Mother of Jesus
Miracles_BC Lay Saints
Miracles 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 1200 1300 1400 1500 1600 1700 1800 1900
| 700 St. Pamphilus
Bishop of Sulmona and Corfinium Abruzzi venerated for his deep
sanctity gift of miracles
700 St. Werburga of Chester founded new convents restored goose to life , OSB V (AC)
702 January 07 St. Tillo Benedictine monk; ransomed and baptized by St Eligius. That fervent apostle sent him to his
abbey of Solignac, in the Limousin; was honoured with miracles
703 Leo of Catania 'il Maraviglioso' ('the Wonder- Worker') in Sicily B (RM)
704 February 10 St. Austreberta Benedictine abbess famed for her visions and miracles
705 Saint Hedda (Haeddi) of Winchester a great benefactor of Malmesbury and King Ina's chief advisor, who
acknowledged Hedda's help in framing his laws; many cures at his tomb OSB B (RM)
710 St. Adrian, Jan 9 African Abbot near Naples tomb famous for miracles incorrupt
714 Erkemboden of Thérouanne bishop monk of Sithiu many miracles OSB B (AC)
714 Guthlac of Croyland, OSB Hermit imitate the rigors of the old desert fathers "Those who choose to live apart from other humans become the friends of wild animals; and the angels visit them, too- -for those who are often visited by men and women are rarely visited by angels." prophet visions incorrupt (AC)715 February 23 St. Milburga Benedictine abbess veil from St. Theodore of Canterbury miracles performed gift of
717 May 07 St. John of Beverly John known for holiness preference for the contemplative life possessed gift of healing many miracles are recounted in Bede's Ecclesiastical History the author of which he had ordained It was not just miracles that led to John's canonization. He led a life of remarkable holiness.
717 December 30 St. Egwin English noble bishop of Worcester England 692 A vision of Mary; Following his burial
many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.
719 January 08 ST PEGA, VIRGIN; Ordericus Vitalis says her relics were honoured with miracles, and kept in a church which bore her name at Rome, but this church is not now known
720 St. Hermenland Evangelizer of Normandy miracle worker gift of prophecy
720 St. Otilie, virgin born blind, rejected by Lord Adalric, reared by abesses, baptized at 12 by Saint Erhard of
Regensburg (Bishop of Bavaria) and immediately gained her sight.
721-724 Malrubius priest Abbot austere monastic life known for piety learning miracles M (AC)
720 St. Wulfram Bishop missionary preach among Frisians miracle while praying miracles after death
722 St. Richard of Swabia brother of St. Boniface Miracles reported at his tomb father of Saints Willibald,
Winnebald, and Walburga
724 St. Giles Abbot and confessor the highest repute for sanctity and miracles (Patron of Physically Disabled)
727 St. Hubert Bishop of Maastricht noted for miracles; converting hundreds
735 Oct 19 St. Frideswide Benedictine hermitess nun founded the St. Mary’s Convent in Oxford
740 January 04 ST PHARAILJMS, Vipois A Flemish maiden a miracle worker
741 Mar 14 St Eutychius (Eustathius) & Companions Islamic martyrs Mesopotamia; relics worked miracles. MM RM
742 St. Acca Bishop and Benedictine scholar companion of early English saints and missionaries
743 ST. EUCHERIUS, Bishop Charles Martel reproved encroachments; miracles.
745 January 04 St. Rigobert Benedictine archbishop of Reims His patient acceptance of all trials, his love of
retirement and prayer, and the miraculous cures attributed to him, gained him the repute of high sanctity.
750 Saint Stephen the Confessor Archbishop of Surrentium (Surozh) miracles at the saint's crypt
750 March 10 St. Himelin Irish or Scottish priest pilgrimage to Rome water turned to wine.
752 Pope St. Zachary At Rome, the birthday of Pope St. Zachary, who governed the Church of God with vigilance,
and at last, renowned for miracles, rested in peace.
761 February 21 St. Winebald Benedictine abbot missionary Hugeburc, the nun who wrote the Life of St Winebald, assures us that miraculous cures took place at his tomb, and St Ludger writes in the Life of St Gregory of Utrecht that, “Winebald was very dear to my master Gregory, and shows by great miracles since his death what he did whilst living”.767 Monkmartyr and Confessor Stephen the New of Mt St Auxentius & o ver 300 monks: gift of wonderworking performed healings with holy icons and turned many away from Iconoclasm
Constantinópoli sanctórum Mártyrum Stéphani junióris, Basilíi, Petri, Andréæ, et Sociórum trecentórum et trigínta novem Monachórum; qui, sub Constantíno Coprónymo, pro sanctárum Imáginum cultu váriis excruciáti supplíciis, veritátem cathólicam effúso sánguine confirmárunt.
At Constantinople, in the time of Constantine Copronymus, the holy martyrs Stephen the Younger, Basil, Peter, Andrew, and their companions, numbering three hundred and thirty-nine monks, who were subjected to diverse torments for the veneration of holy images, and confirmed the Catholic truth with the shedding of their blood.
770 St. Opportuna Benedictine abbess; The legends which grew up about her after her death, as well as many reputed
miracles, made the saint very popular in France.
770 Aug 19 St. Sebald Hermit, missionary assisting in the work. of St. Willibald in the Reichswald; miracles
773 St. Amicus martyr French knight, companion of Amelius Charlemagne's champion
786 Dec 18 June 07 St. Willibald Bishop and missionary native of Wessex England brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga related to St. Boniface; Willibald was the first recorded English pilgrim to the Holy Land, and his vita the earliest travel book by an English writer; honoured with many miracles.787 St. Leo of Catania Bishop of Catania, Sicily
788 St. Patto of Werden abbot many miracles attributed OSB B (AC)
789 may 08 ST WILLEHAD, BISHOP OF BREMEN: see also Nov 08: St Anskar, seems to be responsible for the
book of miracles attached to his life
793 May 20 St. Ethelbert of East Anglia a man of prayer from childhood miracles revealed at his hidden tomb M (AC)
794 July 13 Saint Stephen Sabbaites, nephew of St John of Damascus entered Lavra of St Sava at 10 spent his life
there; given gifts of wonderworking and clairvoyance; healed the sick, cast out devils
795 Saint Timothy of Symbola Italian gift of healing sick casting out unclean spirits
8th v. Saint Stephen Impressed by the lives of the great asceticss glorious departure into Heaven with the angels
700 April 28 St. Pamphilus Bishop of Sulmona and Corfinium Abruzzi venerated for his deep sanctity gift of miracles
Corfínii, in Pelígnis, sancti Pámphili, Valvénsis Epíscopi, caritáte in páuperes et virtúte miraculórum illústris; cujus corpus Sulmóne cónditum est.
At Corfinio in Peligno, St. Pamphilus, bishop of Valva, illustrious for his charity towards the poor and the gift of miracles. His body was buried at Solmona.
Italy. While venerated for his deep sanctity, he was nevertheless accused before Pope Sergius of being an Arian. The basis of the charge was that Pamphilus said Mass before sunrise on Sunday morning.
Completely vindicated, Pamphilus was sent a gift by the pope to be distributed to the poor.
Pamphilus of Sulmona B (RM) Bishop Pamphilus of Sulmona (a see later joined to that of Valva) and Cofinium, in the Abruzzi, was accused by his flock to Pope Sergius of Arian practices, chiefly, it seems because of his singing Mass before daybreak on Sundays--but he completely vindicated himself (Attwater2, Benedictines).
700 Werburga of Chester founded new convents restored goose to life , OSB V (AC)She took but one meal daily and that only of the coarsest food; she set before her the example of the desert fathers; and she recited the whole of the Psalter daily upon her knees.
(also known as Werburg, Werebrurge, Werbyrgh) Born at Stone, Staffordshire, England; died at Threckingham, England, c. 690-700; feast of her translation at Chester, June 21.
The patroness of Chester, England, Saint Werburga, was born of a line of kings, being a daughter of Wulfhere, King of Mercia. From her mother, the saintly Ermingilde (Ermenilda), she learned as a child the Christian faith. By temperament she was pious and virtuous, and her beauty attracted many admirers, among them a prince of the West Saxons, who offered her rich gifts and made flattering proposals, and also Werbode, a powerful knight of her father's court. But refusing all her suitors, she secured, after much persuasion, her father's permission to enter a convent (or she did so after her father's death). When the time came, he and his courtiers escorted her in great state to the abbey of Ely, where they were greeted at the gates by her aunt, the royal abbess, Ethelreda, and her nuns. Werburga fell upon her knees and asked that she might be received as a novice, and to the chanting of the Te Deum they entered the cloister, where she was stripped of her costly apparel, exchanged her coronet for a veil, and in a rough habit began her new life.
She made good progress, and after many years, at the request of her uncle, King Ethelred, was chosen to superintend all the convents of his kingdom. This opened to her a large and fruitful sphere of duty, and the religious houses under her care became models of monastic discipline.
Through the wealth and influence of her family she also founded new convents at Trentham in Staffordshire, Hanbury near Tutbury, and Weedon in Northamptonshire, and secured the interest of Ethelred in establishing the collegiate Church of Saint John the Baptist in Chester, and in giving land to Egwin for the great abbey of Evesham.
Werburga won many from dissipation and vice, and God crowned her life with many blessings. Her work was deeply rooted in prayer and discipline.
She lived to a ripe age, and before her death she journeyed to all her convents, paying to each a farewell visit; she then retired to Trentham (Threckingham in Lincolnshire), where she died. She was buried in the monastery of Hanbury in Staffordshire. Later, her remains were transferred with great ceremony in the presence of King Coolred and many bishops to a costly shrine in Leicester, which attracted many pilgrims.
In 875, for fear of the Danes, her relics were removed to Chester. In 1095, they were translated within Chester, where in the course of time a great church, now the cathedral, was built over it, and where the remains of it may still be seen, carved with the figures of her ancestors, the ancient kings of Mercia. On its four sides the deep niches remain, where the pilgrims knelt, seeking healing, afterwards receiving a metal token to show that they had visited her shrine. This final translation was the occasion for Goselin to write her vita. The shrine was destroyed under King Henry VIII, although part of its stone base survives. Twelve ancient English churches were dedicated to her, including Hanbury and Chester (Attwater, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill).
In art Saint Werburga holds the abbey, while her crown lays at her feet. Sometimes there are wild geese near her (Roeder), because, according to Goselin she restored one to life (see below); however, the writer borrowed the story from his own vita of the Flemish Saint Amelburga (Farmer). She is, of course, the patroness of Chester (Roeder).
Like a cheerful gossip, William of Malmesbury writes this tale of a local miracle wrought by Saint Werburga:
"It was in the city of Chester that the girl Werburga, daughter of Wulfhere, King of Mercia, and Ermenilda... took her vows, and her goodness shone for many years. The story of one miracle done by her I now shall tell, which made a great stir and was long told about the countryside. "She had a farm outside the walls, where the wild geese would come and destroy the standing corn in the fields. The stewart in charge of the farm took all shifts to drive them off, but with small success. And so, when he came to wait upon his lady, he added his complaint of them to the other tales he would tell her of the day.
"'Go,' said she, 'and shut them all into a house.' The countryman, dumbfounded at the oddness of the command, thought that his lady was jesting: but finding her serious and insistent, went back to the field where he had first spied the miscreants, and bade them, speaking loud and clear, to do their lady's bidding and come after him. Whereupon with one accord they gathered themselves into a flock, and walking with down-bent necks after their enemy, were shut up under a roof.
On one of them, however, the rustic, with no thought of any to accuse him, made bold to dine.
"At dawn came the maid, and after scolding the birds for pillaging other people's property, bade them take their flight. But the winged creatures knew that one of their company was missing; nor did they lack wit to go circling round their lady's feet, refusing to budge further, and complaining as best they could, to excite her compassion.She, through God's revealing, and convinced that all this clamor was not without cause, turned her gaze upon the steward, and divined the theft.
"She bade him gather up the bones and bring them to her. And straightway, at a healing sign from the girl's hand, skin and flesh began to come upon the bones, and feathers to fledge upon the skin, till the living bird, at first with eager hop and soon upon the wing, launched itself into the air. Nor were the others slow to follow it, their numbers now complete, though first they made obeisance to their lady and deliverer.
"And so the merits of this maid are told at Chester, and her miracles extolled. Yet though she be generous and swift to answer all men's prayers, yet most gracious is her footfall among the women and boys, who pray as it might be to a neighbor and a woman of their own countryside" (Malmesbury)
|702 St. Tillo Benedictine
monk; ransomed and baptized by St Eligius. That fervent apostle
sent him to his abbey of Solignac, in the Limousin; was honoured with
called Theau in France, Filman in Flanders, Belgium, and Hillonius in Germany.A native of Saxony, he was kidnapped by raiders and brought to the Low Countries as a slave. Ransomed by St. Eligius of Noyon, he entered the Benedictines at Solignac, where he received ordination, and labored as a missionary in the regions around Courtrai, France. He became a recluse at Solignac in his later years.
702 ST TILLO; ransomed and baptized by St Eligius. That fervent apostle sent him to his abbey of Solignac, in the Limousin; was honoured with miracles
He was by birth a Saxon, and being made captive, was carried into the Low Countries, where he was ransomed and baptized by St Eligius. That fervent apostle sent him to his abbey of Solignac, in the Limousin. Tub was called thence by Eligius, ordained priest, and employed by him for some time at Tournai and in other parts of the Low Countries.
of the country of Iseghem, near Courtrai, regard him as their apostle. Some
years after the death of St Eligius, St Tillo returned to Solignac, and
lived as a recluse near that abbey, imitating in simplicity, devotion and
austerity the Antonys and Macariuses of old. He died in his solitude, about
the year 702, a nonagenarian,
and was honoured with miracles. Tillo is sometimes called Theau in France,
Tilloine or Tilman in Flanders, Hillonius in Germany.
His name is famous in the French and Belgian calendars, though it does not occur in the Roman Martyrology. The Life of St Eligius names Tillo first among the seven disciples of that saint, who worked with him at his trade of goldsmith, and imitated him in all his religious exercises, before that holy man was engaged in the ministry of the Church. Many churches in Flanders, Auvergne, the Limousin and other places are dedicated to God under his invocation. The anonymous Life of St Tub, in the Acta SS, is not altogether authentic; the history which Mabillon gives of him from the Breviary of Solignac is of more authority: see his AA. SS. Benedict., vol. ii, p. 996.
Leo of Catania 'il Maraviglioso' ('the Wonder- Worker') in Sicily
Born in Ravenna, Italy, in ; died in Catania, Sicily, 787. Saint Leo is known as 'il Maraviglioso' ('the Wonder- Worker') in Sicily, where he was bishop in Catania and highly esteemed for his learning. His Vita has been embellished with many delightful, though unreliable, fioretti' (Benedictines).
704 St. Austreberta Benedictine abbess famed for her visions and miracles
also called Eustreberta. She was born in 630, the daughter of the Count Palatine Badefrid and St. Framechildis, near Therouanne, Artois, France. Faced with an unwanted marriage, Austreberta went to St. Omer, who gave her the veil, the symbol of the consecrated virgin. She also convinced her family that she had a true vocation. Austreberta entered the convent of Abbeville, Port-sur-Somme. In time she was elected abbess and helped reform the convent of Pavilly. She was famed for her visions and miracles.
Austreberta of Pavilly, OSB Abbess (RM) (also known as Eustreberta) Born near Thérouanne, Artois, France, 630; died in Normandy, 704. Austreberta (means 'wheat of God'), was the daughter of Saint Framechildis and the Count Palatine Badefrid. She received the veil from Saint Omer in the convent of Abbeville (Port-sur-Somme), where she later became abbess. She left the convent at Port to direct and reform a new and laxly established garret of 25 nuns in Parvilly, (Benedictines, Coulson, Encyclopedia).
|705 Saint Hedda (Haeddi)
of Winchester a great benefactor of Malmesbury and King Ina's chief
advisor, who acknowledged Hedda's help in framing his laws; many
cures at his tomb OSB B (RM)
In 676, Saint Hedda, an Anglo-Saxon monk and abbot, probably of Whitby where he had been educated, was consecrated bishop of the divided diocese of Wessex by Saint Theodore. He moved his see from Dorchester, near Oxford, to Winchester, corresponding to the emergence of Southampton-based Saxons as more powerful than the settlers of the Thames Valley. He was a great benefactor of Malmesbury and King Ina's chief advisor, who acknowledged Hedda's help in framing his laws.
