of popes after that of St Pontian.

T He is believed to have been elected November 21, 235, and to have died
January 3, 23 6, thus reigning only forty-three days. Nothing certain is
known regarding his martyrdom, though the Liber Pontificalis states that he
was put to death for obtaining copies of the official proceedings against the martyrs
with the view of preserving them in the episcopal archives. He was buried
in the "papal crypt" in the catacombs (Cemetery of St Callistus), and the
site was discovered by de Rossi in 1854, together with the fragments of a Greek
inscription.
See Allard, Hist. des Persecutions, vol. ii, p. 212; G. B. de Rossi, Roma Sotteranea,
vol. ii, pp. 55 seq. and 180 seq.; and the Liber Pontificalis, ed. L. Duchesne (1886-1892),
vol. i, p. 147.

ST PETER BALSAM, MARTYR (A.D. 311)


PETER BALSAM, to follow the narrative of his published "acts", was a native of
the territory of Eleutheropolis in Palestine, who was apprehended at Aulana
in the persecution of Maximinus. Being brought before Severus, governor
of the province, the interrogatory began by asking him his name. Peter
answered, " Balsam is the name of my family; but I received that of Peter in
baptism."
SEVERUS: "Of what family and of v;hat country are you ? "
26
ST PETER BALSAM [January 3

PETER: "I am a Christian."


SEVERUS: "What is your employment? "
PETER: "What employment can I have more honourable, or what better thing
can I do in the world, than to live as a Christian ? "
SEVERUS: "Do you kno\v the imperial edicts ? "
PETER: "I know the laws of God, the sovereign of the universe."
SEVERUS: " You shall quickly know that there is an edict of the most clement
emperors, commanding all to sacrifice to the gods, or be put to death."
PETER: " You will also know one day that there is a law of the eternal King,
proclaiming that everyone shall perish who offers sacrifice to devils. Which do you
counsel me to obey, and which, think you, ought I to choose-to die by your sword,
or to be condemned to everlasting misery by the sentence of the great King, the
true God? "
SEVERUS: "Since you ask my advice, it is that you obey the edict, and sacrifice
to the gods."
PETER: "I can never be prevailed upon to sacrifice to gods of wood and stone,
as those are which you worship."
SEVERUS: "I would have you know that it is in my power to avenge these
affronts by putting you to death."
PETER: "I had no intention of affronting you. I only expressed what IS
written in the divine law."
SEVERUS: "Have compassion on yourself, and sacrifice."
PETER: "If I am truly compassionate to myself, I ought not to sacrifice."
SEVERUS: "I want to be lenient; I therefore still allow you time to reflect,
that you may save your life."
PETER: "This delay will be to no purpose for I shall not alter my mind; do
now what you will be obliged to do soon, and complete the work which the devil,
your father, has begun; for I will never do what Jesus Christ forbids me."
Severus, on hearing these words, ordered him to be stretched upon the rack,
and whilst he was suspended said to him scoffingly, " What say you now, Peter;
do you begin to know what the rack is? Are you yet willing to sacrifice ?" Peter
answered, "Tear me with hooks, and talk not of my sacrificing to your devils:
I have already told you, that I will sacrifice only to that God for whom I suffer."
Hereupon the governor commanded his tortures to be redoubled. The martyr,
far from any complaint, sung with alacrity those verses of the royal prophet, " One
thing I have asked of the Lord; this will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house
of the Lord all the days of my life. I will take the chalice of salvation, and will call
upon the name of the Lord." The spectators, seeing the martyr's blood run down
in streams, cried out to him, " Obey the emperors! Sacrifice, and rescue yourself
from these torments!" Peter replied, " Do you call these torments? I feel no
pain: but this I know, that if I be not faithful to my God I must expect real pain,
such as cannot be conceived." The judge also said, " Sacrifice, Peter Balsam, or
you will repent it."
PETER: "Neither will I sacrifice, nor shall I repent it."
SEVERUS: "I am on the point of pronouncing sentence."
PETER: "It is what I most earnestly desire." Severus then dictated the
sentence in this manner: "It is our order that Peter Balsam, for having refused
to obey the edict of the invincible emperors, and obstinately defending the law of
a crucified man, be himself nailed to a cross." Thus it was that this glorious
January 3] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

martyr finished his triumph, at Aulana, on January I I ; but he is honoured in the


Roman Martyrology on January 3.
There can be little doubt that Peter Balsam is to be identified with the martyr Peter
Abselamus, whom Eusebius (De Martyribus Palest., x, 2-3) describes as having been burnt
to death at Caesarea. For this and other reasons very different opinions have been held as
to the trustworthiness of the narrative given above. Ruinart, and even Bardenhewer
(Geschichte der altkirchl. Literatur, vol. ii, p. 640), treat the acts as authentic. P. Allard
(Hist. de!' persecutions, vol. v, p. 126) and H. Leclercq (Les Martyrs, vol. ii, p. 3 2 3) believe
them to have been compiled 'inaccurately; Father Delehaye more logically (Legendes Hagio
graphiques, p. 114) considers that the narrative must be regarded as a historical romance
founded on a basis of genuine fact. See also Harnack Chronol. Altchrist. Lit., vol. ii, p. 474.

ST GENEVIEVE, OR GENOVEFA, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 500)


GENEVIEVE'S father's name was Severns, and her mother's Gerontia; she was born
about the year 422 at Nanterre, a small village four miles from Paris, near Mont
Valerien. When St Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, went with 8t Lupus into
Britain to oppose the Pelagian heresy, he spent a night at Nanterre on his way. The
inhabitants flocked about them to receive their blessing, and St Germanus gave an
address, during which he took particular notice of Genevieve, though she was only
seven years of age. After h is sermon he inquired for her parents, and foretold their
daughter's future sanctity. He then asked Genevieve whether it was not her desire
to serve God 'only and to be naught else hut a spouse of Jesus Christ. She answered
that this was what she desired, and begged that by his blessing she might be from
that moment consecrated to God. The holy prelate went to the church, followed
by the people, and during the long singing of psalms and prayers, says Constantius
-that iS l during the recital of None and Vespers, as one text of the Life of St
Genevieve expresses it-he laid his hand upon the maiden's head. After he had
supped he dismissed her, telling her parents to bring her again to him the next
morning. The father obeyed, and 8t Germanus asked the child whether she
remembered the promise she had made to God. She said she did, and declared
that she hoped to keep her word. The bishop gave her a medal or coin, on which
a cross was engraved, to wear about her neck, in memory of the consecration she had
received the day before; and he charged her never to wear bracelets or jewels or
other trinkets. The author of her life tells us that the child, begging one day that
she might go to church, her mother struck her on the face, but in punishment lost
her sight; she only recovered it two months after, by washing her eyes with water
which her daughter fetched from the well and over which she had made the sign
of the cross. Hence the people look upon the well at N anterre as having been
blessed by the saint.
When she was about fifteen years of age, Genevieve was presented to the bishop
of Paris to receive the religious veil, together with two other girls. Though she
was the youngest of the three, the bishop gave her the first place, saying that
Heaven had already sanctified her, by which he seems to have alluded to her
promise of consecrating herself to God. From that time she frequently ate only
twice in the week, on Sundays and Thursdays, and her food was barley bread with
a few beans. After the death of her parents she left Nanterre, and settled with her
godmother in Paris, but sometimes undertook journeys for motives of charity. The
cities of Meaux, Laon, Tours, Orleans and all other places she visited bore witness
to her miracles and remarkable predictions. God permitted her to meet with some
28
ST GENEVIEVE, OR GENOVEFA [January 3
severe trials; for at a certain time everybody seemed to be against her, and perse
cuted her under the opprobrious names of visionary, hypocrite and the like. The
arrival of St Germanus at Paris, probably on his second journey to Britain, for some
time silenced her calumniators; but it was not long before the storm broke out
anew. Her enemies were fully determined to discredit and even to drown her,
when the archdeacon of Auxerre arrived with eulogiae, blessed bread, sent her by
St Germanus as a testimony of his particular esteem and a token of communion.
This seems to have happened whilst Gerlnanus was absent in Italy in 448. The
tribute thus paid her converted the prejudices of her calumniators into veneration
for the remainder of her life.
The Franks had at this time gained possession of the better part of Gaul, and
Childeric, their king, took Paris. During the long blockade of that city, the citizens
being reduced to extremities by famine, St Genevieve, as the author of her life
relates, went out at the head of a company who were sent to procure provisions,
and brought back from Arcis-sur-Aube and Troyes several boats laden with corn.
Childeric, when he had made himself master of Paris, though always a pagan,
respected St Genevieve, and upon her intercession spared the lives of many
prisoners and did other generous acts. She also a\vakened the zeal of many persons
to build a church in honour of St Dionysius of Paris, which King Dagobert I
afterwards rebuilt with a monastery in 629. St Genevieve likewise undertook many
pilgrimages, in company with other maidens, to the shrine of St Martin at Tours,
and the reputation of her holiness is said to have been so great that her fame even
reached St Simeon Stylites in Syria. King Clovis, who embraced the faith in '496,
often listened with deference to St Genevieve, and more than once granted liberty
to captives at her request. Upon the report of the march of Attila with hi~ army
of Huns the Parisians were preparing to abandon their city, but St Genevieve, like
a Christian Judith or Esther, encouraged them to avert the scourge by fasting and
prayer. Many of her o\vn sex passed whole days with her in prayer in the bap
tistery; from whence the particular devotion to St Genevieve, formerly practised
at S.-Jean-Ie-Rond, the ancient public baptistery of the church of Paris, seems to
have taken rise. She assured the people of the protection of Heaven, and though
she was treated by many as an impostor, the event verified the prediction, for the
barbarous invader suddenly changed the course of his march. Our author attri
Dutes to St Genevieve the first suggestion of the church which Clovis began to build
in honour of SSe Peter and Paul, in deference to the wishes of his wife, St Clotilda,
in which church the body of 8t Genevieve herself was enshrined after her death
about the year 500.
The miracles which were performed there from the time of her burial rendered
this church famous over all France, so that at length it began to be known by her
name. The fabric, however, fell into decay, and a new church was begun in 1764.
This has long been secularized and, under the name of the Pantheon, is now used
as a national mausoleum. The city of Paris has frequently received sensible proofs
of the divine protection, through St Genevieve's intercession. The most famous
instance is that called the miracle des Ardents, or of the burning fever. In 1129 a
disease, apparently poisoning by ergot, swept off in a short time many thousand
persons, nor could the art of physicians afford any relief. Stephen, Bishop of
Paris, with the clergy and people, implored the divine mercy by fasting and sup
plications. Yet the epidemic did not abate till the shrine of St Genevieve was
carried in a solemn procession to the cathedral. Many sick persons were cured by
29
January 4] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
touching the shrine, and of all who then were suffering from the disease in the whole
town only three died, and no others fell ill. Pope Innocent II, coming to Paris the
year following, after due investigation ordered an annual festival in commemoration
of the miracle on November 26, which is still kept in Paris. It was formerly the
custom, in extraordinary public calamities, to carry the shrine of St Genevieve in
procession to the cathedral. The greater part of the relics of the saint were
destroyed or pillaged at the French Revolution.
The ancient life of S t Genevieve from which most of the above account is derived, and
which purports to h ave been written by a contemporary eighteen years after the saint's death,
has been the subjec t of keen controversy. There are three principal recensions of it, known
respectively as the A, Band C texts. Text A has been edited by B. Krusch in MGtI.,
Scriptores Merov., vol. iii (1896). Text B is printed in the very valuable essay of C. Kohler,
Etude critique sur Ie texte de la vie laline de Sainte Genevieve (1881), and Text C may be found
in the Teubner edition of the Vita Sanctae Genovefae, edited by C. Ktinstle in 1910. Al
though Text C has in its favour the authority of the oldest malluscripts (eighth century), the
priority of tha t recension is by no means generally admitted. But the more important
controversy is that regarding the authenticity of the life itself. Bruno Krusch declares it
to be a forgery, and that the author, instead of being a contemporary as he pretends, did not
compile the life until more than 250 years later, to\vards the close of the eighth century. It
is impossible here to do more than mention the acrimonious discussion to which Krusch's
pronouncement has given rise. It must be sufficient to say that his views have by no means
carried with them the support of the majority of competent critics. Such scholars as Mgr
Duchesne, Prof. G. Kurth, C. Ktinstle and A. Poncelet strenuously maintain that the life
was really written by a contemporary, and that, so far as regards the substance of its contents,
it is trustworthy. Readers will find an excellent summary of all that is really known about
St Genevieve in H. Les~tre, Ste Genevieve (in the series" Les Saints "), and in the essay of
E. Vacandard, Etudes de critique, vol. iv, pp. 67-124, and 255-266. For a charming popular
account of the saint, see M. Reynes-Monlaur, Ste Genevieve (1924). A story in the life tells
how the devil, when St Genevieve went to pray in the church at night, blew out her candle to
frighten her. She is, therefore, often represented in art with a candle. Sometimes the devil
and a pair of bellows are also depicted beside her.

ST BERTILIA OF MAREUIL, WIDOW (EIGHTH CENTURY)

THE life of St Bertilia was an uneventful one. Born of noble parents, she spent her
youth in exercises of charity. In due time she married a noble youth, and they
spent their lives helping the poor and sick. On the death of her husband she lived
the life of a solitary at Mareuil in the diocese of Arras, where she built a church
which her cell adjoined. She died early in the eighth century, and must be
distinguished from her contemporary St Bertila of Chelles.
See Acta SanctorU'm, January 3; Parenty, Histoire de Ste Bertilie (1847); Destombes,
Vies des saints des dioceses de Cambrai et d'Arras, vol. i, pp. 37 seq. ,. and P. Bertin, Ste Bertille
de Marreuil (1943). W. Levison has produced a critical edition of the text of the life, with
a valuable introduction, in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. vi, pp. 95-19.

4 : ST GREGORY, BISHOP OF LANGRES (A.D. 539)

T
HIS saint is well known to us from the writings of St Gregory of Tours,
who was his great-grandson. Of very distinguished birth, he for forty
years governed the district of Autun as count (comes), administering justice
equitably but sternly. It was only late in life, after the death of his wife Armentaria,
that he turned from the world and gave himself unreservedly to God. The clergy
3
ST PHARAiLDIS [January 4
and people then elected him bishop of Langres, and for the rest of his days he
showed an admirable example of devotion to his pastoral duties. His abstemious
ness in food and drink, which he was ingenious in concealing from the knowledge
of others, was remarkable, and he often gave the hours of the night to prayer,
frequenting especially the baptistery of Dijon, in which town he commonly lived.
There the saints came to visit him and join him in chanting the praises of God; in
particular St Benignus, the apostle of Burgundy, whose cuitus he had at first
neglected, after some words of fatherly rebuke directed him to restore his dilapidated
shrine, which has ever since been so famous in Dijon. It was here that Gregory
himself, who died at Langres in 539, was brought to be buried in accordance with
his own desire. His epitaph, composed by Venantius Fortunatus, suggests that
any severity he had displayed as a secular ruler was expiated by the tender charity
he showed to all in his last years. Even in the miracles recorded after death he
seemed to give the preference to. captives who had been arrested by the officers of
human justice.
See Gregory of Tours, Vitae patrum, bk vii; Historia Francorum, bks iii, iv and v; and
De gloria martyrum, Ii. L. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, pp. 185-186; DeB., vol. ii,
P77.

ST PHARAILDIS, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 740)


THERE is a great deal which is extremely confused and improbable in the accounts
preserved to us of this Belgian saint, and it is difficult to know how much of her
legend can be regarded as based on historical fact. The main feature of her story
is that, though she had secretly consecrated her virginity to God, she was given in
marriage by her parents to a wealthy suitor, without any adequate consent on her
part. Resolutely determined to keep her vow, she refused to live with him
maritalement, and .he on his part treated her brutally. God protected her, until
at last the husband died. Little else is recorded of her except miracles and the
numerous translations of her remains. There cannot, however, be any doubt that
she became a very popular saint in Flanders, and that her cultus supplies abundant
matter of interest to the student of folklore. Among her own countryfolk she is
called most commonly St Varelde, Verylde or Veerle. She is represented some
times with a goose, sometimes with loaves of bread, and more rarely with a cat.
The goose may have reference to a story told of her, as also of St Werburga, that
when a goose had been plucked and cooked the saint restored it to life and full
plumage. But it may also be connected with the city of Ghent or Gand, where
her relics repose, for in Flemish, as in German, gans (c/. English" gander ") means
a goose. The bread without doubt must have been suggested by a miracle said to
have been worked beside her tomb, when an uncharitable woman who had been
asked to give a loaf to a beggar declared that she had none, and then discovered that
the loaves she had been hiding were turned into stones. St Pharaildis is also
supposed to have caused a fountain of water to spring out of the ground at Bruay,
near Valenciennes, to relieve the thirst of the harvesters who were reaping for her.
The water of this spring is believed to be of efficacy in children's disorders, and she
is constantly invoked by mothers who are anxious about the health of their little ones.
See Hautecreur, Actes de Ste Pharaildis (1882); Destombes, Vies des saints de Cambrai
et 4rras, vol. i, pp. 30-36; L. van cler Essen, Etude critique sur les Vitae des saints merovingiens
(197), pp. 303 sefJ ,. If. Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie (1896), vol. ii, p. 583.

31
January 4] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

ST RIGOBERT, ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS (c. A.D. 745)


RIGOBERT seems to have been first of all abbot of Orbais, and afterwards to have
been elected to the see of Rheims, but it is not easy to adjust the chronology, and
his life, written llluch later, at the close of the ninth century, cannot be depended
upon. St Rigobert, it would appear, offended Charles Martel because he would
not takes sides against Raganfred, the mayor of N eustria. Charles accordingly
banished Rigobert to Gascony and gave his bishopric to Milon, who already held
the temporalities of the see of Trier. In the end some compromise was effected,
and the saint was allowed again to officiate in Rheims. His patient acceptance of
all trials, his love of retirement and prayer, and the miraculous cures attributed to
him, gained him the repute of high sanctity. He must have died between 740
and 750.
See Acta Sanetorum, January 4; Levison in MGH., Seriptores Merov., vol. vii, pp. 54-80 ;
and Duchesne, Fastes Episeopaux, vol. iii, pp. 85-86. There is a very important general
paper on Charles Martel and his bishops: "Milo et eiusmodi similes", by Eugen Ewig, in
St Bonzfatius. Gedenkgabe zum zwiilfhundertjiihrigen Todestag (Fulda, 1954), pp. 412-44.

BD ROGER OF ELLANT (A.D. 1160)


BD ROGER OF ELLANT takes his name from the monastery of Ellant in the diocese
of Rheims, founded by him in the twelfth century. By birth an Englishman, he
had crossed over to France and entered the Cistercian monastery of Lorroy in
Berry. Noted for his poverty and his exactness in carrying out the rule, he was
chosen to found and build a new monastery at Ellant. The sick and the suffering
were the object of his particular care. A chapel was dedicated in his honour in the
abbey church where his body was buried. He died January 4, 1160.
See Acta Sanetorum, January 4; and Gallia Christiana, vol. ix, p. 3 10.

BD ORINGA, VIRGIN (A.D. 1310)


ALTHOUGH there is no reason to doubt her historical existence, the story of Bd
Oringa's life, told by biographers of late date, is little more than legend. She
seems to have been born and also to have spent her last years at Castello di Santa
Croce in the valley of the Arno. It is also probably true that she gathered round
her a band of devout women and lived with them under the Rule of St Augustine.
But the rest is a patchwork of vague traditions worked up with fictitious embellish
ments. As a child, when she tended the cattle, we are told that she went aside to
pray, bidding the dumb beasts not to touch the crops, and that they always obeyed
her. Her brothers beat her because she refused to marry, but she took refuge in
the river, or crossed it, without ever getting wet. At length Oringa ran away from
home. Night came upon her before she could reach Lucca, her destination, but
a hare came to her, played with her, and finally went to sleep in her arms. In the
morning it ran before her and guided her safely to the town for which she was
bound. After many pilgrimages and adventures, during which she was always
protected from harm, leading a life of extreme poverty and continuai prayer, she
returned to her native place and founded a convent there.
See Acta Sanetorum, under January 10 (The Augustinians keep her feast on January 4) ;
and a popular sketch by M. Baciocchi de Peon, La vergine Oringa (1926).

32
S1' SYNCLETICA [January 5

5 : ST TELESPHORUS, POPE AND MARTYR (c. A.D. 136)


T TELESPHORUS, who figures in the list of popes as the seventh bishop of Rome,

S is said to have been a Greek by birth. Towards the year 126 he succeeded St
Sixtus I, and saw the havoc which the persecution of Hadrian made in the
Church. "I-Ie ended his life by a glorious martyrdom", says Eusebius, and he is the
first one of the successors of St Peter whom St Irenaeus and other early writers refer
to as a martyr. The ordinances attributed to him in the Liber Pontificalis, e.g.
that the Mass of Christmas-a feast that did not then exist-should be celebrated
at midnight, cannot with any probability be ascribed to his pontificate. St Teles
phorus is commemorated to-day in the Mass and Office of the vigil of the Epiphany.
See the Acta Sanctorum, January 5; and the Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne), vol. i,
p. 129. In the calendar of the Carmelites this pope is claimed as a member of their order,
but it is difficult to understand what historical basis can be pleaded for such a claim.

ST APOLLINARIS, VIRGIN (No DATE)


ALTHOUGH the Roman Martyrology on January 5 has an entry, "In Egypt, St
Apollinaris, Virgin", the pretended biography which is found in the Metaphrast
and the Greek menaia, under the name of Apollinaris Syncletica, belongs to the
category of religious romances. It turns on the familiar theme of a girl putting
on male attire and living for many years undiscovered. In this case Apollinaris,
who is the daughter of the " Elnperor" Anthemius, runs away from home, dis
guises herself as a man, calls herself Dorotheus, and leads a hermitical life in the
desert under the direction of the renowned ascetic, Macarius. Meanwhile her
sister at home is possessed by the devil, and being brought to the desert to be
exorcised, is eventually consigned to the care of " Dorotheus ". The sister is
restored to her right mind, but owing to the machinations of the Evil One, " Doro
theus " is suspected of improper conduct. She is brought before her own father
to answer the charge and then reveals herself to him. I-Io\vever, after obtaining
her sister's complete cure by her prayers, she insists on returning to the desert,
where her sex is only discovered by her fellow hermits after her death. The entry
has probably been attracted to this day by the identity of the name Syncletica with
that of the saint who is commemorated on the previous day in the Greek synaxaries
and today in the Roman Martyrology (see below).
See Acta Sane/orum, January 5; and c/. herein St Pelagia, under October 8.

ST SYNCLETICA VIRGIN (c. A.D. 400)


SHE was born at Alexandria in Egypt, of wealthy Macedonian parents. Her great
fortune and beauty induced many young men to become her suitors, but she had
already bestowed her heart on her heavenly Spouse. Flight was her refuge against
exterior assaults, and, regarding herself as her own most dangerous enemy, she
began early to subdue her flesh by fasts and other mortifications. She never
seemed to suffer more than when obliged to eat oftener than she desired. I-Ier
parents at their death left her sole heiress to their estate, for her two brothers had
died before them and her sister, being blind, was cOITln1itted entirely to her
guardianship. Syncletica, having distributed her fortune among the poor, retired
with her sister to a disused sepulchral chamber on the estate of a relative, where,
33
January 5J THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
having sent for a priest, she cut off her hair in his presence as a sign whereby she
re nounced the world and renewed the consecration of herself to God. Prayer
an d good works were from that time her principal employment; but her strict
retirement, by concealing her from the eyes of the world, has deprived us in a great
measure of the knowledge of them.
l\1any women resorted to her to ask counsel, and her humility made her un
willing to take upon herself the task of instructing; but charity gave her courage
to speak. Her discourses were inspired with so much zeal and accompanied by
such an unfeigned humility that no words can express the deep impression they
made on her hearers. "Oh", exclaimed Syncletica, " how happy should we be,
did we but take as much pains to gain Heaven and please God as worldlings do to
heap up riches and perishable goods! By land they venture among thieves and
robbers; at sea they expose themselves to winds and waves; they suffer shipwrecks
and perils; they attempt all, dare all, hazard all: but we, in serving so great a
Master, for so immense a good, are afraid of every contradiction." She frequently
inculcated the virtue of humility: "A treasure is secure so long as it remains
concealed; but when once disclosed, and laid open to every bold invader, it is
presently rifled; so virtue is safe as long as it is secret, but if rashly exposed, it but
too often evaporates in smoke." By these and the like discourses did this devout
woman excite others to charity, vigilance and every other virtue.
In the eightieth year of her age St Syncletica was seized with an inward burning
fever; at the same time her lungs were attacked, and a gangrenous affection ate
away her jaws and mouth. She bore all with incredible patience and resignation,
and during the last three months of her life she found no repose. Though the
cancer had robbed her of speech, her patience served to preach to others more
movingly than words could have done. Three days before her death she foresaw
that on the third day she would be released from the prison of her body; and when
the hour came, surrounded by a heavenly light and ravished by consoling visions,
she surrendered her soul into the hand3 of her Creator, in the eighty-fourth year
of her age.
The ancient beautiful life of St Syncletica is quoted in the Lives of the Fathers published
by Rosweyde, bk i, and in the writings of St John Climacus. It appears from the work itself
that the author was personally acquainted with the saint. It has beer.. ascribed to St Athanasius,
but without sufficient grounds. See Acta Sanctorum for January 5.

ST SIMEON THE STYLITE (A.D. 459)


ST SIMEON was, in his life and conduct, a subject of astonishment not only to the
whole Roman empire, but also to many barbarous and infidel peoples who had the
highest veneration for him. The Roman emperors solicited his prayers, and con
sulted him on matters of importance. It must, nevertheless, be acknowledged
that his most remarkable actions are a subject of admiration, not of imitation.
They may serve, notwithstanding, for our spiritual edification, as we cannot well
reflect on his fervour without being confounded at our own indolence in the ser
vice of God.
St Simeon was the son of a shepherd in Cilicia, on the borders of Syria, and at
first kept his father's sheep. Being only thirteen years of age, about the year 42,
he was much moved by hearing the beatitudes one day read in church, particularly
the words, " Blessed are they that mourn; blessed are the clean of heart". The
youth addressed himself to a certain old man to learn their meaning, and begged
34
ST SIMEON THE STYLITE [January 5

to know how the happiness they promised was to be obtained. He was told that
continual prayer, watching, fasting, weeping, humiliation and the patient suffering
of persecution were pointed out by these texts as the road to true happiness; and
that a solitary life afforded the best opportunity for the practice of virtue. Simeon
upon this withdrew to a little distance where, falling upon the ground, he besought
Him who desires all to be saved to conduct him in the paths which lead to happiness
and perfection. At length, falling asleep, he had a vision, which he often related
afterwards. He seemed to himself to be digging for the foundation of a house,
and that as often as he stopped to take a little breath, which was four times, he was
commanded each time to dig deeper, till at length he was told he might desist, the
pit being deep enough to receive the intended foundation, on which he would be
able to raise a superstructure of what kind and to what height he pleased. "The
event", says Theodoret, "verified the prediction; the actions of this wonderful
man were so much above nature, that they might well require deep foundations to
build such a structure securely."
Rising from the ground, he went to a monastery near at hand ruled by an abbot
called Timothy. There he remained at the gate for several days, without either
eating or drinking, begging to be admitted on the footing of the lowest servant in
the house. His petition was granted, and he complied with the terms of it for four
months. During this time he learned the psalter by heart, and his familiarity with
the sacred words greatly helped to nourish his soul. Though still no more than
a boy, he practised all the austerities of the house, and by his humility and charity
gained the good-will of all the monks. Having here spent two years, he removed
to the monastery of Heliodorus, who had spent sixty-two years in that community
so abstracted from the world as to be utterly ignorant of it, as Theodoret relates,
who knew him well. Here Simeon much increased his mortifications. Judging
the tough rope of the well, made of twisted palm leaves, a proper instrument of
penance, he tied it close about his naked body, where it remained, unknown both
to the community and his superior, till it ate into his flesh. Three days successively
his clothes, which clung to it, had to be softened with liquids to disengage them;
and the incisions made to cut the cord out of his body were attended with such pain
that he lay for some time as dead. On his recovery the abbot, as a warning to the
rest to avoid such dangerous singularities, dismissed him.
After this he repaired to a hermitage at the foot of Mount Telanissae, where he
resolved to pass the whole forty days of Lent in total abstinence, after the example
of Christ, without either eating or drinking. Bassus, a priest to whom he com
municated his design, gave him ten loaves and some water, that he might eat if he
found it necessary. At the expiration of the forty days Bassus came to visit him,
and found the loaves and water untouched, but Simeon lay stretched on the ground
almost without any signs of life. Taking a sponge, he moistened his lips with
water, then gave him the blessed Eucharist. Simeon having recovered a little,
rose up, and by degrees found himself able to swallow a few lettuce-leaves. 1'his
was his method of keeping Lent during the remainder of his life; and he had
passed twenty-six Lents after this manner when Theodoret wrote his account of
him; in which he adds other particulars-that Simeon spent the first part of Lent
in praising God standing; growing weaker, he continued his prayer sitting; while
towards the end, being unable to support himself in any other posture, he lay on
the ground. However, it is probable that in his advanced years he admitted some
mitigation of this incredible austerity. When on his pillar, he kept himself during
35
January 5] 'fl--lE LIVES OF l'l-1E SAINTS
this fast tied to a pole; but in the end was able to fast the whole term without any
support. Some attribute this to the strength of his constitution, which was
naturally very robust, and had been gradually habituated to an extreme privation
of food. It is well kno\vn that the hot climate affords surprising instances of long
abstinence among the Indians. .A. native of France has, within our memory, fasted
the forty days of Lent almost in the same manner. * But few examples occur of
persons abstaining entirely from food for many days unless prepared and inured
by habit.
After three years spent in this hermitage the saint removed to the top of the
same mountain, where he made an inclosure, but without any roof or shelter to
protect him from the weather; and to confirm his resolution of pursuing this
manner of life, he fastened his right leg to a rock with a chain. Meletius, vicar to
the patriarch of Antioch, told him that a firm will, supported by God's good grace,
would enable him to abide in his solitary inclosure without having recourse to any
bodily restraint; whereupon the obedient servant of God sent for a smith and had
his chains knocked off. But visitors began to throng to the mountain, and the
solitude his soul sighed after came to be interrupted by the multitudes that flocked
to receive his benediction, by which many sick recovered their health. Some were
not satisfied unless they also touched him.
So Simeon, to remove these causes of distraction, projected for himself a new
and unprecedented manner of life. In 423 he erected a pillar six cubitst high,
and on it he dwelt four years; on a second, twelve cubits high, he lived three years;
on a third, twenty-two cubits high, ten years; and on a fourth, forty cubits high,
built for him by the people, he spent the last twenty years of his life. Thus he
lived thirty-seven years on pillars, and was called Stylites, from the Greek word
stylos, which signifies a pillar. This singularity was at first censured by all as a
piece of extravagance. To make trial of his humility an order was sent him in the
name of the neighbouring bishops and abbots to quit his pillar and give up his new
manner of life. The saint at once made ready to come down; but the messenger
said that, as he had shown a willingness to obey, it was their desire that he should
follow his vocation in God.
His pillar did not exceed six feet in diameter at the top, which made it difficult
for him to lie extended on it; neither would he allow a seat. He only stooped,
or leaned, to take a little rest, and often in the day bowed his body in prayer. A
visitor once reckoned 1,244 such profound reverences made by him at one time.
He made exhortations to the people twice a day. His garments were the skins of
beasts, and he never suffered any woman to come within the inclosure where his
pillar stood. His disciple Antony mentions that he prayed most fervently for the
soul of his mother after her decease.
God is sometin1es pleased to conduct certain souls through extraordinary paths,
in \vhich others would find only danger of illusion and self-\\JTill. We should,
notwithstanding, consider that the holiness of these persons does not consist in
such wonderful actions or in their miracles, but in the perfection of their charity,

Dom Claude Leaute, a Benedictine monk of the congregation of Saint-MaUL This fact
is attested by his brethren and superiors in a relation printed at Sens in 173 I ; and recorded
by Dom L'Isle in his History of Fasting. (Some other remarkable examples may be found
cited by Father 1~hurston in two articles in The NIonth, February and l\1arch, 1921, on " The
IVlystic as a I-Iunger Striker ".)
t A cubit was a measure of from 18 to 22 inches.
ST CONVOYON [January 5
patience and humility; and it was these solid virtues which shone so conspicuously
in the life of St Simeon. He exhorted people vehemently against the horrible
custom of swearing; as also to observe strict justice, to take no usury, to be earnest
in their piety, and to pray for the salvation of souls. The great deference paid to
his instructions, even by barbarians, cannot be described. Many Persians,
Armenians and Iberians were converted by his miracles or by his discourses, which
they crowded to hear. The Emperors Theodosius and Leo I often consulted him
and desired his prayers. The Emperor Marcian visited him in disguise. By an
invincible patience he bore all afflictions and rebukes without a word of complaint;
he sincerely looked upon himself as the outcast of the world; and he spoke to all
with the most engaging sweetness and charity. Domnus, Patriarch of Antioch,
and others brought him holy communion on his pillar. In 459, on a Wednesday,
September 2 (or as some say, on the previous July 24, a Friday), this incomparable
penitent, bowing on his pillar as if intent on prayer, gave up the ghost, in the sixty
ninth year of his age. Two days later his body was conveyed to Antioch, attended
by the bishops and the whole country. Many miracles, related by Evagrius,
Antony and Cosmas, were wrought on this occasion.
Incredible as some of the feats of endurance may seem which are attributed to St Simeon
the Elder and to the other Stylites, or " Pillar-Saints ", his imitators, there can be no doubt
that the facts are vouched for by the best historical evidence. The church historian 1~heo
doret, for example, who is one of our principal authorities, knew Simeon well, possessed his
confidence, and wrote his account while the saint was still living. The whole question of this
extraordinary phase of asceticism is discussed with great thoroughness by Hippolyte Delehaye,
in his monograph Les Saints Stylites (1923). This supersedes all previous works on the
subject. A popular summary by Fr Thurston of the outstanding features of this mode of
life, based upon Delehaye's researches, may be found in the Irish quarterly Studies, De.:ember,
1923, pp. 584-596. Besides the account of Theodoret, we have two other primary authorities
for the life of St Simeon: one the Greek biography by his disciple and contemporary Antony,
the other the Syriac, which also must certainly have been written within fifty years of the
saint's death. Both these texts have been critically edited by Lietzmann in his Das Leben
des heilz:!!en Symeon Stylites (1908); see also P. Peeters on Simeon's earliest biographers, in
Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxi (1943), pp. 71 seq. Between the Syriac and the Greek accounts
there are a good many points of divergence in matters of detail which cannot be gone into
here. In the Roman Martyrology St Simeon is commemorated on January 5, and the
Bollandists and Butler have followed this example. On a tree-dweller (dendrite) see A.
Vasiliev, " Life of David of Thessalonika ", in Traditio, vol. iv (1946), pp. 115-147.

ST CONVOYON, ABBOT (A.D. 868)


IN 1866 Pope Pius IX approved the cultus which from time immemorial had been
paid in the neighbourhood of Redon in Brittany to the Benedictine monk who was
the founder and abbot of the monastery of Saint Saviour. He was himself a
Breton by birth, and it was in 831 that he, with six companions, obtained a grant
of land on which to build an abbey. In the disturbed political conditions of the
time, the early years of the new foundation seem to have been full of privation and
hardship. Owing in part to a charge of simony brought against certain bishops of
the province, Convoyon in 848 found himself a member of a deputation sent to
Rome to appeal to Pope Leo IV. He is said tc have brought back with him to
his monastery a chasuble which Leo gave him, and also the relics of Pope St Marcel
linus. Later Convoyon was driven from his monastery by the incursions of the
Norsemen, and was absent from it at the time of his death in 868. In 1866 the
abbey of Saint Saviour at Redon had passed into the hands of a community of
37
January 5] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

the Eudist fathers, who were very active In procuring the confirmation of cultus
for this local saint.
Mabillon (vol. iv, 2, pp. 188 seq.) prints two lives of St Convoyon, one of which purports
to be written by a contemporary. An interesting summary of the case presented to obtain
confirmation of the cult may be found in the Analecta Juris Pontificii (1866), vol. viii, pp.
2177 seq. See also Lobineau, Saints de la Bretagne, vol. ii, pp. 261 seq.

ST DOROTHEUS THE YOUNGER, ABBOT (ELEVENTH CENTURY)

TREBIZOND, on the Black Sea, was the birthplace of St Dorotheus the Younger, who
is also known as St Dorotheus of Khiliokomos. He came of a patrician family,
but ran away from home at the age of twelve to escape from a marriage which his
parents were forcing upon him. After wandering for some time he reached the
monastery of Genna at Amisos (the present Samsun), in Pontus, where he received
the habit from the Abbot John. He became a pattern of monastic virtue and was
raised to the priesthood. Besides being endowed with the gift of prophecy he was
frequently rapt in ecstasy. One day when he was on an errand outside the monas
tery, a mysterious stranger told him to found a community on a mountain near
Amisos, at a spot which he indicated, and to dedicate it to the Holy T'rinity.
Dorotheus was 10th to leave his brethren, besides being uncertain as to the nature
of the call, but his abbot bade him obey. The saint accordingly began to build,
having at first only one companion to assist him. Other disciples soon gathered
round him and he became the abbot of a great monastery to which he gave the name
of Khiliokomos. Among many miracles with which he is credited he is said to
have multiplied corn, to have saved from shipwreck a vessel far away out at sea and
on another occasion by invoking the Holy Trinity to have caused a huge stone
which crashed down during the building operations to rise unassisted and resume
its proper place.
The text of the Greek life writen by his disciple John Mauropus is printed in the Acta
Sanctorum, June, vol. i.

ST GERLAC (c. A.D. 1170)

IN the neighbourhood of Valkenburg (Holland) there is still a holy well called after
St Gerlac. According to an almost contemporary biography, the hermit used this
water while for seven years he lived his solitary life in the hollow of a tree. In
early n1anhood he was devoted to feats of arms, and gave himself up to all the vices
of the camp, but the news of the su~den death of his wife opened his eyes to the
danger of his position. He said good-bye to the world and set out for Rome.
There he did seven years' penance, tending the sick in the hospitals and practising
great austerities. Afterwards he obtained the pope's sanction to become a hermit
without entering a religious order. For the place of his solitary life he chose a
hollow tree, situated on his own estate, although, on his coming back to his native
city, he had given his possessions to the poor. The nearest church was at a
considerable distance, yet for seven years he made his way thither over difficult
ground at all seasons of the year, to be present at the divine offices. The monks
considered his vocation an anomaly, and tried to force the bishop to make him enter
their monastery. The quarrel was embittered by calumny, and the feeling against
Gerlac became so incredibly violent that the monks refused him the sacraments as
he lay dying. According to his biographer, Gerlac received the last rites from a
38
TIlE EPIPHANY OF OlJR LORl1 JESUS CIIRIST [January 6
venerable old man who entered his cell, gave him viaticum, anointed him, and then
was never seen again.

Acta Sanctorum, January 5; F. Wesselmann, Der hl. Gerlach von Houthem (1897).
Although Gerlac was never canonized, fragments are extant of a liturgical office \vhich was
recited in his honour.

6 : THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

E
PIPHANY, which in Greek signifies appearance or manifestation, is a
festival principally solemnized in honour of the revelation Jesus Christ made
of Himself to the Magi, or wise men; who, soon after His birth, by a par
ticular inspiration of Almighty God, came to worship Him and bring Him presents.
Two other manifestations of our Lord are jointly commemorated on this day in the
office of the Church: that at His baptism, when the Holy Ghost descended on
Him in the visible form of a dove, and a voice from Heaven was heard at the same
time: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; " and that of His
divine power at the doing of His first miracle, the changing of water into wine at
the marriage of Cana, by which He manifested His glory, and His disciples believed
in Him. Upon all these accounts this festival lays claim to a more than ordinary
regard and veneration; but from none more than us Gentiles, who in the person
of the wise men, our first-fruits and forerunners, were on this day called to the faith
and worship of the true God.
The summons of the Gentiles to Bethlehem to pay homage to the world's
Redeemer was obeyed by several whom the Bibl~ mentions under the name
and title of Magi, or wise men; but is silent as to their nurnber. The general
opinion, supported by the authority of St Leo, Caesarius, Bede and others, declares
for three. However, the number was small in comparison with those many others
who saw that star no less than the wise men, but paid no regard to it; admiring,
no doubt, its unusual brightness, but indifferent to its divine message, or hardening
their hearts against any salutary impression, enslaved by their passions and self
love. Steadfast in the resolution of following the divine call and fearless of
danger, the Magi inquire in Jerusalem with confidence and pursue their inquiry
in the very court of Herod himself; "Where is He that is born King of the Jews? "
The whole nation of the Jews on account of Jacob's and Daniel's prophecies was
in expectation of the Messiah's appearance among them, and the circulllstances
having been also foretold, the wise men, by the interposition of Herod's authority,
quickly learned from the Sanhedrin, or great council of the Jews, that Bethlehem
was the place which was to be honoured with His birth, as had been pointed out
by the prophet Micheas many centuries before.
The wise men readily comply with the voice of the Sanhedrin, notwithstanding
the little encouragement these Jewish leaders afford them by their own example
to persist in their search: for not one single priest or scribe is disposed to bear
them company in seeking after and paying homage to their own king. No sooner
had they left Jerusalem but, to encourage their faith, God was pleased again to show
them the star which they had seen in the East, and it continued to go before them
till it conducted them to the very place where they were to see and worship their
39
January 6] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
Saviour. The star, by ceasing to advance, tells them in its mute language, " Here
shall you find the new-born King." The holy men entered the poor place,
rendered more glorious by this birth than the most stately palace in the universe;
and finding the Child with His mother, they prostrate themselves, they worship
Him, they pour forth their souls in His presence. St Leo thus extols their faith
and devotion: "When a star had conducted them to worship Jesus, they did not
find Him commanding devils or raising the dead or restoring sight to the blind or
speech to the dumb, or employed in any divine action; but a silent babe, dependent
upon a mother's care, giving no sign of power but exhibiting a miracle of humility."
The Magi offer to Jesus as a token of homage the richest produce their countries
afforded-gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold, as an acknowledgement of His
regal power; incense, as a confession of His Godhead; and myrrh, as a testimony
that He was become man for the redemption of the world. But their far more
acceptable presents were the dispositions they cherished in their souls: their
fervent charity, signified by gold; their devotion, figured by frankincense; and
the unreserved sacrifice of themselves, represented by myrrh.

The earliest mention of a Christian festival celebrated on January 6 seems to


occur in the Stromata (i, 21) of Clement of Alexandria, who died before 216. He
states that the gnostic sect of the Basilidians kept the commemoration of our
Saviour's baptism with great solemnity on dates held to correspond with the loth
and 6th of January respectively. The notice might seem of little importance were
it not for the fact that in the course of the next two centuries there is abundant
evidence that January 6 had come to be observed throughout the East as a festival
of high importance, and was always closely associated with the baptism of our
Lord. In a document known as the " Canons of Athanasius ", whose text may
in substance belong to the time of St Athanasius, say A.D. 370, the writer recognizes
only three great feasts in the year-Easter, Pentecost and the Epiphany. He
directs that a bishop ought to gather the poor together on solemn occasions, notably
upon" the great festival of the Lord" (Easter); Pentecost, " when the Holy Ghost
came down upon the Church"; and" the feast of the Lord's Epiphany, which
was in the month Tubi, that is the feast of Baptism " (canon 16); and he specifies
again in canon 66, " the feast of the Pasch, and the feast of the Pentecost and the
feast of the Epiphany, which is the 11th day of the month Tubi."
According to oriental ideas it was through the divine pronouncement " this is
my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased" that the Saviour was first manifested
to the great world of unbelievers. In the opinion of the Greek fathers, the
Epiphany (7TLC!)(lvLa, showing forth), which is also called (}0ePaVLa (manifesta
tion of the deity) and TO. eP wTa (illumination), was identified primarily with the
scene beside the Jordan. St John Chrysostom, preaching at Antioch in 386, asks,
" How does it happen that not the day on which our Lord was born, but that on
which }Ie was baptized, is called the Epiphany?" And then, after dwelling upon
certain details of liturgical observance, particularly the blessing of water which
the faithful took home with them and preserved for a twelvemonth-he seems to
suggest that the fact of the water remaining sweet must be due to some miracle
the saint comes back to his own question: "We give", he says, "the name
Epiphany to the day of our Lord's baptism because He was not made manifest to
all when he was born, but only when He was baptized; for until that time He was
unknown to the people at large." Similarly St Jerome, living near Jerusalem,

4
THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST [January 6
testifies that in his time only one feast was kept there, that of January 6, to com
memorate both the birth and the baptism of Jesus; nevertheless he declares that
the idea of " showing forth " belonged not to His birth in the flesh, " for then He
was hidden and not revealed", but rather to the baptism in the Jordan, "when
the heavens were opened upon Christ ".
With the exception, however, of Jerusalem, where the pilgrim lady, Etheria
(c. 395), bears witness, like St Jerome, to the celebration of the birth of our Lord
together with the Epiphany on one and the same day (January 6), the Western
custom of honouring our Saviour's birth separately on December 25 came into
vogue in the course of the fourth century, and spread rapidly from Rome over all
the Christian East.* We learn from St Chrysostom that at Antioch December 25
was observed for the first time as a feast somewhere about 376. Two or three
years later the festival was adopted at Constantinople, and, as appears from the
funeral discourse pronounced by St Gregory of Nyssa over his brother St Basil,
Cappadocia followed suit at about the same period. On the other hand, the
celebration of January 6, which undoubtedly had its origin in the East, and which
from a reference in the passio of St Philip of Heraclea may perhaps already be
recognized in Thrace at the beginning of the fourth century, seems by a sort of
exchange to have been adopted in most Western lands before the death of 8t
Augustine. It meets us first at Vienne in Gaul, where the pagan historian Am
mianus Marcellinus, describing the Emperor Julian's visit to one of the churches,
refers to "the feast-day in January which Christians call the Epiphany". 8t
Augustine in his time makes it a matter of reproach against the Donatists that they
had not adopted this newer feast of the Epiphany as the Catholics had done. We
find the Epiphany in honour at Saragossa c. 380, and in 400 it is one of the days
on which the circus games were prohibited.
Still, although the day fixed for the celebration was the same, the :haracter of
the Epiphany feast in East and West was different. In the East the baptism of our
Lord, even down to the present time, is the motif almost exclusively emphasized,
and the JLEya~ aYLaaJL6~, or great blessing of the waters, on the morning of the
Epiphany still continues to be one of the most striking features of the oriental
ritual. In the West, on the other hand, ever since the time of St Augustine and
St Leo the Great, many of whose sermons for this day are still preserved to us, the
principal stress has been laid upon the journey and the gift-offerings of the Magi.
The baptism of our Lord and the miracle of Cana in Galilee have also, no doubt
from an early period, been included in the conception of the feast, but although
we find clear references to these introduced by St Paulinus of Nola at the beginning
of the fifth century, and by St Maximus of Turin a little later, into their interpre
tation of the solemnities of this day, no great prominence has ever been given in
the Western church to any other feature but the revelation of our Lord to the
Gentiles as represented by the coming of the Magi.

See H. Leclercq in DAC., vol. v, pp. 197--201 ; Vacandard, Etudes de critique et d'histoire
religieuse, vol. iii, pp. I-56; Hugo Kehrer, Die heiligen Drei Konige (1908), vol. i, pp. 46-52
and 22-3 I; Duchesne, Christian Worship, pp. 257-265; Usener-Lietzmann, Religions
geschichtliche Untersuchungen, Part I; Kellner, Heortology, pp. 166-173; G. Morin in
Revue Benedictine, vol. v (1888), pp. 257-264; F. C. Conybeare in Rituale Armenorum, pp.

* But to this day the non-Catholic Armenians celebrate Christmas with the Epiphany on
January 6. And it is to be remarked that even in the Western church the liturgical rank of
the Epiphany feast, '\vith Easter and Pentecost, is above that of Christmas.
January 6] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS
165-19; and especially Dom de Puniet in Rassegna Gregoriana, vol. v (1906), pp. 497-514.
See also Riedel and Crum, The Canons of .Athanasius, pp. 27, 131 ; Anecdota Maredsolana,
t. iii, pp. 396-397; Rassegna Gregoriana, vol. x (191 I), pp. 51-58; and Migne, PC., vol.
xlix, p. 366 (Chrysostom), and PL., vol. xxv, cc. 18-19 (Jerome), vol. xxxviii, c. 1033
(Augustine).

ST WILTRUDIS, WIDOW (c. A.D. 986)


RADERUS in his Bavaria Sancia describes Wiltrudis as a maiden who obtained the
consent of her brother, Count Ortulf, to refuse the proposals of marriage which
had been made for her. The truth, however, appears to be that she was the wife
of Berthold, Duke of Bavaria, who, after her husband's death, about the year 947,
became a nun. Even in the world she had been renowned for her piety and for
her skill in handicrafts. After she gave herself to God her fervour redoubled and
she eventually founded, about 976, an abbey of Benedictine nuns which became
famous as that of Bergen, or Baring, bei Neuburg. She became the first abbess,
and died about 986.
See Rietzler, Geschichte Bayerns, vol. i, pp. 338 and 381 ; and Raderus, Bavaria Sancta,
vol. iii, p. 137.

ST ERMINOLD, ABBOT (A.D. 1121)

THE medieval Life of St Erminold represents a rather unsatisfactory type of


spiritual biography. The writer seems to have been intent only on glorifying his
hero, and we cannot be quite satisfied as to his facts. Erminold, brought to the
monastery of Hirschau as a child, spent all his life in the cloister. Being conspicu
ous for his strict observance of rule, he was chosen abbot of Larsch, but a dispute
about his election caused him to resign within a year. In I I 14, at the instance of
St Otto of Bamberg, he was sent to the newly founded monastery of Prtifening,
and there he exercised authority, first as prior, and from I I 17 onwards as
abbot. He is described in local calendars and martyrologies as a martyr, but
his death, which took place on January 6, 1121, resulted from the conspiracy
of an unruly faction of his own subjects who resented the strictness of his
government. One of them struck him on the head with a heavy piece of
timber, and Erminold, lingering for a few days, died on the Epiphany at the
hour he had foretold. He was famed both for his spirit of prayer and for his
charity to the poor. A large number of miracles are recorded at his tomb after
death.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 6; and also the MGH., Scriptores, vol. xii, pp. 481-50.

ST GUARINUS, OR GUERIN, BISHOP OF SION (A.D. 1150)

No formal biography of St Guarinus seems to have been left us by any of his


contemporaries, but a considerable local cult has been paid to him ever since his
death. He was originally a monk of Molesmes, but having been appointed abbot
of St John of Aulps (de A lpibus) , in the diocese of Geneva, he some years later
wrote to 8t Bernard, then at the height of his fame, to ask that he and his community
might be affiliated to Clairvaux. One of St Bernard's letters in reply is still
preserved, and from this and another letter of his it is evident how highly he
esteemed Guarinus. This second letter was written to console the community
ST JOHN DE RIBERA [January 6
of Aulps when their abbot was taken from them to be made bishop of Sion in the
Valais.
See Acta SanctoTum, January 6; and J. F. Gonthier, Vie de St Guerin (1896).

BD GERTRUDE OF DELFT, VIRGIN (A.D. 1358)


MUCH interest attaches to the life of this mystic, who was first a servant-maid and
afterwards a beguine at Delft in Holland. Beguines are not, strictly speaking,
members of a religious order, though they dwell in a settlement apart, perform
their religious exercises in common, and make profession of chastity and obedience.
But they are not vowed to poverty, and they live in little separate houses, each with
one or two companions, occupied for the most part in active good works. In her
early days Gertrude had been engaged to be married to a man who left her for
another girl, causing great anguish of mind to the betrothed he had forsaken.
Seeing the providence of God in this disappointment, she turned her thoughts to
other things, and afterwards generously befriended the rival who had somewhat
treacherously stolen her lover.
As the crown of a life now spent in contemplation and austerity, our Lord was
pleased to honour her, on Good Friday 1340, with the marks of His sacred wounds.
We read that this privileged state had already been foretold to her by a holy friend
named Lielta, and also that she had experienced a very curious bodily manifestation
in the Christmas season of the previous year. When the stigmata were thus given
her, apparently as a permanent mark of God's favour, they used to bleed seven
times every day. She confided to her fellow beguine Diewerdis the news of this
strange wonder. Naturally the tidings spread, and very soon crowds came, not
only from Delft, but from all the country round to behold the marvel. This
destroyed all privacy and recollection, and so Gertrude im plored our Lord to come
to her aid. The stigmata consequently ceased to bleed, but the marks persisted.
For the eighteen years she remained on earth she led a very suffering life, but she
seems, like other mystics who have been similarly favoured with these outward
manifestations, to have possessed a strange knowledge of people's thoughts and
of distant and future events, of which her biographer gives instances. The name
" van Oosten ", by which she is known in the place of a surname, is stated to have
come to her from her fond repetition of an old Dutch hymn beginning, Het daghet
in den Oosten (" The day is breaking in the east "). There seems a curious appro
priateness in the fact that she died (1358) on the feast of the Epiphany when the
wise men came from the east to greet their infant Saviour. "I am longing", she
said a few minutes before her death, " I am longing to go home."
See the life in the Acta Sancforum, January 6. A short Dutch text was published at
Amsterdam in 1879 by Alberdingk Thijm in Verspreide Verhalen in Prosa, vol. i, pp. 54-60.
The hymn, Het daghet in den Oosten, has been printed by Hoffmann von Fallersleben in his
Horae Belgicae.

ST JOHN DE RIBERA, ARCHBISHOP OF VALENCIA (A.D. 1611)


PETER DE RIBERA, the father of Don John, was one of the highest grandees in Spain;
he was created duke of Alcala, but already held many other titles and important
charges. Among the rest, he for fourteen years governed Naples as viceroy. But
above all, he was a most upright and devout Christian. His son, therefore, was
admirably brought up, and during a distinguished university career at Salamanca
43
January 6] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
and elsewhere, divine Providence seems perceptibly to have intervened to shield
his virtue from danger. Realizing the perils to which he was exposed, he gave
himself up to penance and prayer in preparation for holy orders. In 1557, at the
age of twenty-five, Don John was ordained priest; and after teaching theology at
Salamanca for a while, he was preconized bishop of Badajoz, much to his dismay,
by St Pius V in 1562. His duties as bishop were discharged with scrupulous
fidelity and zeal, and six years later, by the desire both of Philip II and the same
holy pontiff, he was reluctantly constrained to accept the dignity of archbishop of
Valencia. A few months later, filled with consternation at the languid faith and
relaxed morals of this province, which was the great stronghold of the Moriscos,
he wrote begging to be allowed to resign, but the pope would not consent; and for
forty-two years, down to his death in 161 I, St John struggled to support cheerfully
a load of responsibility which almost crushed him. In his old age the burden was
increased by the office of viceroy of the province of Valencia, which was imposed
upon him by Philip III.
The archbishop viewed with intense alarm what he regarded as the dangerous
activities of the Moriscos and Jews, whose financial prosperity was the envy of
all. Owing to the universal ignorance of the principles of political economy which
then prevailed, the Moriscos seemed to Ribera to be " the sponges which sucked
up all the wealth of the Christians". At the same time, it is only fair to note that
this was the view of nearly all his Christian countrymen, and that it was shared
even by so enlightened a contemporary as Cervantes. In any case, it is beyond
dispute that St John de Ribera was one of the advisers who were mainly responsible
for the edict of 1609 which enforced the deportation of the Moriscos from Valencia.
We can only bear in mind that a decree of beatification pronounces only upon the
personal virtues and miracles of the servant of God so honoured, and that it does
not constitute an approbation of all his public acts or of his political views. The
archbishop did not long survive the tragedy of the deportation. He died, after a
long illness most patiently borne, at the College of Corpus Christi, which he
himself had founded and endowed, on January 6, 1611. Many miracles were
attributed to his intercession. He was beatified in 1796 and canonized in 1960.
See V. Castillo, Vita del B. Giovanni de Ribera (1796); M. BeIda, Vida del B. Juan de
Ribera (1802); and P. Boronat y Barrachina, Los Moriscos espaiioles y su Expulsion (1901).

BD RAPHAELA MARY, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE HANDMAIDS OF TIlE


SACRED HEART (A.D. 1925)
RAPHAELA PORRAS was born in the small Spanish town of Pedro Abad, some way
from Cordova, in 1850. When she was four she lost her father, the mayor of
the place, who died of cholera caught when looking after the sick during an epi
demic; at nineteen her mother followed, and Raphaela was left with her elder
sister, Dolores, in charge of the household, which included several brothers and
sisters. In 1873 both announced that they wished to become nuns. Their
retiring way of life had already provoked opposition from the family; but it
was eventually arranged for them to be received as novices by the nuns of
Marie Reparatrice who had been invited to Cordova at th~ suggestion of a
priest named Joseph Antony Ortiz Urruela (he had at one time studied in England
under Bishop Grant of Southwark). Difficulties, however, at once arose
partly because the nuns were "foreign ", partly because of the high-handed
44
BD RAPHAELA MARY [January 6
behaviour of Don Ortiz Urruela-and the bishop asked the nuns to leave.
Sixteen novices, including the two Porras girls, were given permission to renlain
in Cordova, and carryon as best they could under the headship of Sister Raphaela
Mary-of-the-Sacred-Heart.
Early in 1877, just before Sister Raphaela and five others were to take their
vows, Bishop Ceferino Gonzalez informed them that he had drawn up an entirely
new rule for the community. This put the novices in an awkward position. The
new rule was quite different from that in which they had been trained; on the other
hand, if they refused it they all would be sent back to their homes. The course
they decided on was a surprising one-no less than flight. And they carried it
out. Leaving Cordova by night, they went to Andujar, where Don Ortiz Urruela
had arranged for them to be sheltered by the nuns at the hospital. Naturally,
there was great excitement. The civil authorities took a hand, and the bishop
declared Don Ortiz Urruela "suspended"; but that enterprising priest was
already in Madrid, seeing what he could do for his protegees there, and the bishop
could really do little, as the fugitives were not a canonically-erected comiTIunity.
Then Don Ortiz 1Jrruela suddenly died; but the sisters were sent a new friend in
Father Cotanilla, a Jesuit, and they were allowed by the ecclesiastical authorities
to settle in Madrid. In the summer of 1877 the first two, Raphaela and her sister
Dolores, made their profession.
That was the startling beginning of the congregation of the Handmaids of the
Sacred Heart, whose work was to be the education of children and helping with
retreats. It soon began to develop and spread, and houses were opened at Jerez,
Saragossa, Bilbao and Cordova-this last with the full approval of Bishop Ceferino.
To-day its sisters are found in a dozen other countries besides Spain, including
England and the United States. But troubles .did not end with the difficulty of
its birth, nor even with the granting of approval Qy the Holy See in 1877, when
Bd Raphaela was elected mother general. Unhappily her sister Dolores, now
Mother Mary-del-Pilar, did not see eye-to-eye with Raphaela in matters of adminis
tration, and there were others who supported Mother Mary: in 1893 the foundress
resigned from her office as mother general, and Mary-del-Pilar was elected in her
place. For the remaining thirty-two years of her life Bd Raphaela filled no office
whatever in her congregation, but lived in obscurity in the Roman house, doing
the housework.
It cannot be doubted that it was in these years that she earned her halo of
holiness. The woman that inaugurated a religious congregation in the circum
stances that she did cannot have found such self-abnegation easy. Attention has
aeveral times been drawn in these pages to people who were popularly canonized
because they accepted, not formal martyrdom, but simply an unjust death: Mother
Raphaela is a beata who lived nearly half her life cheerfully carrying a weight of
unjust treatment. Courage and sweetness shone out from her face in old age.
The surgeon who operated on her in her last days said it all in a sentence: "Mother,
you are a brave woman "; but she had said long before, " I see clearly that God
wants me to submit to all that happens to me as if I saw Him there commanding
it." Bd Raphaela Mary died on the Epiphany in 1925, and she was beatified in
195 2.

In English there is a good summary in pamphlet form, In Search of the Will of God (1950),
by Fr \Villiam Lawson.

