Mary the Mother of Jesus Miracles_BLay Saints  Patron Saints
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Life in this world is a period of separation from God, which is full of sorrow, and pain:
Sorrow is the bedstead, Pain the fiber with which it is woven, And separation is the quilt See this is the life we lead, O Lord.  Absorption in the affairs of the world, in forgetfulness of God, is regarded by Sheikh Farid as desertion by a woman of her husband and going over to an alien house.  1266 Baba Sheikh Farid Ji

"Servants of Mary, bless all laypeople on their spiritual journey. Help us look to Mary for examples of faith, service, and humility.   And help us to remember that God calls us to love him in his children and our neighbors. Remind us that it is more important to live for eternity than to die to time. Amen."
"You will found a new order and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary.
This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: The Black scapular, in memory of my sufferings." She held in her hand the black habit, while an angel bore a scroll inscribed with the title "Servants of Mary."
13th v. May 04 Blessed Catherine of Parc-aux-Dames convert from Judaism OSB Cist. V (PC)
1200 BD ODO OF NOVARA Jan 14 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.

1200 In England, St. Hugh, bishop, who was called to rule the church of Lincoln.  He ended his holy life in peace,
        renowned for many miracles.

1201 St. William of Rochester miracles occurred at grave experienced conversion as a young man devoted himself to
        the care of the poor and orphans
1201 Mar 02 BD FULCO OF NEUILLY; after a serious conversion he set about his priestly duties at Neuilly-sur-Marne with fervour and success; reputed to have a strange knowledge of men’s thoughts and to have worked innumerable cures upon those who had recourse to him in their infirmities.
1202 Mar 30 Blessed Joachim of Fiore Cistercian visionary, prophet; adopted ascetic early in life great piety and simplicity OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
(also known as Joachim de Floris)
1203 April 06 St. William of Eskilsoe reforming the canons life of prayer and austere mortification never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, offering himself to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice
1205 December 19 Blessed William of Fenoli Carthusian lay-brother many miracles during his life and after his death
1208 Saint Philothea (Philofthea) dec 7 of Argesh adorned with the virtues of prayer, virginity, and almsgiving
         accidently killed; Many people have been healed at the tomb of St Philothea 12 yrs old
1209 St. William of Bourges canon monk Cistercian many miracles deaf, dumb, blind, the mentally ill became sound.
1210 Bd Adam of Loccum;  St Mary laid her hand on his head, and when he had done as he was told his complaint was cured never to return. “It is clear that there is nothing more efficacious and no remedy more sure than the medicine of the Blessed Virgin”, observes the novice in the Dialogue. To which the monk replies: “And no wonder. For it was she who brought to us the medicine of the whole human race, as it is written,
‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature’, that is to say, let Mary bring forth the man Christ.” 
Bd Adam told other marvels to Caesarius, but these were not written down for our delectation and improvement.
1211 Blessed Alpais of Cudot little girl leper patience and gentle reputation for miracles and ecstatic states V (AC)
1213  December 17 St. John of Matha Feast Day John ransomed captives feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed February 8th 1213 > John of Matha hermit first Mass celebrated: vision of angel clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his  breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves, who knelt beside him.
1220 St. Angelo martyred early Carmelite; parents are Jews of Jerusalem converted to Christianity by vision of our
     Lady converted many sinners by teaching/miracles Our Lord appeared to him to offer the sacrifice of his life he did
     so in Sicily
1220 Blessed Reginald of Saint-Gilles Queen of Heaven cured him he taught canon law , OP (AC)
1220 Dec 19 St. Adjutus abbot, famous for the spirit of prophecy
  Aureliánis, in Gállia, sancti Adjúti Abbátis, prophético spíritu illústris.
      At Orleans in France, St. Adjutus, abbot, famous for the spirit of prophecy.

St. Bernard, St. Peter, St. Otto, St. Accursius, and St. Adjutus, who shed their blood for the Catholic Faith in the year 1220,
1228 Bl. Yvette  not canonized, but considered a saint extraordinary charisms
1257 May 02 Mafalda of Portugal Queen slept on bare ground spent night in prayer fortune used to restore cathedral of Oporto founded a hospice for pilgrims hospital for 12 widows build a bridge over the Talmeda River died in sackcloth and ashes body exhumed 1617 found flexible and incorrupt OSB Cist. (AC) (also known as Matilda)
1259 jan 16 Blessed Gundisalvus of Amarante miracles appears 40 yrs after death  OP (AC)
(also known as Gonsalvo, Gonzales)
Born in Vizella (near Braga), Portugal, in 1187; died c. 1259; cultus approved 1560.
1259? BD GONSALO OF AMARANTE
1231 BB. JOHN OF PERUGIA AND PETER OF SASSOFERRATO, MARTYRS miracles reported at their tomb
1230 Blessed Bertrand of Garrigue ardent opponent of Albigensianism closest friend and travelling companion of Saint Dominic credited many miracles during life and after death OP (AC)
1231 St. Antony or Antonio Of Padua a preaching friar most zealous in checking heresy, he gained great fame in Italy,
        which became the scene of his labours; miracles
1231 November 19 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Widow; a reputation for miracles.
1231 March 30 Blessed Dodo of Asch Hermit  amazing austerities He possessed the gift of healing, and many sick persons recovered health at his hands (PC)
1232 June 27 BENVENUTO great charity; zeal for souls; inspiring earnestness of his sermons;  levitating 1232 Blessed
        Benvenuto of Gubbio uncouth soldier; endowed with supernatural gifts of a high order: these spread his fame far
        and wide;  many miracles; received into Franciscan order by Saint Francis himself OFM (AC)

1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption they had a single inspiration/vision to
         withdraw from the world form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.
1234 St. William of Saint-Brieuc, Bishop, also called William Pinchon. A native of Brittany, France, he entered the priesthood and was soon made a canon and then bishop of Saint-Bricuc  (in 1220). Known as a staunch defender of the poor and of ecclesiastical rights, he was banished for a time by the duke of Brittany, going to Poitiers and returning in 1230 body was deposited in his cathedral and taken up incorrupt in 1248. He was canonized in 1247 or 1253.
1236 Mar 28 St. Conon Basilian abbot Greek monastery at Nesi Sicily holiness working of miracles
1236 Bl. Rizzerio Early Franciscan great austerities mortifications; miracle from Francis that dissolved his despair of
        God's mercy

1240 Bd Peregrine of  Falerone; a lay-brother; In this humble condition he persevered to the end. Both before and after
        death he was famous for miracles.
1240 St Raymond Nonnatus the birthday of ; Master-general of Mercedarian Order;
1241 April 07 St. Herman Joseph Praemonstratensian and mystic visions of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
1242 Saint Edmund Rich taught theology for 8 years canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral very virtuous life
        experienced heavenly visitations B (RM)
(also known as Edmund or Edme of Abingdon) When he preached his words
         were words of fire, which powerfully moved souls, and miracles were reported to attend his preaching at Worcester,
         Leominster and elsewhere.

1242 May 29 SS. WILLIAM, STEPHEN, RAYMUND AND THEIR COMPANIONS, MARTYRS Many cures reported at
        their grave

1242 February 16 St. Veridiana Benedictine virgin recluse walled up Francis of Assisi visited Many miracles
1243 St. Hedwig Duchess widow Cistercain patroness of Silesia Miracles
1245 June 26  June 16  Blessed Guy Vignotelli known for his charities and recieved the Franciscan habit from Francis
        at Cortona in 1211 famed for his holiness and miracles
1245 May 23 BD GERARD OF VILLAMAGNA; led a very austere life, absorbed for the most part in contemplation, but also giving direction at times to many struggling souls who came to consult him: received the cord of the third order from St Francis himself, and that he died some twenty years later: famous for his miracles and prophecies
1246 June 16 St. Luthgard One of the outstanding mystics of the Middle Ages, a Cistercian nun, sometimes called
        Lutgardis A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine; many mystical experiences, levitated;
        form of the stigmata famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles

1246 St. Peter Gonzalez Dominican evangelized protector of captive Muslims; cared for sailors miracles at his grave
1245 Blessed Guy Vignotelli known for his charities and recieved the Franciscan habit from Francis at Cortona in
         1211; famed for his holiness and miracles

1246 St. Peter Gonzalez Dominican evangelized protector of captive Muslims; cared for sailors miracles at his grave
1250 St. Teresa of Portugal the eldest daughter of King Sancho I of Portugal and sister of SS. Mafalda and Sanchia; married her cousin, King Alfonso IX of Leon & had several children; the marriage was declared invalid because of consanguinity, she returned to Portugal and founded a Benedictine monastery on her estate at Lorvao. She replaced the monks with nuns following the Cistercian Rule, accounts of miracles are attributed to Teresa's intercession. She expanded a monastery to accommodate three hundred nuns, and lived there. In about 1231, at the request of Alfonso's second wife and widow, Berengaria, she settled a dispute among their children over the succession of the throne of Leon, and on her return to Lorvao, she probably became a nun.
1250 March 20 Blessed Evangelist & Peregrinus --friends --endowed with similar miraculous gifts OSA (AC)
1253 St. Agnes of Assisi Abbess miracle worker.
1253 St. Fina "Seraphina"Virgin; many miracles through her intercession Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest"
1253 St. Richard of Wyche Ph.D. Priest  a missionary bishop denounced nepotism, insisted on strict clerical discipline, and was ever generous to the poor and the needy Many miracles of healing were recorded during his lifetime, and many more after his death.
1255 February 14 Blessed Nicholas Palea companion of Saint Dominic miracle worker OP (AC)

1257 Blessed Thomas Hélye, Confessor ascetic; led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (AC)
1258 April 05 Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon visions in which Jesus pointed out that there was no feast in honor
        of the Blessed Sacrament OSA V (AC)

1260 St. Jutta Widowed noblewoman of Thuringia noted for visions and miracles
1260 Blessed Gandulphus of Binasco Franciscan  his discourses and miracles made a profound impression while Saint Francis was still alive preaching in Sicily hermit OFM feast April 3
1262 Blessed Giles of Assisi 1/of 1st and liveliest companions of Saint Francis ecstasies vision of Christ at Cetona
        considered most perfect example of primitive Franciscan humor; deep
understanding of human nature optimism

1262 Blessed Beatrix II of Este founded Benedictine convent of Saint Antony at Ferrara (AC)
1265 May 16 St. Simon Stock Scapular of Mount Carmel the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: "Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel.
1265 May 14 BD GILES OF PORTUGAL Friars Preachers "I shall kill you unless you amend your life!" "I will amend it!" exclaimed Giles as he awoke, and he kept his word. Without delay he burnt his magical books, destroyed the phials which contained his potions and set out on foot to return to Portugal: favoured with frequent ecstasies, and showed himself to be endowed with the gift of prophecy
1267 St. Parisius beloved Camaldolese spiritual director priest performing miracles and possessing the gift of prophecy
1267 Silvester Gozzolini vision of Saint Benedict, he organized the disciples Blue Benedictines he had attracted;  His tomb was the scene of many miracles, and in 1275 his relics were enshrined in the abbey church at Monte Fano (where they still are). Clement VIII in 1598 ordered the name of Silvester Gozzolini to be added to the Roman Martyrology and Leo XIII gave his feast to the whole Western church. The Silvestrines are now a very small order, whose monks are distinguished by a dark blue habit.  OSB Abbot (RM)
Apud Fabriánum, in Picéno, beáti Silvéstri Abbátis, Institutóris Congregatiónis Monachórum Silvestrinórum.
    At Fabriano in Piceno, St. Sylvester, abbot, founder of the Congregation of Sylvestrine monks.
Born at Osimo, Italy, 1177; died at Monte Fano, 1267; equivalently canonized in 1598 by Pope Clement VIII.
1267 Bl. Anthony Manzi Pilgrim hermit wandered across Europe and Jerusalem Miracles accounted at his grave
1271 April 03 Blessed John of Penna priest founding several Franciscan houses  visions gift of prophecy won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners; aridity and a painful lingering illness; spiritual consolations assurance that he accomplished his purgatory on earth his cell was illuminated with celestial light OFM (AC)
1276 January 10 Teobaldo Visconti Pope St. Gregory X 1210-1276; Arriving in Rome in March, he was first ordained 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.;  miraculous cures performed by him
1278 April 27 St. Zita miraculus life daily Mass recite many prayers generous gifts of food to the poor visits to sick & prisoners heavenly visions credited with a variety of miracles patroness of domestic workers.  Lucæ, in Túscia, beátæ Zitæ Vírginis, virtútum et miraculórum fama conspícuæ.    At Lucca in Tuscany, blessed Zita, a virgin renowned for virtues and miracles.
1279 May 07 and May 11 Bl. Albert of Bergamo Dominican tertiary pious farmer miracle worker to benefit others
1280 November 07 BD MARGARET COLONNA, VIRGIN; had the gift of miracles, and other unusual graces are recorded of her
1282 St Thomas Cantelupe, Bishop Of Hereford; in Oxford lectured in canon law; in 1262 chosen chancellor of the university. Thomas was always noted for his charity to poor students; he was also a strict disciplinarian; went to confession every day; buried at Orvieto; soon his relics were conveyed to Hereford, where his shrine in the cathedral became the most frequented in the west of England; Miracles were soon reported (four hundred and twenty-nine are given in the acts of canonization) and the process was begun at the request of King Edward I it was achieved in the year 1320. He is named in the Roman Martyrology on the day of his death, but his feast is kept by the Canons Regular of the Lateran and the dioceses of Birmingham (commemoration only) and Shrewsbury on this October 3, by Cardiff and Salford on the 5th, and Westminster on the 22nd.
1282 Mar 02 St. Agnes of Bohemia ; thaumaturgist or miracle worker
1283_St._Elzear_and_Blessed_Delphina
1285 St. Philip Benizi Servite cardinal preacher Miracle worker peace maker
1285 February 17 Blessed Luke Belludi feb 24 nobleman talented, well-educated asked for the Franciscan habit St.
          Anthony
recommended him to St. Francis; gift of miracles
1285 St. Thorfinn Jan 8  miracles reported at his tomb 50 yrs after death
1287 March 20 Blessed Ambrose Sansedoni miracle when a baby and reported at his tomb humble levitated OP (RM)
1287 Bl. Peter Tecelano Franciscan mystic miracles at his tomb
1288 May 28 Saint Ignatius Bishop of Rostov shepherdeding his flock twenty-six years Many miracles at his grave
1289 March 20 Bl. John of Parma many miracles were soon reported at his tomb  7th Franciscans general minister .
1289 Bl. John of Parma many miracles were soon reported at his tomb 7th minister general of the Franciscans
1289 May 21 Blessed Benvenutus of Recanati Franciscan lay brother favored with ecstasies and visions OFM AC
1291 BD FRANCO OF GROTTI; by middle age his excesses had ruined his health and more than once brought him nearly to death;  a long and painful pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostela; Visions and miracles were accorded him, after death on December 11, 1291, there was a spontaneous recognition of him as a very holy penitent
1292 Blessed Benvenuta Bojani; an early age Dominican tertiary; on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic he and Saint Peter Martyr, Mary and Jesus-Child appeared; severe penances; miracle worker OP Tert. V (AC)
1294 May 19 St. Celestine V Pope Born 1212 The birthday of St. Peter of Moroni who, while leading the life of an anchoret, was created Sovereign Pontiff and called Celestine V.  He later abdicated the pontificate, and led a religious life in solitude, where, renowned for virtues and miracles, he went to the Lord.
1294 St. Contardo “the Pilgrim.” miracles were reported at his grave
1295 August 02 Thomas Hales of Dover Miracles occurred at his tomb OSB M (AC)
1297 February 22 St. Margaret of Cortona Penitent direct contact with Jesus frequent ecstacies (began 1277)
 Cortónæ, in Túscia, sanctæ Margarítæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci; quæ admirábili pæniténtia et ubérrimis lácrimis máculas anteáctæ vitæ indesinénter abstérsit.  Ipsíus corpus, mirabíliter incorrúptum, suávem spirans odórem et crebris miráculis clarum, ibídem magno cum honóre cólitur.
      At Cortona in Tuscany, St. Margaret of the Third Order of St. Francis.  By means of commendable penance and fruitful tears, she wiped away the stains of her previous life.
1298 Saint Mechtilde  mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony  many mystical experiences spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great O.Cist. V (AC)  feast day formerly on November 19.
"When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own...Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him...For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before." --Our Lord to Saint Mechtilde.

1298 Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland daughter of Bela IV, King of Hungary. Her sister, St. Kunigunde miracles,
        down to our own day, occurr at her grave

13th v Saint Sava of the Caves lived in the Near Caves of the Kiev Caves monastery a wonderworker
13th v Saint Alexius, Hermit of Caves, lived a life of asceticism in the Near Caves of the Kiev Caves monastery

13th v. April 18 Saint Basil Ratishvili, one of the most prominent figures of the 13th-century Church Endowed with gift of prophecy vision the Most Holy Theotokos called him to censure King Demetre’s impious rule.
13th v. Blessed Catherine of Parc-aux-Dames convert from Judaism OSB Cist. V (PC)
13th v. BD Catherine OF PARC-AUX-DAMES, VIRGIN became famous for her visions and miracles
BD CATHERINE of Parc-aux-Dames was the daughter of Jewish parents, resident in the city of Louvain. Amongst the constant visitors to their house was the duke of Brabant’s chaplain, Master Rayner, with whom his host used to have long discussions on religious subjects. From the time she was five years old, little Rachel— as she was then called—was an attentive listener to these talks and one day the priest, noticing her eager expression, said to her, “Rachel, would you like to become a Christian?” “Yes—if you would tell me how!” was the prompt reply. From that time Master Rayner began to give her instruction in the faith as occasion offered. Rachel’s parents, however, became uneasy at the change which was taking place in their child, and when she was in her seventh year decided to send her away beyond the Rhine, to remove her from Christian influences. Rachel was greatly distressed at the prospect, but one night she had a vision of our Lady, who gave her a staff and bade her escape. The girl arose at once, slipped out of the house and made her way to the priest, by whom she was taken to the Cistercian nuns in the abbey of Parc-aux-Dames, a mile and a half from Louvain. There she was baptized and clothed with the habit of the order, assuming the name of Catherine. Her parents appealed to the bishop of Louvain, to the duke of Brabant and even to Pope Honorius, that their daughter might be restored to them—at any rate till she was twelve years old. The bishop and the duke favoured the claim, but it was successfully opposed by Engelbert, archbishop of Cologne, and William, abbot of Clairvaux. Catherine accordingly remained at Parc-aux-Dames until her death, and became famous for her visions and miracles.

See the account in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. i, which is mainly compiled from such Cistercian sources as Caesarius of Heisterbach and Henriquez. But the Dominican Thomas de Cantimprd also vouches for the truth of the story, from his personal knowledge of Catherine.
Born in Louvain, France to Jewish parents, her given name was Rachel. The duke of Brabant's chaplain was a frequent visitor to her home, and the little Rachel was an eager listener when he would defend the Catholic faith against the attacks of her Jewish father. At the age of 12, Rachel secretly left home, received baptism, and joined the Cistercians at Parc- aux-Dames, near Louvain, where she took the name Catherine and where she lived until her death (Benedictines).
1200 BD ODO OF NOVARA 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.
BD Odo, 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.

 “Master 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 Odo 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 Odo’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 Odo’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 Odo 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, ‘Wait 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 Odo 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 away 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, 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 away 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 Odo was confirmed in 1859.

See Le Couteulx, Annales Ordinis Cartusiensis (1888), vol. iii, pp. 263—271. In vol. iv, pp. 59—72, the editor prints a selection of the depositions of the witnesses to the miracles which were 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
13th v. Saint Basil Ratishvili, one of the most prominent figures of the 13th-century Church Endowed with gift of prophecy vision the Most Holy Theotokos called him to censure King Demetre’s impious rule.
He was the uncle of Catholicos Ekvtime III. He labored with the other Georgian fathers at the Iveron Monastery on Mt. Athos. Endowed with the gift of prophecy, St. Basil beheld a vision in which the Most Holy Theotokos called upon him to censure King Demetre’s impious rule. (This is actually St. Demetre the Devoted, who in his youth lived profligately but later laid down his life for his nation.)

Having arrived in Georgia and been brought before the king, the God-fearing father denounced the sovereign’s uncrowned marriage [i.e., a conjugal union without the blessing of the Church]. He promised the king that if he abandoned his present way of life, he would find great happiness and success. St. Basil also condemned the ungodly ways of Georgia’s apostate feudal lords.

But the king and his court disregarded the virtuous elder’s admonitions, and in response St. Basil prophesied: “A vicious enemy will kill you, and your kingdom will remain without refuge. Your children will be scattered, your kingdom conquered, and all your wealth seized. Know that, according to the will of the Most Holy Theotokos, everything I have told you will come to pass unless you repent and turn from this way of life. Now I will depart from you in peace.”
St. Basil returned to Mt. Athos and peacefully reposed at the Iveron Monastery.  His vision was fulfilled.

1201 BD FULCO OF NEUILLY; after a serious conversion he set about his priestly duties at Neuilly-sur-Marne with fervour and success; reputed to have a strange knowledge of men’s thoughts and to have worked innumerable cures upon those who had recourse to him in their infirmities.

THE early life of this great preacher, whose activities seem to have centred in the north of France, is said to have been by no means free from reproach, but after a serious conversion he set about his priestly duties at Neuilly-sur-Marne with fervour and success. His sermons, delivered with intense enthusiasm in a simple, popular style, attracted hearers from far and near, and soon he began to undertake missionary journeys through Normandy, Picardy and Burgundy, fearlessly de­nouncing the evils of the time and bringing numberless sinners to repentance. The general licence of manners and the extortions of usurers formed the theme of his discourses, and he had often to pay the penalty of the freedom with which he spoke. He was more than once thrown into prison, but escaped miraculously (?) from custody, and was reputed to have a strange knowledge of men’s thoughts and to have worked innumerable cures upon those who had recourse to him in their infirmities. A remarkable feature in his apostolic career, considering the ideas of the age in which he lived, was his repudiation of any conspicuous practice of asceticism. Ralph Coggeshall, the English chronicler, records that he took his night’s rest like other people, attempted no unusual fasts and accepted grate­fully any food that was set before him. It may have been this which at a later date started rumours unfavourable to his disinterestedness. In certain comments of the worthy Cardinal James de Vitry we seem to find the echo of some such gossip. 

All the chroniclers, however, are agreed that Fulco never flattered and was no respecter of persons. According to Roger Hoveden it was he who told King Richard Coeur-de-Lion that unless he married off his three disreputable daughters, he would certainly come to a bad end. When Richard exclaimed in a fury that the words proved his censor to be a hypocrite and an impostor, for he had no daughters, the holy man answered, “Yes, but indeed you have three daughters, and I will tell you their names. The first is called Pride, the second Avarice and the third Lust.”

The fame of the French priest’s missionary labours attracted the notice of Pope Innocent III, and in the year 1198 he commissioned Fulco to preach the new Crusade, accounted the Fourth, throughout the northern part of France. His eloquence had already produced marvellous effects, and if we may credit his own statement, as reported by Coggeshall, 200,000 people in the course of three years had taken the cross at his hands. Fulco was himself to have joined in the expedi­tion, but before starting he fell ill and died on March 2, 1201. His tomb was still venerated at Neuilly-sur-Marne in the eighteenth century. The cultus formerly paid to him seems never to have been authoritatively confirmed.

Contemporary chroniclers, such e.g. as Roger Hoveden, Rigord and Ralph Coggeshall, as well as the later Jordan, provide a good deal of information about Fulco. See also Raynald’s continuation of Baronius’s Annales Ecclesiastici, s.a. 1198, nn. 38—42. A letter addressed by Innocent III to “Brother Fulco” is printed in his Regesta (Migne, PL., ccxiv, 375), but there seems no evidence that the preacher belonged to any religious order.
1200 St. Hugh of Lincoln known for his wisdom and justice abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery, which was built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket; St Hugh in his little garden was a special attraction to squirrels and birds, of whom he was very fond and over whom he had consider­able power. {In pictorial representations of St Hugh his emblem is generally a swan. His chaplain and biographer assures us that when a bishop he had a pet wild swan at Stow, one of his manors, which would feed from his hand, follow him about and keep guard over his bed, so that it was impossible for anyone to approach the bishop without being attacked by it Giraldus Cambrensis confirms these statements.} In the epidemic of Jew-baiting, which broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade St, Hugh was conspicuous in defence of those persecuted. In his own cathedral at Lincoln, at Stamford, and again at Northampton, he single-handed faced armed and angry mobs, and cowed and cajoled them into sparing their hated victims: When his chancellor pointed out to him that St Martin had cured leprosy by his touch, St Hugh answered, “St Martin’s kiss healed the leper’s flesh; but their kiss heals my soul”.

In Británnia sancti Hugónis Epíscopi, qui, ex Mónacho Carthusiáno ad Ecclésiam Lincolniénsem regéndam vocátus, multis cláruit miráculis, et sancto fine quiévit.
    In England, St. Hugh, bishop, who was called to rule the church of Lincoln.  He ended his holy life in peace, renowned for many miracles.

1200 St Hugh, Bishop Of Lincoln
The foundations of an interior life are most surely laid in solitude, which is the best preparation for the works of the active life and the support of a spirit of religion amidst its distractions. It was in the desert of Chartreuse that St Hugh learned first to govern himself and stored up in his heart habits of virtue, the most essential qualification of a minister of Christ. He was born of a good family in Burgundy in 1140, his father being William, Lord of Avalon, a good soldier and an even better Christian. Hugh’s mother, Anne, died when he was eight years old, and he was educated from that age in a convent of regular canons at Villard­-BenoÎt. William of Avalon at the same time retired himself to the same place and there ended his days in the exercises of a devout and penitential religious life. Hugh when he was fifteen was allowed to make his religious profession and at nineteen was ordained deacon, at once beginning to distinguish himself as a preacher. He was put in charge of a small dependency of his monastery at Saint-­Maximin, and from thence accompanied his prior on a visit to the Grande Char­treuse. The retirement and silence of the place, and the contemplation and saintly deportment of the monks who inhabited it, kindled in Hugh’s breast a strong desire of embracing that life. The Carthusian prior painted an alarming picture of its hardships, and Hugh’s own superior extorted from him a vow that he would not leave Villard-Benoit. After more mature reflection Hugh decided that this vow had been made too hastily and under stress of emotion, and, now being per­suaded that God called him to this state, he went back to the Chartreuse and was admitted to the habit. A Carthusian cottage provides little outward matter for the biographer but we know that St Hugh in his little garden was a special attraction to squirrels and birds, of whom he was very fond and over whom he had consider­able power. {In pictorial representations of St Hugh his emblem is generally a swan. His chaplain and biographer assures us that when a bishop he had a pet wild swan at Stow, one of his manors, which would feed from his hand, follow him about and keep guard over his bed, so that it was impossible for anyone to approach the bishop without being attacked by it Giraldus Cambrensis confirms these statements.}

He had passed ten years in his solitary cell when the office of procurator of the monastery was committed to him, which charge he had held for about seven years when, at the age of forty, his life took an abrupt turn.

King Henry II of England founded, as part of his penance for the murder of St Thomas Becket, the first house of Carthusian monks in England, at Witham in Somersetshire; but so great difficulties occurred in the undertaking under the two first priors that the monastery could not be settled. The king, therefore, sent Reginald, Bishop of Bath, to the Grande Chartreuse, to desire that the holy monk Hugh, who had been recommended by a French nobleman, might be sent over to take upon him the government of this monastery. After much debating in the house it was determined that it became not Christian charity so to confine their solicitude to one family as to refuse what was required for the benefit of others, and, though the saint protested that he was most unfit for the charge, he was ordered by the chapter to accompany the deputies to England. At Witham he found that the monastic buildings had not even been begun, and that no provision had been made for the compensation of those who had been, or would have to be, evicted from their lands and tenements to make room for the monks. St Hugh refused to undertake his office until the king had compensated these people, “down to the last penny”. The work was then carried on successfully till it was nearing completion, and then was held up again because Henry had not paid the bills, except in promises. St Hugh’s tact overcame this difficulty and the first English charterhouse was at last in being. Hugh by his humility and meekness of manner and the sanctity of his life gained the hearts of the enemies of the foundation and men began to relish their close solitude and to consecrate themselves to God under the discipline of the saints.

As with many another exemplary monk, the reputation of Hugh’s goodness and abilities spread far beyond the cloister walls, and in particular King Henry never went hunting in his forest of Frome-Selwood without visiting the prior of Witham. The extent to which he trusted in Hugh is thus illustrated. As the king returned with his army from Normandy to England he was in great danger at sea in a furious storm. Their safety seemed despaired of, when the king cried aloud, “0 God whom the prior of Witham so truly serves, through his merits and intercession look with pity on our distress, in spite of our sins which deserve thy judgements”. Almost at once the wind abated and the voyage was completed without mishap, the king’s confidence in St Hugh being naturally confirmed and increased.

   St Hugh did not hesitate to remonstrate with his royal patron upon matters which required amendment, among which was his habit of keeping sees vacant in order to draw their revenues. A scandalous example was Lincoln, which, with an interval of eighteen months, had no bishop for nearly eighteen years. At a council held at Eynsham Abbey in 1186 order was given to the dean and chapter to elect a pastor, and the election fell upon St Hugh—under pressure from king and primate. His objections were not admitted, and he was obliged by the authority of the prior of the Grande Chartreuse to drop the strong opposition, which he had made, and to receive episcopal consecration. After so long a vacancy the diocese of Lincoln was naturally in dire need of reform, and St Hugh at once engaged several priests of learning and piety to be his assistants and he employed all the authority which his office gave him in restoring ecclesiastical discipline amongst his clergy. By sermons and private exhortations he laboured to quicken in all men the spirit of faith, and in ordinary conversation equally incited others to divine love. But he was full of talk and fun (which often took the form of puns), cheerful, enthusiastic and easily roused, as Giraldus Cambrensis tells us. In administering the sacraments or consecrating churches he sometimes spent whole days, beginning before daybreak and persevering into the night, without allowing himself rest or food. He was particularly strict against the exaction of improper fees by the clergy, following his own example at his enthronization when he refused an honor­arium to the archdeacon of Canterbury who had performed the office. He was deeply devoted to his poor and sick children, and would visit the leper-houses and wait upon the inmates. When his chancellor pointed out to him that St Martin had cured leprosy by his touch, St Hugh answered, “St Martin’s kiss healed the leper’s flesh; but their kiss heals my soul”. He took great pleasure in children and babies, and his biographer (who was the bishop’s chaplain) tells several charming stories illustrative of this trait, as well as miracles done in favour of little ones.

In the epidemic of Jew-baiting, which broke out in England at the time of the Third Crusade St, Hugh was conspicuous in defence of those persecuted. In his own cathedral at Lincoln, at Stamford, and again at Northampton, he single-handed faced armed and angry mobs, and cowed and cajoled them into sparing their hated victims. His concern for justice on behalf of his own people is illus­trated by his actions in regard to the royal forest-laws. The foresters and their agents “ hunt the poor as if they were wild animals and devour them as their prey” wrote Peter of Blois, a contemporary. Hugh had had trouble with them at Witham, and so soon as a company of these rangers had, upon a slight occasion, laid hands on a subject of the church of Lincoln, he, after due summons, excommunicated the head of them. This action King Henry took very ill. However, he dissembled his resentment, and soon after by letter requested of the bishop a prebend, then vacant in the church of Lincoln, in favour of one of his courtiers. St Hugh, having read the petition, returned answer by the messenger, “These places are to be conferred upon clerics, not upon courtiers. The king does not lack means to reward his servants.” The king of course was more furious than ever, and sent for St Hugh, who found him sitting with his court in the grounds of Woodstock castle. By Henry’s order nobody took any notice of the bishop, and he went on sewing a bandage round a cut finger. St Hugh watched him for a time and then said sweetly, “Now, you know, you look exactly like your kinsfolk at Falaise” *{*Henry’s great-grandfather, William the Conqueror, was the natural son of Robert of Normandy and the daughter of a furrier and glove-maker of Falaise.}

   This bold sally broke down the king’s ill humour, and he listened quietly while Hugh demonstrated how in the whole affair he had regard purely to the service of God and to his episcopal duty. The king was, or pretended to be, perfectly satisfied. The ranger showed himself penitent and was absolved by the bishop, and from that time became his steady friend.

  St Hugh had found his cathedral in ruins, and soon began its rebuilding, on which he sometimes worked with his own hands. Some of the actual magnificent building there is due to Hugh, and on his deathbed he gave final instructions to the master-builder, Geoffrey de Noiers. All St Hugh’s great achievements in activity were grounded in contem­plation, and it was his custom to retire once a year to his beloved cloister at Witham, and there pass some time observing the common rule, without any difference but that of wearing the episcopal ring on his finger.

St Hugh had such a reputation for justice in his judicial capacity that two poor orphans in a cause appealed to Rome and asked that the Bishop of Lincoln might judge the case, and he exercised this quality in great things and in small. When in 1197 King Richard I wanted the bishops as well as the barons to subsidize his war with Philip Augustus for twelve months, St Hugh maintained that his see was only liable to assist in home-defence. Only Bishop Herbert of Salisbury supported him, and he at once had all his goods confiscated. Hugh stood out, rebuked the king to his face for his unjust oppression and other ill deeds, and triumphed. But whereas he calmed Henry’s rage with a joke, he overcame Richard by a kiss. Stubbs, the constitutional historian, says that this “is the first clear case of the refusal of a money-grant demanded directly by the Crown, and a most valuable precedent for future times”. Just before his contest with the king, St Hugh had been strengthened in his faith and duty by a vision granted to a young cleric of our Lord, in the likeness of a tiny child, held in the saint’s hands at the consecration at Mass. This youth had previously been supernaturally warned to go to the Bishop of Lincoln and tell him to draw the attention of the Archbishop of Canterbury to the lamentable laxity of many of the English clergy a vision at Mass was promised in confirmation. This was by no means the only time that St Hugh was encouraged and consoled in his difficult labours by clear marks of the help of Heaven, whether by the healing of the sick, the driving out of evil spirits or the conversion of hardened sinners.
After the death of Richard I, who had said of Hugh that “if all the prelates of the Church were like him, there is not a king in Christendom who would dare to raise his head in the presence of a bishop,” and the coronation of his successor, King John sent St Hugh into France on affairs of state. He visited, among other places, his old home at the Grande Chartreuse and the great abbeys of Cluny and Citeaux, and was everywhere received with joy and veneration, for he was known by reputation all over France as well as England. But his last sickness was now upon him, and on his return he went to pray at St Thomas’s shrine in Canterbury. However, he got worse, and when he was summoned to a national council in London he had to take to his bed at his house in the Old Temple, Holborn (whence “Lincoln’s Inn”), receiving the last anointing on the vigil of the nineteenth anniversary of his episcopal consecration. He lingered on in pain and patience for nearly two months, dying in the evening of November 16, 1200. The body was taken in a sort of triumphal progress to Lincoln, where it was buried in the cathedral amidst universal grief on November 24. There were present beside the primate of all England, fourteen bishops and a hundred abbots, an archbishop from Ireland and another from Dalmatia, a prince, Gruffydd ap Rhys, from South Wales, King William the Lion of Scotland and King John of England—and the Lincoln ghetto was there, bewailing the loss of its protector and a “ true servant of the great God”. Twenty years later Pope Honorius III canonized St Hugh.  His feast is now observed by the Carthusian Order and in several English dioceses; the great charterhouse at Parkminster in Sussex is dedicated in his honour.
The biography known as the Magna Vita, which was written by Adam, a monk of Eynsham who was St Hugh’s chaplain, is a life which for fullness of detail and reliability of statement has hardly a parallel in medieval literature. It was edited by Mr Dimock for the Rolls Series in 1864. But besides this we have an important memoir by Giraldus Cambrensis, printed in vol. vii of his works (also in the Rolls Series), as well as a metrical life of unknown authorship, which was the first to be published by Mr Dimock at Lincoln in 1860. There are, moreover, a number of references to St Hugh in such contemporary chroniclers as Hoveden, Benedict, etc., and not a few charters and papal documents in which his name figures. The fullest modern life is that published under Carthusian auspices at Montreuil­sur-Mer in 1890 this was translated into English and edited with copious additional notes by Fr H. Thurston in 1898. Two excellent popular lives of less compass are those of F. A. Forbes (1917) and Joseph Clayton (1931). A concise Anglican biography of merit is that by Canon R. M. Woolley (1927). Miss Margaret Thompson has published two admirable books, the fruit of years of research, in which St Hugh plays a prominent part—The Somerset Carthusians (1895) and The Carthusian Order in England (1930). St Hugh’s tomb and his translation, etc., have been much discussed see particularly the Archaeological Journal, vol. 1 and vol. Ii, but these matters are noted in almost every book on Lincoln Cathedral cf. also Bramley, St Hugh’s Day at Lincoln (1900).

   Hugh of Lincoln was the son of William, Lord of Avalon. He was born at Avalon Castle in Burgundy and was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit after his mother died when he was eight. He was professed at fifteen, ordained a deacon at nineteen, and was made prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. While visiting the Grande Chartreuse with his prior in 1160. It was then he decided to become a Carthusian there and was ordained. After ten years, he was named procurator and in 1175 became Abbot of the first Carthusian monastery in England. This had been built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
     His reputation for holiness and sanctity spread all over England and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping Sees vacant to enrich the royal coffers. Income from the vacant Sees went to the royal treasury. He was then named bishop of the eighteen year old vacant See of Lincoln in 1186 - a post he accepted only when ordered to do so by the prior of the Grande Chartreuse. Hugh quickly restored clerical discipline, labored to restore religion to the diocese, and became known for his wisdom and justice.
     He was one of the leaders in denouncing the persecution of the Jews that swept England, 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs and making them release their victims. He went on a diplomatic mission to France for King John in 1199, visiting the Grande Chartreuse, Cluny, and Citeaux, and returned from the trip in poor health. A few months later, while attending a national council in London, he was stricken and died two months later at the Old Temple in London on November 16. He was canonized twenty years later, in 1220, the first Carthusian to be so honored.

HUGH of Lincoln Also known as  Hugh of Avalon; Hugh of Burgundy 
Profile  Son of William, Lord of Avalon. His mother Anna died when he was eight, and he was raised and educated at a convent at Villard-Benoit. Monk at 15. Deacon at 19. Prior of a monastery at Saint-Maxim. Joined the Carthusians in 1160. Ordained in 1165. In 1175 he became abbot of the first English Carthusian monastery, which was built by King Henry II as part of his penance for the murder of Thomas Becket.
His reputation for holiness spread through England, and attracted many to the monastery. He admonished Henry for keeping dioceses vacant in order to keep their income for the throne. He resisted the appointment, but was made bishop of Lincoln on 21 September 1181. Restored clerical discipline in his see. Rebuilt the Lincoln cathedral, destroyed by earthquake in 1185.
Denounced the mass persecution of Jews in England in 1190-91, repeatedly facing down armed mobs, making them release their victims. Diplomat to France for King John in 1199, a trip that ruined his health. While attending a national council in London a few months later, he was stricken with an unnamed ailment, and died two months later.
     Hugh's primary emblem is a white swan, in reference to the story of the swan of Stowe which had a deep and lasting friendship for the saint, even guarding him while he slept.  Born  1135 at Avalon Castle, Burgundy, France  Died  16 November 1200 at London, England of natural causes; buried in the Lincoln Cathedral  Canonized  18 February 1220 by Pope Honorius III; first canonized Carthusian  Patronage  sick children; sick people; swans  Representation  chalice; swan; bishop with a swan; Carthusian with a swan; Carthusian surrounded by seven stars; man with a swan at his death bed; bearded bishop giving a blessing; helping to build the Lincoln Cathedral; raising a dead child to life.

1201 St. William of Rochester miracles occurred at grave experienced conversion as a young man devoted himself to the care of the poor and orphans

Patron of adopted children. William was a well-to-do burgher at Perth, Scotland. He went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem with his adopted son David who murdered him near Rochester, England. When a mentally deranged woman found his body and cared for it, she was miraculously cured of her mental problems. Reportedly miracles occurred at his grave, and it is said that he was canonized by Pope Alexander IV in 1256, though there is no record of such a canonization. There is a shrine dedicated to William at Rochester Cathedral.

William of Rochester M (AC) (also known as William of Perth) Born in Perth, Scotland; papal approval given in 1256; other feast day on April 22. A baker (or fisherman according to Farmer) by trade, Saint William experienced conversion as a young man. Thereafter, he devoted himself to the care of the poor and orphans. Once he saved an infant who was left at the door of the church and raised him as his own. In 1201, he set out on a pilgrimage to Canterbury or the Holy Land, taking with him one companion, his adopted son. Near Rochester, the son diverted him on a short-cut and killed him for his few possessions.

His body was found by a madwoman who garlanded it with honeysuckle, and through it was cured of her insanity. As a result of this and other miracles wrought at his intercession after death, he was acclaimed a martyr by the people and his body was enshrined in the cathedral of Rochester. First it was in the crypt, then in the north-east transept, where offerings at his shrine contributed towards the rebuilding of the church.

Some type of papal approval of the cultus was sought by Bishop Laurence of Rochester in 1256 and granted. Offerings at the shrine were recorded for King Edward I (1300) and Queen Philippa (1352). Bequests by the local people continued through the 15th and 16th centuries. Saint William's Hospital on the road to Maidstone marks the site of the saint's death (Benedictines, Farmer, Gill).
1202 Blessed Joachim of Fiore Cistercian visionary, prophet; adopted ascetic early in life great piety and simplicity OSB Cist. Abbot (PC)
(also known as Joachim de Floris)
Born at Celico, Calabria, Italy, c. 1130; Joachim was a visionary and prophet who, early in life, adopted an ascetic life. After a pilgrimage to Palestine, he entered the Cistercian abbey at Sambucina. In 1176, he became abbot of Corazzo, and about 1190, founded his own monastery at Fiore--a new Cistercian Congregation. His life was marked with great piety and simplicity. He looked for a new age of the Spirit, when the papal Church would be superseded by a spiritual Church in which popes, priests, and ceremonies would disappear, and the Holy Spirit would fill the hearts of all Christ's followers.
Thus, his heart was Franciscan and, in a way, he anticipated the reforming zeal and simple faith of the Quakers. It is not surprising that doubts were sometimes thrown upon his orthodoxy and that many were disturbed by his original and even startling views.

Nevertheless, he opened the way for others to follow, and kindled a hope that ran through the medieval world and stirred the intellect of the Church. Reformation was in the air, and many things which he foresaw or foretold came to birth in the century that followed, in the great days of Dominic, Francis of Assisi, and Ignatius Loyola.

A new emphasis was placed on the work of the Holy Spirit, and after the gloom which preceded, there burst upon the world fresh and radiant visions of saintliness and virtue, and with them a new warmth and glow of religious life. A wave of exhilaration swept across Europe, and in that golden age of art and genius men looked beyond the outward forms and found in their own hearts a living and personal experience of God.

Joachim helped to give birth to this new mood of feeling and spontaneity, which later found song in such words as "O Jesus, King Most Wonderful" and "Jesu, the very thought of Thee." It was Pentecost set to music:

When once Thou visitest the heart, Then truth begins to shine,
Then earthly vanities depart, Then kindles love divine.
O Jesus, Light of all below! Thou Fount of living fire, Surpassing all the joys we know,And all we can desire.

With this inner fire went a consuming love that burned in the heart of Saint Francis and his friars, that sent Dominic and his preachers out of their churches into the hills and highways, and that in a thousand monasteries set up Christian communities to care for the welfare of the people.
He was a prolific ascetical writer. His commentary on the Book of Revelation gave his the title "the Prophet" by which he was described by Dante: "the Calabrian abbot Joachim, endowed with prophetic spirit" (Paradiso, XII). Thus Joachim was among the enthusiasts, who turned for inspiration to the Bible. Unfortunately, after his death the Franciscan Spirituals used his books to uphold their heretical tendencies. Nevertheless, Joachim has always been given the title of beatus, because, as a mystic and a prophet, he refreshed the life of the Church (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Gill).
1203 St. William of Eskilsoe reforming the canons life of prayer and austere mortification never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, offering himself to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice
In Dánia sancti Guliélmi Abbátis, vita et miráculis clari.
        In Denmark, St. William, an abbot renowned for his saintly life and miracles.

1203 ST WILLIAM OF ESKILL, ABBOT
ON this day the Roman Martyrology mentions the death in Denmark of St William, “famous for his life and miracles”. He was born about 1125 at Saint-Germain, Crépy-en-Valois, and became a canon of the collegiate church of St Genevieve in Paris. In 1148 Suger, abbot of Saint-Denis, carrying out the wishes of the pope, Bd Eugenius III, established canons regular in this church, and William was one of those who accepted a more austere and regular life with enthusiasm.
In time his reputation for canonical discipline and holiness of life reached so far as Denmark, for, about 1170, he received a visit from a young Dane, Saxo Grammaticus, who was to become famous as an historian. Saxo had been sent by the bishop of Roskilde, Absalom or Axel, to invite William to undertake the restoration of discipline in the monastic houses of his diocese. William agreed, and began his labours with the canons regular at Eskilsoe on the Ise fiord where his delicate task was successfully carried out, but only after a hard struggle. His so-called canons regular followed no rule, kept no enclosure, and observed no discipline. Two of them he was obliged to expel, but gradually by patience he won over the rest to a stricter life. He had many other difficulties created by the severity of the climate, the persecutions of powerful men, and his own interior trials. Nevertheless in the thirty years that he discharged the office of abbot, he had the consolation of seeing many of his brethren walk with fervour in his footsteps.
Having established the monastery of St Thomas on Seeland, William undertook to reform other religious houses, and in all his very considerable difficulties he had the support of Axel, who had become archbishop of Lund. During his later years he left Denmark for a time, having embroiled himself in some semi-political affairs but he returned to his abbey, where he died peacefully on April 6, 1203.
St William of Eskill (who must be distinguished from St William of Roskilde, September 2) was canonized in 1224. His feast is observed in the modern diocese of Copenhagen, which in 1952 replaced the vicariate apostolic of Denmark, on the occasion of the eighth centenary of the Scandinavian ecclesiastical reorganization by Nicholas Breakspear.

William’s biography, written by one of his canons some years after the saint’s death, is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. i but a better text has been edited by C. Gertz in his Vitae Sanctorum Danorum (1910) the writer seems to have considerably embellished his facts. For the writings attributed to St William, see Migne, PL., vol. ccix, cc. 655—746.

Missionary. Born at Saint-Germain, France, circa 1125, he served as a canon at the church of St. Genevieve, Paris, under the great Abbot Suger until about 1170, when he was sent to Denmark with the mission of reforming the canons at Eskilsoe at the request of the bishop of Roskilde. He became abbot there and, during his three decades among the Danes, he also reformed many other communities. He also founded the abbey of St. Thomas, in Zeeland. He died in Denmark.

William of Eskhill, OSA Abbot (RM) (also known as William of Aebelholt or Eskilsoë) Born in Paris, France, c. 1125; died in Denmark, on April 6, 1203; canonized in 1224 by Pope Honorius III.
William of Eskilsoë, the English equivalent of Eskiloë (Ise Fjord), a Danish town that once housed an abbey, was one of the most revered saints of Denmark, and his extant letters are a valuable source for the history of the Danish church. His early experiences stood him in good stead in Denmark. After being educated by the monks of Saint-Germain-des-Pres in Paris under the direction of his uncle Hugh, he became a canon of the church of Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont. But his fellow-canons were lax, and frequently mocked their new recruit for his disciplined life. They so disliked him that William was forced to resign and take a living at Epinay outside Paris.

Fortunately, Pope Eugenius III visited Paris in 1148, perceived the laxity of the canons of Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont, and replaced them with more devout men. William rejoined the canons and became the sub-prior, where he reputation for canonical discipline and holiness grew and reached the ears of Bishop Axel (or Absalom) of Roskilde, Denmark. About 1170, the bishop sent a young Dane, Saxo Grammaticus, who became a leading historian, to invite William to undertake the reformation of the monasteries in his diocese. William accepted the invitation.

His early trials in Paris fitted him for reforming the abbey of Eskilsoë. William first expelled two monks, setting about the reformation of the rest. His enemies tried to overcome his zeal by appealing to powerful lords, but for 30 years William unflinchingly persisted, in spite of inner strain and painful illnesses. He also founded the Abbey of St. Thomas in Aebelhold (Ebelholt), Zeeland.

William sanctified himself by a life of prayer and austere mortification, added to the suffering caused by extreme poverty and a severe climate. He wore a hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Imbued with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, offering himself to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice.

About 1194, William went to Rome on behalf of Ingelburga, sister of the Danish king, who had been repudiated by her husband, King Philip Augustus of France, but he returned to Eskilsoë to die (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth, Walsh).