Hedda ruled the diocese for about 30 years, spanning the reigns of King Centwine, Saint Caedwalla, and Ina. Little, however, is known of his episcopate except that he translated the relics of his predecessor, Saint Birinus, and was highly esteemed by his contemporaries. Saint Bede said that he was "a good and just man, who in carrying out his duties was guided rather by an inborn love of virtue than by what he had read in books."
There were many cures at his tomb; others occurred when dust taken from it was mixed with water. Hedda's relics can still be found in Winchester Cathedral. His name was added to the Roman Martyrology by Baronius in the 16th century, although his feast was already kept at Crowland Abbey and in the monasteries of Wessex (Attwater, Benedictines, Farmer). He may be shown in art ordaining Saint Guthlac of Croyland (Crowland) (Roeder).
|710 St. Adrian,
African Abbot near Naples tomb famous for miracles incorrupt.
Born in Africa, Adrian became abbot of the monastery at Nerida, near Naples. He declined an appointment as archbishop of Canterbury, but accompanied St. Theodore to England when the latter was appointed Archbishop. Theodore appointed him Abbot of SS. Peter and Paul Monastery (later changed to St. Augustine's) in Canterbury, and during his thirty-nine years' abbacy, the monastery became renowned as a center of learning.
Adrian taught at the school for 40 years.
Adrian was serving as an abbot in Italy when the new Archbishop of Canterbury appointed him abbot of the monastery of Sts. Peter and Paul in Canterbury. Thanks to his leadership skills, the facility became one of the most important centers of learning. The school attracted many outstanding scholars from far and wide and produced numerous future bishops and archbishops. Students reportedly learned Greek and Latin and spoke Latin as well as their own native languages.
He died there, probably in the year 710, and was buried in the monastery. Several hundred years later, when reconstruction was being done, Adrian’s body was discovered in an incorrupt state. As word spread, people flocked to his tomb, which became famous for miracles. Rumor had it that young schoolboys in trouble with their masters made regular visits there.
710 ST ADRIAN, ABBOT OF CANTERBURY
ADRIAN was an African by birth, and was abbot of Nerida, not far from Naples, when Pope St Vitalian, upon the death of St Deusdedit, the archbishop of Canterbury, judged him for his learning and virtue to be the most suitable person to be the teacher of a nation still young in the faith. The humble servant of God found means to decline that dignity by recommending St Theodore in his place, but was willing to share in the more laborious part of the ministry. The pope therefore enjoined him to be the assistant and adviser of the archbishop, to which Adrian readily agreed.
St Theodore made him abbot of the monastery of SS. Peter and Paul, afterwards called St Augustine’s, at Canterbury, where he taught Greek and Latin, the learning of the fathers, and, above all, virtue. Under Adrian and Theodore this monastic school at Canterbury had a far-reaching influence—St Aldhelm came there from Wessex, Oftfor from Whitby, and even students from Ireland. Roman law could be studied as well as the ecclesiastical sciences; and Bede says that there were pupils of St Adrian who had a good knowledge of Greek and spoke Latin as well as they did English. St Adrian had illuminated this island by his doctrine and the example of his holy life, for the space of thirty-nine years, when he departed to our Lord on January 9 in the year 710.
Goscelin of Canterbury has left an extremely interesting account of the discovery of St Adrian’s body, incorrupt and fragrant, in 1091 (see Migne, PL., vol. civ, cc. 36—38). The account is at least indirectly confirmed by later excavations; see Archaeologia Cantiana (1917), vol. xxxii, p. 18. His tomb was famed for miracles, as we are assured by Goscelin, quoted by William of Malmesbury and Capgrave; and his name was inserted in English calendars. See the Acta Sanctorum for January 9, where passages from Bede and Capgrave are reproduced; and BHL., n. 558.
714 Erkemboden of Thérouanne bishop monk of Sithiu many miracles OSB B (AC)
Attwater places his feast on April 20. As a monk of Sithiu at Saint-Omer, Saint Erkemboden succeeded the founder, Saint Bertinus, as abbot.
Thereafter he became bishop of Thérouanne, while continuing to rule the abbey. He was bishop for 26 years. So many miracles occurred at his shrine that pilgrim came in droves, leaving so many offerings that within a few years of his death it was possible to built a cathedral in his honor (Attwater2, Benedictines, Montague).
714 Guthlac of Croyland, OSB Hermit imitate the rigors of the old desert fathers "Those who choose to live apart from other humans become the friends of wild animals; and the angels visit them, too- -for those who are often visited by men and women are rarely visited by angels." prophet visions incorrupt (AC)A monastery was established on the site of Saint Guthlac's hermitage, which developed into the great abbey of Crowland, to which his relics were translated in 1136. There was another translation in 1196.
714 ST GUTHLAC God gave the recluse great spiritual consolations, besides bestowing upon him the gifts of prophecy and miracles. “Have you not read that he who elects to be unknown of men becomes known of wild creatures and is visited by angels? For he who is frequented by men cannot be frequented by the holy angels.”
THE great Norman abbey of Croyland or Crowland, the ruins of which are still standing, replaced more than one earlier monastery on the site sanctified by the life and death of the holy hermit St Guthlac. Whilst it was the monks who reclaimed the swamp, joining the island to the mainland and rendering it arable and fertile, it was in the name of the recluse, their patron, that they obtained from the council of the realm permission to make of Croyland a sanctuary of refuge where fugitives could be secure from their pursuers.
St Guthlac, who was of noble race, joined the army of Ethelred of Mercia as a fighting man when he was very young. At the age of twenty-four, however, he laid down his arms to enter the double monastery of Repton, at that time under the rule of the abbess Elfrida. The handsome young novice, though amiable and courteous to all, was at first unpopular owing to his austerity and especially to his total abstinence from any intoxicating drink, but as soon as his brethren came to know him better they appreciated his sincerity and goodness. For two years he remained at Repton, acquiring monastic discipline and studying the Scriptures, and then he was seized with the desire to take up the life of a hermit. He was told of a dismal island in the Fens, described as being so dank and so haunted by monsters and evil spirits that no one had hitherto been able to live in it. He persuaded his informant to take him there in a fishing boat, and decided that it was the place he sought. He returned with two or three companions to Croyland, where he was to end his days. With certain modifications necessitated by the difference in place and climate his life reproduced that of the fathers of the desert, and in addition to severe interior trials he experienced violent temptations, not unlike those which St Athanasius describes of St Antony. Moreover, he was savagely attacked by wild beings whom he regarded as monsters, but who seem to have been the descendants of Britons who had fled into the Fens to avoid their Saxon conquerors. On the other hand God gave the recluse great spiritual consolations, besides bestowing upon him the gifts of prophecy and miracles. St Hedda, Bishop of Dorchester, conferred holy orders upon him when he had been six years on the island. In his solitude St Guthlac possessed a great attraction for wild nature: the fish in the marshes would swim towards him at his call, and he was constantly surrounded by birds, who flocked into his cell, ate from his hands, and built their nests in the places he selected. When the crows robbed him of some of his few possessions, he bore with their depredations, “deeming that an example of patience ought to be set not only to men but also to birds and beasts”. One day, as he was talking with a man called Wilfrid, two swallows alighted on his shoulders and then perched on his arms and knees, chattering all the time as though quite at home. In reply to Wilfrid’s exclamations of surprise St Guthlac said, “Have you not read that he who elects to be unknown of men becomes known of wild creatures and is visited by angels? For he who is frequented by men cannot be frequented by the holy angels.”
When the saint had been living as a hermit for a period variously computed as fifteen and twenty-one years, God revealed to him the date of his death, which was very near. It also became known in some way to Edburga, abbess of Repton, for she sent him a leaden coffin and a shroud. On the Wednesday in Holy Week 714, he sent word to his sister St Pega, inviting her to come to his funeral. Although she had been living as an anchoress at Peakirk (Pegkirk), close to Croyland, her brother had always refrained from seeing her, deeming it desirable that they should not meet in this world that they might meet with greater joy in the next. On the seventh day of his illness, after taking viaticum from his altar, he passed to his eternal reward. His burial was attended by St Pega and by his disciples, Cissa, Egbert, Bettelin and Tatwin, who occupied cells not far from that of their master. St Guthlac’s tomb became a great place of pilgrimage, especially after Ceolnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury, had been cured of ague through the intercession of Guthlac in the year 851.
There is a trustworthy life of St Guthlac written in the eighth century by Felix which is printed both by Mabillon, Acta Sanctorum O.S.E. (vol. iii, part 1, pp. 264—284) and by the Bollandists. Though little fresh information is obtainable from any other source, there are two Anglo-Saxon poems of contemporary date which have been attributed to Cynewulf (on which see the Cambridge History of English Literature, vol. i, p. 58, etc.), which are of great literary interest. Other lives, such as that by Peter of Blois, have no historical value. See also W. de Gray Birch, Memorials of St Guthlac of Crowland (1881) and his edition of Felix’s vita; DNB., vol. xxiii, p. 373 and DCB., vol. ii, pp. 823—826. From the frequent occurrence of the name of St Guthlac in English calendars it is plain that there was a very general popular cultus. A new edition of the Felix vita, by B. Colgrave, is announced.Born in Mercia, c. 673; died at Crowland, Lincolnshire, England, in 714; feast day formerly on April 12; feast of his translation is August 30 and there is a commemoration on August 26.
As a young man of royal blood from the tribe of Guthlacingas, Guthlac had been a soldier for nine years, fighting for Ethelred, the King of Mercia. At age 24, he renounced both violence and the life of the world and became a monk in an Benedictine double abbey at Repton, which was ruled by an abbess named Elfrida.
Even in these early years his discipline was extraordinary. Some of the monks in fact disliked him because he refused all wine and cheering drink. But he lived down the criticism and gained the respect of his brothers. After two years in the monastery it seemed to him far too agreeable a place. On the feast of Saint Bartholomew about 701, he found a wet, remote, unloved spot on the River Welland in the Fens, which could be reached only by boat, and lived there for the rest of his life as a hermit, seeking to imitate the rigors of the old desert fathers.
His temptations rivalled theirs. Wild men came out of the forest and beat him. Even the ravens stole his few possessions. But Guthlac was patient, even with wild creatures. Bit by bit the animals and birds came to trust him as their friend. A holy man named Wilfrid once visited Guthlac and was astonished when two swallows landed on his shoulders and then hopped all over him. Guthlac told him, "Those who choose to live apart from other humans become the friends of wild animals; and the angels visit them, too- -for those who are often visited by men and women are rarely visited by angels."
Apparently, Guthlac was also had a vision of Saint Bartholomew, his patron. Nor was he entirely alone in his refuge: He had several disciples, Saints Cissa, Bettelin, Egbert, and Tatwin, who had cells nearby. Bishop Hedda of Dorchester ordained him to the priesthood during a visit. The exiled prince Ethelbald, often came to him for advice, learned from Guthlac that he would wear the crown of the Mercians.
When he was dying, Guthlac sent for his sister, Saint Pega, who was a hermitess in the same neighborhood (Peakirk or Pega's church). Abbess Edburga of Repton sent him a shroud and a leaden coffin. A year after his death, Guthlac's body was exhumed and found to be incorrupt. Soon his shrine, to which his sister had donated his Psalter and scourge, began popular. When both King Wiglaf of Mercia (827-840) and Archbishop Ceolnoth of Canterbury (who was cured by Guthlac of the ague in 851) became devotees, Guthlac's cultus grew and spread.
Guthlac's vita was recorded in Latin by his near contemporary Felix. Several others were composed in Old English verse and prose.Together with Saint Cuthbert, Guthlac was one of England's most popular pre-Conquest hermit saints (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Guthlac is depicted holding a scourge in his hand and a serpent at his feet. At times he may be shown (1) receiving the scourge from Saint Bartholomew; (2) being ordained priest by Saint Hedda of Winchester; or (3) with devils molesting and angels consoling him (Roeder). A magnificent pictorial record of his life survives in the late 12th-century Harleian Roll Y.6 at the British Museum, which is usually called the Guthlac Roll. This is a series of eighteen roundels, cartoons for stained glass windows, based on Felix's vita and the pseudo-Ingulph's history of Crowland.Abbot Henry of Crowland's 13th-century seal depicts Guthlac receiving a scourge from Saint Bartholomew for fending off diabolical attacks (Farmer). He is venerated in Lincolnshire (Roeder).
Crowland also has several 13th-century sculptures of his life.
|715 St. Milburga
Benedictine abbess veil from St. Theodore of Canterbury miracles
performed gift of levitation.
She was the daughter of a king of Mercia and sister of Sts. Mildred of Thanet and Mildgytha. Milburga was abbess of Wenlock Abbey in Salop, Shropshire, England. Her father and her uncle, King Wulfhere, provided funds for the abbey. Among the remarkable abilities she evidenced were levitation and power over birds.
Milburga of Wenlock, OSB Abbess (RM)
(also known as Milburgh)
Died c. 700 or 722; feast of the translation of her relics, June 25. The ruins of Wenlock Abbey in Shropshire, dating from the 11th century, remind us of Saint Milburga, whose name still lingers in that area. She was one of a family of eminent saints and belonged to the royal house of Mercia.
How often a good mother is blessed in her children! Her mother Domneva (Domna Ebba or Ermenburga), princess of Kent, had three daughters: Milburga, Mildred, and Mildgytha, each of whom grew up to follow the pattern of her mother's faith, and each, after a life wholly devoted to Christ, was canonized as a saint.
Those were the days when the daughters of kings were proud and eager to dedicate their wealth and talents in Christian leadership and to pour out their youth and strength in the service of the Church. They founded and ruled great abbeys, taught the young, cared for the sick, and relieved the poor.
Milburga, like her mother before her, surrendered her high estate, forsook the luxury and comfort of her home, and counted it her highest privilege to serve God in a consecrated Christian life. Helped by her father, Merewald, an Anglian chieftain, and her uncle Wulfhere, king of Mercia, she founded the monastery of Wenlock, which was placed under the direction of Saint Botulf of East Anglia. Its first abbess was Liobsynde, a French nun from Chelles. Its second was Milburga, who was consecrated abbess by Archbishop Saint Theodore. It was no ordinary monastery; everything about it reflected the grace and fragrance of her own pure spirit. The gardens were full of the choicest flowers, the orchards bore the sweetest fruits, and within its walls was found, we are told, the very peace of heaven.
By her sheer goodness Milburga converted many to the Christian faith, and this in a dark and primitive age when, outside the monastery walls, the countryside was wild and remote, and full of unknown dangers. One day, for example, on one of her errands of mercy, she was terrified by a neighboring princeling who, wishing to marry her, intercepted her with a band of soldiers, but she providentially escaped. In her flight she crossed a small stream called the Corve, and he, following, found when he reached it that the waters had risen and his plan was thwarted. The place where it happened it called to this day Stoke Saint Milburgh.
She loved flowers, birds (over which she had a mysterious power), country life, and country people, to sit and work in the sun and tend the herbs in her garden, and to visit in the villages around. People came to her with their troubles and ailments and even ascribed to her miraculous cures. Milburga was venerated for her humility, holiness, the miracles she performed, and for the gift of levitation she is said to have possessed.
According to Boniface, the famous Vision of the Monk of Wenlock occurred during Milburga's abbacy. Goscelin also preserved her testament, which is a long, apparently authentic list of lands that belonged to her at her death.
When she was on her deathbed, she said to her followers, "I have been mother to you. I have watched over you like a mother, with pious care. And in mercy, I go the way of all flesh. A higher call invites me." One by one they said farewell, gave her the sacraments, and after her death buried her body near the altar of the abbey.
Her tomb was long venerated but its site was unknown when the Cluniac monks from La-Charité-sur-Loire refounded Wenlock in 1079. The church had a silver casket that contained her relics and documents describing the site of her grave, near an altar then unknown. Apparently, the church was destroyed by the Danes.
After consulting Saint Anselm, the monks excavated an old, disused church. Thus, centuries later, two boys who were playing among its ruins fell through the pavement by the broken altar, as a result of which her tomb was rediscovered. When opened, according to legend, there came from it a heavenly sweetness, and the lost garden of the monastery seemed filled again with the fragrance of the flowers she had planted. Details of this discovery and of cures in 1101 were described by Cardinal-Bishop Otto of Ostia the following year.
Among the miracles documented were the healing of lepers and the blinds, and, the vomiting of a worm that had caused a wasting disease. The approval of so distinguished a personage, ensured the revival of Milburga's cultus. Goscelin wrote her vita in the late 11th century. Her feast was common in English calendars from the Bosworth Psalter (c. 1000) onwards (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Milburgh holds the abbey of Wenlock. There may be geese near her. She is venerated at Stoke (Roeder).