45
January 7] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

7 : ST LUCIAN OF ANTIOCH, MARTYR (A.D. 312)

T I~UCIAN was born at Samosata, in Syria. He became a great proficient

S in rhetoric and philosophy, and applied himself to the study of the Holy
Scriptures under one Macarius at Edessa. Convinced that his duty as a
priest required him to devote himself entirely to the service of God and the good
of his neighbour, he was not content to inculcate the practice of virtue by word and
example, but he also undertook to purge the Old and New Testament from the
faults that had crept into them through the inaccuracy of transcribers and in other
ways. Whether he only revised the text of the Old Testament by comparing
different editions of the Septuagint, or corrected it upon the Hebrew text, being
"veIl versed in that language, it is certain in any case that St Lucian's edition of the
Bible was much esteemed, and was of great use to St Jerome.
St Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria, says that Lucian remained some years
separated from Catholic communion at Antioch, under three successive bishops.
He may perhaps have favoured overmuch the heretic Paul of Samosata, con
demned at Antioch in the year 269, but it is certain, at least, that Lucian died in
the communion of the Church. This appears from a fragment of a letter written
by him to the church of Antioch, still extant in the Alexandrian Chronicle. Though
a priest of Antioch, we find him at Nicomedia in the year 303, when Diocletian first
published his edicts against the Christians. He there suffered a long imprisonment
for the faith, for he wrote from out of his dungeon, " All the martyrs salute you.
I inform you that the Pope Anthimus [Bishop of Nicomedia] has finished his
course by martyrdom." This happened in 303. Yet Eusebius informs us that
St Lucian did not arrive himself at the crown of martyrdom till after the death of
St Peter of Alexandria in 3 I I, so that he seems to have continued nine years in
prison.
At length he was brought before the governor, or the emperor himself, for the
word which Eusebius uses may imply either. At his trial he presented to the judge
an excellent apology for the Christian faith. Being remanded to prison, an order
was given that no food should be allowed him; but after fourteen days, when
almost dead with hunger, meats that had been offered to idols were set before him,
which he \vould not touch. I t was not in itself unlawful to eat of such meats, as
St Paul teaches, except where it would give scandal to the weak, or when it was
exacted as an action of idolatrous superstition, as was the case here. Being brought
a second time before the tribunal, he would to all the questions put to him give
no other answer but this, " I am a Christian". He repeated the same \vhilst on
the rack, and he finished his glorious course in prison, either by starvation, or,
according to St Chrysostom, by the sword. His acts relate many of his miracles,
with other particulars; as that, when bound and chained on his back in prison,
he consecrated the divine mysteries upon his own breast, and communicated the
faithful that were present: this we also read in Philostorgius, the Arian historian.
St Lucian suffered at Nicomedia in Bithynia on January 7, 3 12, and was buried at
Drepanum (Helenopolis).
We have plenty of information concerning St Lucian in Eusebius (Hist. Eccles., ix, 6)
in a panegyric by St John Chrysostom (Migne, PC;., vol. I, p. 519), and in a rather fantastic
legend preserved by the Metaphrast (Migne, PG., vol. cxiv, p. 397). See also Pio Franchi
in Studi e Documenti (1897), Y01. xviii, pp. 24-45. Father Delehaye says of St Lucian:
ST T'ILLO [January 7
H Nothing could be better authenticated than the fact of his martyrdom, nothing more firmly

established than his cultus, witnessed to by the basilica of Helenopolis, as well as by literary
documents" (Legends of the Saints, p. 192). Nevertheless the story of St Lucian has been
chosen by I-1. Usener (Die Sintfluthsagen, 1899, pp. 168-180) as a typical example of the
evolution of Christian legend out of pagan myth. Consult the reply of Father Delehaye
(I.e. pp. 193-197), and see also Batiffol in Compte-rendu du Congres catholique (1894), vol. ii,
pp. 181-186. There is a sensitive and erudite study by G. Bardy, Recherches sur St Lucien
d'Antioche (1936).

ST VALENTINE, BISHOP (A.D. 440 ?)


VERY little is known concerning this St Valentine, though a fairly long medieval
biography of him is printed in the Acta Sanctorum,. but this, as all are agreed, is
historically worthless. From Eugippius in his Life of St Severinus we learn that
Valentine was first of all an abbot, and then a missionary bishop in Rhaetia, and
also that a disciple of Valentine who attached himself to St Severinus used every
year on January 7 to offer Mass in honour of his earlier father in Christ. Venantius
Fortunatus lets us know that in a journey he made through the Tirol he came across
more than one church which was dedicated in honour of the same St Valentine.
From Arbeo of Freising we get the further information that Valentine was first
buried at Mais in the Tirol, but that his remains were translated to Trent about
the year 750, and thence in 768 to Passau. These are all early testimonies, but
there is no more evidence which can be relied on. At a much later date a story
was invented that at a subsequent removal of the relics of Valentine to a place of
greater honour in Passau a leaden tablet had been found which had engraved upon
it a summary of the saint's whole history. The biographer professes to incorporate
a copy of the text of this inscription, but a critical study of the document leaves no
doubt that it is a clumsy forgery.
See the essay of A. Leider, " Die Bleitafel im Sarge des HI. Valentin" in Festgabe Alois
Knopfler (1907), pp. 254-274; and the Acta Sanctorum, January 7.

ST TILLO (c. A.D. 702)


He was by birth a Saxon, and being made captive, was carried into the Low
Countries, where he was ransomed and baptized by St Eligius. That fervent
apostle sent him to his abbey of Solignac, in the Limousin. Tillo was called thence
by Eligius, ordained priest, and employed by him for some time at Tournai and
in other parts of the Low Countries. The inhabitants of the country of Iseghem,
near Courtrai, regard him as their apostle. Some years after the death of St
Eligius, St Tillo returned to Solignac, and lived as a recluse near that abbey,
imitating in simplicity, devotion and ~usterity the Antonys and Macariuses of old.
He died in his solitude, about the year 702, a nonagenarian, and was honoured
with miracles. Tillo is sometimes called Theau in France, Tilloine or Tilman
in Flanders, Hillonius in Germany.
I-lis name is famous in the French and Belgian calendars, though it does not occur in the
Roman Martyrology. The Life of St Eligius names Tillo first among the seven disciples
of that saint, who worked with him at his trade of goldsmith, and imitated him in all his
religious exercises, before that holy man was engaged in the ministry of the Church. Many
churches in Flanders, Auvergne, the Limousin and other places are dedicated to God under
his invocation. The anonymous Life of St Tillo, in the Acta SS, is not altogether authentic;
the history which Mabillon gives of him from the Breviary of Solignac is of more authority:
see his A.A. SSe Benedict., vol. ii, p. 996.

47
January i] THE LIVES OF 1'HE SAINTS

ST ALDRIC, BISHOP OF LE MANS (A.D. 856)


THIS saint was born of a noble family, pard! of Saxon and partly Bavarian extrac
tion, about the year 800. At twelve years of age he was sent by his father to the
court of Charlemagne where, in the household of Louis the Pious, he gained the
esteem of the whole court. About the year 821 he retired from Aix-Ia-Chapelle
to Metz, where he entered the bishop's school and received clerical tonsure. After
his ordination the Emperor Louis called him again to court, and made him his
chaplain and confessor. In 832 St Aldric was chosen bishop of Le Mans. He
employed his patrimony and his whole interest in relieving the poor, providing
public services, establishing churches and monasteries, and promoting religion.
In the civil wars which divided the empire his fidelity to Louis and to his successor,
Charles the Bald, was inviolable. For almost a year he was expelled by a faction
from his see, Aldric having antagonized the monks of Saint-Calais by claiming
that they were under his jurisdiction. The claim was not upheld, though supported
by forged documents, for which the bishop himself is not known to have been
personally responsible.
Some fragments have 'reached us of the regulations which Aldric made for his
cathedral, in which he orders ten wax candles and ninety lamps to be lighted on
all great festivals. We have three testaments of this holy prelate extant. The last
is an edifying monument of his piety: in the first two, he bequeaths lands and
possessions to many churches of his diocese, adding prudent advice and regulations
for maintaining good order and a spirit of charity. The last two years of St
Aldric's life he was paralysed and confined to bed, during which time he redoubled
his fervour and assiduity in prayer. He died January 7, 856, and was bllried in
the church of St Vincent, of which, and of the monastery to which it belonged,
he had been a great benefactor.
The medieval Latin life of St Aldric has been re-edited by Charles and Froger, Gesta
domini Aldricz (1890). No scholar now regards it as fully reliable, but the first forty-four
chapters seem to be older and more trustworthy than the rest. Some attempts have been
made to connect St Aldric with the compilation of the Forged Decretals, but this idea has
not found much favour, though Paul Fournier has shown good reason for believing that they
first took shape In the neighbourhood of Le Mans during his episcopate. On the other hand,
Julien Havet has argued that the first forty-four chapters of the Gesta were written as a piece
of autobiography by Aldric himself. In any case Havet seems to have proved that in contrast
to the chapters in the later portion of the Gesta and those in the Actus pontificum Ceno
mannis . . . , the nineteen documents incorporated in the first forty-four chapters are all
authentic. See J. Havet, (Euvres, vol. i, pp. 287-292, 3 17 seq., and _4nalecta Bollandiana
( 1895), vol. xiv, p. 446 ; cl. also Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, pp. 313-317,327-328,
342-343 ; M. Besson in DHG., vol. ii, cc. 68-69.

ST REINOLD (A.D. 960?)


VERY little is known of St Reinold, monk and martyr, identified with the youngest
of the "four sons of Aymon ". Tradition connects him with the family of
Charlemagne. Apparently he made his way to Cologne and entered the monastery
of St Pantaleon. He was put in charge of certain building operations, and owing
to his over-strenuous diligence, incurred the hostility of the stonemasons. The
result was that they attacked him, killed him with blows of their hammers, and
flung. his body into a pool near the Rhine. For a long time his brothers in religion
searched in vain for any trace of him. His body was at last discovered through a
48
BD EDWARD WATERSON [January 7
revelation made to a poor sick woman, and it was brought back to the monastery
with honour. Later on, in the eleventh century, it was translated by St Anno,
Archbishop of Cologne, to Dortmund in Westphalia. St Reinold was in some
places honoured as the patron of stonemasons.
The Acta Sanctorum for January 7 prints a short life, but it is impossible to say how much
of this is purely mythical, and how much may be based on some kernel of fact. A local
chronicle of Cologne states that St Reinold died in 697, and a rhythmical life of the same,
printed by Floss, assigns his" martyrdom" to the episcopate of St Agilulf, Bishop of Cologne,
who is supposed to have died in 750. In either case Reinold could have had nothing to do
with Charlemagne. See Jordan in Romanische Forschungen (1907), vol. xx, pp. 1-198, and
Caxton's Romance of the Foure Sonnes of Aymon, re-edited fo.r the Early English Text Society.

ST CANUTE LAVARD, MARTYR (A.D. 1131)


KNUD I.JAVARD, "the Lord ", as he is called by his countrymen, was the second
son of Eric the Good, King of Denmark. When he had come to man's estate,
his uncle, King Niels, made him duke over southern Jutland with the task of
defending it against the Wends; and, from his centre at Schleswig, Canute set
himself to make justice and peace reign in his territory. Unfortunately the
plundering Vikings could not be induced to co-operate in this worthy object. One
day, when he had condemned several of them to be hanged for their piracies, one
cried out that he was of blood royal and related to Canute. The duke answered
that if such was the case he should in recognition of his noble birth be hanged from
the masthead of his ship, which was done.
Canute had spent part of his youth at the Saxon cou.rt, and in 1129 the Emperor
Lothair III recognized his rule over the western Wends, with the title of king.
This excited the anger of King Niels of Denmark, and on January 7,1131, Canute
was treacherously slain in the forest of Haraldsted, near Ringsted, by his cousins
Magnus Nielssen and Henry Skadelaar. Canute, who had supported the mis
sionary activities of St Vicelin, was canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1169
at the request of his son, Valdemar I of Denmark, and of Eskil, Archbishop of
Lund. The Roman Martyrology, following the cultus which Canute received in
Denmark, calls him a martyr, but he seems to have been a dynastic hero rather
than a martyr.
See the Acta Sandorum, January 7; C. Gertz, Vitae sanctarum Danorum (1908-1912) ;
Schubert, Kirchengeschichte von Schleswig-Holstein (1907), vol. i; and DHG., vol. xi,
cc. 815-817. For the canonization, see E. W. Kemp, Canonization and Authority . ..
(1948), pp. 79, 86.

BD EDWARD WATERSON, MARTYR


EDWARD WATERSON is unique among the English martyrs in having had the oppor
tunity to turn Mohammedan and marry a Turkish girl. He was a Protestant
Londoner by birth, and when a young man made a voyage to Turkey. While there
he attracted the favourable notice of a wealthy Turk, who offered him his daughter
in marriage on condition that he should embrace Islam. Waterson rejected the
suggestion; but on his way homewards, tarrying at Rome, he had the oppor
tunity for conversion of another sort, and he was reconciled with the Catholic
Church by Dr Richard Smith at the English College. This was in 1588. He
then went on to the college at Rheims, where he was ordained priest four years
later.
49
January 8] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
In June following he was sent back to England, declaring he would rather go
there than own all France for a twelvemonth; but he ministered for only a few
months before being arrested and condemned for his priesthood at Newcastle
upon-Tyne. Archdeacon Trollope, from whose letters to Douay Challoner got
several items of information, declared that, when Mr Waterson was tied to the
hurdle to be drawn to the place of execution, the horses refused to budge; so he
had to be taken to the scaffold on foot, the bystanders saying, " It would be a vote
to the papists which had happened that day"; or, in modern idiom, " That's one
up to the R.C.'s ". Again, when he came to mount the scaffold the ladder is said
to have jerked about without human agency, and to have stayed still only when he
made the sign of the cross over it. Then he was turned off, disembowelled and
quartered.
See MMP., pp. 187-188; Morris, Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers (series III)
Catholic Record Society publications, vol. v; and Burton and Pollen, LEM.

8 : ST APOLLINARIS, BISHOP OF HIERAPOLIS (c. A.D. 179)

C
LAUDIUS APOLLINARIS, Bishop of Hierapolis in Phrygia, called" the
Apologist.", was a famo~s Christian teacher i~ the second ~entury. Not
wIthstandIng the encomIums bestowed on hIm by EusebIus, St Jerome,
Theodoret and others, we know but little of his life, and his writings, which then
were held in great esteem, seem now to be all lost. Photius, who had read them
and who was a very good judge, cornmends them both for their style and matter.
He wrote against the Encratites and other heretics, and pointed out, as St Jerome
testifies, from what philosophical sect each heresy derived its errors. His last
work was directed against the Montanists and their pretended prophets, who began
to appear in Phrygia about the year 171. But nothing rendered his name so
illustrious as his apology for the Christian religion, which he addressed to the
Emperor Marcus Aurelius soon after the victory that prince had obtained over the
Quadi by the prayers, it is alleged, of the Christians, of which the saint made
mention.
Marcus Aurelius having long attempted without success to subdue the Germans
by his generals, resolved in A.D. 174 to take the field against them himself. He was
beyond the Danube when the Quadi, a people inhabiting that territory later called
Moravia, surrounded him in a very disadvantageous situation: so that there was
no possibility that either he or his army could escape out of their hands or maintain
themselves long where they were for want of water. The twelfth legion was chiefly
composed of Christians. When the army was drawn up, exhausted with thirst,
the Christians fell upon their knees, " as we are accustomed to do at prayer", says
Eusebius, and earnestly besought God's aid. Then on a sudden the sky was
darkened with clouds, and a heavy rain poured down just as the barbarians began
their attack. The Romans fought and drank at the same time, catching the rain
as it fell in their helmets, and often swallowing it mingled with blood. Their
assailants would still have been too strong for them, but that the storm being driven
by a violent wind into their faces, and accompanied with flashes of lightning and
loud thunder, the Germans, unable to see, were terrified to such a degree that they
took to flight. Both heathen and Christian writers give this account of the victory.
5
ST LUCIAN OF BEAUVAIS [January 8
The heathens ascribed it, some to the power of magic, others to their gods, but
the Christians accounted it a miracle obtained by the prayers of this legion. St
Apollinaris apparently referred to it in his apology to this very emperor, and added
that as an acknowledgement the emperor gave it the name of the "Thunder
ing Legion". From him it is so called by Eusebius, Tertullian, St Jerome and
St Gregory of Nyssa.
The Quadi surrendered the prisoners whom they had taken, and begged for
peace on whatever conditions it should please the emperor to grant it them. l\larcus
Aurelius hereupon, out of gratitude to his Christian soldiers, published an edict,
in which he confessed himself indebted for his delivery " to the shower obtained,
perhaps, by the prayers of the Christians '''. In it he forbade, under pain of death,
anyone to accuse a Christian on account of his religion; yet by a strange incon
sistency, being overawed by the opposition of the senate, he had not the courage to
abolish the laws already in force against Christians. Hence, even after this, in the
same reign, many suffered martyrdom, though their accusers, it is asserted, were
also put to death.
The deliverance of the emperor is represented on the Columna Antoniniana in
Rome by the figure of a Jupiter Pluvius, being that of an old man flying in the air
with his arms extended, and a long beard which seems to waste away in rain. The
soldiers are there represented as relieved by this sudden tempest, and in a posture
partly drinking of the rain water and partly fighting against the enemy, who, on
the contrary, are represented as stretched out on the ground with their horses, and
the dreadful part of the storm descending upon them only. The credibility of the
story, which Eusebius apparently derived from the Apology of St Apollinaris, still
remains a matter of discussion. On the one hand, it is certain that the" Thunder
ing Legion" (legio fulminata) did not obtain this title from Marcus Aurelius, for it
belonged to them from the time of Augustus; on the other, there is nothing
violently incredible in the facts themselves. Contemporary Christians might easily
attribute such a surprising victory to the prayers of their fellow believers. There
is no confirmation among pagan authorities for the text of the supposed edict of
toleration. Those scholars who defend the general accuracy of the facts believe
it to be at least interpolated.
St Apollinaris may have penned his apology to the emperor about the year
175 to remind him of the benefit he had received from God by the prayers
of the Christians, and to implore his protection. We have no account of the
time of this holy man's death, which probably happened before that of Marcus
Aurelius.

For the "Thundering Legion" see Tertullian, Apologeticum, cap. 5, and Ad Scapulam,
cap. 4; Eusebius, Hist. eccl., bk v, cap. 5; J. B. Lightfoot, St Ignatius, vol. i (1889), pp.
469 seq.; Mommsen in Hermes, 1895, pp. 90-106; Allard, Histoire des persecutions, vol. i
(1903), pp. 394-396. For St Apollinaris, see Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. ii, pp. 4-8.
His name was added to the Roman Martyrology by Baronius, but there is no evidence of any
early cultus in either the East or West.

ST LUCIAN OF BEAUVAIS, MARTYR (A.D. 290?)


IT is said that this Lucian preached the gospel in Gaul in the third century and
came from Rome; he was possibly one of the companions of St Dionysius of Paris,
or at least of St Quentin. He sealed his mission with his blood at Beauvais, under
51
January 8] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Julian, vicar or successor to the persecutor Rictiovarus in the government of Gaul,


about the year 290. Maximian, called by the common people Messien, and Julian,
the companions of his labours, were crowned with martyrdom at the same place
a little before him. His relics, with those of his two colleagues, were discovered
in the seventh century, as St Quen informs us in his life of St Eligius. They were
shown in three gilt shrines in an abbey which bore his name, founded in the eighth
century. Rabanus Maurus says that these relics were famous for miracles when
he wrote, a hundred years later.
St Lucian is styled only martyr in most calendars down to the sixteenth century,
and in the Roman Martyrology; but a calendar compiled in the reign of Louis the
Pious calls him bishop, and he is honoured in that quality at Beauvais.

See the Acta Sanctorum for January 8, p. 640, though the two lives of this saint there
printed are of little or no authority. Duchesne in his Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, pp. I 19
and 141-152, discusses the case of St Lucian at some length, and shows good reason for
believing that the whole story is mythical. He strongly inclines to the belief that Rictiovarus
never existed. See H. Moretus, Les Passions de S. Lucien et leurs derives cephalophoriques
(1953)

ST SEVERINUS OF NORICUM (c. A.D. 480)


WE know nothing of the birth or country of this saint. From the purity of his
Latin he was generally supposed to be a Roman, and his care to conceal what rank
he had held in the world was taken for a proof of his humility and a presumption
that he was a person of birth. He spent the first part of his life in the deserts of the
East, but left his retreat to preach the gospel in Noricum (Austria). At first he
came to Astura, now Stockerau; but finding the people hardened in vice, he fore
told the punishment God had prepared for them, and repaired to Comagene
(Hainburg, on the Danube). It was not long ere his prophecy was veri
fied, for Astura was laid waste, and the inhabitants destroyed by the Huns. By the
fulfilment of this prophecy and by several miracles which he \vrought, the name
J

of the saint became famous. Faviana, a city on the Danube, distressed by a terrible
famine, implored his assistance. St Severinus preached penance among them with
great fruit, and he so effectually threatened a certain rich woman who had hoarded
up a great quantity of provisions, that she distributed all her stores amongst
the poor. Soon after his arrival, the ice of the Danube and the Inn breaking,
the country \vas abundantly supplied by barges IIp the rivers. Another time
by his prayers he chased away the swarms of locusts which were then threatening
the whole produce of the year. He wrought many miracles, yet never healed
the sore eyes of Bonosus, the dearest to him of his disciples, who spent forty
years without any abatement of his religious fervour. Severinus himself never
ceased to exhort all to repentance and piety; he redeemed captives, relieved
the oppressed, was a father to the poor, cured the sick, mitigated or averted
public calamities, and brought a blessing wherever he came. l\lany cities
desired him for their bishop, but he withstood their importunities by urging
that it was sufficient he had relinquished his dear solitude for their instruction
and comfort.
He established several monasteries, of which the most considerable was one on
the banks of the Danube near Vienna; but he made none of them the place of his
constant abode, often shutting himself up in a hermitage where he wholly devoted
52
ST E'RHARD [January 8
himself to contemplation. He never ate till after sunset, unless on great festivals,
and he always walked barefoot, even when the Danube was frozen. Kings and
princes of the barbarians came to visit him, and among them Odoacer on his march
for Italy. The saint's cell was so low that Odoacer could not stand upright in it.
St Severinus told him that the kingdorn he was going to conquer would shortly be
his, and Odoacer finding himself soon after master of the country, wrote to the
saint, promising him all he \vas pleased to ask; but Severin 11s only desired of him
the restoration of a certain banished man. Having foretold his death long before
it happened, he fell ill on January 5, and on the fourth day of his illness, repeating
that verse of the psalmist, " Let every spirit praise the Lord", he closed his eyes
in death. This happened between 476 and 482. Some years later his disciples,
driven out by the inroads of barbarians, retired with his relics into Italy, and
deposited them at Luculanum, near Naples, where a monastery was built, of which
Eugippius, his disciple and biographer, was soon after made abbot. In the year
9 I 0 they \\J"ere translated to Naples, where they \vere honoured in a Benedictine
abbey which bore his nan1e.
The one supreme authority for the life of St Severinus is the biography by his disciple
Eugippius, the best text of which is to be found in the edition of T. 1\1ommsen (1898), or
in that of the Vienna Corpus scriptorum ecclesiasticorum latinorum, edited by Pius Knoell
(1886). See also .A. Baudrillart, St Severin (1908); and T. Sommerlad, Wirtschafts
geschichtliche Untersuchungen, part ii (1903). Sommerlad shows some reason for thinking
that St Severinus belonged to a distinguished family in Africa, and that in his own country
he had been consecrated bishop before he sought refuge in the East and led the life of
a hermit or monk.

ST SEVERINUS, BISHOP OF SEPTEMPEDA (A.D. 550?)


THE ancient town of Septempeda in the Marches of Ancona is now called San
Severino, deriving its name from a St Severinus who is believed to have been bishop
there in the middle of the sixth century. He was the brother of St Victorinus,
whom Ado in his martyrology identifies with a nlartyr of that name. The con
fusion seems to have arisen from the fact that the relics of St Severinus of Noricum
were transferred to Naples, whence Ado was led to identify him with the Italian
St Severinus. The confusion is perpetuated in the present Roman Martyrology,
for there is no reason to believe that Severinus of Septempeda ever had anything
to do with Naples.
See the legend of SSe Severinus and V lctorinus in the Acta Sanctorum, January 8; and
c/. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxvii (1908), p. 466.

ST ERHARD, BISHOP (A.D. 686 ?)


1'HERE is better evidence for the existence of St Erhard, described as bishop of
Ratisbon (he "vas, however, possibly only a chorepiscopus, a sort of bishop auxiliary),
than there is for his supposed brother l\lbert. A strong local tradition evidenced.
by place names--e.g. Erhardsbrunnen ", "Erhardicrypta", etc.-as well as by
H

entries in calendars and other early documents, seems to imply a considerable


cultus dating back to the eighth century and possibly earlier. What purports to
be his episcopal staff of black buffalo-horn is still preserved, as well as part of his
skull. He rnay be identical with an abbot of Ebersheimmiinster whose name
appears in a Merovingian charter of the year 684. He is stated to have baptized
53
January 8] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAIN1-'S

St Odilia, who, though born blind, recovered her sight on receiving the sacrament.
Two or three lives of him have been printed by the Bollandists, but they are all
overlaid by fabulous or legendary matter. He is in some accounts described as an
Irishman, or at least of Irish descent but no great reliance can be placed upon this
statement.
The most trustworthy information which is available concerning St Erhard has been
collected by W. Levison in his preface to the Latin texts printed in lVIGH., Scriptores Jl,lerov.,
vol. vi, pp. 1-23.

ST GUDULA, VIRGIN (A.D. 712 ?)


ST AMALBERGA, mother of this saint, was niece to Bd Pepin of I~anden. Gudula
was educated at Nivelles, under the care of St Gertrude, her cousin and godmother,
after whose death in 664 she returned to the house of Count Witger, her father;
having by vow consecrated herself to God, she led a most austere life in watching,
fasting and prayer. By her profuse alms she was truly the mother of all the dis
tressed. Though her father's castle was two miles from the church at Morzelle,
she went thither early every morning, with a maid to carry a lantern before her;
and the wax taper being once put out, is said to have miraculously lighted again at
her prayers, whence she is usually represented in pictures with a lantern. She
died on January 8, perhaps in 712, and was buried at Hamme, near Brussels. In
the reign of Charlemagne, her body was removed to the church of Saint-Sauveur
at Morzelle, and placed behind the high altar. This emperor, out of veneration
for her memory, often resorted thither to pray, and founded a nunnery, which soon
after changed its name of St Saviour for that of St Goule. This house was
destroyed in the irruptions of the Normans. The relics of St Gudula, by the care
of Charles, Duke of Lorraine (in which Brabant was then compriged), were trans
lated to Brussels in 978, where they were first deposited in the church of St Gery,
bu t in 147 removed into the great collegiate church of St lVIichael, since called
from her St Gudule's. This saint was called colloquially Goule or Ergoule in
Brabant, and Goelen in Flanders.
See her life written by Hubert of Brabant in the eleventh century, soon after this trans
lation of her relics to St Michael's, who assures us that he took the whole relation from an
ancient life of the saint, having only changed the order and style. But even if we could trust
this statement, some of the miracles found in this and one or two other slightly differing
accounts are very extravagant-e.g. that a pair of gloves given her by a friend, which she
refused to use, remained suspended in the air for an hour; or that a tall poplar-tree grew up
beside her grave in a night. See for the texts the Acta Sanctorum, January 8, and c1. Des
tombes, Saints de Cambrai, vol. i, pp. 5 I-56. Visitors to Brussels often take the great
church of Sainte-Gudule for a cathedral, but Brussels has never been an episcopal see.

ST PEGA, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 719)


PEGA was sister to St Guthlac and she lived a retired life not far from her brother's
hermitage at Croyland, just across the border of ",-hat is now Northamptonshire,
on the western edge of the great Peterborough Fen. The place is now called
Peakirk, i.e. Pega's church. She attended her brother's funeral, making the
journey by water down the WeIland, and is reputed on that occasion to have cured
a blind man from Wisbech. She is said to have then gone on pilgrimage to Rome,
where she slept in the Lord about the year 719. Ordericus Vitalis says her relics
54
srr THORFINN [January 8
were honoured with miracles, and kept in a church which bore her name at Rome,
but this church is not now known.
The Bollandists have brought together scattered allusions from the Life of St Guthlac
and elsewhere (Acta Sancforum, January 8). See also DCB., vol. iv, pp. 280-281, and the
forthcoming Life of Guthlac by Bertram Colgrave.

ST WULSIN, BISHOP OF SHERBORNE

IN a charter which purports to emanate from King Ethelred in the year 998, Wulsin
is described as a loyal and trusty monk whonl St DUI~stan " loved like a son with
pure affection". It is a little difficult to be sure of the dates, but it would seem
that when Dunstan was bishop of London he obtained a grant of land from King
Edgar and restored the abbey of Westminster, making Wulsin superior of the dozen
monks he placed there. In 980 Wulsin was consecrated abbot, and thirteen years
afterwards he was appointed to the see of Sherborne. He seems to have died on
January 8, 1005. He was evidently much beloved, and is called Saint by Malmes
bury, Capgrave, F'lete and others, but his name apparently is not found in the
medieval English calendars.
See John Flete, History of Westminster Abbey (ed. Armitage Robinson, 1909), pp. 79-80 ;
Stubbs, Memorials of St Dunstan, pp. 304, 406-408; Stanton, Menology, p. 10.

ST THORFINN, BISHOP OF HAMAR (A.D. 1285)


IN the year 1285 there died in the Cistercian monastery at Ter Doest, near Bruges,
a Norwegian bishop named Thorfinn. He had never attracted particular attention
and was soon forgotten. But over fifty years later, in the course of some huilding
operations, his tomb in the church was opened and it was reported that the remains
gave out a strong and pleasing smell. The abbot made enquiries and found that
one of his monks, an aged man named \Valter de Muda, remembered Bishop
Thorfinn staying in the monastery and the impression he had made of gentle
goodness combined with strength. Father \Valter had in fact written a poem about
him after his death and hung it up over his tomb. It was then found that the
parchment was still there, none the worse for the passage of time. This was taken
as a direction from on high that the bishop's memory was to be perpetuated, and
Father \Valter was instructed to write down his recollections of him.
For all that, there is little enough known about St Thorfinn. He was a
Trondhjem man and perhaps was a canon of the cathedral of Nidaros, since there
was such a one named Thorfinn among those who witnessed the Agreement of
Tonsberg in 1277. This "vas an agreement between King Magnus VI and the
Archbishop of Nidaros confirming certain privileges of the clergy, the freedom of
episcopal elections and similar matters. Some years later King Eric* repudiated
this agreement, and a fierce dispute between church and state ensued. Eventually
the king outlawed the archbishop, John, and his two chief supporters, Bishop
Andrew of Oslo and Bishop Thorfinn of Hamar.
The last-named, after many hardships, including shipwreck, made his way to
the abbey of Ter Doest in Flanders, which had a number of contacts with the
Norwegian church. It is possible that he had been there before, and there is some
reason to suppose he \vas himself a Cistercian of the abbey of Tautra, near Nidaros.
* tie n1arrieJ lVlargaret, daughter of King Alexander III of Scotland. Their daughter
,,,as" l"'he lVlaid of I\'orVl'ay ", \vho has a paragraph in English and Scottish history.

55
January 9] THE LIVES OF THE SAIN1'S
After a visit to Rome he went back to 'fer Doest, in bad health. Indeed, though
probably still a youngish man, he saw death approaching and so made his will ;
he had little to leave, but what there was he divided between his mother, his brothers
and sisters, and certain monasteries, churches and charities in his diocese. He died
shortly after, on January 8, 1285.
After his recall to the memory of man as mentioned in the opening paragraph
of this notice, miracles were reported at his tomb, and 8t Thorfinn was venerated
by the Cistercians and around Bruges. In our own day his memory has been
revived among the few Catholics of Norway, and his feast is observed in his episcopal
city of Hamar. The tradition of Thorfinn's holiness ultimately rests on the poem
of Walter de Muda, wherein he appears as a kind, patient, generous man, whose
mild exterior covered a firm \vill against whatever he esteemed to be evil and
ungodly.
The text of Walter de Muda's poem and other pieces were printed in the Acta Sanctorum,
January 8. St Thorfinn is shown in his historical setting by Mrs U ndset in Saga of Saints
(1934). See also De Visch's Bibliotheca scriptorum ordinis Cisterciensis.

9 : ST MARCIANA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR (c. A.D. 303)

S
HE was a native of Rusuccur, a place in Mauritania, and, courageously
despising all worldly advantages to secure the possession of heavenly grace,
she bid defiance to the pagan idolaters in the persecution of Diocletian.
Marciana was beaten with clubs, and her chastity exposed to the rude attempts of
gladiators, in which danger God miraculously preserved her, and she became the
happy instrument of the conversion of one of them to the faith. At length she
was torn in pieces by a wild bull and a leopard in the amphitheatre at Caesarea in
Mauritania, about 100 miles west of the modern city of Algiers.
She is probably also commemorated on July 12 in the ancient breviary of Toledo, and
in the Roman and some other martyrologies both on July 12 and January 9. See a beautiful
ancient hymn in her praise in the Mozarabic breviary, and her acts in the Acta Sanctorum,
though their authority is more than questionable. She was especially honoured in Spain,
where she is patron of Tortosa, unless, indeed, there is really another martyr, likewise called
Marciana, who, according to the Roman l\lartyrology, suffered at 'rol~do on July 12 (BI-IL.,
n.7 80).

SSe JULIAN AND BASILISSA, AND COMPANIONS, MARTYRS (A.D. 304 ?)


ACCORDING to their" acts" and the ancient martyrologies, Julian and Basilissa,
though engaged in the married state, lived by mutual consent in perpetual chastity,
sanctified themselves by the exercises of an ascetic life, and employed their revenues
in relieving the poor and the sick. For this purpose they converted their house
into a kind of hospital, in which, if we may credit their acts, they sometimes
entertained a thousand indigent persons: Basilissa attended those of her sex;
Julian, on his part, ministered to the men with such charity that he was later on
confused with 8t Julian the Hospitaller. Egypt, where they lived, had then begun
to abound with examples of persons who, either in the cities or in the deserts,
devoted themselves to charity, penance and contemplation. Basilissa, after having
endured severe persecution, died in peace; Julian survived her many years, and
56
ST PETER OF SEBASTE.A [January 9
received the crown of a glorious martyrdom, together with Celsus a youth, Antony
a priest, Anastasius and Marcianilla, the mother of Celsus.
What purport to be the acts of these saints are mere romances abounding in contradictions.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 9. rrhe historical existence of any such couple is more
than doubtful. One of the versions of the legend of 8t Alexis (July 17) seems to be simply
a transcription of the first paragraphs of their long passio.

ST PETER, BISHOP OF SEBASTEA (A.D. 391)


THE family to which St Peter belonged was ancient and illustrious, but the names
of his ancestors are long since buried in oblivion, \vhilst those of the saints whom
his parents gave to the Church are inlmortal in the records of our Christian faith.
In this family three brothers were at the same time eminently holy bishops, St
Basil, St Gregory of Nyssa and St Peter of Sebastea; their eldest sister, St Macrina,
was the spiritual mother of many saints and excellent doctors; and their father and
mother, St Basil the Elder and St Emmelia, \vere banished for their faith in the
reign of the Emperor Galerius Maximian, and fled into the deserts of Pontus.
Finally, the grandmother was the celebrated St Macrina the Elder, 'who was
instructed in the science of salvation by St Gregory Thaumaturgus. Peter of
Sebastea was the youngest of ten children and lost his father in his cradle, so that
his eldest sister, Macrina, took charge of his education. In this duty her only aim
was to instruct him in religion: profane studies she thought of little use to one
\vhose thoughts were set upon the world to come. Neither did he resent these
restrictions, confining his aspirations to the monastic state. His mother had
founded two monasteries, one for men, the other for women; the former she put
under the direction of her son Basil, the latter under that of Macrina. Peter joined
the house governed by his brother, situated on the bank of the River Iris. When
St Basil was obliged to surrender that charge in 362 he appointed St Peter his
successor, \vho discharged this office for many years with great prudence and virtue.
When the provinces of Pontus and Cappadocia were visited by severe famine, he
gave proof of his charity. Human prudence would have advised him to be frugal
in the relief of others till his own community were secured against that calamity;
but Peter had studied the principles of Christian charity in another school, and
liberally disposed of all that belonged to the monastery to supply with necessaries
the destitute people who daily resorted to him in that time of distress. When 8t
Basil was made bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia in 370 he promoted Peter to the
priesthood. Basil died on January I in 379, and l\lacrina in the November of the
same year. Eustathius, Bishop of Sebastea in Armenia, an Arian and a persecutor
of St Basil, seems to have died shortly after them; for Peter was consecrated bishop
of Sebastea in 380 to root out the Arian heresy in that diocese. The evil had taken
such deep root that the zeal of a saint was necessary to deal \vith it. A letter \vhich
St Peter wrote, and which is prefixed to St Gregory of Nyssa's books against
Eunomius, has entitled him to a place among the ecclesiastical writers; and it is a
standing proof that though he had confined himself to sacred studies, yet by good
conversation and reading, and by his own natural gifts, he was inferior to none but
his incomparable brother Basil and his colleague Gregory Nazianzen in solid
eloquence. In 38 I St Peter attended the general council held at Constantinople.
Not only his brother St Gregory of Nyssa but also Theodoret, and all antiquity,
bear testimony to his sanctity, prudence and zeal. His death o.ccurred in summer
57
January 9] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

about the year 391, and his brother of Nyssa mentions that his memory was hon
oured at Sebastea (probably the very year after his death) by a solemn celebration,
together with that of some other martyrs of the same city. His name occurs in the
Roman Martyrology on January 9.
It is a wonderful thing to meet with a whole family of saints. This prodigy
of grace, under God, was owing to the example, prayers and exhortations of the
elder St Macrina. From her they learned to imbibe the true spirit of self-denial
and humility which all Christians confess to be the fundamental maxim of the
gospel. Unfortunately it generally happens that the principle is accepted as a
matter of speculation only, whereas it is in the heart that this foundation is to be laid.
We have little information about St Peter of Sebastea beyond the casual allusions contained
in St Gregory of Nyssa's Life of Macrina (in Migne, PG., vol. xlvi, pp. 960 seq.). His letter
addressed to his brother Gregory of Nyssa, entreating him to complete his treatise against
Eunomius, is printed in PG., Y01. xlv, pp. 241 seq. See also Acta Sanctorum, January 9 ;
DeB., vol. iv, pp. 345-346; and Bardenhewer, Patrology (Eng. trans.), pp. 295-297.

ST WANINGUS, OR VANENG (c. A.D. 683)


FROM various Merovingian sources it appears that Vaneng was made by Clotaire III
governor of that part of Neustria, or Normandy, which is called Pays de Cacx, at
which time he took great pleasure in hunting. Nevertheless, he was particularly
devout to St Eulalia of Barcelona, called in Guienne St Aulaire. One night he
seemed in a dream to hE'ar that holy virgin and martyr repeat to him those words
of our Redeemer in the Gospel, that " it is easier for a camel to pass through the
eye of a needle than for a rich man to be saved". This ,vas the turning point in
h.is life. He was entirely converted to God. He assisted St Wandrille in founding
the abbey at Fontenelle, and founded in the valley of Fecamp a church in honour
of the Holy Trinity, with a great nunnery adjoining, under the direction of St Ouen
and St Wandrille. Hildemarca, a very virtuous nun, was called from Bordeaux
and appointed the first abbess. Under her three hundred and sixty nuns served
God in this house, and were divided into as many choirs as were sufficient, in relays,
to continue the divine office night and day without interruption.
See the Acta Sanctorum, January 9; and also Vacandard, Vie de Saint Ouen. The Vie
de Saint Vaneng, by C. Labbe, was re-edited by 1\1ichael Hardy in 1873 (cf. BHL., n. 1272).

ST ADRIAN, ABBOT OF CANTERBURY (A.D. 710)


ADRIAN was an African by birth, and was abbot of Nerida, not far from Naples,
when Pope St Vitalian, upon the death of St Deusdedit, the archbishop of Canter
bury, judged him for his learning and virtue to be the most suitable person to be
the teacher of a nation still young in the faith. The humble servant of God found
means to decline that dignity by recommending St Theodore in his place, but was
willing to share in the more laborious part of the ministry. The pope therefore
enjoined him to be the assistant and adviser of the archbishop, to which Adrian
readily agreed.
St Theodore made him abbot of the monastery of SSe Peter and Paul, afterwards
called St Augustine's, at Canterbury, where he taught Greek and Latin, the learning
of the fathers, and, above all, virtue. Under Adrian and Theodore this monastic
school at Canterbury had a far-reaching influence-St Aldhelm came there from
Wessex, Oftfor from Whitby, and even students from Ireland. Roman law could
58
BD ALIX LE CLERCQ [January 9
be studied as well as the ecclesiastical sciences; and Bede says that there were
pupils of 8t Adrian who had a good knowledge of Greek and spoke Latin as well
as they did English. 8t Adrian had illuminated this island by his doctrine and
the example of his holy life, for the space of thirty-nine years, when he departed
to our Lord on January 9 in the year 710.
Goscelin of Canterbury has left an extremely interesting account of the discovery of St
Adrian's body, incorrupt and fragrant, in 191 (see l\1igne, PL., vol. elv, cc. 36-38). The
account is at least indirectly confirmed by later excavations; see Archaeologia Cantiana
(1917), vol. xxxii, p. 18. His tomb was famed for miracles, as we are assured by Goscelin,
quoted by William of l\1almesbury and Capgrave; and his name was inserted in English
calendars. See the Acta Sanctorum for January 9, where passages from Bede and Capgrave
are reproduced; and BHL., n. 558.

ST BERHTWALD, ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY (A.D. 731)


rrHE claim of Berhtwald (whose name is variously spelt Berctuald, Brithwald, etc.)
to be counted as a saint is somewhat questionable, and there is next to no evidence
of cultus. He was certainly abbot of Reculver in Kent, and was elected archbishop
in 692, but only consecrated a year later, in Gaul by the archbishop of Lyons; he
probably then went on to Rome for the pallium. Berhtwald was tactful and
energetic during the course of his long episcopate-thirty-seven years-and we
find him in friendly relations with 8t Aldhelm, 8t Boniface and other prominent
and holy ecclesiastics; but his attitude tovvards 8t Wilfrid was not sympathetic.
He died in January 73 I. A letter written to Berhtwald by Waldhere, Bishop of
London, is the first extant letter from one Englishman to another.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 9; DNB., vol. vi, p. 343; and Plummer's Bede, vol. ii,
p. 2 83.

BD ALIX LE CLERCQ, VIRGIN, CO-FOUNDRESS OF THE AUGUSTINIAN


CANONESSES REGULAR OF THE CONGREGATION OF OUR LADY (A.D.
1622)
ONE of the outstanding achievements of the Counter-ReFormation-like some of
its others, long overdue-was the beginning of proper provision for the schooling
and education of girls. In 1535 8t Angela Merici had founded the Ursulines for
this work; the teaching Religious of Notre Dame were begun by 8t Joan de
Lestonnac in 1606; in 1609 Mary Ward opened her first school for poor children;
and to these must be added the establishment by 8t Peter Fourier of the Augus
tinian Canonesses of the Congregation of Our Lady, an undertaking in which Alix
Le Clercq came to be associated as co-foundress.
She was born at Remiremont in the duchy of Lorraine in 1576. Her family
was a solid one, of good position, but little is known about her life until she was
nearly seventeen. By that time she was a tall, good-looking girl, fair in colouring,
of a somewhat delicate constitution, attractive and intelligent: in a word Alix was,
as Mgr Francis Gonne remarks, what the French call spirituelle. Another account,
written by herself, tells us that she revelled in such pleasures as music and dancing,
and being very popular was subjected to a good deal of flattery. The implication
is that she" revelled" too much: perhaps she did; but it should be remembered
that, when once people have become convinced that they have any faults at all,
they are apt to exaggerate them. And there is good evidence, her o\vn, that even
59
January 9] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
at this time Alix Le Clercq was not devoid of " seriousness" : " amid all the gaiety
her heart was sad", and gradually her harmless pleasures seemed to her to be no
more than frivolity.
Then, when she was nineteen, she had the first of the striking dreams that
became so marked a feature in her life. In this dream she was in church and
approaching the altar, when beside it she saw our Lady, dressed in a strange
religious habit, who beckoned her, saying, " Come, daughter, and I will welcome
you". Soon after, the Le Clercq family moved to Hymont, and Alix first met St
Peter Fourier, who was parish priest of Mattaincourt, near by. It was in the church
of this village, at Mass on three Sundays running, that she seemed to hear the
seductive music of a dance-drum, and then seemed to see its player, an evil spirit,
followed by a crowd of young people, " full of sprightly merriment". There and
then her conversion to a different sort of life was complete: "I resolved on the
spot that I would not belong to such a company".
Alix straightway cast aside her fine clothes and wore a simple peasant dress;
she hardly left her home; and, under the careful direction of Father Fourier, she
set herself to discover-not without much spiritual suffering-what it was that
God required of her. Both her father and the priest proposed that she should go
into a convent: but she said "No" to this, for from another dream she had
learned that it was in no existing order that her vocation lay. She told St Peter
Fourier that she was obsessed by the idea of a new, " active", foundation. He was
very properly sceptical about this, but at length told her to see if she could find
other girls of like mind-unlikely enough in a remote village of the Vosges. But
sure enough Alix found them.
And so at the midnight Mass of Christmas 1597 Alix Le Clercq, Ganthe Andre,
and Isabel and Joan de Louvroir were allowed publicly to dedicate themselves
wholly to God. Four weeks later it was made clear to St Peter Fourier that these
neophytes were to found a community under his direction. But meanwhile they
were the subject of adverse criticism. "The unassuming behaviour of these girls
was called singularity; their zeal, religiosity; their siITIple dress, hypocritical
affectation; and their humble bearing, silliness." This gossip naturally upset
Mr l~e Clercq; but he lacked imagination, and could think of nothing better than
to order his daughter to go as a boarder to a convent of Tertiaries of St Elizabeth
at Ormes. She obeyed; and found this relaxed convent to be something like
what we should call a women's residential club. But her father would not let her
come home.
A way out of the impasse was opened from an unexpected quarter. Three miles
from Mattaincourt, at the village of Poussay, there was an abbey of secular canon
esses, aristocratic and wealthy ladies who led a form of the conventual life mercifully
no longer existing in the Church. One of these good ladies, Madame Judith
d'Apremont, nlade up her mind to sponsor Alix Le Clercq and her three com
panions and to lodge them in a small house on her estate. Accordingly they took
up their quarters there on the eve of Corpus Christi 1598; and after a retreat they
unanimously and independently declared to Father Fourier that they believed
themselves called to begin a new congregation, that for them this was what would
be most pleasing to God. I t was decided that their work should be education,
" to teach children to read and write and sew, and especially to love and serve
God"; that they should never give up this work; and that it should be done,
whether for rich or poor, without charge, " as that is more pleasing to God".
60
BD ALIX LE CLERCQ rJanuar)' 9

The life of the embryonic congregation was notable in these early days for a
measure of physical austerity that was later to be found incompatible with the hard
discipline of teaching the young. But the spectacle of such devotion at their very
door inspired some of the younger canonesses of the abbey to ask to be transferred
to the new foundation-they wanted to stop having "all the privileges of the
conventual life with none of its hardships". Their lady abbess, Madame d' Amon
court, was alarmed-many monasteries in France had learned nothing from the
impact of the Reformation on monasticism in other lands-fearing that her own
community might be broken up; and for some \veeks there was a rather critical
situation. But again J.\tladame d' Apremont solved the difficulty, by providing
another house, this time at Mattaincourt. It was to be the first proper convent of
the new congregation.
But as yet the sisters were not formally reljgious, and their anomalous position
upset Mr Le Clercq, who again interfered with his daughter, telling her that she
was to withdraw to the Poor Clare house at Verdun. St Peter Fourier told Alix
she must obey, and in great anguish of spirit she got ready. But her father, moved
as he said by some power beyond his understanding, withdrew his order and ceased
to interfere. There then occurred a determined attempt on the part of a Franciscan
Recollect friar, Father Fleurant Boulengier, to " capture" the community for the
Poor Clares. Peter Fourier's belief in the divine acceptance of his foundation
wavered: he recommended, with a force only short of a direct command, that they
should regularize their position by joining the Clares-Alix and her companions
refused. " We have banded together", they said, " to look after neglected children:
why should we be dragged away from this and sent to a convent that God does not
want us to go to ? "
Father Fourier, in equal good faith, interpreted the will of God in the opposite
sense. It is an old dilemma. Or was he just trying them? In any case, after
months of uncertainty, he accepted the sisters' decision, and so did Father Fleurant.
In 1601 St Peter Fourier and Bd Alix made their second foundation, at Saint
Mihiel; Nancy, Pont-a-Mousson, Saint-Nicolas de Port, Verdun and Chalons
followed, the last, in 1613, being the first outside Lorraine. All this time there
was no sign from Rome of official approval for the new congregation. The novel
request that day-pupils should be taken, and therefore admitted into the enclosure,
roused hostility (" The Church is going to the dogs, sir! "); and the delay in
approbation lent an edge to wagging tongues and endangered the existence of the
convents. Fourier sent Bd Alix and another sister to the Ursulines in Paris to
learn more about monastic life and teaching methods and again they were invited
to give up a separate existence. This time Alix seriously considered if it were not
the best thing to do. Father (afterwards cardinal) de Berulle settled it. "I don't
believe", he declared to her bluntly, " that God is asking for this fusion. Dismiss
it from your mind."
It was not till 1616 that in two bulls the Holy See signified its first approval of
the Augustinian Canonesses of the Congregation of Our Lady.* Subsequently
the Bishop of Toul approved their constitutions; and St Peter :r"'ourier then
proceeded to clothe thirteen of them with the habit, designed in accordance with
what Bd Alix had seen our Lady wearing in the dream recorded above; and then
they all had to begin a twelve months' novitiate, in spite of the fact that some of
Their style as " canonesses " 'was conflnned in 1628; it carried with it of course the
obligation and privilege of reciting the Divine Office in choir.
61
January 9] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
them had been leading a conventual life for twenty years. But all was not well.
The papal bulls of approbation had not mentioned the congregation as a whole,
but only its convent at Nancy. Now there was already a certain ~'feeling"
between this house and the others, for Nancy was under the protection of Cardinal
Charles of Lorraine, and the primate of Lorraine, Antony de Lenoncourt, had
practically taken its direction out of Father Fourier's hands into his own. The
apparent partiality of the bulls aggravated this spirit of dissension, and a very
unhappy state of affairs resulted. In the upshot Bd Alix had to yield her rightful
place as superioress in the congregation to l\10ther Ganthe Andre, "without
whom", in the words of Father Fourier, "our order would never have been
established", though she and Alix were far from being in agreement about its
organization.
That sort of trial heroic sanctity seems to take in its stride. But that was not
all. Bd Alix was subjected to personal attack and the venom of slanderous rumour.
At the same time she had to face spiritual dryness, temptations and a " dark night"
of great severity. And as, in the words of one of her nuns, " she entered into the
sufferings of others so feelingly that she made them her own ", her burden was
indeed heavy: she had plenty of opportunity to put into practice her own axiom
common to all saints and mystics-" I value one act of humility more than a
hundred ecstasies". Further opportunities were provided by St Peter Fourier
himself. Bd Alix is now recognized as the co-foundress of the Augustinian
Canonesses of Our Lady; but it was not so while she lived, and Father Fourier
did not allow it to appear so. He consistently and openly" kept her in her place".
It is possible that he was, in a sense, a little afraid of her, for in contrast with his
own solid, cautious temperament, Alix Le Clercq must often have seemed to him
alarmingly "imaginative".
In December 1621 she was allowed to resign the office of local superioress at
Nancy, and she entered upon a few weeks of radiant peace, which was in fact a
prelude to death a month later. She had been seriously ill for a long time, and now
when it was known the doctors had given up hope all Nancy was grieved, from the
duke and duchess of Lorraine to the school-girls and the beggar-women. St Peter
Fourier hurried to Nancy, but he would not enter the conventual enclosure till the
bishop ordered him to do so. Then he heard Alix's confessioft and prepared her
for the passage" from death to life". On the Epiphany she tOO~{ a solemn farewell
of her community, exhorting them to love and unity, and on January 9, after a
searching agony, the end came. Bd Alix was not quite forty-six.
High and low acclaimed her as a saint, and steps were taken to collect evidence
for the prosecution of her cause. But nothing was done more definitely, war
pushed it out of sight, and it was not till 1947 that Alix Le Clercq was beatified.
Her body was buried in the crypt under the convent chapel at Nancy. During
the Revolution this convent was sacked; it is said that Bd Alix's body was hastily
buried in the garden for safety, but all efforts to find it have failed. That would
have pleased her humility, she whose deeds of love and spiritual insights and visions
were so far as possible concealed. She was completely at ease only when she could
be humble and obedient, teaching the ABC and simple addition to half-a-dozen
little children at Poussay or Mattaincourt, for instance. But in the long disagree
ments and uncertainties about the organization of the congregation, in such matters
she was mistress of herself and of the policies she believed right; and she was
always an excellent superior. But a Protestant historian, Professor Pfister, has
62
ST JOHN THE GOOD [January 10

acutely remarked that, "When she was appointed to direct the Nancy house, she had
only one ambition; and that was again to be a simple sister, teaching their letters to
the four and five-year-olds in the bottom class". The last word about Bd Alix Le
Clercq is with Mother Angelique Milly-" she was the child of deep silence".
In I 666 the Nancy convent published what purported to be a life of Alix Ie Clercq but
was in fact an extremely valuable collection of documents bearing on that life. I t was due
to a copy of this book coming into the hands of the young Count Gandelet that the cause of
her beatification was begun by the Bishop of Saint-Die in 1885. The first biography proper
to be published appeared at Nancy in 1773 (one of 1766 remains in manuscript), and then
not another till 1858, after which there were several. La 1~1ere Alix Le Clercq (-1935), by
Canon Edmond Renard, is the standard modern work, full, critical and well written. In
English there is a short but very good biography by Margaret St L. West (1947). Reference
can also be made to the standard lives of St Peter Fourier by Father Bedel (1645), Dom
Vuillemin (1897), and Father Rogie, of which the last is the best. The writer of the preface
to the English life of Bd Alix speaks of the excellent methods used in the schools conducted
by her congregation. Fourier himself used to instruct his canonesses in pedagogy, and brief
reference to some of his enlightened educational ideas is made in the notice accorded to him
herein on December 9. The feast of Bd Alix is now kept on October 22.

10 : ST MARCIAN (A.D. 471)

ARCIAN was born, and spent his life, in Constantinople, of a Roman

M family related to the imperial house of Theodosius. From his childhood


he served God, and he secretly gave away great sums to the poor. About
the year 455 the Patriarch Anatolius, disregarding the saint's protests of unworthi
ness, ordained him priest. In this new state Marcian saw himself under a s~ricter
obligation than before of labouring to reach the summit of Christian perfection;
and whilst he made the instruction of the poor his favourite employment, he
redoubled his earnestness in providing for their bodily needs, and was careful to
relax no part of his own austerities. The severity of his morals was made a handle,
by those who resented the tacit censure of such an example, to fasten upon him a
suspicion of Novatianism, but his meekness at length triumphed over the slander.
This persecution served more and more to purify his soul. His virtue only shone
forth with greater lustre than ever when the cloud was dispersed, and the Patriarch
Gennadius, with the great applause of the whole body of the clergy and people,
conferred on him the dignity of Oikonomos, which was the second in that church.
St Marcian built or restored a number of churches in Constantinople, notably that
known as the Anastasis, and was famous for miracles both before and after his
death, which probably occurred in 471. He has been regarded by some as a writer
of liturgical hymns.
He is honoured both in the Greek Menaion and Roman Martyrology. See his ancient
anonymous life in Surius and in the Acta St.nctorum, January 10. Cf. also DCB., vol. iii,
p. 185; and K. Krumbacher, Geschichte der Byzantinischen Literatur, p. 663.

ST JOHN THE GOOD, BISHOP OF MILAN (A.D. 660)


THE see of the leading bishopric of Liguria had been transferred in the earlier part
of the seventh century from Milan to Genoa. In the pontificate of St John
Camillus Bonus it was again restored to Milan. We are told that he was a strenuous
defender of orthodoxy against the monothelites, and that he took part in the Council
63
January 10] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
of the Lateran in 649. Beyond this we know very little of the saint who is com
memorated in the Roman Martyrology on this day. There is not much indication
of cultus until after Archbishop Aribert in the eleventh century discovered the body
of St John. A second translation was carried out by St Charles Borromeo in 1582.
St John is said to have died on January 3, 660.

See Acta Sanctorum, January 10; and L-1nalecta Bolhindiana, vol. xv ( 18 96), p. 357.
Cf. P. Olcese, Biografia di S. Giovanni Bono (1894).

ST AGATHO, POPE (A.D. 681)


AGATHa, a Sicilian Greek by birth, was remarkable for his benevolence and an
engaging s\veetness of temper. He had been married and engaged in secular
pursuits for twenty years before he became a monk at Palermo; and was treasurer
of the Church at Rome when he succeeded Donus in the pontificate in 678. He
presided by his three legates at the sixth general council (the third of Constantin
ople) in 680 against the monothelite heresy, which he confuted in a learned letter
by the tradition of the apostolic church of Rome: "acknowledged", says he, " by
the whole Catholic Church to be the mother and mistress of all churches, and to
derive her superior authority from St Peter, the prince of the apostles, to whom
Christ committed His whole flock, with a promise that his faith should never fail".
1'his epistle was approved as a rule of faith by the same council, which declared
that" Peter spoke by Agatho ". This pope restored St Wilfrid to the see of York,
and granted privileges to several English monasteries. A terrible plague which
devastated ROlne at this period may have been at least the indirect cause of his own
death, which occurred in 681.
St Agatho lived in troubled times. The reason he alleges in excusing the bad
Greek of the legates whom he sent to Constantinople was that the graces of speech
could not be cultivated amidst the incursions of barbarians, whilst with much
difficulty they earned their daily subsistence by manual labour ; "but we preserve",
said he with simplicity of heart, " the faith which our fathers have handed down
to us". The bishops, his legates, say the same thing: "Our countries are
harassed by the fury of barbarous nations. We live in the midst of battles, raids
and devastations: our lives pass in continual alarms, and we subsist by the labour
of our hands." Pope Agatho himself had died before the council concluded its
seSSIons.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 10, and especially Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis,
vol. i, pp. 350-358 ; (1. Mann, Lives of the Popes, vol. ii, pp. 23-48.

ST PETER ORSEOLO
THE vocation of 5t Peter Orseolo (U rseolus) must count among the strangest of
those recorded in ecclesiastical history. Born in 928 of a distinguished Venetian
family, he seems already at the age of twenty to have been appointed to the command
of the fleet of the city of the lagoons, in which office he conducted a successful
campaign against the Dalmatian pirates who infested the Adriatic. How far he
was personally involved in the popular outbreak of 976, which ended in the violent
death of the Doge Peter Candiani IV, and in the destruction by fire of a large part
of the city, cannot be clearly determined. The testimony of St Peter Damian
which attributes the responsibility to Orseolo can only be accepted with reserve.
64
ST WILLIAM OF BOLTRGES [Ja1luary 10

It was, however, Orseolo who was chosen doge in place of the murdered Candiani,
and the best modern authorities pay a high tribute to his energy and tact during
his brief administration. " He was", we are told, " a rnan of saintly character,
but like all his race possessing higher qualities of statesmanship than were to be
found in his predecessors in the ducal chair. His first care was to repair the dalnage
wrought by the fire. He began the building of a new palace and church. He
renewed the treaty with Istria. But his great service to the state lay in this, that
he met and settled, to the nominal satisfaction of Otto II, the clainls of the \vidowed
dogaressa Gualdrada. . . . On these terms Gualdrada signed a quittance of all
claims against the State of Venice." 1'he grievances of Gualdrada had created a
great political crisis, but this was now safely tided over.
Then an astounding thing happened. On the night of September I, 978,
Peter Orseolo secretly left Venice arld took refuge in the Benedictine abbey of Cuxa,
in Roussillon on the borders of France and Spain. lIis wife, to whom he had been
married for thirty-two years, and his only son, who was himself destined to become
one of the greatest of the Venetian doges, were apparently for a long time in entire
ignorance of the place of his retreat. Still, Peter's apparently sudden resolution
may not have been so entirely unpremeditated as it seems. There is early evidence
for the belief that he and his wife had lived as brother and sister ever since the birth
of their only child, and it has also been suggested that a letter of Ratherius, addressed
to him possibly as early as 968, shows that Peter had already entertained the idea
of becoming a monk. 'rhere is in any case no doubt that at Cuxa ()rseolo led for
a while a life of the strictest asceticism and self-effacement under the holy Abbot
Guarinus; and then, desirous of still greater solitude, he built a hermitage for
himself, probably at the urging of 5t Romuald, whom he met at Cuxa, and who
was the great propagator of this particular development of the Benedictine vocation.
5t Peter died in 987, and many miracles were said to have taken place at his tomh.

See l\!Iabillon, vol. v, pp. 85 I seq. ,. TaIra, Saint Pierre Orseolo (1897); Analecta BollOll
diana, vol. xvii (1898), p. 252; BHL., n. 986. And cf. H. F. Brown in the G'Iambri((f.(f
Mediaeval History, vol. iv, p. 403 (quoted above).