In art, Saint William has a torch which lights itself on his grave. Sometimes he is shown as Saint Geneviève appears to him (Roeder).
1205 Blessed William of Fenoli Carthusian lay-brother many miracles both during his life and after his death.
at the charterhouse Casularum in Lombardy  O. Cart. (AC)

1205 BD WILLIAM OF FENOLI many miracles both during his life and after his death
INFORMATION is lacking about this holy Carthusian lay-brother, whose cultus was confirmed by Pope Pius IX in 1860. It is known that he belonged to the charter-house Casularum in Lombardy and as he was in charge of the external business of the monastery his sanctity was a matter of more public knowledge than is usually the case among Carthusian monks. “He was untutored in theology, in philosophy and in worldly knowledge, but in spiritual life and good works he was most learned. His holiness was made known by very many miracles both during his life and after his death.” Accounts of some of the miracles attributed to him have been pre­served. One preposterous marvel is stated to have happened during his lifetime. When returning from his field work leading a mule William was attacked by robbers. Having no weapon to defend himself, he seized the leg of the mule, pulled it out of its socket, and brandishing it against his assailants, put them all to flight. This done he restored the leg to its place and the mule went on uninjured. It seems to be certain that in still existing paintings Bd William is represented with the leg of a mule or donkey in his hand.

An account of this good brother is given both in Le Couteulx, Annales Ordinis Cartusiensis vol. iii, pp. 293—302 and in the Analecta Juris Pontificii, vol. v, 1861, cc. 129-134. In both, the greater part of the space is taken up with attestations of miracles alleged to have been worked at the intercession of Bd William many centuries after his death.

cultus confirmed in 1860. William was a Carthusian lay-brother at the charterhouse Casularum in Lombardy (Benedictines).
1208 Saint Philothea (Philofthea) of Argesh adorned with the virtues of prayer, virginity, and almsgiving accidently killed; Many people have been healed at the tomb of St Philothea 12 yrs old
born in Trnovo, the old capital of Bulgaria, around 1206. Her father was a farmer, and her mother was from Wallachia. She died when Philothea was still a child, and her father remarried.

The child was often punished by her stepmother, who accused her of being disobedient, and of giving their possesions away to the poor. Her father chastised her for this, but Philothea continued to attend church services and to do good to others, just as her mother had taught her. As she grew older, she was adorned with the virtues of prayer, virginity, and almsgiving.

St Philothea used to bring food to her father, who was out working in the fields. Not all of the food reached him, however, because the girl would give some of it to the poor children begging in the street. When he complained to his wife that she did not prepare enough food for him, she replied, "I send you plenty of food. Ask your daughter what she does with it."

Becoming angry with Philothea, her father decided to spy on her to see what happened to the food. From a place of concealment, he saw her giving food to the poor children who came to her. In a violent rage, he took the axe from his belt and threw it at the twelve-year-old girl, hitting her in the leg. The wound was mortal, and she soon gave her pure soul into God's hands.
The man was filled with fear and remorse, and tried to lift his daughter's body from the ground, but it became as heavy as a rock. Then the wretch ran to the Archbishop of Trnovo to confess his sin and explain what had happened. The Archbishop and his clergy went with candles and incense to take up the martyr's body and bring it to the cathedral, but even they were unable to lift it.
The Archbishop realized that St Philothea did not wish to remain in her native land, so he began to name various monasteries, churches, and cathedrals to see where she wished to go. Not until he named the Monastery of Curtea de Argesh in Romania were they able to lift her holy relics and place them in a coffin. The Archbishop wrote to the Romanian Voievode Radu Negru, asking him to accept the saint's relics.  The Archbishop and his clergy carried the holy relics in procession as far as the Danube, where they were met by Romanian clergy, monastics, and the faithful. Then they were carried to the Curtea de Argesh Monastery.
Many people have been healed at the tomb of St Philothea in a small chapel in the belltower behind the monastery church, and those who entreat her intercession receive help from her. Each year on December 7 there is a festal pilgrimage to the Monastery, and people come from all over Romania. The relics of St Philothea are carried around the courtyard in procession, and there are prayers for the sick.
The holy Virgin Martyr Philothea is venerated in Romania, Bulgaria, and throughout the Orthodox world.
1209 St. William of Bourges canon monk Cistercian many miracles deaf and dumb, the blind, the mentally ill became sound.
 Bitúricis, in Aquitánia, sancti Willhélmi, Epíscopi et Confessóris, signis et virtútibus clari; quem Honórius Papa Tértius in Sanctórum cánonem adscrípsit.
       At Bourges in Aquitaine, St. William, archbishop and confessor, renowned for miracles and virtues.  He was canonized by Pope Honorius III.
William de Don Jeon was born at Nevers France. He was educated by his uncle Peter, archdeacon of Soissons, became a canon of Soissons and of Paris and then became a monk at Grandmont Abbey. He became a Cistercian at Pontigny, served as Abbot at Fontaine-Jean in Sens, and in 1187 became Abbot at Chalis near Senlis. He was named Archbishop of Bourges in 1200, accepted on the order of Pope Innocent III and his Cistercian superior, lived a life of great austerity, was in great demand as a confessor, aided the poor of his See, defended ecclesiastical rights against seculars, even the king, and converted many Albigensians during his missions to them.

When he drew near his end, he was, at his request, laid on ashes in his hair cloth, and in this posture expired on the 10th of January, 1209. While this holy bishop was laid out for veneration, an infirm young boy who wanted to venerate him, but had to be carried to the church by his mother, was completely cured of his infirmities, and ran about proclaiming the miracle. The stone of his tomb in the Cathedral Church of Bourges cured mortal wounds and illnesses and delivered possessed persons; the deaf and dumb, the blind, the mentally ill became sound. So many miracles occurred there that the monks could not record them all, and he was canonized nine years after his death, in 1218, by Pope Honorius III.
1209 St William, Archbishop of Bourges
William De DonJeon belonging to an illustrious family of Nevers, was educated by his uncle, Peter, Archdeacon of Soissons, and he was 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, where he lived with great regularity in that austere order, till, seeing its peace disturbed 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 abbey of Pontigny, and was after some time chosen abbot, first of Fontaine-Jean, in the diocese of Sens, and secondly in 1187 of Châlis, near Senlis, a much more numerous monastery, also a filiation of Pontigny, built by Louis the Fat in 1136, a little before his death. St William always reputed himself the last among his brethren; and the sweetness of his expression testified to the joy and peace that overflowed his soul, and made virtue appear engaging even in the midst of formidable 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 Order, they put on 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 recommended 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 whom 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, on~ 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 St 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 redoubled his austerities, saying it was now incumbent on him to. do penance for others as well as for himself. He always wore 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 St William died, a little past midnight, on the morning of January lo, 1209. 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 III.

See the Acta Sanctorum for January 10, and the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. iii (1884), pp. 271—361 BHL., nn. 1283—1284.
1210 Bd Adam of Loccum;  St Mary laid her hand on his head, and when he had done as he was told his complaint was cured never to return. “It is clear that there is nothing more efficacious and no remedy more sure than the medicine of the Blessed Virgin”, observes the novice in the Dialogue. To which the monk replies: “And no wonder. For it was she who brought to us the medicine of the whole human race, as it is written, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature’, that is to say, let Mary bring forth the man Christ.”  Bd Adam told other marvels to Caesarius, but these were not written down for our delectation and improvement.
This monk, with others of the name, is called Blessed in menologies of the Cistercian Order. The little that is known of him is derived from the Dialogue of Visions and Miracles of his fellow Cistercian, Caesarius of Heisterbach.
Adam was priest and sacristan of the abbey of Loccum in Hanover, and while still a schoolboy was twice miraculously delivered from ill-health, as he related to Caesarius. While he was at Loccum the church of the monastery was being repaired, and Adam began to carve a piece of the stone that was lying among the builder’s materials. His schoolmaster saw him and, after the manner of many of his kind, peremptorily told him to put the stone down or he would be excommunicated. Young Adam was so frightened by this threat that he was taken ill, and even believed to be dying. However, he saw in a vision St Nicholas and St Paternian, who decided that he should not die just then, and he was well in the same hour. Another time he was at school at Munster in Westphalia and got up one morning to go to church, when he found he had made a mistake in the time and the church was not yet open. He therefore knelt down and said the Angelical Salutation thrice according to his custom when entering a church, and upon looking up saw that the door was open and seven beautiful women sitting therein. Adam was at that time suffering from eczema, and one of them asked him why he didn’t look after his head. He replied that he did but the physicians had not done it any good. Then the lady told him that she was the Mother of Christ and that she knew his devotion to her, and commanded him to approach. He was to wash his head in a decoction of the wood of the spindle-tree three times before Mass, in the name of the Holy Trinity. She laid her hand on his head, and when he had done as he was told his complaint was cured never to return.
“It is clear that there is nothing more efficacious and no remedy more sure than the medicine of the Blessed Virgin”, observes the novice in the Dialogue. To which the monk replies: “And no wonder. For it was she who brought to us the medicine of the whole human race, as it is written, ‘Let the earth bring forth the living creature’, that is to say, let Mary bring forth the man Christ.”
Bd Adam told other marvels to Caesarius, but these were not written down for our delectation and improvement.
This holy Cistercian is spoken of by Caesarius in his Dialogus de Miraculis in bk vii, chs. 17 and 25, as well as in bk viii, ch. 74. Nothing more seems to be known of Bd Adam than Caesarius tells us. There is an English translation of the Dialogus (2 vols., 1929). The monastic buildings at Loccum are now a Protestant seminary, and the Lutheran land-bishop of Hanover has the official title “Abbot of Loccum”.
1213  St. John of Matha John ransomed captives born Faucon, Provence June 23, 1160
1213  St. John of Matha Feast Day John ransomed captives feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed February 8th 1213 > John of Matha hermit first Mass celebrated: vision of angel clothed in white with a red and blue cross on his  breast. The angel placed his hands on the heads of two slaves, who knelt beside him.
 Romæ natális sancti Joánnis de Matha, Presbyteri et Confessóris, qui Ordinis sanctíssimæ Trinitátis redemptiónis captivórum Fundátor éxstitit.  Ipsíus tamen festívitas, ex dispositióne Innocéntii Papæ Undécimi, ágitur sexto Idus Februárii.
       At Rome, the birthday of St. John of Matha, priest and confessor, founder of the Order of the Most Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives, whose feast, by decree of Pope Innocent XI, is observed on the 8th of  February.
{Note:  there are several different dates of birth, and several different years of death from several different sources.}
He was educated at Aix, but on his return to Faucon, lived as a hermit for a time. He then went to Paris where he received his doctorate in theology, was ordained there in 1197, and then joined St. Felix of Valois in his hermitage at Cerfroid. He confided to Felix his idea of founding a religious order to ransom Christian prisoners from the Moslems, and late in 1197, the two went to Rome and received the approval of Pope Innocent III for the Order of the Most Holy Trinity (the Trinitarians), with John as superior, in 1198; they also secured the approval of King Philip Augustus of France. The Order flourished, spread to France, Spain, Italy, and England, sent many of its members to North Africa, and redeemed many captives. John died at Rome on December 17.

ST JOHN OF MATHA, FOUNDER OF THE ORDER OF THE TRINITARIANS
From several bulls of Innocent III and the many authors of his life, especially that compiled by Robert Gaguin, the learned general of this order, in 1490, collected by Baillet, and the Hist. des Ordres Relig. by F. Helyot. See also Annales Ordinis is SS. Trinitatis, auctore Bon. Baro, Ord. Minor. Romae, 1684, and Regula et Statuta Ord. SS. Trinitatis, in 12mo, 1570.

St. John was born of very pious and noble parents, at Faucon, on the borders of Provence, June the 24th, 1169, and was baptized John, in honour of St. John the Baptist. His mother dedicated him to God by a vow from his infancy. His father Euphemius sent him to Aix, where he learned grammar, fencing, riding, and other exercises fit for a young nobleman. But his chief attention was to advance in virtue. He gave the poor a considerable part of his money his parents sent him for his own use; he visited the hospital every Friday, assisting the poor sick, dressing and cleansing their sores, and affording them all the comfort in his power.

Being returned home, he begged his father's leave to continue the pious exercises he had begun, and retired to a little hermitage not far from Faucon, with the view of living at a distance from the world, and united to God alone by mortification and prayer. But finding his solitude interrupted by the frequent visits of his friends, he desired his father's consent to go to Paris to study divinity, which he easily obtained. He went through these more sublime studies with extraordinary success, and proceeded doctor of divinity with uncommon applause, though his modesty gave him a reluctancy to that honour. He was soon after ordained priest, and said his first mass in the Bishop of Paris's chapel, at which the bishop himself, Maurice de Sully, the abbots of St. Victor and of St. Genevieve, and the rector of the university assisted; admiring the graces of heaven in him, which appeared in his extraordinary devotion on this occasion, as well as at his ordination.

On the day he said his first mass, by a particular inspiration from God, he came to a resolution of devoting himself to the occupation of ransoming Christian slaves from the captivity they groaned under among the infidels; considering it as one of the highest act. of charity with respect both to their souls and bodies. But before he entered upon so important a work, he thought it needful to spend some time in retirement, prayer, and mortification; and having heard of a holy hermit, St. Felix Valois, living in a great wood near Gandelu, in the diocese of Meux, he repaired to him and begged he would admit him into his solitude, and instruct him in the practice of perfection. Felix soon discovered him to be no novice, and would not treat him as a disciple, but as a companion. It is incredible what progress these two holy solitaries made in the paths of virtue, by perpetual prayer, contemplation, fasting, and watching.

One day, sitting together on the bank of a spring, John disclosed to Felix the design he had conceived on the day on which he said his first mass, to succour the Christians under the Mahometan slavery, and spoke so movingly upon the subject that Felix was convinced that the design was from God, and offered him his joint concurrence to carry it into execution. They took some time to recommend it to God by prayer and fasting, and then set out for Rome in the midst of a severe winter, towards the end of the year 1197, to obtain the pope's benediction. They found Innocent III promoted to the chair of St. Peter, who being already informed of their sanctity and charitable design by letters of recommendation from the Bishop of Paris, his holiness received them as two angels from heaven, lodged them in his own palace, and gave them many long private audiences. After which he assembled the cardinals and some bishops in the palace of St. John Lateran, and asked their advice. After their deliberations he ordered a fast and particular prayers to know the will of heaven. At length being convinced that these two holy men were led by the spirit of God, and that great advantages would accrue to the church from such an institute, he consented to their erecting a new religious order, and declared St. John the first general minister. The Bishop of Paris, and the abbot of St. Victor, were ordered to draw up their rules, which the pope approved by a bull in 1198. He ordered the religious to wear a white habit, with a red and blue cross on the breast, and to take the name of the order of the Holy Trinity. He confirmed it some time after, adding new privileges by a second bull, dated in 1209.

The two founders having obtained the pope's blessing and certain indults or privileges, returned to France, presented themselves to the king, Philip Augustus, who authorized the establishment of their order in his kingdom, and favoured it with his liberalities. Gaucher III, lord of Chatillon, gave them land whereon to build a convent. Their number increasing, the same lord, seconded by the king, gave them Cerfroid, the place in which St. John and St. Felix concerted the first plan of their institute. It is situated in Brie, on the confines of Valois. This house of Cerfroid, or De Cervo frigido, is the chief of the order. The two saints founded many other convents in France, and sent several of their religious to accompany the counts of Flanders and Blois, and other lords, to the holy war. Pope Innocent III wrote to recommend these religious to Miramolin, king of Morocco; and St. John sent thither two of his religious in 1201, who redeemed one hundred and eighty-six Christian slaves the first voyage. The year following, St. John went himself to Tunis, where he purchased the liberty of one hundred and ten more. He returned into Provence, and there received great charities, which he carried into Spain, and redeemed many in captivity under the Moors. On his return he collected large alms among the Christians towards this charitable undertaking. His example produced a second order of Mercy, instituted by St. Peter Nolasco, in 1235.

St. John made a second voyage to Tunis in 1210 in which he suffered much from the infidels, enraged at his zeal and success in exhorting the poor slaves to patience and constancy in their faith. As he was returning with one hundred and twenty slaves he had ransomed, the barbarians took away the helm from his vessel and tore all its sails, that they might perish in the sea. The saint, full of confidence in God, begged him to be their pilot, and hung up his companions' cloaks for sails, and, with a crucifix in his hands kneeling on the deck, singing psalms, after a prosperous voyage, they all landed safe at Ostia, in Italy.
Felix, by this time, had greatly propagated his order in France, and obtained for it a convent in Paris, in a place where stood before a chapel of St. Mathurin, whence these religious in France are called Mathurins.

St. John lived two years more in Rome, which he employed in exhorting all to penance with great energy and fruit. He died on the 21st of December, in 1213 aged sixty-one. He was buried in his church of St. Thomas, where his monument yet remains, though his body has been translated into Spain. Pope Honorius III confirmed the rule of this order a second time. By the first rule they were not permitted to buy any thing for their sustenance except bread, pulse, herbs, oil, eggs, milk, cheese, and fruit, never flesh or fish: however, they might eat flesh on the principal festivals, on condition it was given them. They were not, in travelling, to ride on any beasts but asses.

When we consider the zeal and joy with which the saints sacrificed themselves for their neighbours, how must we blush at and condemn our insensibility at the spiritual and the corporal calamities of others! The saints regarded affronts, labours, and pains as nothing for the service of others in Christ: we cannot bear the least word or roughness of temper.

St. Chrysostom elegantly and pathetically extols the charity of the widow of Sarepta, whom neither poverty nor children, nor hunger, nor fear of death, withheld from affording relief to the prophet Elias, and he exhorts every one to meditate on her words, and keep her example present to his mind. "How hard or insensible soever we are," says he, "they will make a deep impression upon us, and we shall not be able to refuse relief to the poor, when we have before our eyes the generous charity of this widow. It is true, you will tell me, that if you meet with a prophet in want, you could not refuse doing him all the good offices in your power. But what ought you not to do for Jesus Christ, who is the master of the prophets? He takes whatsoever you do to the poor as done to himself." When we consider the zeal and joy with which the saints sacrificed themselves for their neighbors, how must we blush at, and condemn OUT insensibility at the spiritual and the corporal calamities of others! 'Fine saints regarded affronts, labors, and pains, as nothing for the service of others in Christ: we cannot bear the least word or roughness of temper.
1211 Blessed Alpais of Cudot little girl leper patience and gentle reputation for miracles and ecstatic states V (AC).

1211 BD ALPAIS, VIRGIN
ALPAIS was a peasant-girl, born about 1150 at Cudot, now in the diocese of Orleans. She worked in the fields, until a disease struck her, which may have been leprosy. Her biographer, a Cistercian monk of Les Echarlis, who knew her personally, avers that she was perfectly cured during a vision of our Lady which was granted her. But Alpais lost the use of her limbs and was confined helpless to her bed, though otherwise perfectly well. Nothing in the way of food or drink, except the Blessed Sacrament, passed her lips for a long period. When this was brought to the notice of Archbishop William of Sens, he appointed a commission which examined and confirmed the truth of this fast. By his order a church was built adjoining the lodging of Bd Alpais at Cudot, in order that by means of a window she could assist at the religious offices celebrated by a community of canons regular therein. The holiness of the maiden and her reputation for miracles and ecstatic states made it a place of pilgrimage, and prelates and nobles came from all parts to see her. Queen Adela, wife of Louis VII of France, in 1180 made a benefaction to the canons “for love of Alpais”. The cultus rendered to her from the time of her death in 1211 was confirmed in 1874.

What lends great interest to the account preserved of this maiden is the fact that it was written, while she was yet living, by one who knew her well, and that it finds confirmation in contemporary chronicles and in some still existing public records. The text of the biography is printed in the Acta Sanctorum (November, vol. ii) from a collation of four manuscripts, and the editor has cited in full the passages referring to Bd Alpais, which occur in the chronicles of Robert of Auxerre and Ralph Coggeshall. Alpais seems to be the earliest person of whom it is recorded on reliable evidence that she lived for years upon the Blessed Eucharist alone. A careful and sober study was written by L. H. Tridon, La vie merveilleuse de Ste Alpais de Cudot (1886). See also the Analecta Juris Pontificii for 1874, pp. 1029—1076, and two works by M. Blanchon (1893 and 1896).  

Born in Cudot (diocese of Sens), France; died 1211; cultus confirmed by Pius IX in 1874. Alpais was born into a peasant family, she helped her parents in the fields until, still very young she became bedridden with leprosy. For a long time her only food was the Eucharist. Her patience and gentleness made a great impression on her contemporaries (Benedictines).
1220 Blessed Reginald of Saint-Gilles Queen of Heaven cured him he taught canon law, OP (AC).
(also known as Reginald of Orléans)  Born at Saint-Gilles, Languedoc, France, c. 1183; died 1220; cultus confirmed in 1885.

Reginald received his training at the University of Paris and thereafter taught canon law from 1206 to 1211 with great success. Because of his evident talents and virtues, he was appointed dean of the cathedral chapter (Saint-Agnan) of Orléans. Here as in Paris, he was renowned for the brilliance of his mind and the eloquence of his preaching, as well as for his tender devotion to the Mother of God.

Since he was a very zealous young man, Reginald was not content with his life as it was. He was in truth leading a very holy life, but he yearned for more. He determined on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, perhaps to pray for light to know his vocation, and on his way to Jerusalem he visited Rome. Here he discussed his desires with Cardinal Hugh de Segni, explaining that he felt a great call to the primitive poverty and preaching of the apostles but knew of no way to realize his hopes.
The cardinal replied that he knew the exact answer to his seeking and sent him to Saint Dominic, who was in Rome at the time. Reginald hastened to open his heart to the holy founder, and at Saint Dominic's words he knew he had come to the end of his seeking.

Reginald had scarcely made his decision to enter the Dominican order when he became so ill that his life was in danger. Saint Dominic, who was greatly attracted to the young man and knew what an influence for good he would be in the order, prayed earnestly for his recovery. It was said of Dominic that he never asked anything of God that he did not obtain. In any case, it was the Queen of Heaven herself who came to cure the dying man and ransom him a little time on earth.

Our Lady, accompanied by Saint Cecilia and Saint Catherine of Alexandria, appeared at Reginald's bedside and anointed him with a heavenly perfume. The Blessed Mother showed him a long white scapular and told him it was to be a part of the habit of the order. Going away, she left him completely cured and filled with great joy. The friars, who until that time, 1218, had worn the garb of he canons regular, gladly changed to the scapular especially designed for them by the Mother of God. Reginald was himself clothed with the Dominican habit, and in fulfillment of his vows proceeded to the Holy Land.

On his return, Reginald embarked on his brief but brilliant career of preaching. In Bologna and in Paris, his eloquence and the shining beauty of his life drew hundreds to follow him into the order. Among these were not only students but many famous professors and doctors of law. One of his greatest conquests was the young German dynamo, Jordan of Saxony, who was to be like Reginald himself--a kidnapper of souls for the service of God.

The first to be given the scapular and the first to wear the Dominican habit in the Holy Land, Reginald was also the first Dominican to die in it. Consumed with the fiery zeal of his work, he died in 1220, mourned by the entire order, when he had worn the habit scarcely two years. He displayed no fear of death--perhaps Our Lady had told him, on the occasion of the cure, that he was only loaned to life and the order--but received the last sacraments with touching devotion (Benedictines, Dorcy).

In art, Reginald is generally portrayed in his sick bed being attended by Saint Dominic, at whose prayer the Blessed Virgin appears with two female saints to anoint Reginald. He may also be shown as a Dominican offering his scapular to the Virgin (Roeder).
1228 Bl. Yvette  not canonized, but considered a saint extraordinary charisms.
Blessed Yvette (Jutta of Huy), Widow Endowed with extraordinary charisms, Yvette was a product of the development of mysticism in the Low Countries in the thirteenth century. In this she joined a select number of young women Christians such as Juliana of Cornillion, Eve of St. Martin, Isabel of Huy, Mary of Oingnies, Ida of Leau, Ida of Nivelles, Ida of Loviano, Christiana of St.-Trend, Lutgard of Tongres, and Margaret of Ypres.

She was born of a wealthy family of Huy near Liege in 1158 and when very young was married off by her parents. Five years and three children later, she was a widow at the youthful age of eighteen. There was no dearth of suitors, drawn by her uncommom beauty, but Yvette would have none of them. She dedicated herself for eleven years to caring for lepers out of surpassing love for God.

For the last thirty-six years of her life, the holy woman lived as an anchoress and had many mystical experiences. Her prayers and miracles made her famous. She succeeded in bringing her father and one of her two remaining children back to the Faith and solicitously aided the countless people who flocked to consult her in her hermitage. She died on January 13, 1228.

1259 Blessed Gundisalvus of Amarante miracles appears 40 yrs after death  OP (AC).
(also known as Gonsalvo, Gonzales)
Born in Vizella (near Braga), Portugal, in 1187; died c. 1259; cultus approved 1560.
1259? BD GONSALO OF AMARANTE
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 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. When 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, competing 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 e deli’ Ordine sub (1589), vol. i, pp. 299— 304 Procter, Short Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 1—4; Acta Sanctorum for January 10. The miracle of the fishes is said to have occurred not once, but repeatedly molte e diverse volte.
Gonsalvo de Amarante was a true son of the Middle Ages, a man right out of the pages of the 'Golden Legend.' His whole life reads like a mural from the wall of a church--full of marvelous things and done up in brilliant colors.

In his boyhood Gonsalvo Pereira was gave wonderful indications of his holiness. While still small, he was consecrated to study for the Church, and received his training in the household of the archbishop of Braga. After his ordination he was given charge of a wealthy parish, an assignment that should have made him very happy. Gonsalvo was not as interested in choice parishes as some of his companions; he went to his favorite Madonna shrine and begged Our Lady to help him administer this office fairly.

There was no complaint with Gonsalvo's governance of the parish of Saint Pelagius. He was penitential himself, but indulgent with everyone else. Revenues that he might have used for himself were used for the poor and the sick. The parish, in fact, was doing very well when he turned it over to his nephew, whom he had carefully trained as a priest, before making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Gonsalvo would have remained his entire life in the Holy Land, but after 14 years his archbishop commanded him to return to Portugal. Upon his arrival, he was horrified to see that his nephew had not been the good shepherd that he had promised to be, the money left for the poor had gone to purchase a fine stable of thoroughbred horses and a pack of fine hounds. The nephew had told everyone that his old uncle was dead, and he had been appointed pastor in his place by an unsuspecting archbishop. When the uncle appeared on the scene, ragged and old, but very much alive, the nephew was not happy to see him. Gonsalvo seems to have been surprised as well as pained.

The ungrateful nephew settled the matter by turning the dogs on his inconvenient uncle. They would have torn him to pieces, but the servants called them off and allowed the ragged pilgrim to escape. Gonsalvo decided then that he had withstood enough parish life, and went out into the hills to a place called Amarante. Here he found a cave and other necessities for an eremitical life and lived in peace for several years, spending his time building a little chapel to the Blessed Virgin. He preached to those who came to him, and soon there was a steady stream of pilgrims seeking out his retreat.

Happy as he was, Golsalvo felt that this was not his sole mission in life, and he prayed to Our Lady to help him to discern his real vocation. She appeared to him one night as he prayed and told him to enter the order that had the custom of beginning the office with "Ave Maria gratia plena." She told him that this order was very dear to her and under her special protection. Gonsalvo set out to learn what order she meant, and eventually came to the convent of the Dominicans. Here was the end of the quest, and he asked for the habit.

Blessed Peter Gonzales was the prior, and he gave the habit to the new aspirant. After Gonsalvo had gone through his novitiate, he was sent back to Amarante, with a companion, to begin a regular house of the order. The people of the neighborhood quickly spread the news that the hermit was back. They flocked to hear him preach, and begged him to heal their sick.

One of the miracles of Blessed Gonsalvo concerns the building of a bridge across a swift river that barred many people from reaching the hermitage in wintertime. It was not a good place to build a bridge, but Gonsalvo set about it and followed the heavenly directions he had received. Once, during the building of the bridge, he went out collecting, and a man who wanted to brush him off painlessly sent him away with a note for his wife.

Gonsalvo took the note to the man's wife, and she laughed when she read it. "Give him as much gold as will balance with the note I send you," said the message. Gonsalvo told her he thought she ought to obey her husband, so she got out the scales and put the paper in one balance. Then she put a tiny coin in the other balance, and another, and another--the paper still outweighed her gold--and she kept adding. There was a sizeable pile of coins before the balance with the paper in it swung upwards.

Gonsalvo died about 1259, after prophesying the day of his death and promising his friends that he would still be able to help them after death. Pilgrimages began soon, and a series of miracles indicated that something should be done about his beatification. Forty years after his death he appeared to several people who were apprehensively watching a flood on the river. The water had arisen to a dangerous level, just below the bridge, when they saw a tree floating towards the bridge, and Gonsalvo was balancing capably on its rolling balk. The friar carefully guided the tree under the bridge, preserving the bridge from damage, and then disappeared (Benedictines, Dorcy).

Saint Gundisalvus is generally shown as a Dominican between two Franciscans (SS Francis and Bernardino. The Christ-child, holding an orb, showers light upon him. He holds monastery in his hands. At times he may be shown giving food to beggars (Roeder). He is venerated in Braga, Portugal, and Amarante (Roeder).
1231 BB. JOHN OF PERUGIA AND PETER OF SASSOFERRATO, MARTYRS miracles reported at their tomb
         AMONG the Friars Minor whom St Francis of Assisi sent into Spain to preach the gospel to the Moors were Brother John, a priest of Perugia, and Brother Peter, a lay-brother from Sassoferrato in Piceno. These two friars established themselves at Teruel in Aragon, living in cells near the church of St Bartholomew, and there for some time prepared themselves for their apostolate. Their poverty and lowliness won the love and attention of the people of the place, and their lives and preaching bore much fruit. They then went on to Valencia, which was completely under the dominion of the Moors, and took up their quarters quietly at the church of the Holy Sepulchre. But directly the friars attempted to preach in public the Mohammedans turned against them they were arrested and brought before the  emir. He asked what had brought them to Valencia, and Bd John replied that they came to convert the Moors from the errors of Islam. They were then offered the usual alternatives of apostasy or death, and when they chose death were condemned to be beheaded. The sentence was carried out then and there in the emir’s garden, the martyrs praying aloud for the conversion of their persecutor. This was on August 29, 1231.
           Seven years later James I the Conqueror, King of Aragon, drove the Moors from Valencia with the help of his English and other mercenaries, and in accordance with the martyrs’ prayer the emir became a Christian. He gave his house to the Franciscans for a friary, saying to them “While I was an unbeliever I killed your brethren from Teruel, and I want to make reparation for my crime. Here, then, is my house at your disposal, consecrated already by the blood of martyrs.” The bodies of BB. John and Peter had been taken to Teruel, where miracles were reported at their tomb, and so a church was erected at the new friary at Valencia in their honour. They were beatified in 1783.
           An account of these martyrs is given in the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. vi, where their
         story is reproduced as told by St Antoninus of Florence. An older narrative of the martyr-
         dom has been printed in the Analecta Franciscana, vol. iii, pp. 186—187. See also Léon,
         Auréole Séraphique
(Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 96—97.
1230 Blessed Bertrand of Garrigue ardent opponent of Albigensianism closest friend and travelling companion of Saint Dominic credited many miracles during life and after death OP (AC)
Born at Garrigue, diocese of Nîmes, France, c. 1195; died near there; cultus confirmed by Leo XIII.
Bd Bertrand of Garrigues
   At the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries the south of France was ravaged by heresy and civil war.  Albigensianism, supported by the nobles and appealing to the people by offering a life of virtuous austerity to the few and of licence to the many, had almost complete control ; the Catholics, rendered impotent by indifference and ill-living, took up arms against the heretics, and the challenge was accepted. Bd Bertrand was born at Garrigues in the diocese of Nimes and brought up in the midst of these disturbances; but he was taught the true faith, and learned the dangers of the heresy that flourished all around. In the year 1200 the Albigensian Raymund VI of Toulouse marched through Languedoc, harrying the orthodox monasteries, especially those of the Cistercians, who were the official missionaries against the heretics.  It is said that the convent at Bouchet was saved from destruction by the prompt action of a bee-master, who overturned his rows of hives in the faces of the soldiers.  Bertrand himself became a priest and joined himself as a preacher to the Cistercian mission. In 1208 the Cistercian legate, Peter of Castelnau, was murdered, the crusade of Simon de Montfort was let loose, and soon after this time probably Bd Bertrand first met St Dominic, who was trying to remedy by prayer and preaching some of the harm that his friend Simon was doing by the sword. 
   In 1215 Bertrand was one of the group of six preachers gathered round Dominic from which sprang the great order of Friars Preachers; by the following year they had increased to sixteen, "all in fact and in name excellent preachers", when they met at Prouille to choose a rule and plan the life of their new society.
   After a year of community life at the priory in Toulouse, the founder made his famous bold stroke of dispersing his religious, and Bd Bertrand was sent to Paris with Friar Matthew of France and five others.  There they made a foundation near the university.  Bertrand did not stay long in Paris. He was called by St Dominic to Rome and sent with Friar John of Navarre to establish the order in Bologna. Though  Bd Reginald of Orleans was the friend who influenced him most, early Dominican writers speak of Bd Bertrand as a beloved companion of St Dominic, the dearest associate in his work, the sharer of his journeys, his prayers and his holiness.
  In 1219 he accompanied him on the only visit St Dominic made to Paris; they went from Toulouse by way of the sanctuary of Rocamadour, and the journey has been surrounded with wonders, such as that they understood German without having learnt it and were not wetted by heavy rain.
   At the second general chapter held at Bologna in 1221 the Dominican order was divided into eight provinces, and Bertrand was appointed prior provincial of Provence.   The remaining nine years of his life were spent in energetic preaching throughout the south of France, where he greatly extended the activities of his order and founded the great priory of Marseilles. There is a story told that on one occasion a Friar Benedict questioned Bd Bertrand because he rarely celebrated a requiem Mass. "We are certain of the salvation of the holy souls", was the reply, "but of the end of ourselves and other sinners we are not certain".   "Well, but", persisted Friar Benedict, "suppose there are two beggars, one strong and well, the other disabled.  Which would you be the more sorry for?"  "The one who can do least for himself."  "Very well then. Such certainly are the dead. They have neither mouths wherewith to confess nor hands wherewith to work, but living sinners have both and can take care of themselves." 
Bertrand was not at all convinced by this argument, and the fact that he afterwards celebrated Mass more frequently for the dead was attributed to his having had enlightenment in the form of a nightmare of a departed soul, which much distressed him. Bd Bertrand died at the abbey of Bouchet, near Orange, about the year 1230; his cultus was confirmed in 1881. "By his watchings, his fasts, and his other penances", wrote Friar Bernard Guidonis, "he succeeded in making himself so like his beloved Father that one might have said of him as he passed by:  Of a truth the disciple is like the master; there goes the very image of the blessed Dominic."
A very full account of Bd Bertrand is given by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, pp. 136-145 and 919-921. Though there was no separate early biography which they could utilize, they at first drew largely from the Vitae Fratrum of Gerard de Fracheto and other Dominican chronicles, but in a suppjement to their first account they have added many details from documents submitted to the Congregation of Rites in the procesa for the confirmatio cultus.  See also a series of papers by J. P. Isnard in the Bulletin de Ia Societe archeol. de la Drome, 1870 to 1872  and Procter, Dominican Saints, pp. 253-256.  A fuller bibliography is provided by Taurisano, Catalogus hagiographicus OP., p. 9.
 Bertrand was a secular priest under the Cistercians, missioner, and ardent opponent of Albigensianism when he first met Saint Dominic in the party of Bishop Diego. Bertrand may have been the one to recruit Dominic in the battle against the French heretics because they worked closely together in this mission for the rest of their lives.
   Bertrand joined the first Dominican friars by receiving the habit at Toulouse in 1216. Dominic left him in charge of the community when he travelled to Rome to seek papal approval of the order. Bertrand's zeal and experience played an important role in the founding of the Friar Preachers. When the brothers were sent out in little groups on missions, Bertrand was left in Paris with Matthew of France, where he helped to form the Dominican tradition of learning and governed the first foundation at Paris.
While Bertrand's advice and prayers helped to establish the order, he is best remembered as the closest friend and travelling companion of Saint Dominic, until he was appointed as provincial of Provence. He witnessed the miracles and heavenly favors bestowed upon his friend and provided us with insightful testimony about the heart and mind of the founder.
Bertrand himself was credited with many miracles, both during his life and after his death. Others considered him a "second Dominic" in austerity and holiness, but he humbly overlooked his own claims to sanctity in his loving insistence on those of his friend.
Bertrand was preaching a mission to the Cistercian sisters of Saint Mary of the Woods near Garrigue, when he fell sick and died. He was buried in the sisters' cemetery until the frequency of miracles suggested that he should be given a more suitable shrine. His relics were lost and shrine destroyed during the religious wars, but pilgrimages were still made to "Saint Bertrand's Cemetery" until the time of the French Revolution (Benedictines, Dorcy).

1231 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Widow; a reputation for miracles.
In óppido Marpúrgi, in Germánia, deposítio sanctæ Elísabeth Víduæ, Regis Hungarórum Andréæ fíliæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci, quæ, pietátis opéribus assídue inténta, miráculis clara migrávit ad Dóminum.
    At Marburg in Germany, the death of St. Elizabeth, widow, daughter of King Andrew of Hungary, and member of the Third Order of St. Francis.  After a life spent in the performance of works of piety, she went to heaven, having a reputation for miracles.

IT is related by Dietrich of Apolda in his life of this saint*{*Alban Butler’s own comment, under the 16th of this month, on the De contemptu mundi of St Eucherius of Lyons, in this piece certain superfluities might have been spared and the full sense more closely expressed with equal strength and perspicuity in fewer words is true also of his account of St Elizabeth of Hungary in an even greater degree than usual in his lives. His long notice of her has therefore been almost entirely discarded.}

IT is related by Dietrich of Apolda in his life of this saint that on an evening in the summer of the year 1207 the minnesinger Klingsohr from Transylvania announced to the Landgrave Herman of Thuringia that that night a daughter had been born to the king of Hungary, who should be exalted in holiness and become the wife of Herman’s son; and that in fact at that time the child Elizabeth was born, in Pressburg (Bratislava) or Saros-Patak, to Andrew II of Hungary and his wife, Gertrude of Andechs-Meran. Such an alliance as that “foretold” by Klingsohr had substantial political advantages to recommend it, and the baby Elizabeth was promised to Herman’s eldest son. At about four years of age she was brought to the Thuringian court at the castle of the Wartburg, near Eisenach, there to be brought up with her future husband. As she grew up she underwent much unkindness from some members of the court, who did not appreciate her goodness, but on the other hand the young man Louis (Ludwig) became more and more enamored of her. We are told that when he had visited a city he would always bring back a present for her, a knife or a bag or gloves or a coral rosary. “When it was time for him to be back she would run out to meet him and he would take her lovingly on his arm and give her what he had brought.”
   In 1221, Louis being now twenty-one and landgrave in his father’s place, and Elizabeth fourteen, their marriage was solemnized, in spite of attempts to persuade him to send her back to Hungary as an unsuitable bride; he declared he would rather cast away a mountain of gold than give her up. She, we are told, was “perfect in body, handsome, of a dark complexion; serious in her ways, and modest, of kindly speech, fervent in prayer and most generous to the poor, always full of goodness and divine love”. He also was handsome and “modest as a young maid”, wise, patient and truthful, trusted by his men and loved by his people. Their wedded life lasted only six years and has been called by an English writer “an idyll of enthralling fondness, of mystic ardor, of almost childish happiness, the like of which I do not remember in all I have read of romance or of human experience.”

They had three children, Herman, who was born in 1222 and died when he was nineteen, Sophia, who became duchess of Brabant, and Bd Gertrude of Aldenburg. Louis, unlike some husbands of saints, put no obstacles in the way of his wife’s charity, her simple and mortified life, and her long prayers. “My lady”, says one of her ladies-in-waiting, “would get up at night to pray, and my lord would implore her to spare herself and come back to rest, all the while holding her hand in his for fear she should come to some harm. She would tell her maids to wake her gently when he was asleep—and sometimes when they thought him sleeping he was only pretending.” *

{*“She had ordained that one of her women, which was more familiar with her than another, that if peradventure she were overtaken with sleep, that she should take her by the foot for to awake her; and on a time she supposed to have taken her lady by the foot and took her husband’s foot, which suddenly awoke and would know wherefore she did so; and then she told him all the case, and when he knew it he let it pass and suffered it peace­ably” (Golden Legend).}

Elizabeth’s material benefactions were so great that they sometimes provoked adverse criticism. In 1225 that part of Germany was severely visited by a famine and she exhausted her own treasury and distributed her whole store of corn amongst those who felt the calamity heaviest. The landgrave was then away, and at his return the officers of his household complained to him of her profusion to the poor. But Louis, without examining into the matter, asked if she had alienated any of his dominions. They answered, “No”. “As for her charities”, said he, “they will bring upon us the divine blessings. We shall not want so long as we let her relieve the poor as she does.”
   The castle of the Wartburg was built on a steep rock, which the infirm and weak were not able to climb (the path was called “the knee-smasher”). St Elizabeth therefore built a hospital at the foot of the rock for their reception, where she often fed them with her own hands, made their beds, and attended them even in the heat of summer when the place seemed insupportable. Helpless children, especially orphans, were provided for at her expense. She was the foundress of another hospital in which twenty-eight persons were constantly relieved, and she fed nine hundred daily at her gate, besides numbers in different parts of the dominions, so that the revenue in her hands was truly the patrimony of the distressed. But Elizabeth’s charity was tempered with discretion; and instead of encouraging in idleness such as were able to work, she employed them in ways suitable to their strength and ability. There is a story about St Elizabeth so well known that it would hardly need repeating here but that Father Delehaye picks it out as an example of the way in which hagiographers so often embellish a tale to make a greater impression on their readers.

Everyone is familiar with the beautiful incident in the life of St Elizabeth of Hungary when, in the very bed she shared with her husband, she laid a miserable leper,...The indignant landgrave rushed into the room and dragged off the bedclothes. “But”, in the noble words of the historian, “at that instant Almighty God opened the eyes of his soul, and instead of a leper he saw the figure of Christ crucified stretched upon the bed,” This admirable account by Dietrich of Apolda was considered too simple by later biographers, who consequently transformed the sublime vision of faith into a material apparition. Tunc aperuit Deus interiores principis oculos, wrote the historian.

On the spot where the leper had slept, lay a bleeding crucifix with out-stretched arms” (The Legends of the Saints,p. 90). From the Friars Minor St Elizabeth say the modern hagiographers, “there objectively, his methods were offensive.”

At this time strenuous efforts were being made to launch another crusade, and Louis of Thuringia took the cross. On St John the Baptist’s day he parted from St Elizabeth and went to join the Emperor Frederick II in Apulia; on September ax following he was dead of the plague at Otranto. The news did not reach Germany until October, just after the birth of Elizabeth’s second daughter. Her mother-in-law broke the news to her, speaking of what had befallen her husband, and the “dispensation of God. Elizabeth misunderstood. “Since he is a prisoner”, she said, “with the help of God and our friends he shall be set free.” When she was told he was not a prisoner but dead, she cried, “The world is dead to me, and all that was joyous in the world”, and ran to and fro about the castle shrieking like one crazed.
What happened next is a matter of some uncertainty. According to the testimony of one of her ladies-in-waiting, Isentrude, St Elizabeth’s brother-,in-law, Henry, who was regent for her infant son, drove her and her children and two attendants from the Wartburg during that same winter that he might seize power himself; and there are shocking particulars of the hardship and contempt which she suffered until she was fetched away from Eisenach by her aunt, Matilda, Abbess of Kitzingen.
  It is alternatively claimed that she was dispossessed of her dower-house at Marburg, in Hesse, or even that she left the Wartburg of her own free will. From Kitzingen she visited her uhcle, Eckembert, Bishop of Bamberg, who put his castle of Pottenstein at her disposal, whither she went with her son Herman and the baby, leaving the little Sophia with the nuns of Kitzingen. Eckembert had ambitious plans for another marriage for Elizabeth, but she refused to listen to them: before his departure on the crusade she and her husband had exchanged promises never to marry again. Early in a 1228 the body of Louis was brought home and solemnly buried in the abbey church at Reinhardsbrunn. He is popularly venerated in Germany as “St Ludwig. See September
{* Alban Butler’s treatment of Coarad of Marburg is an excellent example of a defect of his method in writing of saints. He says “Conrad, a most holy and learned priest and an eloquent pathetic preacher, whose disinterestedness and love of holy poverty, mortified life, and extraordinary devotion and spirit of prayer rendered him a model to the clergy of that age, was the person whom she chose for her spiritual director, and to his advice she submitted herself in all things relating to her spiritual concerns. This holy and experienced guide, observing how deep root the seeds of virtue had taken in her soul, applied himself by cultivating them to conduct her to the summit of Christian perfection, and encouraged her in the path of mortification and penance, but was obliged often to moderate her corpora! austerities by the precept of obedience.” True in substance, if exaggerated in expression but.}

provision was made for Elizabeth by her relatives; and on Good Friday in the church of the Franciscan friars at Eisenach she formally renounced the world, later taking the unbleached gown and cord which was the habit of the-third order of St Francis.

An influential part was played in all these developments by Master Conrad of Marburg, who benceforward was the determining human influence in St Elizabeth’s life. This priest had played a considerable part therein for some time, having succeeded the Franciscan Father Rodinger as her confessor in ins. The Land­grave Louis, in common with Pope Gregory IX and many others, had a high opinion of Conrad, and had allowed his wife to make a promise of obedience to him, saving of course his own husbandly authority.
  But the conclusion can hardly be avoided that Conrad’s experience as a successful inquisitor of heretics and his domineering and severe, if not brutal, personality made him an unsuitable person to be the director of St Elizabeth. Some of his later critics have been moved in their adverse criticism by emotion rather than thought and knowledge; on the other hand, his defenders and apologists have not always been free from special pleading. Subjectively, it is true that Conrad, by giving to Elizabeth obstacles which she overcame, helped her on her road to sanctity (though we cannot know that a director of more sensibility would not have led her to yet greater heights)
had acquired a love of poverty which she could put into action only to a limited extent all the time she was landgravine of Thuringia.

 Now, her children having been provided for, she went to Marburg, but was forced to leave there and lived for a time in a cottage at Wehrda, by the side of the River Lahn. Then she built a small house just outside Marburg and attached to it a hospice for the relief of the sick, the aged and the poor, to whose service she entirely devoted herself.

In some respects Conrad acted as a prudent and necessary brake on her en­thusiasm at this tim : he would not allow her to beg from door to door or to divest herself definitely of all her goods or to give more than a certain amount at a time in alms or to risk infection from leprosy and other diseases. In such matters he acted with care and wisdom. But “Master Conrad tried her constancy in many ways, striving to brcak her own will in all things. That he might afflict her still more he deprived her of those of her household who were particularly dear to her, including me, Isentrude, whom she loved; she sent me away in great dis­tress and with many tears. Last of all he turned off Jutta, my companion, who had been with her from her childhood, and whom she loved with a special love. With tears and sighs the blessed Elizabeth saw her go. Master Conrad, of pious memory, did this in his zeal with good intentions, lest we should talk to her of past greatness and she be tempted to regret. Moreover, he thus took away from her any comfort she might have in us because he wished her to cling to God alone.”
  For her devoted waiting-women he substituted two
harsh females, who reported to him on her words and actions when these infringed his detailed commands in the smallest degree. He punished her with slaps in the face and blows with a long, thick rod “whose marks remained for three weeks. No plea of “other times, other manners can take the sting from Elizabeth’s bitter cry to Isentrude, “If I am so afraid of a mortal man, how awe-inspiring must be the Lord and Judge of the world!

  Conrad’s policy of breaking rather than directing the will was not completely successful. With reference to him and his disciplinary methods St Elizabeth compares herself to sedge in a stream during flood-time the water bears it down flat, but when the rains have gone it springs up again, straight, strong and unhurt. Once when she went off to pay a visit of which Conrad did not approve, he sent to fetch her back. “We are like the snail, she observed, “which withdraws into its shell when it is going to rain. So we obey and withdraw from the way we were going.” She had that good self-confidence so often seen when a sense of humour serves submission to God.

One day a Magyar noble arrived at Marburg and asked to be directed to the residence of his sovereign’s daughter, of whose troubles he had been informed.Arrived at the hospital, he saw Elizabeth in her plain grey gown, sitting at her spinning-wheel. The magnificent fellow started back, crossing himself in alarm:  “Whoever has seen a king’s daughter spinning before?He would have taken her back to the court of Hungary, but Elizabeth would not go. Her children, her poor, the grave of her husband were all in Thuringia, and she would stay there for the rest of her life. It was not for long. She lived with great austerity and worked continually, in her hospice, in the homes of the poor, fishing in the streams to earn a little more money to help sufferers even when she was sick herself she would try to spin or card wool. She had not been at Marburg two years. when her health finally gave way. As she lay abed her attendant heard her singing softly. “You sing sweetly, madam,” she said. “I will tell you why,” replied Elizabeth.