717 St. John of Beverly John known for holiness preference for the contemplative life possessed the gift of healing many miracles are recounted in Bede's Ecclesiastical History the author of which he had ordained It was not just miracles that led to John's canonization. He led a life of remarkable holiness.
John was born at Harpham, Yorkshire, England. He studied under Adrian at St. Theodore's School in Kent, and on his returen to his native land, became a monk at Whitby. He was named bishop of Hexham in 687 and then transferred to York as metropolitan in 705, succeeding St. Bosa.
John was known for his holiness, his preference for the contemplative life, and his miracles, many of which are recounted in Bede's Ecclesiastical History, the author of which he had ordained. In ill health, John resigned the bishopric of York in 717 and retired to Beverly Abbey, which he had founded, and remained there until his death on May 7. His shrine was for centuries one of the most popular pilgrim centers in England. He was canonized by Pope Benedict IX in 1037.
John of Beverley, OSB B (RM) Born in Harpham (Humberside), Yorkshire, England; died at Beverley, England, May 7, 721; canonized in 1037; feast of translation, October 25. Saint John trained for the priesthood and monastic life in Kent under the direction of SS. Adrian(Born in Africa; died at Canterbury, England, January 9, 710) and Theodore (b. in 759; d. on the Peninsula of Tryphon, near the promontory Akrita on 11 November, 826), but returned to Yorkshire upon completing his studies to become a monk at Whitby Abbey, which was then under the rule of Saint Hilda(Born in Northumbria in 614; died at Whitby in 680).
John founded a monastery in Humberside, England, on the site of a small church dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, where he asked to be buried. In 687, after the death of Saint Eata(Died c. 686. It is impossible to write about Eata, the 7th century English saint, without going back to Saint Aidan( Born in Ireland; died 651), and from Saint Aidan to Saint Paulinus of York( Born c. 584; died at Rochester, England, 644. In 601), and from Saint Paulinus to Saint Augustine (Austin) of Canterbury( Born probably in Italy, c. 996; died at Novara, Lombardy, Italy, c. 1081), and from Saint Augustine to Saint Gregory the Great(born at Rome about 540; died 12 March 604) who began this chain reaction. Nor should we forget the Venerable Bede(Born in Northumbria, England, 673; died at Jarrow, England, on May 25, 735; named Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII in 1899). without whose Ecclesiastical History we would never have heard of Saint Eata, nor Saint Cuthbert(Born in Northumbria, England (?) or Ireland, c. 634; died on Inner Farne in March 20, 687), who was Eata's close friend), John he was consecrated bishop of Hexham.
He is said to have shown special care for the poor and the handicapped. Whatever time he could spare from his episcopal duties he spent in contemplation. At regular seasons, especially during Lent, he retired to pray in a cell by the church of Saint Michael beyond the Tyne, near Hexham. He would take with him some poor person, whom he would serve during his retirement.
He was transferred York as archbishop upon the death of Saint Bosa in 705, (Died 686. Saint Bosa Benedictine monk at Whitby, England, under Saint Hilda.) and Saint Wilfrid (Born in Ripon, Northumbria, 634; died at Oundle, in 709) succeeded him at Hexham as part of the final settlement of the latter's long dispute with the Northumbrian kings.
He continued his practice of periodic retirement for spiritual refreshment. His chosen retreat was an abbey that he had built at Beverley, then a forest. Not until old age had worn him out did he resign his office to Saint Wilfrid the Younger(Died at Ripon in 744. Saint Wilfrid was one of the five future bishops who were educated by Saint Hilda at Whitby) in order to spend the last four years of his life in the peace of his beloved abbey at Beverley.According to the Venerable Bede in Ecclesiastical History, who was ordained both deacon and priest by John when he was bishop of Hexham, John of Beverley possessed the gift of healing.
He cured a youth of dumbness, even though the boy had never utter a single word. (The boy was apparently bald from a terrible scalp disease also.) On the second Sunday of Lent, John made the sign of the cross upon the youth's tongue, and loosed it. Bede tells of how the saint patiently taught the boy the alphabet. He taught him to say "gea," which signifies in Saxon "Yea"; then the letters of the alphabet, and afterwards syllables. Thus the youth miraculously obtained his speech. Moreover, by the saint's blessing and the remedies prescribed by a physician whom he employed, his head was entirely healed, and became covered with hair.
Bede also records that John cured a noblewoman of a pain so grievous that she had been unable to move for three weeks. Several people who seemed in immediate danger of death were saved by his prayers. In addition to his own eye-witness accounts, Bede tells us of cures witnessed by Abbot Bercthun of Beverley and Abbot Herebald of Tinmouth.
After the saint's death, such miracles continued around his shrine, which became a famous pilgrimage site. The Bollandist Henschenius devoted four books to the miracles wrought at the holy bishop's shrine. So many were drawn there that the magnificent Beverley Minster was built, which rivals some of England's great cathedral churches. Alcuin also records miracles worked at John's intercession. (Alcuin Born in York, England, c. 735; died at Saint Martin's in Tours, France, May 19, 804. Alcuin studied under Saint Edbert at the York cathedral school, was ordained a deacon there, and, in 767, became its head. Under his direction it became a well-known center of learning.)
For example, King Athelstan invoked John's intercession for victory against the Scots. In 1307, his relics were translated -- the occasion of a vita written by Folcard. Some of the sweet-smelling relics were discovered in September 1664, when a grave was being dug, in a lead box within a vault of freestone. These relics had been hidden in the beginning of the reign of king Edward VI.
It was not just miracles that led to John's canonization. He led a life of remarkable holiness. Other devotees include Blessed Julian of Norwich(Born c. 1342; died in Norwich, England, c. 1423; she has never actually been beatified), King Henry V (who attributed the victory of Agincourt to his intercession), and Saint John Fisher(Born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 1469; died on Tower Hill, London, on June 22, 1535;), who was born at Beverley (Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, Walsh).
|717 St. Egwin English noble
bishop of Worcester England 692 A vision of Mary.
Charged with being overly strict by his clergy, Egwin went to Rome. Upon his return to England, he founded Eversham Monastery with the aid of the kingdom of Mercia. A vision of Mary prompted this founding. In 709, Egwin returned to Rome, accompanied by King Cenred of Mercia and King Offa of the East Saxons.
717 ST EGWIN, BISHOP OF WORCESTER
EGWIN, said to have been a descendant of the Mercian kings, devoted himself to God in his youth, and succeeded to the episcopal see of Worcester about 692. By his zeal and severity in reproving vice he incurred the hostility of some of his own flock, which gave him an opportunity of performing a penitential pilgrimage to Rome, to answer before the Holy See complaints that had been made against him. Some legends tell us that before setting out he put on his legs iron shackles, and threw the key into the Avon, but found it in the belly of a fish, some say at Rome, others on his passage from France to England. After his return, with the assistance of Ethelred, King of Mercia, he founded the famous abbey of Evesham, under the invocation of the Blessed Virgin. According to the story, a herdsman called Eof had a vision of our Lady, who was then seen by Egwin himself, and at the place of these visions the monastery was established (Evesham = Eof’s hamm, or meadow). Then, probably about 709, the bishop undertook a second journey to Rome, in the company of Kings Cenred of Mercia and Offa of the East Saxons, and we are told he received considerable privileges for his foundation from Pope Constantine; after the disturbances of the tenth century, Evesham became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. According to Florence of Worcester, St Egwin died on December 30, in 717, and was buried in the monastery of Evesham. His feast is observed in the archdiocese of Birmingham.
St. Egwin (d. 717)
You say you’re not familiar with today’s saint? Chances are you aren’t—unless you’re especially informed about Benedictine bishops who established monasteries in medieval England.
Born of royal blood in the 7th century, Egwin entered a monastery and was enthusiastically received by royalty, clergy and the people as the bishop of Worcester, England. As a bishop he was known as a protector of orphans and the widowed and a fair judge. Who could argue with that?
His popularity didn’t hold up among members of the clergy, however. They saw him as overly strict, while he felt he was simply trying to correct abuses and impose appropriate disciplines. Bitter resentments arose, and Egwin made his way to Rome to present his case to Pope Constantine. The case against Egwin was examined and annulled.
Upon his return to England, he founded Evesham Abbey, which became one of the great Benedictine houses of medieval England. It was dedicated to Mary, who had reportedly made it known to Egwin just where a church should be built in her honor.
He died at the abbey on December 30, in the year 717. Following his burial many miracles were attributed to him: The blind could see, the deaf could hear, the sick were healed.
There is an eleventh-century life printed by Mabillon (saec. iii, Pt 1, pp. 316—324), and see BHL. 2432—2439; for the life and miracles in the Gotha MS. I. 81, see Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lviii (1940), Pp. 95—96; and cf. T. 0. Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue vol. i, pp. 415—420; the Evesham Chronicle, ed. W. D. Macray in the Rolls Series (vol. XXIX, 1863, Introduction); and it M. Wilson, Lost Literature of Medieval England (1952), p. 104. See the Acta Sanctorum January, vol. i; Stubbs in DCB., vol. ii, pp. 62—63 and St Egwin and his Abbey...(1904), by the Stanbrook nuns. St Egwin’s body was translated to a more honourable place in 1183, probably on January 11, on which day many English martyrologies mark his festival. See Stanton, Menology, pp. 615 seq. It is a very curious thing, as William of Malmesbury long ago pointed out, that Bede makes no mention of Egwin or of Evesham.
|719 ST PEGA, VIRGIN; Ordericus
Vitalis says her relics were honoured with miracles, and kept in a church
which bore her name at Rome, but this church is not now known
PEGA was sister to St Guthlac and she lived a retired life not far from her brother’s hermitage at Croyland, just across the border of what is now Northamptonshire, on the western edge of the great Peterborough Fen. The place is now called Peakirk, i.e. Pega’s church. She attended her brother’s funeral, making the journey by water down the Welland, and is reputed on that occasion to have cured a blind man from Wisbech. She is said to have then gone on pilgrimage to Rome, where she slept in the Lord about the year 719. Ordericus Vitalis says her relics were honoured with miracles, and kept in a church which bore her name at Rome, but this church is not now known.
The Bollandists have brought together scattered allusions from the Life of St Guthlac and elsewhere (Acta Sanctorum, January 8). See also DCB., vol. iv, pp. 280—281, and the forthcoming Life of Guthlac by Bertram Colgrave.
virgin born blind, rejected by Lord Adalric, reared by abesses,
baptized at 12 by Saint Erhard of Regensburg (Bishop of Bavaria)
and immediately gained her sight.
In território Argentoraténsi sanctæ Othíliæ Vírginis; In the territory of Strasbourg,
Saint Odilia, (circa 660 - 720; Ottilia, Othilia, Otilie, Adilia, Odile; Virgin and Abbess,
patron of the vision, eye disease and eye problems, and opticians) the patron saint of Alsace and Strasbourg, was according to legend the daughter of Lord Adalric, a leader of the Alemanni, and first duke of Alsace; her mother was Bereswind (Berchsind), said to be the niece of St Leodegarius. They lived at Obernheim in the Vosges Mountains, about 20 miles south of Strasburg (eastern France), at the foot of the hill of Hohenburg or Altitonia.
For years they had no children but finally, in answer to their prayers they had a child. They had hoped to have a son, but Adalric’s joy turned to rage when he realized his child was not only female, but blind. He felt humiliated and ordered the child to be killed, or at least to be taken away and left to die. At the same time he had it proclaimed with trumpets that the duchess had given birth to a stillborn child. Bereswind’s faithful nurse took the baby and nursed it as her own at Scherweiler. About a year later, the child was given to the convent of Baume-les-Dames (Palma), near Besançon, in Franche Compte, or by some variants of the legend, she floated down the river to Beaume in a chest.
At the age of twelve, she was baptised by Saint Erhard of Regensburg (then Bishop of Bavaria), abbot of the newly built monastery of Eberheim-Munster. Odilia miraculously gained her sight and looked steadily at Erhard, who said, "So, my child, may you look at me in the kingdom of heaven."
Adalric and Bereswind had several other children, and when their eldest son Hugh was grown up, he located his sister and without asking his father’s permission, brought her home. The Duke was so angry that he struck and killed the brother; but horrified at his own violence, he accepted his daughter and did penance for his crime. Her personal beauty, and her father's wealth and power, began to attract many rich suitors. A nun from England became a servant to attend to Odilia and when her parents planned a marriage for her with a German duke, she fled her home and crossed the Rhine. In 686, Adalric found her one day carrying meal in an earthen dish, under her cloak, to make food for the poor. Since he had already begun to give alms and endowments for the good of his soul, he gave Odilia his castle of Hohenburg, with all its lands and revenues, that she might make it into a nunnery (modern Odilienburg/Mont Sainte-Odile).
The hill of Hohenburg rises over 2,000 feet abruptly from the valley of the Rhine. It had a pre-Christian wall around it, still called the heathen wall, and there was a plateau on top, on which the monastery was built. Within ten years the place had a hundred and thirty nuns, amongst whom were the three daughters of her brother Adelard, St Eugenia, her successor, St Attala, abbess of St Stephen's at Strasburg, and St Gundelind. There Odilia served her Lord, governed a large community, and gave relief to every sort of suffering.
In the 7th and 8th centuries there were frequent pilgrimages to Hohenburg, but Odilia's hill was so high and steep that very few of the pilgrims managed to climbed to seek her hospitality; so at the foot of the mountain and with the approval of her community, she founded the Odilienberg monastery at Niedermunster. There she entertained such numbers of pilgrims that very soon the two chapels which Adalric had built were too small that she begged him to build a large church, which he did in 690. Olilia’s parents both died shortly afterwards. Then she died December13, 720 and was buried in a chapel near the convent church on the Odilienberg. The tomb where once Odilia's body originally lay was evidently destroyed in 1793. In recent times, an abbey has been founded by a new Benedictine congregation at Sankt Ottilien, between Munich and Augburg.
Odilia shares the same feast day, December 13th , as Saint Lucy, while her shrine on the Odilienburg is still a celebrated place of pilgrimage, visited by devout pilgrims and those afflicted with blindness or other eye diseases. She also gave her name to the Guild of St Odilia (Consulting Opticians) early this century. In art, she is frequently depicted as an abbess with a book on which are two eyes. She can therefore be easily distinguished from Saint Lucy, who is shown much younger and with two eyes on a plate.
Some eye conditions cannot be helped by operations, medicines, or eyeglasses. Although the invoked stories of Odelia and the other saints of the eyes may be the consequence of both fact and fiction, this still provides the hope of a miraculous cure for some believing patients.
720 St. Hermenland Evangelizer of Normandy miracle worker gift of prophecy
In Antro, ínsula Lígeris flúminis, sancti Hermelándi Abbátis, cujus gloriósa conversátio insígni miraculórum præcónio commendátur. At Indre, an island in the Loire, Abbot St. Hermeland, whose glorious life was commended by outstanding miracles.
France, a miracle worker also called Erblon, Herbland, and Hermel and. Born near Noyon, he entered Fontenelle Abbey under St. Lambert after serving King Clotaire III. Hermenland led a group of twelve monks to evangelize Nantes, erecting an abbey on an island in the Loire. He died at Aindreete. Hermenland had a gift of prophecy and performed miracles.
Hermenland, OSB Abbot (RM) (also known as Hermeland, Herbland, Erblon) Born in Noyon; died c. 720. Saint Hermenland served as royal cup- bearer in his youth. Later he withdrew to Fontenelle and became a monk under Saint Lambert. Following his priestly ordination, Hermenland was sent with a band of 12 monks to become the first abbot of a new abbey on the island of Aindre in the estuary of the Loire, which had been founded by Saint Pascharius. Hermenland had the gift of prophecy and could read minds (Attwater2, Benedictines).
720 St. Wulfram Bishop missionary preach among the Frisians miracle while praying and several miracles after deathWith a group of monks, he converted many Frisians, including the son of the pagan ruler Radbod, before finally returning to Fontenelle, France, where he died.
In monastério Fontanéllæ, in Gállia, sancti Wulfránni, Epíscopi Senonénsis, qui, relícto Episcopátu, ibídem, clarus miráculis, decéssit e vita.
In the monastery of Fontanelle in France, St. Wulfran, bishop of Sens, who resigned his bishopric, and after having performed miracles, departed out of this life.