ST WILLIAM, ARCHBISHOP OF BOURGES

,\VILLIAM DE DONJEON, belonging to an illustrious family of Nevers, was educated


by his uncle, Peter, Archdeacon of 50issons, and he \vas early made canon, first of
Soissons and afterwards of Paris; but he soon took the resolution of abandoning
the world altogether, and retired into the solitude of Grandmont Abbey, \vhere he
lived with great regularity in that austere order, till, seeing its peace disturhed by a
contest which arose between the choir monks and lay-brothers, he passed into the
Cistercians, then in wonderful repute for sanctity. He took the habit in the abhey
of Pontigny, and was after some tirrle chosen abbot, first of Fontaine-Jean, in the
diocese of Sens, and secondly in 1187 of (:hf1lis, near Senlis, a much nlore nUlnerous
monastery, also a filiation of Pontigny, built by Louis the Fat in 1136, a little before
his death. 5t \Villiam always reputed himself the last among his brethren; and
the sweetness of his expression testified to the joy and peace that o,erflowed his
soul, and made virtue appear engaging even in the midst of formidahle austerities.
On the death of Henry de Sully, Archbishop of Bourges, the clergy of that
church requested his brother Eudo, Bishop of Paris, to assist them in the election
of a pastor. Desirous to choose some abbot of the Cistercian ()rder, they put on
65
January 10] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
the altar the names of three, written on as many slips of parchment. This manner
of election by lot would have been superstitious had it been done relying on a
miracle without the warrant of divine inspiration. But it did not deserve this
censure, when all the persons proposed seemed equally worthy and fit, as the choice
was only rec'ommended to God, and left to this issue by following the rules of His
ordinary providence and imploring His light. Eudo accordingly, having made
his prayer, drew first the name of the abbot William, to \vhom also the majority of
the votes of the clergy had been already given. It was on November 23, 1200.
This news overwhelmed William. He never would have acquiesced had he not
received a double command in virtue of obedience, one from Pope Innocent III,
the other from his superior, the Abbot of Citeaux. He left his solitude with tears,
and soon after was consecrated.
In this new dignity 8t William's first care was to bring both his exterior and
interior life up to the highest possible standard, being very sensible that a man's
first task is to honour God in his own soul. He redou bled his austerities, saying
it was now incumbent on him to do penance for others as well as for himself. He
always \vore a hair-shirt under his religious habit, and never added or diminished
anything in his clothing whatever the season of the year; and he never ate any
flesh-meat, though he had it at his table for guests. The attention he paid to his
flock was no less remarkable, especially in assisting the poor both spiritually and
corporally, saying that he was chiefly sent for them. He was most gentle in dealing
with penitent sinners, but inflexible towards the impenitent, though he refused to
have recourse to the civil power against them, the usual remedy of that age. Many
such he at last reclaimed by his sweetness and charity. Certain great men abusing
his leniency, usurped the rights of his church; but William strenuously defended
them even against the king himself, notwithstanding his threats to confiscate his
lands. By humility and patience he overcame, on more than one occasion, the
opposition of his chapter and other clergy. He converted many Albigensian
heretics, and was preparing for a mission among them at the time he was seized
with his last illness. He persisted, nevertheless, in preaching a farewell sermon
to his people, which increased his fever to such a degree that he was obliged to
postpone his journey and take to his bed. The night following, perceiving his last
hour was at hand, he desired to anticipate the Nocturns, which are said at midnight;
but having made the sign of the cross on his lips and breast, he was unable to
pronounce more than the first two words. Then, at a sign which he made, he was
laid on ashes, and thus 8t William died, a little past midnight, on the morning of
January 10, 129. His body was interred in his cathedral, and being honoured by
many miracles it was enshrined in 1217, and in the year following he was canonized
by Pope Honorius I I 1.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 10, and the Analecta Bol!andiana, vol. iii (1884),
pp. 271--361 ; BHL., nn. 1283-1284.

BD GREGORY X, POPE (A.D. 1276)

THEOBALD VISCONTI belonged to an illustrious Italian family and was born at


Piacenza in 1210. In his youth he was distinguished for his virtue and his success
as a student. He devoted himself especially to canon law, which he began in Italy
and pursued at Paris and Liege. He was acting as archdeacon of this last church
when he received an order from Pope Clement IV to preach the crusade for the
66
ST HYGINUS [January II

recovery of the Holy Land. A tender compassion for the distressed situation of
the servants of Christ in those parts moved the holy archdeacon to undertake a
dangerous pilgrimage to Palestine, where Prince Edward of England then was.
At this time the see of Rome had been vacant almost three years, from the death
of Clement IV in November 1268, since the cardinals who were assembled at
Viterbo could not come to an agreement in the choice of a pope. At last, by com
mon consent, they referred the election to a committee of six amongst them, who
on September I, 1271 nominated Theobald Visconti.
Arriving in Rome in March, he was first orda ined priest, then consecrated
bishop, and crowned on the 27th of the same month, in 1272. He took the name
of Gregory X, and to procure the most effectual succour for the Holy Land he
called a general council to meet at Lyons. This fourteenth general council, the
second of Lyons, was opened in May 1274. Among those assembled were St
Albert the Great and St Philip Benizi; St Thomas Aquinas died on his way
thither, and St Bonaventure died at the council. In the fourth session the Greek
legates on behalf of the Eastern emperor and patriarch restored communion between
the Byzantine church and the Holy See. Pope Gregory, we are told, shed tears
whilst the Te Deum was sung. Unhappily the reconciliation was short-lived.
After the council, Bd Gregory devoted all his energies to concerting measures
for carrying its decrees into execution, particularly those relating to the crusade
in the East, which, however, never set out. This unwearied application to business,
and the fatigues of his journey across the Alps on his return to Rome brought on
a serious illness, of which he died at A:-ezzo on January 10, 1276. The name of
Gregory X was added to the Roman Martyrology by Pope Benedict XIV; his
holiness was always recognized, and had he lived longer he would doubtless have
left a deeper mark on the Church.
The account of his life and miracles in the archives of the tribunal of the Rota may be
found in Benedict XIV, De canoniz., bk ii, appendix 8. See likewise his life, copied from
the MS. history of several popes by Bernard Guidonis, published by Muratori, Scriptor.
Ital., vol. iii, p. 597, and another life, written before 1297, in which mention is made of
miraculous cures performed by him (ibid., pp. 599,604). There is also, of course, a copious
modern literature regarding Bd Gregory X, dealing more especially with his relation to
politics and his share in the election of the Emperor Rudolf of Hapsburg. It may be suffi
cient to mention the works of Zisterer, Otto and Redlich. The Regesta of Gregory X have
been edited by Jean Guiraud.

11 : ST HYGINUS, POPE (c. A.D. 142)

N the Roman Martyrology St Hyginus is described as a martyr, but there is

I no early evidence of this. We are told in the Liher Pontificalis that he was a
Greek by birth, but the further statement that he had been a philosopher is
probably due to some confusion with another Hyginus. Eusebius lets us know
that his predecessor died during the first year of the Emperor Antoninus Pius, so
that it is likely that the pontificate of Hyginus lasted from 138 to 142. From St
Irenaeus we learn that at this time two Gnostic heresiarchs, Valentinus and Cerdo,
were present in Rome and caused trouble in the Church, but how far the trouble
had progressed before Hyginus himself was summoned to his reward is not certain.
See Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, vol. i, p. 131 ; Acta Sanctorum, January I I.
January I 11 1'}-IE LIVES OF T'llE SAINTS

ST THEODOSIUS THE CENOBIARCH


ST THEODOSIUS was born at Garissus, incorrectly, it seems, called lViogarissus, in
Cappadocia in 423. He \vas ordained reader, but being moved by Abraham's
exalnple in quitting his country and friends, he resolved to do 'tikewise. He
accordingly started for Jerusalem, but \vent out of his road to visit the famous 8t
Simeon Stylites on his pillar, who foretold many circumstances of his future life,
~nd gave him advice regarding them. Having satisfied his devotion in visiting
the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in\vhat manner he should
dedicate hirrlself to God. The dangers of living without a guide made him prefer
a monastery to a herlnitage; and he therefore put himself under the direction
of a holy man named I.longinus, \\ho soon conceived a warm affection for his
disciple. A lady having built a church on the high road to Bethlehem, Longinus
could not \\rell refuse her request that his pupil should undertake the charge of
it; but Theodosius could not easily be induced to consent: absolute commands
,vere necessary before he \vould undertake the charge. Nor did he govern long;
instead he retired to a cave at the top of a neighbouring mountain.
When many sought to serve God under his direction Theodosius at first deter
mined only to admit six or seven, but was soon obliged to receive a greater nUlnber,
and at length came to a resolution never to reject any that presented themselves
with dispositions that seemed sincere. The first lesson which he taught his monks
was by means of a great grave he had dug, which might serve for the common
burial-place of the community, that by the presence of this reminder they might
more perfectly learn to die daily. The burial-place being made, the abbot one day
said, " The grave is made; who will first occupy it ?" Basil, a priest, falling on
his knees. said to 8t 1'heodosius, " Let me be the first, if only you will give me your
blessing." ~rhe abbot ordered the prayers of the Church for the dead to be offered
up for him, and on the fortieth day Basil departed to the Lord in peace, without
any apparent sickness.
'Vhen the holy company of disciples \vas twelve in number, it happened that
at Easter they had nothing to eat-they had not even bread for the sacrifice. Some
murmured, but the saint bade them trust in God and He would provide: which
was soon remarkably verified by the arrival of a train of mules loaded with provi
sions. The sanctity and miracles of St Theodosius attracting numbers who
desired to serve God under his direction, the available space proved too small for
their reception. Accordingly he built a spacious monastery at a place called
Cathismus, not far from Bethlehem, and it was soon filled with monks. To this
monastery were annexed three infirmaries: one for the sick; another for the aged
and feeble; the third for such as had lost their reason, a condition then commonly
ascribed to diabolical poss~ssion, but due, it would seem, in many cases, to rash
and extravagant practices of asceticism. All succours, spiritual and temporal, were
afforded in these infirmaries, with admirable order and benevolence. There were
other buildings for the reception of strangers, in which Theodosius exercised an
unbounded hospitality. We are told, indeed, that there were one day above a
hundred tables served; and that food, when insufficient for the number of guests,
was more than once miraculously multiplied by his prayers.
The monastery itself was like a city of saints in the midst of a desert, and in it
reigned regularity, silence, charity and peace. There were four churches belonging
to it, one for each of the three several nations of ,vhich his community was chiefly
68
ST TI-IEODOSILTS THE CENOBIARCH [January I I

composed, each speaking a different language; the fourth was for the use of such
as were in a state of penance, including those recovering from their lunatic or
possessed condition before-mentioned. The nations into which his community
was divided were the Greeks, who were by far the most numerous, and consisted
of all those that came from any province of the empire; the Armenians, with whom
were joined the Arabians and Persians; and, thirdly, the Bessi, who comprehended
all the northern nations belo\v Thrace, or all who used the Slavonic tongue. Each
nation sang the first part of the Eucharistic Liturgy to the end of the gospel in their
own church, but after the gospel all met in the church of the Greeks, where they
celebrated the essential part of the liturgy in Greek, and communicated all together.
The monks passed a considerable part of the day and night in the church, and at
the times not set apart for public prayer and necessary rest everyone was obliged
to apply himself to some trade or manual labour not incompatible with recollection,
in order that the house might be supplied with conveniences. Sallust, Patriarch
of Jerusalem, appointed 8t Sabas head of all the hermits, and our saint of
the cenobites, or men living in community, throughout Palestine, whence he was
styled "the Cenobiarch". These two great servants of God lived in close
friendship, and it was not long before they were also united in their sufferings for
the Church.
The Emperor Anastasius patronized the Eutychian heresy, and used all possible
means to win our saint over to his own views. In 513 he deposed Elias, Patriarch
of Jerusalem, just as he had previously banished Flavian I I of Antioch, and intruded
Severus into that see. Theodosius and Sabas maintained boldly the rights of Elias,
and of John his successor; whereupon the imperial officers thought it advisable
to connive at their proceedings, considering the great authority they had acquired
by their sanctity. Soon after, the emperor sent Theodosius a considerable sum of
money, for charitable uses in appearance, but in reality to engage him in his interest.
The saint accepted it, and distributed it all among the poor. Anastasius, now
persuading himself that Theodosius was as good as gained over to his cause, sent
him a heretical profession of faith, in which the divine and human natures in Christ
were confounded into one, and desired him to sign it. The saint wrote him an
answer full of apostolic spirit, and for a time the emperor was more peaceable.
But he soon renewed his persecuting edicts against the orthodox, despatching
troops everywhere to have them put into execution. On intelligence of this,
Theodosius travelled through Palestine, exhorting all to stand firm in the faith of
the four general councils. At Jerusalem he cried out from the pulpit, " If anyone
receives not the four general councils as the four gospels, let him be anathema."
So bold an action put courage into those whom the edicts had terrified. His
discourses had a wonderful effect on the people, and God gave a sanction to his
zeal by some striking miracles. One of these was, that on his going out of the
church at Jerusalem, a woman was healed of a cancer by touching his garments.
The emperor sent an order for his banishment, which was executed; but dying
soon after, Theodosius was recalled by his successor, Justin.
During the last year of his life St Theodosius was afflicted with a painful
infirmity, in which he gave proof of heroic patience and submission to the will of
God; for being advised by a witness of his sufferings to pray that God would grant
him some ease, he \vould give no ear to the suggestion, alleging that such ideas
implied a lack of patience. Perceiving that his end was close at hand, he addressed
a last exhortation to his disciples, and foretold many things \vhich came to pass after
69
January 12] ~rHE LIVES OF ~rHE SAIl\;~rS

his death. He went to his reward in 529, in the one hundred and fifth year of his
age. Peter, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and the whole country were present at his
funeral, which was honoured by miracles. He was huried In his first cell, called
the cave of the Magi, because the wise men who came to find Christ soon after his
birth were said to have lodged in it. A military commander, on his march
against the Persians, begged to have the hair-shirt which the saint used to wear, and
believed that he owed the victory which he obtained over them to the prayers of
St Theodosius.

T'here are t\vo main sources for the history of St 'Theodosius, one the hiography written
by his disciple Theodore, Bishop of Petra, the other a shorter abstract hy Cyril of Skythopolis.
The C;reek text of both of these was printed for the first tinle hy Ff. LTsener: see his book
Der heilige Theodosios (1890). To the critical material thus proYided, K. Krumbacher
has made ilnportant additions in the Sitzungsberirhte of the 1\lunich Academy for 1892,
pp. 220-379. C/. also the Byzantinische Zeitschnjt (1897), Y01. "i, pp. 357 seq. ; ~4cta Sanc
torum, January I I ; and E. Sch\vartz, Kyrillos 7.'on Skythopolis (1939), for text of the
shorter life.

ST SALVIUS, OR SAUVE, BISHOP OF AMIENS (c. A.D. 625)


F A1VI0US for miracles, Salvius succeeded Ado in the see of Amiens and flourished
in the reign of Theodoric II. His relics formerly were venerated at l\10ntreuil in
Picardy, in the Benedictine abbey which bore his name, whither they were translated
from the cathedral of Amiens several years after his death, as is related in his
anonymous life, a worthless compilation, largely borrowed, as Duchesne points out,
from the account given of another St Salvius, of Albi, by Gregory of Tours. A
relic of Salvius was formerly kept in the cathedral of Canterbury. This saint must
not be confounded with St Salvius of Albi, nor with the martyr of this name in
Africa, on whose festival St Augustine delivered a sermon. St Salvius is styled
martyr in the Roman Martyrology, but for this, as Father Bollandus himself noted
nearly three centuries ago, there is no foundation.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January I I; Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux,o Corblet,
Hagiographie d'Amiens, vol. iii, pp. 463 seq.

12 : ST ARCADIUS, MARTYR (A.D. 30 4?)

T
HE time of this saint's n1artyrdom is not mentioned in his acts; some place
it under Valerian, others under Diocletian; he seems to have suffered in
some city of Mauritania, probably the capital, Caesarea. The fury of the
persecutors was at its height. Upon the least suspicion they broke into houses,
and if they found a Christian they treated him upon the spot with the greatest
cruelty, their impatience not suffering them to wait for his formal indictment.
Every day new sacrileges were committed; the faithful were compelled to assist
at su perstitious sacrifices, to lead victims cro\vned with flowers through the streets,
to burn incense before idols. Arcadius, seeing the terrible conditions prevailing,
withdrew to a solitary place in the country, but his flight could not be long a secret;
for his non-appearance at the public sacrifices made the governor send soldiers to
his house, who, finding one o his relations there, seized him, and the governor
ordered him to be kept in custody till Arcadius should be taken.

7
SS. TIGRIUS AND EUTROPIUS [January 12

The martyr, informed of his friend's danger, went into the city, and presenting
himself to the judge, said, " If on my account you detain my innocent kinsman in
chains, release him; I, Arcadius, am come in person to give an account of myself,
and to declare to you that he knew not where I was." "I aln willing", answered
the judge, "to pardon not only him, but you also, on condition that you will
sacrifice to the gods." Arcadius refused firmly; whereupon the judge said to the
executioners, " Take him, and let him desire death without being able to obtain it.
Cut off his limbs joint by joint, but do this so slowly that the "'retch may know what
it is to abandon the gods of his ancestors for an unknown deity". The executioners
dragged Arcadius to the place where many other victims of Christ had already
suffered; and he stretched out his neck, expecting to be decapitated; but the
executioner bid him hold out his hand, and, joint after joint, chopped off his fingers,
arms and shoulders. In the same barbarous manner were cut off his toes, feet,
legs and thighs. The martyr held out his limbs one after another with invincible
courage, repeating, "Lord, teach me thy wisdom": for the tormentors had
forgotten to cut out his tongue. After so many martyrdoms, his body lay a mere
trunk. But Arcadius surveying his scattered limbs all around him, and offering
them to God, said, " Happy members, you at last truly belong to God, being all
made a sacrifice to Him!" Then to the people he said, "You \vho have been
present at this bloody tragedy, learn that all torments seem as nothing to one \vho
has an everlasting crown before his eyes. Your gods are not gods; renounce their
worship. He alone for whom I suffer and die is the true God. To die for I-lim
is to live." Discoursing in this manner to those about him, he died, the pagans
being struck with astonishment at such a miracle of patience. The Christians
gathered together his scattered limbs and laid them in one tomb.

See the Acta Sanetorum for January 12, where the passio is printed, as well as a panegyric
preached by St Zeno of Verona. In spite of the fact that" the passio is included by Ruinart
in his Acta sineera, the document belongs rather to the category of historical romances. (.j.
Delehaye, Origines du eufte des lnartyrs (1933), p. 391.

SSe TIGRIUS AND EUTROPIUS, MARTYRS


LENGTHY eulogium may be found on this day in the latest edition of the Roman
Martyrology in the following terms: "At Constantinople, of SSe Tigrius a priest
and Eutropius a reader, who, in the time of the Emperor Arcadius, having been
falsely accused of causing the conflagration by which the cathedral church and the
senate-hall were burnt down, as an act of reprisal, it was said, for the banishment
of St John Chrysostom, suffered under the city-prefect Optatus, who was addicted
to the superstitious worship of the false gods and was a bitter enemy to the Christian
religion." This seems to imply that both Tigrius and Eutropius were put to
death, but though Eutropius, who is described as a youth of great personal beauty
and irreproachable life, undoubtedly perished under the severity of the torture
to which they were both subjected, the priest Tigrius appears to have survived.
We read in the Dialogue usually attributed to Palladius that he was afterwards ban
ished to Mesopotamia. Tigrius was a eunuch and an enfranchised slave, and
was very dear to St John Chrysostom for his gentleness and charity. The ob
ject of the torture, during which not only scourging and racking \vere employed,
but burning torches were applied to the most sensitive parts of the bodies of
the victims, \vas to elicit information which might lead to the discovery of the
i I
January 12] TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

perpetrators of the outrage, but no compromising word was spoken by either of


the sufferers.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 12, where the accounts of Sozomen and Nicephorus
CalJistus are quoted at length; cf. also DCB., vol. ii, pp. 11,402, and iv, 1027. The eulogium
in earlier editions of the Roman Martyrology, including the editio typica published in 1913,
is much shorter.

ST CAESARIA, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 529)


ST CAESARIUS, Bishop of ArIes, founded about the year 512 a great nunnery for
virgins and widows, and appointed his sister, Caesaria, as its first abbess. She
soon had under her rule a community of 200 members, \vho seem to have devoted
themselves to every kind of good work, more especially the protection and in
struction of the young, the relieving of the poor and the care of the sick. The
nuns made their own clothes, and were generally employed in weaving and needle
work; they were allowed to embroider and to wash and mend clothes for persons
that lived out of the convent. The ornaments of their church were only of woollen
or linen cloth, and plain. Some of them worked at transcribing books. They all
studied two hours every day, and one of them read to the rest during part of the
time they were at work. Flesh-meat was forbidden, except to the sick, and the
rule enjoined the use of baths, but pointing out that they were for health, not for
enjoyment: nor were they to be indulged in during Lent. Only the abbess and
her assistant were exempt from helping in the housework; and enclosure was
permanent and complete. St Gregory of Tours describes the abbess herself as
" blessed and holy", and Venantius Fortunatus more than once refers to her in
his verse in glowing terms. 8t Caesaria must have died about the year 529,
probably on January 12.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 12, where the rule is printed which St Caesarius
drew up for the nuns; critical edition by G. Morin in Florilegium patristicum (1933). Cf.
his article in Re1Jue benedictine, vol. xliv (1932), pp. 5-20. Caesarius himself by his 'willleft
nearly all his property to this nunnery.

ST VICTORIAN, ABBOT (A.D. 558)


IF anyone had been disposed to doubt the historic existence of 8t Victorian, the
matter was set at rest by an inscription published by HUbner in 1900. It is certain
that Victorian, who was apparently born in Italy and then lived for some time in
France, became abbot of Asan in Aragon, where he ruled for many years a vigorous
and devout community. Venantius Fortunatus, within thirty or forty years of his
death, wrote a very laudatory epitaph eulogizing his virtues, his miracles and his
great reputation as a teacher of monastic observance. A Latin life of him is extant,
which probably dates from the eighth century or a little later. It is also now
established that he died in 558.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 12 ; Venantius Fortunatus, Carmina (iv, 11), and especially
Fita in Boletin de la real Academia de la Historia (1900), vol. xxxvii, pp. 491 seq.

ST BENEDICT, OR BENET, BISCOP, ABBOT OF WEARMOUTH AND


JARROW (A.D. 690)

BENEDICT BISCOP, a man of noble birth at the court of Oswy, king of the Northum
brians, at the age of twenty-five bade adieu to the world, made a journey of devotion
72
ST BENEDICT, OR BENET, BISCOP [January 12

to Rome, and at his return devoted himself \vholly to the study of the Bible and
other holy exercises. Some time after he travelled thither a second time, burning
with the desire of fuller knowledge of divine things. From Rome he went to the
great monastery of Lerins, renowned for its regular discipline; there he took the
monastic habit, and spent two years in exact observance of the rule. After this he
returned to Rome, where he received an order from Pope St Vitalian to accompany
St Theodore, the new archbishop of Canterbury, and St Adrian, to England.
When he arrived at Canterbury, St Theodore committed to Benedict the care of
the monastery of SSe Peter and Paul at that city. He stayed two years in Kent,
giving himself up to study and prayer under the discipline of those two excellent
masters. Then he took a fourth journey to Rome, with the view of perfecting
himself in the rules and practice of a monastic life. For this purpose he made a
considerable stay in Rome and other places, and he brought home with him a choice
library, with relics and sacred pictures. When he returned to Northumberland,
King Egfrid bestowed on him seventy hides of land for building a monastery: this
the saint founded in 674 at the mouth of the river Wear, whence it was called
Wearmouth. St Benedict went over to F'rance, and brought back with him skilful
masons, who built the church for this monastery of stone, and after the Roman
fashion; till that time stone buildings were rare in north England: even the church
of Lindisfarne was of wood, covered with a thatch of straw and reeds, till Bishop
Edbert had both the roof and the walls covered with sheets of lead, as Bede men
tions. St Benedict also brought over glaziers from France, for the art of making
glass was then unknown here.
His first monastery of Wearmouth was dedicated in honour of St Peter; and
such was the edification which it gave that the king added a second donation of
land, on which Biscop built another monastery in 685, at Jarrow on the Tyne, six
miles distant from the former, this latter being called St Paul's. These two
monasteries were almost looked upon as one, and St Benedict governed them both,
though he placed in each a superior, who continued subject to him, his long journeys
to Rome and other absences making this substitution necessary. In the church of
St Peter at Wearmouth he set up pictures of the Blessed Virgin, the Twelve Apostles,
the history of the Gospel and the visions in the Revelation of St John. That of St
Paul's at Jarrow he adorned with other pictures, disposed in such a manner as to
represent the harmony between the Old and the New Testament, and the con
formity of the types in the one to the reality in the other. Thus Isaac carrying
the wood which was to be employed in the sacrifice of himself, was explained by
Jesus Christ carrying His cross, on which He was to finish His sacrifice; and the
brazen serpent was illustrated by our Saviour's crucifixion. Not content with
these pictures, books and relics, 5t Benedict on his last voyage brought back with
hi~ from Rome the abbot of St Martin's, who was the precentor of St Peter's.
This abbot, John by name, was expert in music, and our saint persuaded Pope
St Agatho to send him in order that he might instruct the English monks in the
Gregorian chant and in the Roman ceremonial for singing the divine office. These
two monasteries thus became the best-equipped in England, and St Benedict's
purchase of books was of special significance, for it made possible the work of the
Venerable Bede.
About the year 686 5t Benedict was stricken with paralysis in his lower limbs.
He lay three years crippled and suffering, and for a considerable time was entirely
confined to his bed. During this long illness, not being able to raise his voice or
73
January 13] THE LIVES OF THE SAIN1'S
make much effort, at every canonical hour some of his monks came to him, and
whilst they sang the psalms appointed, he endeavoured as well as he could to join
not only his heart but also his voice with theirs. In his realization of the presence
of God he seemed never to relax, and he frequently and earnestly exhorted his
monks to observe faithfully the rule he had given them. " You must not think",
he said, " that the constitutions which you have received from me were of my own
devising; for having in my frequent journeys visited seventeen well-ordered
monasteries, I acquainted myself with their rules, and chose the best to leave you
as my legacy." He died on January 12, 690. According to William of Malmes
bury his relics were translated to Thorney Abbey in 970, but the monks of Glaston
bury thought themselves possessed of at least part of them. St Benet Biscop's
feast is kept by the Benedictines of the English congregation and in the dioceses
of Liverpool and Hexham (February 13), with a commemoration in Southwark.
The true name of this saint was Biscop Baducing, as we learn from Eddius in his life
of St Wilfrid. He is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology on this day. Practically all
our information about him is derived from Bede, who ,vas entrusted to his care at the age
of seven. Bede wrote of his venerated abbot in his Historia Abbatum, as well as in his
Ecclesiastical History, and there is also a sermon in natale S. Benedicti (Biscop) which is
attributed to Bede and which Dr Plummer believes to be authentically his. It is to be
noted, however, that Bede's Historia Abbatum is founded upon an earlier Historia Abbatum
Gyr'vensium, the author of which is not known. See Plummer's edition of the Ecclesiastical
History, with its preface and notes; and T. Allison in Church Quarterly Re-view, vol. cvii
(1928), pp. 57-79.

13 : THIS DAY IS NOW KEPT IN HONOUR OF THE BAPTISM


OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IN THE RIVER JORDAN
ST AGRECIUS, BISHOP OF TRIER (A.D. 329?)

T
HE story of St Agrecius (Agritius) has of late years acquired a certain
adventitious interest owing to the discussions regarding the authenticity
of the " Holy Coat of Trier". According to the life of the saint, a docu
ment which is certainly not older than the eleventh century, and which modern
scholars pronounce to be entirely fabulous, Agrecius was first of all patriarch of
Antioch, and was then, at the instance of the Empress St Helen, the mother of
Constantine, appointed bishop of Trier by Pope St Silvester. He found that that
part of Germany, though evangelized more than two centuries before, had almost
fallen back into paganism, and he set to work to build churches and to establish
closer relations with the centre of Christendom. In this task he was encouraged
by his patroness St Helen, who in particular obtained for him a share of the precious
relics which she had been instrumental in recovering from the Holy Land. Those
sent to Trier included one of the nails of the cross, the knife used at the Last Supper,
the bodies of SSe Lazarus and Martha, etc., and also apparently our Lord's seam
less robe. The historically worthless character of the life discredits this story,
and the ivory plaque of Byzantine origin which is appealed to as a representation
of SSe Silvester and Agrecius in a chariot bringing the casket of relics to Trier is
more probably to be explained as referring to another quite different translation
of relics to Constantinople under the Emperor Leo I (457-474). 8t Silvester is
also stated to have conceded to Trier in the person of Agrecius a primacy over all
the bishops of Gaul and Germany. Setting aside these fictions, the only facts
known to us regarding St Agrecius are that he assisted as bishop of Trier at the
Council of ArIes in 314, and that he was succeeded in the same see by St Maximinus.
74
BD C;ODFREY OF KAPPENBERG [January 13
See ~4cta Sanctorum, January 13; V. Sauerland, Trierer Geschichtsquellen des xi Jahr
hunderts (1889), pp. 55-212; S. Beissel, GescJzichte der Trierer Kirchen (1887), vol. i, pp.
71 seq.,. E. Winheller, Die Lebensbeschreibungen der 'l'orkarol. Bischofe von Trier (1935),
pp. 121-145 ; and DHG., vol. i, c. 1014. For the plaque, see !(raus, Geschichte der christ
lichen Kunst, Y01. i, p. 52, and the references there given in note 4. Kraus claims G. B.
de Rossi as supporting his interpretation of the plaque. By Kraus this ivory carying is said
to be a work of the fifth century; A. Maskell, l'L'ories, p. 4 I 9, dates it seventh to ninth century.
Both are agreed that the work is Byzantine.

ST BERND, ABBOT OF CLUNY


CONSIDERING the immense influence exercised by Cluny in the development of the
monasticism, and indeed of the whole religious life, of western Europe from the
tenth to the twelfth centuries, we know strangely little of the personality of its first
abbot. Berno seems to have been a man of good family and some wealth. He
was himself the founder of the abbey of Gigny, in which he became abbot, having
already been the reforming superior of Baume-Ies-Messieurs, and finally he was
pitched upon by Duke William of Aquitaine to rule the nlonastery which he
planned. The site chosen by St Berno was at Cluny, not far from Macon in the
centre of France. The abbey of Cluny was immediately subject to the Holy See,
and in the foundations subsequently made the principle of centralization became
dominant; but in Berno's day there was no machinery for the central control of
the houses "lith whose reform he was entrusted. Berno ruled from 910 to 927,
and perhaps the highest tribute to his personal worth was the devotion always paid
to him by St Odo, who had joined him as a novice at Baume and who, after Berno's
death in 927, was to succeed him at Cluny as abbot, perhaps the most famous and
energetic of all its rulers.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 13 ; E. Sackur, Die Cluniacenser, vol. i, pp. 36 seq; Berliere
in Re'l'ue Benedictine, vol. ix, p. 498; and P. Schmitz, Histoire de l'ordre de St Benoit, vol. i
(1942), pp. 13 0 - 1 32 .

BD GODFREY OF KAPPENBERG (A.D. 1127)


GODFREY, who died at the age of thirty, belongs to the category of those youthful
saints who spent the few years of their life on earth in making preparation for
Heaven. He was count of Kappenberg and lord of a great Westphalian estate in
the diocese of M iinster. He was married to a young wife of a family as distin
guished as his own. Coming, however, under the influence of St Norbert, the
founder of the Premonstratensian canons, he determined to surrender his castle
of Kappenberg to be converted into a monastery of that order; and he followed
this up by persuading his wife and brother to renounce the world like himself
and to become religious under 8t Norhert's direction. His purpose encountered
the most violent opposition from his father-in-law, who even threatened to
take his life. Godfrey, however, persisted in making over all his possessions
to the Premonstratensians. He built a convent near Kappenberg, where his
wife and two of his own sisters took the veil; he also founded hospitals and other
charitable institutions, and himself became a canonical novice, performing
the most menial duties and washing the feet of the patients and the pilgrims
to whom his hospital gave shelter. Though he had received minor orders, he
did not live long enough to reach the priesthood. On January 13, 1127 he
died in great joy of spirit, declaring that not for all the world would he wish his

75
January 13] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAIN'TS
life to be prolonged. His feast is kept in the Premonstratensian Order on
January 16.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 13, where two Latin lives are printed; also Kirkfleet'
I-Jistory of St Norbert (1916), pp. 140-151; Spilbeeck, Le B. Godefroid (1892); BHL.'
n. 533.

BD JUTTA OF HUY, WIDOW (A.D. 1228)


J UTTA (J uetta) was one of the mystics who seem to have been influenced by that
remarkable ascetic revival in the Low Countries which preceded by a few years
the preaching of 8t Dominic and 8t Francis in southern Europe. She was born
of a well-to-do family at Huy, near Liege, in 1158. While still only a child she
was forced by her father, very much against her inclination, to marry. After five
years of wedded life, and after bearing her husband three children, she was left a
widow at the age of eighteen. Then, after an interval, during which her good looks,
to her great distress, attracted a number of suitors who pestered her ,with their
attentions, she devoted herself for ten years to nursing in the lazar-house; but
even this life did not seem to her sufficiently austere, and she wished to exchange
the role of Martha for that of Mary. She accordingly had herself walled up in a
room close beside her lepers, and lived there as an anchoress from 1182 until her
death, January 13, 1228. Her mystical experiences, which are set down in some
detail in a contemporary Latin biography, are of great interest. By her prayers
she converted her father and one of her two surviving sons, who had taken to evil
courses; the other had joined the Cistercians and became abbot of Orval. She
had, as we find in the case of so many saintly mystics, an extraordinary power of
reading the thoughts of others, and apparently a knowledge of distant events; she
also displayed the greatest charity in directing and helping the many souls who
came to consult her in her anchorage.
See the life by I-Iugh of Floreffe, a Premonstratensian, printed in the Acta Sanctorum
for January 13

BD VERONICA OF BINASCO, VIRGIN

ALL states of life furnish abundant means for attaining holiness, and it is only
owing to our sloth and tepidity that we neglect to make use of them. Bd Veronica
could boast of no worldly advantages either of birth or fortune. Her parents
maintained their family by hard work in a village near Milan, and her father never
sold a horse, or anything else that he dealt in, without being more careful to acquaint
the purchaser with all that was faulty in it than to recommend its good qualities.
I-lis consequent poverty prevented his giving his daughter any schooling, so that
she never even learned to read; but his own and his wife's example and simple
instructions filled her heart with love of God, and the holy mysteries of religion
engrossed her entirely. She was, notwithstanding, a good worker, and so obedient,
humble and submissive that she seemed to have no will of her own. When she
\vas weeding, reaping or at any other labour in the fields she strove to work at a
distance from her companions, to entertain herself the more freely with her heavenly
thoughts. The rest admired her love of solitude, and on coming to her, often found
her countenance bathed in tears, which they sometimes perceived to flow in great
abundance, though they did not know the source to be devotion, so carefully did
Veronica conceal what passed between her and God.
76
ST HILARY OF porTIERS [January 14

Veronica conceived a great desire to become a nun in the poor and austere
convent of St Martha, of the Order of St Augustine, in Milan. To qualify herself
for this she sat up at night to learn to read and write. One day, being in great
trouble about her little progress, the Mother of God bade her banish that anxiety,
for it was enough if she knew three letters: The first, purity of the affections, by
setting her whole heart on God; the second, never to murmur or grow impatient
at the sins or misbehaviour of others, but to bear them with patience, and humbly
to pray for them; the third, to set apart some time every day to meditate on the
passion of Christ. After three years preparation, Veronica was admitted to the
religious habit in St Martha's, where her life was no other than a living copy of her
rule, which consisted in the practice of evangelical perfection reduced to certain
holy exercises. Every moment of her life she studied to accomplish it in the
minutest detail, and was no less exact in obeying any indication of the will of a
superIor.
She for three years suffered from a lingering illness, but she would never be
exempted from any part of her work, or make use of the least indulgence. Though
she had leave, her answer always was, " I must work whilst I can, whilst I have
time". It was her delight to help and serve everyone; and her silence was a sign
of her recollection and continual prayer, of which her extraordinary gift of tears
was the outward manifestation. Her biographer declares that after she had been
praying long in any place the floor looked as if a jug of water had been upset there.
When she was in ecstasy they sometimes held a dish beneath her face and the tears
that flowed into it, so it is stated, amounted to nearly a quart ( ! !). She always
spoke of her own sinful life, as she called it, though, indeed, it was most innocent,
with feelings of intense compunction. Veronica was favoured by God \vith many
extraordinary visions and consolations. A detailed account is preserved of the
principal incidents of our Lord's life as they were revealed to her in her ecstasies.
By her moving exhortations she softened and converted several obdurate sinners.
She died at the hour which she had foretold, in the year 1497, at the age of fifty-two,
and her sanctity was confinned by miracles. Pope Leo X in 15 17 permitted her
to be honoured in her monastery in the same manner as if she had been beatified
according to the usual forms, and the name of Bd Veronica of Binasco is inserted
on this day in the Roman Martyrology, an unusual distinction in the case of a
servant of God who has not been formally canonized.
See the life by Father Isidore de Isolanis, printed in the Acta Sane/arum for January 13.
This contains a relatively full account of Bd Veronica's revelations, revelations which, as
Father Bollandus warns his readers, must be read \vith caution, as they include many
extravagant statements. Leo X's bull may be read in the same place. Gj. also P. Moiraghi,
La B. Veronica da Binasco (1897).

14 : ST HILARY, BISHOP OF POITIERS, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (c.


A.D. 368)

T AUGUSTINE, who often urges the authority of 5t Hilary against the

S Pelagians, styles him " the illustrious doctor of the churches". St Jerome
says that he was a " most eloquent man, and the trumpet of the Latins against
the Arians "; and in another place, that" in St Cyprian and St Hilary, God had
transplanted two fair cedars out of the world into His Church".
77
January 14] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
St Hilary was born at Poitiers, and his family was illustrious in Gaul. He
himself testifies that he was brought up in idolatry, and gives us a detailed account
of the steps by which God conducted him to a knowledge of the faith. He con
sidered, by the light of reason, that man, a moral and free agent, is placed in this
world fOT the exercise of patience, temperance, and other virtues, which he saw
must receive a recompense after this life. He ardently set about learning what
God is, and quickly discovered the absurdity of polytheism, or a plurality of gods:
he was convinced that there can be only one God, and that He must be eternal,
unchangeable, all-powerful, the first cause and author of all things. Full of these
reflections, he met with the Christian scriptures, and was deeply impressed by that
sublime description Moses gives of God in those words, so expressive of His
self-existence, I AM WHO AM: and was no less struck with the idea of His supreme
dominion, illustrated by the inspired language of the prophets. The reading of
the New Testament completed his inquiries; and he learned from the first chapter
of St John that the Divine Word, God the Son, is coeternal and consubstantial
with the Father. Being thus brought to the knowledge of the faith, he received
baptism when somewhat advanced in years.
Hilary had been married before his conversion, and his wife, by whom he had
a daughter named Apra, was yet living when he was chosen bishop of Poitiers,
about the year 350. He did all in his power to escape this promotion; but his
humility only made the people more earnest in their choice; and, indeed, their
expectations were not disappointed, for his eminent qualities shone forth so
brilliantly as to attract the attention not only of Gaul, but of the whole Church.
Soon after he was raised to the episcopal dignity he composed, before his exile, a
commentary on the Gospel of St Matthew, which is still extant. That on the
psalms he compiled after his banishment. From that time the Arian controversy
chiefly employed his pen. He was an orator and poet. His style is lofty and noble,
with much rhetorical ornament, somewhat studied; and the length of his periods
renders him sometimes obscure: St Jerome complains of his long and involved
sentences and tragic manner-the old rhetorical tradition was not yet dead. St
Hilary solemnly appeals to God that he accounted it the great work of his life to
employ all his faculties to announce Him to the world, and to excite all men to the
love of Him. He earnestly recommends beginning every action and discourse by
prayer. He breathes a sincere and ardent desire of martyrdom, and discovers a
soul fearless of death. He had the greatest veneration for truth, sparing no pains
in its pursuit and dreading no dangers in its defence.
The Emperor Constantius and a synod at Milan in 355 required all bishops to
sign the condemnation of St Athanasius. Such as refused to comply were banished,
among whom were St Eusebius of Vercelli, Lucifer of Cagliari and St Dionysius of
Milan. St IIilary wrote on that occasion his " First Book to Constantius ", in
which he entreated him to restore peace to the Church. He separated himself
from the three Arian bishops in the West, Ursacius, Valens and Saturninus, and
the emperor sent an order to Julian, surnamed afterwards the Apostate, who at that
time commanded in Gaul, to enforce St Hilary's immediate banishment into
Phrygia. St Hilary went into exile about the middle of the year 356, as cheerfully
as another would take a pleasure trip, and recked nothing of hardships, dangers or
enemies, having a soul above the smiles and frowns of the world and his thoughts
fixed only on God. He remained in exile for some three years, which time he
employed in composing several learned works. The principal and most esteemed
78
5T J:IILARY OF POIT'IERS [January 14
of these is that On the Trinity. The earliest Latin hymn-writing is associated
with the name of Hilary of Poitiers.
The emperor, again interfering in the affairs of the Church, assembled a council
of Arians, at Seleucia in Isauria, to neutralize the decrees of the Council of Nicaea.
St Hilary, who had then passed three years in Phrygia, was invited thither by the
semi-Arians, who hoped that he would be useful to their party in crushing those
who adhered strictly to the doctrine of Arius. But no human considerations could
daunt his courage. He boldly defended the decrees of Nicaea, till at last, tired out
with controversy, he withdrew to Constantinople and presented to the emperor a
request, called his " Second Book to Constantius ", begging permission to hold a
public disputation about religion with Saturninus, the author of his banishment.
The issue of this challenge was that the Arians, dreading such a trial, persuaded the
emperor to rid the East of a man who never ceased to disturb its peace. Constan
tius accordingly sent him back into Gaul in 360.
St Hilary returned through Illyricum and Italy to confirm the weak. He wt;ls
received at Poitiers with great demonstrations of joy, and there his old disciple,
St Martin, ere long rejoined him. A synod in Gaul, convoked at the instance of
Hilary, condemned that of Rimini in 359; and Saturninus, proving obstinate, was
excommunicated and desposed. Scandals were removed, discipline, peace and
purity of faith were restor~d. The death of Constantius in 361 put an end to the
Arian persecution. St Hilary was by nature the gentlest of men, full of courtesy
and friendliness to all: yet seeing this behaviour ineffectual, he composed an
invective against Constantius in which he employed the severest language, probably
for good reasons not now known to us. This piece was not circulated till after the
death of the emperor. Hilary undertook a journey to Milan in 364 to confute
Auxentius, the Arian usurper of that see, and in a public disputation obliged him
to confess Christ to be the true God, of the same substance and divinity with the
Father. St Hilary, indeed, saw through his hypocrisy; but Auxentius so far
imposed on the Emperor Valentinian as to pass for orthodox. Hilary died at
Poitiers, probably in the year 368, but neither the year nor the day of the month
can be determined with certainty. The Roman Martyrology names his feast on
January 14. St Hilary was proclaimed a doctor of the Church by Pope Pius IX
in 1851.
A great deal has been written about 5t Hilary in recent years, but nothing has come to
light which would gainsay the substantial accuracy of Alban Butler's account, given above
in a shortened form. The most important discovery, now generally accepted, is that of
A. Wilmart (Revue Benedictine, vol. xxiv (1908), pp. 159 seq. and 293 seq.). tie shows that
the text printed in "'rhe First Book to Constantius " is miscalled and incomplete. It
consists in reality, partly of a section of the letter addressed to the emperors by the Council
of 5ardica, partly of extracts from Hilary's work written in 356, just before his exile, under
the title of " A. First Book against Valens and Ursacius " (the Arian bishops). It also seems
clear that a work of Hilary's, Liber or Tractatus Mysteriorum, supposed to be lost, has not
cOlupletely perished. A large part of it was found, along with some poems or hymns of the
saint, in a manuscript at Arezzo in 1887. This Traetatus has nothing to do with the liturgy,
as ,vas previously conjectured, but is identical with a supposed Liber Offieiorum othenvise
attributed to him (see Wilmart in Revue Benedictine, vol. xxvii (1910), pp. 12 seq.). A full
statement and bibliography of these new developments will be found in Fr Le Bachelet's
article on 5t Hilary in DTC., vol. vi, cc. 2388 seq. Other valuable contributions to the
subject have been made by A. Feder in the Sitzungsberichte of the Vienna Academy, Phil.
Histor. KI., clxii, no. 4, and in the texts he edited for the Corpus Scrip. Eccles. Lat. So
far as regards the life of 5t l-lilary we have a biography and collection of miracles by Venantius
Fortunatus printed in the Acta Sanetorum for January 13 (c/. BHL., nn. "580-582); see also

79
Januar)' 14] TI--IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
E. Watson, The Llfe and Writings of St IIilary of Poitiers (1899). As regards the hymns
the reader may be conveniently referred to the supplement to Julian's Dictionary of Hymno
logy, to Walpole, Early Latin Hymns (1922), and especially to Feder in the fourth volume
which he contributed to the Vienna Corpus. In England a judicial sitting and a university
term are named from I-lilary's feast-day, which also figures in the calendar of the Book of
Conlmon Prayer.

ST FELIX OF NOLA (c. A.D. 260)


IT must be remembered that St Paulinus of Nola, who is our ultimate authority
for the life of St Felix, lived more than a century after his time, and that it is
probable that legendary accretions had already attached themselves to the tradition
handed down. The story told by St Paulinus runs as follows:
St Felix was a native of Nola, a Roman colony in Campania, fourteen miles
from Naples, ","here his father Herrnias, who was by birth a Syrian and had served
in the army, had purchased an estate and settled down. He had two sons, Felix
and I-Iermias, to whom at his death he left his patrimony. The younger sought
preferment in the world by following the profession of arms. Felix, to become
in effect what his name in Latin imported, that is " happy", resolved to follow
no other standard than that of the King of kings, Jesus Christ. For this purpose
he distributed most of his possessions among the poor, and was ordained priest
by 8t Maximus, Bishop of Nola, who, charmed with his virtue and prudence, made
him his right hand in those times of trouble, and looked upon him as his destined
successor.
In the year 250 the Emperor Decius began a cruel persecution against the
Church. lVlaximus, seeing himself marked out as a victim, retired into the desert,
not through the fear of death but rather to preserve himself for the service of his
flock. The persecutors, not finding him, seized on Felix, who in his absence was
very zealous in the discharge of pastoral duties. The governor caused him to be
scourged, then loaded with chains and cast into a dungeon, in which, as Prudentius
informs us, the floor was spread all over with potsherds and pieces of broken glass,
so that there was no place free from them on which the saint could either stand or
lie. One night an angel appearing filled the prison with a bright light, and bade
St Felix go to the aid of his bishop, who was in great distress. The confessor,
seeing his chains fall off and the doors open, followed his guide, and was conducted
to the place where Maximus lay in hunger and cold, speechless and unconscious:
for, through anxiety for his flock and the hardships of his solitary retreat, he had
suffered more than a martyrdom. Felix, not being able to bring him to himself,
had recourse to prayer; and discovering thereupon a bunch of grapes within reach,
he squeezed some of the juice into his mouth, which had the desired effect. The
good bishop, as soon as he beheld his friend Felix, begged to be conveyed back to
his church. The saint, taking him on his shoulders, carried him to his home in
the city before day appeared, where a devoted old woman took care of him.
Felix kept himself concealed, praying for the Church without ceasing, till the
death of Decius in the year 251. He no sooner appeared again in public than his
zeal so exasperated the pagans that they came to apprehend him; but though they
met him, they did not recognize him. They even asked him where Felix was, a
question to ,vhich he returned an evasive answer. The persecutors, going a little
further, perceived their mistake, and returned; but Felix in the meantime had
stepped a little out of the way, and crept through a hole in a ruinous wall, which
80
ST FELIX OF NOLA [January 14
was instantly closed up by spiders' webs. His enemies, never imagining anything
could have lately passed where they saw so dense a web, after a fruitless search
elsewhere returned without their prey. Felix, finding among the ruins, between
two houses, an old well half dry, hid himself there for six months, and obtained
during that time wherewithal to subsist by means of a devout Christian woman.
Peace being restored to the Church, he quitted his retreat, and was received in the
city with joy.
8t Maximus died soon after, and all were unanimous in electing Felix bishop;
but he persuaded the people to make choice of Quintus, his senior in the priesthood.
The remainder of the saint's estate having been confiscated in the persecution, he
was advised to press his legal claim, as others had done, who thereby recovered
what had been taken from them. His answer was that in poverty he should be the
more secure of possessing Christ. He could not even be prevailed upon to accept
what the rich offered him. He rented a little spot of land, not exceeding three
acres, which he tilled with his own hands to supply his own needs and to have
something left for alms. Whatever was bestowed on him he gave immediately to
the poor. If he had two coats he was sure to give them the better, and often
exchanged his only one for the rags of some beggar. He died in a good old age,
on January 14, on which day he is commemorated in the martyrologies.
More than a century had elapsed after the death of Felix when Paulinus, a
distinguished Roman senator, settled in Nola and was elected bishop there. He
testifies that crowds of pilgrims came from Rome and more distant places to visit
the shrine of the saint on his festival. He adds that all brought some present or
other to his church, such as candles to burn at his tomb and the like; but that for
his own part he offered him the homage of his tongue and himself, though an
unworthy gift. He expresses his devotion in the warmest terms, and believes that
all the graces he received from Heaven were conferred on him through the inter
cession of 8t Felix. He describes at large the pictures of the whole history of the
Old Testament in the church of 8t Felix, which were as so many books that
instructed the ignorant. The holy bishop's enthusiasm is reflected in his verses.
He relates a number of miracles which were wrought at the tomb, as of persons
cured of diseases and delivered from dangers by the saint's intercession, in several
of which cases he was an eye-witness. He testifies that he himself by having
recourse to Felix had been speedily succoured. 8t Augustine also has given an
account of miracles performed at the shrine. It was not formerly allowed to bury
any corpse within the walls of cities, and as the church of 8t Felix stood outside
the walls of Nola many Christians sought to be buried in it, that their faith and
devotion might recommend them after death to the patronage of this holy confessor.
On this matter 8t Paulinus consulted 8t Augustine, who answered him by his book
On the Care for the Dead, in which he shows that the faith and devotion of such
persons would serve them well after death, as the suffrages and good works of the
living in behalf of the faithful departed are profitable to the latter.
As already stated, the poems of St Paulinus constitute our main authority for the life of
St Felix. Of these poems Bede wrote a summary in prose, which is printed, with other
documents, in the Acta Sanctorum for January 14. In the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xvi
(1897), pp. 22 seq., may be found a curious illustration of the confusion introduced by the
martyrologist Ado, and other hagiographers, through their invention of a "St Felix in
Pincis". This confusion was probably due to the existence of a church on the Pincio at
Rome dedicated to St Felix of Nola. Pope St Damasus pays a tribute in verse to Felix for
a cure he himself had received. L'j. Quentin, Les Marf)'rologes historiques, pp. 518-522
81
January 14] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
ST MACRINA THE ELDER, WIDOW (c. A.D. 340)
IN more than one of his letters St Basil the Great refers to his father's mother,
Macrina, by whom he was apparently brought up, and to whose care in giving hi~
sound religious instruction he attributes the fact that he never imbibed any hetero
dox opinions which he had afterwards to modify. During the persecution of
Galerius and Maximinus, Macrina and her husband had much to suffer. They
were forced to quit their home and to hide themselves from the persecutors among
the hill forests of Pontus for seven years. They often suffered hunger, and St
Gregory Nazianzen declares that at times they had to depend for their food upon
the wild creatures which, as he believed, by some miraculous interposition of
Providence suffered themselves to be caught and killed. Even after this danger
had passed, another persecution broke out in which their goods were confiscated,
and it would seem that they were honoured by a formal recognition of their
title to be reckoned among the confessors of the faith. Macrina survived her
husband, but the exact date of her death is not recorded. In the Roman
Martyrology St Macrina is described as a disciple of St Gregory Thaumaturgus,
but this can hardly mean more than that she was an earnest student of his
writings.

See Acta Sanctorum for January 14 and DeB., vol. iii, p. 779.

SSe BARBASYMAS AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS (A.D. 346)


ST BARBASYMAS (Barbashemin) succeeded his brother St Sadoth in the metro
political see of Seleucia and Ctesiphon in 342. Being accused as an enemy to the
Persian religion, he was apprehended with sixteen of his clergy by order of King
Sapor II. The king, seeing that his threats made no impression, confined him in
a loathsome dungeon, in which he was often tortured with scourgings and other
atrocities, besides the continual discomfort of stench, filth, hunger and thirst.
After eleven months the prisoners were again brought before the king. Their
bodies were disfigured and their faces hardly recognizable. Sapor held out to the
bishop a golden cup in which were a thousand gold coins, and besides this he
promised him a governorship if he would suffer himself to be initiated in the rites
of the sun. The saint replied that he could not answer the reproaches of Christ
at the last day if he should prefer gold, or a whole empire, to His holy law; and
that he was ready to die. He received his crown by the sword, with his companions,
on January 14, 346 at Ledan in Huzistan.
St Maruthas, Bishop of Maiferkat, supposed to be the author of his acts, adds
that Sapor, resolving to extinguish the Christian name in his empire, published
a new edict, whereby he commanded everyone to be tortured and put to death
who should refuse to worship the sun, fire and water, and to feed on the blood
of living creatures. The see of Seleucia remained vacant twenty years, and
innunlerable martyrs watered Persia with their blood. St Maruthas was not
able to recover their names, but has left us a lengthy panegyric of their heroic
deeds, very devotional in tone, in which he prays to be speedily united with them
in glory.
See Assemani, Acta martyrum orientalium, vol. i, pp. I I I - I 16; but the Syriac text has
been more correctly edited by Bedjan, Acta martyrum et sanctorum, vol. ii, pp. 296-303 ;
Sozomen, Hist. Eccles., bk ii, c. 13; BHO., n. 33.
82
ST KENTIGERN, OR MUNGO [January 14

THE MARTYRS OF MOUNT SINAI (FOURTH CENTURY)


THIRTY-EIGHT solitaries on Mount Sinai were put to death by a troop of Arabians,
and many other hermits in the desert of Raithu, two days' journey from Sinai, near
the Red Sea, were similarly massacred by the Blemmyes. Also many anchorets
on Mount Sinai were martyred by a band of desert marauders at the close of the
fourth century. A boy of fourteen years of age led among them an ascetic life of
great perfection. The raiders threatened to kill him if he did not discover where
the older monks had concealed themselves. He answered that death did not terrify
him, and that he could not ransom his life by a sin in betraying his fathers. The
barbarians, enraged at this answer, fell on him with all their weapons at once, and
the youth died by as many martyrdoms as he had executioners. St Nilus (c/.
November 12) left an account of this massacre: at that time he led an eremitical
life in that wilderness.
These holy solitaries are commemorated together on this day in the Eastern church,
and are mentioned in the Roman Martyrology. See Martynov, Annus ecclesiasticus graeco
slavicus, pp. 41 seq.,. Nilles, Kalendarium Manuale (1896-1897), vol. i. The narratives of
St Nilus are in Migne, PG., vol. lxxix, pp. 590-694. On the authorship of these narratives
see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxviii (1920), pp. 420 seq. ,. and c/. Delehaye, Synax. Const.,
pp. 3 89-391.

ST DATIUS, BISHOP OF MILAN (A.D. 552)


THE life of St Datius was spent in stormy times. During the greater part of his
episcopate-which lasted at least from 530 to 552-he was engaged in strife,
sometimes in defence of temporal, more often in championing spiritual, interests.
To save his city of Milan from the Goths he had allied himself with Belisarius.
Unfortunately he was disappointed in his hopes. Before help could COlne from
Belisarius, Milan was invested and eventually sacked. It is possible that Datius
himself was taken prisoner, and afterwards liberated through the influence of his
friend Cassiodorus. Driven from Milan the bishop betook himself to Constan
tinople, where, in 545, he boldly supported Pope Vigilius against Justinian in the
controversy concerning the" Three Chapters". He seems to have died in 552,
while still at Constantinople, whence his remains were at a later date translated to
his episcopal city of Milan. St Gregory the Great in his Dialogues recounts a
curious story of a haunted house from which the devil used to frighten all intending
occupants, by producing the most alarming and discordant howlings of beasts.
St Datius, however, showed no fear, but put the aggressor to shame and restored
perfect quiet.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 14; DeB., vol. i, p. 789; and L. Duchesne,
L'Eglise au VIe siecle, pp. 197-199.

ST KENTIGERN, OR MUNGO, BISHOP IN STRATHCLYDE (A.D.


63)
IF we may trust our sources, St Kentigern's mother, Thaney (Thenew, Tenoi;
ct. "St Enoch's" station at Glasgow) was of royal birth and, being discovered to
be with child, of which the father was unknown, was sentenced to be hurled from
the top of a precipitous hill (Traprain Law in Haddingtonshire). She escaped,
however, without injury, and was then put into a coracle and cast adrift at the
83
January 14] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
mouth of the Firth of Forth. The tide eventually carried her to Culross, on the
opposite shore of the estuary, where she brought forth her child, and where St Serf
took both mother and babe under his protection. The boy became very dear to
him, and was given the pet name Mungo (== darling). When he had grown up,
Kentigern felt himself drawn to a life of solitude and self-denial, and he accordingly
retired to a place called" Glasghu ", now Glasgow. There after a while a com
munity gathered round him, and the fame of his virtues spread, so that in the end
the clergy and people of that district would have no other for their bishop; and
he was consecrated by a bishop from Ireland. St Kentigern travelled everywhere
on foot, preaching the gospel to his people; he practised the severest austerities,
and recited the whole psalter every day, often standing immersed the while in
the water of some ice-cold stream. During Lent he always withdrew from the
company of his fellow-men, and in some desert spot gave himself up entirely to
penance and prayer. This apostolic way of life was blessed, we are told, by
many miracles.
The political conditions of this great tract of country, which was later known as
Strathclyde and stretched southwards as far as the Ribble, were terribly unstable.
The chieftains were constantly engaged in feuds among themselves, and although
they recognized some sort of " king", or supreme authority, plots and cabals were
constantly being formed against him. The sequence of events, with such slender
and contradictory data as we possess, is impossible to determine, but it is said that
Kentigem was eventually driven into exile or flight. He made his way into Wales,
where he is said to have stayed for a time with St David at Menevia, till Cadwallon,
a chieftain in Denbighshire, bestowed on him the land near the meeting of the
rivers Elwy and Clwyd, on which he built a monastery, called from the former of
the two rivers Llanelwy, where a number of disciples and scholars put themselves
under his direction, among them St Asaph. It is to be noted, however, that some
Welsh historians deny that Kentigern founded this abbey, now represented by the
cathedral church of Saint Asaph, or even that he was ever there; and, indeed,
while Asaph's name is common in the toponymy of the district, that of Kentigern
is unknown.
Later he returned to the north, and when he again reached Strathclyde
Kentigem for a while settled at Hoddam in Dumfriesshire, but before long took
up his abode at Glasgow as before. His austerity of life and zeal for the spread
of the Gospel continued unabated, and his biographer tells us that on one occasion
a meeting took place between him and that other great apostle of Scotland, St
Columba, with whom he exchanged croziers. Many extravagant miracles are
recounted of Kentigern, one of which is especially famous, as the memory of it is
perpetuated by the ring and the fish seen in the arms of the city of Glasgow.
King Rydderch found a ring, which he had given to his queen as a love-token,
upon the finger of a sleeping knight whom she favoured. He removed it without
awakening the sleeper, threw it into the sea, and then asked his wife to produce the
ring he had given her. In her distress she applied to St Kentigern, and he sent
a monk out to fish, who caught a salmon which had swallowed the ring. A curious
description of the death of the saint in the act of taking a hot bath on the octave of
the Epiphany, " on which day he had been accustomed to baptize a multitude of
people", seems certainly to point to some more primitive source which the
biographer had before him. The date of his death seems to have been 63, when
Kentigern will have been eighty-five-not, as his biographer states, I8s-years old.
84
BD 000 OF NOVARA [January 14
His feast is kept throughout Scotland as the first bishop of Glasgo\v, and also in
the dioceses of Liverpool, Salford, Lancaster and Menevia.
See A. P. Forbes, Lives of St ]\linian and St Kentigern (1874), who prints the text of
Joscelyn of Furness and of the incomplete anonymous life; also hIs Kalendars of Scottish
Saints (1872), pp. 362 seq.,. Skene, Celtic Scotland, vol. ii, pp. 179 seq. Cf. also the Acta
Sanctorum, January 13; and A. W. Wade-Evans, Lzfe of Saint David (1923), pp. 109 seq.
Forbes's KSS. is the most useful reference for the little that is known of the lesser Scottish
saints in whose honour Catholic churches are still dedicated, e.g. Cumin (at 1\lorar), Quivox
(Prestwick), Triduana (Edinburgh), Machan (Lennoxtown). But see also 1\1. Barrett, A
Calendar of Scottish Saints (19 0 4). D. D. C. Pochin Mould's Scotland of the Saints (1952)
is useful for Scottish saints in general.