  Between me and the wall there was a little bird singing so gaily to me, and it was so sweet that I had to sing too.” At midnight before the day of her death she stirred from her quietness and said, “It is near the hour when the Lord was born and lay in the manger and by His all-mighty power made a new star. He came to redeem the world, and He will redeem me.” And at cock-crow, “It is now the time when He rose from the grave and broke the doors of hell, and he will release me.”

St Elizabeth died in the evening of November 17, 1231, being then not yet twenty-four years old.

   For three days her body lay in state in the chapel of the hospice, where she was buried and where many miracles were seen at her intercession. Master Conrad began collecting depositions, touching her sanctity, but he did not live to see her canonization, which was proclaimed in 1235. In the following year her relics were translated to the church of St Elizabeth at Marburg, built by her brother-in-law Conrad, in the presence of the Emperor Frederick II, and so great a concourse of divers nations, peoples and tongues as in these German lands scarcely ever was gathered before or will ever be again. There the relics of St Elizabeth of Hun­gary rested, an object of pilgrimage to all Germany and beyond, till in 1539 a Protestant landgrave of Hesse, Philip, removed them to a place unknown.

A glance at the BHL., nn. 2488—2514, suffices to reveal how much was written about St Elizabeth within a relatively short time of her death. For a somewhat more detailed biblio­graphy of sources, consult A. Huyskens, Quellenstudien zur Geschichte der hl. Elizabeth (1908), and also the introduction and notes to the text printed by D. Henniges in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, vol. ii (1909), pp. 240—268. It must suffice to say here that the most important materials are supplied by the Libelius de dictis IV anciliarum (a summary of the depositions of the saint’s four handrnaidens); by the letters of Conrad to the pope the accounts of miracles and other documents sent to Rome in view of her canonization; the life written by Caesarius of Heisterbach with a discourse of his concerning the translation (both before 1240); and the life by Dietrich of Apolda, composed as late as 1297, but im­portant on account of its wide diffusion. Some of the most notable of these texts were edited by Karl Wenck, and others by Huyskens, in view of the seventh centenary of the saint’s birth. A detailed criticism is provided in the Analecta Bollandiana, vols. xxvii, pp. 493—497 and xxviii, pp. 333—335. Of modern biographies the work of Count de Monta­lembert (1836; best English translation by F.D. Hoyt , 1904) for more than half a century held the field, but unfortunately the author’s charm of style and deep religious feeling are handicapped by a lack of historical criticism. The attitude of Conrad of Marburg towards his penitent has been in some measure vindicated by P. Braun in his articles in the Beitrage zur Hessische Kirchengeschichte, vol. iv (1910), pp. 248—300 and 331—364. There are French lives of the saint of moderate compass by E. Horn (1902), Leopold de Cherancé (1927), and 3. Ancelet-Hustache (1947), and German ones by A. Stolz (1898) and E. Busse-Wilson (1931). There is a sensitive simple sketch in English by William Canton; but the book called Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, by F. J. von Weinrich (Eng. trans., 1933), is a mere work of fiction based upon the story of St Elizabeth. She has sometimes been credited with the writings called the Revalationes B. Elisabeth, but thus contain nothing of hers, as F. Oliger has proved: neither did they spring from the fertile imagination of St Elizabeth of Schönau cf. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxi (1953), pp. 494—495.
1231 St. Anthony or Antonio Of Padua a preaching friar most zealous in checking heresy, he gained great fame in Italy, which became the scene of his labours; miracles
Patávii sancti Antónii Lusitáni, Sacerdótis ex Ordine Minórum et Confessóris, atque Ecclésiæ Doctóris, vita et miráculis, ac prædicatióne illústris, quem, uno post illíus óbitum anno nondum expléto, Gregórius Papa Nonus in Sanctórum cánonem rétulit.
    At Padua, St. Anthony, a native of Portugal, priest of the Order of Friars Minor and confessor, illustrious for the sanctity of his life, his miracles, and his preaching.  Pope Gregory IX placed him on the canon of the saints within a year after his death.

Few of the medieval saints adopted into the Romish calendar have attained to such lasting celebrity as St. Anthony, or Antonio, of Padua. All over Italy his memory is held in the highest veneration; but at Padua in particular, where his festival is enthusiastically kept, he is spoken of as Il Santo, or the saint, as if no other was of any importance.  Besides larger memoirs of St. Anthony, there are current in the north of Italy small chap-books or tracts describing his character and his miracles. From one of these, purchased within the present year from a stall in Padua, we offer the following as a specimen of the existing folk-lore of Venetian Lombardy.
St. Anthony was born at Lisbon on the 15th of August 1195.

At twenty-five years of age he entered a convent of Franciscans, and as a preaching friar most zealous in checking heresy, he gained great fame in Italy, which became the scene of his labours. In this great work the power of miracle came to his aid. On one occasion, at Rimini, there was a person who held heretical opinions, and in order to convince him of his error, Anthony caused the fishes in the water to lift up their heads and listen to his discourse.
This miracle, which of course converted the heretic, is represented in a variety of cheap prints, to be seen on almost every stall in Italy, and is the subject of a wood-cut in the chap-book from which we quote, here faithfully represented.
   On another occasion, to reclaim a heretic, he caused the man's mule, after three days' abstinence from food, to kneel down and venerate the host, instead of rushing to a bundle of hay that was set before it. This miracle was equally efficacious.

Then we are told of St. Anthony causing a new-born babe to speak, and tell who was its father; also, of a wonderful miracle he wrought in saving the life of a poor woman's child. The woman had gone to hear St. Anthony preach, leaving her child alone in the house, and during her absence it fell into a pot on the fire; but, strangely enough, instead of finding it scalded to death, the mother found it standing up whole in the boiling cauldron. What with zealous labours and fastings, St. Anthony cut short his days, and died in the odour of sanctity on the 13th of June 1231.

Padua, now claiming him as patron saint and protector, set about erecting a grand temple to his memory. This large and handsome church was completed in 1307. It is a gigantic building, in the pointed Lombardo-Venetian style, with several towers and minarets of an Eastern character. The chief object of attraction in the interior is the chapel specially devoted to Il SantoIt consists of the northern transept, gorgeously decorated with sculptures, bronzes, and gilding. The altar is of white marble, inlaid, resting on the tomb of St. Anthony, which is a sarcophagus of verd antique. Around it, in candelabra and in suspended lamps, lights burn night and day; and at nearly all hours a host of devotees may be seen kneeling in front of the shrine, or standing behind with hands devoutly and imploringly touching the sarcophagus, as if trying to draw succour and consolation from the marble of the tomb. The visitor to this splendid shrine is not less struck with the more than usual quantity of votive offerings suspended on the walls and end of the altar. These consist mainly of small framed sketches in oil or water colours, representing some circumstance that calls for particular thankfulness.

St. Anthony of Padua, as appears from these pictures, is a saint ever ready to rescue persons from destructive accidents, such as the over-turning of wagons or carriages, the falling from windows or roofs of houses, the upsetting of boats, and such like; on any of these occurrences a person has only to call vehemently and with faith on St. Anthony in order to be rescued. The hundreds of small pictures we speak of represent these appealling scenes, with a figure of' St. Anthony in the sky interposing to save life and limb. On each are inscribed the letters P. G. R., with the date of the accident;—the letters being an abbreviation of the words Per Grazzia Ricevuto—for grace or favour received. On visiting the shrine, we remarked that many are quite recent; one of them depicting an accident by a railway train. The other chief object of interest in the church is a chapel behind the high altar appropriated as a reliquary. Here, within a splendidly decorated cupboard, as it might be called, are treasured up certain relics of the now long deceased saint. The principal relic is the tongue of Il Santo, which. is contained within an elegant case of silver gilt, as here represented. This with other relics is exhibited once a year, at the great festival on the 13th of June, when Padua holds its grandest holiday.
It is to be remarked that the article entitled 'St. Anthony and the Pigs,' inserted under January 17, ought properly to have been placed here, as the patronship of animals belongs truly to St. Anthony of Padua, most probably in consequence of his sermon to the fishes.

Portuguese by nationality and a native of Lisbon, St Antony nevertheless derives his surname from the Italian city of Padua where he made his last home and where his relics are still venerated. He was born in 1195 and baptized Ferdinand, a name that he was to change to that of Antony when he entered the Order of Friars Minor, out of devotion to the great patriarch of monks who was titular saint of the chapel in which he received the Franciscan habit.
His parents, young members of the Portuguese nobility, confided his early education to the clergy of the cathedral of Lisbon.  He joined the regular canons of St Augustine who were settled near the city at the age of fifteen. Two years later he obtained leave to be transferred to the priory at Coimbra—then the capital of Portugal—in order to avoid the distractions caused by the numerous visits of friends. There he devoted himself to prayer and study, acquiring, with the help of an unusually retentive memory, an extraordinary knowledge of the Bible. He had been living at Coimbra for eight years when Don Pedro of Portugal brought from Morocco in 1220 relics of Franciscans lately suffered a glorious martyrdom there. Ferdinand was profoundly moved, and conceived an ardent desire to lay down his life for Christ—an aspiration he had little prospect of realizing as a canon regular. To some Franciscans who came to his monastery of Holy Cross to beg, he laid open his heart, and eventually was admitted to their order in 1221.

Within a very short time he was permitted to embark for Morocco with the intention of preaching the Gospel to the Moors. Hardly had he arrived when he was prostrated by a severe illness that totally incapacitated him for some months and eventually necessitated his return to Europe. The vessel in which he sailed was driven out of its course by contrary winds and he found himself landed at Messina in Sicily. From thence he made his way to Assisi where, as he had learnt from his Sicilian brethren, a general chapter was about to be held.

It was the great gathering of 1221—the last chapter open to all members of the order— and was presided over by Brother Elias as vicar general, with St Francis seated at his feet. It cannot fail to have deeply impressed the young Portuguese friar. At the close the brethren returned to the posts allocated to them, and Antony was appointed to the lonely hermitage of San Paolo near Forli. It is a moot point whether or not he was already a priest at this time. What is certain is that no one suspected the brilliant intellectual and spiritual gifts of the sickly young brother who kept silence. When he was not praying in the chapel or in the little cave, which had been made over to him, he was serving the other friars by washing up pots and dishes after the common meal.


His light was not destined to remain long hidden. It happened that an ordination was held at Forli, on which occasion the Dominican and Franciscan candidates were entertained at the Minorite convent there. Through some misunderstanding none of the Dominicans had come prepared to deliver the customary address at the ceremony, and as no one among the Franciscans seemed capable of filling the breach. St Antony, who was present, was told to come forward and speak whatever the Holy Ghost should put into his mouth.
Very diffidently he obeyed; but once he began he delivered an address that amazed all who heard it by its eloquence, its fervor, and learning it displayed. The minister provincial, informed of talent possessed by the young friar he brought from Assisi, promptly recalled him from his retreat and sent him to preach in various parts of Romagna, which then comprised the whole of Lombardy.

Antony immediately sprang into fame and proved particularly successful in converting heretics who abounded in northern Italy and who were in many cases men of some education and best reached by arguments based on the Holy Scriptures. In addition to his commission as a preacher, he was appointed lector in theology to his brethren—the first member of his order to fill such a post.
In a letter generally regarded as authentic St Francis confirmed this appointment:
“To my dearest brother Antony, brother Francis sends greetings in Jesus Christ. I am well pleased that you should read sacred theology to the friars provided that such study does not quench the spirit of holy prayer and devotion according to our rule.”

It became more and more evident that his true mission lay in the pulpit. He had indeed all the qualifications —learning, eloquence, great power of persuasion, a burning zeal for souls and a sonorous voice that carried far. Moreover, he was said to be endowed with the gift of miracles and, though undersized and inclined to corpulence, he had an attractive, almost magnetic, personality. Sometimes the mere sight of him brought sinners to their knees: he appeared to radiate holiness. Wherever he went crowds flocked to hear him and hardened criminals, careless folk, and heretics alike were converted and brought to confession. Men closed their shops and offices to go to his sermons; women rose early or remained overnight in church to secure their places. Often the churches could not hold the congregations and he preached to them in the squares and market places. Shortly after the death of St Francis he was recalled to Italy, apparently to be minister provincial of Emilia or Romagna.

With regard to his attitude in the dissensions that arose in the order, modern historians discredit the legend that he headed the opposition to Brother Elias and to any departure from the original rule. They point out that the very lectorship, which was created for him, had been a signal innovation. He seems rather to have acted as envoy from the chapter general in 1226 to Pope Gregory IX, charged to lay before him for his decision the questions that had arisen. Antony on that occasion obtained from the pope his release from office that he might devote himself to preaching. The pope had the highest opinion of him and once called him “the Ark of the Testament , because of his singular knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.

From that time St Antony resided at Padua—a city where he had previously labored, where he was greatly beloved, and where, more than anywhere else, he was privileged to see the great fruit that resulted from his ministry. His sermons listened to by enormous congregations led to a great and general reformation of conduct. Long-standing quarrels were amicably settled, prisoners were liberated and the owners of ill-gotten goods made restitution, often in public at St Antony’s feet.
In the interests of the poor he denounced the prevailing vice of usury and induced the state to pass a law exempting from prison such debtors as were willing to part with their possessions in order to pay their creditors. He is also said to have ventured boldly into the presence of the truculent Duke Eccelino to plead for the liberation of certain citizens of Verona the duke had captured. Although his efforts were unsuccessful it says much for the respect he inspired that he was apparently listened to with patience and allowed to depart unmolested.

After preaching a course of sermons in the spring of 1231, St Antony’s strength gave out and he retired with two other friars to a woodland retreat at Camposanpiero. It was soon clear that his days were numbered, and he asked to be taken back to Padua. He never reached the city, but only its outskirts. On June 13, 1231, in the apartment reserved for the chaplain of the Poor Clares of Arcella, he received last rites and passed to his eternal reward. He was only thirty-six. Extraordinary demonstrations of veneration were witnessed at his funeral and the Paduans have always regarded his relics as their most precious possession.

Within a year of his death Antony was canonized; on that occasion Pope Gregory IX intoned the anthem “0 doctor optime” in his honour, thus anticipating the year 1946 when Pope Pius XII declared him a Doctor of the Church. It has been impossible in this short account to embark upon any discussion of the miracles wrought by the saint. Whether he did or did not perform wonders in his lifetime, it is the innumerable favors he has obtained for his devotees since his death that have won for him the title of “The Wonder-worker. Since the seventeenth century St Antony has been usually represented with the Infant Saviour because of a story of late date that once, when he was on a visit, his host, glancing through a window, saw him gazing with rapture on the Holy Child whom he was holding in his arms. In the earliest pictures we find nothing more distinctive than a book, emblematic of his knowledge of Holy Scripture, or a lily. Occasionally he is accompanied by the mule, which, according to the legend, knelt before the Blessed Sacrament upheld in the hands of the saint, and by so doing converted its owner to a belief in the real presence. St Antony is the patron of the poor, and alms specially given to obtain his intercession are called “St Antony’s Bread”; this practice, however, seems only to date from 1890. How he came to be invoked to find lost articles admits of no quite satisfactory explanation, but it may not impossibly be connected with a story recounted among the miracles in the Chronica XXIV Generalium (No. 21). A novice ran away and carried off a valuable psalter St Antony was using. He prayed for its recovery and the novice was compelled by an alarming apparition to come back and return it.
1231 Blessed Dodo of Asch Hermit  amazing austerities He possessed the gift of healing, and many sick persons recovered health at his hands (PC)
(also known as Dodon)

1231 BD DODO He possessed the gift of healing, and many sick persons recovered health at his hands
IN spite of his evident vocation to the religious life, Bd Dodo was constrained by his parents to marry. At his father’s death, however, he was able to fulfil his aspirations, for his wife and his mother retired into a convent and he was free to join the Premonstratensians. With the abbot’s permission, he afterwards betook himself to a lonely spot where he lived in complete solitude for four years, his only visitors being the evil spirits who strove to tempt him. He moved to another place in Friesland, called Asch or Hasch, and there he redoubled his austerities. As he lay prostrate before the crucifix one day, the figure spoke to him and told him that he would have to remain long upon the cross. He possessed the gift of healing, and many sick persons recovered health at his hands. In extreme old age he was killed by a falling wall, and after his death, marks of our Lord’s wounds are said to have been found upon his body. This early case of alleged stigmatization is interesting because it may possibly be of older date than that of St Francis; but it seems likely that the wounds were caused by the falling masonry. The story that Dodo induced the Frisians to relinquish a number of their savage pagan customs may belong to someone else of the same name. As a solitary he would hardly have had occasion to intervene, as the legend says he did, to stop the practice of keeping the victims of assassination unburied until vengeance had been taken on the murderers, or on some members of their family.
See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii. As to the alleged stigmata, cf. Fr Thurston in The Month, July 1919, pp. 39—50.
Dodo retired with his mother and wife to the Premonstratensians of Mariagarden at Asch in Frisia. As a hermit at various places he became known for his amazing austerities. Dodo is said to have received the stigmata, which may have pre-dated that of Saint Francis of Assisi. Dodo died when he was crushed under a wall of his cell (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia).

1232 BENTVOGLIA great charity; zeal for souls; inspiring earnestness of his sermons;  levitating

BENTVOGLIA a native of San Severino in the Marches, joined the Franciscan Order in the lifetime of the founder, and though his family was well-to-do a number of his near relatives subsequently followed his example. The imperfect records preserved to us do not seem to supply anything very characteristic or personal regarding this beatus. He, no doubt, shared in full measure the love of poverty and simplicity which was so conspicuous in the first generation of the Friars Minor. We are told of his great charity, his zeal for souls and of the inspiring earnestness of his sermons. The parish priest of San Severino is said in the Fioretti to have been brought to the order by witnessing a rapture of Bd Bentivoglia when praying in a wood, in the course of which he saw this holy brother raised for a long time high above the ground. In the same source we read how, “while sojourning once alone at Trave Bonanti in order to take charge of and serve a certain leper, he (Bentivoglia) received commandment from his superior to depart thence and go unto another place, which was about fifteen miles distant, and, not willing to abandon the leper, he took him with him with great fervour of charity, and placed him on his shoulders, and carried him from the dawn till the rising of the sun all the fifteen miles of the way, even to the place where he was sent, which was called Monte San Vicino, which journey, if he had been an eagle, he could not have flown in so short a time, and this divine miracle put the whole country round in amazement and admiration”. He died, where he was born, at San Severino on Christmas day, 1232.

See Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (168o), vol. i, pp. 239—240 Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 31-33; and Actus B. Francisci et sociorum ejus, edited by Paul Sabatier, p. 160 In deference to the reading of Sabatier’s manuscripts I have spelt the name Bentivoglia rather than Bentivoglio.
13th v Saint Sava of the Caves lived in the Near Caves of the Kiev Caves monastery a wonderworker
 In the manuscripts, in the "Book of the Saints," and in the Canon of the Services to the Fathers of the Kiev Caves, he is called a wonderworker.

His memory is celebrated on April 24 because of his namesake, the Holy Martyr Sava Stratelates. The memory of St Sava is also celebrated on the Synaxis of the Monastic Fathers of the Near Caves (September 28), and on the Synaxis of all the Wonderworkers of the Kiev Caves (Second Sunday of Great Lent).

13th v Saint Alexius, Hermit of Caves, lived a life of asceticism in the Near Caves of the Kiev Caves monastery
His relics were uncovered after 1675. The memory of St Alexius is celebrated on April 24, because his relics rest beside the relics of St Sava of Caves.
His memory is also celebrated on the Synaxis of the Monastic Fathers of the Near Caves (September 28) and on the Synaxis of all the Wonderworkers of the Kiev Caves (Second Sunday of Great Lent).1220 St. Angelo martyred early Carmelite parents Jews of Jerusalem converted to Christianity by his vision of our Lady converted many sinners by teaching/miracles Our Lord appeared to him to offer the sacrifice of his life he did so in Sicily

St. Angelo, who was one of the early members of the Carmelite Order, suffered martyrdom for the Faith at Leocata, Sicily. The story of his life, as it has come down, is not very reliable. It may be summarized as follows: His parents were Jews of Jerusalem who were converted to Christianity by a vision of our Lady. She told them that the Messiah they were awaiting had already come to pass and had redeemed His people, and she promised them two sons, who would grow up as flourishing olive trees on the heights of Carmel-the one as a patriarch and the other as a glorious martyr. From childhood the twins displayed great mental and spiritual gifts when, at the age of eighteen, they entered the Carmelite Order, they already spoke Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. After Angelo had been a hermit on Mount Carmel for five years, Our Lord appeared to him and bade him go to Sicily, where he would have the grace to offer the sacrifice of his life. The saint immediately obeyed the call. During his journey from the East as well as after his arrival in Sicily, he converted many sinners by his teaching, no less than by his miracles.
At Palermo over two hundred Jews sought Baptism as the result of his eloquence. Similar success attended his efforts in Leocata, but he aroused the fury of a man called Berengarius, whose shameless wickedness he had denounced. As he was preaching to a crowd, a band of ruffians headed by Berengarius broke through the throng and stabbed him.
Mortally wounded, Angelo fell on his knees, praying for the people, but especially for his murderer.
1233 7 Founders of the Order of Servites On the Feast of the Assumption the 7 had a single inspiration or vision to withdraw from the world to form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.

Can you imagine seven prominent men of Boston or Denver banding together, leaving their homes and professions, and going into solitude for a life directly given to God? That is what happened in the cultured and prosperous city of Florence in the middle of the thirteenth century. The city was torn with political strife as well as the heresy of the Cathari. Morals were low and religion seemed meaningless.

In 1240 seven noblemen of Florence mutually decided to withdraw from the city to a solitary place for prayer and direct service of God. Their initial difficulty was providing for their dependents, since two were still married and two were widowers.  Their aim was to lead a life of penance and prayer, but they soon found themselves disturbed by constant visitors from Florence. They next withdrew to the deserted slopes of Monte Senario.
In 1244, under the direction of St. Peter of Verona, O.P., this small group adopted a religious habit similar to the Dominican habit, choosing to live under the Rule of St. Augustine and adopting the name of the Servants of Mary. The new Order took a form more like that of the mendicant friars than that of the older monastic Orders.

Members of the community came to the United States from Austria in 1852 and settled in New York and later in Philadelphia.
The two American provinces developed from the foundation made by Father Austin Morini in 1870 in Wisconsin.  Community members combined monastic life and active ministry. In the monastery, they led a life of prayer, work and silence while in the active apostolate they engaged in parochial work, teaching, preaching and other ministerial activities.
Comment: The time in which the seven Servite founders lived is very easily comparable to the situation in which we find ourselves today. It is “the best of times and the worst of times,” as Dickens said. Some, perhaps many, feel called to a countercultural life, even in religion. All of us are faced in a new and urgent way with the challenge to make our lives decisively centered in Christ.
Quote:  “Let all religious therefore spread throughout the whole world the good news of Christ by the integrity of their faith, their love for God and neighbor, their devotion to the Cross and their hope of future glory.... Thus, too, with the prayerful aid of that most loving Virgin Mary, God’s Mother, ‘Whose life is a rule of life for all,’ religious communities will experience a daily growth in number, and will yield a richer harvest of fruits that bring salvation” (Decree on the Renewal of Religious Life, 25).
Seven Founders of the Order of Servites (RM) 13th century; canonized in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII.

In 1233 seven wealthy councilors of the city of Florence, who had previously joined the Laudesi (Praisers), gave up the pleasures of this world in order to devote themselves to God through particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Their previous lives had been by no means lax or undisciplined, even though Florence was then a city filled with factions and immorality, and infected by the Cathar heresy (the belief that the body was evil and we are the souls of angels inserted by Satan into human bodies).
Under the direction of James of Poggibonsi, who was the chaplain of the Laudesi and a man of great holiness and spiritual insight, they came to recognize the call to renunciation.
On the Feast of the Assumption, 1233, the seven had a single inspiration or vision to withdraw from the world to form a new society within the Church devoted to prayer and solitude.

Of course, there were difficulties: Four of the men had been married, although two were widowers and the other three celibate. Each of them made provision for their dependents, and with the approval of their bishop withdrew from the world 23 days after the Assumption. At first they lived just outside the city gates at La Camarzia, humbly obeying the dictates of the bishop of Florence.
As their fame spread the seven moved further away to the wilder hills around Monte Sennario, where they built a church and a hermitage. For seven years they lived there, eating little, fasting and praying and allowing no new recruits to their company. But in 1240 Bishop Ardingo of Florence and Cardinal Castiglione visited them after hearing about the sanctity of the seven. The cardinal was suitably impressed but had one criticism, "You treat yourselves in a manner bordering on barbarity: and you seem more desirous of dying to time than of living for eternity. Take heed: the enemy of souls often hides himself under the appearance of an angel of light. . . . Hearken to the counsels of your superiors."
Bishop Ardingo went on to explain a vision that they had had of a vine that blossomed with green leaves and fruit in the middle of a cold March day. He told them that this was God's way of leading them to branch out into the world. The prelates insisted that the seven must welcome others who wished to follow so rigorous a life, and gave them rules for their order based on Saint Augustine and the Dominican Constitutions. They were to adopt the black habit of Augustinian monks and to live as mendicant friars.
As always, the hermits prayed for light, and again Our Lady appeared to them. On Good Friday, April 13, 1240, their mission was further defined in what they believed to be a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who they understood to say, "You will found a new order and you will be my witnesses throughout the world. This is your name: Servants of Mary. This is your rule: that of Saint Augustine. And here is your distinctive sign: The Black scapular, in memory of my sufferings." She held in her hand the black habit, while an angel bore a scroll inscribed with the title "Servants of Mary."

From that time they became known as Servites (or 'the Servants of Mary') because they meditated especially on the sorrows in the life of the mother of God. They were clothed in the habit by their bishop, took new names in religion, and all except Saint Alexis, who in his humility begged to be excused, were ordained as priests. So many joined the Servites that new groups were set up in neighboring Tuscan cities, such as Siena, Pistoia, Arezzo, Carfaggio, and Lucca. In 1250, to commemorate the appearance of the Angel Gabriel to Mary, the seven founders built the superb church of Santissima Annunziata in Florence, which is still served by their order.

The Servites were recognized in 1259 by the papal legate Raniero Cardinal Capocci and solemnly approved by Blessed Benedict XI in 1304. It has since spread into many parts of the world and continues to attract men and women, devoted to the Blessed Virgin. Many of their houses are dedicated to the education of children and the care of the poor and sick. The Servites fostered the devotion known as the Seven Sorrows of Mary, a development of the late medieval devotion to Our Lady of Pity, which offers a counterpart to the older one of the Seven Joys of Mary.

Of the seven founders, four became priors-general, two founded monasteries in France and Germany, and Alexis, who outlived the others, remained a lay brother his entire life. Short biographies of the seven founders are given for today. Note that some accounts give other names to the founders.

Alexis (Alessio) Falconieri (Born c. 1200; died at Monte Sennario on February 17, 1310). Son of Bernard Falconieri, a wealthy Florentine merchant and a Guelph, joined the Confraternity of the Blessed Virgin in Florence about 1225. They were all ordained except Alexis, who felt he was not worthy enough to be a priest and devoted himself to the material needs of the community and helped build the Servite church at Cafaggio. He was the only one of the seven still alive when the order was approved by Pope Benedict XI.

Bartholomew (Bartholomes, Amadeus) degli Amidei. Amadeus governed the important convent of Carfaggio, but returned to Monte Sennario to die.
Benedict (Manettus, Manetius, Manetto) dell'Antella (Died August 20, 1268.) In 1246, he attended the Council of Lyons. When the order was divided into two provinces in 1260, Manettus governed Tuscany. He later introduced the order into France at the invitation of King Saint Louis. When Manettus became the fourth prior general, he sent missionaries to Asia. He retired in deference to Saint Philip Benizi, on whose breast he died.
Buonfiglio (Bonfilio) Monaldi (Monaldo) (Died January 1, 1261.) Bonfilio, the eldest of the seven, was the first superior of the Servites, serving until 1256
Gherardino (Gerardino, Sostenes) Sostegni (Sostegno). While Manettus governed the Tuscan province after 1260, Sostenes ruled that of Umbria. He later carried the order into Germany.
John Buonagiunta (Bonaiuncta). The youngest of the seven, Buonagiunta was elected in 1256 as the second prior general of the Servites. Soon after his election he died in the chapel while listening to the Gospel account of the Passion.
Ricovero (Hugh) dei Lippi-Ugoccioni (Uguccione) (Died at Monte Sennario, Italy, May 3, 1282). Hugh accompanied Saint Philip Benizi to France and Germany and was vicar-general of the order in the latter for eight years. Hugh and Sosthenes were recalled from foreign lands (France and Germany) in 1276, and died of illness on the same night (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh).
I found the following unattributed prayer for their intercession: 
"Servants of Mary, bless all laypeople on their spiritual journey. Help us look to Mary for examples of faith, service, and humility. And help us to remember that God calls us to love him in his children and our neighbors. Remind us that it is more important to live for eternity than to die to time. Amen." 
1234 St. William of Saint-Brieuc, Bishop, also called William Pinchon. A native of Brittany, France, he entered the priesthood and was soon made a canon and then bishop of Saint-Bricuc  (in 1220). Known as a staunch defender of the poor and of ecclesiastical rights, he was banished for a time by the duke of Brittany, going to Poitiers and returning in 1230 body was deposited in his cathedral and taken up incorrupt in 1248. He was canonized in 1247 or 1253.
In civitáte Briocénsi, in Gállia, sancti Guliélmi, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
    At St. Brieuc in France, St. William, bishop and confessor.
1234 St William Pinchon, Bishop Of Saint-Brieuc 
On this bishop, St William Pinchon, we are told that his virtues and miracles were remarkable, but of the actual events of his life very little is known.  He received holy orders at the hands of Josselin, Bishop of Saint-Brieuc, served that church under his two successors, Peter and Silvester, and succeeded himself to the see about the year 1220. The poor were his treasurers, and not content to exhaust on them whatever he possessed, he borrowed stores of corn and other necessary provisions for their relief; his application to all the duties of his charge was no hindrance to his nourishing within himself the spirit of recollection and holy prayer. Being pertinacious in defending the rights of the Church and its bishops against the encroachments of Peter Mauclerc, Duke of Brittany, he was expelled from his diocese for two years and took refuge at Poitiers. He returned in 1230 and died four years later at Saint-Brieuc.  His body was deposited in his cathedral and taken up incorrupt in 1248, the year after he was canonized.
See the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. vii, where a short life is printed, attributed to Godefrid Calvus. Cf. also Lobineau, Vies des saints de Bretagne, vol. ii, pp. 426-435, and J. Arnault, S. Guillaume, éveque de Saint-Brieuc (1934).
William Pinchon of Saint-Brieuc B (RM) Born in Brittany; canonized in 1253 by Pope Innocent IV. Although William was born into an illustrious Breton family, he possessed very admirable virtues: an innocence of manner, meekness, humility, chastity, charity, and devotion. Bishop Josselin of Saint-Brieuc both tonsured and ordained William as deacon, then priest. Thereafter he served as a canon of the diocese until his elevation to the bishopric in 1220. During the 14 years of his episcopate, he suffered banishment to Poitiers and other indignities because of his defense of the rights of the Church.
He made no show of his austerities: It was a long time before his domestic servants realized that he never used the soft bed that they prepared for him. Instead he sleep on bare boards to train his spirit to rise above the weakness of his body. The poor were his treasures. Whenever he had given away all he possessed, he would borrow the stores of others to relieve them. Despite an arduous schedule, he never deprived his spirit of nourishing prayer which gave meaning to all he did. Upon his death, William's body was buried in the cathedral. In 1248 it was taken up and found to be incorrupt (Benedictines, Husenbeth).

1236 St. Conon Basilian abbot Greek monastery at Nesi Sicily holiness working of miracles -- Italy.
Conon of Nesi, Abbot (AC) A Basilian monk abbot of Greek monastery of Nesi in Sicily, Saint Conon was revered for his holiness demonstrated by the working of miracles (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1236 Bl. Rizzerio Early Franciscan great austerities mortifications miracle from Francis that dissolved his despair of God's mercy
One of the favorite followers of St. Francis of Assisi. Originally from a wealthy family, he was born at Muccia, in the Italian Marches. While studying at the university of Bologna, Italy, in 1222, he had occasion to hear a sermon delivered by Francis and was so moved that he soon joined the Franciscans. Subsequently ordained, he became a leading advisor and close associate of Francis, served as provincial of the Marches, received from the saint a miracle by which his seemingly insuperable despair of God’s forgiveness was overcome, and was present at Francis’ deathbed. He is men­tioned in the famed work of the Fioretti, The Little Flowers of St. Francis, under the name Rinieri. He died on March 26.

Blessed Rizzerio, OFM (AC) (also known as Richerius) Born in Muccia, Marches, Italy; died March 26, 1236; cultus confirmed 1836. Born into a wealthy family, Rizzerio studied at the University of Bologna. In 1222, he and his fellow-student Blessed Peregrine were so impressed by one of Saint Francis of Assisi's sermons preached there that they immediately joined the Franciscans. Rizzerio was ordained, became a close associate of Francis, and served as provincial of the Marches. He practiced great austerities and mortifications and was the recipient of a miracle from Francis that dissolved his despair of God's mercy. Rizzerio, who was present at the death of Francis, was called Rinieri in The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (Benedictines, Delaney).
1240 Bd Peregrine of  Falerone; a lay-brother; In this humble condition he persevered to the end. Both before and after death he was famous for miracles.
Peregrine was a young man of good family who was studying with great success at Bologna when St Francis came to preach there in 1220. Both he and a fellow student, Bd Rizzerio, were deeply impressed, and desired to join the friars.  St Francis accepted them, but told Peregrine that, in spite of his learing, it was God's will that he should serve as a lay-brother. In this humble condition he persevered to the end. Both before and after death he was famous for miracles.
  The Friars Minor join this beatus in one feast with Bd Liberatus (below) and Bd SANTES of MONTE FABRI who, having killed a man in defending himself, became a lay-brother in the order.   After a most holy life he died in 1290 and miracles were wrought at his grave.
The story of Peregrine is told in the documents which Sabatier calls the Speculum Vitae and the Actus b. Francisci et sociorum ejus (cap. 36).   See also Gentili, Saggio sopra l'ordine serafico, p. 27 seq.  and Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 527-529.  For Bd Santes, see Wadding, Annales Ord Minorum, vol. ix, pp. 94-96, and Leon, vol. iii.
1240 St Raymond Nonnatus the birthday of ; Master-general of Mercedarian Order;
Cardónæ, in Hispánia, tránsitus sancti Raymúndi Nonnáti, Cardinális et Confessóris, ex Ordine beátæ Maríæ de Mercéde redemptiónis captivórum, vitæ sanctitáte et miráculis clari.  Ipsíus tamen festum recólitur prídie Kaléndas Septémbris.
    At Cardona in Spain, the birthday of St. Raymund Nonnatus, cardinal and confessor, of the Order of our Lady of Ransom for the Redemption of Captives, renowned for holiness of life and for miracles, whose feast is observed on the 31st of August.

Also known as Raymund Nonnatus; Raimundo Nonato Memorial 31 August
Profile Spanish nobility. Well educated, his father planned a career for Raymond in the royal court in Aragon. When Raymond felt drawn to religious life, his father ordered him to manage one of the family farms. However, Raymond spent his time with the shepherds and workers, studying and praying until his father gave up the idea of making his son a wordly success.
Mercedarian priest, receiving the habit from Saint Peter Nolasco, the order's founder. Master-general of Mercedarian Order. Spent his entire estate ransoming Christians, then surrended as a hostage to free another. Sentenced to death by impalement, he was spared because of his large ransom value. Imprisoned and tortured, he still managed to convert some of his guards. To keep him from preaching the faith, his captors bored a hole through his lips with a hot iron, and attached padlock. Eventually ransomed, returning to Barcelona in 1239.

St Raymond Nonnatus Created cardinal by Pope Gregory IX, Raymond continued to live as a mendicant monk. He died while en route to Rome to answer a papal summons. Born 1204 at Portella, diocese of Urgel, Catalonia, Spain. Died 31 August 1240 at Cardona, Spain of a fever; buried at the chapel of Saint Nicholas near his family farm he was supposed to manage.  Canonized 5 November 1625 by Pope Urban VIII (cultus confirmed); 1657 by Pope Alexander VII (canonized)
Name Meaning not born (= non-natus) as he was delivered by ceasarian.
Patronage Baltoa, Dominican Republic; childbirth; children; expectant mothers; falsely accused people; fever; infants; midwives; newborn babies; obstetricians; pregnant women
Representation : Mercedarian surrounded by Moors and prisoners; Mercedarian surrounded by ransomed slaves; Mercedarian with a cardinal's red hat; Mercedarian with a padlock on his lips
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1242 Saint Edmund Rich taught theology for 8 years canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral very virtuous life experienced heavenly visitations B (RM) (also known as Edmund or Edme of Abingdon) When he preached his words were words of fire, which powerfully moved souls, and miracles were reported to attend his preaching at Worcester, Leominster and elsewhere. William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, who had lived a long time neglectful of the duties of a Christian, was converted by hearing a sermon, which the saint preached, and by conversing with him.
Cantuáriæ, in Anglia, sancti Edmúndi, Epíscopi et Confessóris; qui, pro Ecclésiæ suæ júribus tuéndis in exsílium actus, apud Provínum, Sénonum óppidum, sanctíssime óbiit; et Sanctórum cánoni ab Innocéntio Papa Quarto adscríptus est.
    At Canterbury in England, St. Edmund, archbishop and confessor, who was sent into exile for having maintained the rights of his church.  He died a most holy death at Provins, a town near Sens, and was canonized by Innocent IV.


1240 St Edmund Of Abingdon, Archbishop of Canterbury
Edmund was the eldest son of Reynold (or Edward) Rich of Abingdon in Berkshire and his wife Mabel, who were but slenderly provided with the goods of this world but were abundant in virtue and grace.

   Reynold in his middle years, having provided for his family, with his wife’s free consent made his religious profession in the monastery of Eynsham, where he soon died. Mabel lived in a very austere way, and brought up her children both religiously and strictly. When Edmund was about twelve he went to school at Oxford,*{ *It was at this time he was said to have had a vision of the boy Jesus in the fields, who told him that whoever should before sleeping trace the words Jesus of Nazareth on his forehead should be preserved that night from sudden and unprepared death. Whence the custom of tracing the initials I.N.R.I., with a prayer to the same end.} and some three years later, accom­panied by his brother Robert, to Paris to continue their studies there.

   The two boys were not unnaturally shy and nervous at leaving home and going so far on their own. The austere Mabel urged them to trust in God, and to encourage them gave each a hairshirt, which they promised to wear. Edmund was recalled to England by the mortal sickness of his mother, and before she died she gave him her last blessing. Edmund begged the same for his brother and sisters, but she answered, “I have given them my blessing in you, for through you they will share abundantly in the blessings of Heaven”, and she confided them to his care.

  The two girls wished to be nuns, and he placed them in the Benedictine nunnery of Catesby in Northamptonshire, where both were eminent for the sanctity of their lives, and died successively prioresses.

   Then Edmund went back to Paris to pursue his studies. Whilst he lived at Oxford he had consecrated himself to God by a vow of chastity, and this vow he observed with the utmost fidelity, sometimes in trying circumstances, as his biographer narrates. His life as a student was exemplary and he was assiduous in his attendance at the Church’s offices. He became regent in arts at Oxford, and was deeply immersed in the study and teaching of mathematics, until he seemed one night to see his mother in a dream, who, pointing to certain geometrical figures before him, asked him what all that signified. When he explained they represented the subject of his lectures, she told him rather to make the worshipful Trinity the object of his studies.

From that time he gave himself up to theology, took his doctorate, and was ordained, either in Oxford or Paris. For eight years he was a lecturer in theology at Oxford and is said to have been the first to teach the logic of Aristotle in that university. He was a successful professor and preacher, and a number of his pupils attained distinction. He took a personal interest in them, especially were they poor or sick, but for himself carried on his mother’s severe asceticism.  An abbot of Reading noticed that he did not relax even in vacation time. About 1222 Edmund accepted a canonry, as treasurer, in the cathedral of Salisbury, with the prebend of Calne, in Wiltshire, where he had to reside three months out of the twelve. One quarter of his income he gave to the building fund of the cathedral, and most of the rest to the poor, leaving himself destitute the greater part of the year, so that he had to seek the hospitality of Stanley Abbey, near Calne. The abbot more than once rebuked him for his extravagance and lack of foresight. In 1227 Pope Gregory IX sent him an order to preach the crusade against the Saracens, with the right to receive a stipend from each church in which he should do so. 

Edmund executed the commission with great zeal, but would accept no stipend. When he preached his words were words of fire, which powerfully moved souls, and miracles were reported to attend his preaching at Worcester, Leominster and elsewhere. William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, who had lived a long time neglectful of the duties of a Christian, was converted by hearing a sermon, which the saint preached, and by conversing with him.

   St Edmund was one of the most experienced doctors of the interior life in the Church at that time, and he was solicitous to teach Christians to pray in affection and spirit. “A hundred thousand persons”, he writes, “are deceived in multiplying prayers. I would rather say five words devoutly with my heart, than five thousand which my soul does not relish with affection and intelligence. Sing to the Lord with understanding: what a man repeats by his mouth, that let him feel in his soul.” He so well united in himself the science of the soul with that of the schools, mystical theology with speculative, that he became a perfect contemplative.

The see of Canterbury had been long vacant, when, after three annulled elections, St Edmund was chosen to fill it. A deputation was sent to Calne to give notice of his election, and to conduct him to his see. Edmund, who was till then, it is said, ignorant of these proceedings, protested against the office that was offered him. The deputies then applied to Bishop Robert of Salisbury, who exerted his authority to compel him to acquiesce. Edmund submitted, after much resistance, and was consecrated on April 2, 1234. A few days later he took part in a parliament at Westminster, which solemnly warned the king, Henry III, of the state of his realm and called on him to dismiss his unworthy ministers. This Henry did, and sent St Edmund with other bishops to the west to negotiate a truce with Llywelyn of Wales and the disaffected nobles. He further acted as mediator in the king’s dealings with the disgraced ministers, Peter des Roches, Bishop of Winchester, and others. About this time St Edmund appointed as his diocesan chancellor St Richard of Wych, afterwards bishop of Chichester, and he, together with Robert Rich the archbishop’s brother, seem to have been by his side for the rest of his life.

   In 1237 St Edmund presided at King Henry’s solemn ratification of the Great Charter in Westminster Abbey but his marriage with Eleanor of Provence had opened the way to more ministers and favourites from abroad and, to strengthen his hand against his own barons, Henry obtained the appointment of a papal legate, Cardinal Otto. St Edmund went to the king and protested at what he had done, foretelling that the appointment of a legate would be the cause of more trouble in the kingdom. Cardinal Otto duly arrived, creating a good impression by refusing the presents which were offered him on all sides, and presided at a council in St Paul’s at which were promulgated a number of canons concerning the discipline of the clergy and the holding of benefices. But some of them favoured foreign incumbents at the expense of Englishmen and were received with protests. Soon Henry was playing the legate off against St Edmund and the English bishops and barons.

  Love of peace and work for that end stand out prominently in the life and character of Edmund Rich, yet he chose to see his friends break with him and turn his persecutors, rather than approve or tolerate deviation from justice and right. Their bitterness against him never altered the peace of his mind or his charity and tenderness towards them and he seemed indifferent to any injuries or injustices that were done him. He used to say that tribulations were a food which God prepared for the nourishment of his soul, and that their bitterness was mixed with much sweetness, as it were a wild honey, with which his soul had need to be fed in the desert of this world, like John the Baptist in the wilderness. Nicholas Trivet, the English Dominican annalist, records that St Edmund had always some learned Dominican with him wherever he went, and that one of them, who lived to be very old, assured him that one day, when the saint had invited several persons to dine with him, he kept them waiting a long while before he came out. When dinner had been ready some time, Richard, his chancellor, went to call him, and found him in the chapel, raised a considerable height above the ground in prayer. St Edmund was of a friendly and affectionate disposition, and like other innocent people suffered from the censoriousness of others. When a lady whom he had befriended came from Catesby to pass Holy Week at Canterbury he said to her, “You are indeed welcome. And, if the world’s judgements were not too harsh for the purity of our intentions, nothing should be allowed ever to part us from each other.”

     St Edmund’s troubles were far from being confined to resisting the encroach­ments and injustices of the king in matters of church and state. The monks of Christ Church at Canterbury, who served the metropolitan cathedral, in defence of certain alleged rights and liberties, raised what was in effect a revolt against their archbishop. Though he offered a compromise, and the papal legate counselled them to submit, they carried on the controversy till it was a scandal throughout the land, and St Edmund took the matter to Rome in person in 1237. One evening while he was there he was summoned to the pope after Compline, and said the pope’s message had come while he was at prayer. “You would make a good monk”, said Gregory laughing. “Would that I could be a good monk and free from all these troubles”, replied St Edmund. “How happy and peaceful is the state of a monk!” But the Canterbury monks were not at all peaceful, and after he got back the archbishop had to excommunicate seventeen of them by name. Then King Henry openly opposed himself to St Edmund and his suffragans, and Cardinal Otto did likewise, absolving those whom he had excommunicated, reversing decisions he had given in various high matters, and even usurping personal rights of the English primate. Then at a council at Reading the legate asked for a levy of one-fifth on the goods of the bishops and clergy to help the pope in his struggle with the Emperor Frederick II. Already there was bitter resentment against the holding of so many wealthy English benefices by non-resident papal nominees, generally Italians, and the consequent material and spiritual harm (the great opponent of this abuse was the holy Robert Grosseteste, whom St Edmund consecrated bishop of Lincoln), and the bishops turned to their primate for counsel. “My brethren”, said Edmund, “you know that we are in such difficult times that we would all rather be dead. We must make a virtue of necessity. For, while the pope drags us one way and the king the other, I do not see how we can resist.”

Henry, in order to have the benefit of the revenues during vacancy, was in the habit of leaving offices and benefices in his gift unoccupied and of hindering the elections to others, with obvious hurt to the faithful. With great trouble and expense St Edmund had obtained a brief from Gregory IX that after six months’ vacancy the metropolitan could present to any cathedral or monastic church. Henry induced the pope to withdraw this brief, and it is not surprising that at this grave reverse St Edmund began to see himself as possibly another Thomas Becket. It had become almost impossible for him to administer his office, for whatever steps he took Cardinal Otto was liable to reverse them, and he decided to leave the country. After taking leave of the king and blessing the land, “standing on a hill [Shooters Hill?] near the city of London”, he sailed from Thanet; and “looking back on England he wept bitterly, knowing in spirit that he would never see it again.”

St Edmund went to the Cistercian abbey of Pontigny, “where a refuge had been found by all prelates who had been exiled from England for justice’s sake. Blessed Thomas the Martyr before the time of his martyrdom had awaited there for [two] years the reward of his life.”
 
   During the few months he was there Edmund lived as one of the community, writing in the scriptorium and preaching in the neighbouring villages. In the summer of 1240 he went for his health to a priory of canons regular at Soissy. Here he died at dawn on Friday, November 16, after raising the excommunication on the Canterbury monks, and sending his hair-shirt to his brother Robert and his camlet cloak and a holy image to his sisters at Catesby. He was buried in the great church at Pontigny, where his body is still enshrined and venerated. St Edmund was canonized six years later, and his feast is kept in nearly every diocese of England and by the Cistercians, as well as at Meaux and Sens.

We are on the whole very well informed regarding the history of St Edmund. Besides the abundant notices in Matthew Paris and several other contemporary chroniclers, there are at least four independent biographies of serious value. Unfortunately we have no certain knowledge as to their respective authors, and though there is good reason to suppose that Robert Rich, St Edmund’s brother, Bertrand, a Cistercian who was prior of Pontigny, Matthew Paris, Eustace, a monk of Canterbury, and Robert Bacon the Dominican, an uncle or brother of the more celebrated Roger Bacon the Franciscan, all wrote lives of the arch­bishop, there is no agreement as to which writer is responsible for which life. The longest and perhaps the most satisfactory of these texts is that printed in the Thesaurus novus anecdotorum of Martène and Durand, vol. iii, pp. 1775—1826. The second has been edited by W. Wallace in his Life of St Edmund of Canterbury (1893), pp. 543—583, and with this two others, pp. 589—624. Besides this excellent work we have lives by the Baroness de Paravicini (1898), by Bishop Bernard Ward (1903), and by M. R. Newbolt (1928). See also an article by H. W. C. Davis in the English Historical Review, vol. xxii (1907), pp. 84—92 the Dublin Review for October, 1904, pp. 229—237, and a criticism of this last in the preface to the Eynsham Cartulary edited by H. E. Salter (1907—1908); and A. B. Emden, An Oxford Hall in Medieval Times (1927). Some theological treatises written by St Edmund seem to have remained in manuscript unrecognized, as has been shown by Mgr Lacombe in Mélanges Mandonnet (1930), vol. ii, pp. 163—591, under the title of “Quaestionès Aber­donenses.” Edmund’s sisters, Alice and Margaret, are mentioned by the Bollandists among the praetermissi; and cf. B. Camm in Revue Bénédictine, vol. x (1893), p. 314.