Wulfram (d. early eighth century) + Bishop and missionary Born at Milly. France, he was the son of Fuldert, a courtier in the service of the Frankish king Dagobert (r. 623-639). Wulfram served in the Court of King Thierry (r. 670-687) of Neustria (parts of France). Ordained a priest, he was appointed bishop of Sens, replacing the rightful occupant of the see, St. Amatus, who was then in exile. Owing to the controversy, Wulfram resigned after two-and-one-half years and set out to preach among the Frisians.
Wulfram of Fontenelle, OSB B (RM) (also known as Wolfram, Wulfrannus) Died at Fontenelle, France, April 20, c. 703 (or 720?); feast of his translation, October 15. The story of Saint Wulfram takes us back to the days of the Franks and the dark gods of the north, and of the wild Teutonic tribes and old Norse sagas, when a handful of devoted men sailed into the northern night with the Cross at their prow and challenged the power of Odin and Thor.Longfellow in his poem, The Saga of King Olaf, vividly describes how during the voyage Wulfram, surrounded by his choristers chanting into the night, held service on deck:
Wulfram came of a gentler race, born and bred in a civilized land, nurtured in the wealthy home of his father, an official of King Dagobert. He found his first employment in the French court under Clotaire III, and, in 682, was rewarded with the archbishopric of Sens in place of its rightful bishop, Saint Amatus. But, strangely moved by God's Spirit to acknowledge the see's licit bishop and by the challenge of the pagan lands, within three years he laid aside his high employments and gave his property of Maurilly to the Church. In order to prepare himself to take the Gospel to the Frisians and obtain the help of monks, he retired for a time at Fontenelle. Then he set sail for Scandinavia with a small group of followers.
To the ship's bow he ascended, By his choristers attended,
Round him were the tapers lighted, And the sacred incense rose.
On the bow stood Bishop Sigurd, In his robes as one transfigured, And the Crucifix he planted
It was a hard and evil time, and only with great difficulty did his enterprise make headway. The son of king Radbod was converted. Wulfram, however, was allowed to settle and to preach the Gospel. The missionaries had some success, but as in other parts of Europe during the period, the attitude of the king was likely to be decisive.
Wulfram found that children were sacrificed to appease their heathen gods, hung on roadside gibbets, or fastened to posts on the shore and left to drown with the tide. On great pagan festivals, the people would cast lots to see who should be sacrificed. Immediately the chosen one would be hanged or cut into pieces. In vain he appealed to Radbod to prohibit such inhuman practices, but the king replied that it was the custom of the country and he could not alter it.He even cynically challenged Wulfram to rescue the victims if he could, whereupon Wulfram, taking him at his word, strode into the raging sea to save two children who were helpless and almost submerged.
At other times he cut down the bodies of those who were nearly dead from the gallows to which they were tied and restored them as in the case of Ovon. The lot decided that Ovon should be sacrificed. Wulfram earnestly begged King Radbod to save him: but the people ran to the palace, outraged at such a sacrilege. After much discussion they agreed that if Wulfram's God should save Ovon's life, he should ever serve him and be Wulfram's slave. The saint went into prayer. After hanging on the gibbet for two hours, the man was left for dead. The cord hanging him broke.When the body fell to the ground, Ovon was found to be alive. He was given to the saint and became a monk and priest at Fontenelle.
The missionaries and their miracles so impressed the inhabitants that, filled with fear and wonder, they renounced their false gods and were baptized, and even Radbod himself was converted. But at the point of baptism, Radbod asked where his ancestors were. Wulfram answered that hell was the destiny of idolators. Radbod then declared: "I will go to hell with my ancestors rather than be in heaven without them."Radbod later sent for Saint Willibrord to baptize him, but when the saint arrived the king was already dead. Thus, he was never experienced the mercy of the sacrament.
For twenty years Wulfram continued his arduous missionary activity until failing health compelled him to return to France; but always he is remembered as the captain of a Christian crew, who "bore the White Christ" through the vapors of the northern night. His relics were translated from Fontenelle to Abbeville, where Wulfram is venerated as patron and where several miracles occurred.
In 1062, his relics were moved to Rouen. Both his feasts are celebrated in Croyland Abbey (Lincolnshire), England, probably because their abbot Ingulfph (1086-1109) was a monk of Fontenelle.The vita of Wulfram was written by the monk Jonas of Fontenelle eleven years after his death (Attwater2, Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth).
Saint Wulfram is depicted in art as baptizing a young king. Sometimes (1) the young king is near him; (2) he is shown arriving by ship with monks and baptizing the king; or (3) he is shown baptizing the son of King Radbod (Roeder). Wulfram is venerated at Fontenelle, Frisia, and Sens (Roeder).
722 St. Richard of Swabia brother of St. Boniface Miracles reported at his tomb father of Saints Willibald, Winnebald, and Walburga
Richard was the father of Saints Willibald, Winnebald, and Walburga. He was on a pilgrimage to Rome from his native Wessex, England, with his two sons when he was stricken and died at Lucca, Italy. Miracles were reported at his tomb and he became greatly venerated by the citizens of Lucca, who embellished accounts of his life by calling him "king of the English".
Richard the "King" (RM) Died 722. Perhaps Saint Richard was not really a king--early Italian legend made him a prince of Wessex--but his sanctity was verified by the fact that he fathered three other saints: Willibald, Winebald (Wunibald), and Walpurga (Walburga). Butler tells us that "Saint Richard, when living, obtained by his prayers the recovery of his younger son Willibald, whom he laid at the foot of a great crucifix erected in a public place in England, when the child's life was despaired of in a grievous sickness. . . . [he was] perhaps deprived of his inheritance by some revolution in the state; or he renounced it to be more at liberty to dedicate himself to the pursuit of Christian perfection. . . . Taking with him his two sons, he undertook a pilgrimage of penance and devotion, and sailing from Hamble-haven, landed in Neustria on the western coasts of France. He made a considerable stay at Rouen, and made his devotions in the most holy places that lay in his way through France."
He fell ill, died suddenly at Lucca, Italy, and was buried in the church of San Frediano. A later legend makes him the duke of Swabia, Germany. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and he became greatly venerated by the citizens of Lucca and those of Eichstatt to where some of his relics were translated. The natives of Lucca amplified accounts of his life by calling him king of the English. Neither of his legends is especially trustworthy--even his real name is unknown and dates only from the 11th century. A famous account of the pilgrimage on which he died was written by his son's cousin, the nun Hugeburc, entitled Hodoeporicon (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Gill, Husenbeth, White)
In art, King Saint Richard is portrayed as a royal pilgrim (ermine- lined cloak) with two sons--one a bishop and one an abbot. His crown may be on a book (Roeder). He is venerated at Heidenheim and Lucca (Roeder).
February 7th Troparion (Tone 3) Accepting Christ our God as King, O Father Richard, thou didst leave thy native Wessex to be a pilgrim. Pray that in our pilgrimage we may find salvation for our souls.
St. Richard of Swabia also known as St. Richard, King of Wessex (Kingdom of the West Saxons) is the brother of St. Boniface. It is uncertain whether or not he was crowned a king in this life, but he is certainly numbered with the "kings and priests" in the Kingdom of Christ. His sons, Willibald and Winebald are also Saints, as is his daughter, Walburga. He and his two sons left England to undertake a pilgrimage of penance and devotion. They made their way through France. Then Richard fell ill and reposed in Lucca, Italy, in 722. He was buried in the Church of St. Frediano. Miracles were reported at his tomb. His sons, now joined by their sister, were recruited by their uncle, the newly elevated Bishop Boniface of Germany, to evangelize Germany. St. Walburga was the first abbess in Heidenheim. St. Willibald settled in Eichstatt. Some of St. Richard's remains were then translated to Eichstatt, and many there were healed through his intercessions. His connection to Swabia is apparently due to devotion to him after his repose for miracles worked through his intercession.
721-724 Malrubius priest Abbot austere monastic life known for piety learning miracles M (AC)
(also known as Maelrubha) Descended from the princely line of Niall, Saint Malrubius was a member of Saint Comgall's glorious company at Bangor Abbey, where he was ordained to the priesthood. He migrated to Scotland to spread the Gospel among the Picts much as Saint Columba did in the 6th century. There he led an austere monastic life and was known for his piety, learning, and miracles.
He founded a church at Applecross in County Ross on the Isle of Skye from which he led a revival of the Celtic Church. It is said that, at the age of 80, he was massacred by Norwegian pirates whom he tried to evangelize. According to legend, the parish church at Urquhart is said to have been the site of the chapel built over the site of his execution. A six-mile area around his burial mound outside Applecross, Cloadh Maree, was accorded all the rights and privileges of a sanctuary many were healed at his holy well .
Place names throughout the western highlands, particularly between Loch Carron and Loch Broom, note Malrubius as titular patron. Twenty-one known parishes were dedicated to Malrubius under names such as Maree, Mulruby, Mary, Murry, Summuruff, and Summereve. He is invoked for the cure of insanity, because so many were healed at his holy well and spring near his cemetery and oratory on Inis Maree in Loch Maree. Malrubius is venerated especially in Aberdeen and Connaught (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, D'Arcy, Husenbeth, Montague, Montalembert, Moran, Mould, Simpson, Skene).
St. Giles Abbot the highest repute for sanctity and miracles
(Patron of Physically Disabled).
In província Narbonénsi sancti Ægídii, Abbátis et Confessóris, cujus nómine est appellátum óppidum, quod póstea crevit in loco, ubi ipse monastérium eréxerat et mortális vitæ cursum absólverat.
In the province of Narbonne, St. Giles, abbot and confessor. A town which later arose in the place where he had built his monastery and where he died was named after him.
St. Giles is said to have been a seventh century Athenian of noble birth. His piety and learning made him so conspicuous and an object of such admiration in his own country that, dreading praise and longing for a hidden life, he left his home and sailed for France. At first he took up his abode in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone river, afterward near the river Gard, and, finally, in the diocese of Nimes.
He spend many years in solitude conversing only with God. The fame of his miracles became so great that his reputation spread throughout France. He was highly esteemed by the French king, but he could not be prevailed upon to forsake his solitude. He admitted several disciples, however, to share it with him. He founded a monastery, and established an excellent discipline therein. In succeeding ages it embraced the rule of St. Benedict. St. Giles died probably in the beginning of the eighth century, about the year 724.
St. Giles (Latin Ægidius.)
An Abbot, said to have been born of illustrious Athenian parentage about the middle of the seventh century. Early in life he devoted himself exclusively to spiritual things, but, finding his noble birth and high repute for sanctity in his native land an obstacle to his perfection, he passed over to Gaul, where he established himself first in a wilderness near the mouth of the Rhone and later by the River Gard. But here again the fame of his sanctity drew multitudes to him, so he withdrew to a dense forest near Nîmes, where in the greatest solitude he spent many years, his sole companion being a hind. This last retreat was finally discovered by the king's hunters, who had pursued the hind to its place of refuge. The king [who according to the legend was Wamba (or Flavius?), King of the Visigoths, but who must have been a Frank, since the Franks had expelled the Visigoths from the neighbourhood of Nîmes almost a century and a half earlier] conceived a high esteem for solitary, and would have heaped every honour upon him; but the humility of the saint was proof against all temptations. He consented, however, to receive thenceforth some disciples, and built a monastery in his valley, which he placed under the rule of St. Benedict. Here he died in the early part of the eighth century, with the highest repute for sanctity and miracles.
His cult spread rapidly far and wide throughout Europe in the Middle Ages, as is witnessed by the numberless churches and monasteries dedicated to him in France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, and the British Isles; by the numerous manuscripts in prose and verse commemorating his virtues and miracles; and especially by the vast concourse of pilgrims who from all Europe flocked to his shrine. In 1562 the relics of the saint were secretly transferred to Toulouse to save them from the hideous excesses of the Huguenots who were then ravaging France, and the pilgrimage in consequence declined.
With the restoration of a great part of the relics to the church of St. Giles in 1862, and discovery of his former tomb there in 1865, the pilgrimages have recommenced. Besides the city of St-Gilles, which sprang up around the abbey, nineteen other cities bear his name, St-Gilles, Toulouse, and a multitude of French cities, Antwerp, Bridges, and Tournai in Belgium, Cologne and Bamberg, in Germany, Prague and Gran in Austria-Hungary, Rome and Bologna in Italy, possess celebrated relics of St. Giles. In medieval art he is a frequent subject, being always depicted with his symbol, the hind. His feast is kept on 1 September. On this day there are also commemorated another St. Giles, an Italian hermit of the tenth century (Acta SS., XLI, 305), and a Blessed Giles, d. about 1203, a Cistercian abbot of Castaneda in the Diocese of Astorga, Spain (op. cit. XLI, 308).
|727 St. Hubert Bishop
of Maastricht noted for miracles; converting hundreds.
Eódem die sancti Hubérti, Tungrénsis Epíscopi. On the same day, St. Hubert, bishop of Tongres.Netherlands disciple of St. Lambert
727 ST HUBERT, BISHOP OF LIEGE
“God called St Hubert from a worldly life to his service in an extraordinary manner; though the circumstances of this event are so obscured by popular inconsistent relations that we have no authentic account of his actions before he was engaged in the service of the church under the discipline of St Lambert, Bishop of Maestricht”.The “extraordinary manner” referred to in Alban Butler’s commendably guarded statement is related to have been as follows:
Hubert was very fond of hunting and one Good Friday went out after a stag when everybody else was going to church. In a clearing of the wood the beast turned, displaying a crucifix between its horns. Hubert stopped in astonishment, and a voice came from the stag, saying, “Unless you turn to the Lord, Hubert, you shall fall into Hell”. He cast himself on his knees, asking what he should do, and the voice told him to seek out Lambert, the bishop of Maestricht, who would guide him.
This, of course, is the same as the legend of the conversion of St Eustace (September 20).
However the retirement of Hubert from the world came about, he entered the service of St Lambert and was ordained priest. When the bishop was murdered at Liege about the year 705 Hubert was selected to govern the see in his place. Some years later he translated Lambert’s bones from Maestricht to Liege, then only a village upon the banks of the Meuse, which from this grew into a flourishing city. St Hubert placed the relics of the martyr in a church, which he built upon the spot where he had suffered and made it his cathedral, removing thither the episcopal see from Maestricht. Hence St Lambert is honoured at Liege as principal patron of the diocese and St Hubert as founder of the city and church, and its first bishop.
In those days the forest of
Ardenne stretched from the Meuse to the Rhine and in several parts
the gospel of Christ had not yet taken root. St Hubert penetrated
into the most remote and barbarous places of this country and abolished
the worship of idols; and as he performed the office of the apostles,
God bestowed on him a like gift of miracles.
His body was conveyed to Liege and laid in the church of St Peter. It was translated in 825 to the abbey of Andain, since called Saint-Hubert, in Ardenne, on the frontiers of the duchy of Luxemburg. November 3, the date of St Hubert’s feast, is probably the day of the enshrining of his relics at Liege sixteen years after his death. St Hubert is, with St Eustace, patron saint of hunting-men, and is invoked against hydrophobia.
Hubert was formerly, and perhaps is still, greatly venerated by
the people of Belgium. It is therefore not altogether surprising that
Fr Charles De Smedt, writing
in 1887, devoted 171 pages of the Acta Sanctorum (November, vol. i) to do him honour.
But the one short primitive memoir by a contemporary tells us nothing
of his origin, of his alleged time at the court of Austrasia, or of
his wife; and the “son”, Floribert, who became bishop, seems to have
been his son only in a spiritual sense. It is clearly manifest from
the succession of lives printed by Father De Smedt, and from his introduction,
that the details of St Hubert’s early career and conversion were not
heard of before the fourteenth century. But the story of the stag and
the other miracles attributed to the saint made his cult popular far
beyond the confines of the Netherlands. Two orders of chivalry, one in
Lorraine and one in Bavaria, were founded under his patronage, and there
is a considerable literature, dealing especially with his relics and with
the folklore aspects of the case. On this last subject see Bächtold-Stäubli,
Handwörterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens,
vol. iv, pp. 425—434; E. Van Heurck, Saint Hubert et son
culte en Belgique (1925) ; and L. Huyghebaert, Sint
Hubertus, patroon van de jagers…(1949). Consult also A. Poncelet in the Revue
Charlemagne, vol. i (1911), pp. 129—145; the
Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlv (1927), pp.
84—92 and 345-362. H. Leclercq,
in DAC., vol. ix (1930), cc. 630—631
and 655—656. A useful handbook is that of Dom Réjalot,
le culte et les reliques de S. Hubert (1928).