BD 000 OF NOVARA (A.D. 1200)

BD aDO, a Carthusian monk of the twelfth century, stands out from among some
of his saintly contemporaries by the fact that we have good first-hand evidence
concerning his manner of life. Pope Gregory IX ordered an inquiry to be made
with a view to his canonization, and the depositions of the witnesses are still
preserved. One or two extracts will serve to sketch his portrait better than a
narrative. " lVlaster Richard, Bishop of Trivento, having been adjured in the
name of the Holy Ghost, the holy Gospels lying open before him, affirmed that he
had seen the blessed ado and knew him to be a God-fearing man, modest and
chaste, given up night and day to watching and prayer, clad only in rough garments
of wool, living in a tiny cell, which he hardly ever quitted except to pray in the
church, obeying always the sound of the bell when it called him to office. Without
ceasing, he poured forth his soul in sighs and tears; there was no one he came
across to whom he did not give new courage in the service of God; he constantly
read the divine Scriptures, and in spite of his advanced age, as long as he stayed in
his cell, he laboured with his hands as best he could that he might not fall a prey
to idleness." The bishop then goes on to give a brief sketch of ado's life, noting
that after he became a Carthusian he had been appointed prior in the recently
founded monastery of Geyrach in Slavonia, but had there been so cruelly persecuted
by the bishop of the diocese, Dietrich, that, being forced to leave his community,
he had travelled to Rome to obtain the pope's permission to resign his office.
He had then been given hospitality by the aged abbess of a nunnery at
Tagliacozzo, who, struck by his holiness, got leave to retain him as chaplain to the
community. Numerous other witnesses, who had been the spectators of ado's
edifying life, spoke of his austerities, his charity and his humble self-effacement.
One of these, the Archpriest Oderisius, deposes that he was present when ado
breathed his last, and that " as he lay upon the ground in his hair-shirt in the
aforesaid little cell, he began to say, when at the point of death, ' \Vait for me, Lord,
wait for me, I am coming to thee'; and when they asked him to whom he was
speaking, he answered, ' It is my King, whom now I see, I am standing in His
presence.' And when the blessed ado spoke these words, just as if someone were
offering him his hand, he stood straight up from the ground, and so, with his hands
stretched out heavenwards, he passed a\vay to our Lord." This happened on
January 14 in the year 1200, when Odo was believed to be nearly a hundred years
old. He worked many miracles both during life and after death, but it horrified
him to think that people should attribute to him any supernatural power.
" Brother", he said to one who asked his aid, " why dost thou make game of me,
85
January 14] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

a wretched sinner, a bag of putrid flesh? Leave me in peace; it is for Christ, the
Son of the living God, to heal thee"; and as he said this he burst into tears. But
the man went a,vay permanently cured of an infirmity which, as the witness who
recounts this attests from personal knowledge, had tortured him for many years.
The cultus of Bd ado was confirmed in 1859.
See Le Couteulx, Annales Ordinis Cartvsiensis (1888), vol. iii, pp. 263-271. In vul. iv,
pp. 59--72, the editor prints a selection of the depositions of the witnesses to the miracles
which \\'ere wrought at the tomb of Bd Odo. As the evidence was all given within a year
of the occurrences related, it forms one of the best collections of medieval miracles preserved
to us. The documents have been edited entire in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. i (1882),
pp. 323-354. Cf. also Le Vasseur, Ephemerides, vol. i, pp. 60-68.

ST SAV A, ARCHBISHOP OF THE SERBS (A.D. 1237)


THE public ecclesiastical life and politics of St Sava (i.e. Sabas) were to a great
extent conditioned by political considerations, a circumstance common to many
churchmen in history, and nowhere more acute than in the Balkans, at the junction
of great civil and ecclesiastical powers and the meeting-place of diverse cultures.
Sava, born in 1174, was the youngest of the three sons of Stephen I, founder
of the dynasty of the Nemanydes and of the independent Serbian state. At the
age of seventeen he became a monk on the Greek peninsula of Mount Athos, "There
he was joined by his father when that prince abdicated in 1196. Together they
established a monastery for Serbian monks, with the name of Khilandari, which
is still in existence as one of the seventeen "ruling monasteries" of the Holy
Mountain. As abbot, Sava was noted for his light and effective touch in training
young monks; it was remarked, too, that his influence was always on the side of
gentleness and leniency. He began the work of translating books into the Serbian
language, and there are still treasured at Khilandari a psalter and ritual written out
by himself, and signed, " I, the unworthy lazy monk Sava ".
In the meanwhile his brothers, Stephen II and Vulkan, had fallen out over
their inheritance, and in 1207 St Sava returned home. Religiously as well as
civilly he found his country in a bad way. The Serbs had been Christians for
some time, but much of it ,vas a nominal Christianity, quite uninstructed and mixed
up with heathenism. The clergy were few and mostly uneducated, for the church
had been ruled from Constantinople or Okhrida in Bulgaria, whose hierarchs had
shown little care or sympathy for thosf:: Vwhom they regarded as barbarians. So
St Sava, following the example of the Benedictines in the West and the earlier
Russian monks, utilized the monks who had accompanied him from Khilandari
for pastoral and missionary work. He established himself at the monastery of
Studenitsa, from whence he founded a number of small monasteries in places
convenient for travelling around and getting to the people. But this did not mean
that the former Athonite had changed his mind about the necessity of solitude and
contemplation: there may still be seen in the Studenitsa valley, high and away
above the monastery, the rocky hermitage to which St Sava himself used to retire.
What happened, and the order of what happened, subsequently is more difficult
to assess, but the following represents a recent reading of the rather contradictory
evidence. It remained desirable (and politically advantageous also) that the Serbs
should have their own bishops. So Stephen II sent his brother to Nicaea, where
the Eastern emperor and patriarch had taken refuge from the Frankish intruders
at Constantinople. Sava won over the emperor, Theodore II Laskaris (who was
86
ST SAVA [January 14
related to the Nemanya family), and he designated 8ava as the first metropolitan of
the new hierarchy. The patriarch, Manuel I, was unwilling, but in the circum
stances dared not oppose obstinately, and himself ordained Sava bishop, in 1219.
Sava returned by way of Mount Athos, bringing with him more monks and many
books that had been translated at Khilandari, and straightway set about the organ
ization of his church. I t seems that already Stephen II, " the First-Crowned)),
had asked to be recognized as king by Pope Honorius III and had been duly
crowned by a papal legate in 1217. But in 1222 he was again crowned, by his
brother as archbishop, and one source asserts that it was on this occasion 'that
Honorius sent a crown, in response to a request from Sava, who had informed the
Holy See of his own episcopal ordination.
Thus the retiring young prince, who had left home as a youth to be a monk,
succeeded before he was fifty years of age in consolidating the state founded by his
father by reforming the religious life of the people, giving them bishops of their
own race, and sealing the sovereign dignity of his brother. St Sava is regarded as
the patron-saint of Serbia and, with him as with others, the people's gratitude
attributes benefits for which he was very doubtfully responsible: in this case, how
to turn a plow across the head-land instead of dragging it back to the starting point,
and how to make windows instead of admitting air and light by the door (c/. the
men of the Sussex coast who said that 8t Wilfrid taught them how to catch fish).
The later years of St Sava's life were marked externally by two voyages to
Palestine and the Near East; the first seems to have been a pilgrimage of devotion,
the second an ecclesiastical mission. On his way back from this last he was taken
ill at Tirnovo in Bulgaria and there he died, with a smile on his face, on January 14,
1237. In the following year his body was translated to the monastery of Milochevo
in Serbia, where it rested until 1594 when, during civil disturbances, the relics were
deliberately burned by a Turkish pasha who was an Italian renegade.
The Orthodox of Serbia look on St Sava not only as the founder of their national
church but also as the conscious father of their separation from Rome. And
indeed it would seem this might be so-if events are looked at from the position in
later times. But the position in those days was quite different. Behind the
ecclesiastical authorities of Rome and Nicaea-Byzantium and Okhrida were corre
sponding civil powers, all of them a threat to the nascent Serbian state. Among
these King Stephen II and his archbishop had to move warily; and in any case
schism between Rome and the Byzantine East was hardly definitive; Southern
Slavs, and for that matter many " Franks)), did not yet know any hard-and-fast
division into Catholic and Orthodox. In fact, 8t Sava Prosvtitely, " the Enlight
ener )), figures in several Latin calendars and his feast is also kept in the Catholic
Byzantine diocese of Krizevtsy in Croatia.

A life of St Sava was written by his disciple Domitian about 1250, but it has not survived
in its original form: it "vas edited during the fourteenth century, with" an obvious tenden
ciousness in a certain ecclesiastical direction" (i.e. in favour of the Orthodox) says Shafarik,
\\lho cannot be suspected of partiality for the Catholic Church. Other sources are the letters
of Stephen II and the history of Salona by the contemporary Latin archdeacon of Spalato,
1'homas. See Acta Sanctorum, January 14; J. l\lartynov, TrzJolium Serbicum,. J. MatI,
" Der hI. Sava als Begrlinder der serbischen Nationalkirche ", in Kyrios, vol. ii (1937),
pp. 23-37; V. Yanlch and C. P. Hankey in Lives of the Serbian Saints,. and a useful con
ference on Sava given in Belgrade by P. Belard, printed in L'Unite de I'Eglise, no. 78 (1936).
A s~venteenth-century Latin bishop in Bosnia, I. T. l\lrnavich, wrote a biography of St Sava,
and the Franciscan poet Andrew Kachich devoted one of his best poems to him.
January 14] THE LIVES OF l'HE SAINTS

BD ROGER OF TODI (A.D. 1237)


NOT much is recorded concerning Bd Roger (Ruggiero) da Todi, and in the little
which is told us there seems to be a certain amount of confusion. What can be
affirmed with confidence is that he received the habit of the Friars Minor from the
hands of the Seraphic Father himself in 1216, that he was appointed by St Francis
to act as spiritual director to the community founded and governed by Bd Philippa
Mareri at Rieti in Umbria under the rule of St Clare, that he assisted Philippa on
her deathbed in 1236, and that he died himself at Todi shortly afterwards on
January 5, 1237. Pope Gregory IX, who had known him personally, permitted
the town of Todi, where his remains were enshrined, to keep a feast in his honour,
and Benedict XIV confirmed the cuitus for the whole Franciscan Order.
See Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1676), vol. i, pp. 29-31 ; Leon, Aureole Seraphique
(English trans.), vol. i, pp. 442-443.

BD ODORIC OF PORDENONE (A.D. 1331)


I T would not be easy to find in secular literature a more adventurous career than
that of the Franciscan Friar Odoric of Pordenone. He was a native of Friuli, and
his family name is said to have been Mattiussi. About the year 1300, when he was
fifteen, he received the habit of St Francis at Udine, and his later biographers
expatiate upon the extreme fervour with which he gave himself to prayer, poverty
and penance. After a while he felt called to serve God in solitude, and he obtained
the permission to lead the life of a hermit in a remote cell. We are not told how
long he spent in this close communion with God, but he seems to have been guided
to return to U dine and to take up apostolic work in the surrounding districts.
Great success followed his preaching, and crowds gathered from afar to hear him.
But about 1317, when he was a little over thirty, there came to him an inspiration
of a somewhat different kind, and it is difficult from the documents before us to
decide how far he was influenced in his subsequent career by a simple spirit of
adventure and how far by the burning desire of the missionary to extend God's
kingdom and to save souls. \Ve shall probably not be wrong in assuming that
there was a mixture of both.
It is not easy to give precise dates, but according to Yule and Cordier he was
in western India soon after 1321, he must have spent three of the years between
1322 and 1328 in northern China, and he certainly died at home among his brethren
at U dine in January 1331. With regard to the route he followed in his wanderings
we are better informed. His first objective was Constantinople, and from thence
he passed on to Trebizond, Erzerum, Tabriz and Soltania. There were houses of
the order in most of these cities, and he probably made a considerable stay in each,
so that this part of his journey may well have occupied three years. From Soltania
he seems to have wandered about very irregularly, but eventually he came south
through Baghdad to Hormuz at the entrance of the Persian Gulf, where he took
ship and sailed to Salsette. At l'ana, or possibly Surat, he gathered up the hones
of his four brethren who had been martyred there shortly before, in 1321, and
carried them with him on his voyage eastward. He went on to Malabar and
Ceylon, and then probably rested for a while at the shrine of St Thomas at Mailapur,
by the modern Madras. Here he again took ship for Sumatra and Java, possibly
also visiting southern and eastern Borneo. China was his next goal. Starting
88
BD GILES OF LORENZANA [January 14
from Canton, he travelled to the great ports of Fo-kien, and from Fu-chau he pro
ceeded across the mountains to Hang-chau, then famous under the name of
Quinsai as the greatest city of the world, and Nan-king. Taking to the water
again upon the great canal at Yang-chau, he made his way to Khanbaliq, or Peking,
and there remained for three years, attached apparently to one of the churches
founded by Archbishop John of Montecorvino, another heroic Franciscan mission
ary, now in extreme old age. There Odoric turned his face homewards, passing
through Shen-si to Tibet and its capital, Lhasa, but we have no further record of
the course by which he ultimately reached his native province in safety. It is
interesting to note that during the latter part at least of these long journeys Odoric
had for his companion an Irish friar of the same order, one Brother James. The
fact is known to us from a record preserved in the archives of U dine, which tells
us that after Odoric's death a present of two marks was made" for the love of God
and the blessed Brother Odoric" to Brother James, the Irishman, who had been
his companion on his journey.
The account which has been left us of Odoric's travels, which unfortunately
was not written down by himself at the time but dictated to one of his brethren
after his return, says practically nothing of any missionary labours on his part. It
is, therefore, not certain how far we may credit the wonderful stories which were
current in later times regarding the success which attended his preaching. Luke
Wadding, the annalist, declares that he converted and baptized 20,000 Saracens,
but he gives us no idea of the source of his information. It is also stated that
Odoric's purpose in leaving China and returning to Europe was to obtain fresh
supplies of missionaries and to conduct them himself to the Far East. At Pisa,
however, St Francis appeared to him and bade him return to Udine, declaring that
he himself would look after those distant missions about which Odoric was anxious.
On his deathbed the worn-out apostle said that God had made known to him that
his sins were pardoned, but that he wished, like a humble child, to submit himself
to the keys of the Church and to receive the last sacraments. He died on January
14, 133 I. Many miracles are said to have been wrought after his death, and in
one of these we hear again of Brother James the Irishman, for a certain Franciscan
who w'as a preacher and doctor of theology at Venice, and had suffered cruelly from
a painful malady of the throat, asked Brother James to recommend hiln to his late
fellow traveller, and was immediately cured. The cultus long paid to him was
approved in 1755.
The narrative of his journeys, as dictated in Latin by Bd Odoric, will be found printed
in the Acta Sanctorum for January 14, but the fullest account, with translation and notes,
will be found in Yule-Cordier, Cathay and the Way Thther (1913), vol. ii. See also Wadding,
Annales, s.a. 1331; M. Komroff, Contemporaries of Marco Polo (1928); and H. lVlatrod,
L'itineraire . . . du b. Odoric de Pordenone (1936). There is a fifteenth-century Welsh
version of the voyages, ed. S. J. Williams, Ffordd y Brawd Odrg (1929). Fuller biblio
graphies in Yule and in U. Chevalier, Bio-Biblographe.

BD GILES OF LORENZANA (A.n. 1518)


THE published lives of this Giles tell us that he was born about 1443 at Lorenzana
in what was once the kingdom of Naples. His parents were a devout couple of
the working class, and the boy was not hindered in the religious practices which he
adopted from early youth, more especially after he came under the influence of
the Franciscan friars, who made a foundation in his native town. In time he
89
January 14] 1"HE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
decided to serve God in solitude, settling near a little shrine of our Lady. Here
he spent most of his time absorbed in prayer, the birds and beasts becoming his
faf!liliar companions. But the news of the miracles he was believed to work
gradually attracted visitors, and being forced to seek refuge elsewhere, he next took
service with a farmer near Lorenzana. Of this stage of his life it is said that,
though he spent most of his time in church, his work, God so disposing, did not
suffer from his absence. Eventually he was received into the Franciscan com
munity as a lay-brother, and being given the care of the garden, he was allowed to
build himself a little hut there, where he lived as in a kind of hermitage. He was
still the friend of the birds and all living creatures, and his miraculous cures, his
ecstatic prayer and gift of prophecy were renow~ed far and wide. In particular
he is said to have been frequently seen raised from the ground and to have been
physically assaulted by the Evil One. He died on January 10, 1518. Th~ state
ment made that six years after his death his incorrupt body, though it had been
laid in the tomb in the ordinary way, ,vas found kneeling, rosary in hand, and the
face turned towards the Blessed Sacrament, can hardly be considered to rest upon
evidence sufficient to establish so strange a marvel. The cult of Bd Giles was
confirmed in 188o.
See Leon, Aureole Seraphique (English trans.), January 10; Antony da Vicenza, Vita
e lniracoli del B. Egidio (1880).

ST ANTONY PUCCI
THIS saint, though a member of a religious order, the Servants of Mary, spent
most of his life and achieved holiness as a parish priest. He was born of peasant
stock at Poggiole, near Pistoia, in 1819; he was the second of seven children and
was christened Eustace. As a boy his kind and gentle disposition was noticeable,
as was his industry and willingness to help, especially in his parish church, of which
his father "vas sacristan. Nevertheless, when Eustace's inclination to become a
Servite had been finally confirmed during a pilgrimage to the shrine of our
Lady at Bocca, Pucci senior and his wife opposed their son's resolution (he
was their elde8t boy), and it was not till he was eighteen, in 1837, that he entered
the Servite priory of the Annunciation at Florence. He took the names of
Antony Mary.
During his early years as a religious Brother Antony showed those qualities of
frankness and of steadiness in face of difficulties that were to distinguish him all his
life. Prayer and obedience were his first concern, and after them study. He was
ordained in 1843, and less than a year later was appointed curate of St Andrew's
church in Viareggio. In 1847, when still only 28, he became parish priest there.
Viareggio is a seaside town-a fishing-port with a ship-building yard, but chiefly
a holiday resort-and here Father Antony remained for the rest of his days.
Father Antony's flock called him" 11 curatino ", which can't be translated into
English; but it means that he was" a grand little man", who was equally loved
and respected. It has been said of him that he was before his time in recognizing
the need for organization, and organizations, in a parish. But he never forgot that
these things are but means to an end, and that end the life of divine charity; and
that the living example of love must come from the father of the flock. He was
the father and therefore the servant of all: the sick, the aged, the poor, all in
trouble or distress, came to him, and he served them without stint. 'fhis selfless

9
ST PAUL THE HERMIT [January IS
ness was never more apparent than when Viareggio was visited by two bad epi
demics, in 1854 and in 1866; and one of the fruits of Father Antony's love for the
young was his inauguration of a seaside nursing-home for children-something
quite new in those days. To the religious instruction of children he devoted much
thought and work, emphasizing that what is done in church and school must be
begun and finished in the home. Nor were his concerns bounded by the limits of
his parish: in his enthusiasm for the conversion of the heathen Father Antony was
one of the pioneers in Italy of the work of the A.P.F. and of the Holy Childhood
Society.
St Antony Pucci died on January 1+, 1892 at the age of 73; his passing was
greeted with an outburst of grief in Viareggio, and miracles of healing took place
at his grave. He was beatified in 1952, and canonized in 1962 during the Second
Vatican Council.
See the decree of beatification in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xliv (1952); and Un
apostolo della carita (1920), by a Servite.

15 : ST PAUL THE HERMIT (A.D. 342)

LIAS and St John the Baptist sanctified the desert, and Jesus Christ Himself

E was a model of the eremitical state during His forty days' fast in the
wilderness. But while we cannot doubt that the saint of this day was guided
by the Holy Ghost to live in solitude far from the haunts of men, we must recognize
that this was a special vocation, and not an example to he rashly imitated. Speaking
generally, this manner of life is beset with many dangers, and ought only to be
embraced by those already well-grounded in virtue and familiar with the practice
of contemplative prayer.
St Paul was a native of the lower Thebaid in Egypt, and lost both his parents
when he was but fifteen years of age. Nevertheless, he was proficient in Greek
and Egyptian learning, was gentle and modest, and feared God from his earliest
youth. The cruel persecution of Decius disturbed the peace of the Church in 250 ;
and Satan by his ministers sought not so much to kill the bodies, as by subtle
artifices to destroy the souls of men. During these times of danger Paul kept
himself concealed in the' house of a friend; but finding that a brother-in-law
coveting his estate was inclined to betray him, he fled into the desert. There he
found certain caverns which were said to have been the retreat of money-coiners
in the days of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. He chose for his dwelling a cave in this
place, near which were a palm tree and a clear spring; the former by its leaves
furnished him with raiment, and by its fruit with food; and the latter supplied
him with water to drink. Paul was twenty-two years old when he entered the
desert. His first intention was to enjoy liberty in serving God till the persecution
should cease; but relishing the sweets of solitude and heavenly contemplation, he
resolved to return no more and never to concern himself with the things of the
world; it was enough for him to know that there was a world, and to pray that it
might grow better. He lived on the fruit of his tree till he was forty-three years
of age, and from that time till his death, like Elias, he was miraculously fed with
bread brought him every day by a raven. His method of life, and what he did in
this place during ninety years, is hidden from us; but God was pleased to make
His servant known a little before his death.
January 15] TI-IE LIVES OF TfIE SAIN1~S

The great St Antony, who was then ninety years of age, was tempted to vanity,
thinking that no one had served God so long in the wilderness as he had done, since
he believed himself to be the first to adopt this unusual way of life; but the contrary
was made known to him in a dream, and the saint was at the same time commanded
by Almighty God to set out forthwith in quest of a solitary more perfect than him
self. The old man started the next morning. St Jerome relates that he met a
centaur, or creature with something of the mixed shape of man and horse, and that
this monster or phantom of the devil (St Jerome does not profess to determine
which it was), upon his making the sign of the cross, fled away, after having pointed
out the road. Our author adds that St Antony soon after met also a satyr, who gave
him to understand that he dwelt here in the desert, and was one of those beings
whom the deluded gentiles worshipped. * St Antony, after two days and a night
spent in the search, discovered the saint's abode by a light which shone from it and
guided his steps. Having begged admittance at the door of the cell, St Paul at last
opened it with a smile; they elnbraced, and called each other by their names,
which they knew by revelation. St Paul then inquired whether idolatry still
reigned in the world. \Vhile they were discoursing together, a raven flew towards
them, and dropped a loaf of bread before them. Upon which St Paul said, " Our
good God has sent us a dinner. In this manner have I received half a loaf every
day these sixty years past; now you have come to see me, Christ has doubled His
provision for His servants." Having given thanks to God, they both sat down by
the spring. But a little contest arose between them as to who should break the
bread; St Antony alleged St Paul's greater age, and St Paul pleaded that Antony
was the stranger: both agreed at last to take up their parts together. Having
refreshed themselves at the spring, they spent the night in prayer.
The next morning St Paul told his guest that the time of his death approached,
and that he had been sent to bury him, adding, " Go and fetch the cloak given you
by Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, in which I desire you to wrap my body."
This he probably said that he might be left alone in prayer, while expecting to be
called out of this world; as also that he might testify his veneration for St Athan
asius, and his high regard for the faith and communion of the Catholic Church, on
account of which that holy bishop was then a great sufferer. St Antony was
surprised to hear him mention the cloak, of which he could only have known by
revelation. Whatever ,vas his motive for desiring to be buried in it, St Antony
acquiesced in what was asked of him, and he hastened to his monastery to comply
with St Paul's request. He told his monks that he, a sinner, falsely bore the name
of a servant of God; but that he had seen Elias and John the Baptist in the wilder
ness, even Paul in Paradise. Having taken the cloak, he returned with it in all
haste, fearing lest the hermit might be dead; as, in fact, it happened. Whilst on
the road he saw his soul carried up to Heaven, attended by choirs of angels, prophets
and apostles. St Antony, though he rejoiced on St Paul's account, could not help
lamenting on his own, for having lost a treasure so lately discovered. He arose,
pursued his journey, and came to the cave. Going in he found the body kneeling,
and the hands stretched out. Full of joy, and supposing him yet alive, he knelt

* Educated pagans were no less credulous than their Christian contemporaries. Plutarch,
in his life of SylIa, says that a satyr was brought to that general at Athens; and St Jerome
tells us that one was shown alive at Alexandria, and after its death was embalmed, and sent
to Antioch that Constantine the Great might see it. Pliny and others assure us that centaurs
have been seen.
51" MACARIUS 1~IIE ELDER l ranuary 15

down to pray with him, but by his silence soon perceived Paul ,vas dead. \Vhilst
he stood perplexed how to dig a grave, two lions came up quietly, and a~ it ,vere
rnourning; and, tearing up the ground, made a hole la.cge enough. 5t Antony then
buried the body, singing psalms according to the rite then usual in the Church.
After this he returned home praising God, and related to his monks what he had
seen and done. He always kept as a great treasure, and wore himself on great
festivals, the garment of 8t Paul, of palm-tree leaves patched together. 8t Paul
died in the year 342, the hundred and thirteenth of his age, and the ninetieth of his
solitude, and is usually called the" First Hermit", to distinguish him from others
of that name. He is commemorated in the canon of the Mass according to the
Coptic and Armenian rites.
l'he summary which Alban Butler has here given of the life of the First Hermit is taken
from the short biography edited in Latin by St jerome, and afterwards \videly circulated in
th~ West. It seems possible, though this has been much disputed, that St jerome himself
did little more than translate a Greek text of \vhich \ve have versions in Syriac, Arabic and
Coptic, and \vhich contained a good deal of fabulous matter. jeroo1e, however, undoubtedly
regarded the life as in substance historical. The Greek original seems to have been written
as a supplement, and in some measure a correction, to the Life of 5t Antony by St Athanasius.
See on the whole question F. Nau in .4nalecta Bollandiana, vol. xx (1901), pp. 121-157.
The two principal Greek texts have been edited by j. Bidez (1900), the Syriac and Coptic
by Pereira (1904). Gj. also j. de Decker, Contribution a l'etude des 'vies de Paul de Thehes
(195); Plenkers in Der Katholik (1905), vol. ii, pp. 294-30; Schi'Yietz, Das morgenliindische
MOllchtum (1904), pp. 49-51 ; Cheneau d'Orleans, Les Saillts d'ERypte (1923), vol. i, pp.
76-86. For a French translation of Jerome's Life of Paul, see R. Draguet, Les Peres du
desert (1949); and cf. I-I. Waddell, The Desert Fathers (193 6), pp. 35-53.

ST l\tIACARIUS THE ELDER (A.D. 390)


THIS Macarius was born in Upper Egypt, about the year 300, and spent his youth
in tending cattle. By a powerful call of divine grace he retired from the world at
an early age and, dwelling in a little cell, made mats, in continual prayer and the
practice of great austerities. A woman falsely accused him of having offered her
violence, for which supposed crime he was dragged through the streets, beaten and
insulted, as a base hypocrite under the garb of a monk. He suffered all ,vith
patience, and sent the woman what he earned by his work, saying to himself,
" Well, Macarius! having now another to provide for, thou must work the harder".
But God made his innocence known; for the woman falling in labour, lay in ex
treme anguish, and could not be delivered till she had named the true father of her
child. The fury of the people turned into admiration for the saint's humility and
patience. To escape the esteem of men he fled to the vast and melancholy desert
of 8kete, being then about thirty years of age. In this solitude he lived sixty years,
and became the spiritual parent of innumerable holy persons who put themselves
under his direction and were governed by the rules he laid down for them; but all
occupied separate hermitages. 8t Macarius admitted only one disciple to dwell with
him, whose duty it was to receive strangers. He was compelled by an Egyptian
bishop to receive the priesthood that he might celebrate the divine mysteries
for the convenience of this colony. When the desert became better peopled,
there were four churches built in it, which were served by so many priests.
The austerities of 8t Macarius were excessive; he usually ate but once a week.
Evagrius, his disciple, once asked him leave, when tortured with thirst, to drink a
little water; but Macarius bade him content himself with reposing awhile in the
93
January IS] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
shade, saying, " For these twenty years I have never once eaten, drunk or slept as
much as nature required". His face was very pale, and his body feeble and
shrivelled. To go against his own inclinations he did not refuse to drink a little
wine when others desired him; but then he would punish himself for this indul
gence by abstaining two or three days from all manner of drink; and it was for this
reason that his disciple besought strangers never to offer him wine. He delivered
his instructions in few words, and recommended silence, retirement and continual
prayer, especially the last, to all sorts of people. He used to say, " In prayer you
need not use many or lofty words. You can often repeat with a sincere heart,
, Lord, show me mercy as thou knowest best.' Or,' 0 God, come to my assist
ance.'" His mildness and patience were invincible, and wrought the conversion of a
heathen priest and many others.
A young man applying to St Macariu's for spiritual advice, he directed him to
go to a burying-place and upbraid the dead; and after that to go and flatter them.
When he returned the saint asked him what answer the dead had made. "None
at all", said the other, "either to reproaches or praises." " Then", replied
Macarius, " go and learn neither to be moved by abuse nor by flattery. If you die
to the world and to yourself, you will begin to live to Christ." He said to another,
" Receive from the hand of God poverty as cheerfully as riches, hunger and want
as readily as plenty; then you will conquer the Devil, and subdue your passions."
A certain monk complained to him that in solitude he was always tempted to break
his fast, whereas in the monastery he could fast the whole week cheerfully. "Vain
glory is the reason", replied the saint; "Fasting pleases when men see you; but
seems intolerable when the craving for esteem is not gratified." One came to
consult him who was molested with temptations to impurity; the saint examining
into the source, convinced himself that the trouble was due to indolence. Accord
ingly, he advised him never to eat before sunset, to meditate fervently at his work,
and to labour vigorously without slackening the whole day. The other faithfully
complied, and was freed from his torment. God revealed to St Macarius that he
had not attained to the perfection of two married women, who lived in a certain
town. The saint thereupon paid them a visit, and learned the means by which
they sanctified themselves. They were careful never to speak idle or rash words;
they lived in humility, patience, charity and conformity to the humours of their
husbands; and they sanctified all their actions by prayer, consecrating to the
divine glory all the powers of their soul and body.
A heretic of the sect of the Hieracites, called so from Hierax, who denied the
resurrection of the dead, had caused some to be unsettled in their faith. St
Macarius, to confirm them in the truth, raised a dead man to life, as Socrates,
Sozomen, Palladius and Rufinus relate. Cassian says that he only made a dead
body to speak for that purpose; then bade it rest till the resurrection. Lucius,
the Arian usurper of the see of Alexandria, sent troops into the desert to disperse
the zealous monks, several of whom sealed their faith with their blood. The
leading ascetics, namely the two Macariuses, Isidore, Pambo and some others were
banished to a little island in the Nile delta, surrounded with marshes. The
inhabitants, who were pagans, were all converted by the example and preaching
of these holy men. In the end Lucius suffered them to return to their cells.
Macarius, knowing that his end drew near, paid a visit to the monks of Nitria, and
exhorted them in such moving terms that they all fell weeping at his feet. ~'Let
us weep, brethren", said he, " and let our eyes pour forth floods of tears before
94
ST JOHN CALYBITES [January IS
we go hence, lest we fall into that place where tears will only feed the flames in
which we shall burn." He went to receive the reward of his labours at the age of
ninety, after having spent sixty years in Skete. Macarius seems to have been, as
Cassian asserts, the first anchoret who inhabited this vast wilderness. Some style
him a disciple of St Antony; but it appears that he could not have lived under the
direction of Antony before he retired to Skete. It seems, however, that later on
he paid a visit, if not several, to that holy patriarch of monks, whose dwelling was
fifteen days' journey distant. Macarius is commemorated in the canon of the
Mass according to the Coptic and Armenian rites.
See Palladius, Historia Lausiaca, c. 19 seq.,. Acta Sanctorum, January 15; Schiwietz,
Morgenland. Monchtum, vol. i, pp. 97 se.J. .. Bardenhewer, Patrolo~y (Eng. ed.), pp. 266-267 ;
Gore in Journ. of Theol. Stud., vol. vii,i, pp. 85-90; Cheneau d'Orleans, Les saints d''EfJypte
(1923), vol. i, pp. 117-138.

ST ISIDORE OF ALEXANDRIA
IN early life Isidore, after distributing his large fortune to the poor, became an
ascetic in the Nitrian desert. Afterwards he fell under the influence of St Athan
asius, who ordained him and took him to Rome in 341. The greater part of his
life, however, seems to have been passed as governor of the great hospital at
Alexandria. When Palladius, the author of the Lausiac History, came to Egypt
to adopt an ascetic life, he addressed himself first to Isidore, who advised him
simply to practise austerity and self-denial, and then to return for further instruc
tion. During his last days the saint, when over eighty years of age, was over
whelmed with persecutions, misrepresentations and troubles of every description.
St Jerome denounced him in violent terms for his supposed Origenist sympathies,
and his own bishop, Theophilus, who had once been his friend, excommunicated
him, so that Isidore was driven to take refuge in the Nitrian desert, where he had
spent his youth. In the end he fled to Constantinople to seek the protection of St
John Chrysostom, and there shortly afterwards he died at the age of eighty-five.
See Palladius, Historia Lausiaca, and Dialogus de vita Chrysostomi ; and Acta Sanctorum,
January 15.

ST JOHN CALYBITES (c. A.D. 450)


IT was at Gomon on the Bosphorus, among the" sleepless" monks founded by St
Alexander Akimetes, that St John sought seclusion, leaving his father and a
large fortune. After six years he returned disguised in the rags of a beggar, and
lived unrecognized upon the charity afforded him by his parents, close to their door
in a little hut (Ka>uJf1TJ); whence he is known as " Calybites ". He sanctified his
soul by wonderful patience, meekness and prayer. When at the point of death he
is said to have revealed his identity to his mother, producing in proof the book of
the gospels, bound in gold, which he had used as a boy. He asked to be buried
under the hut he had occupied, and this was granted, but a church was built over
it, and his relics were at a later date translated to Rome. The legend of Calybites
has either originated from, or been confused with, those of St Alexis, St Onesimus,
and one or two others in which the same idea recurs of a disguise long persisted in.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 15, and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xv (1896), pp.
25 6- 267. C/. also Synaxarium Cpo (ed. Delehaye), p. 393.

95
January IS] rrHE LIVES OF THE SAIN1'S

ST ITA, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 570)


AMONG the women saints of Ireland, 8t Ita (also called Ida and Mida, with other
variant spellings) holds the foremost place after St Brigid. Although her life has
been overlaid with a multitude of mythical and extravagant miracles, there is no
reason to doubt her historical existence. She is said to have been of royal descent,
to have been born in one of the baronies of Decies, near Drum, Co. Waterford, and
to have been originally called Deirdre. A noble suitor presented himself, but by
fasting and praying for three days Ita, with angelic help, won her father's consent
to her leading a life of virginity. She accordingly migrated to H y Conaill, in the
western part of the present county of Limerick. There at Killeedy she gathered
round her a community of maidens and there, after long years given to the service
of God and her neighbour, she eventually died, probably in the year 570. We
are told that at first she often went without food for three or four days at a time.
An angel appeared and counselled her to have more regard for her health, and when
she demurred, he told her that in future God would provide for her needs. From
that time forth she lived entirely on food sent her from Heaven. A religious
maiden, a pilgrim from afar, asked her one day, " Why is it that God loves thee so
much? Thou art fed by Him miraculously, thou healest all manner of diseases,
thou prophesiest regarding the past and the future, the angels converse with thee
daily, and thou never ceasest to keep thy thoughts fixed upon the divine mysteries."
Then Ita gave her to understand that it was this very practice of continual medita
tion, in which she had trained herself from childhood, which was the source of all
the rest. Ita is said to have been sought out and consulted by the most saintly of
her countrymen.
It appears that 8t Ita conducted a school for small boys, and we are told that
the bishop 8t Erc committed to her care one who was afterwards destined to be
famous as abbot and missionary, the child Brendan, who for five years was trained
by her. One day the boy asked her to tell him three things which God specially
loved. She answered: "True faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with
a religious spirit, openhandedness inspired by charity-these three things God
specially loves." "And what", continued the boy, " are the three things which
God most abhors? " "A face", she said, ",,"hich scowls upon all mankind,
obstinacy in wrong-doing, and an overweening confidence in the power of money;
these are three things which are hateful in God's sight."
Not a few of the miracles attributed to 8t Ita are very preposterous, as, for
example, the story that a skilful craftsman whose services she had retained, and to
whom she gave her sister as wife, promising that he should become the father of
a famous and holy son, went out to battle against a party of raiders and had his
head cut off. On making a search for him, they found the trunk, but the head
had been carried away by the victors. Then Ita, because her promise was
still unfulfilled, set to work to pray; whereupon the head, by the power of
God, flew back through the air to unite itself to the body, and an hour later
the man, standing up alive, returned with them to the convent. Afterwards he
had a son who was known as 8t Mochoemog (hypocoristic for Coemgen), the
future abbot of Liath-mor or Leagh, in Tipperary. It was St Ita who had
care of him, and gave him his name, which means "my beautiful little one",
sometimes latinized as Pulcherius. 8t Ita's feast is celebrated throughout
Ireland.
96
ST BONITUS, OR BONET [January 15
The life of S1. Ita has been critically edited by C. Plummer in VSH., vol. ii, pp. I 16-130.
See also the Acta Sanctorum. January 15; J. Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae,. LIS.,
vol. i, p. 200; J. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (1931), pp. 138-140; and J. Begley, Diocese of
Limerick, Ancient and .J.l1odern (1906), ch. iv.

ST MAURUS, ABBOT (SIXTH CENTURY)


AMONG other noblemen who placed their sons under the care of St Benedict to be
brought up in piety and learning a certain Equitius left his son Maurus, then but
twelve years old; and when he was grown up 8t Benedict made him his assistant
in the government of Subiaco. The boy Placid, going one day to fetch water, fell
into the lake and was carried the distance of a bow-shot from the bank. St Benedict
saw this in spirit in his cell, and bade Maurus run and draw him out. Maurus
obeyed, walked unknowingly upon the water, and dragged out Placid by the hair.
He attributed the miracle to the prayers of St Benedict; but the abbot declared
that God had rewarded the obedience of the disciple. Not long after, the holy
patriarch retired to Monte Cassino, and 8t Maurus may have become superior at
Subiaco.
This, which we learn from 8t Gregory the Great, is all that can be told with any
probability regarding the life of St Maurus. It is, however, stated upon the
authority of a pretended biography by pseudo-Faustus-i.e. Abbot Odo of
Glanfeuil-that St Maurus, coming to France, founded by the liberality
of King Theodebert the great abbey of Glanfeuil, afterwards called Saint-Maur
sur-Loire, which he governed until his seventieth year. Maurus then resigned
the abbacy, and passed the remainder of his life in solitude to prepare himself
for his passage to eternity. After two years he fell sick, and died on January
15 in the year 584. He was buried on the right side of the altar in the church of
St Martin, and on a roll of parchment laid in his tornb was inscribed this epitaph:
"Maurus, a monk and deacon, \\"ho came into France in the days of King
1'heodebert, and died the eighteenth day before the month of February."
That this parchment was really found in the middle of the ninth century is
probable enough; but there is no reliable evidence to establish the fact that
the Maurus so described is identical with the Maurus who was the disciple of St
Benedict.

From the time of Bollandus and of Mabillon (who in his Acta Sanctorum, a.S.B., \'01. i,
pp. 275-298 printed the I ~ife of St Maurus by pseudo-Faustus as an authentic document)
do\\'n to the present day a lively controversy has raged over the question of St Maurus's
connection with Glanfeuil. Bruno Krusch (Neues Archz'v, vol. xxxi, pp. 245-247) considers
that we have no reason to affirm the existence of any such monk as Maurus, or any abbey at
Glanfeuil in Merovingian times. Without going quite so far as this, Fr Poncelet, in many
notes in the Ana/ecta Bollandiana (e.g. vol. xv, pp. 355-356), and U. Berliere in the Rtvu'e
Benedictine (vol. xxii, pp. 541-542) are agreed that the life by " Faustus" is quite untrust
\\'orthy. An admirable review of the whole discussion, summing it up in the same sense,
has been published by H. Leclercq in DAC., S.7'. "Glanfeuil" (vol. vi, cc. 1283-1319).
See also j. McCann, St Benedict (1938), pp. 274-281.

ST BONITUS, OR BONET, BISHOP OF CLERMONT (A.D. 706)


ST BONITUS was referendary or chancellor to St Sigebert III, king of Austrasia ;
and by his zeal, religion and justice flourished in that kingdom under four kings.
In 677 Thierry III made him governor of Marseilles, an office he carried out with
97
January 1 5] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
distinction and liberality. His elder brother, St Avitus II, Bishop of Clermont
in Auvergne, having recommended him for his successor, died in 689, and Bonet
was consecrated. But after having governed that see some years with exemplary
piety, he had a scruple whether his election had been perfectly canonical; and
having consulted St Tillo, then leading an eremitical life at Solignac, resigned his
dignity, led a most penitential life in the abbey of Manglieu, and after having made
a pilgrimage to Rome died at Lyons in 706. The colloquial form of this saint's
name is Bont.
See his life, \,'ritten by a monk of Sommon in Auyergne, published in the Acta Sanctorum,
January 15; MGl-I., Scriptores Meroz'., vol. vi; and CMH., pp. 37-38.

ST CEOLWULF (A.D. 760 ?)


IT is difficult to find any trace of late medieval cultus of this Northumbrian
king, but he was held in high honour after his death, his body in 830 being trans
lated to Norham, and the head to Durham. Bede speaks enthusiastically of
his virtues and his zeal, and dedicated to him his Ecclesiastical flistory, which
he submitted to the king's criticism. Ceolwulf ended his days as a monk at
Lindisfarne, and it is recorded that through his influence the community, who
previously had drunk nothing but water or milk, were allowed to take beer,
and even wine. His relics were said to work many miracles. Simeon of
Durham assigns his death to 764, but in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the date
given is 760.
Practically all available information "'ill be found collected in Plummer's edition of Bede,
especially vol. ii, p. 340.

BD PETER OF CASTELNAU, MA~YR (A.D. 1208)


THIS Cistercian monk was born near Montpellier, and in 1199 we hear of him
as archdeacon of Maguelone, but he entered the Cistercian Order a year or two
later. To him, aided by another of his religious brethren, Pope Innocent III
in 1203 confided the mission of taking action as apostolic delegate and inquisi
tor against the Albigensian heretics, a duty which Peter discharged with much
zeal, but little success. The opposition against him, which was fanned by
Raymund VI, Count of Toulouse, ended in his assassination on January IS,
I 209, :-~0t far from the abbey of Saint-Gilles. Pierced through the body by a
Idnce, Bd Peter cried to his murderer, "May God forgive thee as fully as I for
give thee". His relics were enshrined and venerated in the abbey church of
Saint-Gilles.
See Acta Sancforum, March 5; Hurter in Kirchenlexikon, vol. ii, cc. 231-233; I-1.
Nickerson, The Inquisition, pp. 77-95.

BD FRANCIS DE CAPILLAS, MARTYR

THE Dominicans followed the Jesuits to China early in the seventeenth century,
and to the Order of Preachers belongs the honour of having produced the first
native Chinese priest and bishop, Gregory Lo (1616-1691), and the first beatified
martyr in China, Francis Ferdinand de Capillas. He was born of humble stock in
the province of Valladolid, and joined the Preachers when he was seventeen. He
98
BD FRANCIS DE CAPILLAS [January I:;
volunteered for the mission in the Philippines, and received the priesthood at
Manila in 163 I. For ten years he laboured under a tropical sun in the Cagayan
district of Luzon, regarding this apostolic field as a sort of training-ground for
the still more arduous mission to which he felt himself destined. Here it ,vas,
accordingly, that he already practised great austerities, lying, for example, upon
a wooden cross during the short hours he gave to sleep, and deliberately ex
posing his body to the bites of the insects which infest these regions. At last,
in 1642, he was chosen to accompany the pioneer missionary, Father Francis
Diaz, O.P., who was returning by way of Formosa to take up again the apostolate
he had already begun in the Chinese province of Fokien. After learning
the language an immense success is said to have attended the labours of Father
de Capillas, and in Fogan, Moyan, Tingteu and other towns, he made many
converts.
Unfortunately it was just at this epoch that great revolutionary disturbances
shook the whole Chinese empire. The Ming dynasty came to an end, and the
Manchu Tatars were called in to help to quell one party of the rebels, with the
result that they themselves eventually became masters of the country. In Fokien
a stout resistance was offered to the Tatars, and although they occupied Fogan they
were besieged there by the armies of the Chinese viceroy. It would seem that
while the town was thus invested Father de Capillas entered it by stealLh to render
spiritual assistance to some of his converts. The mandarins of the old adminis
tration had been tolerant and often friendly to the Christians. The new masters
were bitterly hostile to the religion of the foreigner. Father de Capillas was caught,
cruelly tortured, tried as a spy who was believed to be conveying information to the
besiegers, and in the end put to death by having his head cut off, on January 15,
1648. In view of the question raised in the case of some of our English martyrs
as to whether they really died for the faith, or were only put to death as political
offenders, it is interesting to note that although Fathers Ferrando and Fonseca in
their Spanish History of the Dominicans 'in the Philippines admit that sedition
(rebeldia) was the formal charge upon which Father de Capillas was sentenced to
death, the Holy See has pronounced him to be a true martyr.
In reference to this same holy Dominican, a quotation may not be out of place
from Sir Robert K. Douglas:
" Why do you so much trouble yourselves ", the emperor [K'anghsi] asked
on one occasion of a TJ?issionary, " about a world which you have never yet
entered?" and adopting the, to him, canonical view, he expressed his opinion
that it would be much wiser if they thought less of the world to come and more
of the present life. It is possible that when he said this he may have had in
his mind the dying word of Ferdinand de Capillas, who suffered martyrdom
in 1648: "I have had no home but the world", said this priest, as he faced
his last earthly judge, " no bed but the ground, no food but what Providence
sent me from day to day, and no other object but to do and suffer for the glory
of Jesus Christ and for the eternal happiness of those who believe in His
name."

See Touron, Histoire des hommes illustres G.P., vol. vi, pp. 732-735; but especially Juan
Ferrando and Joaquin Fonseca, Historia de los PP. Dominicos en las Islas Filipinas, vol. ii,
pp. 569-587. Cf. R. K. Douglas, China, in the Story of the Nations series, pp. 61-62. For
other martyrs in China see herein under February 17, May 26, July 9 and September I I .
Bd Francis de Capillas was beatified in 1909.

99
January 16] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

16: ST MARCELLUS I, POPE AND MARTYR


T MARCELLUS had been a priest under Pope St Marcellinus, and

S succeeded him in 308, after the see of Peter had been vacant for three years
and a half. An epitaph written of him by Pope St Damasus says that by
enforcing the canons of penance he drew upon himself the hostility of many tepid
and refractory Christians, and that for his severity against a certain apostate, he
was banished by Maxentius. He died in 309 at his unknown place of exile. The
Liber Pontificalis states that Lucina, the widow of one Pinian, who lodged St
Marcellus when he lived in Rome, after his death converted her house into a church,
which she called by his name. His false acts relate that, among other sufferings,
he was condemned by the tyrant to keep cattle. He is styled a martyr in the early
sacramentaries and martyrologies, but the fifth-century account of his martyrdom
conflicts with the earlier epitaph. His body lies in Rome under the high altar in
the ancient church which bears his name and gives its title to a cardinal.
1'he difficult question of the chronology of the brief pontificate of Pope St Marcellus has
been discussed at length by Mgr Duchesne (Liber Pontificalis, yol. i, pp. xcix and 164) and
Father Grisar (Kirfhenlexikon, vol. Yiii, cc. 656-658): c/. also Duche~ne In Melan~es d'arch .
., 1898, pp. 382-392, and CMH., pp. 42-43.

ST PRISCILLA, MATRON (c. A.D. 98)


IT is tantalizing to know so little of St Priscilla, who is commemorated in the
Roman Martyrology on this day and who has given her name as foundress to what
is probably the most ancient and interesting of the catacombs. She seems to have
been the wife of Manius Acilius Glabrio, who, as we learn from the pagan historians
Suetonius and Dion Cassius, was put to death by Domitian on the pretext of some
crime of sedition or blasphemous impiety, under which charge we may perhaps
recognize a conversion to Christianity. It is likely that St Priscilla was the mother
of the senator St Pudens, and through him, the ancestress of SSe Praxedis and
Pudentiana. St Peter, the apostle, is believed to have used a villa belonging to
St Priscilla on the Via Salaria, beneath which the catacomb was afterwards excav
ated, as the seat of his activities in Rome. There can be no doubt that the Acilii
Glabriones were intimately connected with this spot, and that many of the family
in the second and third centuries were Christians and were buried in the catacombs.
See De Rossi in Bullettino Ji archeologia cristiana, 1888-1889, pp. 15 and 103 ; Marucchi
in Nuo'vo bullet/inf) . .. , vol. "iii (1902), pp. 217-232 ; H. Leclercq in DAC., s.v. " Glabrion",
vol. vi, cc. 1259-1274.

ST HONORATUS, BISHOP OF ARLES


HONORATUS was of a consular Roman family settled in Gaul, and was well versed
in the liberal arts. In his youth he renounced the worship of idols and gained to
Christ his elder brother Venantius, whom he also inspired with a contempt for the
world. They desired to forsake it entirely, but their father put continual obstacles
in their "ray. At length they took with them St Caprasius, a holy hermit, to act
as their instructor, and sailed from Marseilles to Greece, intending to live there
unknown in some desert. Venantius soon died at Modon; and Honoratus, having
also fallen ill, was obliged to return with his conductor. He first led an eremitical
100
ST FURSEY [January 16
life in the mountains near Frejus. Two small islands lie in the sea near that coast:
one larger and nearer the continent, called Lero, now St Margaret's; the other
smaller and more remote, two leagues from Antibes, named Lerins, at present
Saint-Honorat, from our saint. There he settled; and being followed by others
he founded the famous monastery of Lerins about the year 400. Some he appointed
to live in community; others in separate cells as anchorets. His rule was chiefly
borrowed from that of St Pachomius. Nothing can be more attractive than the
description St Hilary of ArIes has given of the virtues of this company of saints,
especially of the charity and devotion which reigned amongst them.
A charming legend, unfortunately of much later date, recounts how Margaret,
the sister of Honoratus, converted at last from paganism by his prayers, came to
settle on the other island, Lero, in order to be near her brother. With some
reluctance he was induced to promise that he would visit her once a year, when the
mimosa was in bloom. But on one occasion Margaret in great distress of soul
longed for his guidance. It was still two months from the time appointed, but she
fell upon her knees and prayed. Suddenly all the air was filled with an unmistak
able perfume; she looked up, and there, close beside her, was a mimosa tree
covered with its fragrant blossom. She tore off a bough and sent it to her brother,
who understood her appeal and tenderly acceded to the summons. It was their
last meeting, for she passed away soon afterwards. Honoratus VJas by compulsion
consecrated archbishop of ArIes in 426, and died exhausted with austerities and
apostolic labours in 429. The style of his letters, so St Hilary, his successor,
assures us, was clear and affecting, penned with an admirable delicacy, elegance
and sweetness. The loss of all these is much to be regretted. His tomb is shown
empty under the high altar of the church which bears his name at ArIes, his body
having been translated to Lerins in 1391.
Cf. Gallia Christiana novissima, vol. iii (1901), p. 26; Revue Benedictine, vol. iv, pp.
180-184; Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. i, p. 256. See also his panegyric by his disciple,
kinsman and successor, St Hilary of ArIes, and especially A. C. Cooper-Marsden, The History
of the Islands of the Lerins (1913), illustrated with excellent photographs. B. Munke and
others have edited a medieval Latin life of St Honoratus (191 I), but like the Proven9al Vida
de Sant Honorat it contains nothing of historical value. Hilary's discourse is translated in
F. R. Hoare, The Western Fathers (1954).

ST FURSEY, ABBOT (c. A.D. 648)


THERE are few of the early Irish saints ,vhose lives are better known to us than that
of St Fursey (Fursa). He seems to have been born near Lough Corrib-possibly
upon the island of Inisquin itself. Though conflicting accounts are given of his
parentage, he was certainly of noble birth, but, as we are told, he was more noble
by virtue than by blood. His gifts of person and mind are dilated on by his
biographer, but in order to equip himself better in sacred learning he left his home
and his own people, and eventually erected a monastery at Rathmat (? Killursa),
which was thronged by recruits from all parts of Ireland.
After a time, returning home to his family, he experienced the first of some
wonderful ecstasies, which being detailed by his biographer and recounted after
wards by such writers as Bede and Aelfric, became famous throughout the Christian
world. During these trances his body seems to have remained motionless in a
cataleptic seizure, and his brethren, believing him to be dead, made preparations
for his burial. The principal subject of these visions was the effort of the powers
101
January 16] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
of evil to claim the soul of the Christian as it quits the body on its passage to another
life. A fierce struggle is depicted, in which the angels engage in conflict 'with the
demons, refuting their arguments, and rescuing the soul from the flames with
which it is threatened. In one particular vision we are told that 8t Fursey was
lifted up on high and was ordered by the angels who conducted him to look back
upon the world. Whereupon, casting his eyes downward, he saw as it were a dark
and gloomy valley far beneath. Around this were four great fires kindled in the
air, separate one from the other, and the angel told him that these four fires would
consume all the world, and burn the souls of those men who through their misdeeds
had made void the confession and promise of their baptism. The first fire, it was
explained, will burn the souls of those who are forsworn and untruthful; the
second, those who give themselves up to greed; the third, those who stir up strife
and discord; the fourth, those who think it no crime to deceive and defraud the
helpless. Then the fires seemed all to coalesce and to threaten him with destruc
tion, so that he cried out in alarm. But the angel answered, " That which you did
not kindle shall not burn within you, for though this appears to be a terrible and
great fire, yet it tries every man according to the merits of his works". Bede, after
giving a long summary of these visions, writes: "An elderly brother of our
monastery is still living who is wont to narrate how a very truthful and religious
man told him that he had seen Fursey himself in the province of the East Angles,
and heard these visions from his own lips; adding, that though it was most sharp
winter weather and a hard frost, and this man was sitting in a thin garment when
he related it, yet he sweated as if it had been the greatest heat of summer, either
through the panic of fear which the memory called up, or through excess of spiritual
consolation ". This is certainly a very remarkable tribute to the vividnc3s of 8t
Fursey's descriptions. One other curious detail in connection with the visions
is the statement that the saint, having jostled against a condemned soul, carried
the brand-mark of that contact upon his shoulder and cheek until the day of his
death.
After twelve years of preaching in Ireland, 8t Fursey came with his brothers,
8t Foillan and 8t Ultan, tc England, and settled for a while in East Anglia, where
he was cordially welcomed by King 8igebert, who gave him land to build a monas
tery, probably at Burgh Castle, near Yarmouth. This migration must have taken
place after the year 630; but somewhere between 640 and 644 the Irish monk
determined to cross over to Gaul. Establishing himself in Neustria, he was
honourably received by Clovis II. He built a monastery at Lagny, but died, when
on a journey, shortly afterwards, probably in 648. His remains were transferred
to Peronne. The feast of 8t Fursey is celebrated throughout Ireland and also in
the diocese of Northampton.

See the Acta Sanctarum for January 16; Plummer's edition of Bede's Ecclesiastical
History, vol. ii, pp. 169-174; M. Stokes, Three Months in the Forests oj France, pp. 134-177 ;
Moran, Irish Saints in Great Britain, p. 3 15; Healy, Ireland's Ancient Schools, p. 266 ;
Gougaud, Gaelic Pioneers oj Christianity, and Christianity in Celtic Lands,. Griitzmacher
in Zeitschn/t j. Kirchengesch., vol xix (1898), pp. 190-196.

BD FERREOLUS, BISHOP OF GRENOBLE, MARTYR (c. A.D. 670)


ALTHOUGH the cult of Bd Ferreolus was confirmed by Pope Pius X in 1907,
practically nothing is known of the facts of his life. He is said to have been the
102
BD GONSALO OF AMARANTE [January 16
thirteenth bishop of Grenoble, but, as Mgr Duchesne points out, nothing connects
him with the see but a feeble liturgical tradition. Later accounts describe him as
resisting the demands of the tyrannical mayor of the palace, Ebroin, and as having
been, in consequence, driven from his see, and eventually put to death.
See Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. i, p. 232, and the Acta Sanctorum for January 12.

ST HENRY OF COCKET (A.D. 1220)

THE Danes were indebted in part for the light of faith, under God, to the example
and labours of English missionaries. Henry was born in that country, and from
his youth gave himself to the divine service with his whole heart. When he came
to man's estate he sailed to the north of England. The little island of Cocket,
which lies on the coast of Northumberland, near the mouth of the river of the same
name, had been the home of anchorets even in St Bede's time, as appears from his
life of St Cuthbert. This island belonged to the monastery of Tynemouth, and
St Henry undertook to lead in it an eremitical life. His only daily meal, which he
took after sunset, was bread and water; and this bread he earned by tilling a little
garden. He died in his hermitage on January 16, 1127, and was buried by the
monks at Tynemouth in their church.
His life by Capgrave is printed in the Acia Sanctorum for January 16. C/. also Stanton,
Menology, pp. 22-23. There seems to be no evidence of public cultus.

SSe BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS (A.D. 1220)

THESE five friars were sent by St Francis to the Mohammedans of the West whilst
he went in person to those of the East. They preached first to the Moors of
Seville, where they suffered much for their zeal, and were banished. Passing
thence into Morocco, they began there to preach Christ, and tried to act as chaplains
to the sultan's Christian mercenaries. The friars were looked on as lunatics and
treated accordingly. When they refused either to return whence they had come
or to keep silent, the sultan, taking his scimitar, clove their heads asunder, on
January 16, 1220. These formed the vanguard of that glorious army of martyrs
which the Seraphic order has since given to the Church. When St Francis heard
the news of their heroic endurance and triumph, he cried out, " Now I can truly
say I have five brothers". They were SSe Berard, Peter, Odo, Accursio and
Adjutus.
They were canonized in 1481. See the Acta Sanctorum, January 16; Wadding, Annales
Minorum, s.a. 1220; and in Analecta Franciscana, vol. iii, pp. 579-596. C/. also Karl
Milller, Die Anfiinge des Minoritenordens, pp. 207-210; Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng.
trans.), vol. i, pp. 99-111 ; and H. Koehler, L' Eglise du Maroc . .. (1934), pp. 3-20.

BD GONSALO OF AMARANTE (A.D. 1259?)

IT must be confessed that many of the incidents recorded in the life of Bd Gonsalo
(Gundisalvus), a Portuguese of high family, are not of a nature to inspire confidence
in the sobriety of his biographer's judgement. At the very outset we are told that
when carried to the font the infant fixed his eyes on the crucifix with a look of
extraordinary love. Then, when he had grown up and been ordained priest, he is
said to have resigned his rich benefice to his nephew, and to have spent fourteen
13
January 17] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
years upon a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return, being repulsed by his
nephew, who set the dogs on him as a vagrant, he was supernaturally directed to
enter that order in which the office began and ended with the Ave Maria. He
accordingly became a Dominican, but was allowed by his superiors to live as a
hermit, during which time he built, largely with his own hands, a bridge over the
river Tamega. \Vhen the labourers whom he persuaded to help him had no wine
to drink, and he was afraid that they would go on strike, he betook himself to prayer;
and then, on his hitting the rock with his stick, an abundant supply of excellent
wine spouted forth from a fissure. Again, when provisions failed he went to the
riverside to summon the fishes, who came at his call and jumped out of the river,
cornpeting for the privilege of being eaten in so worthy a cause. Similarly, we
read that" when he was preaching to the people, desiring to make them understand
the effect of the Church's censures upon the soul, he excommunicated a basket
of bread, and the loaves at once became black and corrupt. Then, to show that
the Church can restore to her communion those who humbly acknowledge their
fault, he removed the excommunication, and the loaves recovered their whiteness
and their wholesome savour" (Procter, p. 3). It is to be feared that legend has
played a considerable part in filling in the rather obscure outlines of the biography.
Bd Gonsalo died on January 10, but his feast is kept on this day by the Dominicans,
his cultus having been approved in 1560.

See Castiglio, Historia Generale di S. Domenico edell' Drdine suo (1589), vol. i, pp. 299
34; Procter, Short Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 1-4; Acta Sanctorum for January 10.
rrhe miracle of the fishe3 is said to have occurred. not once, but repeatedly: "ffi')lte e diverse
volte ".