Born in Abingdon, Berkshire, England, on November 30, c. 1170-1180; died near Pontigny c. ; canonized 1246 or 1247 (no one agrees exactly on any of these dates).  Born into a prosperous family, Edmund Rich studied at Oxford and Paris. He taught art and mathematics at Oxford, received his doctorate in theology, and was ordained. He taught theology for eight years and about 1222 became canon and treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral.  He was an eloquent and popular preacher, preached a crusade against the Saracens at the request of Pope Gregory IX in 1227, was elected archbishop of Canterbury in 1233 (after Pope Gregory rejected three other candidates), and was consecrated in 1234 against his wishes. He was an adviser to King Henry III, undertook several diplomatic missions for the king during his seven-year episcopate, and in 1237 presided at Henry's ratification of the Great Charter.  Edmund was reputed to be a man of very virtuous life who experienced heavenly visitations. Saint Gregory was essentially a preacher and teacher, a man of study and prayer.  To lighten the burden of public affairs with which he reluctantly, but resolutely, had to deal, he chose as his chancellor Master Richard of Wich, known to later ages as Saint Richard of Chicester. Immediately after his consecration Saint Edmund was successful in averting civil war in the Welsh marshes, and he brought about a reorganization of the government. His uncompromising stand in favor of good discipline, monastic observance, and justice in high quarters soon brought him into conflict with King Henry III over discrepancies between church law and the English common law, with several monasteries, and with his own chapter.

Edmund protested Henry's action in securing the appointment of a papal legate, Cardinal Otto, to England as an infringement of his episcopal rights. A rebellion by the monks of Christ Church at Canterbury, supported by Henry, to eliminate his rights there caused him to go to Rome in 1237, and on his return he excommunicated 17 of the monks--an action that was opposed by his suffragans, Henry, and Cardinal Otto who lifted the excommunications.

Edmund then became involved in a dispute with Otto over the king's practice of leaving benefices unoccupied so the crown could collect their revenues. When Rome withdrew the archbishop's authority to fill benefices left vacant for six months, he left England in 1240 and retired to the Cistercian abbey at Pontigny. He died at Soissons, France, on Nov. 16 and was canonized in 1247 by Pope Innocent IV.

Saint Edmund was a learned and holy man, and a good if not great bishop. On his deathbed he called God to witness, 'I have sought nothing else but you.' He was buried in the abbey church at Pontigny, where his body still lies; locally there he is called Saint Edme.
Very little of his writing has survived, but his Mirror of Holy Church makes it clear that he is entitled to an honorable place among the English medieval mystics. In this treatise he sets out at various levels the contemplative's way to God. The only surviving medieval hall at Oxford, Saint Edmund's, is named in his honor, and according to tradition it was built on the site of his tomb (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Lawrence).
Saint Edmund is portrayed in art as an archbishop making a vow before a statue of the Blessed Virgin as the Christ-Child appears to him. Sometimes Saint Thomas of Canterbury appears to him (Roeder).
St. Edmund of Abingdon (1175-1240) Born: 20th November 1175 at Abingdon, Berkshire Archbishop of Canterbury Died: 16th November 1240 at Soissy, France
Flag of Saint Edmund >
Edmund 'Rich' was born in Abingdon on 20th November, the feast of St. Edmund, the King of East Anglia, about the year 1175. He was the son of a local merchant named Edward or Reynold Rich. Of his three brothers, Robert supposedly wrote one of his biographies. His two sisters, Margaret and Alice, became Prioresses of Catesby in Northamptonshire. Edmund's boyhood seems to have been spent in Abingdon and Oxford, and he was probably first educated at the abbey in the former town. His mother Mabel enticed him by little allurements to practice extreme asceticism like herself, to wear sackcloth, to fast on Friday, to refuse food on Sunday and other feast-days until he had sung the whole psalter. The family was apparently in easy circumstances, as the father's surname suggests (this is actually an epithet only and should therefore not really be applied to the children). However, Mabel's severe discipline did not make the home a comfortable one for her husband. To quote Hook's Lives: “We are not, however, surprised to find that the more self-indulgent old merchant preferred a monastery to such a home as that which Mabel latterly provided for him.” So the father withdrew to the greater comfort of the monastery of Eynsham, near Oxford.

Edmund and Robert were sent to be educated in Paris, then closely connected with Oxford. But their mother either could not or would not provide them with much money, so that the lads had to beg their way from place to place. Mabel's girdle was regarded, many generations later, as a treasure to be bequeathed as an heirloom. The next few years of Edmund’s life were spent in Paris and Oxford in study and in teaching. The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris had recently been completed in the magnificence of the new pointed style, and serves as a link between the Paris of St. Edmund and the Paris of today. Of the Oxford of his day, we are still reminded amid many changes by the castle, the town walls, the tower of St. Michael, the small crypt of St. Peter's in the East, and Christ Church Cathedral - then St. Frideswide's Priory.

In Paris, Edmund once played the part of Joseph to a fair siren, and behaved with less than his usual chivalry. A certain young girl, who had taken a shine to him, invited the Abingdonian to a private assignation, but Edmund invited the University authorities, who proceeded to lay bare the back of the frail maiden and the offending Eve was whipped out of her! Edmund practised austere self-discipline, wore garments of rope-cloth and horse-hair, and showed himself careless about teacher's fees both in Paris and Oxford. He was devoted to his pupils, nursing them in sickness and selling the treasures of his library to give to needy scholars.

Edmund taught, at first, in the secular learning of Oxford, particularly philosophy and mathematics; and was one of the pioneers in the revival of the study of Greek. Roger Bacon, the great scientist, speaks of him as “Edmund, the first in my time who read the Elements - of Aristotle - at Oxford.” Later on, Edmund joined the Austin Canons of Merton College and abandoned the vanity of secular studies for theology. He at once became famous as a preacher. Among his penitents was William Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, the illegitimate son of King Henry II. Oxford had fallen on evil days owing to the tyranny of King John and the turbulence of the students and townsmen. Its existence as a seat of learning was threatened by the migrations of students to other places. St. Edmund, along with the Oxford friars, took a great part in restoring its high character for learning and conduct.

In 1222, Edmund left Oxford to become Treasurer of Salisbury Cathedral and Prebend of Calne. During the eleven years that he held this post, he must have taken a share in the work of building the most graceful of all English Cathedrals. At this time, he was engaged in preaching the Crusade all over England, with marked success. In 1233, he received, at Calne, the news that he had been appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by the Pope, to whom a disputed election had been referred. In the words of Capgrave, "The Pope cassed the eleccion. Thanne were the munkis at her liberte to have a new eleccion; and thei chose Maister Edmund Abyngdon, a holy man, which was thanne tresorer of Salisbury."

Prince Edward, afterwards the great King Edward I, was confirmed by him, and perhaps, in later life, derived from him something of his crusading zeal and his popular sympathies. As Archbishop, Edmund supported the Baronian Party which aimed at securing national independence and freedom from the domination of Henry III's foreign favourites; and rebuked the King for the murder of the Earl Marshal. He excommunicated the infamous Simon de Montfort for his clandestine marriage with Eleanor, the King's sister. He was the champion of the English Church against the tax-gatherers of Rome and endeavoured to suppress many corrupt practices in the Church. To this end, his Constitutions were issued in 1236. However, the resentment he incurred, partiocularly from his own monks, led him to visit Rome in order to lay his difficulties before the Pope in person, but he failed to secure any support from Gregory IX.

He finally broke down under the stress of all these struggles and, feeling his position to be intolerable, he followed his great predecessors, Thomas A'Becket and Stephen Langton, in retiring from his troubled life to an exile of despair at Pontigny, and lived in seclusion as a simple monk. As a boy, he had seen visions in the fields of Abingdon and Oxford. The end of his life at Pontigny and Soisy was also vision-haunted. Death came to him at Soisy, on 16th November 1240, and his body was carried back to Pontigny, where his shrine may be seen today, behind the High Altar of the Abbey there. Reported miracles and, still more, the memory of his pure and holy life, attracted many worshippers to the shrine and, at length, led to his canonization in 1247. This was hotly opposed, but finally allowed owing to the warm support of King Louis IX.

It was not St. Edmund's political capacity so much as the charm of his character that attracted the affection of his own and succeeding generations. He spent the 'amercements' of his see in providing dowries for his poorer tenants' daughters. He would tolerate neither bribery nor gifts, was a good steward of the estates of his office, and was hospitable in spite of his personal austerity. To the end, he wore a cheap tunic of grey or white in preference to purple and fine linen. The chronicler quaintly remarks that, when he was Primate of all England, he did not blush to take off his own shoes.

Among St. Edmund’s writings must be mentioned his 'Constitutions', which give an interesting account of his reforms and aims, and throw light on the manners of that age. He also wrote Speculum Ecclesiae, or the ‘Mirror of the Church’. A black letter quarto of Latin sermons, undated, c.1521, with nice woodcuts, contains 'A Myrour of the Chyrche made by Saynt Austyn of Abyndon'. St. Austin is a slip for St. Edmund of Abingdon. This, and other editions, indicate the hold that the Abingdon preacher had taken on the minds of Englishmen. In the English envoy of the printer it professes to be 'rudely endited', 'that ye reders leve not the fruytfull sentence of within for the curious fable of without.'

In memory of St. Edmund of Abingdon, Prince Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, founded, in 1288, St. Edmund's Chapel in the parish of St. Helen's in Abingdon, near the saint’s reputed birthplace. It was swept away at the reformation but is still remembered in the name of 'St. Edmund's Lane' where it stood.
Edited from J. Townsend's 'A History of  Abingdon' (1910)
Edmund Rich, St., abp. of Canterbury, Speculum amicicie, also known as Speculum religiosorum or Speculum ecclesie, in a French translation. H. W. Robbins, ed., Le Merure de Seinte Eglise by St. Edmund of Pontigny (Lewisburg, Pa., 1923) pp. 1-78, includes all the text except the sentence at the end before the prayer [Ami pur W....].  MS 492 is not included in his list of manuscripts, pp. viii-ix, nor in the list given by H. Forshaw, "New Light on the Speculum Ecclesie of St. Edmund of Abingdon," Archives d'histoire doctrinale et litteraire du Moyen Age 46 (1971) pp. 16-17. According to A. Wilshire, MS 492 is of the original family of French manuscripts, containing the text as translated for nuns, not as modified for lay people; it is closely related to the text in London, B. L. Royal 12. C. XII, ff. 17r-30r, but includes a vital sentence in the chapter on contemplation which is lacking in all other manuscripts except Oxford, Bodl. Lib. Selden Supra 74. See A. Wilshire, "The Latin Primacy of St. Edmund's 'Mirror of Holy Church'," Modern Language Review 71 (1976) pp. 500-12; idem, Mirour de Seinte Eglyse, Anglo-Norman Text Society 40 (London, 1982) siglum = A9, pp. vi, xi, xiii.
 1242 SS. WILLIAM, STEPHEN, RAYMUND AND THEIR COMPANIONS, MARTYRS Many cures reported at their grave
THE twelve martyrs who are commemorated together on this day were all directly or indirectly connected with the branch of the Inquisition which had been set up at Toulouse in s 1228 to combat the errors of the Albigensians and other false teachers in Languedoc. Pope Gregory IX specially commissioned the Order of Preachers to expound the faith in Toulouse and the neighbouring districts, and to deliver heretics over to the secular arm. The Dominicans encountered great hostility and drew upon themselves the bitter hatred of the Albigensians; they were driven out of Toulouse, Narbonne and other places by the mob. As they went, the friars, undaunted by the treatment they were receiving, chanted aloud the “Salve Regina” and the Apostles’ Creed. At Avignonet, to the south-west of Toulouse, they conducted a preaching mission with the assistance of other priests, and were offered hospitality in the local castle, which belonged to Count Raymund VII of Toulouse but which was then in charge of his bailiff. All unsuspecting, they accepted the invitation. As they were retiring for the night, they were set upon and butchered by a band of soldiers who had been secretly introduced into the building. They uttered no cry, but with their dying breath praised God in the words of the Te Deum. The little company included three Dominicans—William Arnaud and two others—two Friars Minor, Stephen and Raymund, two Benedictines, four other clerics and a layman. Many cures reported at their grave led to a cultus that was confirmed more than six hundred years later, in 1856.
A summary compiled from the Chronicle of Toulouse and other sources will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. vii. See also the Monumenta 0. P. Historica, vol. i, pp. 231 seq. Mortier, Histoire des Maîtres généraux 0. P., vol. i, pp. 357 seq. Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.),, vol. ii, pp. 356—374; Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 152—155.
1241 St. Herman Joseph Praemonstratensian and mystic visions of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
b. 1150 German. Born in Cologne, he demonstrated at an early age a tendency toward mystical experiences, episodes which made him well known and deeply respected through much of Germany. He subsequently entered the Praemonstratensians at Steinfeld, Germany, where he was ordained. Herman experienced visions of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and authored a number of mystical writings. Long considered a saint, he was given an equivalent canonization by Pope Pius XII in 1958.

1241 BD HERMAN JOSEPH
AMONGST the German mystics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, special interest attaches to Bd Herman Joseph, not so much for his writings as for his visions, which were later a source of inspiration even to poets and painters. Herman, to give him his baptismal name, was born in Cologne, and lived from his seventh year until his death in extreme old age apparently in continual intercourse with the denizens of Heaven. As a little boy he would enter a church and converse familiarly with our Lady and the Holy Child, as he knelt before their statue. Once, indeed, when he offered them an apple he had the joy of seeing the hand of the Madonna extended to accept it. Sometimes he was uplifted to another plane and permitted to play with the Infant Saviour and the angels; and on one bitter winter’s day when he came to church barefoot, his parents being very poor, a kindly voice, which he took to be that of the Mother of Mercy, bade him look under a stone near by and he would find money wherewith to buy shoes. He looked, and the coins were there
At the age of twelve, Herman offered himself to the Premonstratensian monastery of Steinfeld, but as he was far too young to receive the habit he was sent on to one of the order’s houses in Friesland to study. There he profited by the general education that was imparted, though he deplored the time spent over profane literature all study seemed to him unprofitable if it did not lead to the knowledge of God. His schooling completed, he returned to Steinfeld, where he was professed and afterwards set to serve the brethren in the refectory. His duties were exactly performed, but he was perturbed to find that they left him very little leisure for prayer. He was reassured by a vision in which our Lady told him that he could do nothing more pleasing to God than to wait upon others in charity. Afterwards he was promoted to be sacristan, an office after his own heart, because he was able to spend the greater part of the day in church. His life was so blameless and his innocence so candid that he was jestingly called “Joseph”—a nickname he modestly disclaimed until it was confirmed by a vision in which, in the character of an earthly Joseph, he was mystically espoused by our Lady with a ring. This is the scene which Van Dyck has painted in a celebrated picture.
 It is not known at what date Herman received ordination, but the offering of the Holy Sacrifice was to him a time of extraordinary exaltation. Often he would be rapt in ecstasy, and would remain so long in that condition that it came to be increasingly difficult to find anyone who was willing to act as his server. Nevertheless he gained the love of his brethren for his eagerness to do kindnesses to others. Visionary as he was, he had a practical side, and, as he was a clever mechanic, he would go from monastery to monastery adjusting or repairing the clocks for them. He is said also to have composed a number of prayers as well as hymns and one or two mystical treatises, including one on the Canticle of Canticles which, though it has not come down to us, was greatly admired. He also wrote a hymn in honour of St Ursula and her maidens, whose reputed relics are venerated in his native city and whose cultus he did much to spread. On the other hand the two books of revelations concerning their lives and death sometimes attributed to him are probably by another hand; some, indeed, have claimed that they were no more than a very ill-considered joke.
At no time robust, Bd Herman Joseph’s health became seriously affected by his fasts and austerities. Severe headaches attacked him, and his digestion became so impaired that he ate nothing and seemed a living skeleton. However, God granted him a reprieve from suffering towards the end, prolonging his life for nine years, and this was the period of his chief literary output. He had been sent in 1241 to the Cistercian nuns at Hoven for Passiontide and Easter when he was taken ill with fever from which he never recovered. The process of Herman’s canonization was introduced but never completed; his cultus, however, has been authoritatively sanctioned.
We are fortunate in possessing a detailed biography of Bd Herman Joseph which was written by a contemporary, said to have been the prior of Steinfeld. It is printed with some other materials in the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. i. Other adaptations and condensations based on this primitive life were produced at a later period, notably one by Raso Bonus Vicinus (Goetgebuer). The legend as presented in German by F. Kaulen has a charm and simplicity which reminds one of the Little Flowers of St Francis English translation by Wilfrid Galway (1878). There are popular modern German lives by Pösl and others, and in French by Timmermans (1900) and Petit (1929). See also Michael, Geschichte des deutschen Volkes…vol. iii, pp. 211 seq. R. van Waefelghem, Repertoire de l’Ordre de Prémontré (1930) and Histoire littéraire de Ia France, vol. xxi, p. 583.

Hermann Joseph, O. Praem. (AC)
Born in Cologne, Germany, in 1150; died in Steinfeld, April 7, 1241; equivalently canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1960. His baptismal name, Hermann, was apt for it means 'vir honorabilis, vir exercitus.' Early in life Hermann pictured himself as a handsome knight and the Virgin was to be his lady fair. He had the physical strength of a knight and his capacity for work was exceptional.
Hermann was reportedly as handsome and charming as Saint Norbert, who founded the order Hermann entered. He was of noble bearing, calm appearance, dignified and reserved--master of himself. Yet his face betrayed his extreme sensibility. His gentle eyes gave off 'little sparks' according to those who knew him. He treated his body as a knight does his horse: he mastered it without brutality.

And his mind was as solid as his body. Hermann was of moderate intelligence but he cultivated his mind methodically. At age 7 he began to study literature and gained an appreciation for ancient writers. Nevertheless, he felt his time was better occupied. As severe as he could be with himself, Hermann preserved a courteousness towards others that gave irrefutable evidence that he remained in the presence of his Lady.

Hermann was both an ascetic and a poet. His precocious devotion to the Virgin was inspired by poetry and courtliness. The child was frequently seen absorbed in meditation before the image of Mary; he spoke to her Son spontaneously. Perhaps God blessed him so because his soul would melt in tender love when he remembered the incarnation, and he went into raptures whenever he recited the canticle Benedictus at Lauds. One day he brought some food to symbolize an offering and the image of the Virgin extended her hand to accept his gift. On another occasion this familiarity permitted him to play with Jesus and Saint John. Young Hermann's mental balance forbids us to reject these charming visions. These continuing visions that he experienced made him famous throughout Germany.

At age 12, Hermann decided to abandon the world and enter the monastery of Steinfeld, which had been founded in 920. Between 1121 and 1126, it was occupied by Premonstratensian canons. The monastery authorities decided that Hermann should complete his studies at the order's school in Friesland prior to admittance. With his education completed Hermann returned to Steinfeld and was assigned menial duties, such as serving at table.

Soon Hermann received an assignment that delighted him: He was named sacristan which allowed him to reconcile art and piety. The community soon employed him also to minister to the Cistercian nuns at a nearby convent. Up to the day of his death, he was to have a particular fondness for this ministry.

But Hermann was also an ascetic. He subjected himself to mortifications that his artist's temperament could not properly endure. The slackening of his muscles was accompanied by a weakening of his nerves.

Hermann slept on a hard couch for only a short time each night. After keeping vigil up to the first stroke of Matins (about 3 a.m.), he would throw himself on his plank and get up at the third stroke (6 a.m.) for Lauds. Bread and water were the usual fare of this high-strung young man and he did all his travelling on foot. When he became older, the symptoms that cropped up were to be aggravated: intestinal troubles, nausea, pains that travelled all over his body, fainting spells, and extreme fatigue that engendered light psychasthenic manifestations: an unreasonable fear of forgetting a particle of the Host, or a drop of the Precious Blood, on the altar or his beard.

But Hermann's spiritual balance preserved its stability despite his physical disturbances. The wounded knight was to preserve his soul intact at the center of the marvels, the course of which was to continue without interruption.

Hermann Joseph underwent a final ordeal before he was to be delivered from his tortured body. No doubt it was the only spiritual ordeal of this kind that he had ever experienced: frightful spiders and flies seemed to invade his cell. The presence of a priest dispelled the nightmare, and Hermann Joseph died in peace.

In accordance with his wishes, he was buried in the Cistercian convent at Hoven. His body was exhumed after seven weeks and returned to Steinfeld. An inquisitorial investigation was ordered in 1628, and the body was found to be in a state of perfect preservation. The process of Hermann's canonization was never brought to completion, but he was beatified.

Hermann Joseph's spiritual exercises, as he called them, were surprisingly modern. The five poems he dedicated to the Virgin and Jesus, which seem to have belonged to a private devotion, have been preserved. He also wrote a commentary on the "Song of Songs," which is the only courtly romance read by mystics. He also had a special devotion to Saint Ursula.

Should we be surprised that the monk who sang the praises of the Rose was also the first to sing the praises of the Sacred Heart? In singing the praises of the Sacred Heart, Hermann Joseph did not separate the heart of Mary and that of her Son, the uncreated Wisdom of which she was the Vase of honor and its most perfect receptacle. Just as the Crusade had established the cult of the Holy Sepulchre, that is, of the empty tomb and the Risen Christ, likewise Hermann Joseph did not propose the adoration of the bleeding internal organ which was to mark, in a sometimes disquieting manner, the private revelations of Margaret-Mary Alacoque. The singer of the Sacred Heart honored the organ of tenderness, the Holy Grail.

Most of Hermann's relics rest in a titular altar at Steinfeld, where pilgrim priests say a votive Mass in his honor. Small portions of his relics have been given to several other churches. Some are enshrined and exposed to public veneration Antwerp, Louvain, and Cologne. Emperor Ferdinand II solicited his canonization at Rome, and offered several proofs of miracles for that purpose (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Husenbeth).

In art, Saint Hermann is depicted as a young Premonstratensian (white habit) with three roses. At times he may be shown (1) carrying the Child Jesus and a branch of roses; (2) with a chalice from which roses spring; (3) kneeling before the Virgin, who touches his hand and gives him an apple; or (4) as a schoolboy with a pen, book, and inkpot (Roeder). He is still venerated in Cologne, Steinfeld, and the Low Countries (Husenbeth, Roeder).

1242 St. Veridiana Benedictine virgin recluse walled up Francis of Assisi visited Many miracles.
Originally from a noble family of Castelfiorentino, Tuscany, Italy, she went on a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and, after returning, had herself walled up in a hermitage near the Elba River. She spent the remaining thirty-four years of her life under the spiritual care of the local Vallumbrosian community. St. Francis of Assisi visited Veridiana in 1211.

Viridiana, OSB Vall., Hermit (AC) (also known as Veridiana)
Born at Castelfiorentino, Tuscany, Italy; died 1242; cultus approved in 1533; feast day sometimes shown as February 16. Saint Viridiana made a pilgrimage to Compostella before being walled up as an anchorite in her native town of Castelfiorentino in a cell adjoining the chapel of Saint Antony. There she lived for 34 years under the obedience of a Vallumbrosan abbey, although the Franciscans claim her as a tertiary. Many miracles were ascribed to her (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1243 St. Hedwig Duchess widow Cistercain patroness of Silesia Miracles
Cracóviæ, in Polónia, natális sanctæ Hedwígis Víduæ, Polonórum Ducíssæ, quæ, páuperum obséquio dédita, étiam miráculis cláruit; et a Cleménte Quarto, Pontífice Máximo, Sanctórum número adscrípta est.  Ipsíus autem festívitas sequénti die celebrátur.
    At Cracow in Poland, St. Hedwig, duchess of Poland, who devoted herself to the service of the poor, and was renowned for miracles.  She was inscribed among the saints by Pope Clement IV.  Her feast is celebrated on the following day.
1243 ST HEDWIG, WIDOW
HEDWIG (Jadwiga) was a daughter of Berthold, Count of Andechs, and was born at Andechs in Bavaria about the year 1174; through her sister Gertrude she was aunt to St Elizabeth of Hungary. She was placed when very young in the monastery of Kitzingen in Franconia, and taken thence when twelve years old to marry Henry, Duke of Silesia, who was then eighteen. They had seven children, of whom only one, Gertrude, survived her mother, and she became abbess of Trebnitz. Her husband succeeded to his father’s dukedom in 1202, and he at once at Hedwig’s persuasion founded the great monastery of Cistercian nuns at Trebnitz, three miles from Breslau. To construct the building it is said that all malefactors in Silesia, instead of other punishments, were con­demned to work at it. This was the first convent of women in Silesia,*{*     It was suppressed and secularized in 1810, and the estate came to Prince Blucher after Waterloo.} and the first of a large number of monastic establishments by the foundation of which the duke and duchess both aided the religious life of their people and spread a Germanic culture over their territories. Among them were houses of Augustinian canons, Cistercian monks, Dominican and Franciscan friars. Henry established the hospital of the Holy Ghost in Breslau and Hedwig one for female lepers at Neumarkt, in which they took a close personal interest. After the birth of her last child in 1209 Hedwig engaged her husband to agree to a mutual vow of continence, from which time they lived to a considerable extent in different places. Her husband, we are told, for the thirty years that he lived afterwards, never wore gold, silver or purple, and never shaved his beard, from which he was named Henry the Bearded.

Their children were the occasions of a good deal of trouble for them. For example, in 1212 Duke Henry made a partition of his estates between his sons Henry and Conrad, but on terms dissatisfying to them. The two brothers with their factions came to an open rupture, and, notwithstanding their mother’s efforts to reconcile them, a battle was fought, in which Henry routed his younger brother’s army. This was one of those crosses by which the duchess learned more bitterly to deplore the miseries and blindness of the world, and more perfectly to disengage her heart from its slavery. After 1209 she made her principal residence near Trebnitz monastery, often retiring into that austere house, where she slept in the dormitory and complied with all the exercises of the community. She wore the same cloak and tunic summer and winter, and underneath them a hair-shift, with sleeves of white serge that it might not be seen. With going to church barefoot over ice and snow her feet were often blistered and chilblained, but she carried shoes under her arm, to put on if she met anyone. An abbot once gave her a new pair, insisting that she should wear them, which she promised to do. When he met her some time after she was still unshod, and he asked what had become of them. Hedwig produced them from under her cloak, brand-new. “I always wear them there“, she said.

In 1227 Duke Henry and Duke Ladislaus of Sandomir met to plan defence against Swatopluk of Pomerania. They were unexpectedly attacked by Swatopluk, and Henry was surprised in his bath, barely escaping with his life. St Hedwig hurried to nurse him, but he was soon in the field again, fighting with Conrad of Masovia for the territories of Ladislaus, who had been killed. Henry was successful and established himself at Cracow, but he was again surprised, this time while at Mass, and was carried off by Conrad to Plock. The faithful Hedwig followed, and induced the two dukes to come to terms, her two grand-daughters being promised in marriage to Conrad’s sons. Thus the intervention of Henry’s forces was rendered unnecessary, to the great joy of St Hedwig, who could never hear of bloodshed without doing all in her power to prevent it. In 1238 her husband died, and was succeeded by his son Henry, called “the Good“. When the news was brought, the nuns at Trebnitz shed many tears. Hedwig was the only person with dry eyes, and comforted the rest: “Would you oppose the will of God? Our lives are His. Our will is whatever He is pleased to ordain, whether our own death or that of our friends.” From that time she put on the religious habit at Trebnitz, but she did not take the corresponding vows, in order that she might be free to administer her own property in her own way for the relief of the suffering. Hedwig once got to know a poor old woman who could not say the Lord’s Prayer, and was very slow at learning it. Hedwig went on patiently teaching her for ten weeks, and even had her into her own room to sleep, so that at every spare moment they could go through it together, until the woman could both repeat and understand it.

In 1240 the Mongol Tartars swept through the Ukraine and Poland. Duke Henry II led his army against them and a battle was fought near Wahlstadt, in which, it is said, the Tartars used a sort of poison-gas, for “a thick and nauseating smoke, issuing from long copper tubes shaped like serpents, stupefied the Polish forces“. Henry was killed, and his death was known to St Hedwig three days before the news was brought to her. “I have lost my son“, she told her com­panion Dermudis. “He has gone from me like a bird in flight, and I shall never see him again in this life.” When the messenger arrived, it was she, the old woman, who comforted the younger ones, Henry’s wife Anne and his sister Gertrude. The example of her faith and hope was honoured by God with the gift of miracles. A nun who was blind recovered her sight by the blessing of the saint with the sign of the cross, and her biographer gives an account of several other miraculous cures wrought by her and of several predictions, especially of her own death. In her last sickness she insisted on being anointed before any others could be persuaded that she was in danger. She died in October 1243, and was buried at Trebnitz. St Hedwig was canonized in 1267, and her feast added to the general Western calendar in 1706.

There is a Latin life or legend of St Hedwig which seems to have been compiled towards the close of the thirteenth century by an unknown writer who claims to have based his narrative in the main upon memoirs provided by a Cistercian, Engelbert of Leubus. There is a shorter as well as a longer form of the story, which is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, as well as elsewhere. A manuscript copy written in 1353 and preserved at Schlackenwert is of great interest on account of the miniatures with which it is decorated they have often been reproduced, as for example in the book of H. Riesch, Die hi. Hedwig (1926). There are several lives in German, e.g. by F. H. Gorlich (1854), F. Becker (1872), E. Fromnitz (1926), K. and F. Metzger (1927), and a few in French, notably that by G. Bazin (1886). See also G. Morin in the Revue Bénédictine, vol. vii (1890), pp. 465—469; and H. Quillus, Konigen Hedwig von Polen (1938). There is a popular American account of St Hedwig, with a fancy title, The Glowing Lily, by E. Markowa (1946).

Silesia a region of eastern Europe. Also called Jadwiga in some lists, she died in a Cistercain convent, having taken vows. Hedwig was born in Andechs, Bavaria, Germany, the daughter of the Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia. She was the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. At the age of twelve, Hedwig was marrie to Duke Henry of Silesia, the head of the Polish Royal family. She bore him seven children, and they had a happy marriage. Henry founded a Cistercain convent at Trebnitz, as well as hospitals and monasteries. Henry died in 1238 and Hedwig became a Cistercain at Trebnitz. She had to leave her prayers to make peace among her offspring, and she buried a child who was killed fighting against the Mongols. She died in the convent on October 15.Many miracles were reported after her death, and she was canonized in 1266.

(1174?-1243) We have a right to expect noble deeds from a member of the nobility.  This does not always happen, to say the least.  But St. Hedwig (in Polish, Jadwiga) was not only of noble blood, she was outstanding for her noble deeds.
Hedwig was of Bavarian origin, the daughter of the Count of A-ndechs, and the aunt of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.  Having received her elementary training as a boarding student at the Monastery of Kitzingen, she was wedded at the age of twelve to the 18-year-old aristocrat Henry, who shortly fell heir to the dukedom of Silesia, an area then and today part of western Poland.
Duke Henry I and Duchess Hedwig proved to be ideally matched.  He was an earnest ruler and she an admirable counselor.  Through her influence Church life in the duchy was promoted.  On her recommendation, for instance, Henry, in one of his first official acts, founded the great Cistercian monastery of Trzebnica (Trebnitz) near Wroclaw (Breslau), the pioneer convent for woman in Silesia.  Through her persuasion also, other religious houses were founded or supported, and the new mendicant religious orders, the Dominicans and Franciscans, and other religious communities were encouraged to establish themselves in the country.  Henry opened a hospital in Wroclaw; she, a lazaretto for women lepers in Neumarkt.
Nor was this beneficence a mere show.  Both Hedwig and Henry were themselves devout Christians.  After the birth of their seventh child in 1208, the couple took a solemn vow of continence.  After that, she engaged even more actively in penitential practices; and it is said of him that he never shaved thereafter nor wore gold, silver or purple.
Hedwig's children caused her grief at one point.  In 1212, the duke divided his estates between their sons Henry and Conrad.  The sons, disappointed at the amount of land, declared war on each other.  Despite their mother's efforts at reconciliation, young Henry defeated Conrad; but the quarrel only further convinced Hedwig of the evils of the world's way.
Later on, her efforts as a peacemaker were more successful.  When her husband, engaged in armed conflict with Duke Conrad of Masovia, was taken captive, she followed him to his place of detention and persuaded him and Conrad to come to terms.  The agreement included a pledge to allow two of Hedwig's granddaughters to marry the sons of the Duke of Masovia.
Henry I died in 1238.  All mourned him.  But his widow's eyes were dry.  "Would you oppose the will of God?" she asked.  "Our lives are His.  Our will is whatever He is pleased to ordain, whether our own death or that of our friends."
After that, Duchess Jadwiga spent even more time than before at the Cistercian monastery of Trzebnica.  She followed its rule.  She wore the habit of its nuns.  But she did not take vows, since that would have deprived her of the right to administer her own property for the benefit of those in need.
A touching and typical story about her solicitude for the poor dates from this period.  Hedwig got acquainted with an impoverished old woman who did not know the Our Father, and was too slow of wit, it seems, even to learn it.  The duchess took on the task of teaching her the prayer.  For ten weeks she worked at it patiently.  Indeed, she had the woman sleep in her own room, so that they could spend every waking hour praying it together.  Finally this disciple was able to master the Lord's Prayer.
Jadwiga's son Henry had succeeded his father as Henry II of Silesia.  He held the dukedom only two years, for in 1240 he died in combat against the Tartar invaders.  His mother knew of his death three days before the tidings were brought to her.  Prophetically, she said to a companion, "He has gone from me like a bird in flight, and I shall never see him again in this life." When the news broke, it was she who comforted the others.  Miracles as well as prophecies were attributed to the Dowager Duchess during her lifetime.  Dying at Trzebnica on October 15, 1243, she was canonized in 1267.  She has continued to be one of Poland's favorite saints.
St. Hedwig, it seems to me, represents the ideal wife.  She was perfectly complementary to her husband in both private and public life.  He was the strong arm of the family; she was its heart.  --Father Robert F. McNamar
1245 BD GERARD OF VILLAMAGNA; led a very austere life, absorbed for the most part in contemplation, but also giving direction at times to many struggling souls who came to consult him: received the cord of the third order from St Francis himself, and that he died some twenty years later: famous for his miracles and prophecies
THE origins of the Franciscan third order for lay-folk are involved in great obscurity, and it is curious to notice how little evidence is forthcoming to support the claim that certain holy people in the early part of the thirteenth century were admitted as tertiaries by St Francis himself. Something has already been said of the case of Bd Luchesius (April 28); and here again when we ask for proof that Gerard of Villamagna was received into the third order by the Saint of Assisi, we are told that all early documents have perished. Gerard was a solitary who occupied a hermitage near his native village of Villamagna in Tuscany. He led a very austere life, absorbed for the most part in contemplation, but also giving direction at times to many struggling souls who came to consult him. We are told that he had been left an orphan at the age of twelve, had been brought up as a kind of page-boy in the household of some wealthy Florentine, had attended his master as a body-servant when he joined the third crusade, had been captured by the Saracens and afterwards ransomed, that he had again returned to the Holy Land with another crusader, and had himself eventually been admitted as a knight of the Holy Sepulchre. Wearied of the world, it is stated that he came back to Italy to lead the life of a hermit, that he received the cord of the third order from St Francis himself, and that he died some twenty years later famous for his miracles and prophecies. His cult was confirmed in 1833.
The Bollandists could find no better materials to print in the Acta Sanctorum (May, vol. iii) than an account compiled after the year 1550 by the parish priest of Villamagna. See also Wadding, Annales, vol. v, p. 59.
1245 Blessed Guy Vignotelli known for his charities and recieved the Franciscan habit from Francis at Cortona in 1211 famed for his holiness and miracles
Born1185 in Cortona, Italy. He was known for his charities and recieved the Franciscan habit from Francis at Cortona in 1211. Guy built a cell on a bridge near Cortona, was ordained, became famed for his holiness and miracles and died in the Cortona convent of the Franciscans.

Blessed Guy (Guido) Vignotelli, OFM Tert. (AC) Born in Cortona, Italy, c. 1185; died c. 1245. After hearing a sermon by Saint Francis, the wealthy Guy invited Francis home for a meal. At the end of the meal he asked to become a disciple. He liquidated his goods and with Francis distributed the money among the poor. Guy received the Franciscan habit of a tertiary from the order's founder, was ordained a priest, built a cell on a bridge near Cortona, and lived there. He became well known for his holiness and for his miracles, which were said to include resuscitating a girl who had drowned and multiplying food during a famine. At age 60, Saint Francis appeared to him in a dream and foretold his death--the exact hour at which Guy died (Benedictines, White)
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1246 St. Luthgard One of the outstanding mystics of the Middle Ages, a Cistercian nun, sometimes called Lutgardis A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine. She had many mystical experiences, levitated, and had a form of the stigmata famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles

1246 St. Luthgard One of the outstanding mystics of the Middle Ages, a Cistercian nun, sometimes called Lutgardis A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine. She had many mystical experiences, levitated, had a form of the stigmata famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles, prayers were so efficacious in obtaining the conversion of sinners and the release of souls from purgatory
In monastério Aquiriénsi, in Brabántia, sanctæ Lutgárdis Vírginis.    In the monastery of Aywieres in Brábant, St. Lutgard, virgin.

1246 ST LUTGARDIS, VIRGIN
AMONGST the notable women mystics of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries there is no more sympathetic or lovable figure than that of St Lutgardis. Born in 1182, the daughter of a citizen of Tongres in the Netherlands, she was placed at the age of twelve in the Benedictine convent of St Catherine near Saint- Trond, for no better reason than that the money intended for her marriage-portion had been lost in a business speculation, and that without it she was unlikely to find a suitable husband. She was an attractive girl, fond of pretty clothes and of innocent amusement, without any apparent religious vocation, and she seems to have lived at first as a kind of boarder, free to come and go, as well as to receive visitors of both, sexes. One day, however, while she was entertaining a friend, our Lord appeared to her, and, showing her His sacred wounds, bade her love Him and Him only. Accepting Him instantly as her heavenly Bridegroom, she renounced from that moment all earthly concerns. Some of the nuns who observed her sudden fervour prophesied that it would not last; but it only increased. So vividly did she come to realize God's presence that, when engaged in prayer, she beheld our Lord as with her bodily eyes. She would speak with Him familiarly, and if summoned away to perform some duty she would say, quite simply, "Wait here, Lord Jesus, and I will come back directly I have finished this task." Our Lady frequently appeared to her, and once she had a vision of St Catherine, the patroness of the convent; on another occasion she saw St John the Evangelist, under the semblance of an eagle. Sometimes during her frequent ecstasies she would be upraised from the ground, or a strange light would be seen above her head.
In her meditations on our Lord's passion she was permitted to have a mystical share in her Saviour's sufferings, and her forehead and hair appeared at such seasons to be bedewed with drops of blood. Her sympathy was extended to all for whom Christ died; she felt their sorrows and sufferings as though they were her own. Indeed, in the ardour of her intercession for others she would entreat God to blot her name out of the Book of Life rather than withhold His mercy from the soul for whom she was pleading.
Lutgardis had been at St Catherine's twelve years when she was inspired or counselled to place herself under the stricter rule of the Cistercians. Although she would have preferred a German-speaking house, she selected the convent of Aywieres, upon the advice of her confessor and of her friend, St Christine the Astonishing, who was then living at St Catherine's. Only French was spoken at Aywieres, and St Lutgardis never mastered French. In after years, her ignorance of the language served her as a valid excuse for refusing to hold office at Aywieres or elsewhere. Her humility was at all times extraordinary; she continually bewailed the inadequate response she was making to the graces bestowed upon her. In the vehemence of her prayer that she might at least lay down her life for our Lord, she once burst a blood-vessel, and it was said to be revealed to her that this effusion of blood was accepted as equivalent to martyrdom.
God endowed her with the gifts of healing and prophecy as well as an infused knowledge of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures. In spite of her imperfect French, she had great success in imparting spiritual consolation, and Bd Mary of Oignies was wont to assert that there was no one whose prayers were so efficacious in obtaining the conversion of sinners and the release of souls from purgatory. Eleven years before her death, she lost her sight, and this affliction she accepted with joy, as a God-sent means of detaching her from the visible world. It was after she had become blind that she undertook the last of several prolonged fasts. Our Lord appeared to her to warn her of her approaching death, and to bid her prepare for it in three ways. She was to give praise to God for what she had received; she was to pray unremittingly for the conversion of sinners; and she was to rely in all things on God alone, awaiting the time when she would possess Him for ever. St Lutgardis died, as she had predicted, on the Saturday night after the feast of the Holy Trinity, just as the night office for Sunday was beginning. It was June 16, 1246.
 She was born inTongres, Brabant, Belgium. When she was twelve she was placed in St. Catherine’s Benedictine Convent at Saint-Trond because her dowry for marriage had been lost by her family. A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine. She had many mystical experiences, levitated, and had a form of the stigmata. In order to avoid being made an abbess, Lutgard joined the Cistercians at Aywieres. She lived a mystical life there for three decades and was famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles. During the last eleven years of her life she was blind. She died on June 16 and is still revered as a leading mystic of the thirteenth century.

Lutgardis of Aywières, OSB Cist. V (RM) Born at Tongres, Brabant, the Netherlands, in 1182; died at Aywières, June 16, 1246.  Lutgardis is a very sympathetic and lovable figure among women mystics of the 12th and 13th centuries. She was sent to the Black Benedictine convent of Saint Catherine near Saint Trond when she was 12 years old, presumably because her dowry had been lost in a business venture. She had no particular vocation to the religious life, but with no dowry there was little hope of finding a suitable husband. One day, however, the pretty girl who was fond of fine clothes and innocent amusements, experienced a vision of Christ that changed her outlook on life.

He appeared while she was entertaining a friend, showed her His wounds, and asked her to love only Him. Instantly she accepted Jesus as her Bridegroom and, at the age of 20, she became a Benedictine nun. Many of her sisters were skeptical that her sudden fervor would last, but it only increased over time.

So vivid did God's presence become to her that, when engaged in prayer, she saw Jesus as she would with her bodily eyes. She would speak with Him familiarly. If summoned away to perform some task she was say, quite simply, "Wait here, Lord Jesus, and I will come back as soon as I have finished this duty." During the next 12 years, she experienced numerous ecstasies, during which she had visions of our Lord, our Lady, and several of the saints. She levitated and dripped blood from her forehead and hair when she shared in the Passion of Christ.

Though the nuns of Saint Catherine's wanted to make her abbess, in 1208, she left in quest of a stricter rule and became a Cistercian at their convent in Aywières near Brussels. Although she would have preferred a German-speaking house, she selected Aywières on the advice of her confessor and her friend, Saint Christine the Astonishing, who was living at Saint Catherine's that time. Later, her inability to speak French in a French-speaking house gave her a good excuse to refuse the office of abbess.
She lived there the 30 remaining years of her life, famed for her spiritual wisdom. God endowed her with the gifts of healing and prophecy, as well as an infused knowledge of the meaning of Holy Scriptures. Despite her imperfect French, she had great success at imparting spiritual consolation. She was blind the last 11 years of her life and accepted the affliction as a joyful gift from God to assist her in detaching herself from the visible world.

God endowed her with the gifts of healing and prophecy as well as an infused knowledge of the meaning of the Holy Scriptures. In spite of her imperfect French, she had great success in imparting spiritual consolation, and Blessesd Mary of Oignies was wont to assert that there was no one whose prayers were so efficacious in obtaining the conversion of sinners and the release of souls from purgatory. Eleven years before her death, she lost her sight, and this affliction she accepted with joy, as a God-sent means of detaching her from the visible world. It was after she had become blind that she undertook the last of several prolonged fasts. Our Lord appeared to her to warn her of her approaching death, and to bid her prepare for it in three ways. She was to give praise to God for what she had received; she was to pray unremittingly for the conversion of sinners; and she was to rely in all things on God alone, awaiting the time when she would possess Him forever. St Lutgardis died, as she had predicted, on the Saturday night after the feast of the Holy Trinity, just as the night office for Sunday was beginning. It was June 16, 1246.
The life of St Lutgardis was written by Thomas of Cantimpre, who died in 1270, and consequently was in part her contemporary. The text is printed (from a collation of three or four manuscript copies) in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iv. It is a very attractive record, though the author's obvious credulity, as evidenced not only here but in other writings of his, must rather tend to lessen our confidence in the accuracy of his report of supernatural incidents. Other sources are apparently lacking, but there seems to be a translation of part of this life in the Low-German vernacular, possibly made before the end of the same thirteenth century. This version has been attributed with some probability to William of Affiighem, abbot of Saint-Trond; see F. Van Veerdeghem, in the Bulletin de I'Academie de Belgique, vol. xxxiv (1897), pp. 1055-1086. Other modern accounts of St Lutgardis will be found in H. Nimal, Vies de quelques-unes de nos grandes Saintes au pays de Liege (1898), and in Jonquet (1906). See also articles by S. Roisin and others in Collectanea ordinis Cisterciensium Reformatorum, nos. 3 and 4 of 1946; and the study by Fr L. (Thomas) Merton, What Are These Wounds? (Milwaukee, 1950).
Jesus appeared to Lutgardis and told her when and how she was to prepare for death. She was to praise God for what she had received; pray unremittingly for the conversion of sinners; and rely on God alone for all things while awaiting the time she would possess Him forever. Saint Lutgardis died as predicted: On the Saturday night after the feast of the Holy Trinity, just as the night office for Sunday was beginning.

Lutgardis is considered one of the leading mystics of the 13th century. Many visions and mystical experiences are recorded of her, but her almost contemporary biographer was somewhat credulous (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Merton, Walsh).

In art, Christ shows Saint Lutgardis His wounded Heart to blind the Cistercian nun. At times, she may be shown (1) as Christ shows His wounds to the Father; (2) as Christ shows her His wounded side; (3) as Christ extends His hand to her from the crucifix; (4) as a blind Cistercian abbess (she was not an abbess, but is sometimes represented as such) (Roeder). She is venerated in Tongres, Brabant, and is invoked in childbirth (Roeder).
She was born inTongres, Brabant, Belgium. When she was twelve she was placed in St. Catherine’s Benedictine Convent at Saint-Trond because her dowry for marriage had been lost by her family. A vision of Christ compelled Lutgard to become a Benedictine. She had many mystical experiences, levitated, and had a form of the stigmata. In order to avoid being made an abbess, Lutgard joined the Cistercians at Aywieres. She lived a mystical life there for three decades and was famed for her spiritual wisdom and miracles. During the last eleven years of her life she was blind. She died on June 16 and is still revered as a leading mystic of the thirteenth century.

Lutgardis of Aywières, OSB Cist. V (RM) Born at Tongres, Brabant, the Netherlands, in 1182; died at Aywières, June 16, 1246.  Lutgardis is a very sympathetic and lovable figure among women mystics of the 12th and 13th centuries. She was sent to the Black Benedictine convent of Saint Catherine near Saint Trond when she was 12 years old, presumably because her dowry had been lost in a business venture. She had no particular vocation to the religious life, but with no dowry there was little hope of finding a suitable husband. One day, however, the pretty girl who was fond of fine clothes and innocent amusements, experienced a vision of Christ that changed her outlook on life.

He appeared while she was entertaining a friend, showed her His wounds, and asked her to love only Him. Instantly she accepted Jesus as her Bridegroom and, at the age of 20, she became a Benedictine nun. Many of her sisters were skeptical that her sudden fervor would last, but it only increased over time.

So vivid did God's presence become to her that, when engaged in prayer, she saw Jesus as she would with her bodily eyes. She would speak with Him familiarly. If summoned away to perform some task she was say, quite simply, "Wait here, Lord Jesus, and I will come back as soon as I have finished this duty." During the next 12 years, she experienced numerous ecstasies, during which she had visions of our Lord, our Lady, and several of the saints. She levitated and dripped blood from her forehead and hair when she shared in the Passion of Christ.

Though the nuns of Saint Catherine's wanted to make her abbess, in 1208, she left in quest of a stricter rule and became a Cistercian at their convent in Aywières near Brussels. Although she would have preferred a German-speaking house, she selected Aywières on the advice of her confessor and her friend, Saint Christine the Astonishing, who was living at Saint Catherine's that time. Later, her inability to speak French in a French-speaking house gave her a good excuse to refuse the office of abbess.