The best work from an historical point of view is by F. Baix in La Terre Wallonne, vol. xvi (1927), et seq.;
see also “Une relation inédite de la conversion de S.
Hubert”, ed. M. Coens, in Analecta Bollandiana,
vol. xlv (1927), pp.
Hubert of Liège B (RM) Died at Tervueren (near Brussels), Belgium, May 30, 727. Nothing reliable is known about Saint Hubert before he became a cleric under Saint Lambert, whom he succeeded as bishop of Tongres-Maestricht.
In medieval times many saints derived both the pleasure of sport and some of their food from hunting. According to legend both Saint Eustace and Saint Hubert came upon a stag with a crucifix between its antlers. The stag's warning to Hubert was sterner than that to Saint Eustace, since Hubert had been hunting on Good Friday. Stopped in his tracks by the sight of the stag and crucifix, Hubert heard a voice warning him that unless he turned to Christ he was destined for hell.
This was in the forest of Ardenne. Hubert had been a courtier whose wife died giving birth to their son in the year 685. He retired from the service of Pepin of Heristal and became a priestly servant of Bishop Lambert. For 10 years Saint Lambert taught the future Saint Hubert self-discipline by making him live alone as a hermit in the forest.
Around 705 Lambert publicly criticized King Pepin for his adultery with the sister of his wife. The woman called on her brother and some other men to murder Lambert in the tiny village of Liège. Hubert was elected Lambert's successor.
Hubert courageously cherished the memory of Saint Lambert. Since the saint had been murdered at Liège, Hubert decided that his bones should not lie in the cathedral at Maestricht. He transferred them to Liège and also made that village the seat of his diocese. In consequence Liège grew to be a great city. There today Saint Lambert is regarded as patron of the diocese and Saint Hubert as patron and founder of the city.
In the 8th century, the forest of Ardenne was filled with men and women to whom the Gospel had never been preached. They worshipped idols. The saint assiduously worked to convert these people and destroy their pagan gods. He loved to go in procession through the fields, chanting Christian prayers and blessing the crops.
In 726, while fishing from a boat in the Meuse, he met with an accident that caused him much suffering, and he died fifteen months later, murmuring the Lord's Prayer on May 30, 727, while on a trip to consecrate a new church. His son succeeded him as bishop of Liège (Attwater, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia).
In art Hubert is represented as a huntsman adoring a stag with a crucifix in its horns. Variously, he may be shown (1) as a knight with a banner showing the stag's head and crucifix; (2) as a young courtier with two hounds; (3) kneeling in prayer, a hound before him; (4) kneeling before a stag as an angel brings him his stole; (5) as a bishop holding a stag with the crucifix on his book; (6) as a bishop with a hound, hunting horn, and stag with a crucifix (not to be confused with Germanus of Auxerre); (7) celebrating Mass as an angel brings him a scroll (very similar to the Mass of Saint Giles) (Roeder).
Hubert is the patron of hunters and trappers, metal-workers, and mathematicians (Roeder). It is believed that the 15th century legend of his conversion developed because he was regarded as a patron of hunters in Ardenne (Attwater).
735 St. Frideswide Benedictine hermitess nun founded the St. Mary’s Convent in OxfordIn 1180 in the presence of the archbishop of Canterbury and King Henry II of England, her remains were translated to a new shrine in the monastery church. A yet greater shrine was built nine years later. Countless pilgrims visited her relics. Twice a year Oxford University held a solemn feast in her honor and came to venerate her bones. In 1440, the archbishop of Canterbury declared her patroness of the university.
Oxónii, in Anglia, sanctæ Fredeswíndæ Vírginis.735 St Frideswide, Virgin
At Oxford in England, St. Frideswide, virgin.
Frideswide is the patron saint of Oxford. William of Malmesbury, writing just before 1125, first tells her legend in its simplest form. According to it Frideswide, having miraculously got rid of the unwelcome attentions of a king, founded a nunnery at Oxford and there spent the rest of her life. In its more developed form we are told that her kingly father was named Didan and her mother Safrida, and that her upbringing was entrusted to a governess called Algiva. Her inclinations early led her towards the religious state, for she had learned that “whatever is not God is nothing”. But Algar, another prince, smitten with her beauty, tried to carry her off. Frideswide thereupon fled down the Isis with two companions, and concealed herself for three years, using a pig’s cote as her monastic cell. Algar continued to pursue her and eventually, on her invoking the aid of St Catherine and St Cecily, he was struck with blindness and only recovered on leaving the maiden in peace. From which circumstance it was said that the kings of England up to Henry II made a special point of avoiding Oxford!
In order to live more perfectly to God in closer retirement, St Frideswide built herself a cell in Thornbury wood (now Binsey), where by fervour of her penance and heavenly contemplation she advanced towards God and His kingdom. The spring, which the saint made use of at Binsey, was said obtained by her prayers, and was a place of pilgrimage in the middle ages. Her death is put in 735; her tomb at Oxford was honoured with many miracles and became one of the principal shrines of England.
The extant legend of St Frideswide seems to represent no real tradition, and little reliance can be put on it; but she probably founded a monastery at Oxford in the eighth century, and after various vicissitudes it was refounded in the early twelfth century for canons regular of St Augustine. In 1180 the relics of St Frideswide were solemnly translated to a new shrine in the church of her name; and twice a year, at mid-Lent and on Ascension Day, the chancellor and members of the university visited it ceremonially. By permission of Pope Clement VII the priory of St Frideswide was dissolved by Cardinal Wolsey, who in 1525 founded Cardinal College on its site, the priory church becoming the college chapel.
In 1546 the college was re-established by King Henry VIII as Christ Church (Aedes Christi: “The House”), and the church, which had been St Frideswide’s, became, as well as college chapel, the cathedral of the new diocese of Oxford (and was so recognized by the Holy See on the reconciliation in Mary’s reign).
The relics of the saint had by this time been removed from their shrine, but apparently they were not scattered. For in the year 1561 a certain canon of Christ Church, named Calfhill, went to such trouble to desecrate them that it would seem he must have been insane with fanaticism.
During the reign of Edward VI there had been buried in the church the body of an apostate nun, Catherine Cathie, who had been through a form of marriage with the friar Peter Martyr Vermigli. Calfhill had Catherine’s remains dug up (they had been removed from the church under Mary), mixed them with the alleged relics of St Frideswide, and thus reinterred them in the church. In the following year an account of this performance was published in Latin (and another in German) which contained a number of pseudo-pious reflections on the text Hic jacet religio cum superstitione: “Here lies Religion with Superstition.” It does not appear that these words were actually inscribed on the tomb or coffin, though that they were is asserted by several writers, including Alban Butler, whose comment is, “the obvious meaning of which [epitaph] would lead us to think these men endeavoured to extinguish and bury all religion”.
St Frideswide is named in the Roman Martyrology, and her feast is observed in the archdiocese of Birmingham.
She is said also to have a cultus at Borny in Artois (under the name of Frévisse).
The legend of St Frideswide has been transmitted in several varying texts (see BHL., nn. 3162—3169). The more important have been printed or summarized in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. viii, and have also been discussed by J. Parker, The Early History of Oxford (1885), pp. 85-101. Cf. also Hardy, Descriptive Catalogue (Rolls Series), vol. i, pp. 459—462; DNB., vol. xx, pp. 275—276; an article by E. F. Jacob, in The Times, October 58, 1935, pp. 15—16; and another by F.M. Stenton in Oxoniensia, vol. i (1936), pp. 103—112 (both reprinted, O.U.P., 1953). There is a popular account by Fr F. Goldie, The Story of St Frideswide (1881); see also E. W. Watson, The Cathedral Church of Christ in Oxford (1935).Daughter of Prince Didan of the Upper Thames region of England. She is sometimes called Fredeswinda. When Prince Algar of a neighboring kingdom asked for her hand in marriage, Frideswide fled to Thomwry Wood in Birnsey, where she became a hermitess. She founded the St. Mary’s Convent in Oxford and is patroness of the university of that city. Her relics are extant. In liturgical art she is depicted as a Benedictine, sometimes with an ox for companion.
Frideswide of Oxford, OSB V (RM) (also known as Fredeswinda, Frevisse); second feast day is February 12. Her maxim from childhood is said to be: "Whatsoever is not God is nothing."
Little can be said for certain about Frideswide because the earliest written account dates only from the 12th century, when her abbey became an Augustinian foundation. William of Malmesbury recorded the legend from a version attributed to Prior Robert of Cricklade. Nevertheless, recent historical and archeological research has clarified the background and some of the details of the saint's traditional legend.
This account follows the archetypical miracles of God preserving His holy virgins. The story goes that Frideswide was a Mercian princess, the daughter of Didian (or Dida) of Eynsham, whose lands included the upper reaches of the River Thames. Her father, a sub- king under the Mercian overlordship, endowed minster churches at Bampton and Oxford.
Frideswide took a vow of perpetual virginity, but Algar, a local prince, (or Æthelbald of Mercia) could not believe that she would not marry him. Desiring to fulfill her vow, she fled into hiding at Binsey (near the current Oxford), where she remained for three years as Algar continued to search for her. Then Algar was struck blind. When he renounced his desire to marry her, his sight was restored at Bampton upon Frideswide's intercession.
Eventually, Frideswide was appointed the first abbess of the Benedictine Saint Mary's double monastery at Oxford, where she peacefully lived out the balance of her life. The convent flourished becoming the site of Christ Church and her name was not forgotten as the town of Oxford arose around the abbey.
Most of the early records of the monastery were destroyed in a fire set in 1002 while Scandinavians were inside the church in the attempted massacres triggered by the notorious decree of Ethelred II. The existence of her shrine is formally attested by 'On the Resting Places of the Saints' in Die Heiligen Englands in the 11th century. In the twelfth century her convent was refounded for Augustinian canons .
Then in 1525 Cardinal Wolsey suppressed Saint Frideswide's monastery. Two decades later the monastery church became the new cathedral of Oxford. But the shrine containing Frideswide's relics had been broken up by Protestant reformers to use in other buildings in 1538. Happily some Catholics preserved the saints bones.
Meanwhile Catherine Dammartin, the wife of the Protestant professor Peter Martyr Vermigli, had been buried in the cathedral. About 1558-1561, in an extraordinary burst of fanaticism James Calfhill, a Calvinist canon, dug up her bones and mixed them with those of Saint Frideswide, adding the epitaph Hic jacet religio cum superstitione ('Here lies religion with superstition').
Part of her shrine has been reconstructed from pieces found in a well at Christ Church, where her remains are marked with four elegant candlesticks in Christ Church.
It may be assumed that Frideswide was foundress and abbess of a religious house at Oxford in the 8th century; her shrine was in the church of a monastery there in 1004, on the site of Christ Church. It is unexplained how this obscure saint, under the name of Frevisse, came to have a cultus at the village of Bomy in the middle of Artois (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Farmer, Stenton).
In art she is a crowned abbess with an ox near her. Sometimes she is shown being rowed down the Thames by an angel with her two sisters. Frideswide is the patroness of Oxford and Oxford University (Roeder) .
THERE is a great deal which is extremely confused and improbable in the accounts preserved to us of this Belgian saint, and it is difficult to know how much of her legend can be regarded as based on historical fact. The main feature of her story is that, though she had secretly consecrated her virginity to God, she was given in marriage by her parents to a wealthy suitor, without any adequate consent on her part. Resolutely determined to keep her vow, she refused to live with him maritaleinent, and he on his part treated her brutally. God protected her, until at last the husband died. Little else is recorded of her except miracles and the numerous translations of her remains. There cannot, however, be any doubt that she became a very popular saint in Flanders, and that her cultus supplies abundant matter of interest to the student of folklore.
Among her own countryfolk she is called most commonly St Varelde, Verylde or VeerIes She is represented sometimes with a goose, sometimes with loaves of bread, and more rarely with a cat. The goose may have reference to a story told of her, as also of St Werburga, that when a goose had been plucked and cooked the saint restored it to life and full plumage. But it may also be connected with the city of Ghent or Gand, where her relics repose, for in Flemish, as in German, gans (cf. English “gander“) means a goose. The bread without doubt must have been suggested by a miracle said to have been worked beside her tomb, when an uncharitable woman who had been asked to give a loaf to a beggar declared that she had none, and then discovered that the loaves she had been hiding were turned into stones.
St PharaIldis is also supposed to have caused a fountain of water to spring out of the ground at Bruay, near Valenciennes, to relieve the thirst of the harvesters who were reaping for her. The water of this spring is believed to be of efficacy in children’s disorders, and she is constantly invoked by mothers who are anxious about the health of their little ones.
See Hautecceur, Actes de Ste Pharalidis (1882);
Destombes, Vies des saints de Cambrai et Arras,
voi. i, pp. 30-36; L. van Der Essen, Étude critique cur les Vitae des saints mérovingiens
(1907), pp. 303 seq. H. Detzel, Christliche Ikonographie (1896), vol. ii, p. 583.
740 St. Pharaildis A Flemish maiden a miracle worker
Also called Vareide, Varelde, Veerle, and Verylde, a patron saint of Ghent, she was compelled to marry against her will and was subsequently abused by her husband for refusing to consummate the union. She also apparently irritated her husband with her nighttime visits to churches. Pharaildis is honored as a miracle worker.
Eutychius (Eustathius) and Companions Islamic martyrs in Mesopotamia; His relics are said to have worked many miracles.
Carrhis, in Mesopotámia, sancti Eutychii patrícii, et Sociórum, qui ab Evelid, Arabum Rege, ob fídei confessiónem, interémpti sunt.
At Carrhae in Mesopotamia, the patrician St. Eutychius and his companions, who were killed by Evelid, king of Arabia, for the confession of the faith.
This sizable group of martyrs was put to death by the Islamic at Carrhes, Mesopotamia, for refusing to deny Christ (Benedictines).
741 ST EUTYCHIUS, OR EUSTATHIUS, MARTYRDURING the reign of the Emperor Leo the Isaurian, when the empire was being attacked and seriously threatened by the invading forces of Islam, persecution came almost equally from both sides. On the one hand the emperor was so determined an opponent of the cultus of sacred images that the orthodox faithful were continually subjected to imprisonment and exile, whilst, on the other hand, the fanatical hatred of the Arabs was directed against all Christians alike, and their victories over Romans were apt to be celebrated by a fresh holocaust of victims. Eutychius or Eustathius, the son of a patrician, was taken prisoner with many others by the Arabs. He was carried off and kept for many months in captivity, until the khalif, when another expedition of his against the Christians had suffered reverses, growing infuriated, wreaked his vengeance on the prisoners. For refusing to abjure the Christian faith Eutychius was put to death at Carrhae in Mesopotamia with several companions—perhaps at the stake—after enduring horrible tortures. His relics are said to have worked many miracles.
See the Anti Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, where the brief account given is based entirely upon the Chronography of Theophanes.
742 St. Acca Bishop and Benedictine scholar; companion of early English saints and missionaries; Many miracles were wrought through this saint;SAINTS ACCA AND ALCMUND OF HEXHAM
Our holy Father Acca as a young man joined the household of Bosa, bishop of York, and later became a disciple of the great St. Wilfrid, bishop of York and later of Hexham. For thirteen years he accompanied his teacher on his journeys through England and on the continent, and was a witness at his holy repose. And when Wilfrid died, in 709, he became his successor as abbot and bishop of Hexham in Northumbria.
The Venerable Bede called Acca "the dearest and best loved of all bishops on this earth." Bede also praised his theological library and dedicated several of his works to him. On becoming bishop of Hexham Acca completed three of Wilfrid's smaller churches and splendidly adorned his cathedral at Hexham, providing it with ornaments of gold, silver and precious stones, and decorating the altars with purple and silk. Moreover, he invited an excellent singer called Maban who had been taught church harmony at Canterbury to teach himself and the people. He himself was a chanter of great skill.
In 732 Acca either retired or was expelled from his see, and later became bishop of Whithorn in Southern Scotland. He died on October 20, 740, and was buried near the east wall of his cathedral in Hexham. Parts of two stone crosses which were placed at his tomb still survive.
In about 1030, Alfred Westow, a Hexham priest and a sacrist at Durham, translated the relics of St. Acca, following a Divine revelation, to a place of more fitting honor in the church. At that time the saint's vestments were found in all their pristine freshness and strength, and were displayed by the brethren of the church for the veneration of the faithful. Above his chest was found a portable altar with the inscription Almae Trinitati, agiae Sophiae, sanctae Mariae. This also was the object of great veneration. Many miracles were wrought through this saint. Those attempting to infringe the sanctuary of his church were driven off in a wondrous and terrible manner, and those who tried to steal relics were prevented from doing so.