17 : ST ANTONY THE ABBOT (A.D. 356)


T ANTONY was born at a village south of Memphis in Upper Egypt in 25 1

S I-lis parents, who were Christians, kept him always at home, so that he grew
up in ignorance of what was then regarded as polite literature, and could read
no language but his own. At their death he found himself possessed of a consider
able estate and charged with the care of a younger sister, before he was twenty years
of age. Some six months afterwards he heard read in the church those words of
Christ to the rich young man: "Go, sell what thou hast, 'lnd give it to the poor,
and thou shalt have treasure in Heaven". Considering these words as addressed
to himself, he went home and made over to his neighbours his best land, and the
rest of his estate he sold and gave the price to the poor, except what he thought
necessary for himself and his sister. Soon after, hearing in the church those other
words of Christ, " Be not solicitous for to-morrow", he also distributed in alms the
moveables which he had reserved, and placed his sister in a house of maidens, which
is commonly assumed to be the first recorded mention of a nunnery. Antony
himself retired into solitude, in imitation of a certain old man who led the life of a
hermit in the neighbourhood. Manual labour, prayer and reading were his whole
occupation; and such was his fervour that if he heard of any virtuous recluse, he
sought him out and endeavoured to take advantage of his example and instruction.
In this way he soon became a model of humility, charity, prayerfulness and many
more virtues.
ST ANTONY THE ABBOT [January 17

The Devil assailed Antony by various temptations, representing to him first of


all many good works he might have been able to carry out with his estate in the
world, and the difficulties of his present condition-a common artifice of the enemy,
whereby he strives to make a soul dissatisfied in the vocation God has appointed.
Being repulsed by the young novice, he varied his method of attack, and harassed
him night and day with gross and obscene imaginations. Antony opposed to his
assaults the strictest watchfulness over his senses, austere fasts and prayer) till
Satan, appearing in a visible form, first of a woman coming to seduce him, then of
a Negro to terrify him, at length confessed himself vanquished. The saint's food
was only bread, with a little salt, and he drank nothing but water; he never ate
before sunset, and sometimes only once in three or four days. When he took his
rest he lay on a rush mat or the bare floor. In quest of a more remote solitude he
withdrew to an old burial-place, to which a friend brought him bread from time
to time. Satan was here again permitted to assault him in a visible manner, and
to terrify him with gruesome noises; indeed, on one occasion he so grievously beat
him that he lay almost dead, and in this condition was found by his friend. When
he began to come to himself Antony cried out to God, " Where wast thou, my Lord
and Master? Why wast thou not here from the beginning of this conflict to render
me assistance?" A voice answered, " Antony, I was here the whole time; I stood
by thee and beheld thy combat; and because thou hast manfully withstood thy
enemies, I will always protect thee, and will render thy name famous throughout
the earth."
Hitherto Antony, ever since he turned his back on the world in 272, had lived
in solitary places not very far from his village of Koman; and 8t Athanasius
observes that before him many fervent persons led retired lives in penartce and
contemplation near the towns, while others followed the same manner of life
without withdrawing from their fellow creatures. Both were called ascetics, from
their being devoted to the exercise of mortification and prayer, according to the
import of the Greek word aaK7JaL~ (practice or training). Even in earlier times
we find mention made of such ascetics; and Origen, about the year 249, says they
abstained from flesh-meat no less than the disciples of Pythagoras. Eusebius tells
us that 8t Peter of Alexandria practised austerities equal to those of the ascetics;
he says the same of Panlphilus, and St Jerome uses the same expression of Pierius.
St Antony had led this manner of life near Koman until about the year 285 when,
at the age of thirty-five, he crossed the eastern branch of the Nile and took up his
abode in some ruins on the top of a mountain, in which solitude he lived almost
twenty years, rarely seeing any man except one who brought him bread every six
months.
To satisfy the importunities of others, about the year 305, the fifty-fourth of his
age, he came down from his mountain and founded his first monastery, in the
Fayum. This originally consisted of scattered cells, but we cannot be sure that
the various colonies of ascetics which he planted out in this way were all arranged
upon the same plan. He did not stay permanently with any such community, but
he visited them occasionally, and 8t Athanasius tells us how, in order to reach this
first monastery, he had, both in going and returning, to cross the Arsinoitic canal,
which was infested by crocodiles. It seems, however, that the distraction of mind
caused by this intervention in the affairs of his fellow men gave him great scruples,
and we hear even of a temptation to despair, which he could only overcome by
prayer and hard manual labour. In this new manner of life his daily sustenance
15
January I7J THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
was six ounces of bread soaked in water, to which he sometimes added a few dates.
He took it generally after sunset, and in his old age he added a little oil. Sometimes
he ate only once in three or four days, yet appeared vigorous and always cheerful;
strangers knew him from among his disciples by the joy on his countenance,
resulting from the inward peace of his soul. St Antony exhorted his brethren to
allot the least time they possibly could to the care of the body, notwithstanding
which he was careful not to make perfection seem to consist in mortification but in
the love of God. He instructed his monks to reflect every morning that perhaps
they might not live till night, and every evening that perhaps they might never see
the morning; and to do every action as if it were the last of their lives. "The
Devil", he said, " dreads fasting, prayer, humility and good works; he is not able
even to stop my mouth who speak against him. I-lis illusions soon vanish, especially
if a man arms himself with the sign of the cross." He told them that once when
the Devil appeared to him and said, " Ask what you please; I am the power of
God," he invoked the name of Jesus and the tempter vanished.
In the year 3 I I, when the persecution was renewed under Maximinus, St Antony
went to Alexandria in order to give courage to the martyrs. He publicly wore his
\vhite tunic of sheep-skin and appeared in the sight of the governor, yet took care
never presumptuously to provoke the judges or impeach himself, as some rashly
did. The persecution having abated, he returned to his monastery, and some time
after organized another, called Pispir, near the Nile; but he chose for the most part
to shut himself up in a cell upon a mountain difficult of access with Macarius, a
disciple whose duty it was to interview visitors. If he found them to be Hiero
solymites, i.e. spiritual men, St Antony himself sat with them in discourse; if
Egyptians (by which name they meant worldly persons), then Macarius entertained
them, and Antony only appeared to give them a short exhortation. Once the saint
saw in a vision the whole earth covered so thick with snares that it seemed scarce
possible to set down a foot without being entrapped. At this sight he cried out
trembling, " Who, Lord, can escape them all ?" A voice answered him, " Humil
ity, Antony! "
St Antony cultivated a little garden on his desert mountain, but this tillage was
not the only manual labour in which he employed himself. St Athanasius speaks
of his making mats as an ordinary occupation. We are told that he once fell into
dejection, finding uninterrupted contemplation above his strength; but was taught
to apply himself at intervals to manual work by an angel in a vision, who appeared
platting mats of palm-tree leaves, then rising to pray, and after some time sitting
down again to work, and who at length said to him, " Do thus, and relief shall come
to thee". But St Athanasius declares that Antony continued in some degree to
pray whilst he was at work. He spent a great part of the night in contemplation;
and sometimes when the rising sun called him to his daily tasks he complained that
its visible light robbed him of the greater interior light which he enjoyed when left
in darkness and solitude. After a short sleep he always rose at midnight, and
continued in prayer on his knees with his hands lifted t.o Heaven till sunrise, and
sometimes till three in the afternoon, so, at least, Palladius informs us in his Lausiac
History.
St Antony in the year 339 saw in a vision, under the figure of mules kicking
down the altar, the havoc which the Arian persecution was to cause two years after
in Alexandria. So deep was the impression of horror that he would not speak to
a heretic unless to exhort him to the true faith; and he drove all such from his
106
ST ANTONY THE ABBOT [January 17

mountain, calling them venomous serpents. At the request of the bishops, about
the year 355, he took a journey to Alexandria to confute the Arians, preaching that
God the Son is not a creature, but of the same substance with the Father; and that
the Arians, who called him a creature, did not differ from the heathen themselves,
"who worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator". All the
people ran to see him, and rejoiced to hear him; even the pagans, struck with the
dignity of his character, flocked around him, saying, " We want to see the man of
God". I-Ie converted many, and even worked miracles. St Athanasius conducted
him back as far as the gates of the city, where he cured a girl possessed by an evil
spirit. Being desired by the governor to make a longer stay in the city, he answered,
" As fish die if they are taken from the water, so does a monk wither away if 'he
forsake his solitude".
St Jerome relates that at Alexandria Antony met the famous Didymus, the
blind head of the catechetical school there, and exhorted him not to regret overmuch
the loss of eyes, which were common even to insects, but to rejoice in the treasure
of that inner light which the apostles enjoyed, by which we see God and kindle the
fire of His love in our souls. Heathen philosophers and others often went to
discuss with him, and returned astonished at his meekness and wisdom. When
certain philosophers asked him how he could spend his time in solitude without
even the alleviation of books, he replied that nature was his great book and amply
supplied the lack of all else. When others came to ridicule his ignorance, he asked
them with great simplicity which was best, good sense or book learning, and \vhich
had produced the other. The philosophers answered, " Good sense." "This,
then ", said .Antony, " is sufficient of itself." Some others wishing to cavil and
demanding a reason for his faith in Christ, he put them to silence by show;ng that
they degraded the notion of godhead by ascribing to it human passions; but that
the humiliation of the Cross is the greatest demonstration of infinite goodness, and
its ignominy is shown to be the highest glory by Christ's triumphant resurrection
and by His raising of the dead to life and curing the blind and the sick. St
Athanasius mentions that he disputed with these Greeks through an interpreter.
Further, he assures us that no one visited St Antony under any affliction who did
not return home full of comfort; and he relates many miraculous cures wrought
by him and several heavenly visions and revelations.
About the year 337 Constantine the Great and his two sons, Constantius and
Constans, wrote a letter to the saint, recommending themselves to his prayers. St
Antony, seeing his monks surprised, said, " Do not wonder that the emperor writes
to us, a man even as I am; rather be astounded that God should have written to us,
and that He has spoken to us by His Son". He said he knew not how to answer
it; but at last, through the importunity of his disciples, he penned a letter to the
emperor and his sons, which 8t Athanasius has preserved, in which he exhorts them
to constant remembrance of the judgement to come. St Jerome mentions seven
other letters of St Antony to divers monasteries. A maxim which he frequently
repeats is, that the knowledge of ourselves is the necessary and only step by which
we can ascend to the knowledge and love of God. The Bollandists give us a short
letter of St Antony to St Theodore, abbot of Tabenna, in which he says that C;od
had assured him that He showed mercy to all true worshippers of Jesus Christ,
even though they should have fallen, if they sincerely repented of their sin. A
monastic rule, which bears St Antony's name, may very possibly preserve the
general features of his system of ascetic training. In any case, his example and
17
January 17] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
instructions have served as a trustworthy rule for the monastic life to all succeeding
ages. It is related that St Antony, hearing his disciples express surprise at the
multitudes who embraced the religious state, told them with tears that the time
would come when monks \vould be fond of living in cities and stately buildings, of
eating at well-laden tables, and be only distinguished from persons of the world
by their dress; but that still some amongst them would rise to the spirit of true
perfection.
St Antony made a visitation of his monks a little before his death, which he
foretold, but no tears could move him to die among them. It appears from St
Athanasius that the Christians had begun to imitate the pagan custom of embalming
the bodies of the dead, an abuse which Antony had often condemned as proceeding
from vanity and sometimes superstition. He gave orders that he should be buried
in the earth beside his mountain cell by his two disciples, Macarius and Amathas.
Hastening back to his solitude on Mount Kolzim near the Red Sea, he some time
after fell ill; whereupon he repeated to these disciples his orders that they should
bury his body secretly in that place, adding, " In the day of the resurrection I shall
receive it incorruptible from the hand of Christ". He ordered them to give one
of his sheep-skins, with the cloak upon which he lay, to the bishop Athanasius, as
a public testimony of his being united in faith and communion with that holy
prelate; to give his other sheep-skin to the bishop Serapion; and to keep for
themselves his sackcloth. "Farewell, my children. Antony is departing, and
will no longer be with you." At these words they embraced him, and he, stretching
out his feet, without any other sign, calmly ceased to breathe. His death occurred
in the year 356, probably on January 17, on which day the most ancient martyr
ologies commemorate him. He was one hundred and five years old. From
his youth to that extreme old age he always maintained the same fervour and
austerity; yet he lived without sickness, his sight was not impaired, his teeth were
only worn, not one was lost or loosened. The two disciples interred him ac
cording to his directions. About the year 561 his remains are supposed to have
been discovered and translated to Alexandria, thence to Constantinople, and
eventually to Vienne, in France. The Bollandists print an account of many
miracles wrought by his intercession, particularly of those connected with the
epidemic called St Antony's Fire, which raged violently in many parts of Europe
in the eleventh century about the time of the translation of his reputed relics
thither.
In art St Antony is constantly represented with a tau-shaped crutch or cross,
a little bell, a pig, and sometimes a book. The crutch, in this peculiarly Egyptian
T -shaped form of the cross, may be simply an indication of the saint's great age
and abbatial authority, or it may very possibly have reference to his constant use
of the sign of the cross. in his conflict with evil spirits. The pig, no doubt, in its
origin, denoted the Devil, but in the course of the twelfth century it acquired a ne,v
significance owing to the popularity of the Hospital Brothers of St Antony, founded
at Clermont in 1096. Their works of charity endeared them to the people, and
they obtained in many places the privilege of feeding their swine gratuitously upon
the acorns and beech mast in the woods. For this purpose a bell was attached to
the neck of one or more sows in a herd of pigs, or possibly their custodians an
nounced their coming by ringing a bell. In any case, it seems that the bell became
associated with the members of the order, and in that way developed into an attri
bute of their eponymous patron. The book, no doubt, has reference to the book of
108
SS. SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS [January 17
nature which compensated the saint for the lack of anyother reading. We also some
times find flames indicated, which are typical of the disease, 8t Antony's Fire,
against which the saint was specially invoked. * His popularity, largely due to the
prevalence of this form of epidemic (see, e.g. the Life of 8t Hugh of Lincoln), was
very great in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. He was, in particular, appealed
to, probably on account of his association with the pig, as the patron of domestic
animals and farm stock, so that gilds of butchers, brushmakers, etc., placed them
selves under his protection. Antony is named in the preparation of the Byzantine
eucharistic liturgy and in the canon according to the Coptic and Armenian rites.
The main authority for our knowledge of St Antony is the Life by St Athanasius, the
authorship of which is now practically undisputed; there is an English trans. by Dr R. T.
IVleyer in the Ancient Christian Writers series, and others. A very early Latin tral1slation
of the original Greek was made by Evagrius, and a Syriac version is also known. (On a
second Latin rendering, see \Vilmart, in the Revue Benedictine, 1914, pp. 163-173.) Inter
esting supplementary details are also contributed by Palladius in his Historia Lausiaca,
Cassian, and the later church historians. The literature of the subject is considerable. It
will be sufficient to refer to Abbot C. Butler, Lausiac History, vol. i, pp. 215-228, and in the
Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. i, pp. 553-555; Hannay, Christian Alonasticism, pp. 95 seq., and
pp. 274 seq.,. H. Leclercq, art. " Cenobitisme ", in the DAC.; and Fr Cheneau, Saints
d'Egypte, vol. i, pp. 153-181. On the diabolical assaults and temptations which figure so
prominently in the life, cf. J. Stoffels in Theologie und Glaube, vol. ii (1910), pp. 721 seq., and
809 seq. Some fragments of what seems to be the original Coptic of three of St Antony's
letters have been published in the Journal of Theol. Studies, July, 1904, pp. 54-545; their
authenticity is still & matter of dispute. We only know all seven in an imperfect Latin
translation. The suggestion made by G. Ghedini (Lettere cristiane dei papin' greci, 1923,
no. 19) that a letter in Greek on a fragment of papyrus in the British Museum is an autograph
of St Antony, cannot be treated seriously; see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlii (1924); p. 173.
See also G. Bardy in the Dictionnaire de spiritualite, vol. i, cc. 702-708; L. von Hertling,
Antonius der Einsiedler (1930) ; B. Lavaud, Antoine Ie Grand (1943); and L. Bouyer, St
Antoine Ie Grand (1950), a valuable essay on primitive monastic spirituality. H. Queffelcc's
biography (1950) is " une vie romancee". On the saint in art, see H. Detzel, Christliche
Ikonographie, vol. ii, pp. 85-88; Jameson, Sacred and Legendary Art, vol. ii, pp. 741 seq. ,.
Drake, Saints and Their Emble",s, p. 1 I. In the East St Antony is also greatly vener
ated, and religious communities among the Maronites and Chaldeans, and the Orthodox
monks of Sinai, still profess to follow his rule. See also Reitzenstein, Des Athanasius
Werk uber das Leben des Antonius (1914); and Contzen, Die Regel des hI. Antonius (1896).
There is no justification for the spelling " Anthony" in this or any other example of the
name.

SSe SPEUSIPPUS, ELEUSIPPUS AND MELEUSIPPUS, MARTYRS


(A.D. 155?)

THESE are stated in the Roman Martyrology to have been tergemini, three twin
brothers, who, with their grandmother, Leonilla (or Neonilla), suffered martyrdom,:
apparently at Langres in France, in the reign of Marcus Aurelius. The whole:
story seems to present a typical example of a fiction which, written originally fOf!
edification or mere diversion, has been adopted in all seriousness, and transplanted:
to other lands far from the place of its birth. In its origin the romance is clearly I

connected with Cappadocia, but no early or local cult can be cited to bear out any:
of its incidents. How it happened that the clergy of Langres in the fifth centuryl
I

* Called also the "burning sickness", "hell fire" or "sacred fire". I t was later:
identified with erysipelas (called in Welsh y fendigaid, "the blessed "); but it appearsl
originally to have been a far more virulent and contagious disorder, caused probably by thel
consumption of flour made from grain damaged by ergot. I

19 I

I
January 17] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

or later came to believe themselves to be in possession of the relics of these martyrs


cannot now be explained. The relics are supposed to have been further translated,
at least in part, to the abbey of Ellwangen in Swabia.
The Latin text of the so-called acts is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January 17. An
unsatisfactory Greek version has also been printed by Leparev and by Gregoire, and a
Georgian paraphrase by Marr. The story has been appealed to in confirmation of the theory,
first enunciated by Dr Rendel Harris, that the pagan cult of the Dioscuri (the heavenly
twins, Castor and Pollux) has been transplanted bodily into Christian hagiography (see,
e.g. H. Gregoire, Saints Jumeaux et dieux cavaliers), a fantastic thesis to which full justice
has been done by H. Delehaye in the Analecta Bollandiana, vols. xxiii, pp. 427 seq. ,. xxiv,
505 seq.; xxvi, 334 seq. Cf. also C. Weymann in the Historisches Jahrbuch, vol. xxix,
pp. 575 seq.

ST GENULF, OR GENOU, BISHOP (A.D. 250?)

THE early episcopal lists in many French dioceses, as Mgr Duchesne has had
occasion to point out, are not at all reliable, and the very existence of the bishops
who, as reputed founders or patrons, are honoured with festivals of the highest
rank is in some cases a matter of doubt. It seems that the abbey of Strada, founded
in 828 on the banks of the Indre, acquired in the course of the same century the
relics of St Genulf, who lived with another monk, St Genitus, at a place now called
Celles-sur-Nahon. About the year 1000 a document was compiled which de
scribed Genulf as sent from Rome with his father, Genitus, in the third century,
to preach the gospel in Gaul. They came, it is said, to a township (civitas Gitur
nicensis), where they stayed a few months, made many converts, and built a church;
then they settled in a solitude on the banks of the N ahon, and eventually died there
surrounded by disciples. There is, however, nothing to identify the Giturnicenses
with the Cadurcenses (Cahors), and the improbability of anyone with a German
name like Genulf becoming bishop in Gaul during the third century is extreme.
From this and other difficulties Mgr Duchesne concludes that the late tradition
which makes St Genulf the first bishop of Cahors is quite untrustworthy. There
is no scrap of respectable evidence to justify the statement, neither does the Roman
Martyrology (June 17) connect" Gundulphus " with Cahors. The feast of St
Genulf is, nevertheless, kept in that diocese on January 17 as a double of the first
class.
See Acta Sanctorum for January 17, and Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, pp. 126-128.

ST JULIAN SABAS (A.D. 377)


IN the Roman Martyrology we read on this day: "In the district of Edessa, in
Mesopotamia (the commemoration) of St Julian, the hermit, called Sabas, ,vho,
when the Catholic faith at Antioch had almost died out in the time of the Emperor
Valens, restored it again by the power of his miracles ". Hiding himself from the
world in a cave in Osrhoene (beside the Euphrates) he practised extraordinary
asceticism, eating only once in the week. After the expulsion of St Meletius,
Bishop of Antioch, it was asserted by the heretics in that city that Julian
Sabas, whose reputation as an ascetic stood high, had embraced Arian doctrines.
When besought by the orthodox in 372 to come and refute the slander, he com
plied, and his presence in Antioch was attended by the most beneficial results.
When his mission was accomplished he returned to his cave, and died not long
110
ST StJLPICIUS II, OR SULPICE [January 17
afterwards. Many stupendous miracles are attributed to him by the Greek hagio
graphers.
See the Acta Sanetorum for October 18, where Theodoret is cited as our most reliable
source of information. A Syriac version of Theodoret's account has been printed by
Bedjan; see Analeeta Bollandiana, vol. xvi (1897), p. 184; and BHG., nne 67-68.

ST SABINUS, BISHOP OF PIACENZA (A.D. 420)


THE letters of St Ambrose to Sabinus bear witness to the close friendship between
the two bishops, as also to the high reputation for learning which St Sabinus
enjoyed, for in one letter St Ambrose asks for his cri~icisms of some treatises which
he sent to him. He sat in the Council of Aquileia in 381 against the Arians, and
in that of Milan nine years later against Jovinian. He is probably identical with
the Sabinus who was a deacon at Milan, and was sent by Pope St Damasus to the
East in connection with the Arian troubles at Antioch. St Gregory has preserved
the legend according to which St Sabinus averted a disastrous flood by writing
down an order and casting the paper into the River Po. The river obeyed, and
returned to its proper channel. He is said to have died on December I I, 420.
See Acta Sanetorum, January 17.

ST SULPICIUS II, OR SULPICE, BISHOP OF BOURGES

THE life of St Sulpicius (Pius), the second bishop of Bourges of that name, which
is one of the few biographies admitted even by Krusch to be an authentic Merov
ingian document, does not supply very much detail, but it must have been composed
within a few years of the bishop's death, and the sincerity and enthusiasm of the
writer are unmistakable. Sulpicius was the son of wealthy parents, who renounced
the idea of marriage and devoted himself even from his youth to all kinds of good
works, and especially to care for the poor. Being elected bishop, he became the
father of his people, defended them against the tyranny of Lullo, the minister of
King Dagobert, and, as the effect of a general fast which he imposed for three days,
obtained considerate treatment for them under Clovis II, Dagobert's successor.
Various miracles, notably the extinction of a great conflagration by making the sign
of the cross over it, were attributed to him during his life, and many more took
place beside his tomb after death.
The chronological data are scanty, but we know that St Sulpicius attended the
Council of Clichy in 627, and that he exchanged letters frequently with St Didier
of Cahors, whom he had consecrated bishop in 630. His austerity of life was
remarkable. He spent much of the night in prayer, fasted continually, and recited
the entire psalter each day. By the force of his example and his exhortations the
whole Jewish population of Bourges was converted to Christianity. Towards the
end of his days, finding that he could no longer give the same amount of time to
the care of the poor and afflicted whom he loved, Sulpicius obtained leave from the
king to appoint another bishop in his place, in order that he himself might have
more leisure for his works of charity. His death, in 647, was followed by extra
ordinary scenes of which his biographer was evidently an eye-witness. He com
pares the outcry and lamentations heard on all sides to the rumbling of thunder,
and tells us that at his obsequies the vast throng of people, throwing themselves
flat on the ground in their sorrow and despair, rendered it almost impossible for
III
January 17] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
the clergy to carry out the offices. "0 good shepherd", they cried, " guardian of
thy people, why dost thou forsake us? To whom this day dost thou leave us ? "
Though the times are far removed from our o\vn, the sketch which his biographer
has left us gives an impression of such charity, zeal and strict observance as seems
befitting in the patron of that famous Paris seminary which was afterwards to bear
his name.
The most reliable text of the life has been printed by B. Krusch in MGH., Scriptores
Merov., vol. iv, pp. 364-380, from MS. Addit. 11880, of the ninth cent~ry, in the British
Museum. See also the Acta Sanctorum, January 17, Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii,
pp 28-29, and BHL., n. 1146. " Pius" is an epithet to distinguish Sulpicius from a
namesake.

ST RICHIMIR, ABBOT (c. A.D. 715)


MUCH obscurity overshadows the memory of St Richimir. His name is omitted
from the martyrologies. Nothing is known of the place of his burial, while the
country which he sanctified has long since abandoned devotion to him. For
tunately a contemporary life has been preserved. The anonymous author relates
how St Richimir, while not yet in orders, went to Gilbert, Bishop of Le Mans, and
asked permission to settle in his diocese, together with a few followers, and to
found a monastery under the Rule of St Benedict. The bishop gladly assented,
and offered him a suitable property. But Richimir preferred wild and desolate
land which had yet to be cultivated. Having been ordained, he set out for the
Loire and built a cell near the river. When the bishop heard of his great poverty,
he gladly sent him the necessaries of life, although Richimir accepted these only
reluctantly. Apparently the position was not suitable, for he abandoned it and
selected a place not far distant, called later Saint-Rigomer-des-Bois. There he
built a church in honour of the Apostles, and founded a monastery over which he
ruled as abbot till his death about 715.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 17, and Mabillon, vol. iii, part i, pp. 228-232.

BD ROSELINE, VIRGIN

THIS holy Carthusian nun, Roseline de Villeneuve, was of very distinguished


ancestry. Her father was Baron des Arcs, and her mother was a de Sabran. She
had to overcome strong family opposition before she could finally execute her
purpose of consecrating herself to God. She had been educated by the nuns of
St Clare, but found her own vocation in following the austere Carthusian rule.
She seems to have been received in the convent of Bertrand at the age of twenty-five,
and twelve years later was made prioress of Celle Roubaud, in Provence, where she
died, January 17, 1329. She occasionally passed a whole week together without
taking food; she punished herself with terrible disciplines, and never gave more
than three or four hours to sleep. She used to teach her nuns to have a great dread
of those words, " I know you not", in order that they might make sure of hearing
the greeting, " Come, ye blessed of my Father." When Roseline was asked what
was the best means of getting to Heaven, she often replied, " To know oneself".
She had frequent visions and ecstasies, and possessed an extraordinary gift of
reading the hearts of all who came to her. Her body was indescribably beautiful
after death, and no sign of rigidity or corruption appeared in it. Five years
afterwards it was still perfectly preserved, and the ecclesiastic who presided at the
112
ST PETER'S CHAIR AT ROME [January 18
exhumation thought the living appearance of the eyes so wonderful that he had
them enucleated and kept in a reliquary apart. The body was still quite entire a
hundred years later, and the eyes had neither shrivelled nor decayed as late as 1644.
Her cultus was confirmed in 185 I .

See the Acta Sanctorum for June I I ; Le Couteulx, Annales Ordins Cartusiensis, vol. v,
pp. 262-268; ViJIeneuve-Flayose, Histoire de Ste Roseline de Villeneuve (1866).

18 : ST PETER'S CHAIR AT ROME


TPETER, having triumphed over Satan in the East, pursued the enemy

S to Rome with unabated energy. I-Ie who had formerly trembled at the voice
of a servant-maid, now feared not the stronghold of idolatry and superstition.
The capital of the empire of the world, and the centre of impiety, called for the zeal
of the leader of the Apostles. The Roman empire had extended its dominion
beyond that of any former monarchy, and the influence of its metropolis was of the
greatest human importance for the spread of Christ's gospel. St Peter claimed
that province for himself; and repairing to Rome, there preached the faith and
established his episcopal chair, and from him the bishops of Rome in all ages have
derived their succession. That SSe Peter and Paul founded that church is expressly
asserted by Caius, a priest of Rome under Pope St Zephyrinus (quoted by Eusebius,
Hist. eccl., bk ii, c. 25), who relates also that his body was then on the Vatican hill,
and that of his fellow-labourer, St Paul, on the Ostian road. That he and St Paul
planted the faith in Rome, and were both crowned with martyrdom there, is affirmed
by St Dionysius, Bishop of Corinth, in the second century. St Irenaeus, in the
same century, calls the church at Rome" The greatest and most ancient church,
founded by the two glorious apostles, Peter and Paul."
Nevertheless, doubt has been cast upon the historical fact of St Peter's presence
in Rome. It is pointed out that no clear contemporary statement can be adduced
in proof of his residence there, that the Acts of the Apostles suggest nothing of the
kind, that the only thing we know concerning his later life is that his own first
epistle was written from " Babylon", that the so-called Roman tradition is inex
tricably mixed up with fabulous legends about Simon Magus which no serious
scholar would now dream of defending, and that the twenty-five years' Roman
episcopate, attributed to St Peter with a quite suspicious unanimity by later
historians such as Eusebius, cannot be reconciled with the other data they supply
and with the complete silence of St Paul concerning his fellow apostle in his Epistle
to the Romans. But these difficulties have been duly considered and answered
not only by Catholic apologists, but by eminent Anglicans such as Bishop Lightfoot,
Professor C. H. Turner and Dr George Edmundson, as well as by Lutherans of
the standing of Harnack and Zahn. The grounds upon which the Roman tradition
is based are stated concisely and clearly by the Anglican Dr F. H. Chase, Bishop of
Ely, in the following passage:
The strength of the case for St Peter's visit to and martyrdom at Rome lies
not only in the absence of any rival tradition, but also in the fact that many
streams of evidence converge to this result. We have the evidence of official
lists and documents of the Roman church, which prove the strength of the
113
January 18] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
tradition in later times, and which, at least in some cases, must rest on earlier
documents. The notice of the transference of the apostle's body to a new
resting-place in 258, and the words of Caius, show that the tradition was
definite and unquestioned at Rome in the first half of the third century. The
fact that Caius is arguing with an Asiatic opponent, the evidence of the [gnostic]
Acts of Peter, the passages quoted from Origen, Clement of Alexandria and
Tertullian, show that at the same period the tradition was accepted in the
churches of Asia, of Alexandria and Carthage. The passage of Irenaeus
carries the evidence backward well within the second century, and is of special
importance, as coming from one who had visited Rome, whose list of Roman
bishops suggests that he had had access to official documents, and who through
Polycarp was in contact with the personal knowledge of St John and his
companions.
Further, Dr Chase went on to point out that the close association of the mar
tyrdom of St Peter with that of St Paul in the reference made to them by St Clement,
pope at the end of the first century, in the unquestionably genuine letter he wrote
to the church of Corinth, forms a strong presumption that he, who must have
known the truth, identified both apostles equally with Rome. Dr Chase's article
was written in 1900, and since then much fresh evidence has come to light. It will
be noticed that he refers to the transference of the apostle's body to a new resting
place in 258. We cannot affirm that this translation, which was in any case only
temporary, is a certain fact.
The historical weight of this tradition was affirmed in eloquent terms by another
Anglican divine, Dr George Edmundson, in a Bampton lecture given before the
University of Oxford in 1913, wherein he states that" a tradition accepted univer
sally and without a single dissentient voice associates the foundation and organiza
tion of the church of Rome with the name of St Peter, and speaks of his active
connection with the church as extending over a period of some twenty-five years".
" It is needless", he goes on, " to multiply references. In Egypt and in Africa,
in the East and in the West, no other place ever disputed with Rome the honour of
being the see of St Peter; no other place ever claimed that he died there, or that
it possessed his tomb. Most significant of all is the consensus of the oriental,
non-Greek-speaking churches. A close examination of Armenian and Syriac
manuscripts . . . through several centuries has failed to discover a single writer
who did not accept the Roman Petrine tradition."

I t was undoubtedly an ancient custom throughout the West to keep as a festival


the anniversary of the consecration of the bishop. St Augustine has a treatise
de natali episcopi, and St Leo three sermons of which the subject is the natalis
cathedrae, " the birthday", or anniversary, " of the chair" (i.e. of his installation
as bishop). That some commemoration of St Peter's enthronement as bishop of
Rome should have been observed from an early date was to be expected. In point
of fact, our calendar now contains, and has contained for more than a thousand years
past, two entries which recall the memory of St Peter's connection with the episcopal
office. That of the day with which we are now concerned is expressly referred to
" the chair on which he first sat in Rome"; that of February 22 professes to com
memorate his earlier ministry in Antioch. As the result of much investigation and
debate the conclusion now more generally adopted is that there was originally
114
ST PRISCA [January 18
only one feast of St Peter's chair; further, that this was kept on February 22,
and had no reference to Antioch, but only to the beginning of his episcopate
at Rome. * It seems, then, that any discussion of the rather complicated
problem of the duplication of the feast may most fittingly be reserved for
February 22.
For the present it will be sufficient to point out that, in the view of some
archaeologists, the material relic known as " St Peter's chair", which is now pre
served in a casing of bronze by Bernini over the apsidal altar of St Peter's basilica
in Rome, must be regarded as an important element in the development of these
feasts. Some lay stress upon the fact that St Paul (Rom. xvi 5) sends greetings to
" the church which is at the house of Prisca and Aquila", seeming to point to some
primitive meeting-place of a community of Roman Christians, and they urge that
such a portable chair as the relic in question might naturally have been used as an
improvised bishop's stool in a private house. This might, then, have been" the
chair on which St Peter first sat in Rome", though after a few years some more
spacious place of assembly may have been provided in which a permanent seat
could be constructed. I t is, in any case, curious that the house of Prisca and Aquila
seems to have developed in course of time into the still existing church of St Prisca
on the Aventine, and that the feast of the dedication of this church was kept on
February 22. On the other hand, a St Prisca, martyr, is commemorated on this
day, January 18. But obviously nothing more than vague conjectures can be based
on indications of this kind. All that we definitely know is that since the end of the
sixth century, when the Auxerre redaction of the so-called Martyroiogium Hiero
nymianum was compiled, the feast of" St Peter's chair at Rome" has been honoured
pretty generally throughout the West on this day.
In a Motu Proprio of John XXIII dated July 25, 1960, this feast was
dl"opped from the Roman Calendar.
See F. Cabrol in DAC., vol. iii, cc. 76-90; CMH., pp. 45-46, 19; and L. Duchesne,
Christian Worship (1919), pp. 277-280. Cf. herein St Peter, June 29, and his Chair at
Antioch, February 22.

ST PRISCA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR (DATE UNKNOWN)


GREAT confusion and uncertainty prevail regarding the saint who is commemorated
on this day under the name of Prisca. On the one hand, it is unquestionable that
the so-called "acts", dating at earliest from the tenth century, are historically
worthless, for they simply reproduce, with slight changes, the legendary Passion
of St Tatiana. On the other hand, there was, beyond doubt, a genuine and early
cuitus in Rome of at least one St Prisca, or Priscilla. The itineraries nearly all
mention her as a martyr, and indicate the place of her interment in the catacomb of
Priscilla on the Via Salaria. Moreover, as stated above in connection with St
Peter's chair, there is a church on the Aventine dedicated to St Prisca which
furnishes a cardinalitial title, and which, from the fourth to the eighth century, was
known as the tituius S. Priscae, but later (c. 800) as titulus Aquilae et Priscae. This
last designation clearly refers to the Aquila and his wife, Prisca, of whom we read
more than once in the New Testament in connection with St Paul. The husband
and wife, however, are commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on July 8, and
are there assigned to Asia Minor. Many conjectures have been made to elucidate
the problem, and in particular it has been pointed out that Prisca seems to have
* In the Benedictine calendar, approved in 1915, the two "chair" feasts have been
subsumed in one, St Peter' Chair, on February 22.
lIS
January 18] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
been a favourite name among the Acilii Glabriones, and also that the name which
is written in Latin as Aquila appears in Greek as 'AKvAaS'; but no clear solution
has yet been arri\{ed at.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 18; Marucchi in Nuovo Bullettino di archeol. crist.,
vol. xiv (1908), pp. 5 seq.,. Duchesne, Liber Pontificalis, vols. i, pp. 501, 517; ii, 201 ; Pia
Franchi de' Cavalieri in the Romische Quartalschrift, 1903, p. 223 ; and De Rossi, Roma Sotter
ranea, vol. i, p. 176.

ST VOLUSIAN, BISHOP OF TOURS (A.D. 496)


VOLUSIAN, who was, it is stated, of senatorial rank, occupied the see of Tours from
488 to 496. From a letter addressed to him by Ruricius, Bishop of Limoges, which
is couched in not very friendly terms, it would seem that Volusian was married
(it must be remembered that the discipline of sacerdotal celibacy had not at this
date been enforced even in the West), and that his wife had a temper which was a
terror to all their acquaintance. Volusian had apparently complained that he lived
in fear of the Goths. Ruricius replied, with an obvious reference to this early Mrs
Proudie, that a man who could encourage an enemy in his own household had no
business to be afraid of enemies from outside (timere hostem non debet extraneum
qui consuevit sustinere domi!sticum). We learn from Gregory of Tours that Volusian
was in the end driven from his see by the Goths, who suspected him of wishing to
come to terms with the Franks, and that going into exile in Spain he died soon
afterwards. Later accounts state that he was further attacked by his persecutors
and decapitated, and it is probably on the ground of this supposed martyrdom that
he has been honoured as a saint.
See the Acta Sancrum, January 18; MGH., Auctores antiquissimi, vol. viii, p. 350 ;
Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, p. 301 ; and H. Thurston in The Month, June, 191 I,
pp. 64 2 - 644.

ST DEICOLUS, OR DESLE, ABBOT


HE quitted Ireland, his native country, with St Columban and lived with him at
Luxeuil; but when his master left France, he founded the abbey of Lure, in the
diocese of Besan~on, where he ended his days as a hermit. Amidst his austerities
the joy and peace of his soul appeared in his countenance. St Columban once said
to him in his youth, " Deicolus, why are you always smiling?" He answered in
simplicity, " Because no one can take God from me." He died probably in the
year 625.
See his life 'and the history of his miracles in Mabillon, vol. ii, pp. 102-116, and MGH.,
Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 675-682, both written by a monk of Lure in the tenth century. This
saint is often called Deicola, but in ancient MSS. Deicolus. In Franche-Comte the French
version of his name, Desle, us.ed frequently to be given in baptism. See also Gougaud,
Gaelic Pioneers of Christianity, pp. 134-135; M. Stokes, Forests of France, p. 177, etc. ;
LIS., vol. i, p. 301 ; and J. Giradot, La vie de St Desle (1947).

BD BEATRICE D'ESTE OF FERRARA, WIDOW


THIS nun was the niece of another Bd Beatrice d'Este, of Gemmola, whose
feast is kept on May I O. We have no full account of the life of Beatrice the
younger, and it is not even quite certain whether she had been married or not
before she consecrated her life to God in the Benedictine convent of St Antony
116
SSe MARIUS, MARTHA, AUDIFAX AND ABACHUM [January 19
at Ferrara, a convent which appears to have been founded at her special desire
by the powerful family to which she belonged. She lived and died in the
repute of great holiness, and it was stated in the seventeenth century that from
the marble tomb in which her remains were enshrined an oily liquid still
exuded which worked many surprising miracles of healing. The cultus of
this Beatrice, which had always been maintained at Ferrara, was confirmed in
1774
In an appendix to the January section of the Acta Sanctorum the Bollandists printed such
fra~ents of information as they were able to collect concerning Bd Beatrice. See also the
Analecta Juris Pontificii for 1880, p. 668.

BD CHRISTINA OF AQUILA, VIRGIN

THE family name of this Christina was Ciccarelli, and when she was born in
the Abruzzi she received in baptism the name of Matthia. Entering the
convent of Augustinian hermitesses at Aquila at an early age, she was there
called Sister Christina. In the cloister she showed herself a model of virtue,
but she was especially remarkable for her humility and love of the poor.
She gave long hours to prayer, was often rapt in ecstasy, and seemed to possess
a knowledge of future events. She is also said to have practised severe penance,
and to have worked many miracles, but our information about her is scanty.
When she died on January 18, 1543, it is stated that the children of Aquila
went through the town proclaiming the news of her death by "shouting and
singing", with the result that an enormous concourse of people attended her
obsequies. The cultus paid to her from time immemorial was confirmed in
184 1

See P. Seebock, Die Herrlichkeit der katholischen Kirche (1900), p. 297, and biographical
details in the decree of confinnation.

19 : SS. MARIUS, MARTHA, AUDIFAX AND ABACHUM, MARTYRS


(c. A.D. 260)

ARIUS (Maris), a nobleman of Persia, with his wife Martha, and two

M sons, Audifax and Abachum, being converted to the faith, distributed


his fortune among the poor, as the primitive Christians did at Jerusalem,
and came to Rome to visit the tombs of the apostles. The Emperor Claudius was
then persecuting the Church, and by his order a great nUInber of Christians were
driven into the amphitheatre, shot to death with arrows, and their bodies burnt.
Our saints gathered and buried their ashes with respect; for which they were
apprehended, and after many tonnents under the governor Marcian, Marius and
his two sons were beheaded; Martha was drowned, thirteen miles from Rome, at
a place now called Santa Ninfa. They were buried on the Via Cornelia, and they
are mentioned with distinction in all the western martyrologies on January 20 ;
but their feast is kept to-day.
We cannot place any great confidence in the" acts" of these martyrs, but the document
is not contemptible; they have been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January 19. See also
Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, vol. iii, pp. 214 seq.; and BHL., n. 5543.
January 19] TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

ST GERMANICUS, MARTYR (A.D. ISS?)


WE know nothing of St Germanicus beyond what we learn from the letter of the
Christians of Smyrna who, writing of the persecution which led to the arrest of
St Polycarp, tell us: "But thanks be to God; for He verily prevailed against all.
For the right noble Germanicus encouraged their timorousness through the con
stancy which was in him, and he fought with the wild beasts in a signal way. For
when the proconsul wished to prevail upon him, and bade him have pity on his
youth, he used violence and dragged the wild beast towards him, desiring the more
speedily to obtain release from their unrighteous and lawless way of living. So,
after this, all the multitude marvelling at the bravery of the God-beloved and
God-fearing people of the Christians, raised a cry, ' Away with the atheists! Look
for Polycarp ! '" This narrative, however, may count as one of the most authentic
memorials now extant of the history of the early Christian Church. Eusebius, in
his Historia Ecclesiastica, quotes the passage, and we possess the complete text
independently. It is also noteworthy that Germanicus actually did what 8t
Ignatius of Antioch expresses his intention of doing (ad Rom. S)-viz. he provoked
the wild beast to attack him that he might be released the sooner from the ungodly
companionship of the pagans and Jews amongst whom he lived. It is noteworthy
that the Roman Martyrology also directs our thoughts to the example of 8t Ignatius
by saying that Germanicus, "who was ground by the teeth of the beast, merited
to be one with the true bread, the Lord Jesus Christ, by dying for His sake".

See Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, part ii, vol. iii, p. 478; Delehaye, Les passions des
martyrs . .. (1921), pp. 12 seq., and Acta Sanctorum, January 19. On the date, see note
to St Polycarp herein, under January 26.

ST NATHALAN, BISHOP

THE curiously extravagant legend of St Nathalan, whose cult was confirmed by


Pope Leo XIII in 1898, and whose feast is now kept at Aberdeen on January 19,
cannot be better given than in the words of the Aberdeen breviary: "Nathalan is
believed to have been born in the northern parts of the Scotti, in ancient times, at
Tullicht in the diocese of Aberdeen; a man of great sanctity, who, after he had
come to man's estate and been imbued with the liberal arts, devoted himself and
his wholly to divine contemplation. And when he learned that amongst the works
of man's hands the cultivation of the soil approached nearest to divine contempla
tion, though educated in a noble family with his own hands he practised the lowly
art of tilling the fields, abandoning ail other occupations that his mind might never
be sullied by the impure solicitations of the flesh. Meanwhile, as he warred against
the Devil and the perishing world, a terrible famine broke out among his neighbours,
relations and friends, so that almost the whole people were in danger of perishing
by hunger. But God's saint, Nathalan, moved by the greatest pity, distributed all
his grain and whatever else he had, for the name of Christ, to the poor; but when
the time of spring came, when all green things are committed to the bowels of the
earth, not having aught to sow in the land which he cultivated, by divine revelation
he ordered it all to be strewn and sown with sand, from which sand thus sown a
great crop of all kinds of grain grew up and was greatly multiplied.
" But in the time of harvest, when many people of both sexes were collected
by him to gather in the crop, there came a tempest of rain and a Vtrhirlwind, so that
118
ST ALBERT OF CASHEL [January 19
these husbandmen and women were forced to abstain from labour. Therefore he,
excited by anger, along with the other reapers murmured a little against God; but
on the tempest abating, feeling that he had offended Him, in a spirit of penance he
bound his right hand to his leg with an iron lock and key, and forthwith threw the
key into the river Dee, making a solemn vow that he would never unlock it until he
had visited the thresholds of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul; which actually
took place.
" Having entered the City, approaching in meditation the monuments of the
saints which are there on every side, and bewailing his sin, he worshipped the
Creator whom he had heretofore offended. As he went through the chief places
of the city he met a naked boy carrying a little fish for sale, \Vhich he purchased at a
low price. By the divine power he found in its belly the key, unrusted, which he
had flung into the Dee, and with it he opened the lock upon his leg. But the
Supreme Pontiff, informed of this mighty wonder, summoned him as a man of
superior holiness into his presence, and made him, in spite of his reluctance, a
bishop. Rendering himself dear to all in Rome where he practised divine contem
plation for many years, Nathalan, not forgetful even to extreme old age of his
native soil, by permission of the Roman pontiff returned to that part of Scotland
whence he sprang. Having built the churches of Tullicht, Bothelin and Colle at
his own expense, he dedicated them to Almighty God, and they still exist in these
provinces, dedicated in his honour. After many remarkable miracles blessed
N athalan, full of the grace of God, on the 6th of the Ides of January (January 8)
commended his soul to our Lord, and \vent up into Heaven on high; and being
buried with great veneration at Tullicht, he affords health to the sick who piously
come to invoke his aid."
St Nathalan is commemorated in the Irish martyrologies, e.g. those of Oengus and
Gorman. See KSS., pp. 417-419; and LIS., vol. i, pp. 121 seq.

ST ALBERT OF CASHEL, BISHOP (SEVENTH CENTURY?)

THE greatest obscurity shrouds the history of this saint. He is commonly called
archbishop of Cashel and is honoured as patron of that diocese, but it is almost
certain that no such see existed at the date assigned to him. A Latin life, written
apparently in the twelfth century, describes him as natione Anglu.s, conversatione
angelus (an Englishman by race, an angel in conduct). We are told that he was
visited in England by St Erhard, himself an Irishman and already bishop of Ardagh.
Albert accompanied him back to Ireland, and in passing through Cashel, which
for two years had been without a bishop, the people by acclamation elected Albert
to that dignity. He had, however, only been consecrated for a short time when,
during a council at Lismore, he was induced by an eloquent sermon to renounce
all his honours and possessions. Togethf;r with his friend Erhard and a band of
disciples he fled away to lead a pilgrim's life on the continent. They came to
Rome in the time of Pope Formosus (891-896), and were welcomed by him and
encouraged in their good purposes. Then they separated, and Albert for his part
travelled to Jerusalem. On his return he had a longing to see his friend Erhard
again, but on coming to Ratisbon found him already dead. Albert prayed that
God might take him also, and he died there not many hours afterwards. In this
narrative there is no mention of any actual relationship with Erhard, but other
accounts represent him as Albert's brother, and in fact mention a third brother,
119
January 19] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
Hildulf, who was archbishop of Trier. But the whole story is fabulous. Whatever
authentic information ,ve have about 8t Erhard points to his having lived in the
seventh century. He cannot, therefore, have visited Rome in the time of Pope
Formosus nearly two hundred years later. St Albert's feast is kept throughout
Ireland.

The Life of St Albert has been edited by W. Levison in the MGH., Scriptores Merov.,
vol. vi, pp. 21-23. See also the Acta Sanctorum, January 8; and LIS., vol. i, pp. 102-113.

ST FILLAN, OR FOELAN, ABBOT (EIGHTH CENTURY)


ST FILLAN'S name is famous in the Scottish and Irish calendars, and his feast is
still kept in the diocese of.Dunkeld, now on this day. The example and instruc
tions of his parents, Feriach and St Kentigerna, inspired him from the cradle with
an ardent love of virtue. In his youth, despising the worldly prospects to which
high birth entitled him, he received the monastic habit and passed many years in
a cell at some distance from a monastery not far from Saint Andrew's. He was
constrained to leave this solitude by being elected abbot. His sanctity in this office
shone forth with a bright light. After some years he resigned this charge, and
retired to a mountainous part of Glendochart in Perthshire, where with the assist
ance of seven others he built a church, near which he served for several years. God
glorified him by a wonderful gift of miracles, and called him to the reward of his
labours on January 9, probably early in the eighth century. He was buried in
Strathfillan, and his relics were long preserved there with honour.
This account, as Butler tells us, is based upon that given in the Aberdeen
Breviary. He does not, however, reproduce any of the very extravagant incidents
which are there connected with the saint. For example, we are told that Fillan
immediately after his birth was thrown by his father into a lake, and remained there
a whole year tended by angels, also that when he was building his church a wolf
killed the ox that used to drag the materials to the spot, whereupon through Fillan's
prayers the wolf returned and drew the cart in the ox's place. Evidently not much
trust can be placed in historical materials of this description. On the other hand,
it must be said that 8t Fillan's name appears on January 9 in the Martyrology of
Oengus (A.D. 804), and in nearly all other Irish and Scottish martyrologies and
calendars; that the honour paid to him was very widespread, for Robert Bruce
had with him a relic of the saint at the battle of Bannockburn, to which, according
to Hector Boece, he attributed the victory; and that the crosier and bell believed
to have belonged to him are still in existence. The name is spelt in several
ways.
Fillan's mother, ST KENTIGERNA, is commemorated on January 7 in the Aber
deen Breviary, from which we learn that she was of royal blood, daughter of Cellach,
Prince of Leinster. After the death of her husband she left Ireland, and consecrated
herself to God in a religious state. After living in great austerity and humility,
she died on January 7, in the year 734 according to the Annals of Ulster.

See KSS., pp. 341-346; LIS., vol. i, pp. 134-144; and the Acta Sanctorum, January 9.
As for St Kentigerna, Adam King informs us that a famous parish church bears her name
on T'uch Cailleach (in Loch Lomond), a small island to which she retIred some time before
her death. See the Aberdeen Breviary; Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, vol. i, p. 22 ;
and KSS., p. 373. The" Martyrology "-J1'elire-of Oengus referred to above is often
mentioned in these notes: cr.
St Oengus on March I I .
120
ST WULFSTAN [January 19

ST CANUTE OF DENMARK, MARTYR (A.D. 1086)


ST CANUTE (Cnut) of Denmark was a natural son of Swein Estrithson, whose uncle
Canute had reigned in England. He advanced a claim to the crown of that country,
but his attempt on Northumbria in 1075 was a complete failure; in 1081 he
succeeded his brother Harold as king of Denmark. The Danes had received the
Christian faith some time before, but, as has been said of Canute of England, their
" religious enthusiasm was quaintly tinged with barbarian nai"veie". Perhaps the
word "tinged" is hardly strong enough. Canute II married Adela, sister of
Robert, Count of Flanders, by whom he had a son, Bd Charles the Good. He
enacted several laws for the administration of justice and in restraint of the jarls,
granted privileges and imnlunities to the clergy, and exacted tithes for their sub
sistence; unfortunately one effect of his activities was to make some churchmen
feudal lords who gave more attention to their temporal than to their spiritual profit
and duties. Canute showed a royal magnificence in building and endowing
churches, and gave the crown which he wore to the church of Roskilde, which
became the burial-place of the Danish kings.
In 1085 Canute reasserted his claim to England, and made extensive prepara
tions for invasion, in concert with Robert of Flanders and Olaf of Norway. The
enterprise ,vas brought to nothing by disputes with his jarls and people. They
were becoming more and more restive under his ilnposition of taxes, tithes and a
new social order, and under his brother Olaf they broke into open rebellion.
Canute fled to the island of Funen, and took refuge in the church of St Alban at
Odense (said to have its name from a relic brought from England by Canute).
When the insurgents surrounded the church he confessed his sins and received
communion; an attack was begun, bricks and stones being thrown through the
windows, and eventually the king was killed as he knelt before the altar. His
brother Benedict and seventeen others perished with him. This happened on
July 10, 1086.
Aelnoth, Canute's biographer, a monk of Canterbury who had spent twenty-four
years in Denmark, goes on to tell us that God attested the sanctity of the slain
monarch by many miraculous healings of the sick at his tomb, for which reason
his relics were taken up and honourably enshrined. Canute's second successor,
Eric III, having sent to Rome evidence of the miracles wrought there, Pope Paschal
II authorized the veneration of St Canute, though it is not easy to see upon what
his claim to martyrdom rests. Aelnoth adds that the first preachers of Christianity
in Denmark and Scandinavia were Englishmen, and that the Swedes were the most
difficult to convert.

See the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. iii; C. Gertz, Vitae Sanctorum Danorum, pp. 27-168,
531-558; and B. Schmeidler in Neues Archiv, 1912, pp. 67--97. Cf. also E. A. Freeman's
Norman Conquest, vol. iv, pp. 249, 586, 689; and F. M. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon England
(1943), pp. 603, 608-609.

ST WULFSTAN, BISHOP OF WORCESTER (A.D. 1095)


WULFSTAN (Wulstan) was a native of Long Itchington, in Warwickshire. From
early youth he loved purity, and on one occasion, believing himself to have offended
by watching a woman dancing, he withdrew into a thicket and, lying prostrate, be
wailed his fault with such sorrow that henceforth he had such constant watchfulness
121
January 19] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
over his senses that he was nevermore troubled with the like temptations. He
made his studies in the monastery of Evesham and afterwards at Peterborough,
and put himself under the direction of Brihtheah, Bishop of Worcester, by whom
he was advanced to the priesthood. Having been distracted while celebrating Mass
by the smell of meat roasting in the kitchen, he bound himself never to eat of it
again. Not long after he became a novice in the great monastery at Worcester,
w here he was remarkable for the innocence and sanctity of his life. The first
charge with which he was entrusted was instructing the children. He was after
wards made precentor, and then treasurer of the church, but he continued to devote
himself to prayer, and watched whole nights in the church. It was only in despite
of his strenuous resistance that he was made prior of Worcester and, in 1062, bishop
of that see. Though not very learned, he delivered the word of God so impres
sively and feelingly as often to move his audience to tears. To his energy in
particular is attributed the suppression of a scandalous practice which prevailed
among the citizens of Bristol of kidnapping men into slavery and shipping them
over to Ireland. He always recited the psalter whilst he travelled, and never passed
by any church or chapel without going in to pray before the altar.
When the Conqueror deprived the English of their ecclesiastical and secular
dignities in favour of his Normans, Wulfstan retained his see, an exception which
later writers explain by a supposed miraculous intervention of Providence. In a
synod held at Westminster, over which Archbishop Lanfranc presided, Wulfstan
was called upon to surrender his crosier and ring, upon pretext of his simplicity
and unfitness for business. The saint owned himself unworthy of the charge, but
said that King Edward the Confessor had compelled him to take it upon him, and
that he would deliver his crosier to him alone. Thereupon, going to the king's
tomb, he struck his crosier into the stone; and then went and sat down among
the monks. No one was able to draw the crosier out till the saint was ordered to
take it again, when it followed his hand with ease.
Be that as it may, after an initial uncertainty King William recognized Wulf
stan's worth and treated him with respect and trust. Lanfranc even commissioned
him to make the visitation of the diocese of Chester as his deputy. When any
English complained of the oppression of the Normans, Wulfstan used to tell them,
" This is a scourge of God for our sins, which we must bear with patience". He
caused young gentlemen who were brought up under his care to carry in the dishes
and wait on the poor at table, to teach them the true spirit of humility, in which
he himself set an example. Wulfstan rebuilt his cathedral at Worcester, c. 1086,
but he loved the old edifice which had to be demolished. "The men of old", he
said, " if they had not stately buildings were themselves a sacrifice to God, whereas
we pile up stones, and neglect souls." He died in 1095, having sat as bishop
thirty-two years, and lived about eighty-seven. Dr W. Hunt, in the Dictionary of
National Biography, writes: "Wulfstan was, so far as is known, a faultless char
acter, and, save that he knew no more than was absolutely necessary for the dis
charge of his duties, a pattern of all monastic and of all episcopal virtues as they
were then understood". He was canonized in 1203, and his feast is now kept in
the dioceses of Birmingham, Clifton and Northampton.

The details of St Wulfstan's life are fairly well known to us from a number of short
biographies. Those by Hemming and William of l\1almesbury are printed by Wharton in
his Anglia Sacra, that of Capgrave by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctarum for January 19.
We also obtain a good deal of information from chroniclers like Florence of Worcester and
122
BD ANDREW OF PESCHIERA [January 19
Simeon of Durham. See also Freeman's Norman Conquest, vols. iv and v passim, D.
Knowles, The Monastic Order in England (1949), pp. 159-161 and passim,. R. R. Darlington,
The Vita Wulfstani of William of Malmesbury (Camden Society, 3rd series, vol. xl, 1928) ;
an English version of the same by J. H. F. Peile (1934); and J. W. Lamb, St Wulstan,
Prelate and Patriot (1933).

ST HENRY, BISHOP OF UPPSALA, MARTYR (A.D. 1156?)


FOR lack of reliable contemporary records only a bare outline can be given of the
history of St Henry. He was an Englishman, and it is possible that he was already
resident in Rome when Cardinal Nicholas Breakspear, afterwards Pope Adrian IV,
was sent in 115 I as papal legate to Scandinavia. Henry seems to have accompanied
him and to have been consecrated bishop of U ppsala by the legate himself in 1152.
The new bishop won the favour of St Eric, King of Sweden, and when the king
sailed to undertake a sort of crusade against the pagan marauders of Finland, the
new bishop went with him. The Swedish warriors gained a great victory and as a
result some of the Finns accepted Christian baptism. Eric sailed back to Sweden,
but the bishop remained behind to continue his work, " with apostolic zeal, though
occasionally hardly with apostolic wisdom".
A convert named Lalli having committed a murder, St Henry required him to
do penance, but Lalli, resentful of the indignity, lay in wait for the bishop and slew
him (but there is another and quite different story of his death). Several miracles
of healing and others were recorded of Henry, and although there seems to be no
evidence for the assertion that the martyred bishop was formally canonized by Pope
Adrian himself, he has from an early date been recognized as the patron sClint of
Finland. It appears from an indulgence letter of Boniface VIII in 1296 that the
cathedral of Abo was already dedicated to St Henry, and when in the sixteenth
century the series of paintings depicting English saints and martyrdoms was set
up in the English College at Rome, the patron of Finland duly figured therein. Of
much greater interest and artistic merit is a wonderful brass, still in existence,
engraved (c. 1440) to cover the cenotaph at Nousis where his relics first rested,
with twelve subordinate plaques descriptive of his legend and miracles. ' In 1300
the remains of St Henry were translated to the cathedral at Abo (now called Turku)
and a second festival commemorating this translation was kept in Finland on June
18. In Sweden January 19 was the day of St Henry's principal feast, but the
Finnish calendars assign it to January 20.
A full account of St Henry is given in an article by Professor T. Borenius in the Archaeolo
gical Journal, vol. lxxxvii (1930), pp. 340-358; and further liturgical details are supplied
by Aarno Malin, Der Heiligenkalender Finnlands (1925), pp. 179 and 208-223. The thir
teenth-century legend of St Henry is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January, vol. ii, as well
as elsewhere. See also C. J. A. Oppermann, English Missionaries in Sweden and Finland
(1937), pp. 200-25; but cf. the Analecla Bollandiana, vol. lvii (1939), pp. 162-164.

BD ANDREW OF PESCHIERA
NOT very much authentic detail seems to be preserved to us concerning the life of
this Andrew. His family name was Gregho (their origin was Greek), and he was
born at Peschiera upon the Lago di Garda. At an early age he entered the Domi
nican Order at Brescia, and was sent to the famous friary of San Marco at Florence
to make his studies. After ordination he was bidden by his superiors to evangelize
the Valtelline, a district of Switzerland and northern Italy, where heresy was rife
123
January 19] THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS
and the people fierce and godless. An attractive picture is painted of the mis
sionary's untiring labours amongst these unsympathetic people, of his tender
devotion to the Passion, of the austerity of his life, and of his spirit of humility and
poverty. Some of the miracles attributed to him are of a rather extravagant
character, as when we are told that when a book was produced by the heretics to
confute him in argument, he bade his opponents open their book and" an enormous
viper" came out of it, typical of the poison which the book contained. He was
instrumental in founding the Dominican house at Morbegno, to serve as a sort of
outpost, and it was here, on January 18, 1485, that Bd Andrew died. He had spent
forty-five years of his life in the Valtelline. His cultus was confirmed in 1820.
See the Acta Sanctorum, l\1ay, vol. iv, pp. 627-63 I ; Procter, Short Lives of the DO'llinican
Saints, pp. 7-10.

BD BERNARD OF CORLEONE
PHILIP LATINI, a young man who practised the trade of a shoemaker in the town
of Cor!eone, about twenty miles from Palermo, seems also in his youth to have had
a hankering after a career of arms, and, according to his biographer, was accounted
the best swordsman in Sicily. Among many other encounters, having on one
occasion come into conflict with the police and wounded an officer of the law, he,
as the custom was in those days, took sanctuary in a church. There he was safe
from arrest, but of course could not venture to leave his refuge until the coast was
clear. Being thus virtually besieged for several days, Philip, who was by nature
very devout, had time to enter into himself, and realized that in the wild and ad
venturous life he was leading he stood in grave danger of losing his soul. He
accordingly in 163 I joined the Capuchins as a lay-brother, being then twenty-seven
years old, receiving the name of Bernard. From this time forth the courage and
enthusiasm which he had displayed in fighting were entirely given to the practice
of austerity. His fastings, watchings and macerations of the flesh were incredibly
severe, and the assaults which he sustained from the enemy of mankind, who, we
are told, often appeared to him in hideous forms and offered him physical violence,
make very sensational reading. On the other hand, the extraordinary graces which
his biographer records are on much the same scale. We hear of ecstasies and
levitations, and of prophecies and miracles innumerable.
One special gift attributed to him, which makes a more attractive appeal to the
feeling of our own day, was that of healing animals. He had great compassion for
the poor suffering beasts, for, as he observed, they have neither doctors nor
medicine nor speech to explain what is the matter with them. They were brought
to him in numbers. He said the Lord's Prayer over them, and then had them led
three times round the cross which stood in front of the friary church. But he cured
them all (tutte Ie risanava), and, what is even more surprising, we are told that at his
death he bequeathed this same power of healing animals to another member of the
community who was very attached to him. Brother Bernard of Corleone died at
Palermo on January 12, 1667, and was beatified in 1768.
See B. Sanbenedetti, Vita del . .. F. Bernardo da Corlione (1725), the first edition of
which biography was apparently published in 1679, twelve years after Bd Bernard's death;
Father Angelique's complete biography (1901); Father Dionigi, Profilo del B. Bernardo
(1934), with bibliography; and IJeon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 97-98.
For an illustration of the abuses to which the privilege of sanctuary lent itself, see J. B.
Labat, Voyage en Espaglle et en ltalie, 1703 et 1707, vol. iv, p. 19.
12 4
BD l\tIARGARET BOURGEOYS [January 19

ST' CHARLES OF SEZZE


THERE is not much which calls for special comment in the life of Charles of Sezze,
Franciscan lay-brother of the Observance. Though he was of humble birth, his
parents hoped that he might be educated for the priesthood, but at school he was
found a very dull pupil, and beyond learning to read and write he seems to have
had no further education. He was, however, extremely responsive to all that spoke
to him of God. Though the days of his youth were spent in labouring in the fields,
he practised austere penance and took a vow of chastity. He had more than one
serious illness, and once, when he was twenty, he promised to become a religious
if he was cured. The friars of Naziano eventually accepted him as a lay-brother,
and there in the noviceship his fervour redoubled. After his profession he begged
to join some of his brethren who were going to the Indies as missionaries, but he
again fell seriously ill, and after convalescence was sent to live in Rome. Here he
gave a wonderful example of virtue and charity, and, despite his extreme simplicity,
his company was sought by cardinals and other eminent ecclesiastics. He died on
January 6, 1670, at the age of 57, beatified in 1882, and canonized in 1959.
See the decree of beatification in the Analecta Juris Pontificii, 1882; Leon, Aureole
Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 64-68; Imbert-Gourbeyre, La Stigmatisation (1894),
vol. i, pp. 315-316.