She lived there the 30 remaining years of her life, famed for her spiritual wisdom. God endowed her with the gifts of healing and prophecy, as well as an infused knowledge of the meaning of Holy Scriptures. Despite her imperfect French, she had great success at imparting spiritual consolation. She was blind the last 11 years of her life and accepted the affliction as a joyful gift from God to assist her in detaching herself from the visible world.

Jesus appeared to Lutgardis and told her when and how she was to prepare for death. She was to praise God for what she had received; pray unremittingly for the conversion of sinners; and rely on God alone for all things while awaiting the time she would possess Him forever. Saint Lutgardis died as predicted: On the Saturday night after the feast of the Holy Trinity, just as the night office for Sunday was beginning.

Lutgardis is considered one of the leading mystics of the 13th century. Many visions and mystical experiences are recorded of her, but her almost contemporary biographer was somewhat credulous (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Merton, Walsh).

In art, Christ shows Saint Lutgardis His wounded Heart to blind the Cistercian nun. At times, she may be shown (1) as Christ shows His wounds to the Father; (2) as Christ shows her His wounded side; (3) as Christ extends His hand to her from the crucifix; (4) as a blind Cistercian abbess (she was not an abbess, but is sometimes represented as such) (Roeder). She is venerated in Tongres, Brabant, and is invoked in childbirth (Roeder)
1246 St. Peter Gonzalez Dominican evangelized protector of captive Muslims and cared for sailors miracles at his grave
Born in Astorga, Spain, he entered the Dominicans and became the chaplain and confessor of King St. Ferdinand of Castile. He preached a campaign against the Moors, and then cared for the captured Muslims. He also cared for sailors, who dubbed him Thelmo, after St. Elmo.

St. Peter Gonzales Peter Gonzales, also known as St. Elmo or St. Telmo, was born to a Castilian family of nobility. He was educated by his uncle, the Bishop of Astorga, named canon of the local cathedral, famous for his penances and mortifications, joined the Dominican Order, preached and made chaplain of the court of King St. Ferdinand III. He converted and influenced the soldiers of his country, evangelized, and died on Easter Sunday. He was canonized by Pope Benedict XIV in 1741. Peter evangelized throughout his country and all along the coast. He had a special fondness for sailors. He used to visit them aboard their ships, preaching the Gospel and praying for their needs.

Peter Gonzalez, OP (AC) (also known as Elmo-Erasmus, Telmo) Born at Astorga, Leon, Spain, c. 1190; died April 14, 1246; beatified by Pope Innocent IV in 1254; cultus approved by Benedict XIV in 1741 for the veneration of the whole Order of Preachers. The patron saint of sailors, especially in Portugal and Spain, is popularly invoked as Saint Elmo or Telmo.
The parents of Peter Gonzales were wealthy and apparently expected their son to become a priest so that he might in time obtain some rank. It was a period in history when this sort of thing was a trial to the Church, and Peter's worldly youth was only one of many examples. He was educated by his uncle, the bishop of Astorga, who invested him with a canonry at Palencia and deanery when he was still quite young.

Full of pride, for a special Bull had been procured so that he might obtain the deanery while he was under age, he resolved to be installed with great pomp, and for his state entry into Astorga chose Christmas Day when the streets were likely to be crowded. He wanted to impress his flock with his fine clothes and vivid personality.  He paraded through the town on horseback, magnificently equipped, but in the noise and excitement the animal reared and threw him upon a dungheap. The Spanish people, who have a fine sense of comedy, responded with loud gusts of laughter. Picking himself up in shame, he cried: "If the world mocks me, henceforth, I will mock the world." Covered with filth and confusion, Peter withdrew to clean up and ponder his sins.

Surprisingly enough, when his wounded feelings had healed, Peter reformed his pointless life and immediately entered the Dominican monastery at Palencia. He was never to forget to weep for his sins, and his life was spent in prayer and penance to offset the wasted years of his youth.

Peter's friends did not allow this to happen without protest. They had been amused by his accident, but not converted by it as he was, and they did their best to talk him into leaving religious life and returning to the luxurious world he had left behind.
It was probably a serious temptation to the young man, for it is not easy to reform overnight. But he did not turn back. Instead, he said to his friends, "If you love me, follow me! If you cannot follow me, forget me!" He became, by close application to the rule, one of the shining exemplars of this difficult way of life. 
After his studies were completed, Peter entered into his apostolate. It was to take him into places where his worldly background would be a help rather than a hindrance, for he could well understand the temptations and troubles of worldly people. He was first of all a military chaplain with the royal army. He also began to preach in the region. He did not talk about trivia, his sermons drew large crowds. The recitation of the Psalms was his most constant prayer.

The fame of his piety and zeal spread throughout Spain and reached the ears of King Saint Ferdinand of Castile, who sent for him and attached him to his court as chaplain and as his confessor. Appalled by its licentiousness, Gonzales immediately set about reforming it, which so displeased the younger courtiers that they tried to corrupt him; but he was proof against all temptations and won the confidence of the saintly king.  
Peter did much to foster the crusade against the Moors. When Ferdinand finally acted, Peter accompanied him on his expedition against the Moors.
Upon the capture of Cordova and Seville, Peter used his influence and authority on the side of the vanquished and was instrumental in reducing rape and bloodshed.
He also took over the Moorish mosques and converted them into Christian churches.
He was showered with favors by the king, who had the utmost confidence in him. Fearing honors, however, Peter quit the king's service upon his return to Spain. Instead, moved by compassion, he lived among the poor peasants and sought to evangelize them. Although he was met everywhere with ignorance and brutality, his work proved efficacious. He penetrated the wildest and most inaccessible areas, seeking out the peasants in villages and the shepherds in the mountains of the Asturias. His preaching brought about reconciliation between neighbors and between men and God. He gave reassurance to the dismayed and the perplexed.
Most of the anecdotes of his life come from this period, and they have to do with miracles that he worked for these people.
At his prayer, storms ceased, droughts were ended, bottles were refilled with wine, bread was found in the wilderness. The bridge that he built across the swift river Minho made his name famous throughout Spain, and it existed up until recent times. During the time he was directing work on this bridge, he used to call the fish to come and be caught; it was a way of helping to feed the workers.
He visited also the seaports of Galicia--boarding ships and preaching on their open decks. He had a great liking for sailors, and is often portrayed in the habit of his Order, holding a blue candle which symbolized Saint Elmo's fire, the blue electrical discharge which sometimes appears in thunder storms at the mast- heads of ships, and which was supposed to be a sign that the vessel was under the saint's protection. (The name of Saint Elmo is of earlier origin. Peter Gonzales, in the popular devotion of the sailors of the Mediterranean, has replaced the name and memory of the older saints associated with the sea, particularly the 4th century Saint Erasmus.)

He retired finally to Tuy in a state of extreme exhaustion. During Lent he preached each day in the cathedral, on Palm Sunday he foretold his death, and on the Sunday after Easter, he died at Santiago de Compostella. Bishop Luke of Tuy, his great admirer and friend, attended him to his last breath and buried him honorably in his cathedral. In his last will, the bishop gave directions for his own body to be laid near Peter's remains, which were placed in a silver shrine and honored with many miracles (Benedictines, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Gill, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Peter is a Dominican lying on his cloak on hot coals. He may also be portrayed holding fire in his hand or catching fish with his bare hands (Roeder).
1250 Blessed Evangelist & Peregrinus friends endowed with similar miraculous gifts OSA (AC)
Born in Verona, Italy; cultus approved in 1837. Evangelist and Peregrinus shared everything from the time that they became friends at schools. Together they joined the Augustinian order.
Both were endowed with similar miraculous gifts, and died within a few hours of each other (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1250 St. Teresa of Portugal the eldest daughter of King Sancho I of Portugal and sister of SS. Mafalda and Sanchia; married her cousin, King Alfonso IX of Leon & had several children; the marriage was declared invalid because of consanguinity, she returned to Portugal and founded a Benedictine monastery on her estate at Lorvao. She replaced the monks with nuns following the Cistercian Rule, accounts of miracles are attributed to Teresa's intercession. She expanded a monastery to accommodate three hundred nuns, and lived there. In about 1231, at the request of Alfonso's second wife and widow, Berengaria, she settled a dispute among their children over the succession of the throne of Leon, and on her return to Lorvao, she probably became a nun.
Her cult, with that of her sister Sanchia, was approved by Pope Clement XI in 1705.
SS. TERESA AND SANCHIA OF PORTUGAL     (A.D. 1250 AND 1229)
SANCHO I, King of Portugal, had three daughters, Teresa, Sanchia and Mafalda, all of whom are honoured by the Church. Teresa, the eldest, became the wife of her cousin, Alfonso IX, King of Léon, by whom she had several children. The marriage, however, was after some years pronounced invalid, because it had been contracted within prohibited degrees without dispensation. Teresa was attached to her husband and loth to leave him, but eventually they agreed to part. Teresa returned to Portugal, and at Lorvâo she found on her estate an abbey of Benedictine monks now fallen low in numbers and observance. These she ejected and replaced by a community of women pledged to the Cistercian rule. She rebuilt the church, besides restoring and extending the buildings to accommodate 300 nuns. Although she made her home with them, taking full part in their life, yet she retained the direction of her affairs, the disposal of her property, and the right to come and go as she pleased.
Teresa's sister, Sanchia, who never married, had lived since their father's death on her estates at Alenquer, where she devoted herself to good works. She welcomed the Franciscan and Dominican friars into Portugal, and founded the convent of Cellas, for women under the Augustinian rule. But during a visit to her sister she was so impressed by the life led by the community at Lorvao that she afterwards converted Cellas into a Cistercian abbey, and herself took the veil there. Sanchia died in 1229, at the age of forty-seven; Teresa surreptitiously smuggled her sister's body out of the choir at Cellas, where it lay on a bier, and conveyed it to Lorvao, where it was buried. The last public appearance of Teresa occurred two or three years later. It was made in response to an earnest entreaty from Berengaria, the widow of her former husband, that she would intervene to settle the quarrels between their respective children over the succession to the kingdom of Léon. Teresa went, and through her mediation an equitable arrangement was arrived at and peace was restored. Her work in the world, she felt, was now done and she determined never again to leave the convent. It was probably at this time that she actually received the veil. She survived until 1250, and at her death was buried beside St Sanchia. Their cultus was approved in 1705.
The life of Teresa by Francis Macedo, though written in the seventeenth century, purports to be based on authentic materials, especially those collected in view of her expected canonization. This biography has been reprinted in the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iv, and the Bollandists have added certain documents also drawn from the process of canonization, with accounts of miracles attributed to Teresa's intercession. Henriquez in his Lilia Cistercii (1633), vol. ii, pp. 131-144, also recounts her history in some detail. J. P. Bayao in his Portugal glorioso e illustrado (1727) gives an account of both sisters and of St Mafalda (May 2). 

1253 St. Agnes of Assisi Abbess miracle worker.
1253 ST AGNES OF ASSISI, VIRGIN
IN the account of St Clare (August 12) it has been told how she left her parents’ house at Assisi in order to become a nun under the direction of St Francis; and it was mentioned that when she was placed temporarily at the Benedictine convent of Sant’ Angelo di Panzo she was there joined by her sister Agnes, who was then about fifteen years old. In the Chronicle of the Twenty-four Generals there is a circumstantial account of the brutal violence with which her relatives tried to get St Agnes away again and the miracles by which they were thwarted and her deter­mination upheld; but no mention of any such occurrences is made in Pope Alexander IV’s bull of canonization of St Clare. St Francis gave Agnes the habit as she desired, and sent her with her sister to San Damiano. Eight years later, when St Francis established the convent of Monticelli at Florence, Agnes was made its abbess, and from there she is said to have supervised the foundations at Mantua, Venice, Padua and other places. Under her wise direction Monticelli became hardly less famous than San Damiano itself, and St Agnes firmly upheld her sister in her long struggle for the privilege of complete poverty. In August 1253 she was summoned to Assisi to be with St Clare during her last hours, when it is said that the dying saint declared her sister would soon follow her. In fact, St Agnes died on November 16 following, and was buried at San Damiano till 1260, when her body joined that of her sister in the new church of Santa Chiara at Assisi. The tomb of St Agnes was made glorious by miracles, and Pope Benedict XIV granted her feast to the Franciscans. A touching letter written by St Agnes to St Clare, after having to leave San Damiano for Monticelli in 1219, is still extant. 

For the account devoted to her in the Chronica XXIV Generalium, see the Analecta Franciscana, vol. iii (1897), pp. 173—182. She is also several times spoken of in the early volumes of Wadding’s Annales Ordinis Minorum. Naturally St Agnes figures in all lives of her sister, e.g. that by Locatelli. Consult also the bibliography under August 12, St Clare, and Leon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 66—70.

The younger sister of St. Clare of Assisi. Born in Assisi, Agnes was the youngest daughter of Count Favorino Scifi and Countess Hortulana (now Blessed). On March 18, 1212, Clare renounced her inheritance and family and founded the Poor Clares, the Franciscan cloistered Order. Agnes joined her sixteen days later at the Benedictine cloister of St. Angelo in Panso, where they received their initial training. Her father, Count Favorino, sent armed men to carry Agnes away. She was badly beaten but was not taken back to her father because of the miraculous efforts of Clare. Agnes was accepted by St. Francis and placed in St. Damian's. She and Clare were soon joined by other noblewomen of Assisi, and there Agnes achieved perfection as a religious at a young age. She was eventually named abbess, and in 1219, was sent by St. Francis to direct the Poor Clares at Monticelli, near Florence. Agnes wrote a letter to Clare, and this surviving document clearly demonstrates her love of poverty and her loyalty to Clare's ideals. Agnes also established Poor Clares in Mantua, Padua, and Venice. In 1253, she was summoned to Clare's deathbed and assisted at her funeral. Agnes followed quickly as Clare had predicted, dying three months later, on November 16 of the same year. Her mother, Hortulana, and a younger sister, Beatrice, had already died, and Agnes was buried near them in the Church of St. Clare of Assisi.

St. Agnes of Assisi established convents
She was the younger sister of St. Clare. At fifteen she joined Clare at the Benedictine convent of Sant'Angelo di Panzo. Determined to follow her sister's life of poverty and penance, she resisted her relatives' attempts to force her to return home, and was given the habit by St. Francis and sent to San Damiano with Clare, thus founding the Poor Clares. St. Francis appointed her abbess of the Poor Clares' convent at Monticelli near Florence in 1219. She established convents at Mantua, Venice, and Padua, and supported her sister's struggle for poverty in their Order. Agnes was with Clare at her death and died three months later, on November 16, reportedly as predicted by Clare. Many miracles have been reported at her tomb in Santa Chiara Church in Assisi.

St. Agnes of Assisi  Catholic Encyclopedia
Younger sister of St. Clare and Abbess of the Poor Ladies, born at Assisi, 1197, or 1198; died 1253. She was the younger daughter of Count Favorino Scifi. Her saintly mother, Blessed Hortulana, belonged to the noble family of the Fiumi, and her cousin Rufino was one of the celebrated "Three Companions" of St. Francis. Agnes's childhood was passed between her father's palace in the city and his castle of Sasso Rosso on Mount Subasio. On 18 March, 1212, her eldest sister Clare, moved by the preaching and example of St. Francis, had left her father's home to follow the way of life taught by the Saint. Sixteen days later Agnes repaired to the monastery of St. Angelo in Panso, where the Benedictine nuns had afforded Clare temporary shelter, and resolved to share her sister's life of poverty and penance. At this step the fury of Count Favorino knew no bounds. He sent his brother Monaldo, with several relatives and some armed followers, to St. Angelo to force Agnes, if persuasion failed, to return home. The conflict which followed is related in detail in the "Chronicles of the Twenty-four Generals." Monaldo, beside himself with rage, drew his sword to strike the young girl, but his arm dropped, withered and useless, by his side; others dragged Agnes out of the monastery by the hair, striking her, and even kicking her repeatedly. Presently St. Clare came to the rescue, and of a sudden Agnes's body became so heavy that the soldiers having tried in vain to carry her off, dropped her, half dead, in a field near the monastery. Overcome by a spiritual power against which physical force availed not, Agnes's relatives were obliged to withdraw and to allow her to remain with St. Clare. St. Francis, who was overjoyed at Agnes's heroic resistance to the entreaties and threats of her pursuers, presently cut off her hair and gave her the habit of Poverty. Soon after, he established the two sisters at St. Damian's, in a small rude dwelling adjoining the humble sanctuary which he had helped to rebuild with his own hands. There several other noble ladies of Assisi joined Clare and Agnes, and thus began the Order of the Poor Ladies of St. Damian's, or Poor Clares, as these Franciscan nuns afterwards came to be called. From the outset of her religious life, Agnes was distinguished for such an eminent degree of virtue that her companions declared she seemed to have discovered a new road to perfection known only to herself. As abbess, she ruled with loving kindness and knew how to make the practice of virtue bright and attractive to her subjects. In 1219, Agnes, despite her youth, was chosen by St. Francis to found and govern a community of the Poor Ladies at Monticelli, near Florence, which in course of time became almost as famous as St. Damian's. A letter written by St. Agnes to Clare after this separation is still extant, touchingly beautiful in its simplicity and affection. Nothing perhaps in Agnes's character is more striking and attractive than her loving fidelity to Clare's ideals and her undying loyalty in upholding the latter in her lifelong and arduous struggle for Seraphic Poverty. Full of zeal for the spread of the Order, Agnes established from Monticelli several monasteries of the Poor Ladies in the north of Italy, including those of Mantua, Venice, and Padua, all of which observed the same fidelity to the teaching of St. Francis and St. Clare. In 1253 Agnes was summoned to St. Damian's during the last illness of St. Clare, and assisted at the latter's triumphant death and funeral. On 16 November of the same year she followed St. Clare to her eternal reward. Her mother Hortulana and her younger sister Beatrice, both of whom had followed Clare and Agnes into the Order, had already passed away. The precious remains of St. Agnes repose near the body of her mother and sisters, in the church of St. Clare at Assisi. God, Who had favoured Agnes with many heavenly manifestations during life, glorified her tomb after death by numerous miracles. Benedict XIV permitted the Order of St. Francis to celebrate her feast. It is kept 16 November, as a double of the second class.
1253 St. Fina "Seraphina"Virgin; many miracles through her intercession Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest"

1253 ST FINA, OR SERAPHINA, VIRGIN
THE old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. She was born of parents who had seen better days but had fallen into poverty. The child was pretty and attractive. Poor as she was, she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. As far as possible she lived the life of a recluse at home, sewing indeed and spinning during the day, but spending much of the night in prayer. Her father seems to have died when she was still young, and about the same time Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. She lost her good looks and became a miserable object. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went out to work or to beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity, and, with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix, she kept on repeating, “It is not my wounds but thine, 0 Christ, that hurt me”.
Fresh trouble befell her. Her mother died suddenly, and Fina was left utterly destitute. Except for one devoted friend, Beldia, she was now so neglected that it was clear she could not live long—dependent on the casual attentions of poor neighbours who shrank from contact with her loathsome sores. Someone had told her about St Gregory the Great and his sufferings, and she had conceived a special veneration for him. She used to pray that he, who was so much tried by disease, would intercede with God that she might have patience in her affliction. Eight days before her death, as she lay alone and untended, Gregory appeared to her, and said, “Dear child, on my festival God will give you rest”. And it came to pass as he had said: on March 12, 1253, she died; and the neighbours declared that when her body was removed from the board on which it had rested, the rotten wood was found to be covered with white violets. All the city attended the funeral, and many miracles were reported as having been wrought through her intercession. In particular she is said, as she lay dead, to have raised her hand and to have clasped and healed the injured arm of her friend Beldia. The peasants of San Geminiano still give the name of Santa Fina’s flowers to the white violets which bloom about the season of her feast day.
The story of St Fina is preserved to us in the short Latin life written by the Dominican John of Geminiano, seemingly about fifty years after the saint’s death. It is printed by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. There is also a contemporary Italian text which may be the original. See also A. B. C. Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. i, p.317. The obsequies of Santa Fina form the subject of one of Ghirlandajo’s most famous pictures.
She was known for her self denial and acts of penance as a young girl. A mysterious illness left this beautiful girl unattractive; her eyes, feet, and hands became deformed and eventually Seraphina was paralyzed. Her mother and father both died while she was young. She was devoted to St. Gregory the Great. She died on the feast of St. Gregory, exactly as she had been warned by Gregory in a dream. Seraphina was a very helpful child around the family home. She did many of the chores and helped her mother spin and sew.

St. Fina or Seraphina,  The old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. She was born of parents who had seen better days but had fallen into poverty. The child was pretty and attractive. Poor as she was she always kept half her food to give to those who were worse off than herself. As far as possible she lived the life of a recluse at home, sewing indeed and spinning during the day, ;but spending much of the night in prayer.
Her father seems to have died when she was still young and about the same time Fina was attacked by a sudden complication of diseases. Her head, hands, eyes, feet and internal organs were affected and paralysis supervened. She lost her good looks and became a miserable object. Desiring to be like our Lord on the cross, for six years she lay on a plank in one position, unable to turn or to move. Her mother had to leave her for hours while she went to work or beg, but Fina never complained. Although in terrible pain she always maintained serenity and with her eyes fixed upon the crucifix she kept on repeating,"It is not my wounds but thine, O Christ, that hurt me".

Fresh trouble befell her. Her mother died suddenly and Fina was left utterly destitute. Except for one devoted friend Beldia she was now so neglected that it was clear she could not live long, dependent on the casual attentions of poor neighbors who shrank from contact with her loathsome sores.
Someone had told her about St. Gregory the Great and his sufferings, and she had conceived a special veneration for him. She used to pray that he, who was so much tried by disease would intercede with God that she might have patience in her affliction. Eight days before her death as she lay alone and untended, Gregory appeared to her and said, "Dear child on my festival God will give you rest". And it came to pass when her body was removed from the board on which it had rested, the rotten wood was found to be covered with white violets. All the city attended the funeral and many miracles were reported as having been wrought through her intercession. In particular she is said as she lay dead, to have raised her hand and to have clasped and healed the injured arm of her friend Beldia. The peasants of San Geminiano still give the name of Santa Fina's flowers to the white violets which bloom about the season of her feast day of March 12th.

1253 St. Richard of Wyche Ph.D. Priest  a missionary bishop denounced nepotism, insisted on strict clerical discipline, and was ever generous to the poor and the needy Many miracles of healing were recorded during his lifetime, and many more after his death. Richard was deep in the hearts of his people, the sort of saint that anyone can recognize by his simplicity, holiness, and endless charity to the poor
 In Anglia sancti Richárdii, Epíscopi Cicestrénsis, sanctitáte et miraculórum glória conspícui.       In England, St. Richard, bishop of Chichester, celebrated for his sanctity and glorious miracles.
Richard of Wyche, also known as Richard of Chichester, was born at Wyche (Droitwich), Worcestershire, England. He was orphaned when he was quite young. He retrieved the fortunes of the mismanaged estate he inherited when he took it over, and then turned it over to his brother Robert. Richard refused marriage and went to Oxford, where he studied under Grosseteste and met and began a lifelong friendship with Saint Edmund Rich.

Richard von Chichester Katholische Kirche: 3. April und 16. Juni  Anglikanische Kirche: 16. Juni
Richard wurde 1197 oder 1198 bei Worchester in England geboren. Er studierte in Oxford, Paris und Bologna Rechtswissenschaften und Geisteswissenschaften. 1236 wurde er Kanzler der Universität Oxford und Kanzler des Erzischofs Edmund von Abingdon. Nach dem Tod seines Bischofs studierte Richard Theologie und wurde nach seiner Priesterweihe 1244 Bischof von Chichester. Er wirkte vor allem als Kreuzzusprediger. Richard starb am 3.4.1253 in Dover.

Richard pursued his studies at Paris, received his M.A. from Oxford, and then continued his studies at Bologna, where he received his doctorate in Canon Law.
After seven years at Bologna, he returned to Oxford, was appointed chancellor of the university in 1235, and then became chancellor to Edmund Rich, now archbishop of Canterbury, whom he accompanied to the Cistercian monastery at Pontigny when the archbishop retired there. After Rich died at Pontigny, Richard taught at the Dominican House of Studies at Orleans and was ordained there in 1243.

After a time as a parish priest at Deal, he became chancellor of Boniface of Savoy, the new archbishop of Canterbury, and when King Henry III named Ralph Neville bishop of Chichester in 1244, Boniface declared his selection invalid and named Richard to the See. Eventually, the matter was brought to Rome and in 1245, Pope Innocent IV declared in Richard's favor and consecrated him. When he returned to England, he was still opposed by Henry and was refused admittance to the bishop's palace; eventually Henry gave in when threatened with excommunication by the Pope. The remaining eight years of Richard's life were spend in ministering to his flock.

He denounced nepotism, insisted on strict clerical discipline, and was ever generous to the poor and the needy. He died at a house for poor priests in Dover, England, while preaching a crusade, and was canonized in 1262.

Richard Backedine B (RM) (also known as Richard of Wyche, of Droitwich, of Chichester, of Burford)
Born at Droitwich (formerly called Wyche), Worchestershire, England, in 1197; died at Dover, England, 1253; canonized 1262.

"Thanks be to Thee, my Lord Jesus Christ For all the benefits Thou hast given me, For all the pains and insults Which Thou has borne for me.
O most merciful Redeemer, Friend, and Brother, May I know Thee more clearly, Love Thee more dearly, Follow Thee more nearly, Day by day. Amen."
--Saint Richard of Chichester.

Richard's surname was Backedine, but he is better known as Richard Wyche or 'of Wich.' He was born into a family who held property and were counted among the minor nobility. Even as a toddler Richard haunted holy Mass. At five, standing on a chair, he was already preaching sermons: "Be good; if you are good, God will love you; if you are not good, God will not love you." A little simplistic but what do you expect of a five-year old? His knowledge of Latin amazed the pastor and the fervor of his prayers confounded his mother. His parents decided that the fruits of the earth would go to the eldest son, but those of heaven would go to the youngest--he would belong to the Church.

Richard's parents died while he was still small, and the heavily mortgaged family estate was left to his elder brother, who had no gift for management. The brother allowed the land to fall into ruin. When Richard was old enough, he served his brother out of kindness as a laborer to help rebuild the estate. He actually tilled the land for a time, and directed the replanting of the ruined gardens.

In time his management paid off, and the property was restored to its former value. His brother wanted to give it to Richard, but Richard only wanted to spend time with his books. Abandoning the estates and the possibility of a marriage to a wealthy bride, Richard went off to the newly opened Oxford University to finish his studies. At Oxford he became acquainted with the Dominicans who had arrived in 1221, Franciscans such as Grosseteste, and Saint Edmund Rich, who was then chancellor of the university and became one of Richard's lifelong friends.

Later, he went to Paris as a student of theology, and was so poor that he shared a room with two others. They lived on bread and porridge, and having only one good coat between them, they could only go one at a time to lectures, wearing it in turn, while the others remained at home. After taking his degree in Paris and finishing his master's degree at Oxford, he studied Roman and canon law at Bologna for seven years. There he received his doctorate and the esteem of many.

When one of his tutors offered to make Richard his heir and give him his daughter in marriage, Richard, who felt called to a celibate life, made a courteous excuse and returned to Oxford at age 38. In 1235, he was appointed chancellor of the university and then of the diocese of Oxford by Saint Edmund, who had become archbishop of Canterbury.

Richard remained in close contact with Saint Edmund during the long years of Edmund's conflict with the English king and, in fact, followed him into exile in France and nursed him until Edmund's death in 1240 at the Cistercian monastery of Pontigny. After Edmund died, he taught at the Dominican house of studies in Orléans for two years, where he was ordained a priest in 1242 and lived in the Dominican community until his return to England in 1243. At which time he served briefly as a parish priest at Charing and at Deal.

Those were the days when Henry III created great difficulties for the Church by encroaching on her liberties, seizing her revenues, and appointing to ecclesiastical vacancies his own relatives and followers. Crowned at the age of nine, when the barons had made an impetuous attack on his power, the Church had come to the aid of the frail child because God establishes all authority. Henry had acknowledged this service until he reached manhood. Then the king forgot his debt to the Church. He surrounded himself with favorites from the Continent: Bretons, Provençals, Savoyards, and natives of Poitou to "protect himself from the felony of his own subjects."

In 1244, Ralph Neville, bishop of Chichester died. Thus it came about that the king nominated a courtier, Robert Passelewe, to the bishopric of Chichester and pressured the canons to elect him. However, the new archbishop, Blessed Boniface of Savoy, refused to confirm appointment and called a chapter of his suffragans, who declared the election invalid. Instead they chose Richard Backedine, who had been chancellor to archbishops Edmund Rich and Boniface of Savoy and who was the primate's nominee, to fill the vacant see.

This roused the anger of the king, who retaliated by confiscating the cathedral revenues. It was a case in which retreat would be pure cowardice, so Richard accepted the unwelcome office and set about doing his best with it. At first he was almost starved out of office because the king, who already had the church revenues, forbade anyone to give Richard food or shelter. No bishop dared to consecrate him and, after a year of mendicant existence, he went to receive episcopal consecration from Pope Innocent IV, who was presiding over the Council of Lyons, on March 5, 1245.

But Richard, receiving the powerful support of the pope, though deprived of the use both of the cathedral and the bishop's palace, took up his residence at Chichester, and on a borrowed horse travelled through his diocese. He was given shelter in a country rectory by Father Simon of Tarring, and from this modest center Bishop Richard worked for two years like a missionary bishop, visiting fisherfolk and peasants, and cultivating figs in his spare time.

He called many synods during his travels, and drew up what are known as the Constitutions of Saint Richard, statutes that address the various abuses that he noticed in his travels. The sacraments were to be administered without payment, Mass celebrated with dignity, and the clergy to remain celibate, practice residence, and wear clerical garb. The laity were obliged to attend Mass on Sundays and Holy Days and to memorize the Hail Mary, Our Father, and Creed. With great charity and humility he carried on his work until the king reluctantly yielded to a peremptory order of the pope to restore the revenues of the bishopric.

With his temporalities restored, Richard had the means to become a great alms-giver. "It will never do," he said, "to eat out of gold and silver plates and bowls, while Christ is suffering in the person of His poor," and he ate and drank always out of common crockery. His early poverty and recent experiences made him eschew riches. Whenever he heard of any fire or damage to his property, Saint Richard would say to his stewards, "Do not grieve. This is a lesson to us. God is teaching us that we do not give enough away to the poor. Let us increase our almsgiving."

Nor would he allow any quarrels over money or privilege to stand in the way of fellowship and charity. When an enemy came to see him, he received him in the friendliest manner and invited him to his table, but in matters of scandal and corruption he was stern and unyielding. "Never," he said of one of his priests who was immoral, "shall a ribald exercise any cure of souls in my diocese of Chichester."

And always he rose early, long before his clergy were awake, passing through their dormitory to say his morning office by himself. He encouraged the Dominicans and Franciscans in his diocese, who aided him in reforming it.

His final task was a commission from the pope to undertake a preaching mission for the Crusade throughout the kingdom. He saw this as a call to a new life, which would also reopen the Holy Land to pilgrims, not as a political expedition. He began preaching the Crusade in his own church at Chichester and proceeded as far as Dover, where, after he had dedicated a church to his friend Saint Edmund and sung matins, he was taken ill, and died at the Maison- Dieu, a house of poor priests and pilgrims, in his 56th year. Among his last words, as he turned his face, lit up with peace, to an old friend, were: "I was glad when they said to me, We will go into the house of the Lord."

If Richard was a thorn in the side of an avaricious king, he was a saint to his flock, whose affection he won during his eight-year episcopate. Many miracles of healing were recorded during his lifetime, and many more after his death. Richard was deep in the hearts of his people, the sort of saint that anyone can recognize by his simplicity, holiness, and endless charity to the poor.

Richard built a magnificent tomb for his friend, Saint Edmund, and was himself buried there after his death. In 1276, his body was translated to a separate tomb that erected for him behind the high altar of Chichester cathedral, which became one of the most popular pilgrimage places in England. It was utterly destroyed in 1538 by the Reformers, and his body was buried secretly.

Legend says that Richard Backedine was a third order Dominican, though there is no positive proof. One tradition says that he was actually on his way to join the Dominican house in Orléans, when the letters came appointing him bishop. In the early days of the Order of Preachers, the name of Saint Richard was inserted as a saint to be commemorated among their feasts, a fact that offers strong evidence that Richard himself was a member of the order. His biography was written by one of his clergy, Ralph Bocking (Attwater, Attwater2, Benedictines, Bentley, Capes, Delaney, Dorcy, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Walsh).
1255 Blessed Nicholas Palea companion of Saint Dominic miracle worker OP (AC).  
(also known as Nicholas the Prior) Born in Giovinazzo near Bari, Naples; died in Perugia, Italy, in 1255; cultus confirmed in 1828.
1255 BD NICHOLAS PAGLIA
THERE seems to be a good deal of legendary matter in what we are told of Bd Nicholas Paglia. What is best attested is the fact that as a young man studying at Bologna he heard St Dominic preach there, and was so impressed that he begged to be received into the Order of Preachers. He is said to have belonged to a noble family which had estates at Giovenazzo in Apulia, and it is possible that it was the resources which came to him by inheritance which enabled him to found a Domin­ican priory at Perugia in 1233 and another at Trani in 1254 or thereabouts. We know further that he was prior provincial of the Roman province as early as 1230 and again in 1255. In the Vitae Fratrum of Gerard de Frachet, he is described as “a holy and prudent man, well versed in sacred lore”, and two or three anecdotes are recounted of him which suggest that he was frequently the recipient of visions and other heavenly communications. He died at Perugia in August 1255, and on the ground that his remains were always held in honour there as those of a saint his cultus was confirmed in 1825.

See S. Razzi, Historia degli huomini illustri...(1596), vol. i, pp. 237 seq. Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus OP., p. 14.

Born of a noble Neapolitan family, Nicholas was named for the great wonder-worker who had once lived in the kingdom. At 8 he was already practicing austerities. He would not eat meat, even on feast days, because he had been favored by a vision of a young man of great majesty who told him to prepare for a lifetime of mortifications in an order that kept perpetual abstinence.


Sent to Bologna for his studies, he met Saint Dominic and was won by him to the new order.
He was the companion of Saint Dominic on several of the founder's journeys to Italy, and warmed his heart at the very source of the new fire which was to mean resurrection to so many souls.

Saint Nicholas of Bari had been noted for his astounding miracles, and his young namesake began following in his footsteps while yet a novice. When on a journey with several companions, he met a woman with a withered arm. Making the Sign of the Cross over her, he cured her of the affliction.
At one time, as he entered his native Bari, he found a woman weeping beside the body of her child, who had been drowned in a well.

He asked the woman the name of the child, and being told it was Andrew, he replied, "After this, it's Nicholas. Nicholas, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, arise!" The little one revived, alive and well.
The child of his sister Colette, mute from birth, brought her famous uncle a basket of bread. "Who sent the bread, child?" Nicholas asked her. "My mother," she replied, and from then on she was cured.

As provincial of the Roman province, Nicholas was wise, prudent, and kind. He established priories in Perugia in 1233 and Trani in 1254. He received many novices and did much of his work among the young religious. Once he was called to the assistance of a novice who had been deceived by the devil and would not go to confession.
He showed the young man the true state of his soul and undid the work of the evil one.

Nicholas earned great fame as a preacher. On one occasion, when he was preaching in the cathedral of Brescia, two irreverent young men began disturbing the congregation and soon made such a commotion that Nicholas could not make himself heard. Nicholas left the cathedral to a neighboring hill and there called to the birds to come to listen to him.
Like the birds in the similar story of Saint Francis, flocks of feathered creatures fluttered down at his feet and listened attentively while he preached. At the end of the sermon they flew away singing.

After a lifetime of preaching and miracles, Nicholas, forewarned of is death by a visit from a brother who had been dead many years, went happily to receive the reward of the faithful. Miracles continued to occur at his tomb and through his intercession.
Among these was the miracle by which life was given to a baby born dead. His parents had promised to name the baby Nicholas if the favor were granted their great joy their child lived (Benedictines, Dorcy).

In art, Saint Nicholas is presented as a Dominican with a birch and a book (Roeder). He is venerated in Giovinazzo and Perugia, Italy (Roeder).
1257 Mafalda of Portugal Queen slept on bare ground spent night in prayer fortune used to restore cathedral of Oporto founded a hospice for pilgrims hospital for 12 widows build a bridge over the Talmeda River died in sackcloth and ashes body exhumed 1617 found flexible and incorrupt OSB Cist. (AC) (also known as Matilda)
1252 ST MAFALDA
IN the year 1215, at the age of eleven, Princess Mafalda (i.e. Matilda), daughter of King Sancho I of Portugal, was married to her kinsman King Henry I of Castile, who was like herself a minor. The marriage was annulled the following year on the ground of the consanguinity of the parties, and Mafalda returned to her own country, where she took the veil in the Benedictine convent of Arouca. As religious observance had become greatly relaxed, she induced the community to adopt the Cistercian rule. Her own life was one of extreme austerity. The whole of the large income bestowed upon her by her father was devoted to pious and charitable uses. She restored the cathedral of Oporto, founded a hostel for pilgrims, erected a bridge over the Talmeda and built an institution for the support of twelve widows at Arouca. When she felt that her last hour was approaching she directed, according to a common medieval practice, that she should be laid on ashes. Her last words were, “Lord, I hope in thee”. Her body after death shone with a wonderful radiance, and when it was exposed in 1617 it is said to have been as flexible and fresh as though the holy woman had only just died. Mafalda’s cultus was confirmed in 1793.
A notice of Mafalda, compiled mainly from late Cistercian sources, will be found in the appendix to the first volume for May in the Acta Sanctorum. An account of her, with her sisters SS. Teresa and Sanchia, is also contained in Portugal glorioso e illustrado, etc., by J. P. Bayao (1727).

Born 1203; cultus approved in 1793. Mafalda, daughter of King Sancho of Portugal, was married at the age of 11 or 12 to her young cousin King Henry I of Castile. The following year her marriage was declared null by the Holy See because of consanguinity.
At once she returned to Portugal, entered the convent of Arouca and, in 1222, professed the Benedictine Rule. At her suggestion, the convent joined the Cistercians. She did not simply enter the monastery as the only alternative, but because she desired to give herself totally to God. She slept on the bare ground or spent the night in prayer. Her fortune was used to restore the beautiful cathedral of Oporto, found a hospice for pilgrims and a hospital for twelve widows, and build a bridge over the Talmeda River. Mafalda died in sackcloth and ashes. When her body was exhumed in 1617, it was found to be flexible and incorrupt (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Farmer).

1257 Blessed Thomas Hélye, Confessor ascetic; led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (AC)
1257 Bd Thomas of Biville
Around the district of Biville in Normandy, where he was born about the year 1187, Thomas Hélye is known as “the Wonder-worker” and enjoys a widespread cultus that was confirmed in 1859. His parents seem to have been people of some local importance particularly to please his mother, Thomas was sent to school. When he was a young man he decided to put the fruits of this privilege at the disposal of other children, and he became a sort of village schoolmaster and catechist in his native place. The good results of his teaching reached the ears of the citizens of Cherbourg, the nearest town, and he was invited to go and instruct the children there, which he did until sickness drove him home again. When he was recovered he continued to live in his father’s house, in a manner more like that of monk than of a layman, and he soon became known to the bishop of Coutances, who ordained him deacon. Thomas then undertook pilgrimages to Rome and to Compostela, before going to Paris to complete his studies; after four years he was made priest. He increased his austerities, spending pan of the night in prayer that he might have the more time in the day for pastoral care and preaching, for which he had a great gift. Thomas was presented to the parochial benefice of Saint-Maurice, but he was by nature a missionary and, appointing a vicar for his cure, he took up his former work of preaching, catechizing, visiting the sick and sinners, encouraging the poor and oppressed, exhorting the lukewarm and indifferent, wherever it seemed that God was calling him, not only in Coutances but in the neighbouring dioceses of Avranches, Bayeux and Lisieux as well. In the midst of these missionary journeys Bd Thomas was taken ill at the castle of Vauville in La Manche, and died there on October 19, 1257 the first miracle after his death was the healing of the withered hand of his hostess.
   Relics of Bd Thomas
Hélye have an interesting history. His body was buried in the cemetery of Biville, and later translated to the church itself. At the Revolution the church was profaned and the tomb of Thomas, left in situ, used as a desk, when M. Lemarié, vicar general of Coutances, determined to save the relics before it was too late. At 10.15 in the evening of July 13, 1794, he, with the parish priest and several of the faithful, secretly opened the shrine. The skeleton of the saint was found with nearly all the bones in place. It was quickly wrapped in linen and transferred to a wooden coffin, together with an affidavit of the proceedings, sealed up, and conveyed to the church at Virandeville, where it was hidden. The revolutionary authorities of Biville were unable to fix the responsibility for the “crime” and visited their annoyance on the “constitutional” curé, who was imprisoned for neglect of duty and for concealing the names of the delinquents, which he did not know. The relics were returned to their proper shrine in 1803. There, seven hundred years after the death of Bd Thomas, they still rest.
There is a valuable medieval life by a certain Clement, a contemporary, who was an actual witness of much that he records. Four years after the death of Rd Thomas an investigation was held at which Clement assisted, and he quotes in his biography from the depositions made regarding the holy missionary’s virtues and miracles. The text has been edited both in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, and by L. Delisle in the Mémoirs de la Soc. Acad. de Cherbourg, 1861, pp. 203—238. See also lives by L. Couppey (1903) and P. Pinel (1927). There seems, however, as Fr Van Ortroy has pointed out, no adequate evidence for the statement that Bd Thomas was ever appointed chaplain to St Louis IX cf the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxii (1903), p. 505.
Born at Biville, Normandy, in 1187; died at the castle of Vauville, Manche, in 1257; cultus confirmed in 1859. Blessed Thomas led an ascetic life in his parents' home and devoted part of his time to teaching the catechism to the poor. His bishop requested that he receive presbyterial ordination. Thereafter he was an itinerant preacher throughout Normandy. Later he was appointed almoner to the king (Benedictines).
1258 Blessed Juliana of Mount Cornillon visions in which Jesus pointed out that there was no feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament OSA V (AC)
Born in Retinnes, near Liège, Flanders, in 1192; died at Fosses on April 5, 1258; cultus confirmed in 1869; feast day was April 6.
Orphaned when she was 5, Juliana and sister Agnes were placed in the care of the nuns of Mount Cornillon, where Juliana eventually became an Augustinian nun and, in 1225, prioress. While still young, Juliana experienced visions in which Jesus pointed out that there was no feast in honor of the Blessed Sacrament.

1258 BD JULIANA OF MOUNT CORNILLON, VIRGIN
THE introduction of the feast of Corpus Christi was primarily due to one woman, whose mind first conceived it and whose efforts brought about its observance. Juliana was born near Liege in 1192, but being left an orphan at the age of five, she was placed by guardians in the care of the nuns of Mount Cornillon, a double Augustinian monastery of men and women devoted to the care of the sick, more especially of lepers. To keep Juliana and her sister Agnes from contact with the patients, the superior sent them to a dependent farm near Amercoeur, where they were in the kindly charge of a Sister Sapientia, who also taught them. Agnes died young; Juliana grew up into a studious girl who had an intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and who loved to pore over volumes of St Augustine, St Bernard and other fathers on the library shelves. Strangely enough, from the time when she was about sixteen she was haunted day and night by the appearance of a bright moon streaked with a dark band. Occasionally she feared lest it might be a device of the Devil to distract her from prayer, but usually she felt convinced that it had some deep spiritual meaning if only she could grasp it. At last she had a dream or vision in which our Lord explained that the moon was the Christian year with its round of festivals and that the black band denoted the absence of the one holy day required to complete the cycle—a feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament.
  The years passed and Juliana became a nun at Mount Cornillon; but she was unknown, without influence and in no position to do anything in the matter of the desired feast. Then in 1225 she was elected prioress and began to speak about what she felt to be her mission to some of her friends, notably to Bd Eva, a recluse who lived beside St Martin’s church on the opposite bank of the river, and to a saintly woman, Isabel of Huy, whom she had received into her community. Encouraged no doubt by the support of these two, she opened her heart to a learned canon of St Martin’s, John of Lausanne, asking him to consult theologians as to the propriety of such a feast. James Pantaleon (afterwards Pope Urban IV), Hugh of St Cher, the Dominican prior provincial, Bishop Guy of Cambrai, chancellor of the University of Paris, with other learned men, were approached, and decided that there was no theological or canonical objection to the institution of a festival in honour of the Blessed Sacrament. On the other hand opposition arose in other quarters. Although John of Cornillon composed an office for the day which was actually adopted by the canons of St Martin’s, and although Hugh of St Cher preached and spoke on her behalf, Juliana was criticized as a visionary, and worse. Feeling ran high against her even in the monastery, the constitution of which was somewhat peculiar. Whilst the ultimate direction of brethren and sisters was in the hands of the prior, the burgomaster and citizens seem to have had a voice in the management of the hospital, the revenues of which, however, were administered by the prioress. A new prior, Roger by name, accused Juliana of falsifying the accounts, of making away with the title-deeds, and of misappropriating the funds to further the promotion of a feast which nobody wanted, These accusations so infuriated the people of Liege that they compelled Juliana to leave. Bishop Robert caused an inquiry to be made into the matter. This resulted in the recall of Juliana to Cornillon, the transference of the prior to the hospital of Huy, and in 1246 the proclamation of the new festival for the diocese of Liege. After the death of the bishop, however, the persecution was renewed and Bd Juliana was driven from Cornillon altogether.
With three of the sisters, Isabel of Huy, Agnes and Otilia, she wandered from one place to another until they found a shelter at Namur. Here for some time they lived upon alms, but the abbess of Salzinnes came to their rescue and, espousing Juliana’s cause, obtained for her from Cornillon a grant from the dowry she had formerly brought to the convent. Misfortune, however, continued to dog her steps—misfortune which she foresaw and foretold. During the siege of Namur by the troops of Henry II of Luxemburg, Salzinnes was burnt down and Juliana was forced to escape with the abbess to Fosses, where she lived as a recluse for the rest of her days in poverty and sickness. She died on April 5, 1248, in the presence of the abbess and of a faithful companion called Ermentrude.
Juliana’s great mission was carried on and completed by her old friend Eva, the recluse of St Martin’s. After the elevation to the papacy of Urban IV, who as James Pantaleon had been one of Juliana’s earliest supporters, Eva, through the bishop of Liege, begged him to sanction the new feast of the Blessed Sacrament. He did so; and afterwards, in recognition of the part she had taken, he sent her his bull of authorization together with the beautiful office for Corpus Christi which St Thomas Aquinas had composed at his desire. The bull was confirmed in 1312 by the Council of Vienne under Pope Clement V, and the celebration of the feast of Corpus Christi has from that time become of universal obligation throughout the Western church, and most Catholics of the Eastern rite have adopted it too. The observance of a feast in honour of Bd Juliana was allowed by the Holy See in 1869.

A narrative originally compiled in French but translated into Latin by John of Lausanne is printed in the Acta Sanctorum (April, vol. 1) and forms the principal source for the incidents here recorded. See also Clotilde de Sainte Julienae, Sainte Julienne de Cornillon (1928); and E. Denis, La vraie histoire de ste Julienne...(1935). There is an account in Flemish by J. Coenen (1946).
As prioress she began to agitate for the institution of the feast called for in her vision. Some supported her but enough opposed her that she was removed from office and persecuted; she was driven from Cornillon by the lay directors, who accused her of mismanaging the funds of a hospital under her control.
An inquiry by the bishop of Liège exonerated her and resulted in her recall in 1246, when he introduced the feast of Corpus Christi in Liège.

When the bishop died in 1248, Juliana was again driven from the convent and found refuge in the Cistercian convent of Salzinnes in Namur. Soon she found herself homeless again when the monastery was destroyed by fire during the siege of Namur by the troops of Henry II of Luxembourg. She then migrated to Fosses, where she spent the rest of her life as a recluse.
At her request she was buried at the Cistercian abbey of Villiers as one of their own.