A brother of the church by the name of Aldred related the following story. When he was an adolescent and was living in the house of his brother, a priest, he was once asked by his brother to keep an eye on some relics of St. Acca which he had wrapped in a cloth and laid on the altar of St. Michael in the southern porch of the church. Then it came into the mind of Aldred that a certain church (we may guess that it was Durham) would be greatly enriched by the bones of St. Acca. So, after prostrating himself on the ground and praying the seven penitential psalms, he entered the porch with the intention of taking them away. Suddenly he felt heat as of fire which thrust him back in great trepidation. Thinking that he had approached with insufficient reverence and preparation, he again prostrated himself and poured forth still more ardent prayers to the Lord. But on approaching a second time he felt a still fiercer heat opposing him. Realizing that his intention was not in accordance with the will of God, he withdrew.
Our holy Father Alcmund was bishop of Hexham from 767 to 781, reposed on September 7, 781, and was buried next to St. Acca. In 1032, he appeared by night to a certain very pious man by the name of Dregmo who lived near the church at Hexham. Wearing pontifical vestments and holding a pastoral staff in his hand, he nudged Dregmo with it and said
"Rise, go to Alfred, son of Westow, a priest of the Church of Durham, and tell him to transfer my body from this place to a more honorable one within the church. For it is fitting that those whom the King of kings has vested with a stole of glory and immortality in the heavens should be venerated by those on earth."
Dregmo asked: "Lord, who are you?"
He replied: "I am Alcmund, bishop of the Church of Hexham, who was, by the grace of God, the fourth after blessed Wilfrid to be in charge of this place. My body is next to that of my predecessor, the holy bishop Acca of venerable memory. You also be present at its translation with the priest." After saying this, he disappeared.
The next morning, Dregmo went to the priest Alfred and related everything in order. He joyfully assembled the people, told them what had happened, and fixed a day for the translation. On the appointed day they lifted the bones from the tomb, wrapped them in linen and placed them on a bier; but since the hour for celebrating the Divine Liturgy had passed, they placed the holy relics in the porch of St. Peter at the western end of the church, intending to transfer them the following day with psalms and hymns and the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
But that night, the priest Alfred, who was keeping vigil with his clerics around the holy body, rose when the others were sleeping and took a part of the finger of the saint, intending to give it to the Church of Durham. The next morning a great multitude came to the translation. But when the priest and those with him came to lift the body, it was immovable. Thinking themselves unworthy, they retired, and others came up. But they, too, were unable to lift it. When no one was found who could lift it, the people looked at each other in consternation, while the priest, still ignorant that he was the cause, exhorted them to pray to God to reveal who was to blame for this. That night, St. Alcmund appeared a second time to Dregmo, who had suddenly been overwhelmed with sleep, and with a stern face said to him;
"What is this that you have wanted to do? Did you think to bring me back into the church mutilated, when I served God and St. Andrew here in wholeness of body and spirit? Go, therefore, and witness in the presence of all the people that what has unwisely been taken away from my body should be restored, or else you will never be able to remove me from this place in which I now am."
And when he had said this, he showed him his hand with part of the finger missing. The next day, Dregmo stood in the middle of the people and told them all that had been revealed to him in the night, vehemently urging that the person who had presumed to do this should be punished. Then the priest, perceiving that he was at fault, prostrated himself in the midst of the people and revealed to them the motives for which he had committed the crime. Begging for forgiveness, he restored that which he had taken away. Then the clerics who were present came up and without any effort lifted the holy body and transferred it into the church on August 6.
Later, Alfred translated a portion of the relics of Saints Acca and Alcmund, together with portions of the relics of the other Northumbrian saints: the hermits Baldred and Bilfrid, the Martyr-King Oswin, St. Boisil of Melrose, St. Ebba of Coldingham and the Venerable Bede, to his church of Durham.
Holy Fathers Acca and Alcmund, pray to God for us!
by Vladimir Moss. Posted with permission.
(Sources: The Venerable Bede, Ecclesiastical History; Eddius Stephanus, Life of St. Wilfrid; Simeon of Durham Opera Omnia, ed. T. Arnold, Rolls Series, 1882-85, vol. II, pp. 36-37, 51-52; History of the Church of Durham, ch. 42; David Farmer, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Oxford: Clarendon, 1978)
Acca was born in Northumbria, England, and was educated in the company of St. Bosa, a Benedictine apostle of great courage. He also met St. Wilfrid, who appointed him the abbot of St. Andrew's Monastery in Hexham, England.
Acca joined St. Wilfrid as early as 678 and accompanied him to Rome in 692. When Wilfred died in 709, Acca succeeded him as the bishop of Hexham. He spent his monastic and episcopal years erecting parish churches in the area. He also introduced Christian arts and promoted learning. Acca brought a famous cantor, a man named Maban, to Hexham, and with him introduced the Roman Chants.
St. Bede dedicated several of his works to Acca, who also promoted other Christian writers. For reasons undocumented, Acca was driven out of Hexham in 732. He retired to a hermitage in Withern, in Galloway. Just before his death in 742 he returned to Hexham and was unanimously revered. When he was buried, two Celtic crosses were recreated at his gravesite. One still stands in Hexham. When his body was moved sometime later, his vestments were found intact. The accounts of Acca's miracles were drawn up by St. Aelred and by the historian Simeon of Durham.
Acca of Hexham, OSB B (AC) Born in Northumbria, England, c. 660; feast day formerly October 19; feast of translation is February 19.
From his youth Acca had been close to other saints of the time. He was raised in the household of Saint Bosa of York and became a disciple and constant companion of Saint Wilfrid, whom he accompanied for 13 years to England, Frisia, and Rome (and in the last, says Bede, 'learning many valuable things about the organization of the church which he could not have found out in his own country'). When Wilfrid was ill at Meaux in 705, he told Acca the story of his vision. Later, on his deathbed, Wilfrid named Acca abbot of Saint Andrew's in Hexham.
Acca was also a friend of the Venerable Bede, who described him as "great in the sight of God and man" and who dedicated several works in his honor. For his part, Acca urged Bede to write a simple commentary on Luke because that completed by Saint Ambrose was too long and diffuse. He also supplied material to Bede for the Ecclesiastical history and to Eddius for his life of Saint Wilfrid.
Saint Wilfrid was the first English prelate to appeal to Rome in a dispute. Acca, who succeeded Wilfrid in the see of Hexham in 709, also believed that the English Church needed to be brought into line with Roman customs--liturgically rather than legally. Bede writes, "He invited a famous singer named Maban, who had been trained by the followers of Pope Gregory's disciples in Kent, to come and teach him and his clergy." Maban, a monk of Canterbury, taught church music for 12 years--reviving old forgotten chants as well as bringing new ones. Acca also sang beautifully, according to Bede, and encouraged this revival by his own example.
Acca loved the Scriptures and studied them diligently. He refurbished the churches with sacred vessels and lights. Above all he enlarged and beautified the cathedral of Saint Andrew in Hexham, and adorned it with altars, relics, and sacred vessels. He also finished three of Wilfrid's smaller churches. He also established a fine library to which scholars and students were drawn, all of whom received the patronage of Bishop Acca, one of the most learned Anglo-Saxon prelates of his day. Bede considered this library one of the finest collections available.
For some reason Acca was forced out of his diocese in 732. He was exiled to Withern (Whithorn), Galloway (and may have been its bishop); but he returned before his death and was buried at Hexham. Two stone crosses decorated with grape vines adorned his tomb in the cathedral's east wall. The relics were translated in the late 11th century, at which time a portable altar inscribed "Almae Trinitati, agiae Sophiae, sanctae Mariae" was found in his coffin. They were again translated in 1154 and 1240 (Benedictines, Bentley, Encyclopedia, Farmer).St. Acca Catholic Encyclopedia Bishop of Hexham, and patron of learning (c. 660-742).
He is generally depicted in art as an abbot or bishop in a library with monks, sometimes with the Venerable Bede (Roeder).
Acca was a Northumbrian by birth and began life in the household of a certain Bosa, who afterwards became Bishop of York. After a few years, however, Acca attached himself to St. Wilfrid and remained his devoted disciple and companion in all his troubles. He may have joined Wilfrid as early as 678, and he certainly was with him at the time of his second journey to Rome in 692. On their return to England, when Wilfrid was reinstated at Hexham, he made Acca abbot of St. Andrew's monastery there; and after Wilfrid's death (709) Acca succeeded him as bishop. The work of completing and adorning the churches left unfinished by St. Wilfrid was energetically carried on by his successor. In ruling the diocese and in conducting the services of the Church, Acca was equally zealous. He brought to the North a famous cantor named Maban, who had learned in Kent the Roman traditions of psalmody handed down from St. Gregory the Great through St. Augustine. He was famed also for his theological learning, and for his encouragement of students by every means in his power. It was at Acca's instigation that Eddius undertook the Life of St. Wilfrid, and above all, it was to the same kind friend and patron that Bede dedicated several of his most important works, especially those dealing with Holy Scripture. For some unexplained reason Acca was driven from his diocese in 732. He is believed to have retired to Withern in Galloway, but he returned to Hexham before his death in 742, when he was at once revered as a Saint. Two crosses of exquisite workmanship, one of which is still preserved in a fragmentary state, were erected at the head and foot of his grave. When the body of the Saint was translated, the vestments were found entire, and the accounts of his miracles were drawn up by St. AElred and by Simeon of Durham. Of any true liturgical cultus there is little trace, but his feast is said to have been kept on 20 October. There is also mention of 19 February, which may have been the date of some translation of his relics.
|743 ST. EUCHERIUS, Bishop Charles Martel reproved encroachments; miracles.
Eódem die sancti Euchérii, Aurelianénsis Epíscopi, qui eo magis miráculis cláruit, pro plúribus invidórum calúmniis fuit oppréssus.
The same day, St. Eucherius, bishop of Orleans, who, the more he was oppressed by the calumnies of the envious, the more he impressed them with his miracles.
THIS Saint was born at Orleans, of a very illustrious family. At his birth his parents dedicated him to God, and set him to study when he was but seven years old, resolving to omit nothing that could be done toward cultivating his mind or forming his heart His improvement in virtue kept pace with his progress in learning: he meditated assiduously on the sacred writings, especially on St. Paul's manner of speaking on the world and its enjoyments as mere empty shadows that deceive us and vanish away. These reflections at length sank so deep into his mind that he resolved to quit the world. To put this design in execution, about the year 714 he retired to the abbey of Jumiége in Normandy, where he spent six or seven years in the practice of penitential austerities and obedience. Suavaric, his uncle, Bishop of Orleans, having died, the senate and people, with the clergy of that city, begged permission to elect Eucherius to the vacant see. The Saint entreated his monks to screen him from the dangers that threatened him; but they preferred the public good to their private inclinations, and resigned him for that important charge. He was consecrated with universal applause in 721.
743 ST EUCHERIUS, BISHOP OF ORLEANSACCORDING to his biographer, apparently a contemporary, St Eucherius led a holy life from earliest childhood. He was born at Orleans, and entered the Benedictine abbey of Jumièges about the year 714. After he had spent six or seven years there, Soavaric, Bishop of Orleans, who was his uncle, died, and the senate and people with the clergy of the city sent a deputation to Charles Martel, mayor of the palace, to ask his permission to elect Eucherius to fill the vacant see. Charles consented, and charged one of his officers of state to conduct the young monk from his monastery to Orleans. The saint was filled with dismay and entreated the monks to save him from the dangers that threatened him in the world. In spite of their reluctance they urged him to depart, setting the public good above their own desires. He was consecrated in 721. Unwilling as he had been to take office, he proved himself an exemplary pastor and devoted himself entirely to the care of his people, who loved and venerated him.
Eucherius did not, however, retain the favour of Charles Martel. To defray the expenses of his wars and other undertakings, and to recompense those who served him, it was the practice of that prince to seize the revenues of churches and he encouraged others to do the same. It would appear that St Eucherius strenuously opposed these confiscations, and certain persons represented this to Charles as an insult offered to his person. In the year 737, when he was returning to Paris after having defeated the Saracens in Aquitaine, Charles took Orleans on the way and ordered Eucherius to follow him to Verneuil-sur-Oise, and then exiled him to Cologne. Here the saint became so popular on account of his piety and charming character that Charles ordered him to be transferred to a fortified place near Liege, where he would be under the observation of the governor of the district. Here again the bishop won all hearts, and the governor made him distributor of alms and allowed him to retire to the monastery of Saint-Trond near Maestricht, where he spent the rest of his life in prayer and contemplation. The legend that St Eucherius saw Charles Martel burning in hell is an interpolation which does not belong to the primitive biography, but it is worth mentioning because the incident is sometimes depicted in representations of the saint in art.
The biography is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, February, vol. iii, and in Mabillon. See also Duchesse (Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, p. 458), who points out that whereas the author of the life makes Eucherius the immediate successor of Soavaric, the episcopal lists of Orleans mention two or three bishops as intervening. There are also other difficulties about the chronology of the life which suggest serious doubts as to its being the work of a contemporary. See “Saints de Saint-Trond” in Analecta Bollandiana. vol. lxxii (1954).Charles Martel, to defray the expenses of his wars and other undertakings, often stripped the churches of their revenues. St. Eucherius reproved these encroachments with so much zeal that, in the year 737, Charles banished him to Cologne. The extraordinary esteem which his virtue procured him in that city moved Charles to order him to be conveyed thence to a strong place in the territory of Liege. Robert, the governor of that country, was so charmed with his virtue that he made him the distributor of his large alms, and allowed him to retire to the monastery of Sarchinium, or St. Tron's. Here prayer and contemplation were his whole employment till the year 743, in which he died, on the 20th of February.
Reflection.—Nothing softens the soul and weakens piety so much as frivolous indulgence. God has revealed what high store He sets by "retirement" in these words: "I will lead her into solitude, and I will speak to her heart."
745 St. Rigobert Benedictine archbishop of
Reims His patient acceptance of all trials,
his love of retirement and prayer, and the miraculous cures attributed to
him, gained him the repute of high sanctity.
Rhemis, in Gállia, sancti Rigobérti, Epíscopi et Confessóris.
At Rheims in France, St. Rigobertus, bishop and confessor.
also known as Robert of Reims. After serving for a time as abbot of Orbais, he was appointed archbishop of Reims, France. As a result of a dispute with Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish mayor of the palace, he was banished and the see was bestowed upon the prelate Muon. When the matter was resolved and Rigobert returned to Reims, he chose not to pursue his rightful claim to the see and instead became a hermit. Rigobert was long venerated as a model of patience and was credited with many miracles.
745 ST RIGOBERT, ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS
RIGOBERT seems to have been first of all abbot of Orbais, and afterwards to have been elected to the see of Rheims, but it is not easy to adjust the chronology, and his life, written much later, at the close of the ninth century, cannot be depended upon. St Rigobert, it would appear, offended Charles Martel because he would not takes sides against Raganfred, the mayor of Neustria. Charles accordingly banished Rigobert to Gascony and gave his bishopric to Milon, who already held the temporalities of the see of Trier. In the end some compromise was effected, and the saint was allowed again to officiate in Rheims. His patient acceptance of all trials, his love of retirement and prayer, and the miraculous cures attributed to him, gained him the repute of high sanctity. He must have died between 740 and 750.
See Acta Sanctorum, January 4; Levison in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. vii, pp. 54—80; and Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, pp. 85-86. There is a very important general paper on Charles Martel and his bishops: "Milo at eiusmodi similes", by Eugen Ewig, in St Bonifatius. Gedenkgabe rum zwolfhundertjährigen Todestag (Fulda, 1954), pp. 412—440.
|750 St. Himelin
Irish or Scottish priest pilgrimage to Rome water turned to wine
A maid of the parish of Vissemaeken, Belgium, gave him water from a pitcher and it turned to wine. He died at Vissemaeken, where he is venerated.
Himelin of Vissenaeken (AC) (also known as Hymelin) Saint Himelin, an Irish or Scottish priest, is said to have been the brother of Saint Rumold of Malines. He died and was buried at Vissenaeken, near Tirlemont, Belgium, on his return from a pilgrimage to Rome. His shrine, in turn, is a noted pilgrimage center (Benedictines, Montague).