BD MARGARET BOURGEOYS, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE CON


GREGATION OF NOTRE DAME OF MONTREAL (A.D. 1700)
MARGARET BOURGEOYS was the sixth of the twelve children of Abraham Bourgeoys,
wax-chandler, and his wife, Guillemette Garnier, and was born at Troyes, the chief
town of Champagne, in 1620. When she was twenty years old she offered herself
as a postulant first to the Carmelites and then to the Poor Clares, and was refused
for reasons unknown-by both. She was well known in Troyes as president of the
sodality of our Lady attached to the convent of the Augustinian canonesses of St
Peter Fourier and Bd Alix Le Clercq; and the Abbe Gendret took these refusals
to mean that Margaret was intended to lead an unenclosed community which he
had long been considering. Such a community was in fact begun under his direc
tion by Margaret and two others, but it came to nothing and she returned home.
Amid these rebuffs she was saved from discouragement by a vision of the Child
Jesus, which, she declared, " for ever turned my eyes from all the beauty of this
world ".
In 1652 there came to visit his sister in the canonesses' convent at Troyes Paul
de Maisonneuve, governor of the French settlement at Ville-Marie (Montreal).
He wanted a schoolmistress for his little colony; and Margaret, who had long been
interested in Canada and recognized in Maisonneuve an intimation that this was
her call, agreed to go. She landed at Quebec on September 22, 1653, and a month
later was at Ville-Marie. It was simply a fort, wherein the couple of hundred souls
all lived, with a little hospital and a chapel for the Jesuit missionary when he was
there.
For over four years Margaret made a sort of " uncanonical novitiate". She
housekept for the governor, looked after the few children, helped Joan Mance at
the hospital and the wives of the garrison, got the great cross restored on Mount
Royal (its predecessor had been destroyed by the Indians), and had a new chapel
12 5
January 19] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

of our Lady almost ready for the arrival of the four" gentlemen ecclesiastics"
from Saint-Sulpice in 1657. In the following year the first school of Montreal
was opened, in a stone building that had been a stable, with less than a dozen girls
and boys and one assistant, Margaret Picart. But Margaret Bourgeoys was looking
ahead: Montreal would grow, and with it her work-and there were the children
of the Indians to be kept in mind. Where could she get helpers? There was
only one answer to that question; and in the same year she sailed with Joan Mance
for France. Twelve months later she was back, with her old friend Catherine
Crolo and three other young women.
During the years that followed, years full of disturbance and alarms because of
the Iroquois war, the school grew and Margaret added to it a kindergarten for a few
adopted Indian children, household instruction for older girls, and the organization
of a Marian sodality. Montreal too was growing, and with the end of the Iroquois
war in 1667 the adumbration of a town began to appear. During 1670-1672
Margaret was again in France. She was given civil authorization for her work by
King Louis XIV; she obtained another half-dozen recruits; and it seems it was
now that she definitely determined to organize a religious congregation. On her
return she had to pilot her little community through a period of great poverty and
difficulty; but her trust in God's providence was amply rewarded, and in 1676
the Congregation of Notre Dame was canonically erected by the first bishop of
Quebec, Mgr de Laval.
But troubled times again followed. Mgr de Laval had his own ideas about the
future of the congregation, which gave Mother Bourgeoys a third and fruitless
journey to France, and in 1683 the convent was destroyed by fire, two sisters (one
of whom was Margaret's niece) losing their lives. Mgr de Laval thought that this
was the moment for the little community to amalgamate with the Ursulines, who
had been in Quebec since 1639. Mother Bourgeoys humbly represented that
monastic enclosure would make their work impossible; and the bishop did not
insist. That was not the end of it, however, for Mgr de Laval's successor, Mgr
de Saint-Vallier, an obstinate and quick-tempered prelate, raised many difficulties
before he accepted the idea of the first unenclosed foreign-missionary community
for women in the Church. It was not till 1698 that twenty-four sisters were able
to make simple vows, Mother Bourgeoys by then having ceased to be superioress
for the past five years.
Montreal's first boarding-school was opened in 1673, and the first mission
school for Indians began in 1676; by 1679 there were two Iroquois girls in the
community. Schools for French children were started outside Ville-Marie on
the island of Montreal (where in 1689 the Iroquois massacred every man, woman
and child not protected by the fort), then farther afield near Trois-Rivieres, and
in 1685 Mgr de Saint-Vallier summoned the sisters to Quebec-seven missions in
all. Behind these humble beginnings, which were to develop into over 200
establishments of the congregation to-day, facing reverses from savages and from
fire, all the fierce hardships of colonial pioneering, struggles with poverty and some
lack of comprehension from superiors, stands the indomitable figure of Bd Margaret
Bourgeoys, the First Schoolmistress of Montreal. Like not a few other foundresses,
she is known best in her work, in those undertakings in which she underwent the
There were two New Englanders in this French community before the death of the
foundress: captives of the Abenakis, ransomed at Montreal, who became Catholics there.
Lydia Langley, of Groton, Massachusetts, was the first New England girl to become a nun.
126
BD THOMAS OF CORI [January 19
common double trial of doubt of her own capacity for the work and a gnawing sense
of her unworthiness before God. But courage was not the least of her virtues, and
devotion to the good of the children and of all her neighbours urged her on, " I want
at all costs", she said, " not only to love my neighbour, but to keep him in love
for me. "
C. W. Colby wrote in his Canadian Types of the Old Regime (New York, 1908):
From the moment of her arrival in New France she became a source of
inspiration to all about her. Less austere than M11e Mance, less mystical than
Marie de l'Incarnation, she combined fervour with an abundance of those
virtues which have their roots in human affection. It is not too much to say
that for almost half a century she was by influence and attainment the first
woman in Montreal. . . . Goodness radiated from her benign personality,
and her work bore the more lasting results from the wisdom of her methods.
But above everything else Marguerite Bourgeo.ys was a teacher. . . . And
when the biographer has finished his sketch of Marie de l'Incarnation* or
Marguerite Bourgeoys, he had best remain content with his plain narrative.
Women like those do not ask for eulogy. Their best praise is the record of
their deeds, written without comment in the impressive simplicity of truth.
From the time that she resigned her superiorship at the age of 73, Bd Margaret's
health and strength gradually waned, but the end came rather unexpectedly. On
the last day of 1699 the aged foundress offered her life in place of that of the
novice-mistress, who was very ill; and so it came about: the young nun got better,
but Mother Bourgeoys died, on January 12, 1700. She was beatified in 1950, and
her feast-day is January 19.
There is a considerable literature about this beata. A manuscript copy of her own
memoirs, written under obedience in 1698, is preserved at Montreal, and at the Quebec
seminary there is the original manuscript of the unpublished biography of Margaret written
by Mgr C. de Glandelet in 1715. There have been several published lives in French, from
M. F. Ransonnet's (1728) to Dom A. Jamet's two volumes (1942) and Father Y. Charron's
Mere Bourfteo)'s (1950, Eng. trans.), of which Canon L. Groulx says in his preface, " Rien
donc, en Ia maniere de M. Charron, de I'hagiographie abstraite et deshumanisee". There
are popular biographies in English by E. F. Butler (1932) and Sister St I. Doyle (1940).

BD THOMAS OF CORI
THIS holy Franciscan was of humble birth, a native of Cori in the Roman Cam
pagna. As a child he obtained some schooling from a charitable priest, but before
long his parents took him away to assist them in their work of pasturing sheep. As
we read of many other youthful shepherds of both sexes who figure in the lives of
the saints, he turned this time of solitude spent with the dumb beasts and with
God under the open sky to good account. He acquired such a habit of prayer and
contemplation that when his parents both died he applied for admission, being then
aged twenty-two, among the Observant friars of Corio He was received, and six
years after was ordained priest. Though he was at first employed as master of
novices, he seems always to have retained his attraction for the wilderness, and he
obtained leave to bury himself in the little friary of Civitella, among the mountains
in the neighbourhood of Subiaco. Here Thomas spent almost all the rest of his
life, offering himself sweetly and joyously for the meanest of occupations, practising
* First superioress of the Ursulines of Quebec. See Father James Brodrick's Procession
ol Saints (1949), pp. 174-201.
127
January 20] THE LIVES OF THE SA.INTS

severe penance, preaching to the scant and rude populace, r:lany of them brigands,
who dwelt in these mountain regions, and favoured himself with many ecstasies and
extraordinary graces. In particular it is recorded of him that once when he was
giving communion in the church, he fell into a trance, and was raised up, ciborium
in hand, to the very roof, and then after a short interval sank slowly to earth again
and went on distributing communion as before. \Vhen elected guardian Thomas's
charity and trust in Providence were unbounded; he gave away to the poor the
loaves which remained in the house, but as the community assembled to sit down
at a table bare of all food, a wholly unforeseen donation was brought to supply their
needs. Though always kindly and considerate as a superior, he was strict in those
things which concerned the service of God, insisting in particular that the office
should be recited slowly and reverently; Si cor non orat, he used to say, in vanum
lingua laborat (If the heart does not pray, the tongue works in vain). He died at
the age of seventy-three on January 1 I, 1729, and was beatified in 1785.
Se-e Luca di Roma, Breve compendio della 'l'ita . . . del B. Padre Tommaso da Cori
(1786); Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 324-332.

20 : ST FABIAN, POPE AND MARTYR (A.D. 250)


OPE ST FABIAN succeeded St Antherus in the pontificate about the

P year 236. Eusebius relates that in an assembly of the people and clergy
held to elect the new pope, a dove flew il; and settled on the head of St
Fabian. This sign, we are told, united the votes of the clergy and people in choosing
Fabian, though, as he was a layman and a stranger, they had no thought of him
before. He governed the Church fourteen years, brought the body of St Pontian,
pope and martyr, from Sardinia, and condemned Privatus, the author of a new
heresy which had given trouble in Africa. St Fabian died a martyr in the perse
cution of Declus, in 250, as St Cyprian and St Jerome bear witness. The former,
writing to his successor, St COrI1elius, calls Fabian an incomparable man; and
says that the glory of his death corresponded with the purity and holiness of his
life. The slab which closed the loculus of 8t Fabian in the cemetery of 8t Callistus
still exists. I t is broken into four fragments, but clearly bears the words~ in Greek
characters, " Fabian, bishop, martyr".
See Duchesne, Liber Pontz/icalis, voJ. i, pp. 148-149; St Cyprian, Epistle ix; H. Leclercq
in DAC., vol. ", cc. 157-1064; Nuo'l'o Bullettino di arch. crist. (1916), pp. 207-221 ;
Wilpert, La cripta dei Papi (1910), p. 18. 'rhe body vvas after-~vards transferred to the
church of St Sebastian: see Grossi-Gondi, S. F'abiano, papa e martire (19 I 6) and Cheramy,
Saint-Sebastian hars les rnurs (1925).

ST SEBASTIAN, MARTYR (A.D. 288 ?)


ACCORDING to the" acts", assigned without any adequate reason to the authorship
of St Ambrose, St Sebastian was born at Narbonne in Gaul, though his parents
had come from Milan, and he was brought up in that city. He was a fervent
servant of Christ, and though his natural inclinations were averse from a military
life, yet to be better able to assist the confessors and martyrs in their sufferings
without arousing suspicion, he went to Rome and entered the army under the
Emperor Carinus about the year 283. It happened that the martyrs, Marcus and
128
ST SEBASTIAN [January 20

1\iarcellian, under sentence of death, appeared in danger of faltering in their


resolution owing to the tears of their friends; Sebastian, seeing this, intervened,
and made them a long exhortation to constancy, \vhich he delivered with an ardour
that strongly affected his hearers. Zoe, the wife of Nicostratus, who had for six
years lost the use of speech, fell at his feet, and when the saint made the sign of the
cross on her mouth, she spoke again distinctly. Thus Zoe, with her husband,
Nicostratus, who was master of the rolls (prilniscrinius) , the parents of Marcus and
Marcellian, the gaoler Claudius, and sixteen other prisoners were converted;
and Nicostratus, who had charge of the prisoners, took them to his own house,
where Polycarp, a priest, instructed and baptized them. Chromatius, governor
of Rome, being informed of thi,;, and that Tranquillinus, the father of Marcus
and l\iarcellian, had been cured of the gout by receiving baptism, desired to
follow their example, since he himself was grievously afflicted with the same
malady. Accordingly, having sent for Sebastian, he was cured by him, and bap
tized with his son Tiburtius. He then released the converted prisoners, made his
slaves free, and resigned his prefectship.
Not long after Carinus was defeated and slain in Illyricum by Diocletian, who
the year following made Maximian his colleague in the empire. The persecution
was still carried on by the magistrates in the same manner as under Carinus, without
any new edicts. Diocletian, admiring the courage and character of St Sebastian,
was anxious to keep him near his person; and being ignorant of his religious
beliefs he created him captain of a company cf the pretorian guards, which was a
considerable dignity. When Diocletian went into the East, Maximian, who
remained in the "Vest, honoured Sebastian with the same distinction and respect.
Chromatius retired into the country in Campania, taking many new converts along
with him. Then followed a contest of zeal between St Sebastian and the priest
Polycarp as to which of them should accompany this troop to complete their
instruction, and which should remain at the post of danger in the city to encourage
and assist the martyrs. Pope Caius, who was appealed to, judged that Sebastian
should stay in Rome. In the year 286, the persecution growing fiercer, the pope
and others concealed themselves in the imperial palace, as the place of greatest
safety, in the apartments of one Castulus, a Christian officer of the court. Zoe was
first apprehended, when praying at St Peter's tomb on the feast of the apostles.
She was stifled with smoke, being hung by the heels over a fire. Tranquillinus,
ashamed to show less courage than a woman, ,vent to pray at the tomb of St Paul,
and there was seized and stoned to death. Nicostratus, Claudius, Castorius and
Victor inus were taken, and after being thrice tortured, were thro"'.vn into the sea.
Tiburtius, betrayeJ by a false brother, was beheaded. Castulus, accused by the
same wretch, was twice stretched upon the rack, and afterwards buried alive.
Marcus and Marcellian were nailed by the feet to a post, and having remained in
that torment t\venty-four hours were shot to death with arrows.
St Sebastian, having sent so many martyrs to Heaven before him, was himself
impeached before Diocletian; whu, after bitterly reproaching him with his in
gratitude, delivered him over to certain archers of Mauritania, to be shot to death.
His body was pierced through wit h arrows, and he was left for dead. Irene, the
\vidow of St Castulus, going to bu ry him, found him still alive and took him to her
lodgings, where he recovered from his wounds, but refused to take to flight. On
the contrary, he deliberately t(lok up his station one day on a staircase \vhere
the emperor \Va3 to pass, and there accosting him, he denounced the abominable
12 9
January 20] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
cruelties perpetrated against the Christians. This freedom of language, coming
from a person whom he supposed to be dead, for a moment kept the emperor
speechless; but recovering from his surprise, he gave orders for him to be seized
and beaten to death with cudgels, and his body thrown into the common sewer.
A lady called Lucina, admonished by the martyr in a vision, had his body secretly
buried in the place called ad catacumbas, where now stands the basilica of St
Sebastian.
The story recounted above is now generally admitted by scholars to be no more
than a pious fable, written perhaps before the end of the fifth century. All that
we can safely assert regarding St Sebastian is that he was a Roman martyr, that he
had some connection with Milan and was venerated there even in the time of St
Ambrose, and that he was buried on the Appian Way, probably quite close to the
present basilica of St Sebastian, in the cemetery ad catacumbas. Although in
late medieval and renaissance art St Sebastian is always represented as pierced with
arrows, or at least as holding an arrow, this attribute does not appear until com
paratively late. A mosaic dating from about 680 in San Pietro in Vincoli shows
him as a bearded man carrying a martyr's crown in his hand, and in an ancient
glass window in Strasbourg Cathedral he appears as a knight with sword and shield,
but without arrows. St Sebastian was specially invoked as a patron against the
plague, and certain writers of distinction (e.g. Male and Perdrizet) urge that
the idea of protection against contagious disease was suggested, in close accord
with a well-known incident in the first book of the Iliad, by Sebastian's undaunted
bearing in face of the clouds of arrows shot at him; but Father Delehaye is prob
ably right in urging that some accidental cessation of the plague on an occasion
when St Sebastian had been invoked would have been sufficient to start the tradi
tion. That St Sebastian was the chosen patron of archers, and of soldiers in general,
no doubt followed naturally from the legend.
For the passio of St Sebastian see the Acta Sanctorum, January 20. See also H. Delehaye
in the Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th edn.), and in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxviii (1909),
p. 489; and K. Laffler in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. xiii; cf. also Cheramy, Saint
Sebastien hors le.s murs (1925), and the Civilta Cattolica, January and February, 1918.

ST EUTHYMIIJS THE GREAT, ABBOT (A.D. 473)


THE birth of this saint was the fruit of the prayers of his parents through the
intercession of the martyr Polyeuctus. His father was a wealthy citizen of Melitene
in Armenia, and Euthymius was educated in sacred learning under the care of
the bishop of that city, who ordained him priest and made him his deputy in the
supervision of the monasteries. The saint often visited that of St Polyeuctus, and
spent whole nights in prayer on a neighbouring mountain, as he also did continu
ously from the octave of the Epiphany till towards the end of Lent. The love of
solitude daily growing stronger, he secretly left his own country at twenty-nine
years of age; and, after offering up his prayers at the holy places in Jerusalem,
chose a cell six miles from that city, near the laura * of Pharan. He made baskets,
and earned enough by selling them to provide a living for himself and alms for
the poor. After five years he retired with one Theoctistus ten miles farther towards
Jericho, where they both lived in a cave. In this place he began to receive disciples
about the year 411. He entrusted the care of his community to Theoctistus, and
*A laura consisted of cells at a little distance from one another.

13 0
ST EUTHYMIUS THE GREAT [January 20

himself retired to a remote hermitage, only meeting on Saturdays and Sundays


those who desired spiritual advice. He taught his monks never to eat so much as
to satisfy their hunger, but strictly forbade among them any singularity in fasts or
any other uncommon observances, as savouring of vanity and self-will. Following
his example, they all withdrew into the wilderness from after Epiphany till Palm
Sunday, when they met again in their monastery to celebrate the offices of Holy
Week. He enjoined constant silence and plenty of manual labour, so that they
not only earned their own living, but also a surplus which they devoted as first
fruits to God in the relief of the poor.
By making the sign of the cross and a short prayer, St Euthymius cured a young
Arab, one half of whose body had been paralysed. His father, who had vainly
invoked the much-boasted arts of physic and mag~c among the Persians to procure
some relief for his son, at the sight of this miracle asked to be baptized. So many
Arabs followed his example that Juvenal, Patriarch of Jerusalem, consecrated
Euthymius bishop to provide for the spiritual needs of these converts, and in that
capacity he assisted at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Juvenal built St Euthymius
a laura on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho in the year 420. Euthymius could
never be prevailed upon to depart from his rule of strict solitude, but governed
his monks by vicars, to whom he gave directions on Sundays. His humility and
charity won the hearts of all who spoke to him. He seemed to surpass the great
Arsenius in the gift of perpetual tears, and Cyril of Scythopolis relates many
miracles which he wrought, usually by the sign of the cross. In the time of a great
drought he exhorted the people to penance to avert this scourge of heaven. Great
numbers came in procession to his cell, carrying crosses, singing Kyrie eleison, and
begging him to offer up his prayers to God for them. He said to them, " I am a
sinner; how can I presume to appear before God, who is angry at our sins? Let
us prostrate ourselves all together before Him, and He will hear us." They obeyed;
and the saint going into his chapel prayed lying on the ground. The sky grew
dark on a sudden, rain fell in abundance, and the year proved remarkably fruitful.
\Vhen the heretical Empress Eudoxia, widow of Theodosius II, frightened by
the afflictions of her family, consulted St Simeon Stylites he referred her to St
Euthymius. As Euthymius would allow no woman to enter his laura she built a
lodge some distance away, and asked him to come and see her there. His advice
to her was to forsake the Eutychians and to receive the Council of Chalcedon. She
followed his counsel as the command of God, returned to orthodox communion,
and many followed her example. In 459 Eudoxia desired St Euthymius to meet
her at her lodge, designing to settle on his laura sufficient revenues for its main
tenance. He sent her word to spare herself the trouble, and to prepare for death.
She admired his disinterestedness, returned to Jerusalem, and died shortly after.
One of the latest disciples of Euthymius was the young St Sabas, whom he tenderly
loved. In the year 473, on January 13, Martyrius and Elias, to both of whom St
Euthymius had foretold that they would be patriarchs of Jerusalem, came with
several others to visit him and accompany him to his Lenten retreat. But he said
he would stay with them all that week, and leave on the Saturday following, giving
them to understand that his death was near at hand. Three days after he gave
orders that a general vigil should be observed on the eve of St Antony's festival, on
which occasion he delivered an address to his spiritual children, exhorting them to
humility and charity. He appointed Elias his successor, and foretold to Domitian,
a beloved disciple, that he would follow him out of this world on the seventh day,
13 1
January 20] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

which happened exactly as he had prophesied. Euthymius died on Saturday,


January 20, being ninety-five years old, of which he had spent sixty-eight in the
desert. Cyril relates that he appeared several times after his death, and speaks of
the miracles which were wrought by his intercession, declaring that he himself
had been an eye-witness of many. St Euthymius is named in the preparation of
the Byzantine Mass.
Almost all our knowledge of Euthyn1ius is derived from his life by Cyril of Scythopolis,
a Latin version of which is printed in the Arta Sanrtorum, January 20, and a critical Greek
text in E. Schwart7, K)'Yillos von Sk),thopolis (1939). See also DeB., vol. ii, pp. 198-400 ;
and R. Genier, Vie de S. EuthJ'me Ie Grand (1909).

ST FECHIN, ABBOT (A.D. 665)


No very authentic information seems to be available regarding St Fechin, though
we possess a Latin life of him, a hymn and a number of miscellaneous notices. He
is said to have been born at Luighne (l/eyney), in Connaught, and to have been
trained by St Nathy. There are a good many extravagant miracles attributed to
him, but two definite facts stand out: first, that he founded and ruled a community
of monks, probably at Fobhar or Fore, in Westmeath; secondly, that he perished
in the terrible plague ,vhich swept o~er Ireland in 665. So far as 'our late and
unsatisfactory rnaterials allow us to dra,v any inference, St Fechin never quitted
his native shores, but, as such a name as Ecclefechan (" ecclesia 'sancti Fechani "
is the form it assumes in old charters) would alone suffice to prove, the saint was
certainly honoured outside his o,vn country. At Arbroath we hear of an annual
fair being held on January 20, which ,vas calleo St Vigean's market, son1etimes
corrupted into St Virgin's market.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 20; LIS., vol. i, p. 356; and KSS., pp. 456-458.
The most correct text of his life is, however, that of Plummer, printed in his VSH., vol. Ii,
pp. 76-86. See also some Irish materials in Revue Celtique, vol. xii, pp. 318-353.

BD BENEDICT OF COLTIBONI (c. A.D. 117)


THE Benedictine congregation of Vallombrosa, which developed out of the hermit
age established before 1038 in that famous valley by St John Gualbert, numbered
in the days of its prime more than fifty communities, and eventually spread into
France and the 1'irol. The most characteristic feature of the new organization
was an attempt to combine the life of the hermit with that of the monk. Bd
Benedict Ricasoli ,vas the son of parents who had known St John Gualbert in
person, and had made over to him and his disciples a property at Coltiboni. Here
Benedict was received at an early age by Abbot Azzo, but aspiring after greater
perfection and solitude than seemed possible in community life, he took up his
quarters in a hut on the mountain side at some iittle distance from the abbey.
From time to time he returrled to keep some festival of the Church with his brethren,
and on one of these rare visits, remaining from Christmas until the Epiphany, he
showed special earnestness in exhorting the monks to fervour and to perseverance
in their arduous vocation. Their life, he told them, ought to be nothing else but
a continual preparation for death, and he insistently repeated the \varning, " Be
ye ready, for the Son of man cometh at the hour ye think not." Returning to his
hermitage he himself soon afterwards (apparently on January 20, 117) \\-'as sum
moned to his reward.
13 2
ST AGNES [January 21

Rumour in later times enlarged upon the marvellous occurrences ,vhich attended
his departure from this world. I t was affirmed that his death was made known by
the monastery bell ringing of its own accord; that a path was miraculously cleared
through the snow and ice to enable the brethren to come and see; that he was found
by them dead, but still kneeling in the act of prayer, with hands joined and eyes
raised to Heaven; and that when he was buried within the monastic enclosure a
light rested over the spot, and a white lily grew spontaneously out of the ground.
The cult paid to him on account of his repute for holiness was confirmed in 1907.
His remains are said still to repose in the sanctuary of Galloro, near Riccia.
See the decree of the Congregation of Rites in Analecta Ecclesiastica, 1907, p. 247; and
the Acta Sanctorum for January 20.

BD DESIDERIUS, OR DIDIER, BISHOP OF THEROUANNE (A.D.


1194)
ALTHOUGH there seems to be nQ very satisfactory evidence of cuitus, Didier, who
is said to have been the thirty-third bishop of Therouanne, is commonly described
as Blessed in hagiographical collections like those of De Ram and Guerin, and his
name appears in some Cistercian and other calendars. He has an interest for many
English Catholics, because he helped to found near Saint-Orner the Cistercian
monastery of Blandecques, or " Blandyke ", which name has been perpetuated in
English Jesuit schools as that of their monthly holiday, for in the old Saint-Orner's
days the boys went to Blandyke once a month to spend the day in country air. A
statue of our Lady preserved there was believed to work miracles, and as late as
the eighteenth century medals were struck of our Lady of Blandykc. Bd Didier
became bishop in I 169, and is said to have been remarkable for his charity and his
spirit of prayer. He resigned his see three years before his death, which seems
to have taken place on January 20 (or September 2), 1194 at the Cistercian abbey
of Cambron, where he had been professed a monk.
See Reussens in the Biographie nationale (beige), vol. v: GalHa christiana nova, vol. ii;
and DHG., vol ix, c. 117, and xi. 585.

21 : ST AGNES, VIRGIN AND MARTYR (c. A.D. 304?)


T AGNES has always been looked upon in the Church as a special patroness

S of bodily purity. She is one of the most popular of Christian saints, and
her name is commemorated every day in the canon of the Mass. Rome was
the scene of her triumph, and Prudentius says that her tomb was shown within
sight of that city. She suffered perhaps not long after the beginning of the perse
cution of Diocletian, whose cruel edicts were published in March in the year 303.
We learn from St Ambrose and St Augustine that she was only thirteen years of
age at the time of her glorious death. Her riches and beauty excited the young
noblemen of the first families in Rome to contend as rivals for her hand. Agnes
answered them all that she had consecrated her virginity to a heavenly husband,
who could not be beheld by mortal eyes. Her suitors, finding her resolution
unshakable) accused her to the governor as a Christian, not doubting that threats
and torments would prove more effective with one of her tender years on whom
133
January 21] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
allurements could make no impression. The judge at first employed the mildest
expressions and most seductive promises, to which Agnes paid no regard, repeating
always that she could have no other spouse but Jesus Christ. He then made use
of threats, but found her endowed with a masculine courage, and even eager to
suffer torment and death. At last terrible fires were made, and iron hooks, racks
and other instruments of torture displayed before her, with threats of immediate
execution. The heroic child surveyed them undismayed, and made good cheer in
the presence of the fierce and cruel executioners. She was so far from betraying
the least symptom of terror that she even expressed her joy at the sight, and offered
herself to the rack. She was then dragged before the idols and commanded to offer
incense, but could, St Alnbrose tells us, by no means be compelled to move her
hand, except to make the sign of the cross.
The governor, seeing his measures ineffectual, said he would send her to a house
of prostitution, where what she prized so highly should be exposed to the insults of
the brutal and licentious youth of Rome. Agnes answered that Jesus Christ was
too jealous of the purity of His chosen ones to suffer it to be violated in such a
manner, for He was their defender and protector. " You may", said she, " stain
your sword with my blood, but you will never be able to profane my body, conse
crated to Christ." The governor was so incensed at this that he ordered her to be
immediately led to the place of shame with liberty to all to abuse her person at
pleasure. Many young profligates ran thither, full of wicked desires, but were
seized with such awe at the sight of the saint that they durst not approach her;
one only excepted, who, attempting to be rude to her, was that very instant, by a
flash, as it were of lightning from Heaven, struck blind, and fell trembling to the
ground. His companions, terrified, took him up and carried him to Agnes, who
was singing hymns of praise to Christ, her protector. The virgin by prayer restored
his sight and his health.
The chief accuser of the saint, who had at first sought to gratify his lust and
avarice, now, in a spirit of vindictiveness, incited the judge against her, his passion
ate fondness being changed into fury. The governor needed no encouragement,
for he was highly exasperated to see himself set at defiance by one of her tender
age and sex. Being resolved therefore upon her death, he condemned her to be
beheaded. Agnes, filled with joy on hearing this sentence, " went to the place of
execution more cheerfully" , says St Ambrose, " than others go to their wedding" .
The executioner had instructions to use all means to induce her to give way, but
Agnes remained constant; and having made a short prayer, bowed down her neck
to receive the death stroke. The spectators shed tears to see this beautiful child
loaded with fetters, and offering herself fearlessly to the sword of the executioner,
who with trembling hand cut off her head at one stroke. Her body was buried at
a short distance from Rome, beside the Nomentan road.

It is necessary to add to the account (based mainly on Prudentius) which is


given above by Alban Butler, that modern authorities incline to the view that little
reliance can be placed on the details of the story. They point out that the" acts"
On such vile methods of breaking down the constancy of Christian maidenhood Ter
tullian in his Apologia comments as follows; "By condemning the Christian maid rather
to the lewd youth than to the lion, you have acknowledged that a stain of purity is more
dreaded by us than any torments or death. Yet your cruel cunning avails you not, but
rather serves to gain men over to our holy religion."

134
ST AGNES [January 21

of St Agnes, attributed unwarrantably to St Ambrose, can hardly be older than


A.D. 415, and that these seem to represent an attempt to harmonize and embroider
the discordant data found in the then surviving traditions. St Ambrose, as just
quoted, in his quite genuine sermon De virginibus (A.D. 377), says of St Agnes's
martyrdom cervicem inflexit,:Ift. " she bent her neck" t from which it is commonly
inferred that she was decapitated. This view is supported by Prudentius's explicit
statement that her head was struck off at one blow. On the other hand, the epitaph
written by Pope St Damasus speaks of " flames", and beyond this says nothing
as to the manner of her death; while from the beautiful hyIIUl, Agnes beatae virginis
(which Walpole, Dreves and others now recognize as a genuine work of St Ambrose),
it clearly follows that she was not beheaded, otherwise she could not after the blow
was struck (percussa) have drawn her cloak modestly around her and have covered
her face with her hand. It seems plain that in the writer's view she was stabbed
in the throat or breast. From these apparent contradictions many critics conclude
that already in the second half of the fourth century all memory of the exact circum
stances of the martyrdom had been forgotten, and that only a vague tradition
survived.
In any case, however, there can be no possible doubt of the fact that St Agnes
was martyred, and that she was buried beside the Via Nomentana in the cemetery
afterwards called by her name. Here a basilica was erected in her honour before
354 by Constantina, daughter of Constantine and wife of Gallus; and the terms of
the acrostic inscription set up in the apse are still preserved, but it tells us nothing
about St Agnes except that she was " a virgin" and " victorious". Again, the
name of St Agnes is entered in the Depositio martyrum of A.D. 354, under the date
January 2 I, together with the place of her burial. There is also abundant sub
sidiary evidence of early cultus in the frequent occurrence of representations of the
child martyr in " gold glasses", etc., and in the prominence given to her name in
all kinds of Christian literature. "Agnes, Thecla and Mary were with me ", said
St Martin to Sulpicius Severus, where he seems to assign precedence to Agnes even
above our Blessed Lady. St Agnes is, as remarked above, one of the saints named
in the canon of the Mass.
It is quite possible that Father Jubaru is right in his attempt to reconcile the
data supplied by Pope Damasus and St Ambrose, but it would not follow as a
necessary consequence that he is also right in his theory that in the Greek " acts"
we have an amalgamation of the story of two different St Agneses. With regard
to the great St Agnes, he contends that she was a child in Rome, that she con
secrated to God her virginity, that she turned away from all suitors, and when
persecution came that she deliberately left her parents' house and offered herself
to martyrdom, that she was threatened with death by fire in an attempt to shake
her constancy, but that, as she gave no sign of yielding, she was in fact stabbed in
the throat. Father Jubaru in his elaborate monograph further claims to have
discovered the reliquary, containing the greater portion of the skull of the youthful
martyr, in the treasury of the Sancta sanctorum at the Lateran. This treasury was
opened in 1903 after it had been hidden from view for many hundred years,
A. S. Walpole, Early Latin Hymns (1922), p. 69, urges that inflexit "may mean bent
aside in order to admit the point of the sword ", and quotes parallel passages from the
classics in support of this view. This is also the view of Father Jubaru. There can be no
question that stabbing in the throat was a common way of despatching the condemned,
and was regarded as the most merciful fornl of coup de grace. St Ambrose calls the execu
tioner "percussor".

135
January 21] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
permISSIon to do so having been obtained from Pope Leo XIII. The relic is
considered by Father Grisar, s.J., and by many other archaeologists to be in all
probability authentic, since a regular custom had grown up in the' ninth century of
separating the head from the rest of the bones when entire bodies of saints were
enshrined in the churches. It also seems certain that the body of St Agnes was at
that date preserved under the altar of her basilica, and further that on opening the
the case in 1605 it was found without a head. From a medical examination of the
fragments of the skull in the Sancta sanctorum, Dr Lapponi pronounced that the
teeth showed conclusively that the head was that of a child about thirteen years of
age. The more extravagant miracles which occur in the so-called" acts" are now
admitted by all to be a fiction of the biographer. The case of St Agnes is, therefore,
typical, and affords conclusive proof that the preposterous legends so often invented
by later writers who wish to glorify the memory of a favourite saint cannot in
themselves be accepted as proof that the martyrdom is fabulous and that the saint
never existed.
In art St Agnes is commonly represented with a lamb and a palm, the lamb, no
doubt, being originally suggested by the resemblance of the word agnus (a lamb)
to the ~ame Agnes. In Rome on the feast of St Agnes each year, while the choir
in her church on the Via Nomentana are singing the antiphon Stans a dextris ejus
agnus nive candidior (On her right hand a lamb whiter than snow), two white lambs
are offered at the sanctuary rails. They are blessed and then cared for until the
time comes for shearing them. Out of their wool are woven the pallia which, on
the vigil of SSe Peter and Paul, are laid upon the altar in the Confessio at 5t Peter's
immediately over the body of the Apostle. These pallia are sent to archbishops
throughout the Western church, " from the body of Blessed Peter", in token of
the jurisdiction which they derive ultimately from the Holy See, the centre of
religious authority.
Until the feast of St Peter Nolasco, displaced by that of St John Bosco, was
fixed for January 28, there was in the general Western calendar on that day a
" second feast" of St Agnes (she still has a commemoration in the Mass and Office
of the 28th). This observance can be traced back to the Gelasian and Gregorian
Sacramentaries, and is not altogether easy to explain. The addition of the words
de nativitate or in genuinum, which meets us in certain liturgical texts of the seventh
or eighth centuries, would seem to suggest that January 28 was the day on which
St Agnes actually died, while the feast of January 2 I --de passione, as it is sometimes
described-marks the day when the martyr "",'as brought to trial and threatened with
torture. In view, ho'"vever, of the prominence which the" octave" has in later
times acquired in our Christian liturgy, it is curious that the one feast should occur
exactly a week after the other. We have evidence that the Circumcision was called
" Octavas Domini" already in the sixth century, and it must be remembered that
our present Missal, following usages still more ancient, which were in fact pre
Christian in their origin, provides a special commemoration for the departed in die
septimo, trigesimo et anniversario-in other words, the week day, the month day and
the year day. It does not, therefore, seem by any means impossible that we have
here a vestige of some primitive form of octave. Dom Baumer has called atten
tion to the fact that the primitive octave implied no more than a commemoration
of the feast at the week-end without any reference to it upon the intermediate days.
The" acts" of St Agnes are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January 21. The Greek
" acts" were first edited by P. Franchi de Cavalieri, S. Agnese nella tradl'zione e nella legenda
ST FRUCTUOSUS OF TARRAGONA [January 21

(1899), together with a valuable discussion of the whole question. See also the monograph
of F. Jubaru, Sainte Agnes d'apres de nouvelles recherches (1907) and further Sainte Agnes,
vierge et martyre (199); D.AC., vol. i, cc. 95-965; Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xix (1900),
pp. 227-228; P. Franchi in Studi e Testi, vol. xix, pp. 141-164; Bessarione, vol. viii (191 I),
pp. 218-245; the Liber Pontificalis (ed. Duchesne), vol. i, p. 196; CMH., pp. 52-53, 66 ;
S. Baumer, Geschichte des Breviers (1895), p. 325 ; and, for the relics, Grisar, Die riimische
Kapelle Sancta Sanctorum und ihr Schatz (1908), p. 103. And cf. St Ambrose, De virginibus
in Migne, PL., vol. xvi, cc. 200-202; and Prudentius, Peristephanon, 14.

ST FRUCTUOSUS, BISHOP OF TARRAGONA, MARTYR (A.D. 259)


ST FRUCTUOSUS was the zealous and truly apostolic bishop of Tarragona, then the
capital city of Spain. When the persecution of Valerian and Gallienus was raging
in the year 259, he was arrested by order of Emilian the governor, along with two
deacons, Augurius and Eulogius, on Sunday, January 16. He was then lying down
in his bed, and only asked time to put on his shoes; after which he cheerfully
followed the guards, who committed him and his two companions to prison.
Fructuosus gave his blessing to the faithful. who visited him, and on Monday he
baptized in gaol a catechumen named Rogatian. On Wednesday he kept the usual
fast of the stations till three o'clock in the afternoon. On Friday, the sixth day
after their commitment, the governor ordered them to be brought before him, and
asked Fructuosus if he knew the contents of the edict of the emperors. The saint
answered that he did not, but that whatever they were he was a Christian. "The
emperors", said Emilian, "command all to sacrifice to the gods." Fructuosus
answered, " I worship one God, who made heaven and earth and all things therein."
Emilian said, " Do you not know that there are other gods?" "No ~', replied
the saint. The proconsul said, " I will make you know it shortly. What is left
to any man to fear or worship on earth if he despises the worship of the immortal
gods and of the emperors? " Then, turning to Augurius, he bade him pay no
regard to what Fructuosus had said, but the deacon assured him that he worshipped
the same Almighty God. Emilian addressed himself to the other deacon, Eulpgius,
asking hirn if he too worshipped Fructuosus. The holy man answered, " I do not
worship Fructuosus, but the same God whom he worships". Emilian asked
Fructuosus if he were a bishop, and added upon his confessing it, " Say, rather,
you have been one", meaning that he was about to lose that dignity along with his
life; and immediately he condemned them to be burnt alive.
The pagans themselves could not refrain from tears on seeing them led to
the amphitheatre, for they loved Fructuosus on account of his rare virtues.
The Christians accompanied them, overwhelmed by a sorro"v mixed with joy.
The martyrs exulted to be hold themselves on the verge of a glorious eternity. The
faithful offered St Fructuosus a cup of wine, but he would not taste it, saying it was
not yet the hour for breaking the fast, which was observed on Fridays till three
o'clock and it was then only ten in the morning. The holy man hoped to end the
station or fast of that day with the patriarchs and prophets in Heaven. When they
were come into the amphitheatre, Augustalis, the bishop's lector, came to him
weeping, and begged he would permit him to pull off his shoes. The martyr said
<

he could easily put them off himself, which he did. Felix, a Christian, stepped
forward and desired he would remember him in his prayers. Fructuosus said
aloud, " I am bound to pray for the '\Thole Catholic Church spread over the world
* Wednesdays and Fridays were fast-days at that time; but only till none, that is, three
in the afternoon. This was called the fast of the stations.

137
January 21] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

from the east to the west," as if he had said, observes St Augustine, who much
applauds this utterance, " If you wish that I should pray for you, do not leave her
for whom I pray". Martial, one of his flock, desired him to speak some words of
comfort to his desolate church. The bishop, turning to the Christians, said,
" My brethren, the Lord will not leave you as a flock without a shepherd. He is
faithful to His promises. The hour of our suffering is short." The martyrs were
fastened to stakes to be burnt, but the flames seemed at first to respect their bodies,
consuming only the bands with which their hands were tied and giving them liberty
to stretch out their arms in prayer. It was thus, on their knees, that they gave up
their souls to God before the fire had touched them. Babylas and Mygdonius,
two Christian servants of the governor, saw the heavens open and the saints carried
up with crowns on their heads; but Emilian himself, summoned to see too, was
not accounted worthy to behold them. The faithful came in the night, extinguished
the fire with wine, and took out the half-burnt bodies. Everyone carried some part
of their remains home with him, but being admonished from Heaven, brought them
back and laid them in the same sepulchre. St Augustine has left us a panegyric
on St Fructuosus, pronounced on the anniversary day of his martyrdom.
This account of the passion of St Fructuosus belongs to that comparatively small class
of the acts of the martyrs which all critics agree in regarding as authentic. Even Harnack
says (Chronologie bis Eusebius, vol. ii, p. 473) that the document" awakens no suspicion ".
It is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, January 21, in Ruinart and elsewhere. See Delehaye,
Les passions des martyrs . .. (1921), p. 144, and also his Orilfines du culte des martyrs (1933),
pp. 66-67. What more especially establishes the authenticity of the Acts of St Fructuosus
is the fact that both St Augustine and Prudentius were evidently acquainted with them.

ST PATROCLUS, MARTYR (A.D. 259 ?)


CONCERNING the martyr St Patroclus, St Gregory of Tours comments that the
popular devotion to him was greatly increased by the discovery of a copy of his
passio. He was buried at or near Troyes, where he suffered, and over his tomb
was a little oratory, but the only cleric who served it was a lector (one of the minor
orders), and we may fairly infer from Gregory's language that no great interest
was taken in the shrine. One fine day, however, this lector went to the bishop and
showed'him a hastily written manuscript which professed to be a copy of the Acts
of St Patroclus. The account he gave of it was that a stranger had asked for
hospitality, who had in his possession a manuscript containing the Passion of St
Patroclus. The lector said he had borrowed it, and by sitting up all night had
copied the document, but had, of course, returned the original to the owner who
went away next morning. It is an extremely significant fact, well worthy of the
attention of every student of Merovingian hagiography, that the Bishop of Troyes
only scolded and cuffed him well, declaring that the lector had invented the whole
story and that there had been no traveller and no manuscript. Obviously the rulers
of the Church at that period were well aware that the fabrication of fictitious acts
was going on freely.
St Gregory, however, declares that in this case, when a military expedition
invaded Italy a short time afterwards, some of the members brought back with
them a Passion of St Patroclus identical with that which the lector had copied. The
result was an immense revival of devotion to the saint. He was a prominent
Christian of exceptional charity and holiness. He was arrested either when a
certain governor called Aurelian (259) or when the Emperor Aurelian himself came
13 8
ST MEINRAD [January 2J
to Troyes (275). Answering fearlessly and defiantly, he was sentenced to death.
In an attempt to drown him in the Seine he escaped from the executioners, but
was recaptured and then beheaded. His relics were eventually carried to Soest in
Westphalia, where they still repose.
See Acta Sanctorum for January 21 ; Allard, Histoire des persecutions, vol. iii, pp. 101 seq. ;
Giefers, Acta S. Patrocli (1857).

ST EPIPHANIUS, BISHOP OF PAVIA (A.D. 496)


THE reputation of Epiphanius for holiness and miracles gave him the highest credit
with the weak Roman emperors of his time, and with the Kings Odoacer and Theo
doric, though all of opposite interests. By his eloquence and charity he tamed
savage barbarians, won life and liberty for whole armies of captives, and secured the
abolition of many oppressive laws, with the mitigation of heavy public imposts and
taxes. By his profuse charities he preserved many of the famine-stricken from
perishing, and by his zeal he stemmed the torrent of iniquity in times of universal
disorder. Epiphanius undertook an embassy to the Emperor Anthemius, and
another to King Euric at Toulouse: both in the hope of averting war. He rebuilt
Pavia, which had been destroyed by Odoacer, and mitigated the fury of Theodoric
in the heat of his victories. He set out on a journey into Burgundy to redeem the
captives detained by Gondebald and Godegisilus, but on his return died of cold
and fever at Pavia, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. His death was really that of
a martyr of charity, and during his lifetime he seems to have been honoured by his
flock with a profusion of endearing and complimentary names. They cal.led him
the " peacemaker", the " glory of Italy", the " light of bishops", and also Papa
-i.e. the Father. His body was translated to Hildesheim in Lower Saxony, in
963; Brower thinks it lies in a silver coffin near the high altar.
See his panegyric in verse by Ennodius, his successor, reputed to be the masterpiece of
that author, edited in the Acta Sanctorum, as also in MGH., Auctores antiquissimi, vol. vii,
pp. 84-110. C/. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xvii (1898), pp. 124-127.

ST MEINRAD, MARTYR (A.D. 861)


As the patron and in some sense the founder of the famous abbey of Einsiedeln
in Switzerland, one of the few which have preserved unbroken continuity since
Carolingian times, St Meinrad (Meginrat) cannot here be passed over. By birth
he is supposed to have been connected with the family of the Hohenzollerns. He
became a priest, entered the Benedictine abbey at Reichenau, and later on was given
some teaching work beside the upper Lake of Zurich. His soul, however, pined
for solitude, and for the opportunity of devoting himself entirely to contemplation.
He consequently sought out a spot in a forest, and there, with the permission of
his superiors, he settled about the year 829. The fame of his sanctity, however,
brought him many visitors, and seven years later he found it necessary to move still
farther south and farther from the abodes of men. The place where he finally
took up his abode is now called Einsiedeln (i.e. Hermitage). There he lived for
twenty-five years, carrying on a constant warfare with the Devil and the flesh, but
favoured by God with many consolations.
On January 21, 861, he was visited by two ruffians who had conceived the idea
that he had treasure somewhere stored away. Though he knew their purpose, he
courteously offered them food and hospitality. In the evening they smashed in
139
January 21] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
his skull with clubs, but finding nothing, took to flight. The legend says that two
ravens pursued them with hoarse croakings all the way to Zurich. By this means
the crime was eventually discovered, and the two m.urderers burnt at the stake.
The body of the saint was conveyed to Reichenau and there preserved with great
veneration. Some forty years later Bd Benno, a priest of noble Swabian family,
went to take up his abode in St Meinrad's hermitage at Einsiedeln. Though
forced, much against his inclination, in 927 to accept the archbishopric of Metz,
he returned to Einsiedeln later on, gathering round him a body of followers ,vho
eventually became the founders of the present Benedictine abbey.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 21, aJso the Life of St Meinrad in lVIGH., Scriptores,
vol. xv, pp. 445 se 7. There are many modern accounts of St Meinrad; see e.g. O. Ringholz,
Wallfahrtsgeschichte'von U. L. Frau von Einsiedeln, pp. 1-6. The two ravens appear in the
arms of Einsiedeln and are also used as the emblems of the saint.

BD EDWARD STRANSHAM, MARTYR (A.D. 1586)


EDWARD STRANSHAM, or Transham (alas Edmund Barber), was born at or near
Oxford about 1554, went to St John's College, and there took the degree of bachelor
of arts. He was at Douay and Rheims in 1577-1578, came home for a time on
account of ill-health, and then returned to Rheims. He was ordained priest
at Soissons in 1580, and in the summer of the following year came on the
English mission with another priest, Nicholas Woodfen, who was to suffer martyr
dom too.
Challoner quotes high commendation for both priests from Rishton and Dr
Bridgewater, and Stransham laboured with such effect that in 1583 he was able to
cross over to Rheims with twelve converts from Oxford for the college there. He
was in France for two years, being delayed for months in Paris where consumption
threatened to put an end to his life. But what illness failed to do, the laws of his
country did. He had been back in England only a short time when he was arrested
while celebrating Mass, at a house in Bishopsgate Street Without in London.
At the next assizes he and Mr Woodfen were condemned for their priesthood, and
they were hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn on January 21, 1586, six
months after their arrest. Ed Edward Stransham was among those beatified
in 1929. The case of Mr Woodfen (alias Devereux, vere Wheeler) is still under
consideration.
Further particulars may be found in an article contributed by J. B. Wainewright to the
Downside Review, volume of 191 I, at p. 205, which cites the relevant authorities.

BB. THOMAS REYNOLDS AND ALBAN ROE, MARTYRS (A.D.


1642 )
THOMAS REYNOLDS, whose name was really Green, was a native of Oxford, born
there about 1560. He was educated and made his ecclesiastical studies at Rheims,
Valladolid and Seville, and although he was already over thirty when he was made
priest he laboured for nearly fifty years on the English mission. He was among
the forty-seven priests who were exiled in the summer of 1606; but, like many
others of them, he came back again in secret and continued his devoted and danger
ous ministry for years, until eventually he was " laid by the heels" and sentenced
to death for his priesthood: but he was kept in prison for fourteen years before the
sentence was carried out. A contemporary account of this venerable old man (he
14
BB. THOMAS REYNOLDS AND ALBAN ROE [January 21
was about eighty) says he " for a long course of years had preached virtue and
godliness to his countrymen, no less by his example than by his words. . . . He
was fat and corpulent, yet very infirm through past labours and sufferings. . . .
He was remarkably mild and courteous, and . . . had reaped much fruit in gaining
many souls to God."
For all his long experience~r perhaps because of it-l\lr Reynolds was of a
timorous disposition, and in dread of the awful manner of death with which he was
faced. But he was encouraged and upheld by one who suffered with him at Tyburn,
namely Dom Bartholomew Roe (alias Rouse, Rolfe, etc.). This Benedictine monk,
whose name in religion was Alban, had been born, probably at Bury St Edmunds,
fifty-nine years previously. In consequence of meeting with a man imprisoned
for his faith in the abbey gate house at Saint Albans, Roe, who was then at Cambridge
University, became a Catholic, and in due course a monk of St Laurence's at
Dieulouard in Lorraine (now St Laurence's, Ampleforth). He was evidently a
man of lively disposition, for before going to St Laurence's he had been dismissed
from the English college at Douay for indiscipline, and later on in England he gave
offence to some over strait-laced people. He laboured on the mission successfully
nevertheless, for the few years that he was free. His second imprisonment began
about 1627 in that very Saint Albans gatehouse (it still stands) where he had
received the grace of faith; then he was for some fourteen years in the Fleet prison
(he was sometimes let out on parole), where he suffered from an agonizing disease,
and he there translated St John Fisher's treatise on prayer and other works into
English. At last release came. On January 19, 1642, he was tried and sentenced
for his priesthood, and two days later he and Thomas J{eynolds set out for Tyburn
together.
" Well, how do you find yourself now? " asked the monk.
" In very good heart," replied Mr Reynolds. "Blessed be God for it, and
glad I am to have for my comrade in death a man of your undaunted courage."
At the scaffold they gave one another absolution, and Roe helped the aged
Reynolds on to the cart, who then addressed the people, expressing forgiveness
for his enemies and much moving the sheriff by invoking for that official" grace
to be a glorious saint in Heaven". When Roe's turn came he, who had been
ministering to three felons who also were to die, turned to the people and began
with a cheerful "Here's a jolly company! " He then spoke to them, finally
pointing out that his religion was his only treason, since if he would abandon it he
would be at once reprieved. His last word to men was a joking remark to one of
the turnkeys from the Fleet prison. Then the two martyrs said the psalm
" Miserere " in alternate verses, and as they dropped they cried out the name of
Jesus, in which one of the felons joined. They were allowed to hang until they
were dead, before, in the words of a Frenchman present, the Sieur de Marsys, " the
hangman opened those loving and burning breasts, as if to give air to that furnace
of charity which consumed their hearts".
Nine Martyr Monks (1931), by Bede Camm, contains a good account of Roe and of the
martyrdom of both priests. He relies mainly on the rare Histoire de la persecution . . . en
Angleterre of Marsys; a manuscript used by Challoner, and now at Oscott; and some
letters of Father John (Bede) Hiccocks, a Carmelite who was present, as well as MMP.
(pp. 407-41 I). See also D. Timothy Horner's article in .Ampleforth and Its Origins (1952),
pp.181-195. For Reynolds see MMP., pp. 402-407, and Pollen's Acts of English Martyrs.
lIe probably came from the families of Green of Great Milton, Oxon., and Reynolds of Old
Stratford, Warwickshire.
January 22] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

BD JOSEPHA OF BENIGANIM, VIRGIN

Bn INES, to use the name by which she is best remembered amongst her own
countrymen, was born in a village near Valencia in Spain in 1625. Her parents,
Luis Albinana and Vincentia Gomar, were of good family but poor in this world's
goods. From earliest childhood Ines gave herself to God, shunning even the
childish pastimes of her companions, and her modesty and simplicity of heart
compelled the respect even of those who had little regard for virtue. In spite of
many trials which came upon her after her father's early death, she eventually
accomplished her purpose of consecrating herself to God in a convent of barefooted
Augustinian hermitesses at Beniganim. Here Sister Josepha-Maria-of-St-Agnes,
as she was called in religion, made great strides in perfection, regarding herself as
the meanest of all, ready at every moment to render a service to the youngest of her
religious sisters. Her bodily austerities were very severe, and she often contrived
to spend much of the night before the Blessed Sacrament. After long periods of
desolation and temptation most patiently borne, she was endowed by God with a
remarkable gift of prophecy and of the discernment of spirits, which led to her
being consulted in spiritual matters, much to her own confusion, by some of the
highest grandees of Spain. She lived until the age of seventy-one, dying on the
feast of her patron St Agnes in 1696. She was beatified in 1888.
See the brief of beatification; and Kirchliches Handlexikon, under" Josepha-Maria H.

22 : ST VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA, MARTYR

T
HE glorious martyr St Vincent was instructed in the sacred sciences and
Christian piety by St Valerius, Bishop of Saragossa, who ordained him his
deacon, and appointed him, though very young, to preach and instruct the
people. Dacian, a cruel persecutor, was then governor of Spain. The Emperors
Diocletian and Maximian published their second and third edicts against the
Christian clergy in the year 303, which in the following year were put in force
against the laity. It seems to have been before these last that Dacian put to death
eighteen martyrs at Saragossa, who are mentioned by Prudentius and in the Roman
Martyrology for January 16, and that he apprehended Valerius and Vincent. They
were soon after transferred to Valencia, where the governor let them lie long in
prison, suffering extreme famine and other miseries. The proconsul hoped that
this lingering torture would shake their constancy, but when they were at last
brought before him he was surprised to see them still intrepid in mind and vigorous
in body, so that he reprimanded his officers for not having treated the prisoners
according to his orders. Then he employed alternately threats and promises to
induce the prisoners to sacrifice. Valerius, who had an impediment in his speech,
making no answer, Vincent said to him, " Father, if you order me, I will speak."
U Son," said Valerius, " as I committed to you the dispensation of the word of God,
so I now charge you to answer in vindication of the faith which we defend." The
deacon then informed the judge that they were ready to suffer everything for the
true God, and that in such a cause they could pay no heed either to threats or
promises. Dacian contented himself with banishing Valerius. As for St Vincent,
he was determined to assail his resolution by every torture which his cruel temper
142
ST VINCENT OF SARAGOSSA [January 22

could suggest. 8t Augustine assures us that he suffered torments beyoad what


any man could have endured unless supported by a supernatural strength; and
that in the midst of them he preserved such peace and tranquillity as astonished his
very persecutors. The rage and chagrin felt by the proconsul were manifest in
the twitching of his limbs, the angry glint in his eyes and the unsteadiness of his
VOIce.
The martyr was first stretched on the rack by his hands and feet, and whilst he
hung his flesh was torn with iron hooks. Vincent, smiling, called the executioners
weak and faint-hearted. Dacian thought they spared him, and caused them to be
beaten, which afforded Vincent an interval of rest; but they soon returned to him,
resolved fully to satisfy the cruelty of their master. But the more his body was
mangled, the more did the divine presence cherish and comfort his soul; and the
judge, seeing the blood which flowed from his body and the frightful condition to
which it was reduced, was obliged to confess that the courage of this young cleric
had vanquished him. He ordered a cessation of the torments, telling Vincent that
if he could not be prevailed upon to offer sacrifice to the gods, he could at least give
up the sacred books to be burnt, according to the edicts. The martyr answered
that he feared torments less than false compassion. Dacian, more incensed than
ever, condemned him to the most cruel of tortures-that of fire upon a kind of
gridiron, called by the acts quaestio legitima, " the legal torture". Vincent mounted
cheerfully the iron bed, in which the bars were full of spikes made red-hot by the
fire underneath. On thi8 dreadful gridiron the martyr was stretched at full length,
and his wounds were rubbed with salt, which the activity of the fire forced the
deeper into his flesh. The flames, instead of tormenting, seemed, as 8t Augustine
says, to give the martyr new vigour and courage, for the more h~ suffered, the greater
seemed to be the inward joy and consolation of his soul. The rage and confusion
of the tyrant exceeded all bounds: he completely lost his self-command, and was
continually inquiring what Vincent did and said, but was always answered that he
seemed every moment to acquire new strength and resolution.
At last he was thrown into a dungeon, and his wounded body laid on the floor
strewed with potsherds, which opened afresh his ghastly wounds. His legs were
set in wooden stocks, stretched very wide, and orders were given that he should
be left without food and that no one should be admitted to see him. But God sent
His angels to comfort him. The gaoler, observing through the chinks the prison
filled with light, and Vincent walking and praising God, was converted upon the
spot to the Christian faith. At this news Dacian even wept with rage, but he
ordered that the prisoner should be allowed some repose. The faithful were then
permitted to see him, and coming they dressed his wounds, and dipped cloths in
his blood, which they kept for themselves and their posterity. A bed was prepared
for him, on which he was no sooner l:lid than his soul was taken to God. Dacian
commanded his body to be thrown out upon a marshy field, but a raven defended
it from beasts and birds of prey. The" acts" and a sermon attributed to 8t Leo
add that it was then cast into the sea in a sack, but was carried to the shore and
revealed to two Christians.
The story of the translations and diffusion of the relics of 8t Vincent is confused
and not very trustworthy. We hear of them not only in Valencia and 8aragossa,
but also in Castres (Aquitaine), Le Mans, Paris, Lisbon, Bari and other places.
What is quite certain is that his cultus spread widely through the Christian world
at a very early date, penetrating even to certain Eastern regions; and he is named
143
January 22] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

in the canon of the Milanese Mass. In early art the most characteristic emblem
of St Vincent is the raven which is sometimes represented as perched upon a
millstone. When we only have an image with a deacon's dalmatic and a palm
branch, it is almost impossible to decide whether it is intended for St Vincent, St
Laurence or St Stephen. Vincent is honoured in Burgundy as the patron of
vine-dressers, the explanation for which is probably to be found in the fact that
his name suggests some connection with wine.
In the above account Alban Butler has mainly followed the narrative of the poet Pruden
ius (Peristephanon, 5). The so-called "acts ", though included by Ruinart among his
Acta sincera, have unquestionably been embroidered rather freely by the imagination of the
compiler, who lived, it seems, centuries after the event. At the same time St Augustine in
one of his sermons on St Vincent spea,ks of having the acts of his martyrdom before him,
and it may possibly be that a much more concise summary, printed in the Analecta Bollandiana,
vol. i (1882), pp. 259-262, represents in substance the document to which St Augustine
refers. We can at least be assured of his name and order, the place and epoch of his martyr
dom, and his place of burial. See P. Allard, Histoire des persecutions, vol. iv, pp. 237-250 ;
Delehaye, Les origines du culte des martyrs (1933), pp. 367-368; H. Leclercq, Les martyrs,
vol. ii, pp. 437-439; R6mische Quartalschrz/t, vol. xxi (1907), pp. 135-138. There is a good
historical summary by L. de Lacger, St Vincent de Saragosse (1927); and a study of the
passio by the Marquise de Maille, Vincent d'Agen et Vincent de Saragosse (1949), on which
c/. various papers by Fr B. de Gaiffier in Analecta Bollandiana. For the bishop St
\7alerius, see the Acta Sanctorum, January 28.