After Juliana's death, the movement for the establishment of Corpus Christi as a universal feast was carried on by her friend Blessed Eva of Liège. The feast was sanctioned by Pope Urban IV in 1264 and the office for the feast was composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas. By 1312, the feast was obligatory throughout the Western Church (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
As is to be expected, Blessed Juliana is represented in art as an Augustinian nun holding a monstrance. She is venerated at Cornillon, Fosse, Retines (Liège), and Salzinnes (Roeder).
1260 Blessed Gandulphus of Binasco Franciscan  his discourses and miracles made a profound impression while Saint Francis was still alive preaching in Sicily hermit OFM
(also known as Gandulf) Born in Binasco (near Milan), Lombardy, Italy; Gandulphus became a member of the Franciscan Order while Saint Francis was still alive and spent his life praying and preaching in Sicily. Later in life, he left the friary at Palermo to become a hermit. He is highly venerated in Sicily (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
1245 BD GUY OF CORTONA
OF the parentage and early years of Guy VignotelIi, nothing is known. He is introduced to our notice as a young citizen of Cortona, living partly upon his patrimony, partly by the work of his hands, and giving away in charity all that he did not actually require for his own use. When St Francis of Assisi with one of his companions paid a first visit to Cortona in 1211, Guy gave them hospitality, and at the close of a meal he asked the Seraphic Father to receive him as a disciple. Upon being told that he must first abandon all things, he went out and sold his possessions, the proceeds of which he and his two guests immediately distributed in alms. The following day, St Francis formally clothed him with the habit. A little friary called Cella was built at or near Cortona, but Guy received permission to occupy a cell on a bridge. Because he was a man of education it was thought desirable that he should be ordained, and he was accordingly raised to the priesthood.
On a subsequent visit to Cortona, St Francis spoke in high terms of Bd Guy to the people who, for their part, had already learnt to appreciate his sanctity, his eloquence and his gifts. Amongst the miracles ascribed to him are many cures, the resuscitation of a girl who had apparently been drowned, and the multiplication of meal in a time of famine. When he was sixty years of age, St Francis appeared to him in a vision and said: "My son, the time has come for you to receive the reward of your labours. In three days, at the hour of None, I will return to lead you, by the grace of God, into Paradise." Bd Guy passed away at the hour predicted, in the convent of Cortona; the date of his death is given by some authorities as 1245, by others as 1250.
See the Acta Sanctorum, June, vol. iii; Wadding, Annales Ord. Minorum, vol. iii, pp. 601-607; and Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 379-381.
1260 BD GANDULF OF BINASCO his discourses and miracles made a profound impression.
THE Sicilians have a great veneration for this Gandulf, a Franciscan who, though born at Binasco near Milan, lived and died upon their island. He was one of those who entered the order while the Seraphic Father was still alive, and the life he led was one of great self-abnegation. Alarm at hearing himself commended induced him to embrace the solitary life, lest he should be tempted to vainglory. With one companion, Brother Pascal, he left the friary at Palermo and set out for the wild district in which he had determined to settle. Afterwards from time to time he would emerge from his retreat to evangelize the people of the neighbouring districts, upon whom his discourses and miracles made a profound impression. Once while he was preaching at Polizzi, the sparrows chattered so loudly that the congregation could not hear the sermon. Bd Gandulf appealed to the birds to be quiet, and we are told that they kept silence until the conclusion of the service. On that occasion the holy man told the people that he was addressing them for the last time; and in fact, immediately upon his return to the hospital of St Nicholas where he was staying he was seized with fever, and died on Holy Saturday as he had foretold, in 1260.
Afterwards, when his body was enshrined, the watchers declared that during the night there had flown into the church a number of swallows who had parted into groups and had sung, in alternating choirs, a Te Deum of their own.
Some account of this beato will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, September, vol. v. See also Leon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 201—205, and Mazara, Leggendario Francescano (1679), vol. ii, pp. 472—476.
1260 St. Jutta Widowed noblewoman of Thuringia noted for visions and miracles.
Germany, noted for visions and miracles. She married at fifteen and raised children. When her husband died on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Jutta moved to Prussia, becoming a recluse at Kulmsee. She is the patroness of Prussia, in eastern Germany.
Jutta of Kulmsee, Widow (AC) Born at Sangerhausen, Thuringia; died at Kulmsee, Prussia, in 1250 or 1260. The written life of this young noblewoman, bears a curious resemblance to that of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, who was almost her contemporary. Jutta, too, was happily married with a family of children and she was prostrated by the loss of her husband, who died on a pilgrimage or crusade to the Holy Land. Thereafter, she provided for her children, divested herself of her property, and passed her few remaining years in religious retirement and care for the poor. In Jutta's case this was in the territory of the Teutonic Knights, whose grand-master was a relative of hers. After her death at her hermitage near Kulmsee a strong local cultus of her grew up in Prussia, where she is venerated as patroness
(Attwater, Benedictines).
1262 Blessed Giles of Assisi 1/of 1st and liveliest companions of Saint Francis ecstasies vision of Christ considered most perfect example of primitive Franciscan humor deep understanding of human nature optimism OFM.
(also known as Egidius) Born in Assisi, Italy; died at Perugia, Italy, 1262. One of the first and liveliest companions of Saint Francis, Giles is described delightfully as the "Knight of the Round Table" in the Fioretti . After receiving the habit from Francis in 1208, Giles accompanied Francis on many of his missions around Assisi.
He made pilgrimages to Compostella, the Holy Land, and Rome, then went to preach to the Saracens in Tunis. His mission was a failure; the Christians of Tunis, fearful of the repercussions of his religious fervor, forced him back on a boat as soon as he had landed.
The rest of his life he spent in Italy, being eagerly consulted by all sorts of people on spiritual matters. From about 1243, Giles could be found at the Monte Rapido hermitage on the outskirts of Perugia. He experienced ecstasies, had a vision of Christ at Cetona, and is considered the most perfect example of the primitive Franciscan. Known for his austerity and silence, Giles' The Golden Sayings of Brother Giles is noted for its humor, deep understanding of human nature, and optimism (Benedictines, Delaney, Gill).
1262 Blessed Beatrix II of Este founded Benedictine convent of Saint Antony at Ferrara (AC).
Died 1262; cultus confirmed in 1774. There are two beatae named Beatrix of Este. This one is the niece of the first whose feast is celebrated on May 10. Beatrix II lost her husband (or possibly her financé) at an early age and thereafter founded the Benedictine convent of Saint Antony at Ferrara, Italy, in the face of much opposition (Attwater2, Benedictines).

1262 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 10. 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 at Ferrara, a convent which appears to have been requested 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 was confirmed in 1774.
In an appendix to the January section of the Acta Sanctorum the Bollandists printed such fragments of information as they were able to collect concerning Bd Beatrice. See also the Analecta Juris Pontificii for 1880, p. 668.
1265 BD GILES OF PORTUGAL Friars Preachers "I shall kill you unless you amend your life!" "I will amend it!" exclaimed Giles as he awoke, and he kept his word. Without delay he burnt his magical books, destroyed the phials which contained his potions and set out on foot to return to Portugal: favoured with frequent ecstasies, and showed himself to be endowed with the gift of prophecy
DURING the reign of Sancho the Great, King of Portugal, one of the monarch's most trusted counsellors was Rodrigues de Vagliaditos, the governor of Coimbra. This nobleman had several sons, of whom the third, Giles, or Aegidius, was destined for the Church, and he was sent to study at Coîmbra, where he at once attracted attention by his brilliant abilities. The king bestowed upon him a canonry and other benefices, but the young man himself was far more concerned with experimental science than with theology. He therefore elected to go to Paris to qualify for medicine. He had started on his journey and had proceeded but a little way when he fell in with a stranger, whom he afterwards considered to be the Devil. The man induced him to go to Toledo instead of to France. In that city Giles took up his abode, and not only studied alchemy and physics but also became deeply interested in necromancy and the black arts. He appears to have plunged into every form of evil, and he so completely turned his back upon religion that he drew up a document which purported to be a pact with Satan and sealed it with his blood.
After seven years in Toledo Giles reverted to his original design, and in Paris practised as a physician with considerable success. Before long, however, his conscience began to prick him. One night he had an alarming dream in which a gigantic spectre threatened him, crying out, "Amend your life". Upon awaking he tried to disregard the warning as a mere nightmare, but the vision was repeated a night or two later. This time the spectre shouted, "I shall kill you unless you amend your life!" "I will amend it!" exclaimed Giles as he awoke, and he kept his word. Without delay he burnt his magical books, destroyed the phials which contained his potions and set out on foot to return to Portugal.
After a long journey he arrived, footsore and weary, at Valencia in Spain, where he was hospitably received by the Dominican friars. There Giles sought absolution for his sins of the past and there he received the habit. The rest of his life was edifying in the extreme. He had indeed to face fierce trials from the powers of darkness, and the memory of his iniquitous pact often tempted him to despair of salvation, but he persevered in prayer and mortification. After seven years he was granted a vision in which our Lady restored to him the sinister document, and his anxiety on that score was allayed for ever. Soon after his profession Bd Giles was sent to Santarem in Portugal; at a later date he spent some time in the Parisian house of his order, where he contracted a warm friendship with Bd Humbert de Romans, the future master general of the Friars Preachers. Giles was elected prior provincial for Portugal, but he soon laid down the charge on the score of age. In his last years, which were spent at Santarem, the holy man was favoured with frequent ecstasies, and showed himself to be endowed with the gift of prophecy. His cultus was approved in 1748.
The resemblance which this story bears to such popular legends as that of Cyprian and Justina (September 26), not to speak of Faust and other fictions of similar purport, renders its more sensational elements very open to question. The lengthy narrative which the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. iii) have borrowed from Father Resendio seems to lack any reliable corroboration. The same type of story is to be found in Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 130-133.
1265 St. Simon Stock Scapular of Mount Carmel the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: "Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel.

1265 ST SIMON STOCK
ALTHOUGH St Simon Stock was undoubtedly a very active member of the Carmelite Order at a critical period of its history, and although his alleged connection with the brown scapular revelation (or promise) has made his name familiar to Catholics, we know very little in detail of his life and character. When he died at Bordeaux on May 16, 1265, he is said to have been a hundred years old, but this statement of a Carmelite catalogue of saints compiled upwards of a century and a half after the event is hardly sufficient to establish a longevity so unusual. It is hard to believe that he could have been elected prior general of the order at the age of eighty-two travelling afterwards not only to many different parts of England, but to Sicily, Bologna and Gascony. In the same authority we read that St Simon, being a strict vegetarian, when a cooked fish was on one occasion set before him, he told them to throw it into the river again, whereupon it swam away fully restored to life. Neither can we attach much more importance to another statement in the same context that Simon was called Stock because as a boy he had adopted the life of an anchoret, making his home in the hollow trunk of a tree. All that has to do with the saint before the year 1247 is conjectural.
It is probable enough, as Father Benedict Zimmerman supposes, that after a short period spent as a hermit in England, he made his way to the Holy Land, and having there come into contact with some of the primitive Carmelites whose original profession was eremitical, he joined their organization as a religious. When the hostility of the Saracens made life impossible for the brethren, we know that their settlements in the East were broken up and that nearly all returned to Europe. In these circumstances St Simon seems to have come back to his native Kent, and being evidently a man of vigour as well as of exceptional holiness, he was elected superior-general, in succession to Alan, when a chapter was held at Aylesford in 1247.
His period of rule was marked by wonderful developments of the Carmelite Order. As Father Benedict notes: "St Simon established houses in four University towns, Cambridge, Oxford, Paris and Bologna, with the result that a very large number of young, and probably immature, men joined the order. A considerable number of foundations were made in England, Ireland, perhaps also in Scotland, in Spain, and in various countries on the continent" We have every reason to believe that about the same time the rule, which was originally drafted for hermits primarily intent upon their own individual perfection, had to be substantially modified now that the members of the order were becoming mendicant friars, busied with preaching and the work of the ministry. This revision was carried through and a preliminary approval was granted by Pope Innocent IV in the year 1247 itself. In 1252 a letter of protection was obtained from the same pontiff to secure them from the molestations of certain of the clergy, for the success of the White Friars had provoked jealousy and hostility in many quarters.
It was also at this time of stress and trial that our Lady is believed to have honoured St Simon with the declaration of an extraordinary privilege. We are told that she appeared to him holding the scapular of the order in her hand, and that she said: "This shall be a privilege unto thee and all Carmelites; he who dies in this habit shall be saved". This is not the place to embark upon the discussion of a controversy which has lasted for centuries. It must be admitted that the evidence adduced in favour of this celebrated vision is not entirely satisfactory. There is no contemporary or quasi-contemporary document which attests or refers to it. On the other hand the wearing of the brown scapular of the Carmelites has become a widespread devotion in the Church and has been enriched with indulgences by many different popes. St Simon's devotion to our Lady is exemplified by two antiphons, the bios Carmeli and the Ave stella matutina, which are unhesitatingly attributed to his authorship and which are employed liturgically by the Calced Carmelites. The saint has never been formally canonized, and his name is not in the Roman Martyrology, but his feast by permission of the Holy See is kept in the Carmelite Order and the dioceses of Birmingham, Northampton and Southwark. We are told that after his death many miracles were wrought beside his grave at Bordeaux, from which city what remained of his relics were solemnly translated to the restored Carmelite friary at Aylesford in Kent in 1951.
Almost everything which is evidential in connection with the life of St Simon will be found cited in the Monumenta Historica Carmelitana (1907) of Fr Benedict Zimmerman, O.D.C. ; see also his article in The Month for October 1927 and his "De sacro Scapulari Carmelitano" "in Analecta O.C.LX, vol. (1927-28), pp. 70-89. The conservative Carmelite position in the scapular controversy is best presented by Fr B. M. Xiberta in De visione sti Simonis Stock (1950). On the other side, see Fr H. Thurston in The Month, June and July 1927. For documentation, Etudes carmelitaines, t. xiii (1928), pp. i seq.
Although little is known about Simon Stock's early life, legend has it that the name Stock, meaning "tree trunk," derives from the fact that, beginning at age twelve, he lived as a hermit in a hollow tree trunk of an oak tree. It is also believed that, as a young man, he went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land where he joined a group of Carmelites with whom he later returned to Europe.
Simon Stock founded many Carmelite Communities, especially in University towns such as Cambridge, Oxford, Paris, and Bologna, and he helped to change the Carmelites from a hermit Order to one of mendicant friars.

In 1254 he was elected Superior-General of his Order at London. Simon Stock's lasting fame came from an apparition he had in Cambridge, England, on July 16, 1251, at a time when the Carmelite Order was being oppressed. In it the Virgin Mary appeared to him holding the brown scapular in one hand. Her words were: "Receive, my beloved son, this scapular of thy Order; it is the special sign of my favor, which I have obtained for thee and for thy children of Mount Carmel. He who dies clothed with this habit shall be preserved from eternal fire. It is the badge of salvation, a shield in time of danger, and a pledge of special peace and protection."

The scapular (from the Latin, scapula, meaning "shoulder blade") consists of two pieces of cloth, one worn on the chest, and the other on the back, which were connected by straps or strings passing over the shoulders. In certain Orders, monks and nuns wear scapulars that reach from the shoulders almost to the ground as outer garments. Lay persons usually wear scapulars underneath their clothing; these consist of two pieces of material only a few inches square. There are elaborate rules governing the wearing of the scapular: although it may be worn by any Catholic, even an infant, the investiture must be done by a priest. And the scapular must be worn in the proper manner; if an individual neglects to wear it for a time, the benefits are forfeited. The Catholic Church has approved eighteen different kinds of scapulars of which the best known is the woolen brown scapular, or the Scapular of Mount Carmel, that the Virgin Mary bestowed on Simon Stock.

Simon Stock, OC (PC) Simon Stock From Los Santos Carmelitas (Spanish) also found on Saints of Carmel
Born at Aylesford, Kent, England, 1165; died in Bordeaux, France, on May 16, 1265. A late tradition tells us of Simon's birthplace but nothing much is known of him until c. 1247, when he was elected the sixth prior general of the Carmelite order. He is said to have been a hermit and then went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, where he joined the Carmelites. He returned to Kent when the Islamics drove the Carmelites out.

Simon became prior general at a time of difficulty for the order, and was the English leader who consolidated its position. He laid the groundwork for new foundations in four university cities (Cambridge (1248), Oxford (1253), Paris (1260), and Bologna (1260)) and expanded the order into Ireland and Scotland as well.
He also revised the rule to make the Carmelites an order of mendicant friars rather than hermits, which was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1237.

According to another late tradition, in 1251, Saint Simon experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary, as a consequence of which there arose the widespread "Scapular devotion." In this controversial vision the Blessed Mother promised salvation to all Carmelites who wore in her honor the brown scapular that she showed him. The authenticity of the occurrence is seriously contested by scholars. Two well-known hymns to Mary are usually attributed to his authorship.
In 1951, what remained of Saint Simon's relics were removed from Bordeaux to the old friary, now renewed, at Aylesford. The surname Stock is not found attributed to Simon until a century after his death; it may have come from a legend that he lived inside a tree trunk in his youth. Simon Stock has never formally been canonized, though he has long been venerated, and the celebration of his feast was permitted by the Holy See (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney).

In art, Saint Simon Stock is a Carmelite holding a scapular in his hand. He might also be shown receiving the scapular from the Blessed Virgin or interceding for the souls in purgatory who surround him (Roeder).
1266 Baba Sheikh Farid Ji
1267 St. Parisius beloved Camaldolese spiritual director priest performing miracles and possessing the gift of prophecy
Tarvísii sancti Parísii, civis Bononiénsis, Confessóris et Mónachi, ex Ordine Camaldulénsi.
    At Treviso, St. Parisius, a citizen of Bologna, confessor and monk of the Camaldolese Order.
Also called Parisio, a native of either Treviso or Bologna, Italy, he entered the Camaldolese at the age of twelve. Ordained a priest, he was appointed chaplain and spiritual director to the Camaldolese nuns of the St. Christina Convent at Treviso in 1191. He apparently held this post for seventy seven years, reportedly performing miracles and possessing the gift of prophecy. His body is enshrined in the cathedral of Treviso.
1267 Silvester Gozzolini vision of Saint Benedict, he organized the disciples Blue Benedictines he had attracted;  His tomb was the scene of many miracles, and in 1275 his relics were enshrined in the abbey church at Monte Fano (where they still are). Clement VIII in 1598 ordered the name of Silvester Gozzolini to be added to the Roman Martyrology and Leo XIII gave his feast to the whole Western church. The Silvestrines are now a very small order, whose monks are distinguished by a dark blue habit.  OSB Abbot (RM)
Apud Fabriánum, in Picéno, beáti Silvéstri Abbátis, Institutóris Congregatiónis Monachórum Silvestrinórum.
    At Fabriano in Piceno, St. Sylvester, abbot, founder of the Congregation of Sylvestrine monks.
Born at Osimo, Italy, 1177; died at Monte Fano, 1267; equivalently canonized in 1598 by Pope Clement VIII.

1267 St Silvester Gozzolini, Abbot, Founder of the Silvesterine Benedictines
The Gozzolini were a noble family of Osimo, where St Silvester was born in 1177. He was sent to read law at Bologna and Padua, but soon abandoned his legal studies for theology and the Holy Scriptures, greatly to the anger of his father, who is said to have refused to speak to him for ten years on that account. Silvester was presented to a canonry at Osimo, where he laboured until his zeal involved him in difficulties with his bishop. This prelate was a man of disedifying life, and Silvester took it upon himself to rebuke him, respectfully but firmly. The bishop was moved only to anger, and threatened to relieve the saint of his benefice, which would not have troubled him much for he had long been strongly drawn to the contemplative life. This inclination is said to have strengthened into resolve when Silvester saw the decaying corpse of a man who had been famous for his physical beauty, a story told also of St Francis Borgia (untruly) and several other saints.
   In 1227, being fifty years old, St Silvester resigned his rich benefice and retired to a lonely spot some thirty miles from Osimo, where he lived in great poverty and discomfort till the lord of the place gave him a better hermitage. But this proved to be too damp, and he moved to Grotta Fucile where he stayed, living an extremely penitential life, till 1231, when he decided to establish a monastery for the disciples who now surrounded him. This he did at Monte Fano, near Fabriano, building it partly from the ruins of a pagan temple.
St Silvester chose for his monks the Rule of St Benedict in its most austere interpretation, but owing to his extreme stress on certain points, particularly poverty, and to the nature of the organization of his institute, it has remained separate from the other congregations of Benedictines and does not form part of
their confederation.
  Silvester governed his congregation with great wisdom and holiness for thirty-six years, and when he died at ninety, eleven monas­teries, either new or reformed, recognized his leadership. His tomb was the scene of many miracles, and in 1275 his relics were enshrined in the abbey church at Monte Fano (where they still are). Clement VIII in 1598 ordered the name of Silvester Gozzolini to be added to the Roman Martyrology and Leo XIII gave his feast to the whole Western church. The Silvestrines are now a very small order, whose monks are distinguished by a dark blue habit.

The Life of St Silvester was written by a contemporary, Andrew de Giacomo of Fabriano, who roust have penned his narrative between 1275 and 1280, some ten years after the founder’s death. His account is full and seemingly reliable. The Latin text was first printed by C. S. Franceschini, in his Vita di S. Silvestro Abate (1772). Full use was made of this valuable source in the work of Amadeo Bolzonetti, Il Monte Fano e un grande anacoreta; Ricordi stand (1906), which discusses in detail the history of the cultus of the saint. 

Born of a noble family, Saint Silvester studied law at Bologna and Padua, but, against his father's wishes, switched to the study of theology and Scripture. He was ordained and became a canon in the cathedral of his home town of Osima until he was 50. Then he respectfully, but firmly, rebuked his bishop for the dissolute life he was leading. Silvester resigned his benefice in 1227, and became a hermit 30 miles from Osimo. Here he lived in poverty and discomfort until the landowner gave him a better hermitage. This one proved to be too damp, so he moved to Grotta Fucile, where he lived an extremely penitential life until 1231.

Directed by a vision of Saint Benedict, he organized the disciples he had attracted into a monastery at Monte Fano near Fabriano in the Marches of Ancona, thus founding the Silvestrine Benedictines, known as the Blue Benedictines from the color of their habit. He taught a very strict interpretation of the Benedictine rule. The congregation was approved by Pope Innocent IV in 1247, and Silvester ruled it with "unbounded wisdom and gentleness" for 36 years until his death, by which time 11 monasteries were under his rule.
The Silvestrines still exist as a small, independent Benedictine congregation (Attwater, Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson, Delaney, Walsh).
1271 Blessed John of Penna priest founding several Franciscan houses  visions gift of prophecy won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners; aridity and a painful lingering illness; spiritual consolations  assurance that he accomplished his purgatory on earth his cell was illuminated with a celestial light OFM (AC)
Born at Penna San Giovanni (near Fermo), Ancona, Italy, c. 1193; died at Recanati, Italy, April 3, 1271; cultus approved 1806 by Pope Pius VII. Blessed John joined the Franciscans at Recanati about 1213, was ordained a priest, and was sent to France, where he worked for about 25 years in Provence, founding several Franciscan houses. About 1242, he returned to Italy, where he spent his last 30 years mainly in retirement, although he did serve as guardian several times. He experienced visions and had the gift of prophecy, but was also afflicted with extended periods of spiritual aridity. His life is described in chapter 45 of The Little Flowers of Saint Francis (Attwater2, Benedictines, Delaney).

1271 BD JOHN OF PENNA won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners; aridity and a painful lingering illness; spiritual consolations  assurance that he accomplished his purgatory on earth his cell was illuminated with a celestial light

PENNA in the March of Ancona was the birthplace of this holy Minorite. Im­pressed by the teaching of one of the early followers of St Francis of Assisi, he sought admission into his order and received the habit in the convent of Recanati. From Italy he was afterwards sent to Provence. In France, where he laboured for twenty-five years, he founded several houses of the order, and won all hearts by his exemplary life as well as by his kindly and courteous manners. Recalled to Italy he gave himself up, as far as he could, to prayer and retirement. The good friar’s later years were tried by aridity and by a lingering illness which was of a very painful kind, but which he bore with perfect resignation. Ultimately he was rewarded by spiritual consolations and by the assurance that he had accomplished his purgatory on earth. As the hour of death drew near, his cell was illuminated with a celestial light, and he passed to glory with uplifted hands and with words of thanksgiving upon his lips. His cultus was approved by Pope Pius VII.
The story of Bd John of Penna fills a long chapter (45) in the Fioretti. See also Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 276—278, and Mazara, Leggendario Francescano (1679), vol. i, pp. 474—476.
1267 Bl. Anthony Manzi Pilgrim hermit wandered across Europe and Jerusalem Miracles accounted at his grave.
also called Manzoni. He was born in Padua, Italy, to a wealthy family and gave his inheritance to the poor. Called "the Pilgrim," Anthony wandered across Europe and into Jerusalem. He was an outcast, shunned, even by his two sisters who were nuns, for giving away a fortune. Anthony took up residence outside of a church in Padua and died there. Miracles accounted at his grave led to a city-wide veneration.

Blessed Antony Manzoni (PC) (also known as Antony Manzi) Born at Padua, Italy, c. 1237; died . Born into wealth, Antony gave all his money to the poor and spent the balance of his life living on alms and tramping his way to Loreto, Rome, Compostella, and the Palestine. His wandering ways gained his the surname "the Pilgrim" and the disfavor of his relatives, especially his two sisters who were nuns (Benedictines).
1276 Teobaldo Visconti Pope St. Gregory X 1210-1276; Arriving in Rome in March, he was first ordained 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.;  miraculous cures performed by him
Arétii, in Túscia, beáti Gregórii Décimi, civis Placentíni, qui, ex Archidiácono Leodiénsi Summus Póntifex renuntiátus, Concílium Lugdunénse secúndum celebrávit, Græcísque ad unitátem fídei recéptis, compósitis Christianórum dissídiis, Terræ Sanctæ recuperatióne institúta, de universáli Ecclésia, quam sanctíssime gubernávit, óptime méritus est.
       At Arezzo in Tuscany, blessed Gregory X, a native of Piacenza, who was elected Sovereign Pontiff while he was archdeacon of Liege.  He held the second Council of Lyons, received the Greeks into the unity of the Church, appeased discords among the Christians, made generous efforts for the recovery of the Holy Land, and governed the Church in a most holy manner.
 1283 BD JOHN OF VERCELLI Immediately on his election to the see of Rome, Bd Gregory X imposed on John of Vercelli and his friars the task of again pacifying the quarrelling states of Italy, and three years later he was ordered to draw up a schema for the second ecumenical Council of Lyons. At the council he met Jerome of Ascoli (afterwards Pope Nicholas IV), who had succeeded St Bonaventure as minister general of the Franciscans, and the two addressed a joint letter to the whole body of friars. Later on they were sent together by the Holy See to mediate between Philip III of France and Alfonso X of Castile, continuing the work of peace-maker, in which John excelled.
1276 Bd Gregory X, Pope
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 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 common consent, they referred the election to a committee of six amongst them, who on September 1, 1271 nominated Theobald Visconti.
Arriving in Rome in March, he was first ordained 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 Arezzo 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 suffi­cient to mention the works of Zisterer, Otto and Redlich. The Regesta of Gregory X have been edited by Jean Guiraud. 
1278 St. Zita miraculus life daily Mass recite many prayers generous gifts of food to the poor visits to sick & prisoners heavenly visions credited with a variety of miracles patroness of domestic workers
Lucæ, in Túscia, beátæ Zitæ Vírginis, virtútum et miraculórum fama conspícuæ.    At Lucca in Tuscany, blessed Zita, a virgin renowned for virtues and miracles.
 
1278 ST ZITA, VIRGIN
         IT was in a humble household, as pious as it was poor, that St Zita, the patroness of domestic workers, first saw the light. Her parents were devout Christians, her elder sister afterwards became a Cistercian nun, and her uncle Graziano was a hermit who was locally regarded as a saint. As for Zita herself, it was enough for her mother to say to the child, “ This is pleasing to God
or That would displease God, to ensure her immediate obedience.  At the age of twelve, she went to be a servant at Lucca, eight miles from her native village of Monte Sagrati, in the house of Pagano di Fatinelli, who carried on a wool and silk-weaving business. From the outset she formed the habit of rising during the night for prayer and of attending daily the first Mass at the church of San Frediano. The good food with which she was provided she would distribute to the poor, and more often than not she slept on the bare ground, her bed having been given up to a beggar.
For some years she had much to bear from her fellow servants, who despised her way of living, regarded her industry as a silent reproach to themselves, and resented her open abhorrence of evil suggestions and foul language. They even succeeded for a time in prejudicing her employers against her. But she bore all her trials uncomplainingly.
         After a man-servant had made dishonourable advances from which she had defended herself by scratching his face, she made no attempt to explain or justify her action when her master inquired the cause of the man’s disfigurement. Gradually her patience overcame the hostility of the household, and her master and mistress came to realize what a treasure they possessed in Zita.
Her work indeed was part of her religion. In after life she was wont to say,  “A servant is not good if she is not industrious: work-shy piety in people of our position is sham piety.” The children of the family were committed to her care, and she was made housekeeper. One day the master suddenly expressed his intention of inspecting the stock of beans, for which he thought he could obtain a good sale. Every Christian family in that land and at that period gave food to the hungry, but Zita, as she acknowledged to her mistress, had been led by pity to make considerable inroads on the beans, and Pagano had a violent temper. She could  but tremble in her shoes and send up an earnest prayer to Heaven. But no diminution could be detected in the store: that it had been miraculously replenished seemed the only possible explanation. On another occasion when she had unduly protracted her devotions, forgetting that it was baking day, she hurried home to find that she had been forestalled : a row of loaves had been prepared and lay ready to be placed in the oven.
    One bitterly cold Christmas eve when Zita insisted upon going to church, her master threw his fur coat over her, bidding her not to lose it. In the entrance to San Frediano she came upon a scantily clad man, whose teeth were chattering with the cold. As he laid an appealing hand upon the coat, Zita immediately placed it upon his shoulders, telling him that he might retain it until she came out of church.  When the service was over, neither the man nor the coat were anywhere to be seen. Crestfallen, Zita returned home to encounter the reproaches of Pagano, who was naturally extremely annoyed at so serious a loss, He was about to sit down to his Christmas dinner a few hours later, when a stranger appeared at the door of the room, bearing on his arm the fur coat which he handed to Zita. Master and maid eagerly addressed him, but he disappeared from their sight as suddenly as he had come, leaving in the hearts of all who had seen him a wonderful celestial joy. Since that day the people of Lucca have given the name of “The Angel Door” to the portal of San Frediano in which St Zita met the stranger.
     In time Zita became the friend and adviser of the whole house, and the only person who could cope with the master in his rages but the general veneration with which she was regarded embarrassed her far more than the slights she had had to bear in her earlier years. On the other hand, she found herself relieved of much of her domestic work and free to visit to her heart’s content the sick, the poor and the prisoners. She had a special devotion to criminals under sentence of death, on whose behalf she would spend hours of prayer. In such works of mercy and in divine contemplation she spent the evening of her life. She died very peacefully, on April 27, 1278. She was sixty years of age and had served the same family for forty-eight years. The body of St Zita lies in the church of San Frediano at Lucca, which she had attended so regularly for the greater part of her life.
         The principal source is the biography by Fatinellus de Fatinellis printed in the Acta
         Sanctorum, April, vol. iii; but there are many lives of more recent date, notably that of
         Bartolommeo Fiorito in 1752, and in quite modern times those of Toussaint (1902) and
         Ledó
chowski (1911). See also the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlviii (1930), pp. 229-230.

St. Zita was born into a poor but holy Christian family. Her older sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle Graziano was a hermit whom the local people regarded as a saint. Zita herself always tried to do God's will obediently whenever it was pointed out to her by her mother. At the age of twelve Zita became a housekeeper in the house of a rich weaver in Lucca, Italy, eight miles from her home at Monte Sagrati. As things turned out, she stayed with that family for the last forty-eight years of her life.

She found time every day to attend Mass and to recite many prayers, as well as to carry out her household duties so perfectly that the other servants were jealous of her. Indeed, her work was part of her religion! She use to say: "a servant is not holy if she is not busy; lazy people of our position is fake holiness."

At first, her employers were upset by her generous gifts of food to the poor, but in time, they were completely won over by her patience and goodness and she became a very close friend. St. Zita was given a free reign over her working schedule and busied herself with visits to the sick and those in prison. Word spread rapidly in Lucca of her good deeds and the heavenly visions that appeared to her. She was sought out by the important people, and at her death in 1278 the people acclaimed her as a saint. She is the patroness of domestic workers.

St. Zita  Zita (1218-1272) + Servant and miracle worker. Born at Monte Sagrati, Italy, she entered into the service of the Fratinelli family, wool dealers in Lucca, at the age of twelve. Immediately disliked by the other servants for her hard work and obvious goodness, she earned their special enmity because of her habit of giving away food and clothing to the poor including those of her employers. In time, she won over the members of the household. According to one tradition, the other servants were convinced when one day they found an angel taking Zita's place in baking and cleaning. Throughout her life she labored on behalf of the poor and suffering as well as criminals languishing in prisons. She was also credited with a variety of miracles. Canonized in 1696, she is the patroness of servants and is depicted in art with a bag and keys, or loaves of bread and a rosary.

Zita of Lucca V (RM) (also known as Sitha, Citha) Born at Monte Sagrati, near Lucca, Tuscany, Italy; died in Lucca on April 27, 1278; liturgical cultus permitted locally by Leo X (early 16th century); canonized in 1696; name added to the Roman Martyrology in 1748 by Benedict XIV.

For two hundred years before and after the crowning of Charlemagne as Holy Roman Emperor on Christmas Day in 800 AD, female saints were obscured by time and circumstance.
Thereafter, in the Age of Mysticism from about 1000 to 1500, we witness the re-emergence of saintly female mystics, such as Hildegard and Catherine of Siena.

Christian mysticism is an endeavor to reach a knowledge of and union with God directly and experientially.
The mystic renounces his senses and the images they offer of God, seeking instead to wander down a negative road. Often, this type of contemplative prayer leads to abnormal psychic states that culminate in ecstasy, which is sanctified when perfectly united with God. The individuals who reach this state normally exhibit extraordinary self-knowledge and become fully free, unique human beings. The heightened mystical sense also leads to an ever more passionate love of God.

As will be shown frequently in these biographies of the saints, the mystical life in no way conflicts with the duties of any Christian state of life: married (e.g., Francis of Rome), avowed celibate (Saint Teresa of Avila), or domestic servant.

Saint Zita was born in a mountain village near Lucca into a very devout family. Her elder sister became a Cistercian nun and her uncle, Graziano, was a hermit who was locally regarded as a saint. From the age of 12, Zita was a domestic servant in the family of Pagano di Fatinelli of Lucca, a wool and silk merchant. This devoted woman, who was deeply religious, remained with this family all her life. She served it for 48 years--as maid servant, then housekeeper, and governess--and every member of the family had the deepest respect and affection for her.

There are numerous stories of her attention to household duties, of her care for beggars, of her devotion to religious practices, and of the fidelity with which she attended Mass each day of her adult life at the Church of San Frediano. The good food she was provided by her employer, she would distribute to the poor. More often than not, she could be found sleeping on the bare ground or lost in prayer, after having given up her bed to a beggar. Her work was part of her religion, as it should be for us, a way of serving God in our neighbor.
At first her fellow servants mocked her piety and kindness. Zita paid no attention, and in the end they grew to admire her. But her master was often irritated that she gave away so much. During a local famine she secretly gave away much of the family supply of beans. When her master inspected the kitchen cupboards, to Zita's relief the beans had been miraculously restocked (recall the similar story about Saint Frances 1384-1440 of Rome). Another story tells that angels baked her bread while she was rapt in ecstasy
 
A characteristic story of her generous nature is of how one Christmas Eve, when she was setting out for the early morning service, the cold was so intense that her employer, seeing her in her thin gown, wrapped his own fur cloak round her shoulders, and insisted on her taking it. "But take care of it," he said, "and be sure to bring it back."
At the church door, however, Zita saw a poor man in rags, numb with cold and begging for alms. She could never resist a beggar and on the impulse of the moment she took off her master's cloak and put it round him. "It will keep you warm," she said, "and you can return it to me when the service is over." But when she came out of the church, the man had gone, and in great distress she returned home without the cloak. Her employer, naturally, was angry, but what troubled Zita most was that, out of pity for another, she had abused his kindness.

The story had a happy sequel, for the next day a stranger came to the door and restored the missing cloak. People later decided that the poor old man must have been an angel in disguise, and so the door of the Church of San Frediano, Lucca, where he first appeared, is called the Angel Portal.

Zita was always moved by generous impulse, and endeared herself to all by her compassionate nature, and all her life long she was sustained by a simple and strong faith in God. Zita was embarrassed by the veneration in which her employers and neighbors held her later in life. Nevertheless, she was happy that some of her domestic duties were relieved because it gave her the time to tend to the sick, the poor, and prisoners. She had a special devotion to criminals awaiting execution, on whose behalf she would spend hours in prayer.

Zita died peacefully at the age of 60, having sanctified herself in a life of humble domestic tasks, and as the little Maid of Lucca is numbered among the saints. Immediately, a popular cultus developed around her tomb at San Frediano. Her cultus spread to other countries in the later Middle Ages, as testified by chapels in her honor as scattered as at Palermo, Sicily, and Ely, England (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Encyclopedia, Martindale, Walsh, White).

n art, Saint Zita is depicted in the working clothes of a maid servant with her emblem: keys. She may be shown (1) with a rosary, bag, and keys; (2) with a rosary; (3) with two keys and three loaves; (4) with keys and a book; (5) with a basket of fruit; (6) with a bag and book; (7) with a book and rosary; or (8) praying at a well (Roeder, White). She appears in mural paintings (Shorthampton, Oxon.), in stained glass (Mells and Langport, Somerset), and on rood screens in Norfolk (Barton Turf), Suffolk (Somerleyton), and Devon (Ashton) (Farmer).

Saint Zita is the patroness of housewives and servants. In England, she was known as Sitha and invoked by housewives and servants searching for lost keys or crossing raging rivers (White). She is still venerated at Lucca, where her body is housed in the Cappella di Santa Zita in the church of San Frediano (Jepson, Roeder).
1282 St Thomas Cantelupe, Bishop Of Hereford; in Oxford lectured in canon law; in 1262 chosen chancellor of the university. Thomas was always noted for his charity to poor students; he was also a strict disciplinarian; went to confession every day; buried at Orvieto; soon his relics were conveyed to Hereford, where his shrine in the cathedral became the most frequented in the west of England; Miracles were soon reported (four hundred and twenty-nine are given in the acts of canonization) and the process was begun at the request of King Edward I it was achieved in the year 1320. He is named in the Roman Martyrology on the day of his death, but his feast is kept by the Canons Regular of the Lateran and the dioceses of Birmingham (commemoration only) and Shrewsbury on this October 3, by Cardiff and Salford on the 5th, and Westminster on the 22nd.
The Cantelupes were Normans, who came over with the Conqueror and received from him great estates and honours which they exceedingly increased, becoming by marriages kin of the Strongbows and Marshals, earls of Pembroke, of the FitzWalters, earls of Hereford, and of the Braoses, lords of Abergavenny. The father of St Thomas was steward of Henry III’s household, and his mother, Millicent de Gournay, dowager Countess of Evreux and Gloucester. His parents had four other sons and three daughters, towards whom Thomas was not very friendly when he grew up. He was born about the year 1218 at Hambleden, near Great Marlow, and his education was entrusted to his uncle Walter, Bishop of Worcester, who sent Thomas to Oxford when he was nineteen; but he did not stay there long, going on to Paris with his brother Hugh.* * The University of Oxford was turned upside down about this time, which may account for Thomas’s short sojourn there. The brother of the papal legate, Cardinal Otto, had thrown soup over an Irish undergraduate who annoyed him, whereupon a Welsh undergraduate shot the legate’s brother. The university protected its student and the cardinal put it under interdict and excommunicated the chancellor.

Here the young patricians lived in considerable state, and in 1245 accompanied their father, who was one of the English envoys, to the thirteenth general council, at Lyons. Here Thomas was probably ordained, and received from Pope Innocent IV dispensation to hold a plurality of benefices, a permission of which he afterwards freely availed himself.
   After reading civil law at Orleans, Thomas returned to Paris, and after getting his licence he came back to Oxford to lecture there in canon law; in 1262 he was chosen chancellor of the university. Thomas was always noted for his charity to poor students; he was also a strict disciplinarian. There were large numbers of undergraduates in residence; they were allowed to carry arms and were divided into opposing camps of northerners and southerners. Thomas had an armory of weapons, confiscated for misuse. When Prince Edward camped near the city and the whole university was “gated”, the young gentlemen burned down the provost’s house, wounded many of the townspeople, and emptied the mayor’s cellar (he was a vintner). Unlike his grandfather, who had been a strong supporter of King John, Thomas the Chancellor was with the barons against Henry III, and was one of those sent to plead their cause before St Louis at Amiens in 1264. After the defeat of the king at Lewes, Thomas was appointed chancellor of the kingdom. His prudence, courage, scrupulous justice, and disregard of human respect and of the least bribe, which could be offered him, completed the character of an accomplished magistrate. But he did not hold office long, being dismissed after the death of Simon de Montfort at Evesham. Thomas was then about forty-seven years old, and he retired to Paris.
   Thomas came back to Oxford after some years, was perhaps re-appointed chancellor there, and took his D.D. in the church of the Dominicans: on which occasion Robert Kilwardby, then archbishop elect of Canterbury, declared in his public oration that the candidate had lived without reproach. But he continued to demonstrate that pluralism is not necessarily inconsistent with high character, for in addition to being archdeacon of Stafford and precentor of York he held four canonries and seven or eight parochial livings, especially in Herefordshire. These he administered by vicars, and he was in the habit of making unannounced visits to see how the souls and bodies of their flocks were being cared for. In 1275 he was chosen bishop of Hereford, and consecrated in Christ Church at Canterbury. On that occasion St Thomas commented on the fact that his episcopal brethren from across the Welsh border were not present; he was not pleased.

   Owing to the civil wars and the pusillanimity of his two predecessors the large and wealthy diocese of Hereford was in a bad state when St Thomas came to govern it.  One after another he met, defied and overcame the lords, spiritual and temporal, who encroached on its rights and possessions Baron Corbet, Llywelyn of Wales (whom he excommunicated), Lord Clifford (who had to do public penance in Hereford cathedral), the Bishop of Saint Asaph, the Bishop of Menevia (who tried by force to prevent him from consecrating the church of Abbey Dore in the Golden Valley), each in turn experienced the firmness of this feudal prelate, baron and bishop, who “was by nature careful and prudent in things pertaining to this world, and more so in those that pertained to God”. One of them said to him, “Either the Devil is in you, or you are very familiar with God”. There was a lively struggle with Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, who insisted on hunting in the western side of Malvern chase, which the bishop claimed. Gilbert replied to his warning by calling him a “clergiaster” and threatening to beat him. The unseemly epithet (it has a horrid sound) not unnaturally annoyed St Thomas, and he began a suit against the earl of which one result can be seen to this day, in the “Earl’s Ditch”, running along the top of the Malvern Hills. The original ditch is much older than Gilbert de Clare, but he repaired and palisaded it, to mark his boundary and to keep his deer from straying on to the episcopal lands. Among the numerous habits and traits of St Thomas recorded in the process of his canonization is that when he travelled in his diocese he asked every child he met if he had been confirmed, and if not the bishop at once supplied the omission. Public sinners he rebuked and excommunicated, equally publicly, particularly those who in high places set a bad example to those below them. Pluralism without the proper dispensation he would not permit, and among those whom he deprived of benefices in his diocese were the dean of Saint Paul’s and the archdeacons of Northampton and Salop.
   Unhappily, during the last years of his life there was dissension between St Thomas and John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, first on some general questions of jurisdiction and then on particular cases arising in the diocese of Hereford. In a synod held at Reading in 1279 St Thomas was leader of the aggrieved suffragans, and in due course Rome gave them the reliefs they asked; but in his personal dispute he was excommunicated by the metropolitan. Some bishops refused to publish the sentence, and St Thomas publicly announced his appeal to Pope Martin IV, whom he set out to see in person. Some of Peckham’s letters to his procurators at Rome are extant, but in spite of their fulminations the pope at Orvieto very kindly received St Thomas. Pending the consideration of his cause he withdrew to Montefiascone, but the fatigues and heat of the journey had been too much for him and he was taken mortally sick. It is related that, seeing his condition, one of his chaplains said to him, “My lord, would you not like to go to confession?” Thomas looked at him, and only replied, “Foolish man”. Twice more he was invited, and each time he made the same reply. The chaplain was not aware that his master went to confession every day. Commending his soul to God, St Thomas died on August 25, 1292, and was buried at Orvieto; soon his relics were conveyed to Hereford, where his shrine in the cathedral became the most frequented in the west of England (Peckham had refused to allow their interment until he had seen the certificate of absolution from the papal penitentiary). Miracles were soon reported (four hundred and twenty-nine are given in the acts of canonization) and the process was begun at the request of King Edward I it was achieved in the year 1320. He is named in the Roman Martyrology on the day of his death, but his feast is kept by the Canons Regular of the Lateran and the dioceses of Birmingham (commemoration only) and Shrewsbury on this October 3, by Cardiff and Salford on the 5th, and Westminster on the 22nd.
The Bollandists, who had access to the process of canonization, have given a very full account of St Thomas in the first volume of the Acta Sanctorum for October. Father Strange, who published in 1674 his Life and Gests of St Thomas of Cantelupe, had to be content with such materials as Capgrave and Surius were able to furnish this account by Father Strange was reprinted in the Quarterly Series in 1879, but it is now quite inadequate. An immense amount of fresh material has been rendered accessible through the publication of Cantelupe’s episcopal register by the Canterbury and York Society, of Bishop Swinfield’s Household Expenses (Camden Society), of Archbishop Peckham’s correspondence (Rolls Series), etc., while nearly all the monastic chronicles of the period furnish more or less frequent references. Professor Tout’s article in the DNB., vol. viii, pp. 448—452, is not only thorough but admirable in tone. The same, however, can hardly be said of the well-informed notice in A. T. Bannister, The Cathedral Church of Hereford (1924). For the saint’s relics, see an article by Abbot E. Horne in the Clergy Review, vol. xxviii (1047) pp. 99—104. See also D. L. Dowie, Archbishop Pecham (1952)

1280 BD MARGARET COLONNA, VIRGIN; the gift of miracles, and other unusual graces are recorded of her.

MARGARET was daughter of Prince Odo Colonna, but losing both her parents when a child she was brought up under the care of her two brothers. She refused the marriage arranged for her, and lived a retired life with two attendants in a villa at Palestrina, devoting her time and her goods to the relief of the sick and poor. It was her intention to join the Poor Clares in their house at Assisi, but sickness prevented this, and she conceived the idea of establishing a convent at Palestrina.
   Her younger brother, James, who had been created cardinal (and so is distinguished as dignior frater from her senior frater, John, who wrote her life), obtained the pope’s
permission and the community was given the rule of the Poor Clare nuns as modified by Urban IV. But it would seem that, on account of ill-health, Bd Margaret herself neither governed nor was professed in this convent; for the last seven years of her life she suffered from a malignant growth, bearing continual pain with the greatest courage and patience. She had the gift of miracles, and other unusual graces are recorded of her. After her death at an early age the nuns of Palestrina removed into the City to San Silvestro in Capite, taking the body of their foundress with them. When this monastery was turned into a general post office seven hundred years later the relics were translated to the nuns’ new home at St Cecilia in Trastevere. Pope Pius IX confirmed the cultus of Bd Margaret Colonna in 1847.

The Franciscan Chroniclers, such as Wadding and Mark of Lisbon, have published full accounts of Bd Margaret; the story is told in detail in, e.g. Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano (1680), vol. ii Pt. 2, pp. 775—780. In B. Margherita Colonna (1935) Fr L. Oliger edited and introduced an unpublished MS. of the fourteenth century, which combines parts of vitae by John Colonna (d. c. 1292) and by a Poor Clare of San Silvestro (fl 1290). For English readers there is an account available in Léon, L’Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iv, pp. 170—173.
1285 St. Thorfinn miracles reported at his tomb 50 yrs after death
In the Cistercian monastery at TerDoest, near Bruges, a Norwegian bishop named Thorfinn died . He had never attracted particular attention and was soon forgotten. But over fifty years later, in the course of some building operations, his tomb in the Church was opened and it was reported that the remains gave out a strong and pleasing spell. The Abbot made inquiries and found that one of his monks, and aged man named Walter de Muda, remembered Bishop Thorfinn staying in there monastery and the impression he had made of gentle goodness combined with strength. Father Walter 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 Walter 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 Tonsborg in 1277. This was 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 Oslow and Bishop Thorfinn of Hamar.

Bishop Thorfinn, after many hardships, including shipwreck, made his way to the Abbey of TerDoest 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 was himself a Cistercian of the Abbey of Tautra, near Nidaros.
After a visit to Rome he went to TerDoest, 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 dioceses. 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 St. 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, where he appeared as a kind, patient, generous man, whose mild exterior covered a firm will against whatever he esteemed to be evil and ungodly.
1285 Blessed Luke Belludi nobleman talented, well-educated asked for the Franciscan habit St. Anthony recommended him to St. Francis gift of miracles
(1200-c. 1285)
   
In 1220, St. Anthony was preaching conversion to the inhabitants of Padua when a young nobleman, Luke Belludi, came up to him and humbly asked to receive the habit of the followers of St. Francis. Anthony liked the talented, well-educated Luke and personally recommended him to St. Francis, who then received him into the Franciscan Order.