750 ST HIMELIN
THE holy priest Himelin was by birth said to be an Irishman, closely related to St Rumold of Malines, and he is remembered by the following legend. Returning from a pilgrimage to Rome, in the days of King Pepin of France, he was taken very ill one evening at Vissenaeken, near Tirlemont in Brabant. As he rested by the roadside, weary and thirsty, he asked for a drink of water from the maid-servant of the parish priest, as she passed with a pitcher of water which she had drawn from the well. She had been strictly forbidden to let anyone touch the vessel for fear of infection, as plague was raging in the district, so “I cannot let you drink out of the pitcher, for my master has forbidden it”, she replied.. Then, pitying his evident misery, she added, “But if you will come to the house, you shall have both food and drink.” The pilgrim, however, insisted, and assured her that if she would only let him take a draught of the water, her master would be well satisfied. She complied with his request and returned home. No sooner had the parish priest tasted the water than he perceived that it had been changed into delicious wine, and on questioning the girl he elicited from her what had previously happened to the pitcher. Deeply impressed by the miracle the good man ran out and brought back the sick pilgrim to his house, where he nursed him tenderly until his death, although he could not induce him to lie on a better bed than a heap of straw. St Himelin was buried at Vissenaeken, the church bells of which pealed forth at his passing, although no human hands had set them in motion. His shrine is still a resort for pilgrims, especially on his feast-day, March 10.See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii
750 Saint Stephen the Confessor
Archbishop of Surrentium (Surozh) miracles at the saint's crypt
a native of Cappadocia and was educated at Constantinople. After receiving the monastic tonsure, he withdrew into the wilderness, where he lived for thirty years in ascetic deeds.
Patriarch Germanus of Constantinople (May 12) heard of Stephen's humility and virtuous life, and wished to meet him. He was so impressed with Stephen that he consecrated him bishop of the city of Surrentium (presently the city of Sudak in the Crimea). Within five years, St Stephen's ministry was so fruitful that no heretics or unbaptized pagans remained in Surrentium or its environs.
St Stephen opposed the iconoclasm of the emperor Leo III the Isaurian (716-741). Since he refused to obey the orders of the emperor and the dishonorable Patriarch Anastasius to remove the holy icons from the churches, he was brought to Constantinople. There he was thrown into prison and tortured. He was released after the death of the emperor. Already quite advanced in years, he returned to his flock in Surrentium, where he died.
There is an account of how the Russian prince Bravlin accepted Baptism at the beginning of the ninth century during a campaign into the Crimea, influenced by miracles at the saint's crypt.
|752 Pope St. Zachary At Rome, the birthday
of Pope St. Zachary, who governed the Church of God with vigilance,
and at last, renowned for miracles, rested in peace.
Romæ sancti Zacharíæ Papæ, qui Dei Ecclésiam summa vigilántia gubernávit, et clarus méritis quiévit in pace.
Reigned 741-52. Year of birth unknown; died in March, 752. Zachary sprang from a Greek family living in Calabria; his father, according to the "Liber Pontificalis", was called Polichronius. Most probably he was a deacon of the Roman Church and as such signed the decrees of the Roman council of 732. After the burial of his predecessor Gregory III on 29 November, 741, he was immediately and unanimously elected pope and consecrated and enthroned on 5 December. His biographer in the "Liber Pontificalis" describes him as a man of gentle and conciliatory character who was charitable towards the clergy and people. As a fact the new pope always showed himself to be shrewd and conciliatory in his actions and thus his undertakings were very successful.
Soon after his elevation he notified Constantinople of his election; it is noticeable that his synodica (letter) was not addressed to the iconoclastic Patriarch Anastasius but to the Church of Constantinople. The envoys of the pope also brought a letter for the emperor.
After the death of Leo III (18 June, 741) his successor was his son Constantine V, Copronymus. However, in 742 Constantine's brother-in-law Artabasdus raised a revolt against the new emperor and established himself in Constantinople; thus when the papal envoys reached Constantinople they found Artabasdus the ruler there. As late as 743 the papal letters were dated from the year of the reign of Constantine V; in 744, however, they are dated form the year of the reign of Artabasdus. Still the papal envoys do not seem to have come into close relations with the usurper at Constantinople, although the latter re-established the worship of images.
After Constantine V had overthrown his rival, the envoys of the pope presented to him the papal letter in which Zachary exhorted the emperor to restore the doctrine and practice of the Church in respect to the worship of images. The emperor received the envoys in a friendly manner and presented the Roman Church with the villages of Nympha and Normia (Norba) in Italy, which with their territories extended to the sea.
When Zachary ascended the throne the position of the city and Duchy of Rome was a very serious one. Luitprand, King of the Lomabards, was preparing a new incursion into Roman territory. Duke Trasamund of Spoleto, with whom Pope Gregory III had formed an alliance against Luitprand, did not keep his promise to aid the Romans in regaining the cities taken by the Lombards. Consequently Zachary abandoned the alliance with Trasamund and sought to protect the interests of Rome and Roman territory by personal influence over Luitprand. The pope went to Terni to see the Lombard king who received him with every mark of honour. Zachary was able to obtain from Luitprand that the four cities of Ameria, Horta, Polimartium, and Blera should be returned to the Romans, and that all the patrimonies of the Roman Church that the Lombards had taken from it within the last thirty years, should be given back; he was also able to conclude a truce for twenty years between the Roman Duchy and the Lombards. A chapel to the Saviour was built in the Church of St. Peter at Rome in the name of Luitprand, in which the deeds respecting this return of property were placed. After the pope's return, the Roman people went in solemn procession to St. Peter's to thank God for the fortunate result of the pope's efforts. Throughout the entire affair the pope appears as the secular ruler of Rome and the Roman territory. In the next year Luitprand made ready to attack the territory of Ravenna. The Byzantine exarch of Ravenna and the archbishop begged Pope Zachary to intervene. The latter first sent envoys to the Lombard king, and when these were unsuccessful he went himself to Ravenna and from there to Pavia to see Luitprand. The pope reached Pavia on the eve of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. He celebrated the vigil and the feast of the princes of the Apostles at Pavia, and was able to induce the king to abandon the attack on Ravenna and to restore the territory belonging to the city itself. Luitprand died shortly after than and after his first successor Hildebrand was overthrown, Ratchis became King of the Lombards. The pope was on the best of terms with him. In 749 the new king confirmed the treaty of peace with the Roman Duchy. The same year Ratchis abdicated, with his wife and daughter took the monastic vows before the pope, and all three entered the monastic life.
In 743 Pope Zachary held a synod at Rome which was attended by sixty bishops. This synod issued fourteen canons on various matters of church discipline. On this occasion the pope took up the question of the impediments to marriage of relationship in the fourth degree, in regard to which the Germans claimed to have obtained a dispensation from Pope Gregory II. The year previous Zachary had written on this point to the bishops and kings of that province. An active correspondence was kept up between Zachary and St. Boniface. The latter in his zealous labours had organized the Church in the German territories, and while doing this had kept in close connection with the Papal See. Early in 742, soon after his elevation, Zachary received a letter from Boniface in which the saint expressed his full submission to the possessor of the Chair of Peter and requested then confirmation of the three newly established Bishoprics of Wurzburg, Buraburg, and Erfurt; Boniface also sought authority to hold a synod in France and to suppress abuses in the lives of the clergy. The pope confirmed the three dioceses and commissioned Boniface to attend, as papal legate, the Frankish synod which Karlmann wished to hold. In a later letter Zachary confirmed the metropolitans of Rouen, Reims, and Sens appointed by Boniface, and also confirmed the condemnation of the two heretics Adelbert and Clement. Various questions in which the pope and Boniface disagreed were discussed in letters. In 745 was held the general synod for the Frankish kingdom called by Pepin and Carloman. Here decrees were passed against unworthy ecclesiastics, and the two heretics, Adelbert and Clement, were again condemned. Boniface sent a Frankish priest to Rome to make a report to the pope, and the latter held on 25 October, 745, a synod at the Lateran at which, after exhaustive investigation, an anathema was pronounced against the two heretics. Zachary forwarded the acts of the synod with a letter to Boniface. Pepin and the Frankish bishops sent a list of questions respecting the discipline of the clergy and of the Christian population to Pope Zachary, and the latter answered in a letter of 746 in which decisions respecting the various points are given. These decisions were communicated to Boniface so that he might make them generally known at a Frankish synod. The following year, 747, Carloman resigned his authority and the world, went to Rome, and was received by Pope Zachary into a monastic order. At first he lived in the monastery on the Soracte, later at Monte Cassino. Thanks to the efforts of St. Boniface all the Frankish bishops were now agreed in submission to the See of St. Peter. Zachary sent still other letters to the bishops of Gaul and Germany, and also to Boniface as the papal legate for the Church of this region. Boniface was constantly in intercourse with Rome both by letters and envoys and sent important questions to the pope for decision. An important proof of the recognition by the Franks of the high moral power of the papacy is shown by the appeal to papal authority on the occasion of the overthrow of the Merovingian dynasty. Pepin's ambassadors, Bishop Burkard of Wurzburg and Chaplain Folrad of St. Denis, laid the question before Zachary: whether it seemed right to him that one should be king who did not really possess the royal power. The pope declared that this did not appear good to him, and on the authority of the pope Pepin considered himself justified in having himself proclaimed King of the Franks (cf. SAINT BONIFACE; and PEPIN THE SHORT). The ecclesiastical activity of the pope also extended to England. Through his efforts the Synod of Cloveshove was held in 747 for the reform of church discipline in accordance with the advice given by the pope and in imitation of the Roman Church.
Zachary was very zealous in the restoration of the churches of Rome to which he made costly gifts. He also restored the Lateran palace and established several large domains as the settled landed possessions (domus cultoe) of the Roman Church. The pope translated to the Church of St. George in Velabro the head of the martyr St. George which was found during the repairs of the decayed Lateran Palace. He was very benevolent to the poor, to whom alms were given regularly from the papal palace. When merchants from Venice bought slaves at Rome in order to sell them again to the Saracens in Africa, the pope bought all the slaves, so that Christians should not become the property of heathens. Thus in a troubled era Zachary proved himself to be an excellent, capable, vigorous, and charitable successor of Peter. He also carried on theological studies and made a translation of the Dialogues of Gregory the Great into Greek, which was largely circulated in the East. After his death Zachary was buried in St. Peters.
| 761 St. Winebald Benedictine
abbot missionary. Hugeburc, the nun who
wrote the Life of St Winebald, assures us that miraculous cures took
place at his tomb, and St Ludger writes in the Life of St Gregory
of Utrecht that, “Winebald was very dear to my master Gregory, and
shows by great miracles since his death what he did whilst living”.
761 ST WINEBALD, ABBOT
IT has been related herein under the date February 7 that a certain West Saxon, St Richard, set out on a pilgrimage to Rome with his two sons, SS. Willibald and Winebald, and died at Lucca. The young men went on to their destination, whence Willibald undertook a further pilgrimage to the Holy Land; but Winebald (or Wynbald), who had been delicate from his childhood and was ill, remained at Rome, where he studied for seven years and devoted himself with his whole heart to the divine service. Then, returning to England, he engaged several among his kindred and acquaintances to accompany him back to Rome, and there he dedicated himself to God in a religious state.
St Boniface came on his third visit to Rome in 739 and enlisted Winebald to help in the founding of the Church in Germany. Winebald followed him into Thuringia and, being ordained priest there, received the care of seven churches, which he ministered to from Sulzenbrücken near Erfurt. Being harried by the Saxons, he extended his labours into Bavaria, and after some years of strenuous missionary work returned to St Boniface at Mainz.
But he could not settle down there, and went to his brother St Willibald, who was now bishop of Eichstätt. Willibald wanted to found a double monastery which might be a pattern and seminary of piety and learning to the numerous churches which he had planted, and he asked Winebald and his sister St Walburga to undertake it.
Winebald therefore went to Heidenheim in Württemberg, where he cleared a wild spot of ground of trees and bushes and built first little cells for himself and his monks and shortly afterwards a monastery. A nunnery was set up adjoining, which St Walburga governed.
The idolaters attempted the life of St Winebald because of his unflinching efforts to impose Christian morality, but he escaped these dangers and continued to enlarge Christ’s fold, maintaining in his religious community the spirit of their holy state, teaching them above all things to persevere in prayer and to keep inviolably in mind the life of our Lord, as the standard from which they were never to waver and never to cease to hold up to the pagans around them.
He established the Rule of St Benedict in both the monasteries, which formed an important centre of English learning. St Winebald was afflicted for many years with sickness (he had an altar in his own cell at which he offered Mass when he was not able to go to the church) and this much hampered his missionary work for he could undertake only short journeys. For this reason he was unable to end his days at Monte Cassino as he wished to do. Once he set out on a visit to Würzburg and on the way was brought almost to the point of death at the shrine of St Boniface at Fulda; after three weeks he was better, but at the next town had a relapse and was in bed for another week. The end came after three years of nearly continual illness, and after a tender exhortation to his monks he died in the arms of his brother and sister on December 18, 761.Hugeburc, the nun who wrote the Life of St Winebald, assures us that miraculous cures took place at his tomb, and St Ludger writes in the Life of St Gregory of Utrecht that, “Winebald was very dear to my master Gregory, and shows by great miracles since his death what he did whilst living”.
The trustworthy biography of St Winebald was written by a nun of Heidenheirn, Hugeburc; the best text is that of Holder-Egger in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv, pp. 106-107. Some further information is furnished in the Hodoeporicon of St Willibald, written by the same Hugeburc, which is translated in C. H. Talbot, Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany (1954), and also for the Palestine Pilgrims Text Society by Bishop Brownlow in 1891. Other details may be gathered from the correspondence of St Boniface, from the Life of St Walburga and from the earlier portion of F. Heldingsfelder’s Die Regesten der Bischofe von Eichstatt (1915). See also Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlix (1931), pp. 353—397 and W. Levison, England and the Continent.. . (1946) see therein for Hugeberc, p. 294.The brother of Sts. Willibald and Walburga, he was born in Wessex, England, and went on a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land with his brother and father. When their father died at Lucca, the brothers proceeded to Rome. Winebald remained in the Eternal City while his brother went on to the Holy Land. Winebald studied in Rome for seven years, went back to England, but then returned to Rome determined to enter the religious life. At the invitation of St. Boniface, he gathered together a group of English missionaries and went to Germany in 739. Winebald was ordained, labored in Thuringia and Bavaria, and then joined Wilibald in his missionary enterprise in Eichstatt, Frisia, Holland. With his brother, he founded the monastery of Heidenheim, Germany, where he served as abbot with his sister as abbess. He struggled against the local pagans and strove to make the monastery one of the leading ecclesiastical centers in Germany.
767 Monkmartyr and Confessor Stephen the New of Mt St Auxentius & o ver 300 monks: gift of wonderworking performed healings with holy icons and turned many away from Iconoclasm
Constantinópoli sanctórum Mártyrum Stéphani junióris, Basilíi, Petri, Andréæ, et Sociórum trecentórum et trigínta novem Monachórum; qui, sub Constantíno Coprónymo, pro sanctárum Imáginum cultu váriis excruciáti supplíciis, veritátem cathólicam effúso sánguine confirmárunt.
At Constantinople, in the time of Constantine Copronymus, the holy martyrs Stephen the Younger, Basil, Peter, Andrew, and their companions, numbering three hundred and thirty-nine monks, who were subjected to diverse torments for the veneration of holy images, and confirmed the Catholic truth with the shedding of their blood.
764 ST STEPHEN THE YOUNGER, Martyr
ST STEPHEN surnamed the Younger, one of the most renowned martyrs in the persecution by the Iconoclasts, was born at Constantinople, and his parents placed him when he was fifteen years old in the monastery of St Auxentius, not far from Chalcedon. Stephen’s employment was to fetch the provisions daily for the monastery. The death of his father obliged him to make a journey to Constantinople, where he sold his share of the estate and distributed the price among the poor. He had two sisters, one of whom was already a nun; the other he took with his mother into Bithynia, where he found them a home in a monastery. When John the abbot died, Stephen, though but thirty years of age, was placed at the head of the monastery. This was a number of small cells scattered up and down a mountain, and the new abbot succeeded his predecessor in a cave on the summit, where he joined labour with prayer, copying books and making nets.
After some years Stephen resigned his abbacy, and built himself a remoter cell, so narrow that it was impossible for him to lie or stand up in it at ease. He shut himself up in this sepulchre in his forty-second year.