ST BLESILLA, WIDOW

BUT for the letters of St Jerome, very little would be known of the youthful widow
St Blesilla, daughter of St Paula. On the death of her husband, after seven months
of married life, Blesilla was attacked by fever. Yielding to the promptings
of grace, she determined to devote herself to practices of devotion. After her
sudden recovery she spent the rest of her short life in great austerity. St Jerome,
writing to her mother, speaks in very high terms of her. She herself began
to study Hebrew, and it was at her request that Jerome began his translation
of the book of Ecclesiastes. St Blesilla died at Rome in 383 at the early age of
twenty.

See the Acta Sanctorum, January 22; and St Jerome's letters nos. 37, 38 and 39. St
BlesilJa is of course referred to in the more detailed lives of St Jerome and St Paula.

ST ANASTASIUS THE PERSIAN, MARTYR (A.D. 628)


THE wood of the cross of Christ when it was carried away into Persia by Chosroes
in 614, after he had taken and plundered Jerusalem, nevertheless had its victories.
Of one such victory Anastasius was the visible trophy. He was a young soldier in
the Persian army. Upon hearing the news of the taking of the cross by his king,
he grew inquisitive concerning the Christian religion, and its truths made such an
impression on his mind that when he came back to Persia from an expedition he
left the army and retired to Hierapolis. He lodged with a devout Persian Christian,
a silversmith, with whom he often went to prayer. The sacred pictures which he
saw made a great impression, and gave him occasion to inquire more, and to admire
the courage of the martyrs whose sufferings were painted in the churches. At
length he went to Jerusalem, where he received baptism" from the bishop Modestus.
In baptism he changed his Persian name Magundat into that of Anastasius, to
144
ST ANASTASIUS THE PERSIAN [January 22

remind him, according to the meaning of that Greek word, that he had risen from
death to a new and spiritual life. The better to fulfil his baptismal vows and
obligations, he asked to become a monk in a monastery near Jerusalem. The
abbot made him first study Greek and learn the psalter by heart; then, cutting off
his hair, he gave him the monastic habit in the year 621.
The future martyr's first experiences of monastic life \vere not untroubled. He
was assailed by all kinds of temptations, and by the recollection of the practices
and superstitions which his father had taught him. He met these by a frank
disclosure to his confessor of all his difficulties, and by extreme earnestness in
prayer and monastic duties. He was haunted, however, by an intense desire to
give his life for Christ, and after a time he went to Caesarea, then under Persian
rule. Having boldly denounced their religious rites and superstitions, he was
arrested and brought before Marzabanes the governor, when he confessed his own
Persian birth and conversion to Christianity. Marzabanes sentenced him to be
chained by the foot to another criminal, and his neck and one foot to be also linked
together by a heavy chain, and condemned him in this condition to carry stones.
The governor sent for him a second time, but could not prevail \vith him to
renounce his faith. The judge then threatened he would write to the king if he
did not comply. " Write what you please", said the saint, " I am a Christian:
I repeat it, I am a Christian." Marzabanes ordered him to be beaten. The
executioners were preparing to bind him on the ground, but the saint declared that
he had courage enough to lie down under the punishment without moving; he
only begged leave to put off his monk's habit, lest it should be treated with con
tempt, which only his body deserved. Having removed his outer garment he
stretched himself on the ground, and did not stir all the time the cruel 1:orment
continued. The governor again threatened to inform the king of his obstinacy.
" Whom ought we rather to fear," said Anastasius, " a mortal man, or God who
made all things out of nothing?" The judge pressed him to sacrifice to fire, and
to the sun and moon. The saint answerd he could never acknowledge as gods
creatures which God had made only for our use: upon which he was remanded
to prison.
His old abbot, hearing of his sufferings, sent two monks to assist him, and
ordered prayers for him. The confessor, after carrying stones all the day, spent
the greater part of the night in prayer, to the surprise of his companions, one of
whom, a Jew, saw and showed him to others at prayer in the night, shining in
brightness like a blessed spirit, and angels praying with him. As Anastasius was
chained to a man condemned for a public crime, he prayed ahvays with his neck
bowed downwards, keeping his chained foot near his companion not to disturb
him. Marzabanes let the martyr know that the king would be satisfied on condition
he would only by word of mouth abjure the Christian faith, after which he might
choose whether he would be an officer in the royal service or still remain a Christian
and a monk, adding that he might in his heart always adhere to Christ, provided he
would but for once renounce Him in words privately, in his presence, " in which ",
he declared, " there could be no harm, nor any great injury to his Christ". Anas
tasius answered firmly that he would never dissemble or seem to deny God. Then
the governor told him that he had orders to send him bound into Persia to the king.
" There is no need of binding me," said the saint. "I go willingly and cheerfully
to suffer for Christ." On the day appointed, the martyr left Caesarea with- two
other Christian prisoners, under guard, and was followed by one of the monks
145
January 22] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
whom the abbot had sent. The acts of his martyrdom were afterwards written
by this monk.
Being arrived at Bethsaloe in Assyria, near the Euphrates, where the king then
was, the prisoners were thrown into a dungeon till his pleasure was known. An
officer came from Chosroes to interrogate the saint, who made answer to his
magnificent promises, "My poor religious habit shows that I despise from my
heart the gaudy pomp of the world. The honours and riches of a king, who must
shortly die himself, are no temptation to me." Next day the officer returned and
endeavoured to intimidate him by threats and upbraidings. But the saint said
calmly, " Sir, do not give yourself so much trouble about me. By the grace of
Christ I am not to be moved, so execute your pleasure without more ado." The
officer caused him to be unmercifully beaten with staves, after the Persian manner.
This punishment was inflicted on three days; on the third the judge commanded
him to be laid on his back, and a heavy beam pressed down by the weight of two
men on his legs, crushing the flesh to the very bone. The martyr's tranquillity
and patience astonished the officer, who went again to make his report to Chosroes.
In his absence the gaoler, being a Christian by profession, though too weak to resign
his place rather than detain such a prisoner, gave everyone access to the martyr.
The Christians immediately filled the prison; everyone sought to kiss his feet or
chains, and kept as relics whatever had been sanctified by contact with him. The
saint, confused and indignant, &trove to hinder them, but could not. After further
torments, Chosroes ordered that Anastasius and all the Christian captives should
be put to death. Anastasius's two companions, with three score and six other
Christians, were strangled one after another, on the banks of the river, before his
face. He himself with eyes lifted to Heaven, gave thanks to God for bringing his
life to so happy an end, and said he looked for a more lingering death, but seeing
that God granted him one so easy, he embraced with joy this ignominious punish
ment of slaves. He was accordingly strangled, and after his death his head was
cut off.
This happened in the year 628, on January 22. Anastasius's body, among the
other dead, was exposed to be devoured by dogs, but it was the only one they left
untouched. It was afterwards redeemed by the Christians, who laid it in the
monastery of St Sergius, a mile from the place of his triumph, which from that
monastery was later on called Sergiopolis (now Rasapha, in Iraq). The monk who
attended him brought back his colobium, a linen tunic without sleeves. The saint's
body was afterwards carried to Palestine; later it was removed to Constantinople,
and lastly to Rome, where the relics were enshrined in the church of St Vincent.
It is for this reason that these two quite unconnected martyrs are celebrated
together in one feast.
The seventh general council convened against the Iconoclasts proved the use of
sacred pictures from the miraculous image of this martyr, then kept at Rome and
venerated together with his head. These are said to be still in the church which
bears the name of SSe Vincent and Anastasius.
The Greek text of the Life of St Anastasius was published by H. Usener in 1894, and
an early Latin version is in the Acta Sanctorum for January 22. A brief summary of the
extracts read at the fourth session of the seventh oecumenical council in 787 will be found
in Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, vol. iii, p. 766, and the whole in Mansi, Concilia, vol. xiii,
pp. 21-24; BHG., n. 6; BHL., n. 68. It is very difficult to understand upon what grounds
St Anastasius is stated in the Carmelite Martyrology to have been" a monk of the Carmelite
Order H.
BD WILLIAM PATENSON [January 22

ST DOMINIC OF SORA, ABBOT (A.D. 1031)


IN the archives of Foligno in Etruria, the birthplace of this saint, it is stated that
St Dominic's intercession was frequently invoked as a protection against thunder
storms. There seems to be no indication of the origin of this practice. It may
be due to some incident in his early life of which the record is lost, for authentic
documents take up the story of his career from the time that he became a monk.
The whole of St Dominic's activities were devoted to the founding of Benedictine
monasteries and churches in various parts of Italy, at Scandrilia, Sora, Sangro and
in other towns. Each monastery that he founded was apparently given its own
abbot, so that Dominic himself might be free to begin work in another place. The
intervals between the various foundations were devoted to solitary prayer, until
the saint received an intimation from God as to where he was to establish his next
monastery. Yet in the midst of this busy life he found time to work for souls, and
not infrequently the efforts he made to convert sinners were attended by striking
miracles. Several of these are related by one who was probably an eye-witness,
a monk named John, the disciple and constant companion of St Dominic. He died
at the age of eighty in 103 I at Sora in Campania.
See the Aeta Sanetorum, January, vols. ii and iii; Analeeta Bollandiana, vol. i (1882),
pp. 279-322 ; and A. M. Zimmermann, Kalendarium benedietinum, vol. i (1933), pp. 114-117.

ST BERHTWALD, BISHOP OF RAMSBURY (A.D. 1045)


ST BERHTWALD had been a monk of Glastonbury, and in 1005 h~ was consecrated
bishop of Ramsbury, or, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle phrases it, " he succeeded
to the bishop's stool of Wiltshire". He was, in fact, the last bishop of Ramsbury,
for in the time of his successor the see was removed to Old Sarum. Berhtwald, if
we may trust the brief notices left us by William of Malmesbury and Simeon of
Durham, seems to have been specially remembered by his contemporaries on
account of his visions and prophecies, in which the Apostle 8t Peter was associated
with the succession to the throne of St Edward the Confessor in 142. 8t Berht
wald was a great benefactor to the abbey of Malmesbury as well as to his own abbey
of Glastonbury, in which last he was buried after his death in 1045.
See Stanton, Menology, pp. 31-32; DNB., vol. vi, p. 344. There seems to have been
no public cultus.

BD WILLIAM P ATENSON, MARTYR


WILLIAM PATENSON was a native of Durham. He studied for the priesthood at
Rheims, where he was ordained in 1587 and was sent on the English mission fifteen
months later. He ministered for a time in the western counties, but it was in
London that he was arrested, just before the Christmas of 1591. He had celebrated
Mass at a house in Clerkenwell, and was breaking his fast with another priest when
the pursuivants broke in. The other priest, Mr Young, got away, but Mr Patenson
was taken, and brought up and condemned at the Old Bailey for being a seminary
priest. There are two accounts of his zeal for the criminals with whom he was
during his short time in prison: according to one of them he spent his last night
in the condemned cell with seven convicted felons, and of these he brought six to
repentance and the Church, so that they died publicly professing the Catholic faith.
In consequence of this Bd William Patenson's execution at Tyburn was carried
147
January 22] TIlE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
out deliberately without any mitigation of its atrocious cruelties, on January 22,
159 2 .
See l\lMP., pp. 185-186; Pollen's Acts of English Martyrs,. and Catholic Record
Society's publications, vol. v.

ST VINCENT PALLOTTI, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF CATHOLIC


ApOSTOLATE (A.D. 1850)
ST VINCENT PALLOTII anticipated by a century the ideas of organized Catholic
Action as set forth by Pope Pius XI, who called him its" pioneer and forerunner".
At a time when anything approaching an active apostolate was deemed to be purely
the concern of clergy and religious, Don Pallotti envisaged a programme under
three heads: A world-wide apostolate of all Catholics for the spreading of the
faith among those who have it not; a similar apostolate for the confirming and
deepening of the faith of Catholics themselves; a world-wide exercise of the works
of mercy, spiritual and temporal. His own contribution to this programme was
first of all his own life; secondly, his inspiration of others with his ideas and
aspirations; thirdly, the establishment of a society of priests and brothers living
the common life without vows, helped by an institute of sisters and by affiliated
clergy and lay people. This organization he called the Society of Catholic
Apostolate. *
Vincent Pallotti was born in Rome, son of a well-to-do grocer, in 1795, and his
vocation to the priesthood was foreshadowed at an early age, His beginnings at
school were disappointing: "He's a little saint", said his master, Don Ferri,
" but a bit thick-headed". However, he soon picked up, and was ordained priest
when he was only twenty-three. He took his doctorate in theology soon after, and
became an assistant professor at the Sapienza. Pallotti's close friendship with
St Caspar del Bufaio increased his apostolic zeal, and he eventually resigned his
post to devote himself to active pastoral work.
Don Pallotti was in very great repute as a confessor, and filled this office at
several Roman colleges, including the Scots, the Irish and the English, where he
became a friend of the rector, Nicholas Wiseman. But he was not appreciated
everywhere. When he was appointed to the Neapolitan church in Rome he
endured persecution from the other clergy there of which the particulars pass
belief. Equally astonishing is it that this went on for ten years before the author
ities took official notice and brought the scandal to an end. Bd Vincent's most
implacable tormentor, the vice-rector of the church, lived to give evidence for him
at the informative process of his beatification. "Don Pallotti never gave the least
ground for the ill-treatment to which he was subjected", he declared, " He always
treated me with the greatest respect; he bared his head when he spoke to me, he
even several times tried to kiss my hand."
St Vincent began his organized work for conversion and social justice with a
group of clergy and lay people, from whom the Society of Catholic Apostolate
developed in 1835. He wrote to a young professor: "You are not cut out for
the silence and austerities of Trappists and hermits. Be holy in the world, in your
social relationships, in your work and your leisure, in your teaching duties and your
* Exception was taken to this name and it was changed to " Pious Society of Missions" ;
in 1947 the original name was revived. The work of the Pallottini among immigrants is
specially notable. They serve the English church at Rome, San Silvestro in Capite.
148
ST RAYMUND OF PENAFORT [January 23

contacts with publicans and sinners. Holiness is simply to do God's will, always
and everywhere." Pallotti himself organized schools for shoemakers, tailors,
coachmen, joiners and market-gardeners, to improve their general education and
pride in their trade; he started evening classes for young \vorkers, and an institute
to teach better methods to young agriculturalists. But he never lost sight of the
wider aspects of his mission. In 1836 he inaugurated the observance of the
Epiphany octave by the celebration of the Mysteries each day with a different rite,
in special supplication for the reunion of Eastern dissidents: this was settled at the
church of Sant' Andrea delle Valle in 1847, and has continued there annually ever
since.
It was well said that in Don Pallotti Rome had a second Philip Neri. How
many times he came home half naked because he had given his clothes away; how
many sinners did he reconcile, on one occasion dressing up as an old woman to get
to the bedside of a man who threatened--and meant it--to shoot the first priest
who came near him; he ,vas in demand as an exorcist, he had knowledge beyond
this world's means, he healed the sick with an encouragement or a blessing. St
Vincent foresa\v all Catholic Action, even its name, said Pius XI; and Cardinal
Pellegrinetti added, " He did all that he could; as for what he couldn't do- well,
he did that too."
St Vincent Pallotti died when he was only fifty-five, on January 22, 1850. The
chill that developed into pleurisy was perhaps brought on by giving away his cloak
before a long sitting in a cold confessional. When viaticum was brought he
stretched out his arms and murmured, " Jesus, bless the congregation: a blessing
of goodness, a blessing of wisdom. . . ." He had not the strength to finish, " a
hlessing of pO\\Ter". He \vas heatified one hundred years later to the day. and
canonized in 1963 during the Second Vatican Council.
l'here are biographies in Italian by Orlandi and others, and a useful sketch in French by
Maria Winowska (1950). 'The life by Lady flerbert was revised and reissued in America
in 1942.

23 : ST RAYMUND OF PENAFORT (A.D. 1275)

I-IE family of Pefiafort claimed descent from the counts of Barcelona, and

T \vas allied to the kings of Aragon. Raymund was born in 1 175, at Pefiafort
in Catalonia, and made such rapid progress in his studies that at the age
of twenty he taught philosophy at Barcelona. This he did gratis, and \vith great
reputation. vVhen he was about thirty he went to Bologna to perfect himself in
canon and civil la\v. He took the degree of doctor, and taught \vith the same
disinterestedness and charity as he had done in his own country. In 1219 Beren
garius, Bishop of Barcelona, made Raymund his archdeacon and" official". He
was a perfect model to the clergy by his zeal, devotion and boundless liberalities to
the poor. In 1222 he assumed the habit of St Dominic at Barcelona, eight months
after the death of the holy founder, and in the forty-seventh year of his age. No
one of the young novices was more humble, obedient or fervent than he. He
begged of his superiors that they would enjoin him some severe penance to expiate
the complacency which he said he had sometimes taken in his teaching. They,
indeed, imposed on him a penance, but not quite such as he expected. It was to
write a collection of cases of conscience for the convenience of confessors and
149
January 23] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
moralists. This led to the compilation of the Summa de casibus poenitentialibus,
the first work of its kind.
Raymund joined to the exercises of his solitude an apostolic life by labouring
without intermission in preaching, instructing, hearing confessions, and converting
heretics, Jews and Moors; and he was commissioned to preach the war of the
Spaniards against the last-named. He acquitted himself of his new duties with
much prudence, zeal and charity, and in this indirect manner paved the way for
the ultimate overthrow of the infidel in Spain. His labours were no less successful
in the reformation of the morals of the Christians detained in servitude under the
Moors, which had been corrupted by their long slavery and intercourse with these
infidels. Raymund showed them that to triumph over their political foes they
must first conquer their spiritual enemies, and subdue sin in themselves. Incul
cating these and the like spiritual lessons, he journeyed through Catalonia, Aragon,
Castile and other countries. So general a change was wrought hereby in the
manners of the people that it seemed incredible to all but those who were witnesses
of it.
It is commonly said that St Raymund of Penafort was associated with St Peter
Nolasco in the foundation of the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, usually called
the Mercedarians, who were particularly concerned with ransoming captives among
the Moors. This has given rise to keen controversy. The representatives of the
order, and notably Father Gazulla, in several works contend that the Mercedarian
Order was founded in 12 I 8, at a date earlier than that at which St Raymund
became a Dominican. They allege further that a vision of our Lady was vouch
safed to St Peter Nolasco, their founder, and also simultaneously to King James of
Aragon and to St Raymund, and that the institute which came into existence in
consequence of this vision was originally a military order which owed nothing to
Dominican influences. All these points have been strongly contested, more
particularly in the works of Father Vacas Galindo, O.P. This "Triter urges that
the Mercedarians, at first simply a confraternity, were not organized as a religious
congregation before 1233, that St Raymund had founded the confraternity in 1222
and had given it rules based upon the Dominican constitutions and office, that the
supposed triple vision of our Lady was never heard of until two or three hundred
years later, and so on.
Pope Gregory IX, having called St Raymund to Rome in 1230, nominated him
to various offices and took him likewise for his confessor, in which capacity
Raymund enjoined the pope, for a penance, to receive, hear and expedite im
mediately all petitions presented by the poor. Gregory also ordered the saint
to gather into one body all the scattt red decrees of popes and councils since
the collection made by Gratian in I IS0. In three years Raymund completed his
task, and the five books of the " Decretals " were confirmed by the same Pope
Gregory in 1234. Down to the publication of the new Codex Juris Canonici in
1917 this compilation of St Raymund was looked upon as the best arranged part
of the body of canon law, on which account the canonists usually chose it for
the text of their commentaries. In 1235 the pope named St Raymund to the
archbishopric of Tarragona, the capital of Aragon: the humble religious was
not able to avert the blow, as he called it, by tears and entreatie3; but the
anxiety brought on a serious illness. To restore him to health his Holiness was
obliged to consent to excuse him, but required that he should recommend a
proper person.
ST RAYMUND OF PENAFORT [January 23
For the recovery of his health St Raymund returned to his native country, and
was received with as much joy as if the safety of the kingdom depended on his
presence. Being restored again to his dear solitude at Barcelona he continued his
former contemplation, preaching and work in the confessional. The number of
conversions of which he was the instrument is known only to Him who by His
grace was the author of them. Raymund was employed frequently in important
commissions, both by the Holy See and by the king. In 1238, however, he was
thunderstruck by the arrival of deputies from the general chapter of his order at
Bologna with the news that he had been chosen third master general, Bd Jordan of
Saxony having lately died. He wept and entreated, but at length acquiesced in
obedience. He made the visitation of his order on foot without discontinuing any
of his austerities or religious exercises. He instilled into his spiritual children a
love of regularity, solitude, studies and the work of the ministry, and reduced the
constitutions of his order into a clearer method, with notes on the doubtful passages.
The code which he drew up was approved in three general chapters. In one held
at Paris in 1239 he procured the establishment of this regulation, that the voluntary
resignation of a superior, founded upon just reasons, should be accepted. This
he contrived in his own favour, for in the year following he resigned the generalship
which he had held only two years. He grounded his action on the fact that he was
now sixty-five years old.
But St Raymund still had thirty-four years to live, and he spent them in the
main opposing heresy and working for the conversion of the l\1oors in Spain.
With this end in view, he engaged St Thomas to write his work Against the Gentiles;
he contrived to have Arabic and Hebrew taught in several convents of his order;
and he established friaries, one at Tunis, and another at Murcia, among the Moors.
In 1256 he wrote to his general that ten thousand Saracens had received baptism.
He was active in getting the Inquisition established in Catalonia; and on one
occasion he was accused-it is to be feared not without some reason--of com
promising a Jewish rabbi by a trick.
A famous incident in St Raymund's life is said to have taken place when he
accompanied King James to the island of Majorca. The king, very loose in his
relations with women, promised amendment, but failed to implement his promise;
whereupon Raymund asked leave to go back to Barcelona. The king not only
refused, but threatened to punish with death any person who attempted to convey
him out of the island. Full of confidence in God, Raymund said to his companion,
" An earthly king withholds the means of flight, but the King of Heaven will
supply them." He then walked to the sea and, we are told, spread his cloak
upon the water, tied up one corner of it to a staff for a sail, and having made
the sign of the cross, stepped upon it without fear whilst his companion stood
trembling on the shore. On this new kind of vessel the saint was wafted with such
rapidity that in six hours he reached the harbour of Barcelona, sixty leagues distant
from Majorca. Those who saw him arrive in this manner met him with acclama
tions. But he, gathering up his cloak dry, put it on, stole through the crowd and
entered his monastery. A chapel and a tower, built on the place where he is
supposed to have landed, transmitted the memory of this miracle to posterity.
During the saint's last illness, Alphonsus, King of Castile, and James of Aragon
visited him, and received his final blessing. St Raymund gave up his soul to God
on January 6 in the year 1275, the hundredth of his age. The two kings, with all
the princes and princesses of their royal families, honoured his funeral with their
151
January 23] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

prest:nce; but his tomb was rendered far more illustrious by miracles. Several
(including the one related above) are recorded in the bull of his canonization,
published in 1601.
The principal materials for the life of St Raymund of Pefiafort have been printed by
Fathers Balme and Paban under the title Raymundiana in the Monumenta Historica G.P.,
vols. iv and vi, and an excellent general sumnlary will be found in I\lortier, Histoire des
maitres generaux G.P., especially vol. i, pp. 225-272 and 400. The best life is said to be
by F. Valls Taberner, San Ramon de Penyafort (1936). As for the connection of the saint
with the Order of Our Lady of Ransom, whatever be the truth of the case there can be no
doubt that a large number of spurious documents, mysteriously found at the right mOluent
in an iron casket at the beginning of the seventeenth century, have been made use of in support
of the Mercedarian thesis. 'The evidence upon many points is so unsatisfactory that it
becomes extremely difficult to give unreserved credence to such incidents in St Raymund's
lIfe as his miraculous voyage from Majorca. See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxix (192 I),
pp. 209 seq. and vol. xl (1922), pp. 442 seq. C/. St Peter Nolasco, on January 28.

ST ASCLAS, MARTYR (THIRD CENTURY?)


THE fame of St Asclas was great in Egypt and throughout the East, and he is
commemorated in the Roman Martyrology. }-rs story, as epitomized in the
synaxaries, runs as follows: "Asclas, a native of the Thebaid, was denounced for
his faith in Christ and brought before Arrian the governor. Boldly confessing
his belief, he was strung up, scourged until the flesh was torn in strips from his
ribs, and then cast into prison. But the governor had to pass over the River Nile
in a boat, and the saint prayed that he might never reach the opposite shore until
he expressly acknowledged in writing the divinity of Christ. Arrian embarked, but
the boat was held up and he could get no farther; whereupon the saint, learning
of this, sent him word that only by confessing the divinity of Christ could he reach
dry land once more. Then the governor called for paper, and he wrote down that
mighty was the God of the Christians and that there was no other beside Him.
Straightway the boat made the passage, the governor landed, and sending for the
saint caused his ribs to be burnt with torches. Then he had a great stone tied to
him and cast him into the river. Thus it was that Asclas gained his crown of
martyrdom." It can hardly be disputed from the very form of the story that a
considerable legendcry element is present.
In the above quoted Synaxary of Constantinople (ed. H. Delehaye, p. 698) the feast is
commemorated on May 20, but in the West on January 23. See also tr..e Acta Sanctorum
for this day, and Cheneau d'Orleans, Les saints d'Egypte, vol. i, pp. 183 seq.

ST EMERENTIANA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR (c. A.D. 30 4?)


ACCORDING to the Roman Martyrology and the Breviary lesson for this day, St
Emerentiana was the foster-sister of St Agnes, and consequently was of much the
same age, but as yet only a catechumen. She was stoned to death two days after
St Agnes's martyrdom, when praying beside her grave, and in this \yay received the
baptism of blood. This story, which forms a kind of supplement to the" acts"
of St Agnes, cannot be accepted as it stands. but there is evidence that there u'as
a St Emerentiana, martyr, who was originally buried in the Coemeterium majus, a
little farther along the Via Nomentana than the spot where the basilica dedicated
to St Agnes was erected. Emerentiana was apparently honoured on September 16
with SSe Victor, Felix and Alexander, but for some reason her remains ,vere later
ST JOHN THE ALMSGIVER [JanualY 23
transferred to the basilica just mentioned, and her story by means of legendary
embellishments became ent\vined with that of 8t Agnes.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 21 and 23; and F. Jubaru, St Agnes (1909), pp.
145- 1 5 6.

SSe CLEMENT AND AGATHANGELUS, MARTYRS (A.D. 308 ?)


CONCERNING these two martyrs, although they are held in high honour in some
oriental churches, and are commemorated on this day in the Roman Martyrology,
we have no reliable knowledge of any sort. Clement is supposed to have devoted
himself to the instruction of children and of the poor, to have been made bishop
of Ancyra in Galatia at the age of twenty, and then) after arrest, to have been dragged
from city to city, enduring incredible torments for years together, but repeatedly
saved from death by a series of stupendous miracles. Agathangelus was a convert
whom Clement made when he was brought to Rome. Having been ordained
deacon Agathangelus shared the subsequent sufferings of his master. Both are
said ultimately to have perished by the sword at Ancyra. The quite untrustworthy
character of their " acts" has been recognized by all critics from Baronius and
Tillemont downwards.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 23, and DI-IG., vol. i, c. 906.

ST JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA (A.D.


61 9 ?)
8T JOHN was of noble family, rich, and a widower, at .l.L\mathus in Cyprus where,
having buried all his children, he employed his income in the relief of the poor, and
won the respect of all by his personal holiness. His reputation raised him to the
patriarchal chair of Alexandria, about the year 608, at which time he was upwards
of fifty years of age. 8t John came to this patriarchal chair when for generations
Egypt had been torn by fierce ecclesiastical strife and Monophysism was every
where in the ascendant. "That is the background which the reader of 8t John's
life must keep in mind", writes Dr Baynes, " As patriarch he chose a better way
he \vould recommend orthodoxy to Egypt by a sympathy and charity that knew
no limits." On his arrival in Alexandria 8t John ordered an exact list to be taken
of his" masters". Being asked who these were, he explained that he meant the
poor, because they had such power in the court of Heaven to help those who had
been good to them on earth. Their number amounted to seven thousand five
hundred, and all these he took under his special protection. He published severe
ordinances, but in the most humble terms, commanding all to use just weights and
measures, in order to protect the poor from a very cruel form of oppression. He
rigorously forbade all his officers and servants to take presents, seeing that these
are no better than bribes, which bias the most inlpartial. Every Wednesday and
Friday he sat the whole day on a bench before the church, that all might have free
access to lay their grievances before him, and make known their necessities.
One of his first actions at Alexandria ",as to distributf the eighty thousand
pieces of gold which he found in the treasury of his church among the hospitals
and nlonasteries. He consecrated to the service of the poor the great revenues of
his see, then the first in all the East both in riches and dignity. Besides these, a
continual stream of contributions flowed through his hands representing the alms
153
January 23] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
of those who were kindled by his example. When his stewards complained that
he impoverished his church, his answer was that God would provide for them. To
vindicate his action, he told them the story of a vision he had had in his youth, when
a beautiful woman had appeared to him, with an olive garland on her head. This
maiden, he was given to understand, represented Charity, or compassion for the
poor, and she said to him: "I am the oldest daughter of the King. If you will
be my friend, I wiil lead you to Him. No one has so much influence with Him
as myself, since it was for me that He came down from Heaven to become man for
the redemption of mankind."
When the Persians plundered Syria, and sacked Jerusalem, St John entertained
the refugees who fled terror-stricken into Egypt, and sent to Jerusalem for the poor
there, besides a large sum of money, corn, pulse, iron, fish, wine, and Egyptian
workmen to assist in rebuilding the churches; adding, in his letter to Modestus the
bishop, that he wished it had been in his power to come in person and contribute
by the labour of his hands to the carrying on of that work. No number of neces
sitous objects, no losses, no straits to which he saw himself often reduced, discour
aged him or made him lose his confidence in the divine providence, and resources
never failed him in the end. When an unfortunate debtor, whom he had relieved
with bountiful alms, expressed his gratitude over-warmly, the saint cut him short,
saying, " Brother, I have not yet shed my blood for you, as Jesus Christ, my Master
and my God, commands me to do." A certain merchant, who had been twice
ruined by shipwrecks, had as often obtained help from the good patriarch, who the
third time gave him a ship laden with corn. This vessel was driven by a storm to
the British islands, and a famine raging there, the owners sold their cargo to great
advantage, and brought back a handsome equivalent in exchange, one half in money,
the other in tin. Silver was found in the tin, and this was attributed to the virtues
of the saint.
The patriarch lived himself in the greatest austerity and poverty. A person
of distinction being informed that he had but one blanket on his bed, and this a
sorry one, sent him a valuable rug, asking that he would make use of it for the sake
of the donor. He accepted it and put it to the intended use, but it was only for
one night, and this he passed in great uneasiness, with self-reproach for reposing
in luxury while so many of his " masters" were miserably lodged. The next
morning he sold it and gave the price to the poor. The friend, learning what had
happened, bought it and gave it him a second and a third time, for the saint always
disposed of it in the same way, saying with a smile, " We shall see who will get tired
first". Nor did St John spoil his approach to the problem of the indigent poor
by too much finesse. He enjoyed getting money out of the wealthy, " and used
to say that if with the object of giving to the poor anybody were able, without ill
will, to strip the rich right down to their shirts, he would do no wrong, more
especially if they were heartless skinflints".
Nicetas, the governor, projected a new tax, which bore very harshly upon the
poor. The patriarch modestly spoke in their defence. The governor in a passion
left him abruptly. St John sent him this message towards evening, " The sun is
going to set," putting him in mind of the advice of the apostle, " Let not the sun
go down upon your anger". This admonition had its intended effect. The
governor came at once to the patriarch, asked his pardon, and by way of atonement
promised never more to give ear to informers and tale-bearers. St John confirmed
him in that resolution, adding that he never believed any man whatever against
154
ST lLDEPHONSUS [January 23
another till he himself had examined the party accused, and that he made it a rule
to punish all calumniators with such severity as would serve as a warning to others.
Having in vain exhorted a certain nobleman to forgive one with whom he was at
variance, he invited him to his private chapel to assist at Mass, and there desired
him to recite with him the Lord's Prayer. The saint stopped at that petition,
" Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us ". When
the nobleman had recited it alone, John conjured him to reflect on what he had been
saying to God in the hour of the tremendous mysteries, begging to be pardoned in
the same manner as he forgave others. The other, deeply moved, fell at his feet,
and from that moment was sincerely reconciled with his adversary. The saint
often exhorted men against rash judgement, saying, " Circumstances easily deceive
us: magistrates are bound to examine and judge criminals; but what have private
persons to do with the delinquencies of their neighbours, unless it be to vindicate
them?" Observing that many amused themselves outside the church during part
of divine service, St John followed them out and seated himself among them, saying,
" My children, the shepherd must be with his flock". They were so abashed, we
are told, by this gentle rebuke that they were never afterwards guilty of the same
irreverence. And as he was one day going to church he was accosted on the road
by a woman who demanded justice against her son-in-Ia,v, who had injured her.
The woman being ordered by some standers-by to await the patriarch's return from
church, he, overhearing them, said, " How can I expect that God will hear my own
prayers if I disregard the petition of this woman ! " N or did he stir from the place
till he had redressed the grievance complained of.
Nicetas persuaded the saint to accompany him to Constantinople to visit the
Emperor Heraclius on the approach of the Persians in 619. At Rhodes, while on
their way, St John was admonished from Heaven that his death was near at hand,
and he said to Nicetas, " You invite me to the emperor of the earth; but the King
of Heaven calls me to Himself". He therefore saiied back to his native Cyprus,
and soon after died happily at Amathus, in 619 or 620. The body of St John was
afterwards carried to Constantinople, where it was a long time. The Turkish
sultan made a present of it to Matthias, King of Hungary, who constructed a shrine
for it in his chapel at Buda. In 1530 it was translated to Tall, near Bratislava;
and, in 1632, to Bratislava itself, where it may still remain. The Greeks honour
this saint on Novernber 1 I, the day of his death; but the Roman Martyrology on
January 23, the anniversary of the translation of his relics.
A life of St John the Almsgiver was written by two contemporaries, John Moschus and
Sophronius; this is lost. A supplementary life by another contemporary, Bishop Leontius
of Neapolis in Cyprus, survives. These two sources, however, were reduced by an early
editor to a single text, which was published by Father Delehaye in 1927 (Analecta Bollandiana,
vol. xlv, pp. 5-74). It was this version that was used by Simeon Metaphrastes for his
tenth-century biography. N. H. Baynes and Elizabeth Dawes in Three Byzantine Saints
(1948) give an English translation of the Moschus and Sophronius part of this text and of
the original text of Leontius. Greek text of Leontius edited by H. Gelzer (1893); Latin
translation by Anastasius the Librarian in Acta Sanctorum for January 23 ; Father P. Bedjan
edited a Syriac version in vol. iv of his Acta martyrum et sanctorunl.

ST ILDEPHONSUS, ARCHBISHOP OF TOLEDO


THE name Ildephonsus, or Hildephonsus, seems to be the original form from which
the variants Alphonsus, Alfonso and Alonzo have subsequently developed. After
St Isidore of Seville, St Ildephonsus, who in accordance with a somewhat unreliable
155
January 23] THE LI\TES OF THE SAINTS

tradition is said to have been his pupil, has alv/ays been looked upon as one of the
greatest glories of the Spanish church, which honours him liturgically as a doctor
of the Church. He was of distinguished birth, the nephew of St Eugenius,
l\rchbishop of Toledo, to whose office he afterwards su~~eeded. At an early age
he became a monk in spite of parental opposition, and, joining the community uf
Agli (Agalia) near Toledo, he was eventually elected abbot of that monastery. We
know that he was ordained deacon about the year 630, and that, though only a
simple monk, he founded and endowed a community of nuns in the neighbourhood.
Whilst he held the office of abbot he attended the eighth and ninth councils of
Toledo, held respectively in the years 653 and 655. His elevation to the archiepis
copal dignity seems to have taken place in 657. The enthusiastic encomiums of
Julian, his contemporary and successor in the see, as well as the testimony of other
eminent churchmen and the evidence afforded by the ardent devotion conspicuous
in his own writings, prove abundantly that the choice was a worthy one, and that
Ildephonsus possessed all the virtues which became his high office. He governed
the church of Toledo for a little more than nine years, and died on January 23, 667.
One feature which stands out very prominently in the literary work of St
Ildephonsus, and more particularly in his tractate De virginitate perpetua sanctae
Mariae, is the remarkable glow of enthusiasm, almost bordering upon extravagance,
in the language he uses concerning our Blessed Lady. Edn1und Bishop laid stress
upon this trait in his valuable papers on " Spanish Symptoms", and \ve may well
believe it to be characteristic of the devotion of the saint as well as typical of the
atmosphere in which he lived. It is not, therefore, surprising that a century after
his death two legends gre\v up, both implying a recognition of his privileged position
in relation to the Mother of God. According to one of these the martyr 8t
Leocadia, who is one of the patrons of Toledo, rose out of her tomb when Ilde
phonsus was praying before it to thank him in the name of the Queen of Heaven
for having vindicated the honour of her glorious mistress. The most salient feature
of the other legend is that our Lady showed her gratitude to the saint by appearing
to him in person seated upon his own episcopal throne, and by presenting him with
a chasuble. This last story, with many embellishments, appears in nearly all the
great collections of M arienlegenden which had such immense vogue in the twelfth
and thirteenth centuries. There seems, in any case, good reason to believe that the
Marian element in certain Spanish liturgical documents was strongly coloured by
the language which became prevalent at Toledo in the time of St Ildephonsus.
The brief summary of the saint's career drafted by Julian, as well as the account by
Cixila, will be found in the 64cta Sanctorum for January 23, as also in the second vol. of
Mabillon. See also the Dictionnaire de Theolof.{ie, vol. vii, cc. 739-744; the article by
Herwegen in the Kirchliches Handlexikon,. E. Bishop, Liturgica Historica, pp. 165-210 ;
and. A. Braegelmann, Life and Writings of St Ildephonsus of Toledo (1942), which summarizes
the material.

ST BERNARD, ARCHBISHOP OF VIENNE

THIS St Bernard (often written Barnard) was born of a distinguished family about
the year 778; in due course he entered the service of Charlemagne and married.
About 800 he founded the abbey of Ambronay and later became a monk there,
succeeding to the dignity of abbot. In 810 he was made archbishop of Vienne.
Though our biographical materials are slight and of late date, everything points to
the conclusion that he was one of the most influential as well as one of the most
BD MARGARET OF RAVENNA [January 23
saintly prelates of that age. Although he does not seem always to have acted
wisely in the political disturbances which followed in the time of Louis the Debonair,
his zeal for the purity of the faith and for the maintenance of ecclesiastical discipline
was never called in question. Two very complimentary letters which are supposed
to have been addressed to him by Popes Paschal I and Eugenius II are, however,
of doubtful authenticity. About the year 837 he founded the abbey of Romans,
and there, after his death on January 23, 842, he was buried, a highly eulogistic
epitaph, which is still preserved to us, being engraved upon his tomb.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 23; Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xi (1892), pp. 402
seq.,. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. i, pp. 148, 158, 201, 210; and DI-IG., vol. vi,
CC. 858-859.

ST LUFTHILDIS, VIRGIN (c. A.D. 850?)


ST LUFTHILDIS, whose name is written in many varying forms-Leuchteldis,
Liuthild, Lufthold, etc.-is one of those saints ,vho seem to have inspired con
siderable local popular devotion, which is evidenced by place-names and folk
traditions, but who have found no contemporary biographer to chronicle their acts.
The principal feature in the story told concerning her by writers many centuries
later in date was that in her youth she had much to suffer from a very cruel step
mother, who was provoked to fury by the child's love of giving to the poor. Even
tually Lufthildis left home to lead the life of a hermit, consecrating all her time to
God in contemplation and the practice of penance. Popular devotion was excited
by the miracles wrought after her death, and she is still honoured in the neighbour
hood of Cologne. Her tomb was opened to inspect the relics in 1623 and again
in 1901.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 23 (appendix), and A. Steffens, Die heilige Lulthildis
(19 0 3).

ST MAIMBOD, MARTYR (A.D. 88o?)


ST MAIMBOD, or Mainbreuf, is venerated on this day' in the diocese of Besan~on,
and a church has been dedicated in his honour at Montbeliard in comparatively
recent times. He is said to have been an Irishman by birth, and seems to have
belonged to that ciass of peregrini, or wandering missionaries, of whom Dom L.
Gougaud wrote in his Gaelic Pioneers of Christianity. We possess very little
reliable information regarding him, but he is said to have been killed by a band of
pagans \vhen preaching in the neighbourhood of Kaltenbrunn in Alsace.
When miracles began to be worked by his remains, Berengarius, Archbishop of
Besan~on, and a certain Count of Montbeliard, translated the relics to the chapel of
Montbeliard, where they were destroyed in the sixteenth century during the wars
of religion.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 23; and LIS., vol. i, p. 405.

BD MARGARET OF RAVENNA, VIRGIN (A.D. 1505)


ALTHOUGH the cultus of Bd Margaret does not seem to have been formally con
firmed, her biography occupies several pages in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum.
Margaret, a native of Russi, near Ravenna, is said to have lost her sight a few months
after birth, but whether she was totally blind is not clear, for she was always able
157
January 24] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
to find her way into a church, a fact upon which her biographer comments naively,
" This induces me to believe that, although blind, she saw what she wished to see".
Her early life seems to have been full of trials and sufferings, partly due to continued
ill-health, partly to the offence given by her ascetical practices and love of retire
ment. She was accused of hypocrisy and in many ways persecuted, but in the
end she gained the esteem of most of those who had most bitterly opposed her. In
fact, some two or three hundred came at last to place themselves under her guidance
and to form a religious association of persons living in the world which included
both sexes, and admitted the married as well as the single. With the assistance of
the Venerable Jerome Maluselli and others she drafted constitutions, but the
organization as she conceived it did not take permanent root in Italy. On the other
hand, after Margaret's death, Father Maluselli, discarding the rules which admitted
laymen and women, founded on the same basis an order of clerks regular which
was known as the Priests of the Good Jesus. Margaret herself always set an
admirable example of the continual prayer, humility and cheerful patience which
she wished to be characteristic of the institute which she had projected, and she
was famous both for her miracles and for her prophecies. She died at the age of
sixty-three on January 23, 1505.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 23 ; Kirchenlexikon. vol. vi, CC. 1462-1463; I1eim
bucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen, vol. ii, pp. 35 seq.

24 : ST TIMOTHY. BISHOP AND MARTYR (c. A.D. 97)

S
T TIMOTHY, the beloved disciple of St Paul, was probably a native of
Lystra in Lycaonia. His father was a Gentile, but his mother Eunice a
Jewess. She, with Lois, his grandmother, embraced the Christian religion,
and St Paul commends their faith. Timothy had made the Holy Scriptures his
study from early youth. When St Paul preached in Lycaonia the brethren of
Iconium and Lystra gave Timothy so good a character that the apostle, being
deprived of St Barnabas, took him for his companion, but first circumcised him at
Lystra. St Paul refused to circumcise Titus, born of Gentile parents, in order to
assert the liberty of the gospel, and to condemn those who affirmed circumcision
to be still of precept in the New Law. On the other hand, he circumcised Timothy,
born of a Jewess, that he might make him more acceptable to the Jews, and might
show that he himself was no enemy of their law. Chrysostom here commends
the prudence of Paul and, we may add, the voluntary obedience of the disciple.
Then St Paul, by the imposition of hands, committed to him the ministry of
preaching, and from that time regarded hiln not only as his disciple and most
dear son, but as his brother and the companion of his labours. He calls him a
man of God, and tells the Philippians that he found no one so truly united to him in
spirit as Timothy.
St Paul travelled from Lystra over the rest of Asia, sailed to Macedonia, and
preached at Philippi, Thessalonica and Berea. Being compelled to quit this last
city by the fury of the Jews, he left Timothy behind him to confirm the new converts
there. On arriving at Athens, however, St Paul sent for him, but learning that the
Christians of Thessalonica lay under a very heavy persecution, he soon after deputed
Timothy to go in his place to encourage them, and the disciple returned to St Paul,
15 8
ST TIMOTHY [January 24
who was then at Corinth, to give him an account of his success. Upon this the
apostle wrote his first epistle to the Thessalonians. From Corinth 8t Paul went
to Jerusalem, and thence to Ephesus, where he spent two years. In 58 he seems
to have decided to return to Greece, and sent Timothy and Erastus before him
through Macedonia to apprise the faithful of his intention, and to prepare the alms
he wished to send to the Christians of Jerusalem.
Timothy was afterwards directed to visit Corinth. His presence was needed
there to revive in the minds of the faithful the doctrine which the apostle had taught
them. The warm commendation of the disciple in I Corinthians xvi 10 no doubt
has reference to this. Paul waited in Asia for his return, and then went with him
into l\1acedonia and Achaia. 8t Timothy left him at Philippi, but rejoined him
at Troas. 'The apostle on his return to Palestine was imprisoned, and after a two
years' incarceration at Caesarea was sent to RODle. Timothy seems to have been
with him all or most of this time, and is named by him in the title of his epistle to
Philemon and in that to the Philippians. 8t Tirnothy himself suffered imprison
ment for Christ, and confessed His name in the presence of many witnesses,
but \vas set at liberty. He was ordained bishop, it seems, as the result of a
special inspiration of the Holy Ghost. 8t Paul having returned from Rome to
the East, left 8t Timothy at Ephesus to govern that church, to oppose false
teachers, and to ordain priests, deacons and even bishops. At any rate,
Chrysostom and other fathers assume that the apostle committed to him the
care of all the churches of Asia, and 8t Timothy is always described as the first
bishop of Ephesus.
8t Paul wrote his first letter to Timothy from Macedonia, and his second from
Rome, while there in chains, to press him to COIne to Rome, that he might see him
again before he died. It is an out-pouring of his heart, full of tenderness towards
this his dearest son. In it he encourages him in his many trials, seeks to revive in
his soul that spirit of intrepidity and that fire of the Holy Ghost with which he was
filled at his ordination, gives him instructions concerning the false brethren of the
time, and predicts still further disorders and troubles in the Church.
We learn that 8t Timothy drank only water, but his austerities having prejudiced
his health, 8t Paul, on account of his frequent infirmities, directed him to take a
little wine. Upon which Chrysostom observes, "He did not say simply 'take
wine' but ' a little wine', and this not because Timothy stood in need of that
advice but because we do ". 8t Timothy, it seems, was still young-perhaps about
forty. It is not improbable that he went to Rome to confer with his master. We
must assume that Timothy was made by 8t Paul bishop at Ephesus before 8t John
arrived there. There is a strong tradition that John also resided in that city as
an apostle, and exercised a general inspection over all the churches of .A.sia. 8t
Timothy is styled a martyr in the ancient matyrologies.
The" Acts of 8t Timothy", which are in some copies ascribed to the famous
Polycrates, Bishop of Ephesus, but which seem to have been written at Ephesus in
the fourth or fifth century, and abridged by Photius, relate that under the Emperor
Nerva in the year 97 8t Timothy was slain with stones and clubs by the heathen;
he was endeavouring to oppose their idolatrous ceremonies on a festival called the
Katagogia, kept on January 22, on \vhich day they walked in troops, everyone
carrying in one hand an idol and in the other a club. We have good evidence that
what purported to be his relics were translated to Constantinople in the reign of
Constantius. The supernatural manifestations said to have taken place at the
159
Jatzuary 24] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

shrine are referred to as a matter of common knowledge both by Chrysostom and


St Jerome.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 24. The Greek text of the so-called Acts of St
Timothy has been edited by H. Usener, who, in view of the small admixture of the miraculous
element, inclines to regard them as reproducing a basis, derived perhaps from some Ephesian
chronicle, of historical fact. The absence of any reference to the translation of St 1'imothy's
relics to Constantinople in 356 induces him to pronounce the composition of these" acts"
to be earlier than that date. C/. R. Lipsius, Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten, vol. ii,
pt. 2, pp. 372 seq.; and BHL., n. 1200; BHG., n. 135.

ST BABYLAS, BISHOP OF ANTIOCH, MARTYR (c. A.D. 250)


~rHE most celebrated of the ancient bishops of Antioch after St Ignatius was St
Babylas, who succeeded Zebinus about the year 240, but regrettably little is known
about him. According to St John Chrysostom he was the bishop who, Eusebius
reports, refused admittance to the church on Easter day in 244 to Philip the Arabian
-alleged to be a Christian-till he had done penance for the murder of his pre
decessor the Emperor Gordian. St Babylas died a martyr during the persecution
of Decius, probably in prison as Eusebius says, but Chrysostom states he was
beheaded.
St Babylas is the first martyr of whom a translation of relics is recorded. His
body was buried at Antioch; but in 35 I the caesar Gallus removed it to a church
at Daphne a few miles away to counteract the influence there of a famous shrine
of Apollo, where oracles were given and the licentiousness was notorious. The
oracles were indeed silenced, and in 362 Julian the Apostate ordered that the relics
of the martyr be removed. Accordingly they were taken back to their former
resting-place, the Christians accompanying them in procession, singing the psalms
that speak of the powerlessness of idols and false gods. The following evening, we
are told, the temple of Apollo was destroyed by lightning. A little later there WjlS
a third translation, made by the bishop St Meletius, to a basilica he built across
the Orontes; Meletius himself was buried next to St Babylas.
See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xix (1901), pp. 5-8, and the Acta Sanctorum for
January 24, where two passions of St Babylas are printed, admittedly of no authority.
Neither can the two panegyrics preached by Chrysostom be regarded as trustworthy historical
sources, as Delehaye has shown in chap. ii of Les passions des martyrs . . . (1921), especially
pp. 209 and 232. St Babylas, however, not only figures in the earliest Syriac martyrology,
but was ,videly celebrated even in the West, and we have an account of him both in prose
and verse written by St Aldhelm of Sherborne in the seventh century. These have been
edited with the rest of Aldhelm's works by R. Ehwald in MGH., Auctores antiquissimi,
vol. xv, pp. 274, 397. C/. Tillemont, Memoires . . ., vol. iii, pp. 400-408; and Delehaye,
Origines du culte ., .. (1933), pp. 54, 58, etc.

ST FELICIAN, BISHOP OF FOLIGNO, MARTYR (c. A.D. 254)


THE Roman Martyrology commemorates on this day an early bishop and patron
of Foligno, St Felician, who is also regarded as the original apostle of Umbria. It
is difficult to say how much foundation of fact may underlie the two Latin bio
graphies which have been preserved of him. He is represented as having always
been given up to missionary labours, as a trusted disciple of Pope St Eleutherius,
who ordained him priest, and then as the friend of Pope St Victor I, who conse
crated him bishop of Foligno. If we could trust the details given in the longer
160
BD 1VIARCOLI1':() OF FOHLi [JomUlrJ' 24

of the two lives, we should be able to claim that the earliest trace of the use of the
pallium is met with in the account of the episcopal consecration of this saint: for
the pope, we are told, granted to him as a privilege that he might wear a woollen
wrap outwardly round his neck, lit: and \vith this is associated in the same context
the duty of consecrating bishops outside of Rome.
Felician was bishop for more than fifty years, but in the persecution of Decius
he was arrested and, refusing to sacrifice to the gods, \vas tortured by the rack and
repeated scourgings. While he lay in prison he was tended by a maiden, St
Messalina, who in consequence of the devotion she showed to him was herself
accused and required to offer sacrifice; but remaining steadfast in the faith, was
then tortured until released by de3th. Orders were given that Felician should be
conveyed to Rome that he might suffer martyrdo~ there, but he died on the way,
only three miles from Foligno, as a result of the torments and imprisonment he
had undergone. He \vas ninety-four years of age, and had heen fifty-six years a
bishop.
See the .Acta Sanctorum for January 24; the Analefta Bollandiana, vol. ix (1890), pp.
379-392 ; and A San Feliciano, protettore di Foligno (1933), short essays, with many pictures,
ed. Mgr Faloci-Pulignani.

ST MACEDONIUS (c. A.D. 430)


THIS Syrian ascetic is said to have lived for forty years on barley moistened in water
till, finding his health impaired, he ate bread, reflecting that it \\ liS not lawful for
him to shorten his life in order to shun labours and conflicts. 'l'his also was the
direction he gave to the mother of 'fheodoret, persuading her, when in a poor state
of health, to use proper food, which he said was a form of medicine. Theodoret
relates many miraculous cures of sick persons, and of his own mother among them,
wrought by \\--ater over which Macedonius had made the sign of the cross. He
adds that his own birth was the effect of the anchoret's prayers after his mother
had lived childless in marriage thirteen years. The saint died when ninety years
old, and is named in the Greek menologies.
Practically all our information comes from Theodoret's llistoria religiosa (see Migne,
PG., vol. lxxxii, 1399), but Macedonius' also has a paragraph in the Synaxary of Constanti
nople (ed. Delehaye, pp. 457--458), under date February 1 I. Ly. also DCB., vol. iii, p. 778 ;
and the Acta Sanftorum for January 24.

BD MARCOLINO OF FORLI (A.D. 1397)


THE family name of Bd Marcolino was Amanni, and he is said to have entered
the Dominican noviceship when only ten years old. The qualities most remarked
in him were his exact observance of rule, his love of poverty and obedience, but
especially a spirit of great humility which led him to avoid all occasions of drawing
notice upon himself and to find his supreme contentment in undertaking the lowliest
and most menial offices. vVe are told also that he practised rigorous bodily
penance, that he was a lover of the poor and of little children, and that he was
favoured with continual ecstasies. He spent so much time in praying upon his
knees that calluses had formed there, as was discovered after his death. Bd
Raymund of Capua, master general of the Dominicans, had a high opinion of
* " Concessit ut extrinsecus linea [probably an error for laneo1 sudario circumdaretur
collo ejus " (Analefta Bollandiana, vol. ix, p. 383).
161
January 25] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS
Father Marcolino, though he was unable to make use of him in carrying out the
reform of the Order of Preachers after the ravages of the Black Death and the
troubles which followed on the Great Schisnl, because of his retiring disposition.
Father l\1arcolino, who is said to have foretold the time of his own death, passed
a\\Tay at ForB on January 2, 1397, at the age of eighty. To the surprise of his
brethren, who had failed to appreciate his holiness, a great concourse attended his
funeral, drawn thither, we are told, by an angel who in the guise of a child gave
notice of it in all the surrounding district. The cuitus was confirmed in 175 0

Our knowledge of Bd. l\1arcolino is largely based on certain letters of Bd John Dominici.
See Mortier, Histoire des "Alaitres Ghzeraux D.P., vol. iii, pp. 564-568; and Procter, Short
Lives, pp. 13-15.

25 : THE CONVERSION OF ST PAUL (A.D. 34)

T
HE Apostle of the Gentiles was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin. At his
circumcision on the eighth day after his"birth he received the name of Saul,
and being born at Tarsus in Cilicia he \vas by privilege a Roman citizen.
His parents sent him when young to Jerusalem, and there he \vas instructed in
the law of Tvloses by Gamaliel, a learned and noble Pharisee. Thus Saul became
a scrupulous observer of the law, and he appeals even to his enemies to bear witness
how conformable to it his life had always been. He too embraced the party of
the Pharisees, which was of all others the most severe, even while it was, in some
of its members, the most opposed to the humility of the gospel. It is probable
that Saul learned in his youth the trade which he practised even after his apostleship
-namely, that of making tents. Later on Saul, surpassing his fellows in zeal for
the Jewish law and traditions, which he thought the cause of God, became a perse
cutor and enemy of Christ. He was one of those who took part in the murder
of St Stephen, and by looking after the garments of those who stoned that holy
martyr he is said by St Augustine to have stoned him by the hands of all the rest.
To the martyr's prayers for his enemies we may ascribe Saul's conversion. "If
Stephen", St Augustine adds, H had not prayed, the Church would never have
had St Paul."
As our Saviour had always been represented by the leading men of the Jews as
an enemy to their law, it was no wonder that this rigorous Pharisee fully persuaded
himself that H he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of
Nazareth", and his name became everywhere a terror to the faithful, for he
breathed nothing but threats and slaughter against them. In the fury of his zeal
he applied to the high priest for a commission to arrest all Jews at Damascus who
confessed Jesus Christ, and bring them bound to Jerusalem. But God was pleased
to show forth in him His patience and mercy. Saul was almost at the end of his
journey to Damascus when, about noon, he and his company were on a sudden
surrounded by a great light from Heaven. They all saw this light, and being struck
with amazement fell to the ground. Then Saul heard a voice which to him was
articulate and distinct, though not understood by the rest: H Saul, Saul, why dost
thou persecute me ?" Saul answered, "Who art thou, Lord ?" Christ said,
H Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest. It is hard for thee to kick against
the goad." In other words, by persecuting l\tly church you only hurt yourself.
162
1'HE CONVERSION ()F srI' PAUL [JOl1uory 25

Trembling and astonished, he cried out, " Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ? "
Christ told him to arise and proceed on his journey to his destination, where he
would learn what was expected of him. \Vhen he got up from the ground Saul
found that though his eyes were open he could see nothing. He was led by the
hand like a child to Damascus, and was lodged in the house of a Jew named Judas,
and there he remained three days, blind, and \vithout eating or drinking.
There was a Christian in Damascus much respected for his life and virtue,
\vhose name was Ananias. Christ appeared to this disciple and commanded him
to go to Saul, who was then in the house of Judas at prayer. Ananias trembled
at the name of Saul, being no stranger to the mischief he had done in Jerusalem,
or to the errand on which he had travelled to Damascus. But our Redeemer
overruled his fears, and charged him a second time to go, saying, " Go, for he is
a vessel of election to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and the children
of Israel: and I will show him how much he has to suffer for my name." Saul
in the meantime S2.W in a vision a man entering, and laying his hands upon him to
restore his sight. Ananias arose, went to Saul, and laying his hands upon him
said, " Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to thee on thy journey, hath
sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost."
Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he recovered his sight.
Ananias went on, " The God of our fathers hath chosen thee that thou shouldst
know His will and see the Just One and hear the voice from His mouth: and thou
shalt be His witness to all nlen of what thou hast seen and heard. Why dost thou
tarry? Arise, be baptized and washed from thy sins, invoking the name of the
Lord." Saul arose, was baptized, and ate. He stayed some days with the disciples
at Damascus, and began immediately to preach in the synagogues that J es~s was
the Son of God, to the great astonishment of all that heard him, who said, " Is not
this he who at Jerusalem persecuted those who called on the name of Jesus, and
who is come hither to carry them away prisoners?" Thus a blasphemer and a
persecutor was made an apostle, and chosen to be one of the principal instruments
of God in the conversion of the world.
St Paul can never have recalled to mind this his conversion without the deepest
gratitude and without extolling the divine mercy. The Church, in thanksgiving
to God for such a miracle of His grace and to propose to penitents a perfect model
of true conversion, has instituted this festival, \vhich \vas for some time a holiday
of obligation in most churches in the \Vest; and we find it particularly mentioned
as such in England in the thirteenth century, an observance possibly introduced
by Cardinal Langton.
It is difficult to assign any reason for the keeping of a feast of the conversion
of St Paul on this particular day. 'rhe earliest text of the " Hieronymianum "
mentions on January 25, not the conversion, but the " translation of St Paul".
The translation in question could hardly be other than the bringing of the relics
of the apostle to his own basilica after their sojourn of nearly a century in their
resting-place ad Catacumbas. But this commemoration of St Paul on January 25
does not appear to be a Roman feast. There is no mention of it either in the early
Gelasian or Gregorian sacramentaries. On the other hand, we find a proper
Mass in the Missale Gothicum, and the festival is entered in the martyrologies of
Gellone and Rheinau. Some texts, like the Berne MS. of the Hieronyn1ianum,
sho\v traces of a transition from" translation" to " conversion". 'fhe calendar
of the English 8t Willibrord, written before the year 7 I 7, has the entry, COllversio
16 3
~rl-IE LIVES OF 1~HE SAINTS

Puuli ill Da1rlaSco,. while the Martyrologies of Oengus and Tallaght (both early
ninth century) refer explicitly to baptism and conversion.
See the Acts of the Apostles, chaps. ix, xxii and xxvi. For the translation of St Paul's
remains from St Sebastian's to his basilica, see De Waal in the Riimische Quartalschnft,
191, pp. 244 seq., and Styger, II monumento apostolico della Via Appia (1917). For a
reference to the feast, see Christian Worship (1919), p. 281, where Mgr Duchesne points
out that the Mass for Sexagesima Sunday is really in honour of St Paul. And c/. CMH.,
pp. 61-62, and Ana/ecta Bollandiana, vol. xlv (1927), pp. 306-307.