Luke, then only 20, was to be Anthony's companion in his travels and in his preaching, tending to him in his last days and taking Anthony's place upon his death. He was appointed guardian of the Friars Minor in the city of Padua. In 1239 the city fell into the hands of its enemies. Nobles were put to death, the mayor and council were banished, the great university of Padua gradually closed and the church dedicated to St. Anthony was left unfinished. Luke himself was expelled from the city but secretly returned. At night he and the new guardian would visit the tomb of St. Anthony in the unfinished shrine to pray for his help. One night a voice came from the tomb assuring them that the city would soon be delivered from its evil tyrant.

After the fulfillment of the prophetic message, Luke was elected provincial minister and furthered the completion of the great basilica in honor of Anthony, his teacher. He founded many convents of the order and had, as Anthony, the gift of miracles. Upon his death he was laid to rest in the basilica that he had helped finish and has had a continual veneration up to the present time.

Comment:  The epistles refer several times to a man named Luke as Paul’s trusted companion on his missionary journeys. Perhaps every great preacher needs a Luke; Anthony surely did. Luke Belludi not only accompanied Anthony on his travels, he also cared for the great saint in his final illness and carried on Anthony’s mission after the saint’s death. Yes, every preacher needs a Luke, someone to offer support and reassurance—including those who minister to us. We don’t even have to change our names!
1287 Bl. Peter Tecelano Franciscan mystic miracles at his tomb.
A native of Campi, Tuscany, Italy, he was trained as a comb maker at Siena. After the death of his wife he entered the Franciscans as a tertiary and served as nurse to the sick in a Franciscan hospital. He also toiled making combs. In his lifetime, he was reputed to be a deeply mystical and holy individual and was credited with miracles. He was beatified in 1802, in part because of miracles reported as occurring at his tomb.
1295 Thomas Hales of Dover Miracles occurred at his tomb OSB M (AC).
feast day formerly on August 5. The near contemporary vita of Saint Thomas, a Benedictine monk of Saint Martin's Priory in Dover, a cell of Christ Church in Canterbury, concentrates on a conventional list of virtues and omits any biographical details of his early life.
On August 5, 1295, the French raided Dover and all the monks went into hiding except Thomas, who was too old and too infirm to run. The raiders, who are described in detail in the vita, found him in bed and ordered him to disclose the location of the church plate. He was murdered for his refusal to answer them. Miracles occurred at his tomb, which led to his veneration as a martyr. His cultus was encouraged by indulgences from the bishop of Winchester and the archbishop of Canterbury for pilgrimages to his tomb. King Richard II and "several noble Englishmen" petitioned Rome for his canonization. In 1380 Urban VI established a commission to enquire into Thomas's life and miracles. The work was delegated to the priors of Christ Church and Saint Gregory's in Canterbury, but nothing ever happened. There was an altar dedicated to him ("blessed Thomas de Halys") in the Dover Priory church in 1500, which was probably the altar of Our Lady and Saint Catherine in front of which he was buried. Thomas's his image figured among those of the English saints at the English College in Rome (Benedictines, Farmer).

AMONG English holy men of the middle ages who have quite dropped out of memory is Thomas of Hales, a monk of the Benedictine priory of St Martin at Dover, a cell'of Christ Church, Canterbury. On August 2, 1295, a French raid descended on Dover from the sea, and the monks of the priory fled with the exception of this venerable old man, who in accordance with the Rule went to take his mid-day siesta.  When the raiders invaded the monastery they found him on his bed and told him to disclose where the church plate and other valuables had been hidden; he refused, and was at once put to death.   Miracles were recorded at his tomb and Simon Simeon, an Irish friar who made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 1322, mentions the honour given to him as a martyr "at the Black Monks, under Dover Castle ".
   King Richard II asked Pope Urban VI to canonize Thomas, and a process was begun in 1382 but never carried out.  There was considerable popular cultus of Thomas locally, and he was represented among the paintings of martyrs in the English College of Rome; but to call him Saint is an almost entirely modern practice.
There is a life and passio (BHL. 8248 b), and a summary of it and of some miracles (BHL. 8249); texts in C. Horstman, Nova Legenda AnglieDover Priory (1930), on which book see the following article, p. 168, n. 4 and p. 191, n. 2. In Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxii (1954), pp. 167-191, Fr P. Grosjean provides a fully documented discussioa of all that is known of Thomas de La Hale. (1901), vol. ii, pp. 555-558 and 403  translations in C. R. Haines.
1292 Blessed Benvenuta Bojani; an early age Dominican tertiary; on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic he and Saint Peter Martyr, Mary and Jesus-Child appeared; severe penances; miracle worker OP Tert. V (AC)
Born in Cividale, Friuli, Italy, 1254; cultus approved in 1763.

Benvenuta was the last of seven daughters. Her parents, too, must have been amazing people in comparison with so many in our time. When the silence of the midwife proclaimed that her father had been disappointed once again in his desire for a son, he exclaimed, She too shall be welcome! Remembering this she was christened by her parents Benvenuta (welcome), although they had asked for a son.
A vain older sister unsuccessfully tried to teach the pious little Benvenuta to dress in rich clothing and use the deceits of society. Benvenuta hid from such temptations in the church where she developed a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. By the age of 12, Benvenuta was wearing hairshirts and a rope girdle. As she grew the rope became embedded in her flesh. When she realized the rope must be removed, she couldn't get it off, so she prayed and it fell to her feet. For this reason she is often pictured in art holding a length of rope in her hands.

Having become a Dominican tertiary at an early age, she added the penances practiced by the sisters to those she had appropriated for herself. All her disciplines, fasting, and lack of sleep soon caused her health to fail and she was confined to bed for five years. Thereafter, she was too weak to walk, so a kind older sibling carried her to church once a week for Compline (Night Prayer) in the Dominican church, her favorite liturgy after the Mass.

After evening prayer on the Vigil of the Feast of Saint Dominic, Dominic and Saint Peter Martyr appeared to Benvenuta. Dominic had a surprise for her. The prior was absent at the Salve procession, but at the beginning of Compline she saw Dominic in the prior's place. He passed from brother to brother giving the kiss of peace, then went to his own altar and disappeared. At the Salve procession, the Blessed Virgin herself came down the aisle, blessing the fathers while holding the Infant Jesus in her arms.

Benvenuta spent her whole life at home in Cividale busy with her domestic duties, praying, and working miracles. She was often attacked by the devil, who sometimes left her close to discouragement and exhaustion. When someone protested against the death of a promising young child, Benvenuta commented, It is much better to be young in paradise than to be old in hell.
 The devil often appeared to her in horrifying forms but was banished when Benvenuta called upon the Virgin.
Benvenuta's companions called her the sweetest and most spiritual of contemplatives, so lovable in her holiness that her touch and presence inspired gladness and drove away temptations. This is amazing in light of the severe penances that she imposed upon herself--and another sign of blessedness that she didn't judge others by her standards for herself (Benedictines, Dorcy).

1292 BD BENVENUTA OF CIVIDALE, VIRGIN
It has been said that the life of Benvenuta Bojani was “a poem of praise to our Blessed Lady, a hymn of light, purity and joy, which was lived rather than sung in her honour”. This life began in the year 1254, at Cividale in Friuli, and there were already six young Bojani, all girls. Her father naturally hoped for a boy this time, and when he learned he had yet another daughter he is said to have exclaimed, “Very well! Since it is so, let her too be welcome.” And so she was called Benvenuta.

   Her devotion to our Lady was noticeable from very early years, and she would repeat the Hail Mary, in the short form ending at “Jesus”, as then used, many times in the day, accompanying each repetition with a profound inclination such as she saw the Dominican friars make so often in their church. Like Bd Magdalen Panattieri, commemorated this month (13th), Benvenuta was happy in belonging to a family whose members were as truly religious as herself, rejoicing in her goodness and devotion, and who, when she wished to hind herself to perfect chastity and become a tertiary of the Dominicans, put no obstacles in her way.
   But unlike Bd Magdalen she took no part in the public life of her town, emphasizing the contemplative rather than the active side of the Dominican vocation. Her spirit of penitence, in particular, made her inflict most severe austerities on herself. She would sometimes discipline herself three times in a night, and when she was only twelve she tied a rope (the “cord of St Thomas”?) so tightly round her loins that the flesh grew around it.
   The suffering it caused became intolerable, and she feared that the only way to remove it was by a surgical operation, till one day when she was asking God to help her about it she found the rope lying unbroken at her feet. Benvenuta confided this miracle to her confessor, Friar Conrad, who mitigated her penances and forbade her to undertake any without his approval.
   For five years she suffered from serious bad health and could scarcely leave her room, during which time she was furiously tempted to despair, and in other ways but the worst trial was being unable to assist at Mass, except when occasionally carried, and at Compline with its daily singing of Salve Regina.
   Eventually she was suddenly and publicly cured in church on the feast of the Annunciation, having vowed to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Dominic at Bologna if she recovered. This she carried out with her sister Mary and her youngest brother.
   Benvenuta’s patience and perseverance in sickness and temptation were rewarded by numerous graces, visions and raptures in prayer. A delightful story is told (though belonging to her youth) that she went into a church one day just after her mother had died, and saw there a child, to whom she said, “Have you got a mother?” “He said he had. “ “I haven’t now”, said she, “But since you have, perhaps you can already say the Hail Mary?” “Oh yes”, replied the child, “can you?”  “Yes, I can.” “Very well then, say it to me.” Benvenuta began the Hail Mary in Latin, and as she ended on the name Jesus, “It is I”, interrupted the child, and disappeared from sight.

   Cheerfulness and confidence were the marks of the life of Bd Benvenuta, but she had to go through one more assault of the Devil, tempting her to despair and infidelity as she lay dying. She overcame triumphantly, and died peacefully on October 30, 1292. Her cultus was approved in 1765, but her burial-place at Cividale is lost.

As we may learn from the full account in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. xiii, a life of this beata, written in Latin shortly after her death, was translated into Italian and published in 1589. This biography figured largely in the process, which ended in the formal confirmatio cultus, and the original Latin is printed in full by the Bollandists. See also M. C. de Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines (1913), pp. 91—108; and Procter, Lives of Dominican Saints, pp. 302—306.
1297 St. Margaret of Cortona Penitent direct contact with Jesus frequent ecstacies (began 1277)
 Cortónæ, in Túscia, sanctæ Margarítæ, ex tértio Ordine sancti Francísci; quæ admirábili pæniténtia et ubérrimis lácrimis máculas anteáctæ vitæ indesinénter abstérsit.  Ipsíus corpus, mirabíliter incorrúptum, suávem spirans odórem et crebris miráculis clarum, ibídem magno cum honóre cólitur.
      At Cortona in Tuscany, St. Margaret of the Third Order of St. Francis.  By means of commendable penance and fruitful tears, she wiped away the stains of her previous life. 
Her body miraculously remained incorrupt for more than four centuries, giving forth a sweet odour, and producing frequent miracles.  It is honoured in that place with great devotion.

1297 ST MARGARET OF CORTONA
         IN the antiphon to the “Benedictus” in the office of St Margaret of Cortona she is described as “the Magdalen of the Seraphic Order” and, in one of our Lord’s colloquies with the saint, He is recorded to have said, “Thou art the third light granted to the order of my beloved Francis. He was the first, among the Friars Minor: Clare was the second, among the nuns thou shalt be the third, in the Order of Penance.”

She was the daughter of a small farmer of Laviano in Tuscany. She had the misfortune to lose a good mother when she was only seven years old, and the stepmother whom her father brought home two years later was a hard and masterful woman who had little sympathy with the high-spirited, pleasure-loving child. Attractive in appearance and thirsting for the affection which was denied her in her home, it is not wonderful that Margaret fell an easy prey to a young cavalier from Montepulciano, who induced her to elope with him one night to his castle among the hills. Besides holding out a prospect of love and luxury he appears to have promised to marry her, but he never did so, and for nine years she lived openly as his mistress and caused much scandal, especially when she rode through the streets of Montepulciano on a superb horse and splendidly attired. Nevertheless she does not seem to have been in any sense the abandoned woman she afterwards considered herself to have been. She was faithful to her lover, whom she often entreated to marry her and to whom she bore one son, and, in spite of her apparent levity, there were times when she realized bitterly the sinfulness of her life.

One day the young man went out to visit one of his estates and failed to return.
All one night and the next day Margaret watched with growing anxiety, until at length she saw the dog that had accompanied him running back alone. He plucked at her dress and she followed him through a wood to the foot of an oak tree, where lie began to scratch, and soon she perceived with horror the mangled body of her lover, who had been assassinated and then thrown into a pit and covered with leaves.
           A sudden revulsion came as she recognized in this the judgment of God. As soon as she possibly could she left Montepulciano, after having given up to the relations of the dead man all that was at her disposal (except a few ornaments which she sold for the benefit of the poor) and, clad in a robe of penitence and holding her little son by the hand, she returned to her father’s house to ask forgiveness and admittance.
Urged by her stepmother, her father refused to receive her, and Margaret was almost reduced to despair, when she was suddenly inspired to go to Cortona to seek the aid of the Friars Minor, of whose gentleness with sinners she seems to have heard. When she reached the town she did not know where to go and her evident misery attracted the attention of two ladies, Marinana and Raneria by name, who spoke to her and asked if they could help her. She told them her story and why she had come to Cortona, and they at once took her and her boy to their own home. Afterwards they introduced her to the Franciscans, who soon became her fathers in Christ. For three years Margaret had a hard struggle against temptation, for the flesh was not yet subdued to the spirit, and she found her chief earthly support in the counsel of two friars, John da Castiglione and Giunta Bevegnati, who was her ordinary confessor and who afterwards wrote her “legend”.
         They guided her carefully through periods of alternate exaltation and despair, checking and encouraging her as the occasion required. In the early days of her conversion, she went one Sunday to Laviano, her birthplace, during Mass, and with a cord round her neck asked pardon for her past scandals. She had intended also to have herself led like a criminal through the streets of Montepulciano with a rope round her neck, but Fra Giunta forbade it as unseemly in a young woman and conducive to spiritual pride, though he subsequently allowed her to go to the church there one Sunday and ask pardon of the congregation. He also restrained her when she sought to mutilate her face, and from time to time he tried to moderate her excessive austerities. “Father,” she replied, on one of these occasions, “do not ask me to come to terms with this body of mine, for I cannot afford it. Between me and my body there must needs be a struggle till death.”
           Margaret started to earn her living by nursing the ladies of the city, but she gave this up in order to devote herself to prayer and to looking after the sick poor. She left the home of the ladies who had befriended her, and took up her quarters in a small cottage in a more secluded part, where she began to subsist upon alms. Any unbroken food that was bestowed upon her she gave to the poor, and only what was left of the broken food did she use for herself and her child. Her lack of tenderness to her boy seems singular in one who showed such tenderness to other people, but it may well be that it was part of her self-mortification. At the end of three years her earlier struggles were over, and she reached a higher plane of spirituality when she began to realize by experience the love of Christ for her soul. She had long desired to become a member of the third order of St Francis, and the friars, who had waited until they were satisfied of her sincerity, at length consented to give her the habit. Soon afterwards her son was sent to school at Arezzo, where he remained until he entered the Franciscan Order. From the time she became a tertiary,
St Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was drawn into very direct communion with her Saviour. Her intercourse with God became marked with frequent ecstasies and Christ became the dominating theme of her life. Fra Giunta has recorded a few of her colloquies with our Lord and has described some of her visions, though he acknowledges that even to him she spoke of them with reluctance and only when divinely ordered to do so or through fear of becoming the victim of delusion.
           The communications she received did not all relate to herself. In one case she was told to send a message to Bishop William of Arezzo, warning him to amend his ways and to desist from fighting with the people of his diocese and Cortona in particular. Though he was a turbulent and worldly prelate he appears to have been impressed, for he made peace with Cortona soon afterwards and this was generally attributed to Margaret’s mediation. In 1289 she strove to avert war when Bishop William was again at strife with the Guelfs. Margaret went to him in person but this time he would not listen, and ten days later he was slain in battle. The bishop had, however, done one good turn to Margaret and to Cortona, for in 1286 he had granted a charter which enabled her to start putting her work for the    sick poor on a permanent basis.
At first she seems to have nursed them by herself in her own cottage, but after a time she was joined by several women, one of whom, Diabella, gave her a house for the purpose. She enlisted the sympathy of Uguccio Casali, the leading citizen of Cortona, and he induced the city council to assist her in starting a hospital called the Spedale di Santa Maria della Misericordia, the nursing sisters of which were Franciscan tertiaries whom Margaret formed into a congregation with special statutes; they were called the Poverelle. She also founded the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy, pledged to support the hospital and to search out and assist the poor.
           As Margaret advanced in life, so did she advance in the way of expiation. Her nights she spent, almost without sleep, in prayer and contemplation, and when she did lie down to rest, her bed was the bare ground. For food she took only a little bread and raw vegetables, with water to drink; she wore rough hair-cloth next her skin and disciplined her body to blood for her own sins and those of mankind.

In spite of the wonderful graces which she received Margaret had to endure fierce trials throughout her life. One of them came upon her unexpectedly some eight years before her death. From the first there had been certain people in Cortona who doubted her sincerity, and they continued to do so even after she had so evidently proved the reality of her conversion. At last they began to cast aspersions on her relations with the friars, especially with Fra Giunta, and managed to stir up such suspicions that the veneration in which she was held was temporarily turned to contempt and she was spurned as a madwoman and hypocrite. Even the friars were moved by the general indignation restrictions were laid on Fra Giunta’s seeing her, and in 1289 he was transferred to Siena, only returning shortly before her death. This trial was intensified by the withdrawal of the sense of sweetness in prayer. There had been further misunderstandings with the friars when she had retired the previous year by divine command to a more retired cottage at some distance from the friars’ church. According to Fra Giunta, they realized that her health was broken and feared lest they might lose the custody of her body after her death. All these trials she bore quietly and meekly and gave herself more and more to prayer. Thus she was led on ever higher.
           Towards the latter part of her life, our Lord said to St Margaret, “Show now that thou art converted call others to repentance…The graces I have bestowed on thee are not meant for thee alone.” Obedient to the call, she set about attacking vice and converting sinners with the greatest eagerness and with wonderful success. The lapsed returned to the sacraments, wrongdoers were brought to repentance and private feuds and quarrels ceased. Fra Giunta says that the fame of these conversions soon spread, and hardened sinners flocked to Cortona to listen to the saint’s exhortations, not only from all parts of Italy, but even from France and Spain. Great miracles of healing too were wrought at her intercession, and the people of Cortona, who had long forgotten their temporary suspicions, turned to her in all their troubles and difficulties. At length it became evident that her strength was failing, and she was divinely warned of the day and hour of her death.
         She received the last rites from Fra Giunta and passed away at the age of fifty, after having spent twenty-nine years in penance. On the day of her death she was publicly acclaimed as a saint, and the citizens of Cortona in the same year began to build a church in her honour. Though she was not formally canonized until 1728,her festival had been by permission celebrated for two centuries in the diocese of Cortona and by the Franciscan Order. Of the original church built by Nicholas and John Pisano nothing remains but a window the present tasteless building, however, contains St Margaret’s body under the high altar and a statue of the saint and her dog by John Pisano.
        
   The main historical source for the life of St Margaret is the “legend” of Giunta
   Bevegnati it seems probable that in MS. 61 of the convent of St Margaret at Cortona we
   have a copy of this corrected by the hand of the author himself. The text is in the Acta
   Sanctorum, February, vol. iii but it has been re-edited in more modern times by Ludovic da
   Pelago (1793) and E. Cirvelli (1897). See also Father Cuthbert, A Tuscan Penitent (1907)
    Léopold de Chérancé, Marguerite de Cortone (1927) M. Nuti, Margherita da Cortona la sua
    leggenda e la storia
(1923) F. Mauriac, Margaret of Cortona (1948) and another life in
    French by  R. M. Pierazzi (1947).


    Margaret of Cortona, penitent, was born in Loviana in Tuscany in 1247. Her father was a small farmer. Margaret's mother died when she was seven years old. Her stepmother had little care for her high-spirited daughter. Rejected at home, Margaret eloped with a youth from Montepulciano and bore him a son out of wedlock. After nine years, her lover was murdered without warning. Margaret left Montpulciano and returned as a penitent to her father's house. When her father refused to accept her and her son, she went to the Friars Minor at Cortona where she received asylum. Yet Maragaret had difficulty overcoming temptations of the flesh. One Sunday she returned to Loviana with a cord around her neck. At Mass, she asked pardon for her past scandal. She attempted to mutilate her face, but was restrained by Friar Giunta.
Margaret earned a living by nursing sick ladies. Later she gave this up to serve the sick poor without recompense, subsisting only on alms. Evenually, she joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and her son also joined the Franciscans a few years later. Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was said to be in direct contact with Jesus, as exemplified by frequent ecstacies. Friar Giunta recorded some of the messages she received from God. Not all related to herself, and she courageously presented messages to others.
In 1286, Margaret was granted a charter allowing her to work for the sick poor on a permanent basis. Others joined with personal help, and some with financial assistance. Margaret formed her group into tertiaries, and later they were given special status as a congregation which was called The Poverelle ("Poor Ones"). She also founded a hospital at Cortona and the Confraternity of Our Lady of Mercy. Some in Cortona turned on Margaret, even accusing her of illicit relations with Friar Giunta. All the while, Margaret continued to preach against vice and many, through her, returned to the sacraments. She also showed extraordinary love for the mysteries of the Eucharist and the Passion of Jesus Christ.
Divinely warned of the day and hour of her death, she died on February 22, 1297, having spent twenty-nine years performing acts of penance. She was canonized in 1728.
Margaret of Cortona, OFM Tert. (RM) Born in Laviano (Alviano?), Tuscany, Italy, 1247; died in Cortona, Italy, February 22, 1297; canonized by Benedict XIII in 1728.

Margaret of Cortona was raised in a poor farm family by her cold stepmother after her own mother died when she was seven. The harshness of her stepmother, combined with beautiful Margaret's indulged propensity to seek pleasure, led her into seduction by nobleman of Montepulciano when she was 18. She followed him to his castle and became his mistress for nine years, always hoping that he would make good his promise to marry her.
She would ride arrogantly out of his castle, dressed in fine silks and despising the poor. She longed to marry the young man, but he refused, even when she bore him a son. One day he failed to return to the castle. Two days later his dog returned alone. He plucked at her dress until Margaret followed him through a wood to the foot of an oak tree, where he began to scratch.
To her horror, she found the disfigured, decaying body of her lover in the leaf- covered pit where his murderers had thrown him.

The sight of this rotting carcass, who had been her gallant, struck her with such terror of the divine judgment and the treachery of this world that she became a perfect penitent. When he died, she was evicted from his castle, and gave back all his gifts.
In despair she publicly confessed her sins, dressed herself as a penitent, and then tried to atone for her sins by infinite goodness to the poor and prayer.

Unsure of her next step, she returned to her father's home with her son. She threw herself at his feet bathing them in tears to beg his pardon for her contempt of his authority and fatherly admonitions. She spent days and nights in tears. She also attempted to repair the scandal she had caused by going to the parish church with a rope around her neck and asking public pardon.
Her father wished to take her back, but her stepmother refused to have such a public sinner under the same roof.

Driven away in shame, she was tempted to give up her good resolves, but she prayed, and an inner voice bade her go at once to Cortona and to confide the care of her soul to the Franciscans. On the way she met two ladies, Marinana and Raneria Moscari, who listened to her story. Moved with pity, they took the mother and her son into their home and care. Later they introduced her to the Franciscans, who soon became her fathers in Christ and they arranged for her son's education at Arezzo (he later became a Franciscan). For three years Margaret struggled diligently against temptation.
She was supported in her task by the counsel of two friars, John da Castiglione and Giunta Bevegnati, who was her confessor and later her biographer.
Now, under the severest mortifications, Margaret began her mystical ascent. The wise Franciscans tried to make the distraught woman modify her extreme grief and penances that disfigured her body.
Eventually Margaret's peace of mind returned. She began to experience the love of Jesus and to believe that her sins had been forgiven.

Margaret earned her living by nursing the ladies of Cortona, but later gave this up in order to devote herself more fully to prayer and to the corporal work of mercy of caring for the sick poor in her own small cottage. She lived in seclusion on the alms of others. Any unbroken food that she received, she gave to the poor. For herself and her son, Margaret kept only the scraps.

She wanted to become a tertiary of the Friars Minor, but they made her wait for three years before giving her the Franciscan habit.

From the time she became a tertiary, Margaret advanced rapidly in prayer and was drawn into very direct communion with her God.
Thus, her ecstatic life began in 1277. Christ set her up as an example to sinners and her influence was amazing--many flocked to her for counsel.

She received from Christ these words: "I have made you a mirror for sinners. From you will the most hardened learn how willingly I am merciful to them, in order to save them. You are a ladder for sinners, that they may come to me through your example. My daughter, I have set you as a light in the darkness, as a new star that I give to the world, to bring light to the blind, to guide back again those who have lost the way, and to raise up those who are broken down under their sins. You are the way of the despairing, the voice of mercy."

From near and far came sin-plagued folk to hear from Margaret a word of comfort and counsel. Margaret sent them to the Franciscans and particularly to her confessor, who was later her biographer. When he complained that there were so many of these people, Margaret heard the words: "Your confessor has forbidden you to send him so many men and women who have been converted through your words and tears. He said to you that he could not clean so many stables in one day. Say to him that when he hears confession he does not clean stables, he prepares for me a dwelling in the souls of the penitent."Not only did the living come to her, so did the dead. The illustrious penitent Margaret distinguished herself by her charity to the suffering souls in Purgatory. They appeared to her in great numbers to ask her assistance. One day she saw before her two travellers, who begged her help to repair injustices they had committed: "We are two merchants, who have been assassinated on the road by brigands. We could not go to confession or receive absolution; but by the mercy of our Divine Savior and His Holy Mother, we had the time to make an act of perfect contrition, and we have been saved. But our torments in Purgatory are terrible, because in the exercise of our profession we have committed many acts of injustice. Until these acts are repaired we can have no repose nor alleviation. This is why we beseech you, servant of God, to go and find such and such of our relatives and heirs, to warn them to make restitution as soon as possible of all the money which we have unjustly acquired." They gave the holy penitent the necessary information and disappeared.

The communications Margaret received did not all relate to herself. In one case she was told to send a message to Bishop William of Arezzo, warning him to amend his ways and to stop fighting with the people of his diocese and living like a worldly prince and soldier rather than a shepherd of souls. Often Margaret was able to mediate in factional disputes and make peace. In 1289, she strove to avert war when Bishop William was again at strife with the Guelfs. Margaret went to him in person but he would not listen. Ten days later he was killed in battle.

She established an association of women to act as nurses and men to finance hospitals for the poor. In 1286, Bishop William of Arezzo gave permission for a whole community of women (whom she called the 'Poverelle') to develop her initiative on a permanent basis. At first Margaret nursed the poor in her own home. Then a lady named Diabella proved a house. The town councilors, at the urging of Uguccio Casali, gave money with which Margaret founded a hospital, Spedale di Santa Maria della Misericordia, for the poor dedicated to Our Lady of Mercy.

About 1289, false and vicious rumors were spread about her relations to the friars. Father Giunta was transferred to Siena, but it was later proven that the rumors were the evil work of gossips, and the holiness of her life became apparent to all. Not only did people come to her for counsel, but also for healing.

The more advanced Margaret became spiritually, the greater were her self-imposed penances. By the end of her life she slept very little and only on the bare ground; ate only bread and raw vegetables with water to drink; wore a rough hair-shirt next to her skin, and used the scourge freely on herself.
It is recorded that at the time of her death at age 50, Margaret saw the many souls that she assisted out of Purgatory form a procession to escort her to Heaven. God revealed this favor granted the Saint Margaret through a holy person of Castello. This servant of God, rapt in ecstasy at the moment of Margaret's death, saw her soul in the midst of this brilliant cortège, and on recovering from her rapture, related the vision to her friends.

On the day of her death, after 29 years of doing penance, she was publicly proclaimed a saint. That same year the citizens of Cortona began to build a church in her honor. All that is left of this original church built by Nicholas and John Pisano is a window.

When the holy penitent died, her corpse was embalmed and solemnly entombed. But people wished to see and venerate the body more closely. Therefore, in 1456, it was taken out of its old shrine, freed of all dust that could have seeped in, newly dressed, and placed so that it was possible to take it out easily and expose it for veneration. Her body is still preserved under the high altar of a new church of which she is the titular patron. The edifice also contains a statue of her and her dog by John Pisano (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Cuthbert, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Martindale--Queen's Daughters, Mauriac, Schamoni, Schouppe, Walsh, White).

In art, Saint Margaret has a dog pulling at her dress and a skull or corpse at her feet. Sometimes she may be shown (1) in a checkered habit, black cloak, and white veil; (2) with a cross and scourge; (3) in an ecstasy with Christ appearing to her (Roeder); or in ecstasy with angels supporting her (White).
She is the patroness of penitent women (Roeder).
1279 May 07 Bl. Albert of Bergamo Dominican tertiary pious farmer miracle worker to benefit others
Albert was a farmer living near Bergamo, Italy, where he became a Dominican Third Order member. Married, he was a champion of the poor in his hometown of Ogna. Sometime in his adult life, Albert went on a pilgrimage to the famous shrine at Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
He also visited Rome and Jerusalem, perilous journeys in his era. After his pilgrimages, Albert settled in Cremona, Italy, where he became known for his piety and for his many miraculous works to benefit others.
1279 Blessed Albert of Bergamo, OP Tert. (AC) peasant farmer who followed his pious and industrious father's example many practices of penance and piety (also known as Albert d'Ogna or Albert the Farmer)
Born in Valle d'Ogna (near Bergamo), Italy, in 1214; died in Cremona, Italy, May 7, 1279; cultus approved 1748; feast day formerly May 11.
1279 Bl. Albert of Bergamo Dominican tertiary pious farmer miracle worker to benefit others
1279 BD ALBERT OF BERGAMO
BD ALBERT OF BERGAMO was a peasant farmer who lived an exemplary life amongst his neighbours in the Valle d’Ogna and became a Dominican tertiary. Though married he had no children, and he had much to bear from a shrewish wife, as well as from other relations who resented his liberality to the poor. In later life he went on pilgrimages to Rome and Jerusalem and is said to have visited Compostela eight times, always supporting himself on the way by the work of his hands. Eventually he settled in Cremona, where he became closely associated with another holy man, Bd Homobonus, and where he died in the year 1279. He was famous in Cremona for his miracles. Some of the wonders which he is said to have worked in his lifetime are certainly of a very remarkable and unusual character. For example, in the Short Lives of Dominican Saints, edited by Fr John Proctor, o.p., we read:
“One day he was carrying a barrel of wine to the house of a poor woman, when it accidentally slipped from his shoulder and broke to pieces on the road. ‘King of Glory, come to my assistance’, exclaimed the holy man, according to his wont in all difficulties. Then he gathered up the broken pieces of wood, adjusted them in
their proper places, and collected the spilt wine in his hands so that not a drop was lost.”
In the Prato edition of the Opera Omnia of Pope Benedict XIV, vol. vi (1842), pp. 35—36, will be found a summary of the evidence presented to establish the fact of the immemorial cultus paid to Bd Albert of Bergamo. The documents submitted at that time were printed for the Congregation of Rites, and the decree of confirmation is dated May 9, 1748. See also the Année Dominicaine (1891), pp. 375—385. A short notice of Bd Albert will also be found in the Acta Sanctorum, May, vol. ii.

Albert "the Farmer" was a peasant farmer who followed his pious and industrious father's example. His father taught him many practices of penance and piety that later fructified in a saintly life. At seven, Albert was fasting three days a week, giving the foregone food to the poor. Working at the heavy labor of the fields, Albert learned to see God in all things, and to listen for His voice in all nature. The beauty of the earth was to him a voice that spoke only of heaven. He grew up pure of heart, discreet, and humble--to the edification of the entire village.

Albert married while still quite young. At first his wife made no objection to the generosity and self-denial for which he was known. When his father died, however, she made haste to criticize his every act and word, and made his home almost unbearable with her shrewish scolding. "You give too much time to prayer and to the poor!" she charged; Albert only replied that God will return all gifts made to the poor.

In testimony to this, God miraculously restored the meal Albert had given away over his wife's objections. Finally, softened by Albert's prayers, she ceased her nagging and became his rival in piety and charity. She died soon after her conversion, and Albert, being childless, he left his father's farm to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Rome.

Stopping at Cremona, Italy, at harvest time, Albert went to work in the fields. He soon earned the name of "the diligent worker." His guardian angel worked beside him in the fields, and, therefore, twice the work was accomplished that might be expected of one man. Weighing in his grain at the end of the day, Albert always received twice as much in wages as the other workers did. Though he gave this to the poor and kept nothing for himself, jealous companions determined to annoy him. Planting pieces of iron in the field where Albert would be working the next day, they watched to see him break or dull his scythe. Miraculously, the scythe cut through iron as it did through the grain, never suffering any harm. In Cremona Albert's poverty was also a witness to a group of heretics there who boasted of their own poverty.

In all, Albert visited Rome nine times, Santiago de Compostela eight times, and Jerusalem once. He worked his way, giving to the poor every penny he could spare. His pilgrimages were almost unbroken prayer; he walked along singing hymns and chanting Psalms, or conversing on things of God with the people he met along the way.

Appalled at the suffering of pilgrims who fell ill far from home and the penniless, Albert determined to build a hospital for their use. This he actually accomplished by his prayers and diligent work.

In 1256, he met the Dominicans. Attracted by the life of Saint Dominic, Albert joined the Brothers of Penance, which later became the Order of Penance of Saint Dominic, and continued his works of charity in his new state. As a lay brother he was closely associated with the religious but lived in the world so that he was able to continue his pilgrimages. At home, he assisted the Dominican fathers in Cremona, working happily in their garden, cultivating the medicinal herbs so necessary at the time, and doing cheerfully all the work he could find that was both heavy and humble.

Falling very ill, Albert sent a neighbor for the priest, but there was a long delay, and a dove came bringing him Holy Viaticum. When he died, the bells of Cremona rang of themselves, and people of all classes hurried to view the precious remains. It was planned to bury him in the common cemetery, outside the cloister, as he was a secular tertiary, but no spade could be found to break the ground. An unused tomb was discovered in the church of Saint Matthias, where he had so often prayed, and he was buried there. Many miracles were attributed to him after his death, and the farmer- saint became legendary for his generosity to the poor (Benedictines, Bentley, Dominicans, Dorcy, Gill).

In art, Saint Albert is a farm laborer cutting through a stone with a scythe. He may shown be shown (1) when a dove brings him the viaticum, or (2) with a dove, Host, and censer near him (Roeder). Albert is the patron of bakers and day-laborers, and is venerated in Cremona, Bergamo, and Ogna (Roeder).
1282 St. Agnes of Bohemia thaumaturgist or miracle worker.
1282 BD AGNES OF BOHEMIA, VIRGIN
BD AGNES of Bohemia, or “of Prague”, whom St Clare called her “ half self” and who founded the first establishment of Poor Clares north of the Alps, was a de­scendant of St Wenceslaus (“Good King Wenceslaus”) ; her father was Ottokar I, who succeeded to the throne of Bohemia in 1197, and her mother was sister of Andreas II, King of Hungary: St Elizabeth of Hungary was her first cousin and two years her junior. Agnes was only three years old when, in 1208, she was betrothed to Boleslaus, the son of Henry, Duke of Silesia, and of St Hedwig, and she was immediately sent away from home, under the care of her nurse and a suitable retinue, to the monastery of Trebnitz in Silesia, which her fiancé’s mother had founded. Here, according to a fourteenth-century Latin document in the Bamberg library, “she was taught the rudiments of faith and morals by a daughter of St Hedwig” who must have been Gertrude the abbess. Boleslaus died when the little girl was only six, and she returned to Bohemia, where she was placed in the Premonstratensian convent of Doxan. Two years later she was recalled to her father’s court, and when, at the age of nine, she was betrothed to the Emperor Frederick II’s son Henry, she was sent away again—this time to the Austrian court to learn the German language and customs. The life had no attraction for Agnes, and more and more she turned her mind to God, practising in private strict fasts and austerities. She was seized with a great desire to consecrate herself to a life of virginity, and prayed fervently that she might be enabled to follow the call. Her life at the time can hardly have been a happy one, for Duke Leopold of Austria, to whose care she had been committed, was plotting to break off her engagement and to marry his own daughter to the prince. In this he was eventually successful, and Agnes was once more sent back to her home—joyfully enough, we may be sure, and feeling that her prayers had been answered.

But she was not long left in peace. Proposals for her hand came from Henry III of England as well as from Frederick II, who had become a widower, and in spite of her vehement objections her brother, King Wenceslaus, affianced her to the emperor. From this time Bd Agnes increased her penances and prayers, and under her jewelled robes wore a hair-shirt and a girdle studded with iron points. Often she would rise before dawn and barefoot and meanly clad sallied forth, escorted by the most devout of her ladies, to visit the churches. Upon her return she would bathe her bleeding feet, resume the attire fitted to her rank, and attend to her duties as a princess and visit the sick. She was twenty-eight years old and a beautiful woman when, in 1235, the emperor sent an ambassador to Prague to escort her to Germany that the marriage might take place. Wenceslaus would listen to no remonstrances; but Agnes found means to delay her departure and wrote to Pope Gregory IX, entreating him to prevent the marriage because she had never con­sented to it and had long desired to be the spouse of Christ. Gregory, although for the moment he had made peace with Frederick, knew him well enough to be able to sympathize with the unwilling victim. He sent his legate to Prague to undertake her defence and to Agnes herself he wrote letters which she showed to her brother. Wenceslaus was greatly alarmed. On the one hand he feared to anger the emperor, but on the other he did not wish to alienate the pope or to force his sister to marry against her will. Eventually he decided to tell Frederick and to let him deal with the matter. The emperor on this occasion showed one of those flashes of magnanimity which have made his complex character so fascinating a study to historians. As soon as he had satisfied himself that the objection came, not from the King of Bohemia, but from Agnes herself, he released her, saying, “If she had left me for a mortal man, I should have made my vengeance felt; but I cannot take offence if she prefers the King of Heaven to myself.”

Now that she was free, Agnes set about consecrating herself and her possessions wholly to God. Her father had brought the Friars Minor to Prague, probably at her suggestion, and she built or completed a convent for them. With the help of her brother she endowed a great hospital for the poor and brought to it the Knights Hospitallers of the Cross and Star, whose church and monastery still remain in the same place, and the two also built a convent for Poor Clares. The citizens would fain have shared in the work, but the king and his sister preferred to complete it alone. Nevertheless it is said that the workmen, determined to do their part, would often slip away unperceived in the evening in order to avoid being paid. As soon as the convent was ready, St Clare sent five of her religious to start it, and on Whitsunday 1236 Bd Agnes herself received the veil. Her profession made a great impression: she was joined by a hundred girls of good family, and throughout Europe princesses and noble women followed her example and founded or entered convents of Poor Clares. Agnes showed the true spirit of St Francis, ever seeking the lowliest place and the most menial work, and it was with difficulty that she was induced, when nominated by Pope Gregory IX, to accept the dignity of abbess—at least for a time. After much entreaty she obtained for the Poor Ladies of Prague the concession obtained in 1238 by St Clare at San Damiano, namely, permission to resign all revenues and property held in common. The four letters from St Clare to Bd Agnes which have come down to us express her tender affection for her devoted disciple, to whom she also sent, in response to her request for a souvenir, a wooden cross, a flaxen veil and the earthen bowl out of which she drank. Agnes lived to the age of seventy-seven and died on March 2, 1282. Her cultus was confirmed by Pope Pius X; the Friars Minor now keep her feast on June 8, with Bd. Isabel of France and Baptista Varani.
The questions relating to the sources of Bd Agnes’s life are very fully treated by Dr W. W. Seton in his volume Some New Sources for the Life of Bd Agnes of Bohemia. The better-known documents have been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i, but Dr Seton has found and edited an earlier Latin text (fourteenth century), together with a fifteenth-century German version which presents sundry expansions of the original. He also vindicates the authenticity of the four letters addressed to Agnes by St Clare. A popular account may be found in Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 339—348, and in Mazzara, Leggendario Francescano, March, nn. 19—21.

Called Agnes of Prague in some lists, a princess, abbess, and thaumaturgist or miracle worker. She was born in 1200 in Prague, the daughter of King Ottocar and Queen Constance of Hungary, a relative of St. Elizabeth. As a child she was educated in the Cistercian convent of Treinitz and was betrothed to Emperor Frederick II of Germany (r. 1215-1250). She refused this marriage, which angered Frederick, but in time he came to understand her decision, remarking: "If she had left me for a mortal man, I would have taken vengeance with the sword, but I cannot take offense because in preference to me she has chosen the King of Heaven." Agnes became a Poor Clare, the Franciscan cloistered order, entering the monastery of St. Savior in Prague,which she had founded. During her religious life, Agnes was gifted by miracles. She predicted the victory of her brother Wenceslaus over the duke of Austria. She was canonized in 1989 by Pope John Paul II.

 March 2, 2007 St. Agnes of Bohemia (1205-1282)  
Agnes had no children of her own but was certainly life-giving for all who knew her.  Agnes was the daughter of Queen Constance and King Ottokar I of Bohemia. At the age of three, she was betrothed to the Duke of Silesia, who died three years later. As she grew up, she decided she wanted to enter the religious life.

After declining marriages to King Henry VII of Germany and Henry III of England, Agnes was faced with a proposal from Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor. She appealed to Pope Gregory IX for help. The pope was persuasive; Frederick magnanimously said that he could not be offended if Agnes preferred the King of Heaven to him.  After Agnes built a hospital for the poor and a residence for the friars, she financed the construction of a Poor Clare monastery in Prague. In 1236, she and seven other noblewomen entered this monastery. Saint Clare sent five sisters from San Damiano to join them, and wrote Agnes four letters advising her on the beauty of her vocation and her duties as abbess.
Agnes became known for prayer, obedience and mortification.
Papal pressure forced her to accept her election as abbess; nevertheless, the title she preferred was "senior sister." Her position did not prevent her from cooking for the other sisters and mending the clothes of lepers. The sisters found her kind but very strict regarding the observance of poverty; she declined her royal brother’s offer to set up an endowment for the monastery.
Devotion to Agnes arose soon after her death on March 6, 1282. She was canonized in 1989.
Comment: Agnes spent at least 45 years in a Poor Clare monastery. Such a life requires a great deal of patience and charity. The temptation to selfishness certainly didn’t vanish when Agnes walked into the monastery. It is perhaps easy for us to think that cloistered nuns "have it made" regarding holiness. Their route is the same as ours: gradual exchange of our standards (inclination to selfishness) for God’s standard of generosity.
Quote:  "Have nothing to do with anyone who would stand in your way and would seek to turn you aside from fulfilling the vows which you have made to the Most High (Psalm 49:14) and from living in that perfection to which the Spirit of the Lord has called you" (Clare to Agnes, Letter II in Murray Bodo, O.F.M., Clare: A Light in the Garden, p. 118).
1283 St. Elzear and Blessed Delphina Franciscan couple (1286-1323) (1283-1358)
This is the only Franciscan couple to be canonized or beatified formally.

Elzear came from a noble family in southern France. After he married Delphina, she informed him that she had made a vow of perpetual virginity; that same night he did the same. For a time Elzear, Count of Ariano, was a counselor to Duke Charles of Calabria in southern Italy. Elzear ruled his own territories in the kingdom of Naples and in southern France with justice.
Elzear and Delphina joined the Secular Franciscans and dedicated themselves to the corporal works of mercy. Twelve poor people dined with them every day. A statue of Elzear shows him curing several people suffering from leprosy.
Their piety extended to the running of their household. Everyone there was expected to attend Mass daily, go to confession weekly and be ready to forgive injuries.

After Elzear’s death, Delphina continued her works of charity for 35 more years. She is especially remembered for raising the moral level of the king of Sicily’s court.
Elzear and Delphina are buried in Apt, France. He was canonized in 1369, and she was beatified in 1694.

Comment:  Like Francis, Elzear and Delphina came to see all creation as pointing to its source. Therefore, they did not try ruthlessly to dominate any part of creation but used all of it as a way of returning thanks to God.
Though childless, their marriage was life-giving for the poor and the sick around them.

Quote:   St. Bonaventure wrote: "Francis sought occasion to love God in everything. He delighted in all the works of God's hands and from the vision of joy on earth his mind soared aloft to the life-giving source and cause of all. In everything beautiful, he saw him who is beauty itself, and he followed his Beloved everywhere by his likeness imprinted on creation; of all creation he made a ladder by which he might mount up and embrace Him who is all-desirable" (Legenda Major, IX, 1).
1285 St. Philip Benizi Servite cardinal preacher Miracle worker peace maker

THIS principal ornament and propagator of the religious order of the Servites in Italy was of the noble families of Benizi and Frescobaldi in Florence, and a native of that city. He was born on August 15, in the year 1233, which is said by some to be the very feast of the Assumption on which the seven Founders of the Servites had their first vision of our Lady.  His parents had been long married but childless, and Philip was a child of prayer. At the age of thirteen he was sent to Paris to apply himself to the study of medicine, and Galen, though a heathen, was a strong spur to him in raising his heart from the contemplation of nature to the worship and praise of its Author.  From Paris he removed to Padua, where he took the degree of doctor in medicine and philosophy at the age of nineteen.  After his return to Florence he took some time to deliberate with himself what course to steer.  For a year he practised his profession, spending his leisure time in the study of sacred Scripture and the fathers and in prayer for guidance, especially before a certain crucifix in the abbey-church at Fiesole and before a picture of the Annunciation in the Servite chapel at Carfaggio, just outside the walls of Florence.
  At this time the Servites, or Order of the Servants of Mary, had been established fourteen years, having been founded by seven gentlemen of Florence as described under their feast on February 12.  At their principal house on Monte Senario, six miles from Florence, they lived in little cells, something like the hermits of Camaldoli, possessing nothing but in common, and professing obedience to St Buonfiglio Monaldi.
    The austerities which they practised were great, and they lived mostly on alms.    On the Thursday in Easter Week 1254, Philip was in prayer at Fiesole when the figure on the crucifix seemed to say to him, " Go to the high hill where the servants of my mother are living, and you will be doing the will Of my Father Pondering these words deeply Philip went to the chapel at Carfaggio to assist at Mass, and was strongly affected with the words of the Holy Ghost to the deacon Philip, which were read in the epistle of that day,  "Go near and join thyself to this chariot ".  His name being Philip he applied to himself these words as an invitation to put himself under the care of the Blessed Virgin in that order, and he seemed to himself, in a dream or vision, to be in a vast wilderness (representing the world) full of precipices, snares and serpents, so that he did not see how it was possible to escape so many dangers.  Whilst he was thus in dread he thought he beheld our Lady approaching him in a chariot. Persuaded that God called him to this order as to a place of refuge, Philip went to Monte Senario and was admitted by St Buonflglio to the habit as a lay-brother: " I wish ", he said, "to be the servant of the Servants of Mary."  In consideration of the circumstances in which he had joined the order he retained his baptismal name in religion.  He was made gardener and questor for alms, and put to work at every kind of bard country labour; the saint cheerfully applied himself to it in a spirit of penance and accompanied his work with constant recollection and prayer, living in a little cave behind the church.  Philip was sent in 1258 to the Servite house at Siena and on the way there he undesignedly displayed his abilities in a discourse on certain controverted points, in the presence of two Dominicans and others, to the astonishment of those that heard him, and especially of his companion, Brother Victor.  The matter was reported to the prior general, who examined St Philip closely and then had him promoted to holy orders, though nothing but an absolute command could extort his consent.