ST ARTEMAS, MARTYR (DATE UNKNOWN)

WE may fairly be satisfied that St Artemas has a just claim to be honoured as a


saint. He was depicted and his name was inscribed in the mosaics which adorned
the cupola of the ancient basilica of San Prisco near Capua. These mosaics, now
unfortunately destroyed, were believed to date from about the year 500. We know
also from the" Hieronymianum " that St Artemas was venerated, and is supposed
to have suffered, at Pozzuoli, which is not very far from Capua. Beyond this we
have no trustworthy information. But at a late date a story seems to have been
connected with his name that Artemas, though hardly more than a boy himself,
was teaching other boys, that he was denounced as a Christian, and that he was
stabbed to death by his pupils with their styluses (sharp-pointed instruments used
for writing on wax tablets). But this story is also told of St Cassian of Imola,
and still earlier of St Mark of Arethusa; and there can be little doubt that it has
been borrowed from these sources and adapted to 8t Artemas in default of any
more authentic details concerning him.
See the Acta Sanctorunz for January 25; and Pio Franchi de' Cavalieri in Studi e
Test;, vol. ix, p. 68.

SSe JUVENTINUS AND MAXIMINUS, MARTYRS

THESE martyrs were two officers of distinction in the foot-guards of Julian the
Apostate. \\Then he was on the march in his canlpaign against the Persians, they
let fall at table certain free reflections on the impious laws made against the Chris
tians, wishing rather for death than to see the profanation of holy things. The
emperor being informed of this., sent for them, and finding that they could not be
prevailed upon to retract what they had said or to sacrifice to idols, he confiscated
their estates, ordered them to be scourged, and some days after had them beheaded
in prison at Antioch, January 25, 363. Christians, at the risk of their lives, stole
away the bodies, and after the death of Julian, who was slain in Persia on June 26
following, erected a magnificent tomb to do them honour. On their festival
Chrysostom delivered a panegyric, in which he says of these martyrs: "They
support the Church as pillars, defend it as towers and are as unyielding as rocks.
Let us visit them frequently, let us touch their shrine and embrace their relics
with confidence, that we may obtain from thence some benediction. For as
soldiers, showing to the king the wounds which they have received in his battles,
speak with confidence, so they, by a humble representation of their past sufferings
for Christ, obtain whatever they ask of the King of Heaven."
The scanty details recorded concerning these martyrs are mainly furnished by St John
Chrysostom's panegyric. In the above quoted passage, \vhich Butler has translated very
freely, the orator rather quaintly pictures them pleading before the throne of God by holding
S1' APOLLO [JalluarJ' 25
up before Him in their hands the heads which had been cut off. Severus of Antioch, in a
hymn composed in their honoul, mentions a third martyr, Longinus, who perished in their
company (Patrologia Orientalis, vol. vii, p. 61 I). See also the Acta Sanctorum for January
25; and cf. Delehaye, Les origines du culte . . . (1933), p. 196, and Les passions des martyrs
pp. 228 and 230.

ST PUBIJUS, ABBOT (c. A.D. 380)


ST PUBLIUS is honoured principally by the Greeks. He was the son of a senator
in Zeugma upon the Euphrates, and sold his estate and goods for the benefit of
the poor. Though he lived at first as a hermit, he afterwards became the ruler of
a numerous community. He allowed his monks no other food than vegetables
and very coarse bread; they drank nothing but water, and he forbade cheese,
grapes, vinegar and even oil, except from Easter to Whitsuntide. To remind
himself of the need of a continual advance in fervour, he added every day something
to his exercises of penance and devotion. He was also remarkably earnest in
avoiding sloth, being sensible of the inestimable value of time. Theodoret tells
us that the holy. abbot founded two congregations, the one of Greeks, the other of
Syrians, each using their own tongue in the divine offices and Holy Mysteries.
St Publius seems to have died about the year 380.
\Ve know little or nothing of St Publius beyond what is recorded of him by Theodoret
in his book Philotheus. See the Acta Sanctorum for January 25 ; and Delehaye, Synaxarium
Ecclesiae Constantinopolitanae, pp. 423-424.

ST APOLLO, ABBOT (c. A.D. 395)


AFTER passing many years in a hermitage, Apollo, who was then close upon eighty
years old, formed and governed a community of many monks near Hermopolis.
They all wore the same coarse white habit, all received holy communion every day,
and the venerable abbot made them also a daily exhortation for the profit of their
souls. In these he insisted often on the evils of melancholy and sadness, saying
that cheerfulness of heart is necessary amidst our tears of penance as being the
fruit of charity. and requisite to maintain the spirit of fervour. He himself was
known to strangers by the joy of his countenance. He made it his constant
petition to God that he might know himself and be preserved from the subtle
illusions of pride. It is said that on one occasion, when the devil quitted a possessed:
person at his command, the evil spirit cried out that he was not able to withstand:
his humility. Many astonishing miracles are recorded of him, of which perhaps I

the most remarkable was a continuous multiplication of bread. by which in a time:


of famine not only his own brethren but the whole surrounding population were:
sustained for fouf months. The saint received a visit from St Petronius, afterwards I

bishop of Bologna, in 393, but this, it would seem, must have been at the very:
end of his life, when he was over ninety years old. I

For our knowledge of St Apollo we are mainly indebted to a long section of the Historia :
monachorum, which was formerly regarded as forming part of the Lausiac History of Palladius, I

but which is now recognized as a separate work, probably written in Greek by the Archdeacon I

Timotheus of Alexandria. An English translation from the ancient Syriac version has been:
published by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge in the work entitled The Book of Paradise of Palladius I

(1904), vol. i, pp. 520-538. l'he Greek text had been edited b~ Preuschen in his Palladius:
und Rufinus (1897). See also the Acta Sanctorum for January 25; and P. Cheneau, Les
Saints d'Egypte (1923), vol. i, pp. 218-225.
January 25]

ST PRAEJECTUS, or PRIX, BISHOP OF CLERl\10NT, lVIARTYR (A.D. 676)


THE episcopal see of Auvergne in the early days was honoured with many holy
bishops, of whom the Christian poet, St Sidonius Apollinaris, was one of the most
famous. Later on the title of bishops of Auvergne ,vas changed into that of
Clermont, from the city of this name. St Praejectus (called in France variously
Priest, Prest, Preils and Prix) was a native of Auvergne, trained up in the service
of the Church under the care of St Genesius, Bishop of Auvergne, well skilled in
plainsong, in Holy Scripture and church history. About the year 666 he was called
by the voice of the people, seconded by Childeric II, King of Austrasia, to the
episcopal dignity, upon the death of Felix, Bishop of Auvergne. Partly by his
own ample patrimony, and partly through the liberality of Genesius, Count of
Auvergne, he was enabled to found several monasteries, churches and hospitals;
so that distressed persons in his extensive diocese were provided for, and a spirit
of religious fervour reigned. This was the fruit of the unwearied zeal, assiduous
exhortations and admirable example of the holy prelate, whose learning, eloquence
and piety are greatly extolled by his contemporary biographer. Praejectus restored
to health St Amarin, the abbot of a monastery in the Vosges, who was afterwatds
his companion in martyrdom.
As the result of an alleged outrage by Hector, the patricius of 1Vlarseilles-an
incident very differently recounted by writers of different sympathies-Hector,
after a visit to court, was arrested and executed by Childeric's orders. One
Agritius, imputing his death to the complaints carried to the king by St Praejectus,
thought to avenge him by organizing a conspiracy against him. vVith twenty
armed men he met the bishop as he returned from court at Volvic, two leagues
from Clermont, and first slew the abbot St Amarin, whom the assassins mistook
for the bishop. St Praejectus, perceiving their design, courageously stepped
forward, and was stabbed by a Saxon named Radbert. The saint, receiving this
wound, said, " Lord, lay not this sin to their charge, for they know not what they
do ". Another of the assassins clove his head with a sword, and scattered his
brains. This happened in 676, on January 25. The veneration which the
Gallican churches paid to the memory of this martyr began from the time of his
death, and many miracles immediately afterwards were recorded at his tomb.
The text of the Life of 8t Praejectus has in modern tinlcs been edited and carefully
annotated by B. Krusch in lVIGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v, pp. 212-248. Krusch is of
opinion that, though the author does not seem to have kno\vn the saint personally, he was
a contemporary, and probably a monk of. Volvic in Puy-de-Dome. It is one of the most
trustworthy and interesting of Merovingian hagiographical documents. The greater part
of the relics of 8t Praejectus were after\vards translated to the abbey of Flavigny in Burgundy.
See also Acta Sanctorum for January 25 ; and Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, pp. 37-38.

ST POPPO, ABBOT (A.D. 1048)


ST POPPO was born in Flanders in 978, and was brought up by a most virtuous
mother, who died a nun at Verdun. In his youth he served for some time in the
army; but even in the world he found meditation and prayer to be sweeter than
all the delights of the senses, and he renounced his profession and the marriage
which had been arranged for him. He had previously visited the holy places at
Jerusalem and brought away many relics, with ,vhich he enriched the church of
our Lady at I)eynze. He also made a pilgrimage to Rome, and some time after
166
ST POLYCARP [January 26

took the monastic habit at 8t Thierry's, near Rheims. Richard, Abbot of Saint
Vanne, one of the great monastic reformers of the age, met Poppo about the year
1008, and found in him a man singularly well fitted to assist him in this work. Not
\vithout great difficulty he managed to get Poppo transferred to his own monastery,
and then used him to restore observance in several abbeys, Saint-Vaast at Arras,
Beaulieu, and others. St Poppo, who gradually became independent of Richard
of Saint-Vanne, seems, on being appointed abbot of Stavelot, to have acted as a
sort of abbot general to a whole group of monasteries in Lotharingia. In these he
was revered and preserved admirable discipline. He was much esteemed by the
emperor, St Henry II, and he seems in many political matters to have given him
prudent counsel. He died at Marchiennes on January 25 in 1048, being seventy
years of age. St Poppo received the last anointing at the hands of Everhelm,
Abbot of Hautmont, who afterwards wrote his life, or, more correctly, revised
the longer biography composed by the monk Onulf.

A critical edition of the life which we owe to Dnulf and Abbot Everhelm is to be found
in the folio series of 1\1 G 11., Scrip/ores, vol. xi, pp. 29 I -3 I 6. See also the Acta Sanctorum
for January 25; Cauchie in the Biographie Nationale, vol. xviii, pp. 43 seq.,. and a
sketch by 1\1. Souplet, St Poppon de Deynse (1948).

26 : ST POLYCARP, BISHOP OF SMYRNA, l\1ARTYR (A.D. 155 ?)


T POLYCARP was one of the most famous of the little group of early

S bishops known as "the Apostolic Fathers", who, being the immediate


disciples of the apostles, received instruction directly from them, as it were
from the fountain head. Polycarp was a disciple of St John the Evangelist, and
was respected by the faithful to the point of profound veneration. He trained
many holy disciples, among whom were St Irenaeus and Papias. \Vhen Florinus,
who had often visited St Polycarp, had broached certain heresies, St Irenaeus
wrote to him: "These things were not taught you by the bishops who preceded
us. I could tell you the place where the blessed Polycarp sat to preach the word
of God. It is yet present to my mind with what gravity he everywhere came in
and went out; what was the sanctity of his deportment, the majesty of his counten
ance, and of his whole exterior; and what were his holy exhortations to the people.
I seem to hear him now relat~ how he conversed with John and many others who had
seen Jesus Christ, the words he had heard from their mouths. I can protest before
God that if this holy bishop had heard of any error like yours, he would have
immediately stopped his ears and cried out, according to his custom, ' Good God!
that I should be reserved to these times to hear such things!' That very instant
he would have fled out of the place in which he had heard such doctrine." We
are told that 8t Polycarp met at Rome the heretic Marcion in the streets, who,
resenting the fact that the bishop did not take that notice of him which he expected,
said, " Do not you know me ?" "Yes", answered the saint, " I know you, the
first-born of Satan." He had learned this abhorrence of those who adulterate
divine truth from his master St John, \\;'ho fled from the baths at the sight
Cerinthus.
St Polycarp kissed the chains of 8t Ignatius \vhen he passed by Smyrna on
road to his martyrdom, and Ignatius in turn recommended to him the care of
16 7
Jam~ar)' 26] THE LIVES OF 'rHE SAINTS
distant church of Antioch, supplementing this charge later on by a request that
he would write in his name to those churches of Asia to which he had not leisure
to write himself. Polycarp addressed a letter to the Philippians shortly after,
which is highly commended by St Irenaeus, St Jerome, Eusebius, Photius and
others, and is still extant. This letter, which in St Jerome's time was publicly read
in the Asiatic churches, is justly admired both for the excellent instructions it
contains and for the perspicuity of the style. Polycarp undertook a journey to
Rome to confer with Pope St Anicetus about certain points, especially about the
time of keeping Easter, for the Asiatic churches differed from others in this matter.
Anicetas could not persuade Polycarp, nor Polycarp Anicetus, and so it was agreed
that both might follow their custom without breaking the bonds of charity. St
Anicetus, to testify his respect, asked him to celebrate the Eucharist in his own
papal church. We find no further particulars concerning Polycarp recorded before
his martyrdom.
In the sixth year of Marcus Aurelius (according to Eusebius) a violent perse
cution broke out in Asia in which the faithful gave heroic proof of their courage.
Germanicus, who had been brought to Smyrna with eleven or twelve other Chris
tians, signalized himself above the rest, and animated the most timorous to suffer.
The proconsul in the amphitheatre appealed to him compassionately to have some
regard for his youth when life had so much to offer, but he provoked the beasts
to devour him, the sooner to quit this wicked world. One Quintus, a Phrygian,
quailed at the sight of the beast let loose upon him, and consented to sacrifice.
The authors of this letter justly condemn the presumption of those who offered
themselves to suffer (as Quintus had done), and say that the martyrdom of Polycarp
\vas conformable to the gospel, because he did not expose himself but waited till
the persecutors laid hands on him, as Christ our Lord taught us by His own example.
The splendid courage of Gerr11anicus and his companions only whetted the
spectators' appetite for blood. A cry was raised: "Away with the atheists!
Look for Polycarp !" The holy man, though fearless, had been prevailed upon
by his friends to conceal himself in a neighbouring village during the storm.
Three days before his martyrdom he in a vision saw his pillow on fire, from which
he understood, and foretold to his companions, that he should be burnt alive.
When the persecutors came in search of him he changed his retreat, but was
betrayed by a slave, who was threatened with the rack unless he disclosed his
whereabouts.
When the chief of police, Herod, sent horsemen by night to surround hi~
lodging, Polycarp was above stairs in bed, but refused to make his escape, saying,
" God's will be done". He went down, met them at the door, ordered them
supper, and desired only some time for prayer before he went with them. This
granted, he began his prayer standing, which he continued for two hours, recom
mending to God his own flock and the whole Church with such intense devotion
that some of those who had come to seize him repented of their errand. They
set him on an ass, and were conducting him towards the city, when he was met on
the road by Herod and Herod's father, Nicetas, who took him into their chariot
and endeavoured to persuade him to some show of compliance. "What harm ",
they urged, " is there in saying Lord Caesar, or even in offering incense, to escape
death? " The word Lord, however, was not as innocent as it sounded, and
implied a recognition of the divinity of the emperor. The bishop at first was silent,
but being pressed, he gave them resolute answer, " I am resolved not to do what
168
ST POLYCARP [January 26

you counsel me ". At these words they thrust him out of the chariot with such
violence that his leg was bruised by the fall.
The holy man went forward cheerfully to the place where the people were
assembled. Upon his entering it a voice from Heaven was heard by many, " Be
strong, Polycarp, and play the man". He was led to the tribunal of the proconsul,
who exhorted him to have regard for his age, to swear by the genius of Caesar, and
to say, " Away with the atheists", meaning the Christians. The saint, turning
towards the crowd of ungodly people in the stadium, said, with a stern countenance,
" Away with the atheists !" The proconsul repeated, " Swear by the genius of
Caesar, and I will discharge you; revile Christ". Polycarp replied, " Fourscore
and six years have I served Him and He hath done me no wrong. How then can
I blaspheme my King and my Saviour? If you require of me to swear by the
genius of Caesar, as you call it, hear my free confession: I am a Christian; and
if you desire to learn the doctrines of Christianity, appoint a time and hear me."
The proconsul said, "Persuade the people". The martyr replied, " I address
myself to you; for we are taught to give due honour to princes, so far as is consistent
with religion. But before these people I cannot justify myself." Indeed, rage
rendered them incapable of hearing him.
The proconsul threatened: "I have wild beasts". "Call for them", replied
the saint, " for we are unalterably resolved not to change from good to evil. It
is only right to pass from evil to good." The proconsul said, " If you despise the
beasts, I ",rill cause you to be consumed by fire". Polycarp answered, "You
threaten me with a fire which burneth for a season, and after a little while is
quenched; but you are ignorant of the judgement to come and of the fire of ever
lasting punishment which is prepared for the wicked. Why do you delay? Bring
against me what you please." Whilst he said this and many other things, he
appeared in a transport of joy and confidence, and his countenance shone with a
certain heavenly grace, insomuch that the proconsul himself was struck with
admiration. However, he ordered a crier to announce three times in the
middle of the stadium, " Polycarp hath confessed himself a Christian".
At this the whole multitude gave a great shout, "This is the teacher of
Asia, the father of the Christians, the destroyer of our gods, who teaches the
people not to sacrifice or to worship!" They appealed to Philip the governor to
let a lion loose upon Polycarp. He told them that it was not in his power, because
he had brought the sports to a close. Then they all, heathen and Jews, clamoured
that he should be burnt alive.
Their demand was no sooner granted than everyone ran with all speed to fetch
wood from the bath-furnaces and workshops. The pile being ready, Polycarp
put off his clothes and made to remove his shoes; he had not done this before,
because the faithful already sought the privilege of touching his flesh. The
executioners would have nailed him to the stake, but he said, " Suffer me to be as
I am. He who gives me grace to endure the fire will enable me to remain at the
pile unmoved." They therefore contented themselves with tying his hands
behind his back, and looking up towards Heaven, he prayed and said, " 0 Almighty
Lord God, Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, through whom
we have received the knowledge of thee, God of angels and powers and of all
creation, and of the whole family of the righteous who live in thy presence! I bless
thee for having been pleased to bring me to this hour, that I may receive a portion
among thy martyrs and partake of the cup of thy Christ, unto resurrection to eternal
169
January 26] THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

life, both of soul and body, in the immortality of the Holy Spirit. Arnongst whom
grant me to be received this day as a pleasing sacrifice, such as thou thyself hast
prepared, 0 true and faithful God. Wherefore for all things I praise, bless and
glorify thee, through the eternal high priest Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son, with
whom to thee and the Holy Ghost be glory now and for ever. Amen." He had
scarce said Amen when fire was set to the pile. But behold a wonder, say the
authors of this letter, seen by us who were preserved to attest it to others. The
flames, forming themselves like the sails of a ship swelled with the wind, gently
encircled the body of the martyr, which stood in the middle, resembling not
burning flesh but bread that is being baked or precious metal refined. And there
was a fragrance like the smell of incense. The order was given that Polycarp
should be pierced with a spear, which was done: and a dove came forth, and such
quantity of blood as to quench the fire.
Nicetas advised the proconsul not to give up the body to the Christians, lest,
said he, abandoning the crucified man, they should worship Polycarp. The Jews
suggested this, " not knowing", say the authors of the letter, " that we can never
forsake Christ, nor worship any other. For Him we worship as the Son of God,
but we love the martyrs as His disciples and imitators, for the great love they bore
their King and Master." The centurion, seeing the contest raised by the Jews,
placed the body in the middle and burnt it to ashes. " We afterward took up
the bones", say they, " more precious than the richest jewels of gold, and laid them
decently in a place at which may God grant us to assemble with joy to celebrate
the birthday of the martyr." Thus wrote these disciples and eye-witnesses. It
was at two o'clock in the afternoon of February 23 in 155 or 166 or some other
year that 8t Polycarp received his crown.

An immense literature, of ,vhich we cannot attempt to take account here, has grown up
in connection with the history of St Polycarp. The principal points round which discussion
has centred are: (I) the authenticity of the letter written in the name of the church of
Smyrna describing his martyrdom; (2) the authenticity of the letter addressed to him by
St Ignatius of Antioch; (3) the authenticity of Polycarp's letter to the Philippians; (4) the
trustworthiness of the information concerning him and his relations with the apostle 5t John
supplied by St Irenaeus and other early writers; (5) the date of his martyrdom; (6) the
value and bearing of the LIfe of Polycarp attributed to Pionius. With regard to the first
four points, it may be said that the verdict of the best authorities upon Christian origins is
now practically unanimous in favour of the orthodox tradition. The conclusions so patiently
worked out by Bishop Lightfoot and Funk have in the end been accepted with hardly a
dissentient voice. The documents named may therefore be regarded as among the most
precious memorials preserved to us which shed light upon the early developments of the life
of the Church. For English readers they are accessible in the invaluable work of Lightfoot,
The Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius and Pol.vcarp, 3 vols.; or in the one volume abridgement
edited by J. R. Harmer (also with full translation), The Apostolic Fathers (189 I). As regards
the date of the martyrdom, earlier writers, in accordance with an entry in the Chronicle of
Eusebius, took it for granted that Polycarp suffered in 166; but discussiQns have led almost
all recent critics to decide for 155 or 156. See, however, J. Chapman, who in the Revue
Benedictine, vol. xix, pp. 145 seq., giveo:.; reasons for still adhering to 166; and H. Gregoire
in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxix (1951), pp. 1-38, where he argues at length for 177. As
for point (6), the Life by Pionius, which describes Polycarp as in his boyhood a slave ransomed
by a compassionate lady, there is now an equally general agreement among scholars that this
narrative is a pure '''ork of fiction, though it may possibly be as old as the last decade of the
fourth century. An attempt has been made by P. Corssen and E. Schwartz to demonstrate
that the L~fe of Polycarp is a genuine work of the martyr 5t Pionius, who suffered in 180 or
250; but this contention has been convincingly refuted by Fr Delehaye in his Les passions
des martyrs et les genres litteraires (1921), pp. I I -59. There is an excellent article on St
S1' PAULA LJanuary 20
Polycarp by H. T. Andrews in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. A handy text
and translation of the martyrdom is Kirsopp Lake's in the Loeb Classical Library, The
Apostolic Fathers, vol. ii; and there is a translation only in the Ancient Christian \Vriters
series, vol. vi. On the date see further I-I. I. lVlarrou in Ana/ecta Bol1andiana, yol. lxxi
(1953), pp. 5- 20 .

ST PAULA, WIDOW

THIS illustrious pattern of widows surpassed all other Roman matrons In riches,
birth and endowments of mind. She was born on May 5 in 34i. The blood of
the Scipios, the Gracchi and Paulus Aemilius ran in her veins through her mother
Blesilla. Her father claimed to trace his pedigree back to Agamemnon, and her
husband Toxotius his to Aeneas. By him she had a son, also called Toxotius, and
four daughters, Blesilla, Paulina, Eustochium and Rufina. She shone as a pattern
of virtue in the married state, and both she and her husband edified Rome by their
good example; but her virtue was not without its alloy, a certain degree of love of
the world being almost inseparable from a position such as hers. She did not at
first discern the secret attachments of her heart, but her eyes were opened by the
death of her husband, when she \vas thirty-two years of age. Her grief was
immoderate till such time as she was encouraged to devote herself totally to God
by her friend St Marcella, a widow who then edified Rome by her penitential life.
Paula thenceforward lived in a most austere way. Her food \vas simple, she drank
no wine; she slept on the floor with no bedding but sackcloth; she renounced
all social life and amusements; and everything it was in her power to dispose of
she gave away to the poor. She avoided every distraction which interrupted her
good works; but she gave hospitality to St Epiphanius of Salamis and to Paulinus
of Antioch when they came to Rome; and through them she came to know St
Jerome, with whom she was closely associated in the service of God during his
stay in ROIne under Pope 8t Danlasus.
Paula's eldest daughter, St Blesilla, dying suddenly, her mother felt this
bereavement intensely; and St Jerome, who had just returned to Bethlehem,
wrote to comfort her, and also to reprove her for \vhat he regarded as an excess of
mourning for one who had gone to her heavenly reward. The second daughter,
Paulina, was married to 8t Pammachius, and died seven years before her mother.
St Eustochium, the third, was Paula's inseparable companion. Rufina died in
youth. The more progress St Paula made in the relish of heavenly things, the
more insupportable to her became the tumultuous life of the city. She sighed
after the desert, longed to live in a hermitage where her heart would have no other
occupation than the thought of God. She determined to leave Rome, ready to
leave home, family and friends; never did mother love her children more tenderly,
yet the tears of the child Toxotius and of the older Rufina could not hold her back.
She sailed from Italy with Eustochium in 385, and after visiting St Epiphanius in
Cyprus, met St Jerome and others at Antioch. The party made a pilgrimage to
all the holy places of Palestine and on to Egypt to visit the monks and anchorets
there; a year later they arrived in Bethlehem, and 8t Paula and St Eustochium
settled there under the direction of St Jerome.
Here the two women lived in a cottage until they were able to build a hospice,
a monastery for men and a three-fold convent for women. This last properly
made but one house, for all assembled in the same chapel day and night for divine
service together, and on Sundays in the church which stood hard by. Their food
17 1
January 26] TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAIN1'S
was coarse and scanty, their fasts frequent and severe. All the sisters worked with
their hands, and made clothes for themselves and others. All wore a similar
modest habit, and used no linen. No man was ever suffered to set foot within
their doors. Paula governed with a charity full of discretion, encouraging them
by her own example and instruction, being always among the first at every duty,
taking part, like Eustochium, in all the work of the house. If anyone showed
herself talkative or passionate, she was separated from the rest, ordered to walk
the last in order, to pray outside the door, and for some time to eat alone. Paula
extended her love of poverty to her buildings and churches, ordering them all to
be built low, and without anything costly or magnificent. She said that money
is better expended upon the poor, who are the living members of Christ.
According to Palladius, St Paula had the care of St Jerome and-as might be
expected-found it no easy responsibility. But she was also of considerable help
to him in his biblical and other work, for she had got Greek from her father and
now learned enough Hebrew at any rate to be able to sing the psalms in their
original tongue. She too profited sufficiently by the teaching of her master to be
able to take an intelligent interest in the unhappy dispute with Bishop John of
Jerusalem over Origenism; but her last years were overcast by this and other
troubles such as the grave financial stringency that her generosity had brought
upon her. Paula's son Toxotius married Laeta, the daughter of a pagan priest,
but herself a Christian. Both were faithful imitators of the holy life of our saint.
Their daughter, Paula the younger, was sent to Bethlehem, to be under the care
of her grandmother, whom she afterwards succeeded in the government of her
religious house. For the education of this child St Jerome sent to Laeta some
excellent instructions, which parents can never read too often. God called St
Paula to Himself after a life of fifty-six years. In her last illness she repeated
almost without intermission certain verses of the psalms which express an ardent
desire of the heavenly Jerusalem and of being with God. \Vhen she was no longer
able to speak, she made the sign of the cross on her lips, and died in peace on
January 26, 404.
Practically all that we kno\\T of St Paula is deriyed from the letters of St Jerome, more
particularly from letter 108, \\'hich might be described as a biography; it is printed in Migne,
P.L., vol. xxii, cc. 878-906, and in the Acta Sanctoru1n for January 26. See also the charming
monograph bOy F. J.lagrange, Histoire de Ste Paule, which has gone through many editions
since 1868; and R. Genier, Ste Paule (1917).

ST CONAN, BISHOP (SEVENTH CENTURY?)


THERE are a good many place-names which seem to bear witness to the existence
of a Celtic saint named Conan or Conon, but there is no real evidence of cultus,
and the statements which have been made about him are by no means consistent
with each other. In certain breviary lessons of late date it is said that the hermit
St Fiacre, born in Scotland or Ireland, was in his boyhood committed to the care
of St Conan, and learnt from him those virtues which afterwards made the name
of Fiacre famous. St Conan, v.re are told, passed from Scotland to the Isle of
Man, and completed the work, begun by St Patrick or some of his disciples, of
planting Christianity in that place. He is also commonly called bishop of Sodor,
but the very name is an anachronism, for there is no doubt that Sodor is a corrup
tion of the Norse term Suthr-eyar (Southern Islands), which was used by the
Vikings for the islands off the west coast of Great Britain in opposition to the
17 2
ST ALBERIC rJanuary 26
Shetland and Orkney groups, which were northern islands. But the Viking raids
did not begin before the close of the eighth century, and the name Sodor as the
designation of an episcopal see cannot have been introduced until much later than
that. It is quite possible, however, that Conan may have received episcopal
consecration, and may have laboured in Man and the Hebrides.
See KSS., pp. 307-308; LIS., vol. i, p. 447; Olaf Kolsrud, "The Celtic Bishops in
the Isle of Man" in the Zeitschriftf. Celtische Philologie, vol. ix (19 13), pp. 357-379.

ST ALBERIC, ABBOT OF CITEAUX, CO-FOUNDER OF THE CISTERCIAN


ORDER (A.D. 119)
THE experiences of St Alberic in his efforts to find a religious home in accord with
his aspirations after high perfection throw rather a lurid light upon the untamed
temper of the recruits who formed the raw material of monastic life in the eleventh
century. We know nothing of his boyhood, but we hear of him first as one of a
group of seven hermits who were trying to serve God in the forest of Collan, not
far from Chatillon-sur-Seine. There was a certain Abbot Robert, a man of good
family, who in spite of a previous failure with a cOInmunity of unruly monks was
in high repute for virtue. Him the hermits with some difficulty obtained for a
superior, and in 1075 they moved not far off to Molesmes, where they built a
monastery, with Robert for abbot and Alberic for prior. Benefactions flowed in
upon them, their numbers grew, but religious fervour decayed. In time a turbulent
majority set monastic discipline at defiance. Robert lost heart and withdrew
elsewhere. Alberic struggled on to maintain order, but things came to such a
pass that the monks beat and imprisoned their prior, and eventually, if we may
trust our rather confused authorities, Alberic and Stephen Harding, the Englishman,
could stand it no longer, and also quitted Molesmes. Probably, when the news
of these scandals leaked out, the alms of the faithful began to dry up and the pinch
made itself felt. In any case, amendment was promised, so that Robert and
Alberic and Stephen were prevailed upon to return; but the old troubles and
relaxed observance soon reappeared, and Alberic seems to have been the leading
spirit in persuading a group of the more fervent to establish elsewhere a new
community living under a stricter rule.
In the year 1098 twenty-one monks took up their abode in the wilderness of
Citeaux, some little distance to the south of Dijon and more than seventy miles
from Molesmes. These were the first beginnings of the great Cistercian Order.
Robert, Alberic and Stephen were elected respectively abbot, prior and sub-prior,
but shortly afterwards St Robert returned to the community he had quitted.
Thus Alberic became abbot in his place, and it is to him that some of the more
distinctive features of the Cistercian reform must probably be ascribed; this way
of life aimed at a restoration of primitive Benedictine observance, but \vith many
added austerities. One of its external features was the adoption for the choir
monks of a white habit (with a black scapular and hood), a change said to have been
made in consequence of a vision of our Lady which was vouchsafed to St Alberic.
A more notable change was the recognition of a special class of fratres conversi, or
lay brothers, to whom the more laborious work, and particularly the field work in
the distant granges, was entrusted; but manual work was normal for all the monks,
their choir observances were much shortened and simplified, and more time was
available for private prayer.
173
January 26] ~rHE LIVES OF 1~1~E SAIN1~S

Alberic's rule as abbot was not very prolonged, and much of that which was most
characteristic in the final organization at Citeaux may not improbably be traced to
his successor, St Stephen. It is Stephen also who, in an address delivered after
the death of Alberic (January 26, 1109), has left us almost the only personal note
we possess concerning him. "All of us ", he said, " have alike a share in this
great loss, and I am but a poor comforter, who myself need comfort. Ye have lost
a venerable father and ruler of your souls; I have lost, not only a father and ruler,
but a friend, a fellow soldier and a chief warrior in the battles of the Lord, whom
our venerable Father Robert, from the very cradle of our monastic institute, had
brought up in one and the same convent, in admirable learning and piety. . . . \Ve
have amongst us this dear body and singular pledge of our beloved father, and he
himself has carried us all away with him in his mind with an affectionate love. . . .
The warrior has attained his reward, the runner has grasped his prize, the victor
has won his crown; he who has taken possession prays for a palm for us. . . . Let
us not mourn for the soldier who is at rest; let us mourn for ourselves \vho are
placed in the front of the battle, and let us turn our sad and dejected speeches into
prayers, begging our father who is in triumph not to suffer the roaring lion and
savage enemy to triumph over us."

See Acta Sanetorum, January 26; J. B. Dalgairns, Lzfe of St Stephen Harding, and other
references given herein under St Stephen on April 17.

ST EYSTEIN, ARCHBISHOP OF NIDAROS (A.D. 1188)

IN the year 1152 an English cardinal, Nicholas Breakspeare (afterwards to be pope


as Adrian IV), visited Norway as legate of the Holy See, and gave a new organiza
tion to the Church in that country, consisting of a metropolitan see at Nidaros
(Trondhjem) with ten bishoprics.* Five years later the second archbishop of
Nidaros was appointed, in the person of Eystein Erlandsson, chaplain to King
Inge, an appointment which violated the regulations for canonical appointments
laid down by Cardinal Breakspeare. But it proved to be the life work of the new
archbishop to maintain the Church's right of conducting its affairs without inter
ference by " the rich and great", and finally to bring the Norwegian church into
the general pattern of the west European Christendom of that day. After his
appointment Eystein made his way to Rome, but it is not known exactly when or
where he was consecrated bishop by Pope Alexander III and received the pallium.
In any case he did not get back home till late in 1161, and then he came as papal
legate a [aiere. One of his first interests was to finish the enlargement of the
cathedral, Christ Church, of Nidaros, and some of his building still remains. In
the account which he wrote of St Olaf, St Eystein relates his remarkably speedy
recovery from an accident sustained by him when a scaffolding on this building
collapsed: he attributes it to Olaf's intercession.
After the death of King Haakon II, Jarl Erling Skakke wanted to get his own
eight-year-old son Magnus recognized as king of Norway. And in 1164, probably
in return for concessions touching ecclesiastical revenue, A.rchbishop Eystein
anointed and crowned the child at Bergen, the first royal coronation in Norwegian
:I: Among them \vas Suderoyene, i.e. the western isles of Scotland and l\Ian, which
remained suffragan to Trondhjem till the fourteenth century: the name survi\ es in the
" Sodor and Man" diocese of the Anglican Church to-day. Other sees were in the northern
islands, Greenland and Iceland.

174
ST EYSTEIN [January 26

history. Relations between the archbishop and the king's father continued to be
close, and St Eystein was able to get accepted a code of laws some of which were of
great iInportance for the discipline and good order of the Church. But one
matter which he does not seem to have tackled, at any rate directly, was clerical
celibacy, which was not observed in the Scandinavian churches at that time (cf.
the contemporary St Thorlac in Iceland). It was perhaps for this reason that St
Eystein founded communities of Augustinian canons regular, to set an example to
the parochial clergy.
Most of St Eystein's activities as they have come down to us are matters of the
general history of his country rather than his own life, and were always directed
towards the free action of the spiritual power among a unified people. This
brought him into collision with Magnus's rival for the throne, Sverre, and in 1181
the archbishop fled to England; from whence he is said to have excommunicated
Sverre. Jocelyn of Brakelond, the chronicler of the abbey of St Edmundsbury in
Suffolk, writes: "\Vhile the abbacy was vacant the archbishop of Norway,
Augustine [the name of which Eystein is the Scandinavian form; cf. the English
, Austin '], dwelt with us in the abbot's lodgings, and by command of the king
received ten shillings every day from the revenues of the abbot. He assisted us
greatly to gain freedom of election...." It was on this occasion that the famous
Samson was elected abbot. It is significant that St Eystein had a strong devotion
for St Thomas Becket, which later became common in the Norwegian church,
and it is reasonable to suppose that he visited his shrine at Canterbury; and
it seems that it was in England that he wrote The Passion and Miracles of the
Blessed Olaf.
Eystein returned to Norway in 1183, and he was in his ship in Bergen harbour
when Sverre attacked Magnus's ships there and forced the king to flee to Denmark.
In the folluwing year l\lagnus lost his life in a renewal of the struggle, and it may
be assumed that the archbishop was reconciled with King Sverre. Certainly when
Eystein was on his death-bed four years later Sverre visited him, and Sverre's Saga
says, "They were then altogether reconciled and each forgave the other those
things which had been between them."
St Eystein died on January 26, 1188, and in 1229 a synod at Nidaros declared
his sanctity. This decree has never been confirmed at Rome, although the pre
liminary investigations have been begun several times but have always petered out
for various reasons. Matthew of Westminster in the thirteenth century refers to
him as a man whose holiness was attested by outstanding and authentic miracles.
As has been said, St Eystein's work was to break the hold of a semi-barbarous
nobility over the Church in Norway and to set it more free to work peacefully for
her children. This meant that his own life was one of devoted conflict, in which
he learned by experience that, in the words of his friend Theodoric, " It is one
thing to control the rashness of the wicked by means of earthly force and the
sword, but quite another to lead souls gently with the tenderness and care of a
shepherd."

The sources for the life of St Eystein have mostly to be extracted from documents of the
general history of Nor\vay, such as Sverre's Saga. What is known of him is fitted into a
more detailed account of the historical background by Mrs Sigrid Undset in her Saga of
Saints (1934). The manuscript of Eystein's Passio et miracula beati Olavi was found in
England and edited by F. l\letcalfe (1881). This manuscript once belonged to Fountains
Abbey.

175
January 26] TI-IE LIVES OF rrHE SAINT'S

ST MARGARET OF HUNGARY, VIRGIN

VERY great interest attaches to the life of 8t Margaret of Hungary, because by rare
good fortune we possess in her case a complete copy of the depositions of the
witnesses who gave evidence in the process of beatification begun less than seven
years after her death. No doubt the fact that she was the daughter of Bela IV,
King of Hungary, a champion of Christendom at a time when central Europe was
menaced with utter destruction by the inroads of the Tatars, has emphasized the
details of her extraordinary life of self-crucifixion. The Dominican Order, too,
which was much befriended by Bela and his consort Queen Mary Lascaris, was
necessarily interested in the cause of one of its earliest and most eminent daughters.
But no one can read the astounding record of Margaret's asceticism and charity as
recounted by sorne fifty witnesses who were her everyday companions without
realizing that even if she had been the child of a beggar, such courage as hers-one
is almost tempted to call it the fanaticism of her warfare against the world and the
flesh--could not but have a spiritualizing influence upon all who came in contact
with her. Bela IV has been styled "the last man of genius whom the Arpads
produced", but there were qualities in his daughter which, if determination counts
for anything in human affairs, showed that the stock was not yet effete.
Margaret had been born at an hour when the fortunes of Hungary were at a
low ebb, and we are told that her parents had promised to dedicate the babe entirely
to God if victory should wait upon their arms. The boon was in substance granted,
and the child at age of three was committed to the charge of the community of
Dominican nuns at Veszprem. Somewhat later, Bela and his queen built a convent
for their daughter on an island in the Danube near Buda, and there, when she was
twelve years old, she made her profession in the hands of Bd Humbert of Romans.
Horrifying as are the details of the young sister's thirst for penance and of her
determination to conquer all natural repugnances, they are supported by such a
mass of concurrent testimony that it is impossible to question the truth of what we
read. That she was exceptionally favoured in the matter of good looks seems to
be proved by the determination of Ottokar, King of Bohemia, to seek her hand
even after he had seen her in her religious dress. No doubt a dispensation could
easily have been obtained for such a marriage, and Bela for political reasons was
inclined to favour it. But Margaret declared that she would cut off her nose and
lips rather than consent to leave the cloister, and no one who reads the account
which her sisters gave of her resolution in other matters can doubt that she would
have been as good as her word.
Although the maj~rity of the inmates of this Danubian convent were the daugh
ters of noble famtlies, Princess Margaret seems to have been conscious of a tendency
to treat her with special consideration. Her protest took the form of an almost
extravagant choice of all that was menial, repulsive, exhausting and insanitary.
Her charity and tenderness in rendering the most nauseating services to the sick
were marvellous, but many of the details are such as cannot be set out before the
fastidious modern reader. She had an intense sympathy for the squalid lives of
the poor, but she carried it so far that, like another 8t Benedict Joseph Labre, she
chose to imitate them in her personal habits, and her fellow nuns confessed that
there were times when they shrank from coming into too intimate contact with the
noble princess, their sister in religion. One gets the impression that Margaret's
love of God and desire of self-immolation were associated with a certain element
ST 'MARC;ARET OF HUNC;ARY [January 26
of wilfulness. She would have been better, or at least she would assuredly have
lived longer, if she had had a strong-minded superior or confessor to take her
resolutely in hand; but it was perhaps inevitable that the daughter of the royal
founders to whom the convent owed everything should almost always have been
able to get her own way.
On the other hand, there are many delightful human touches in the account her
sisters gave of her. The sacristan tells how Margaret would stroke her hand and
coax her to leave the door of the choir open after Compline, that she might spend the
night before the Blessed Sacrament when she ought to have been sleeping. She
was confident in the power of prayer to effect what she desired, and she carried this
almost to the point of a certain imperiousness in the requests she made to the
Almighty. Several of the nuns recall an incident which happened at Veszprem
when she was only ten years old. Two Dominican friars came there on a short
visit, and Margaret begged them to prolong their stay. They replied that it was
necessary that they should return at once; to which she responded, " I shall ask
God that it may rain so hard that you cannot get away". Although they protested
that no amount of rain would detain them, she went to the chapel, and such a
downpour occurred that they were unable, after all, to leave Veszprem as they had
intended. This recalls the well-known story of St Scholastica and St Benedict,
and there is in any caSE no need to invoke a supernatural intervention; but there
are so many such incidents vouched for by the sisters in their evidence on oath that
it is difficult to stretch coincidence so far as to explain them all. Though we hear
of ecstasies and of a great number of miracles, there is a certain moderation in the
depositions which inspires confidence in the good faith of the witnesses. An
incident which is mentioned by nearly all is the saving, at St Margaret's prayer,
of a maid-servant who had fallen down a well. Amongst the other depositions
we have that of the maid, Agnes, herself. As.ked in general what she knew of
Margaret, she was content to say that" she was good and holy and edifying in her
conduct, and showed greater humility than we serving-maids". As to the accident,
we learn from her that the evening was so dark that" if anyone had slapped her face
she could not have seen who did it ", and that the orifice of the well was quite open
and without a rail, and that after falling she sank to the bottom three times, but at
last managed to clutch the wall of the well until they lowered a rope and pulled
her out.
There can be little room for doubt that Margaret shortened her life by her
austerities. At the end of every Lent she was in a pitiable state from fasting,
deprivation of sleep and neglect of her person. She put the crown on her indis
cretions on Maundy Thursday by washing the feet (this probably she claimed as a
sort of privilege which belonged to her as the daughter of the royal founders) not
only of all the choir nuns, seventy in number, but of all the servants as well. She
wiped their feet, the nuns tell us, with the veil which she wore on her head. In
spite of this fatigue and of the fact that at this season she took neither food nor sleep,
she complained to some of the sisters in her confidence that" Good Friday was the
shortest day of the year". She had no time for all the prayers she wanted to say

This neglect of cleanliness was traditionally part of the penitential discipline, and was
symbolized by the ashes receiyed on Ash Wednesday. 1~he old English name for Maundy
Thursday was" Sheer Thursday", 'when the penitents obtained absolution, trimmed their
hair and beards, and washed in preparation for Easter. It was also sometimes called
capitila'l.'iuUi (head-washing).
177
January 27] THE LIVES OF 1'HE SAINTS
and for all the acts of penance she wanted to perform. St Margaret seems to have
died on January 18, 1270, at the age of twenty-eight; the process of beatification
referred to above was never finished, but the cultus was approved in 1789 and she
was canonized in 1943.
See the Acta Sanctorum for January 28; but more especially G. Fraknoi, Monumenta
Romana Episcopatus Vesprimiensis, \'01. i, pp. 163-38], where the depositions of the \\'itnesses
are printed in full. C/. also M. C. de Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines, pp. 69-89;
and Margaret, Princess 0.1 Hungary (1945), by " S. 1\1. C."

27 : ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE AND


DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH (A.D. 407)

HIS incomparable teacher, on account of the fluency and sweetness of his

T eloquence, obtained after his death the surname of Chrysostom, or Golden


Mouth. But his piety and his undaunted courage are titles far more
glorious, by which he may claim to be ranked among the greatest pastors of the
Church. He was born about the year 347 at Antioch in Syria, the only son of
Secundus, commander of the imperial troops. His mother, Anthusa, left a widow
at twenty, divided her time between the care of her family and her exercises of
devotion. Her example made such an impression on our saint's master, a cele
brated pagan sophist, that he could not forbear crying out, "What wonderful
women are found among the Christians!" Anthusa provided for her son the
ablest masters which the empire at that time afforded. Eloquence was esteemed
the highest accomplishment, and John studied that art under Libanius, the most
famous orator of the age; and such was his proficiency that even in his youth he
excelled his masters. Libanius being asked on his deathbed who ought to succeed
him in his school, " John ", said he, " would have been my choice, had not the
Christians stolen him from us."
According to a common custom of those days young John was not baptized
till he was over twenty years old, being at the time a law student. Soon after,
together with his friends Basil, Theodore (afterwards bishop of Mopsuestia) and
others, he attended a sort of school for monks, where they studied under Diodorus
of Tarsus; and in 374 he joined one of the loosely-knit communities of hermits
among the mountains south of Antioch. He afterwards wrote a vivid account of
their austerities and trials. He passed four years under the direction of a veteran
Syrian monk, and afterwards two years in a cave as a solitary. The dampness of
this abode brought on a dangerous illness, and for the recovery of his health he
was obliged to return into the city in 381. He was ordained deacon by St Meletius
that very year, and received the priesthood from Bishop Flavian in 386, vrho at the
same time constituted him his preacher, John being then about forty. He dis
charged the duties of the office for twelve years, supporting during that time a
heavy load of responsibility as the aged bishop's deputy. The instruction and care
of the poor he regarded as the first obligation of all, and he never ceased in his
sermons to recommend their cause and to impress on the people the duty of
almsgiving. Antioch, he supposes, contained at that time one hundred thousand
Christian souls and as many pagans; these he fed with the \\Tord of God, preaching
several days in the week, and frequently several times on the same day.
17 8
ST JOI--lN CHRYSOSTOM [Ja1luary 27

The Emperor Theodosius I, finding himself obliged to levy a new tax on his
subjects because of his war with Magnus Maximus, the Antiochenes rioted and
vented their discontent on the emperor's statue, and those of his father, sons and
late consort, breaking them to pieces. The magistrates were helpless. But as
soon as the fury was over and they began to reflect on the probable consequences
of their outburst, the people were seized with terror and their fears were heightened
by the arrival of two officers from Constantinople to carry out the emperor's orders
for punishment. In spite of his age, Bishop Flavian set out in the worst weather
of the year to implore the imperial clemency for his flock, and Theodosius was
touched by his appeal: an amnesty was accorded to the delinquent citizens of
Antioch. Meanwhile St John had been delivering perhaps the most memorable
series of sermons which marked his oratorical career, the famous twenty-one
homilies " On the Statutes". They manifest in a wonderful way the syrnpathy
between the preacher and his audience, and also his own consciousness of the power
which he wielded for good. There can be no question that the Lent of 387, during
which these discourses were delivered, marked a turning-point in Chrysostom's
career, and that from that time forward his oratory became, even politically, one
of the great forces by which the Eastern empire was swayed. After the storm he
continued his labours with unabated energy, but before very long God was pleased
to call him to glorify His name upon a new stage, where He prepared for his virtue
other trials and other crowns.
T\ectarius, Archbishop of Constantinople, dying in 397, the Emperor Arcadius,
at the suggestion of Eutropius, his chamberlain, resolved to procure the electlun
of John to the see of that city. He therefore despatched an order to the count of
the East, enjoining him to send John to Constantinople, but to do so without making
the news public, lest his intended removal should cause a sedition. The count
repaired to Antioch, and desiring the saint to accompany him out of the city to the
tombs of the martyrs, he there delivered him to an officer who, taking him into his
chariot, conveyed him with all possible speed to the imperial city. Theophilus,
Archbishop of Alexandria, a man of proud and turbulent spirit, had come thither
to recommend a nominee of his own for the vacancy; but he had to desist from
his intrigues, and John was consecrated by him on February 26 in 398.
'Vhen regulating his domestic concerns, the saint cut down the expenses which
his predecessors had considered necessary to maintain their dignity, and these
sums he applied to the relief of the poor and supported many hospitals. His own
household being settled in good order, the next thing he took in hand was the
reformation of his clergy. This he forwarded by zealous exhortations and by
disciplinary enactments, which, while very necessary, seem in their severity to have
been lacking in tact. But to give these his endeavours their due force, he lived
himself as an exact model of what he inculcated on others. The immodesty of
women in their dress in that gay capital aroused him to indignation, and he showed
how false and absurd was their excuse in saying that they meant no harm. Thus
by his zeal and eloquence St John tamed many sinners, converting, moreover, many
idolaters and heretics. His mildness towards sinners was censured by the Nova
tians; for he invited them to repentance with the compassion of a most tender
father, and was accustomed to cry out, " If you have fallen a second time, or even
a thousand times into sin, come to me, and you shall be healed". But he was firm
and severe in maintaining discipline, and to impenitent sinners he was inflexible.
One Good Friday many Christians ,vent to the races, and on Holy Saturday
January 27] THE LIVES OF l'HE SAINTS
crowded to the games in the stadium. The good bishop was pierced to the quick,
and on Easter Sunday he preached an impassioned sermon, " Against the Games
and Shows of the Theatre and Circus ". Indignation made him not so much as
mention the paschal solemnity, and his exordium was a most moving appeal. A
large number of Chrysostom's sermons still exist, and they amply support the view
of many that he was the greatest preacher who ever lived. But it must be admitted
that his language was at times, especially in his later years, excessively violent and
provocative. As has been observed, he " sometimes almost shrieks at his delin
quent empresses"; and one has a painful feeling that his invective in face of
undoubted provocation from many Jews must have been partly responsible for the
frequent bloody collisions between them and Christians in Antioch. Not all
Chrysostom's opponents were blameworthy men: there were undoubtedly good
and earnest Christians amongst those who disagreed with him-he who became
St Cyril of Alexandria among them.
Another good work which absorbed a large share of the archbishop's activities
was the founding of new and fervent communities of devout women. Among the
holy widows who placed themselves under the direction of this great master of
saints, the most illustrious, perhaps, was the truly noble St Olympias. Neither was
his pastoral care confined to his own flock; he extended it to remote countries.
He sent a bishop to instruct the wandering Scythians; another, an admirable man,
to the Goths. Palestine, Persia and many other distant provinces felt the beneficent
influence of his zeal. He was himself remarkable for an eminent spirit of prayer,
and he was particularly earnest in inculcating this duty. He even exhorted the
laity to rise for the midnight office together with the clergy. "Many artisans",
said he, " get up at night to labour, and soldiers keep vigil as sentries; cannot you
do as much to praise God ?" Great also was the tenderness with which he dis
coursed on the divine love which is displayed in the holy Eucharist, and exhorted
the faithful to the frequent use of that heavenly sacrament. The public concerns
of the state often claimed a share in the interest and intervention of St Chrysostom,
as when the chamberlain and ex-slave Eutropius fell from p(nver in 399, on which
occasion he preached a famous sermon while the hated Eutropius cowered in
sanctuary beneath the altar in full view of the congregation. The bishop entreated
the people to forgive a culprit whom the emperor, the chief person injured, was
desirous to forgive; he asked them how they could beg of God the forgiveness 0 f
their own sins if they did not forgive one who stood in need of mercy and time for
repentance.
It remained for St Chrysostom to glorify God by his sufferings, as he had
already done by his labours, and, if we contemplate the mystery of the Cross with
the eyes of faith, we shall find him greater in the persecutions he sustained than
in all the other occurrences of his life. His principal ecclesiastical adversary
was Archbishop Theophilus of Alexandria, already mentioned, who had several
grievances against his brother of Constantinople. A no less dangerous enemy
was the empress Eudoxia. John was accused of referring to her as " Jezebel ",
and when he had preached a sermon against the profligacy and vanity of so many
women it was represented by some as an attack leyelled at the empress. Knowing
the sense of grievance entertained by Theophilus, Eudoxia, to be revenged for the
supposed affront to herself, conspired with him to bring about Chrysostom's
deposition. Theophilus landed at Constantinople in June 403, with several
Egyptian bishops; he refused to see or lodge with John; and got together a cabal
180
ST JOHN CHRYSOS1~OM [January 27
of thirty-six bishops in a house at Chalcedon called The Oak. The main articles
in the impeachment were: that John had deposed a deacon for beating a servant;
that he had called several of his clergy reprobates; had deposed bishops outside
his own province; had sold things belonging to the church; that nobody knew
what became of his revenues; that he ate alone; and that he gave holy communion
to persons who were not fasting-all which accusations were either false or frivolous.
John held a legal council of forty bishops in the city at the same time, and refused
to appear before that at The Oak. So the cabal proceeded to a sentence of
deposition against him, which they sent to the Emperor Arcadius, accusing him
at the same time of treason, apparently in having called the empress cc Jezebel ".
Thereupon the emperor issued an order for his banishment.
For three days Constantinople was in an uproar, and Chrysostom delivered a
vigorous manifesto from his pulpit. cc Violent stornlS encompass me on all sides:
yet I am without fear, because I stand upon a rock. Though the sea roar and the
waves rise high, they cannot overwhelm the ship of Jesus Christ. I fear not death,
which is my gain; nor banishment, for the whole earth is the Lord's; nor the
loss of goods, for I came naked into the world, and I can carry nothing out of it."
He declared that he was ready to lay down his life for his flock, and that if he suffered
now, it was only because he had neglected nothing that would help towards the
salvation of their souls. Then he surrendered himself, unknown to the people,
and an official conducted him to Praenetum in Bithynia. But his first exile was
short. The city was slightly shaken by an earthquake. This terrified the super
stitious Eudoxia, and she implored Arcadius to recall John; she got leave to send
a letter the same day, asking him to return and protesting her own innocence of
his banishment. All the city went out to meet him, and the Bosphorus blazed
with torches. Theophilus and his party fled by night.
But the fair weather did not last long. A silver statue of the empress having
been erected before the great church of the Holy Wisdom, the dedication of it was
celebrated with public games which, besides disturbing the liturgy, were an occasion
of disorder, impropriety and superstition. St Chrysostom had often preached
against licentious shows, and the very place rendered these the more inexcusable.
And so, fearing lest his silence should be construed as an approbation of the alJuse,
he with his usual freedom and courage spoke loudly against it. The vanity of the
Empress Eudoxia made her take the affront to herself, and his enemies were invited
back. Theophilus dared not come, but he sent three deputies. This second cabal
appealed to certain canons of an Arian council of Antioch, made to exclude St
Athanasius, by which it was ordained that no bishop who had been deposed by a
synod should return to his see till he was restored by another synod. Arcadius
sent John an order to withdraw. He refused to forsake a church committed to
him by God unless forcibly compelled to leave it. The emperor sent troops to
drive the people out of the churches on Holy Saturday, and they were polluted with
blood and all manner of outrages. The saint wrote to Pope St Innocent I, begging
him to invalidate all that had been done, for the miscarriage of justice h~d
been notorious. He also wrote to beg the concurrence of other bishops of the
West. The pope wrote to Theophilus exhorting him to appear before a council,
where sentence should be given according to the canons of Nicaea. He also
addressed letters to Chrysostom, to his flock and several of his friends, in the hope
of redressing these evils by a new council, as did also the Western emperor,
Honorius. But Arcadius and Eudoxia found means to prevent any such assembly,
181
JOlluar)' 27] 1'HE LIVES OF ~rHE SAINT'S
the mere prospect of which filled Theophilus and other ringleaders of his faction
with alarm.
Chrysostom was suffered to remain at Constantinople two months after Easter.
On Thursday in \Vhit-week the emperor sent an order for his banishment. The
holy man bade adieu to the faithful bishops, and took his leave of St Olympias and
the other deaconesses, who were overwhelmed with grief. He then left the church
by stealth to prevent a sedition, and was conducted into Bithynia, arriving at
Nicaea on June 20, 404. After his departure a fire broke out and burnt down the
great church and the senate house. The cause of the conflagration was unknown,
and many of the saint's supporters were put to the torture on this account, but no
discovery was ever made. The Emperor Arcadius chose Cucusus, a little place in
the Taurus mountains of Armenia, for St John's exile. He set out from Nicaea
in July, and suffered very great hardships from the heat, fatigue and the brutality
of his guards. After a seventy days' journey he arrived at Cucusus, where the good
bishop of the place vied with his people in showing him every mark of kindness
and respect. Some of the letters which Chrysostom addressed from exile to St
Olympias and others have survived, and it was to her that he wrote his treatise on
the theme" That no one can hurt him who does not hurt himself".
Meanwhile Pope Innocent and the Emperor Honorius sent five bishops to
Constantinople to arrange for a council, requiring that in the meantime Chrysostom
should be restored to his see. But the deputies were cast into prison in Thrace,
for the party of Theophilus (Eudoxia had died in childbed in October) saw that
if a council were held they would inevitably be condemned. They also got an
order from Arcadius that John should be taken farther away, to Pityus at the
eastern end of the Black Sea, and two officers were sent to convey him thither.
One of these was not altogether destitute of humanity, but the other was a ruffian
who would not give his prisoner so much as a civil word. They often travelled in
scorching heat, from which the now aged Chrysostom suffered intensely; and in
the wettest weather they forced him out of doors and on his way. When they
reached Comana in Cappadocia he was very ill, yet he was hurried a further five
or six miles to the chapel of St Basiliscus. During the night there this martyr
seemed to appear to John and said to him, " Courage, brother! To-morrow we
shall be together." The next day, exhausted and ill, John begged that he might
stay there a little longer. No attention was paid; but when they had gone four
miles, seeing that he seemed to be dying, they brought him back to the chapel.
There the clergy changed his clothes, putting white garments on him, and he
received the Holy Mysteries. A few hours later St John Chrysostom uttered his
last words, " Glory be to God for all things", and gave up his soul to God. It
was Holy Cross day, September 14, 407.
St John's body was taken back to Constantinople in the year 438, the Emperor
Theodosius II and his sister St Pulcheria accompanying the archbishop St Proclus
in the procession, begging forgiveness of the sins of their parents who had so
blindly persecuted the servant of God. I t was laid in the church of the Apostles
on January 27, on which day Chrysostom is honoured in the West, but in the East
his festival is observed principally on November 13, but also on other dates. In
the Byzantine church he is the third of the Three Hely Hierarchs and Universal
Teachers, the other two being St Basil and St Gregory Nazianzen, to whom the
'Vestern church adds St Athanasius to make the four great Greek doctors; and
in 1909 St Pius X declared him to be the heayenly patron of preachers of the word
182
ST' MARIUS, OR MAY [January 27

of God. He is commemorated in the Byzantine, Syrian, Chaldean and Maronite


eucharistic liturgies, in the great intercession or elsewhere.
Our principal sources for the story of St John's life are the Dialogue of Palladius (whom
Abbot Cuthbert Butler, with the assent of nearly all recent scholars, considers to be identical
with the author of the Lausiac History), the autobiographical details which may be gleaned
from the homilies and letters of the saint himself, the ecclesiastical histories of Socrates and
Sozomen, and the panegyric attributed to a certain Martyrius. The literature of the su~ject
is, of course, vast. No better general account can be recommended, especially in view of
its admirable setting in a background 'which does justice to the circur:nstances of the times,
than that provided by Mgr Duchesne in his Histoire ancienne de I'Eglise (English trans.),
vols. ii and iii; but the definitive biography is by Dom C. Baur, Der hI. Johannes ChrJ'sostomus
und seine Zeit (2 vols., 1929-1930). An English translation of the Dialogue of Palladius was
published in 1921, and the Greek text, ed. P. R. Coleman-Norton, in 1928. In English at
the general level mention may be made of lives by W. R. W. Stephens (1883) and D. Attwater
(1939), and Dr A. Fortescue's lively sketch in The Greek Fathers (1908). A good intro
duction to the works is (Greek) Selections from Sf John Chrysostom (1940), ed. Cardinal
D'Alton. See also Puech, Sf John Chrysostom (English trans.) in the series" Les Saints" ;
the volume of essays brought out at Rome in 1908, under the title XpuaOaTOJLtKa., in honour
of the fifteenth centenary; the article by Canon E. Venables in DCB., vol. i, pp. 518-535 ;
and that by G. Bardy in DTC., vol viii, cc. 660 seq., where a full bibliography will be found.

ST JULIAN, BISHOP OF LE MANS (DATE UNKNOWN)

IN Alban Butler's time a relic was preserved at the cathedral of Le Mans which
was believed to be the head of St Julian. He was certainly also honoured in
England, for his name occurs on this day in the calendar of the Eadwine Psalter
of Trinity College, Cambridge (before 1170), and his feast was kept throughout the
southern dioceses of England where the Sarum use was followed. How tnany of
the six ancient churches in this country which were dedicated to St Julian can be
referred to the bishop of Le Mans is quite uncertain,.for undoubtedly some of them
were built in honour of the more or less mythical saint known as Julian the Hos
pitaller (February 12). We know absolutely nothing which is certain about St
Julian's life. The lessons in the Sarum breviary describe him as a noble Roman
who became the first bishop of Le Mans and the apostle of that part of France, and
they also attribute to him some stupendous miracles. We can only say that there
is evidence in the seventh century of a chapel called basilica Sti Juliani episcop,
and that in the ca