   All Philip's hopes of living out his life in quiet and obscurity, serving God and his brethren as a lay-brother, were now at an end.  In 1262 he went to the Siena monastery as novice-master and to be one of the four vicars to assist the prior general; soon after he became himself colleague of the prior general.   In 1267 a chapter of the whole order was held at Carfaggio ; at this chapter St Manettus resigned the generalship and, in spite of his protests, St Philip Benizi was unanimously elected in his stead.  During his first year of office he made a general visitation of the provinces of northern Italy, which at the time were torn and distracted by the strife of Guelf and Ghibelline.  It was on this tour that his first miracle was reported of him, very similar to one attributed to St Dominic and other saints:  owing to the troubles the Servites of Mezzo were unable to get food and were on the verge of starvation; when they assembled for supper there was nothing to eat until, when St Philip had exhorted them to have faith and had prayed before our Lady's image, a knock was heard at the monastery door and two large baskets of good bread were found on the steps. He codified the rules and constitutions of the Servite order and this work was confirmed by the general chapter held at Pistoia in 1268; he would on the same occasion have asked leave to give up his office.  But he was so warmly dissuaded by his colleague, Brother Lottaringo, that he resigned himself to holding it so long as his brethren should wish, which proved to be for the rest of his life.
   Upon the death of Pope Clement IV it was rumoured that Cardinal Ottobuoni, protector of the Servites, had proposed St Philip to succeed him, and that the suggestion was well received.   When word of this came to Philip's ears he ran away and hid himself in a cave among the mountains near Radicofani, where he was looked after for three months by Brother Victor until he deemed the danger past.  During this retreat St Philip rejoiced in an opportunity of giving himself up to contemplation;  he lived on vegetables and drank at a spring, since esteemed miraculous and called St Philip's Bath. He returned from the desert glowing with zeal to kindle in the hearts of Christians the fire of divine love, and soon set out on a visitation of his order in France and Germany.   In 1274 he was summoned by Bd Gregory X to be present at the second general council of Lyons.   At it he made a profound impression and the gift of tongues was attributed to him, but his reputation did not serve to obtain for the Servites that formal papal approbation for which St Philip worked continually.
    The saint announced the word of God wherever he came and had an extraordinary talent in converting sinners and in reconciling those that were at variance.  Italy was still horribly divided by discords and hereditary factions.  Holy men often sought to apply remedies to these quarrels, which had a happy effect upon some; but in many these discords, like a wound ill-cured, broke out again with worse symptoms than ever. Papal Guelfs and imperial Ghibellines were the worst offenders, and in 1279 Pope Nicholas III gave special faculties to Cardinal Latino to deal with them.   He invoked the help of St Philip Benizi, who wonderfully pacified the factions when they were ready to tear each other to pieces at Pistoja and other places.  He succeeded at length also at Forli, where the seditious insulted and beat him; but his patience at length disarmed their fury. Peregrine Laziosi, who was their ringleader and had himself struck the saint, was so moved by his meekness that he threw himself at his feet and begged his pardon. Being become
a model penitent Peregrine was received by Philip into the order of Servites at Siena in 1283, and was canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. St Philip attracted a number of notably good men to himself.   Among them were this St Peregrine and Bd John of Frankfort; Bd Joachim Piccolomini, who met Philip at Siena; Bd Andrew Dotti, a soldier, and Bd Jerome, both of Borgo San Sepolcro; Bd Bonaventure of Pistoia, converted by a sermon of the saint from a life of violence and crime; Bd Ubald, whose quarrelling had turned Florence upside down; and Bd Francis Patrizi.  In 1284 St Alexis Falconieri put his niece St Juliana under the direction of St Philip, and from his advice to her sprang the third order regular of the Servants of Mary. He was also responsible for sending the first Servite missionaries to the East, where some penetrated to Tartary and there gave their blood for Christ.  Throughout his eighteen years of generalship of his order Philip had as his official colleague Lottaringo Stufa, whom he had known and loved from boyhood.  They remained the closest friends and the utmost confidence subsisted between them; their long association was an ideal partnership.
    Judging at length by the decay of his health that the end of his life drew near, St Philip set out in 1285 to visit the newly-elected Pope Honorius IV at Perugia, and at Florence convened a general chapter at which he announced his approaching departure and handed over the government to Father Lottaringo.  "Love one another! Love one another! Love one another!" he adjured the friars, and so left them. He went to the smallest and poorest house of the order, at Todi, where he was enthusiastically received by the citizens, and when he could escape from them he went straight to the altar of our Lady, and falling prostrate on the ground prayed with great fervour, "This is the place of my rest for ever ". He made a moving sermon on the glory of the blessed on the feast of the Assumption of the Mother of God, but at three o'clock in the afternoon of that day was taken seriously ill.  He sent for the conununity, and again spoke of brotherly love:  "Love one another, reverence one another, and bear with one another."   Seven days later the end came; he called for his "book ", by which word he meant his crucifix, and devoutly contemplating it, calmly died at the hour of the evening Angelus.  St Philip Benizi was canonized in 1671, and his feast was extended to the whole Western church in 1694.
La Vie de St Philippe Benizi (1886; new ed., 1913) by Father Soulier (Eng. trans.) must still be regarded as the standard biography of this saint.  Though a long list of sources is set out in an appendix, it must be confessed that the early evidence is not quite so full as might be desired. It is often difficult to decide how large a part legend has played in the story commonly circulated. Fr Soulier has, however, edited very carefully some of the most important biographical materials see the Monumenta Ordinis Servorum Sanctae Mariae, vols. ii, iii and iv. The biography by Malaval (1672) has been translated into English in the Oratorian Series. In the Acta Sanctorum, August, vol. iv, a life has been reproduced which is in substance a  Latin rendering of the more relevant portions of Giani's (1604).
Born 1233 in Florence, Italy, to a noble family, he was educated in Paris and Padua where he earned a doctorate in medicine and philosophy. He practiced medicine for some time, but in 1253 he joined the Servite Order in Florence. He served as a lay brother until 1259, when his superiors directed him to be ordained. Philip soon became known as one of the foremost preachers of his era, becoming master of novices at Siena in 1262 and then superior of several friaries and prior general of the Servites against his own wishes. in 1267. Reforming the order with zeal and patience, he was named as a possible candidate to become pope by the influential Cardinal Ottobuoni just before the election to choose a successor to Pope Clement IV. This possibility was so distressing to Philip that he fled and hid in a cave until the election was finally over. He attended the Council of Lyons which brought about a brief reunion with the Orthodox, worked to bring peace between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines in 1279, assisted St. Juliana in founding the third order of the Servites, and in 1284, dispatched the first Servite missionaries to the Far East. He retired to a small Servite house in Todi, where he died on August 22. He was canonized in 1671.
1287 Bl. Peter Tecelano Franciscan mystic miracles at his tomb.
A native of Campi, Tuscany, Italy, he was trained as a comb maker at Siena. After the death of his wife he entered the Franciscans as a tertiary and served as nurse to the sick in a Franciscan hospital. He also toiled making combs. In his lifetime, he was reputed to be a deeply mystical and holy individual and was credited with miracles. He was beatified in 1802, in part because of miracles reported as occurring at his tomb.

1287 Blessed Ambrose Sansedoni a miracle when a baby and reported at his tomb humble levitated OP (RM)
 Senis, in Túscia, Beáti Ambrósii, ex Ordine Prædicatórum, sanctitáte, prædicatióne et miráculis clari.
       At Sienna in Tuscany, blessed Ambrose of the Order of Preachers, celebrated for sanctity, eloquence, and miracles.
(also known as Ambrose of Siena or Ambrose Sassedoni) Born in Siena, Italy, in 1220; cultus confirmed in 1622. Although his birth was attended by the prodigies also associated with Blessed James of Bevagna (of Mevania)--that of three brilliant stars bearing the image of a friar preacher--Ambrose Sansedoni got off to a very bad start by the world's account. He was so badly deformed and so ugly that his own mother could hardly bear to look at him.
He was given into the care of a nurse, who daily took him with her to the Dominican church where she attended Mass. Here it was remarked that the baby, who fretted most of the time, was quiet and content when the nurse would hold him near the altar of relics, and that he cried violently when taken away.

One day, as the nurse was kneeling there with the baby's face covered with a scarf, a pilgrim approached and said to her, "Do not cover that child's face. He will one day be the glory of this city." A few days later, at this same altar, a miracle occurred. The unfortunate child suddenly reached out his twisted limbs and quite distinctly pronounced the sacred name of Jesus. At once, all deformity left him, and he became a normal child.

So early marked with the favor of God, it was only natural that Ambrose would be pious. As a child of seven he would rise at night to pray and meditate, and he daily recited the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin. While still a child, he was charitable to a heroic degree, and busied himself with the poor, the abandoned, and the sick. When he was only two or three years old, his father, who was an illuminator of books, made two little books for him. One was on secular subjects, the other on the saints. Ambrose made no hesitation about choosing the latter as his favorite, and throughout his life he was to exhibit this same choice of the things of God.

Being a handsome and talented young man, Ambrose was beset with difficulties when he expressed his intention of becoming a member of the preaching friars. Parents and friends tried to change his mind, and the devil appeared in several different forms to counsel him against such a step. Ambrose courageously overcame all the obstacles in his path and joined the friars on his 17th birthday.

After his profession in 1237, Ambrose was sent to Paris to study under Saint Albert the Great. With his fellow pupil, Saint Thomas Aquinas, he returned to Cologne with Saint Albert, and thus was associated for some years with the two finest minds of the century. It is said that the humility of Ambrose, and his recognition of the true greatness of Saint Thomas's writings, led him to devote his time to preaching rather than writing. He was sent on many peace-making missions during his 30 years of preaching, and was highly regarded by both popes and Dominicans.

Despite a very active apostolate of preaching in Germany, France, and Italy, Ambrose lived a life of almost uninterrupted prayer. He was often in ecstasy, and, shortly before his death, he was favored with several visions of great beauty. It is said that his death was hastened by the vehemence of his preaching. Sometimes when he preached he levitated and a circle of glory, in which birds of brilliant plumage flitted, surrounded him. Many miracles were reported at his tomb, and he has been popularly called "Saint Ambrose of Siena" since the time of his death (Benedictines, Dorcy).

In art, Blessed Ambrose is a Dominican with a dove at his ear (Roeder). He may also be represented as (1) holding in his hand a model of his native Siena (Benedictines), (2) holding a book, or (3) preaching (Roeder). Ambrose is the patron of betrothed couples and especially venerated in Siena (Roeder).
1288 Saint Ignatius Bishop of Rostov shepherdeding his flock for twenty-six years Many miracles took place at his grave
After his death on May 28, 1288, his body was brought to the church.
Some people saw him leave his coffin, and float in the air above the church. He blessed the people and the city, then went back to his coffin.
This hierarch guided the flock of Christ for twenty-six years with great love and compassion. When he died and his body was placed in the church, some of those present saw him leave his coffin and rise up in the air above the church. He blessed the people and the city from on high, and then returned to his coffin. Many other miracles were wrought at his grave. He went to the Lord on May 28th,1288.
1288 ST 1GNATIUS, BISHOP OF ROSTOV
FROM being archimandrite of the monastery of the Theophany at Rostov, this Ignatius was raised to the bishopric of that city in 1262. He was a most faithful shepherd of his flock at a time of great difficulty, for he had to defend his people against the oppression of the Tartars and mediate between the quarrelling nobles of Rostov. Moreover, false accusations were made against him to the metropolitan of Kiev, and he was for a time removed from office. It was during the episcopate of Ignatius, in 1274, that a synod of the Russian Church was held at Vladimir, at which he attended. Words used by this gathering show the sort of thing that the Russian clergy still, and for centuries after almost down to our own day, had sometimes to contend with “People still follow the customs of the thrice-accursed heathen they celebrate sacred feast-days with devilish observances, whistling, yelling and howling; low drunken fellows get together and beat one another with sticks, till some are killed, and these they strip of their clothes.”
St Ignatius was called to the better life on May 28, 1288, and his death was at once followed by reports of miracles, of which the most surprising was that when his body was borne to burial he rose in his coffin and blessed the crowds of bystanders. Unless they have been destroyed in the events of the past thirty years, the relics of St Ignatius are still in the church of the Assumption at Rostov.
From Martynov’s Annus ecclesiasticus Graeco-Slavicus in Acta Sanctorum, October, xi. Cf. St Sergius on September 25, and bibliography.
1289 Bl. John of Parma many miracles were soon reported at his tomb  7th minister general of the Franciscans.

1289 BD JOHN OF PARMA
JOHN BURALLI, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to prosecute his studies and, after he had been ordained, to teach and to preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. His eloquence drew crowds to his sermons, and great personages flocked to listen to him. It has been stated that in 1245, when Pope Innocent IV convoked the first general council of Lyons, John was deputed to represent Crescentius, the minister general, who owing to his infirmities was unable to attend, but this is incorrect; the friar who went to the council was Bonaventure of Isco. John, however, that same year journeyed to Paris to lecture on the “Sentences” in the university, and in 1247 he was chosen minister general of the order.

The work that lay before him was exceedingly difficult, for many abuses and a spirit of strife had crept in owing to the lax observance of Brother Elias. We are fortunate in having a first­hand description of Bd John’s activities, written by his fellow townsman Brother Salimbene, who was closely associated with him for a long time. We learn that he was strong and robust, so that he could bear great fatigue, of a sweet and smiling countenance, with polished manners, and full of charity. He was the first among the ministers general to visit the whole order, and he travelled always on foot. Outside the friaries he would never allow his dignity to be known, and he was so humble and unassuming that on coming to a house he often helped the brothers to wash vegetables in the kitchen. A lover of silence and recollection, he was never heard to utter an idle word, and when dying he admitted that he would have more to answer for in respect of his silence than of his speech.

He began his general visitation with England, and when King Henry III heard that he was at hand to pay his respects, he rose from table and came out of doors to embrace the humble friar. In France John was at Sens visited by St Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the crusades, came to ask his prayers and blessing on the enterprise. The king, who arrived in pilgrim guise, staff in hand, struck Brother Salimbene as looking delicate and frail. He took food with the brothers in the refectory, but could not persuade John of Parma to sit beside him.
Burgundy and Provence were next visited. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favour. Would the minister deign to give to him and to Salimbene a commission to preach? John, however, was not going to make favourites of his compatriots. “Of a truth, if you were my blood-brothers”, he replied, “you would not obtain that office from me without an examination.” John of Ollis was not easily snubbed. “Then if we must be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us?” Hugh of Digne, the former provincial, was actually in the house. “No” said the minister promptly. “Brother Hugh is your friend and he might spare you, but call hither the lecturer and tutor of the house.” Brother Salimbene cannot resist telling us that he himself passed the test, but that John of Ollis was sent back to do some more studies.

Soon after John of Parma’s return from a mission as papal legate to the Eastern emperor, trouble broke out in Paris, whither he had sent St Bonaventure, as one of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. William of Saint-Amour, a secular doctor of the university, had raised a storm against the mendicant orders and attacked them in a scurrilous libel. Bd John went to Paris, and is said to have addressed the university professors in terms so persuasive and humble that all were moved, and the doctor who was to have replied could only say, “Blessed alt thou, and blessed are thy words”. The storm abated, and the minister general then applied himself to the restoration of discipline. Even before he had gone to the East he had held a general chapter at Metz, where measures were taken to secure the proper observance of the rule and constitutions and to insist upon the Roman Missal and Breviary being strictly adhered to. He obtained several papal bulls which assisted him, and Pope Innocent IV bestowed on the order the convent of the Ara Coeli in Rome, which became the residence of the minister general.

In spite of all his efforts Blessed John met with bitter opposition, partly caused by his Joachimite leanings. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying through the reforms which he felt were essential. Whether he acted spontaneously or in obedience to pressure put upon him by the papal curia is not clear, but he resigned office in Rome in 1257, and when asked to nominate a suc­cessor chose St Bonaventure. The selection was a happy one, and St Bonaventure is sometimes spoken of as the Second Founder; but the way had been prepared for him by his predecessor’s firm government. John now retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement from which he only emerged two or three times when summoned by the pope. When, as a very old man of eighty, he heard that the Greeks had relapsed into schism, he begged that he might be allowed to go again to plead with them. He obtained the pope’s consent and started off, but as he entered Camerino he realized he was dying, and said to his companions, “This is the place of my rest”. He went to his reward on March 19, 1289, and many miracles were soon after reported at his tomb. His cultus was approved in 1777.

John of Parma played so considerable a part in the early developments of the troubles which culminated in the Fraticelli revolt that his name figures more or less prominently in a multitude of books dealing with the Franciscan movement. Salimbene’s picture of him, even as transmitted through the distorted medium of Dr Coulton’s From St Francis to Dante, is unforgettable. Salimbene’s text is published in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xxxii. We have no ancient biography, but two or three modern ones in Italian, notably by B. Affó (1777) and by Luigi da Parma (1909). See also Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 493—512, and Edouard d’Alençon in DTC., vol. viii, cc. 794—796. Although the Joachimite Introductorius evangelii aeterni was at one time attributed to John of Parma, it certainly was not written by him but by Gerard of Borgo-San-Donnino; and even the authorship of the Sacrum commercium beati Francisci cum domina paupertate commonly assigned to him is uncertain; see the critical edition of this latter brought out by Edouard d’Alençon in 1900.
John Buralli, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in the year 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five, he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to study and, after he had been ordained, to teach and preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. He preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons, even very important persons flocked to hear him. 
In the year 1247, John was chosen Minister General of the Order of Franciscans. He had a very difficult task because the members of his community were not living up to their duties, due to the poor leadership of Brother Elias. Brother Salimbene, a fellow townsman who worked closely with John, kept an accurate record of Johns activities. From this record, we learn that John was strong and robust, so that he was always kind and pleasant no matter how tired he was. He was the first among the Ministers General to visit the whole Order, and he traveled always on foot. He was so humble that when he visited the different houses of the Order, he would often help the Brother wash vegetables in the kitchen.

He loved silence so that he could think of God and he never spoke an idle word. When he began visiting the various houses of his Order, he went to England first. When King Henry III heard that John came to see him, the King went out to meet him and embraced the humble Friar. When John was in France, he was visited by St. Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the Crusades, came to ask John's prayers and blessing on his journey. The next place John visited was Burgundy and Provence. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favor. He asked John if he and Brother Salimbene could be allowed to preach. John, however, did not want to make favorites of his Brothers. He said, "even if you were my blood brothers, I would not give you that permission without an examination." John of Ollis then said, "Then if we must be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us?" Hugh, the former provincial was in the house, but since he was a friend of John of Ollis and Salimbene, he would not allow it. Instead, he called the lecturer and tutor of the house. Brother Salimbene passed the test, but John of Ollis was sent back to take more studies.

Trouble broke out in Paris where John had sent St. Bonaventure who was one of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. Blessed John went to Paris and was so humble and persuasive that the University Doctor who had caused the trouble, could only reply, "Blessed are you, and blessed are your words". Then John went back to his work at restoring discipline to his Order. Measures were taken to make sure the Friars obeyed the Rules of the Order. In spite of all his efforts, Blessed John was bitterly opposed. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying out the reforms that he felt was necessary. So he resigned his office and nominated St. Bonaventure as his successor. John retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St. Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement. He died on March 19, 1289 and many miracles were soon reported at his tomb.

Blessed John Buralli, OFM (AC) (also known as Blessed John of Parma) Born in Parma, Italy, in 1209; died 1289; cultus approved in 1777. After John was professed and ordained as a Franciscan, he taught theology at Bologna and Naples. In 1247, he was elected the 7th minister general of the Franciscans and held the office for ten years. He visited the Franciscan provinces of different countries, including England, and went to Constantinople as papal legate. He lived out his final 30 years in retirement at the hermitage of Greccio (Attwater2, Benedictines).

1289 Bl. John of Parma many miracles were soon reported at his tomb  7th minister general of the Franciscans
John Buralli, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in the year 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five, he joined the Franciscans. He was sent to Paris to study and, after he had been ordained, to teach and preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. He preached so well that crowds of people came to hear his sermons, even very important persons flocked to hear him. 
In the year 1247, John was chosen Minister General of the Order of Franciscans. He had a very difficult task because the members of his community were not living up to their duties, due to the poor leadership of Brother Elias. Brother Salimbene, a fellow townsman who worked closely with John, kept an accurate record of Johns activities. From this record, we learn that John was strong and robust, so that he was always kind and pleasant no matter how tired he was. He was the first among the Ministers General to visit the whole Order, and he traveled always on foot. He was so humble that when he visited the different houses of the Order, he would often help the Brother wash vegetables in the kitchen.

He loved silence so that he could think of God and he never spoke an idle word. When he began visiting the various houses of his Order, he went to England first. When King Henry III heard that John came to see him, the King went out to meet him and embraced the humble Friar. When John was in France, he was visited by St. Louis IX who, on the eve of his departure for the Crusades, came to ask John's prayers and blessing on his journey. The next place John visited was Burgundy and Provence. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favor. He asked John if he and Brother Salimbene could be allowed to preach. John, however, did not want to make favorites of his Brothers. He said, "even if you were my blood brothers, I would not give you that permission without an examination." John of Ollis then said, "Then if we must be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us?" Hugh, the former provincial was in the house, but since he was a friend of John of Ollis and Salimbene, he would not allow it. Instead, he called the lecturer and tutor of the house. Brother Salimbene passed the test, but John of Ollis was sent back to take more studies.

Trouble broke out in Paris where John had sent St. Bonaventure who was one of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. Blessed John went to Paris and was so humble and persuasive that the University Doctor who had caused the trouble, could only reply, "Blessed are you, and blessed are your words". Then John went back to his work at restoring discipline to his Order. Measures were taken to make sure the Friars obeyed the Rules of the Order. In spite of all his efforts, Blessed John was bitterly opposed. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying out the reforms that he felt was necessary. So he resigned his office and nominated St. Bonaventure as his successor. John retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St. Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his life there in retirement. He died on March 19, 1289 and many miracles were soon reported at his tomb.
Blessed John Buralli, OFM (AC) (also known as Blessed John of Parma) Born in Parma, Italy, in 1209; died 1289; cultus approved in 1777. After John was professed and ordained as a Franciscan, he taught theology at Bologna and Naples. In 1247, he was elected the 7th minister general of the Franciscans and held the office for ten years. He visited the Franciscan provinces of different countries, including England, and went to Constantinople as papal legate. He lived out his final 30 years in retirement at the hermitage of Greccio (Attwater2, Benedictines).
1289 Blessed Benvenutus of Recanati Franciscan lay brother favored with ecstasies and visions OFM AC.
1289 BD BENVENUTO OF RECANATI
FEW incidents marked the life of Bd Benvenuto Mareni. He was born at Recanati, a hill-town in the Marches of Ancona at a short distance from Loreto, and entered as a lay-brother amongst the Franciscan Conventuals of his native city. He was remarkable for his piety and for his humility, which made him always desirous of the lowliest offices. Often during Mass, and especially when he had received holy communion, he would fall into an ecstasy, his body at such times appearing to be completely insensible. From one of these trances he awoke to realize that it was long past the hour for him to begin to prepare the brethren’s meal. Hastily he made his way to the kitchen, where he was greeted by an angelic deputy who had been doing his work. All who partook of the repast that day agreed that they had never tasted better food. Bd Benvenuto had many other supernatural experiences and was, it is said, once permitted to hold the Infant Saviour in his arms.
The saintly friar died on May 5, 1289. Pope Pius VII confirmed his cultus
In the account which Fr Léon, Auréole Séraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 175—176, gives of this beatus he remarks that the annalists of the order have left few details of his life. This observation seems to be thoroughly borne out by an inspection of such chroniclers as Mazzara or Mark of Lisbon.
Born at Recanati (near Loreto), Italy; cultus confirmed by Pope Pius VII. Scion of the Mareni family, Benvenutus joined the Franciscans as a lay brother and was mostly employed in the kitchen, where he was constantly favored with ecstasies and visions (Benedictines).

1291 BD FRANCO OF GROTTI; by middle age his excesses had ruined his health and more than once brought him nearly to death;  a long and painful pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostela; Visions and miracles were accorded him, and after his death on December 11, 1291, there was a spontaneous recognition of him as a very holy penitent

FRANCO Lippi was a native of Grotti, near Siena, and was born in 1211. As a youth he was violent, insubordinate and lazy, and after the death of his father he spent all his time and money in gambling and debauchery. To avoid a prosecution for murder he joined a band of condottieri wherein his evil propensities had full scope, and by middle age his excesses had ruined his health and more than once brought him nearly to death.

   When he was fifty he lost his eyesight, and the shock of this sudden deprivation occasioned a complete change in him. He made a general confession and set out on a long and painful pilgrimage to the shrine of St James at Compostela. There his blindness was healed, but his spiritual sight remained and he made a further pilgrimage, barefooted, from Compostela to Rome.

   While praying in a Carmelite church Franco had a vision of our Lady in which he was told he must make public reparation for the endless scandals he had caused in Siena. He accordingly went about the streets clothed in sackcloth and beating himself with a whip, and eventually asked to be admitted into the Carmelite Order. But his age—he was now sixty-five—and his appalling reputation made the friars dubious of such a postulant, and they told him to try again in five years’ time.

   Franco persisted, and at last he was allowed to join as a lay-brother. He lived for ten years in Carmel, and not only his brethren but the whole city was amazed and edified by his fervour and the austerity of his penance. Visions and miracles were accorded him, and after his death on December 11, 1291, there was a spontaneous recognition of him as a very holy penitent. This cultus was confirmed in 1670.

No early separate biography seems to be known, but G. Lombardelli published in 1590, La vita del b. Franco Sanese da Grotti, and another account by S. Grassi appeared in 1680. For a more modern setting see Il Monte Carmelo (1917), pp. 300 seq.

August 03 1295 St. Thomas of Dover Miracles Benedictine monk martyr at St. Martin's Priory in Dover, England; Miracles were reported at his tomb
Also called Thomas Hales, he served as a Benedictine monk at St. Martin's Priory in Dover, England. In 1295, the priory was overrun by a French raiding party which was assailing Dover, and Thomas, being old and infirm, could not escape with the rest of the community. The French raiders demanded that he tell them the whereabouts of the church treasures. When he refused, they murdered him. Miracles were soon reported at his tomb, and an altar was dedicated to him in the priory church in 1500. King Richard II of England (r. 1379-1399) requested that his cause be opened in 1382
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Born 1215 - D. 1296 St. Celestine V Pope; renowned for virtues and miracles, he went to the Lord.
Natalis sancti Petri de Moróno, Confessóris, qui ex Anachoréta Summus Póntifex creátus, dictus est Cælestínus Quintus.  Sed Pontificátu se póstmodum abdicávit, et in solitúdine religiósam vitam agens, virtútibus et miráculis clarus, migrávit ad Dóminum.
    The birthday of St. Peter of Moroni who, while leading the life of an anchoret, was created Sovereign Pontiff and called Celestine V.  He later abdicated the pontificate, and led a religious life in solitude, where, renowned for virtues and miracles, he went to the Lord.
When the father of this Italian saint died, his good mother brought up her twelve children well, even though they were very poor. "Oh, if I could only have the joy of seeing one of you become a saint!" she use to say. Once when she asked as usual, "which one of you is going to become a saint?" little Peter (who was to become Pope Celestine) answered with all his heart, "Me, mama! I'll become a saint!" And he did.
1296 ST CELESTINE V. Pope
 IN all papal history no figure is more pathetic than that of Peter di Morone, the aged hermit who, after a pontificate of five short months, voluntarily abdicated, and died virtually a prisoner in the hands of his successor. His unprecedented act of resignation has been variously judged: it has been lauded by some as a proof of humility, while it has been severely condemned by others— notably by Dante, who placed the pathetic old man in the vestibule of his Inferno for having basely made “the great refusal” [* L’Inferno, iii, 58—61. But it is not certain that this refers to Celestine.]
The Church of Christ has judged differently: she canonized him in 1313, and his feast is kept in all the Western church.
Peter, who was the eleventh of twelve children, was born of peasant parents about the year 1210 at Isernia, in the Abruzzi. Because he showed unusual promise, his mother, though she was early left a widow, sent him to school—against  the advice of her relations. Even as a boy Peter was “different”, and when he was twenty he left the world to live as a hermit on a solitary mountain where he made himself a cell so circumscribed that he could scarcely stand upright or lie down in it. In spite of his desire to remain hidden, he had occasional visitors, some of whom persuaded him to seek holy orders. He accordingly went to Rome and was ordained priest, but in 1246 he returned to the Abruzzi. On the way back he received the Benedictine habit from the Abbot of Faizola, by whom he was permitted to resume his solitary life. For five years he dwelt on Mount Morone, near Sulmona, but in 1251 the wood was cut on the mountain, and Peter, finding his privacy too much invaded, took refuge with two companions in the fastnesses of Monte Majella. His disciples, however, tracked him thither. So, after two further ineffectual attempts to live in solitude, he resigned himself to the inevitable and, returning to Monte Morone, became the head of a community of hermits who lived at first in scattered cells, but afterwards in a monastery. He gave his disciples a strict rule based on that of St Benedict and in 1274 he obtained from Pope Gregory X the approbation of his order, the members of which were afterwards known as Celestines.* [* Not to be confused with the “Celestine” Franciscans. The congregation of hermit monks spread in Europe, and in France came to an end only at the Revolution.]
After the death of Nicholas IV, the chair of St Peter remained vacant for over two years owing to the rivalry between two parties, neither of which would give way. To the cardinals assembled at Perugia came a message, it is said, from the hermit of Monte Morone threatening them with the wrath of God if they continued to delay. In any case, to bring the deadlock to an end, the conclave chose the hermit himself to become Christ’s vicar upon earth. The five envoys who climbed the steeps of Morone to bear the official notification found the old man (he was eighty-four) red-eyed with weeping and appalled at the tidings of his election which had already reached him. Boundless enthusiasm prevailed at the choice of a pope so holy and so unworldly, while to many it seemed an inauguration of the new era foretold by Joachim del Fiore—the reign of the Holy Ghost, when the religious orders would rule the world in peace and love. Two hundred thousand persons are said to have been assembled in Aquila to acclaim the new pope as he rode to the cathedral on a donkey, its bridle held on the one side by the King of Hungary and on the other by Charles of Anjou, King of Naples.
Scarcely, however, were the consecration and coronation over than it became evident that Celestine V, as he was now called, was quite unequal to the task of ruling the Church. In his utter simplicity he became unwittingly a tool in the hands of King Charles, who used him for the furtherance of his schemes and induced him to live in Naples. He gave great offence to the Italian cardinals by refusing to go to Rome and by creating thirteen new cardinals, nearly all in the Franco Neapolitan interest. Knowing little Latin and no canon law, his want of experience led him into mistakes of all kinds. To the rigorist Spirituali movement he was a pope sent direct from Heaven; to the place-hunters and the ruck he was a windfall: he gave to anybody anything they asked, and in his innocence would grant the same benefice several times over. Everything fell into hopeless confusion.
Miserable and frightened in these bewildering surroundings, he asked for himself only that a cell should be made in the palace, to which as Advent approached he proposed withdrawing into complete solitude and silence, leaving three cardinals to govern in his place; but he was warned that by so doing he was practically creating three rival popes. Conscious of failure, discouraged, and utterly weary, Celestine began to consider how he might lay down a burden he felt unable to bear. It was an unprecedented thing for a pope to abdicate; but Cardinal Gaetani and other learned men whom he consulted decided that it was permissible, and even advisable in certain circumstances. Although the King of Naples and others strongly opposed, nevertheless on December 13, 1294, at a consistory of cardinals held in Naples, St Celestine read a solemn declaration of abdication, in which he pleaded his age, his ignorance, his incapacity, and his rough manners and speech. He then laid aside his pontifical robes and resumed a religious habit; and he cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his many errors and exhorting the cardinals to repair them as well as they could by choosing a worthy successor to St Peter. The assembly, deeply moved, accepted his resignation, and the old man joyfully returned to a house of his monks at Sulmona.
He was not, however, destined to remain there in peace. Cardinal Gaétani, who as Boniface VIII had been chosen pope in his place, found himself opposed by a bitterly hostile party and requested the King of Naples to send his too popular predecessor back to Rome, lest he should be used by his opponents. Celestine, duly warned, hoped to escape across the Adriatic; but after several months of wandering among the woods and mountains he was captured. Boniface shut him up in a small room in the castle of Fumone, near Anagni, and there after ten months of hardship he died, on May 19, 1296. “I wanted nothing in the world but a cell”, he said, “and a cell they have given me.”
The body of Pope St Celestine V rests in the church of Santa Maria del Colle at Aquila in the Abruzzi, the place where he was consecrated to the episcopate and the papacy.
So excellent an acount of St Celestine’s whole history has been given by Mgr Mann in vol. xvii of his Lives of the Popes in the Middle Ages, pp. 247—341, that other references seem hardly necessary. Mgr Mann points out that apart from a rather slender collection of papal documents——the official Registrum is lost—Cardinal James Gaetani de’ Stefaneschi, in his Opus Metricum, and the biographical materials printed by the modern Bollandists in their Analecta Bollandiana, vols. ix, x, xvi and xviii, must be regarded as our principal authorities. See also F. X. Seppelt, Monumenta Celestiniana (1921) B. Cantera, S. Pier Celestino (1892) G. Celidonio, Vita di S. Pietro del Morrone (1896); and B. Hollnsteiner, “Die Autobio­graphic Celestins V” in the Römische Quartalschrift, vol. xxxi (1923), pp. 29-40. The novel San Celestino, by John Ayscough (Mgr Bickerstaffe-Drew) is a sensitive study of the unfortunate pope.

When he was twenty, Peter became a hermit and spent his days praying and reading the Holy Bible. If he was not praying or reading, he would copy books or do some hard work so that the devil would not find him doing nothing, and tempt him. Because other hermits kept coming to him and begging him to guide them, he started a new Order.

Peter was an old monk, eighty-four years of age when he was made Pope. It came about in a very unusual way. For two years, there had been no Pope, because the Cardinals could not decide whom to choose. St. Peter sent them a message to decide quickly, for God was not pleased at the long delay. Then and there, they chose the holy old hermit himself! Poor Peter wept when he heard the news, but he sorrowfully accepted and took the name Celestine V.

He was Pope only about five months. Because he was so humble and simple, everyone took advantage of him. He could not say "no" to anyone, and soon matters were in great confusion. At last, the Saint decided that he had better give up his position as Pope. He did so and then threw himself at the feet of the Cardinals for not having been capable of governing the Church. What an impression his humility made on all of them!

St. Celestine hoped to live in one of his monasteries in peace. But the new Pope thought it would be safer to keep him where wicked people could not take advantage of him. The saint was put in a cell and died there. Yet he was cheerful and close to God. "You wanted a cell, Peter," he would repeat to himself, "and a cell you have."

Peter Morrone, Pope, Hermit (RM) (also known as Peter Celestine V) Born at Isernia in the Abruzzi, Italy, c. 1210-1214; died near Anagni, on May 19, 1296; canonized in 1313 by Pope Clement V. Peter was the 11th of 12 children of a peasant family. He became a hermit at age 20, but left his cell to study for the priesthood and was ordained in Rome. Later he professed himself as a Benedictine monk at Faizola in 1246.

Then, in 1251, he was permitted to return to the solitary life on Monte Morrone in the Abruzzi hills near Sulmona. His holiness attracted large crowds around him. After five years, he retired with two companions to Monte Majella in quest of greater solitude but was persuaded to go back to Monte Morrone, where he lived for many years as the head of a group of hermits that he organized first into a community and later into a monastery with a strict rule. In 1274, he received approval of his order of monks, the Celestines. In 1287, Morone began the construction of Santa Maria di Collemaggio Basilica in Aquila.

After the death of Pope Nicholas IV over two years passed without any agreement on a successor, until on July 5, 1294, the cardinals gathered in Perugia despairingly sought to end the deadlock by electing a 'stop-gap': their choice fell on the 84-year-old Peter of Morrone. (One source says that Peter reputedly threatened the cardinals with the wrath of God if they did not elect a new pope at once.)

Peter was shocked by the cardinals' choice. Despite his grave misgivings he submitted, taking the name of Celestine, and was consecrated bishop of Rome at Aquila on August 29, 1294. The results were disastrous because Celestine was unfitted for the papal office in every respect except his holiness.

In his simplicity, otherworldliness, and naivete he made the most elementary blunders; he became the innocent tool of the politics of King Charles II of Naples. Heartbroken at his failure, miserable in his new surroundings, and overwhelmed by the burden of the office he had not sought and was incapable of filling, he abdicated his office before a consistory of cardinals at Naples on December 13 the same year. He had been pope for less than five months.

A few days later the stern and rigid Cardinal Gaetani was elected as Boniface VIII in his place. Boniface feared that the popularity of his holy predecessor might lead some plotters to attempt to use Celestine for their own ends, put him back on the papal throne, and cause a further split in Christendom. The old man tried to slip away to the mountains or across the seas, but he was found and at Boniface's orders shut up in narrow quarters at the castle of Fumone, near Anagni. Saint Celestine said, "I wanted nothing in the world but a cell, and a cell they have given me." Ten months later he died, and was buried at Aquila, the most pathetic figure in the history of the papacy (Attwater, Ayscough, Benedictines, Delaney).

In art, Saint Peter Celestine is depicted as a pope with a dove at his ear and the devil trying to disturb him.
He is the patron of bookbinders (Roeder).


Pope St. Celestine V (PIETRO DI MURRONE.)
Born 1215, in the Neapolitan province of Moline; elected at Perugia 5 July, 1294; consecrated and crowned at Aquila, 29 August; abdicated at Naples, 13 Dec., 1294; died in the castle of Fumone, 19 May, 1296. He was of humble parentage, became a Benedictine at the age of seventeen, and was eventually ordained priest at Rome. His love of solitude led him first into the wilderness of Monte Morone in the Abruzzi, whence his surname, and later into the wilder recesses of Mt. Majella. He took for his model the Baptist. His hair-cloth was roughened with knots; a chain of iron encompassed his emaciated frame; he fasted every day except Sunday; each year he kept four Lents, passing three of them on bread and water; the entire day and a great part of the night he consecrated to prayer and labour. As generally happens in the case of saintly anchorites, Peter's desire for solitude was not destined to be gratified. Many kindred spirits gathered about him eager to imitate his rule of life, and before his death there were thirty- six monasteries, numbering 600 religious, bearing his papal name (Celestini). The order was approved, as a branch of the Benedictines, by Urban IV, in 1264. This congregation of (Benedictine) Celestines must not be confounded with other (Franciscan) Celestines, extreme Spirituals whom Pope Celestine permitted (1294) to live as hermits according to the Rule of St. Francis, but were pendent of the Franciscan superiors. In gratitude they called themselves after the pope (Pauperes eremitæ Domini Celestine), but were dissolved and dispersed (1302) by Boniface VIII, whose legitimacy the Spirituals contested [Heimbucher, Orden und Kongregationen (2nd ed. Paderborn, 1907); I, 280; II, 360]. In 1284, Pietro, weary of the cares of government, appointed a certain Robert as his vicar and plunged again into the depths of the wilderness. It would be well if some Catholic scholar would devote some time to a thorough investigation of his relations to the extreme spiritual party of that age; for though it is certain that the pious hermit did not approve of the heretical tenets held by the leaders, it is equally true that the fanatics, during his life and after his death, made copious use of his name.

In July, 1294, his pious exercises were suddently interrupted by a scene unparalleled in ecclesiastical history. Three eminent dignitaries, accompanied by an immense multitude of monks and laymen, ascended the mountain, announced that Pietro had been chosen pope by unanimous vote of the Sacred College and humbly begged him to accept the honour. Two years and three months had elapsed since the death of Nicholas IV (4 Apr., 1292) without much prospect that the conclave at Perugia would unite upon a candidate. Of the twelve Cardinals who composed the Sacred College six were Romans, four Italians and two French. The factious spirit of Guelph and Ghibelline, which was then epidemic in Italy, divided the conclave, as well as the city of Rome, into two hostile parties of the Orsini and the Colonna, neither of which could outvote the other. A personal visit to Perugia, in the spring of 1294, of Charles II of Naples, who needed the papal authority in order to regain Sicily, only exasperated the affair, hot words being exchanged betrween the Angevin monarch and Cardinal Gaetani, at that time the intellectual leader of the Colonna, later, as Pope Boniface VIII, their bitter enemy. When the situation seemed hopeless, Cardinal Latino Orsini admonished the fathers that God had revealed to a saintly hermit that if the cardinals did not perform their duty within four months, He would visit the Church with severe chastisement. All knew that he referred to Pietro di Murrone. The proposition was seized upon by the exhausted conclave and the election was made unanimous. Pietro heard of his elevation with tears; but, after a brief prayer, obeyed what seemed the clear voice of God, commanding him to sacrifice his personal inclination on the altar of the public welfare. Flight was impossible, even if he contemplated it; for no sooner did the news of this extraordinary event spread abroad than multitudes (numbered at 200,000) flocked about him. His elevation was particularly welcome to the Spirituals, who saw in it the realization of current prophecies that the reign of the Holy Spirit ruling through the monks was at hand; and they proclaimed him the first legitimate pope since Constantine's donation of wealth and worldly power to "the first rich father" (Inferno, Canto XIX). King Charles of Naples, hearing of the election of his subject, hastened with his son Charles Martel, titular King of Hungary, ostensibly to present his homage to the new pope, in reality to take the simple old man into honourable custody. Had Charles known how to preserve moderation in exploiting his good luck, this windfall might have brought him incalculable benefits; as it was, he ruined everything by excessive greed.

In reply to the request of the cardinals, that he should come to Perugia to be crowned, Pietro, at the instigation of Charles, summoned the Sacred College to meet him at Aquila, a frontier town of the Kingdom of Naples. Reluctantly they came, and one by one, Gaetani being the last to appear. Seated on an humble ass, the rope held by two monarchs, the new pontiff proceeded to Aquila, and, although only three of the cardinals had arrived, the king ordered him to be crowned, a ceremony which had to be repeated in traditional form some days later, the only instance of a double papal coronation. Cardinal Latino was so grief-stricken at the course which affairs were evidently taking that he fell sick and died. Pietro took the name of Celestine V. Urged by the cardinals to cross over into the States of the Church, Celestine, again at the behest of the king, ordered the entire Curia to repair to Naples. It is wonderful how many serious mistakes the simple old man crowded into five short months. We have no full register of them, because his official acts were annulled by his successor. On the 18th of September he created twelve new cardinals, seven of whom were French, and the rest, with one possible exception, Neapolitans, thus paving the road to Avignon and the Great Schism. Ten days later he embittered the cardinals by renewing the rigorous law of Gregory X, regulating the conclave, which Adrian V had suspended. He is said to have appointed a young son of Charles to the important See of Lyons, but no trace of such appointment appears in Gams or Eubel. At Monte Cassino on his way to Naples, he strove to force the Celestine hermit-rule on the monks; they humoured him while he was with them. At Benevento he created the bishop of the city a cardinal, without observing any of the traditional forms. Meanwhile he scattered privileges and offices with a lavish hand. Refusing no one, he was found to have granted the same place or benefice to three or four rival suitors; he also granted favours in blank. In consequence, the affairs of the Curia fell into extreme disorder. Arrived in Naples, he took up his abode in a single apartment of the Castel Nuovo, and on the approach of Advent had a little cell built on the model of his beloved hut in the Abruzzi. But he was ill at ease. Affairs of State took up time that ought to be devoted to exercises of piety. He feared that his soul was in danger. The thought of abdication seems to have occurred simultaneously to the pope and to his discontented cardinals, whom he rarely consulted.

That the idea originated with Cardinal Gaetani the latter vigorously denied, and maintained that he originally opposed it. But the serious canonical doubt arose: Can a pope resign? As he has no superior on earth, who is authorized to accept his resignation? The solution of the question was reserved to the trained canonist, Cardinal Gaetani, who, basing his conclusion on common sense and the Church's right to self-preservation, decided affirmatively.

It is interesting to notice how curtly, when he became Boniface VIII, he dispatches the delicate subject on which the validity of his claim to the papacy depended. In the "Liber Sextus" I, vii, 1, he issued the following decree: "Whereas some curious persons, arguing on things of no great expediency, and rashly seeking, against the teaching of the Apostle, to know more than it is meet to know, have seemed, with little forethought, to raise an anxious doubt, whether the Roman Pontiff, especially when he recognizes himself incapable of ruling the Universal Church and of bearing the burden of the Supreme Pontificate, can validly renounce the papacy, and its burden and honour: Pope Celestine V, Our predecessor, whilst still presiding over the government of the aforesaid Church, wishing to cut off all the matter for hesitation on the subject, having deliberated with his brethren, the Cardinals of the Roman Church, of whom We were one, with the concordant counsel and assent of Us and of them all, by Apostolic authority established and decreed, that the Roman Pontiff may freely resign. We, therefore, lest it should happen that in course of time this enactment should fall into oblivion, and the aforesaid doubt should revive the discussion, have placed it among other constitutions ad perpetuam rei memoriam by the advice of our brethren."

When the report spread that Celestine contemplated resigning, the excitement in Naples was intense. King Charles, whose arbitrary course had brought things to this crisis, organized a determined opposition. A huge procession of the clergy and monks surrounded the castle, and with tears and prayers implored the pope to continue his rule. Celestine, whose mind was not yet clear on the subject, returned an evasive answer, whereupon the multitude chanted the Te Deum and withdrew. A week later (13 December) Celestine's resolution was irrevocably fixed; summoning the cardinals on that day, he read the constitution mentioned by Boniface in the "Liber Sextus", announced his resignation, and proclaimed the cardinals free to proceed to a new election. After the lapse of the nine days enjoined by the legislation of Gregory X, the cardinals entered the conclave, and the next day Benedetto Gaetani was proclaimed Pope as Boniface VIII. After revoking many of the provisions made by Celestine, Boniface brought his predecessor, now in the dress of a humble hermit, with him on the road to Rome. He was forced to retain him in custody, lest an inimical use should be made of the simple old man. Celestine yearned for his cell in the Abruzzi, managed to effect his escape at San Germano, and to the great joy of his monks reappeared among them at Majella. Boniface ordered his arrest; but Celestine evaded his pursuers for several months by wandering through the woods and mountains. Finally, he attempted to cross the Adriatic to Greece; but, driven back by a tempest, and captured at the foot of Mt. Gargano, he was delivered into the hands of Boniface, who confined him closely in a narrow room in the tower of the castle of Fumone near Anagni (Analecta Bollandiana, 1897, XVI, 429-30). Here, after nine months passed in fasting and prayer, closely watched but attended by two of his own religious, though rudely treated by the guards, he ended his extraordinary career in his eighty-first year. That Boniface treated him harshly, and finally cruelly murdered him, is a calumny. Some years after his canonization by Clement V in 1313, his remains were transferred from Ferentino to the church of his order at Aquila, where they are still the object of great veneration. His feast is celebrated on 19 May.
1294 St. Contardo “the Pilgrim.” miracles were reported at his grave
  A member of the Este family of Ferrara, Italy, called “the Pilgrim.” While on pilgrimage to Compostela, Spain, with two companions, Contardo was taken ill in Broni, near Tertona.
He died there, and miracles were reported at his grave.

1249 Contardo of Este (AC) (also known as Contardo the Pilgrim). Saint Contardo is often surnamed "the Pilgrim." He belonged to the prestigious Este family of Ferrara. During his pilgrimage to Compostella, Spain, Contardo climbed a hill (later named after him) overlooking Broni, diocese of Tortona, Spain. There he prayed that if he had to die away from home, it should be on that beautiful spot.
Almost immediately he fell ill and died in a wretched hut in extreme poverty. His tomb was honored by many miracles (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson).
1298 Saint Mechtilde  mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony  many mystical experiences spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great O.Cist. V (AC)
feast day formerly on November 19.

"When you awake in the morning, let your first act be to salute My Heart, and to offer Me your own...Whoever shall breathe a sigh toward Me from the bottom of his heart when he awakes in the morning and shall ask Me to work all his works in him throughout the day, will draw Me to him...For never does a man breathe a sigh of longing aspiration toward Me without drawing Me nearer to him than I was before." --Our Lord to Saint Mechtilde.

Saint Mechtilde, sister of abbess Gertrude of Hackeborn, was the mistress of novices of the Cistercian convent at Helfta Castle in Saxony. In this capacity she played an important role in the spiritual formation of Saint Gertrude the Great. Like her spiritual daughter, Mechtilde was blessed with many mystical experiences that were recorded by Saint Gertrude in the Book of Special Grace. Mechtilde and the younger Gertrude together wrote a series of prayers that became very popular (Benedictines, Delaney, Martindale).

1298 Blessed Jolenta (Yolanda) of Poland daughter of Bela IV, King of Hungary. Her sister, St. Kunigunde miracles, down to our own day, occurr at her grave
She was married to the Duke of Poland. Jolenta was sent to Poland where her sister was to supervise her education. Eventually married to Boleslaus, the Duke of Greater Poland, Jolenta was able to use her material means to assist the poor, the sick, widows and orphans. Her husband joined her in building hospitals, convents and churches so that he was surnamed "the Pious."
Upon the death of her husband and the marriage of two of her daughters, Jolenta and her third daughter entered the convent of the Poor Clares. War forced Jolenta to move to another convent where, despite her reluctance, she was made abbess.
So well did she serve her Franciscan sisters by word and example that her fame and good works continued to spread beyond the walls of the cloister. Her favorite devotion was the Passion of Christ. Indeed, Jesus appeared to her, telling her of her coming death. Many miracles, down to our own day, are said to have occurred at her grave.
Comment:
Jolenta’s story begins like a fairy tale. But fairy tales seldom include the death of the prince and never end with the princess living out her days in a convent. Nonetheless, Jolenta’s story has a happy ending. Her life of charity toward the poor and devotion to her Franciscan sisters indeed brought her to a “happily ever after.” Our lives may be short on fairy-tale elements, but our generosity and our willingness to serve well the people we live with lead us toward an ending happier than we can imagine.