The Emperor Constantine Copronymus carried on the war that his father Leo had begun against holy images, his efforts being chiefly levelled against the monks, from whom he expected and received the most resolute opposition. Knowing the influence of Stephen, he was particularly anxious to get his subscription to the decree passed by the Iconoclast bishops at the council of 754. Callistus, a patrician, tried to persuade the saint to consent, but he had to report failure. Constantine, incensed at St Stephen’s resolute answer, sent Callistus back with soldiers and an order to drag him out of his cell. They found him so weak in body that they were obliged to carry him to the bottom of the mountain. Witnesses were suborned to accuse the saint, and he was charged with having criminally conversed with his spiritual daughter, the holy widow Anne. She protested he was innocent, and because she would not say as the emperor wished she was whipped and then confined to a monastery, where she died soon after of the hard usage she suffered.
The emperor, seeking a new excuse to put Stephen to death, trapped him into clothing a novice, which had been forbidden; whereupon armed men dispersed his monks and burnt down the monastery and church. They took St Stephen, put him roughly on board a vessel, and carried him to a monastery at Chrysopolis, where Callistus and several court bishops came to examine him. They treated him first with civility, and afterwards with extreme harshness. He asked them how they could call a general council one which was not approved by the other patriarchs, and stoutly defended the honour due to holy images, insomuch that Stephen was condemned to banishment to the island of Proconnesus, in the Propontis.
Two years after Copronymus ordered him to be removed to a prison in Constantinople, where some days later he was carried before the emperor, who asked him whether he believed that men trampled on Christ by trampling on His image. “God forbid”, said Stephen; but then, taking a piece of money, he asked what treatment was deserved by one who should stamp upon that image of the emperor. The suggestion was received with indignation. “Is it then”, asked St Stephen, “so great a crime to insult the image of the king of the earth, and none to cast into the fire that of the King of Heaven?” The emperor commanded that he should be scourged. This was done with brutal violence, and Copronymus when he heard that Stephen was nevertheless yet alive cried out, “Will no one rid me of this monk?” Whereupon some of his hearers ran to the jail, seized the martyr and dragged him through the streets by his feet. Many of the mob struck him with stones and staves, till one dashed out his brains with a club. The Roman Martyrology mentions with St Stephen other monks who suffered in the same cause about the same time.
A Greek life, written by another Stephen, “deacon of Constantinople”, is printed in Migne, PG., vol. c, pp. 1068-1986. It has been pointed out that the text contains passages borrowed from the Life of St. Euthymius by Cyril of Scythopolis. A short account of the martyrdom will be found in B. Hermann’s Verborgene Heilige des griechischen Ostens (1935).The Monk Martyr and Confessor Stephen the New was born in 715 at Constantinople into a pious Christian family. His parents, having two daughters, prayed the Lord for a son. The mother of the new-born Stephen took him to the Blachernae church of the Most Holy Theotokos and dedicated him to God.
During the reign of the emperor Leo the Isaurian (716-741) there was a persecution against the holy icons and against those venerating them. With the support of the emperor, the adherents of the Iconoclast heresy seized control of the supreme positions of authority in the Empire and in the Church. Persecuted by the powers of this world, Orthodoxy was preserved in monasteries far from the capital, in solitary cells, and in the brave and faithful hearts of its followers.
The Orthodox parents of St Stephen, grieved by the prevailing impiety, fled from Constantinople to Bithynia, and they gave over their sixteen-year-old son in obedience to the monk John, who labored in asceticism in a solitary place on the Mount of St Auxentius. St Stephen dwelt with the venerable monk John for more than fifteen years, devoting himself totally to this spirit-bearing Elder, and learning monastic activity from him. Here Stephen received the news that his father was dead, and his mother and sisters had been tonsured as nuns.
After a certain time his teacher John also died. With deep sorrow St Stephen buried his venerable body, and continued with monastic effort in his cave by himself. Soon monks began to come to the ascetic, desiring to learn from him the virtuous and salvific life, and a monastery was established, with St Stephen as the igumen. At forty-two years of age Stephen left the monastery he founded, and he went to another mountain, on whose summit he dwelt in deep seclusion in a solitary cell. But here also a community of monks soon gathered, seeking the spiritual guidance of St Stephen.
Leo the Isaurian was succeeded by Constantine Copronymos (741-775), a fiercer persecutor of the Orthodox, and an even more zealous iconoclast. The emperor convened an Iconoclast Council, attended by 358 bishops from the Eastern provinces. However, except for Constantine, the Archbishop of Constantinople, illegitimately raised to the patriarchal throne by the power of Copronymos, not one of the other patriarchs participated in the wicked doings of this Council, thus making it less likely to style itself as "ecumenical." This council of heretics, at the instigation of the emperor and the archbishop, described icons as idols, and pronounced an anathema on all who venerated icons in the Orthodox manner, and it described icon veneration as heresy.
Meanwhile, the monastery of Mount Auxentius and its igumen became known in the capital. They told the emperor about the ascetic life of the monks, about their Orthodox piety, about the igumen Stephen's gift of wonderworking, and of how St Stephen's fame had spread far beyond the region of the monastery, and that the name of its head was accorded universal respect and love. The saint's open encouragement of icon veneration and the implied rebuff to the persecutors of Orthodoxy within the monastery of Mount Auxentius especially angered the emperor. Archbishop Constantine realized that in the person of St Stephen he had a strong and implacable opponent of his iconoclastic intentions, and he plotted how he might draw him over to his side or else destroy him.
They tried to lure St Stephen into the Iconoclast camp, at first with flattery and bribery, then by threats, but in vain. Then they slandered the saint, accusing him of falling into sin with the nun Anna. But his guilt was not proven, since the nun courageously denied any guilt and died under torture and beatings. Finally, the emperor gave orders to lock up the saint in prison, and to destroy his monastery. Iconoclast bishops were sent to St Stephen in prison, trying to persuade him of the dogmatic correctness of the Iconoclast position. But the saint easily refuted all the arguments of the heretics and he remained true to Orthodoxy.
Then the emperor ordered that the saint be exiled on one of the islands in the Sea of Marmora. St Stephen settled into a cave, and there also his disciples soon gathered. After a certain while the saint left the brethren and took upon himself the exploit of living atop a pillar. News of the stylite Stephen, and the miracles worked by his prayers, spread throughout all the Empire and strengthened the faith and spirit of Orthodoxy in the people.
The emperor gave orders to transfer St Stephen to prison on the island of Pharos, and then to bring him to trial. At the trial, the saint refuted the arguments of the heretics sitting in judgment upon him. He explained the dogmatic essence of icon veneration, and he denounced the Iconoclasts because in blaspheming icons, they blasphemed Christ and the Mother of God. As proof, the saint pointed to a golden coin inscribed with the image of the emperor. He asked the judges what would happen to a man who threw the coin to the ground , and then trampled the emperor's image under his feet. They replied that such a man would certainly be punished for dishonoring the image of the emperor. The saint said that an even greater punishment awaited anyone who would dishonor the image of the King of Heaven and His Saints, and with that he spat on the coin, threw it to the ground, and began to trample it underfoot.
The emperor gave orders to take the saint to prison, where already there were languishing 342 Elders, condemned for the veneration of icons. In this prison St Stephen spent eleven months, consoling the imprisoned. The prison became like a monastery, where the usual prayers and hymns were chanted according to the Typikon. The people came to the prison in crowds and asked St Stephen to pray for them.
When the emperor learned that the saint had organized a monastery in prison, where they prayed venerated holy icons, he sent two of his own servants, twin-brothers, to beat the saint to death. When these brothers went to the prison and beheld the face of the monk shining with a divine light, they fell down on their knees before him, asking his forgiveness and prayers, then they told the emperor that his command had been carried out. But the emperor learned the truth and he resorted to yet another lie. Informing his soldiers that the saint was plotting to remove him from the throne, he sent them to the prison. The holy confessor himself came out to the furious soldiers, who seized him and dragged him through the streets of the city. They then threw the lacerated body of the martyr into a pit, where they were wont to bury criminals.
On the following morning a fiery cloud appeared over Mount Auxentius, and then a heavy darkness descended upon the capital, accompanied by hail, which killed many people.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Trained on the mountain in ascetical labours, with the whole armour of the Cross thou didst vanquish the spiritual arrays of unseen enemies; and when thou hadst stripped thyself with great courage for contest, thou didst slay Copronymus with the sword of the true Faith. For both these things hast thou been crowned by God, O righteous Martyr, blest Stephen of great renown.Kontakion in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone
With songs and hymns, O ye feast-lovers, let us all extol the godly Stephen, that great lover of the Trinity, for he honoured with his whole heart the comely image of the Master, of His Mother, and of all the Saints. Now with one accord, with longing, and with joy of heart, let us cry to him: Rejoice, O Father most glorious.Reading:
The righteous Stephen was born in Constantinople in 715 to pious parents named John and Anna. His mother had prayed often to the most holy Theotokos in her church at Blachernae to be granted a son, and one day received a revelation from our Lady that she would conceive the son she desired. When Anna had conceived, she asked the newly-elected Patriarch Germanus (see May 12) to bless the babe in her womb. He said, "May God bless him through the prayers of the holy First Martyr Stephen." At that moment Anna saw a flame of fire issue from the mouth of the holy Patriarch. When the child was born, she named him Stephen, according to the prophecy of Saint Germanus. Stephen struggled in asceticism from his youth in Bithynia at the Monastery of Saint Auxentius, which was located at a lofty place called Mount Auxentius. Because of his extreme labours and great goodness, he was chosen by the hermits of Mount Auxentius to be their leader. The fame of his spiritual struggles reached the ears of all, and the fragrance of his virtue drew many to himself.
During the reign of Constantine V (741-775), Stephen showed his love of Orthodoxy in contending for the Faith. This Constantine was called Copronymus, that is, "namesake of dung," because while being baptized he had soiled the waters of regeneration, giving a fitting token of what manner of impiety he would later embrace. Besides being a fierce Iconoclast, Constantine raised up a ruthless persecution of monasticism. He held a council in 754 that anathematized the holy icons. Because Saint Stephen rejected this council, the Emperor framed false accusations against him and exiled him. But while in exile Saint Stephen performed healings with holy icons and turned many away from Iconoclasm.
When he was brought before the Emperor again, he showed him a coin and asked whose image the coin bore. "Mine," said the tyrant. "If any man trample upon thine image, is he liable to punishment?" asked the Saint. When they that stood by answered yes, the Saint groaned because of their blindness, and said if they thought dishonouring the image of a corruptible king worthy of punishment, what torment would they receive who trampled upon the image of the Master Christ and of the Mother of God? Then he threw the coin to the ground and trampled on it. He was condemned to eleven months in bonds and imprisonment. Later, he was dragged over the earth and was stoned, like Stephen the First Martyr; wherefore he is called Stephen the New. Finally, he was struck with a wooden club on the temple and his head was shattered, and thus he gave up his spirit in the year 767.
Stephen the Younger M (RM) (with Basil, Peter, Andrew & Comps.) Born at Constantinople in 714-715; died there 764-765. When the Iconoclast persecution was renewed by the Byzantine emperor Constantine V (Copronymus), this Stephen was the foremost defender at Constantinople of the veneration of religious images. He was a hermit-monk on Mount Saint Auxentius (near Chalcedon), and in 761 was banished for his activities to the island of Proconnesus in the sea of Marmara.
After three years he was brought before the emperor and questioned. Stephen produced a coin and asked if it were not wrong to treat the imperial effigy on it disrespectfully: "Very well," he continued, "how much more then does he deserve punishment who stamps on an image of Christ or his mother, and burns it" (which was what was being done).
He threw the coin to the floor and trampled on it. Constantine ordered him thrown in jail, where he spent 11 months with over 300 other monks, living a sort of monastic life together. Saint Stephen continued to be resolute in his principles, and was finally battered to death. It is said that the emperor was not willing to order his death but--like Henry II and Thomas a Becket--Stephen provoked it by the intemperance of his language. And so Stephen together with SS Basil, Peter, Andrew, and a band of over 300 monks were put to death for our faith (Attwater, Attwater 2, Benedictines, Coulson).
|770 St. Opportuna Benedictine
abbess; The legends
which grew up about her after her death, as well as many reputed miracles,
made the saint very popular in France.
770 ST OPPORTUNA, VIRGIN AND ABBESS a life of humility, obedience, mortification and prayer; many reputed miracles after death,ST OPPORTUNA was born near Hyesmes in Normandy. At an early age she entered a Benedictine convent near Almenèches, receiving the veil from her brother Chrodegang, bishop of Séez. As a simple nun and afterwards as abbess she edified the whole community by her piety and austerity. Her brother the bishop came to a violent end: he was murdered; and the tragic fate of this brother to whom she was warmly attached was so great a shock to St Opportuna that she died shortly afterwards, leaving behind the memory of a life of humility, obedience, mortification and prayer. The legends which grew up about her after her death, as well as many reputed miracles, made the saint very popular in France.
There is a life by Adelelmus, Bishop of Séez (best text in Mabillon, vol. iii, part a, pp. 222—231), but the prominence given to the miraculous element does not inspire confidence. See also L. de Ia Sicotière, La vie de ste Opportune (1867), and Duchesne, Fastes Épiscopaux, vol. ii, pp. 231--234.Born near Hyesmes, Normandy, she was the sister of St. Chrodegang, bishop of Seez, and entered a Benedictine convent at Monteuil, eventually becoming abbess. She died of shock after learning of her brother’s murder.
Opportuna of Montreuil, OSB V, Abbess (AC) Born near Ayesmes, Normandy; Saint Opportuna was the sister of Saint Chrodegang, bishop of Séez. When she was still very young, Opportuna received the veil from her brother and entered the Benedictine convent of Montreuil at Almenèches, three miles from Séez, where her cousin Saint Lantildis governed. (Chrodegang was killed on the way to visit the abbey.) Later Opportuna succeeded her cousin as abbess. Opportuna, a model of humility, obedience, mortification, and prayer, is described as "a true mother to all her nuns."
Her cultus has always flourished in France. In 1009, during the invasion of the Normans in the reign of Charles the Bald, her relics were translated to the priory of Moussy between Paris and Senlis. Later they were moved to Senlis. In 1374, her right arm and a rib were enshrined in a small church dedicated to her in Paris near a hermitage called Notre Dame des Bois Paris. As the city grew, so did the church. Most of Opportuna's head still rests at Moussy; her left arm and part of her skull at Almenèches; and a jaw bone in the priory of Saint Chrodegang at Île-Adam. The Parisien shrine is carried in processions with those of Saints Honoratus and Geneviève (Attwater2, Benedictines, Coulson, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Opportuna holds an abbess's crozier and a casket of relics. She may also be shown with the Virgin appearing at her deathbed or as a princess with a basket of cherries and a fleur-de- lys (Roeder). She is venerated at Ayesmes in Normandy (Roeder).
St. Sebald Hermit, missionary assisting in the work. of St. Willibald in the
Patron saint of Nuremberg. Most likely an Anglo-Saxon from England, he arrived on the Continent and became a hermit near Vicenza, Italy, and then participated in the missionary enterprise of the times, assisting in the work. of St. Willibald in the Reichswald. Many miracles were attributed to him, including turning icicles into firewood.
|773 St. Amicus martyr
French knight, companion of Amelius Charlemagne's champion
These knights took part in Charlemagne's campaign against the Lombards in northern Italy. In Mortara, Lombardy, Amicus and Amelius are venerated as martyrs.
Amicus and Amelius MM (AC). As French knights, Saints Amicus and Amelius participated in Blessed Charlemagne's campaign against the Lombards in northern Italy. Because they fell in battle against heretics, they have been venerated as martyrs in Mortara, Lombardy, Italy (Benedictines).
|786 St. Willibald Bishop and missionary native
of Wessex England brother of Sts. Winebald and Walburga related
to St. Boniface; Willibald was the first recorded English pilgrim
to the Holy Land, and his vita the earliest travel book by an English
writer; honoured with many miracles.
786 ST WILLIBALD, BISHOP OF Eichstätt
WILLIBALD was born about the year 700, in the kingdom of the West Saxons, the son of St Richard (February 7) and so brother of SS. Winebald and Walburga.
When he was three years old his life was despaired of in a violent sickness. When all natural remedies proved unsuccessful, his parents laid him at the foot of a great cross which was erected in a public place near their house. There they made a promise to God that if the child recovered they would consecrate him to the divine service, and he was immediately restored to health. Richard put him under the abbot of the monastery of Waltham in Hampshire. Willibald left here about the year 720 to accompany his father and brother on a pilgrimage, as is narrated in the life of St Richard on February 7.
After staying for a time in Rome, where he suffered from malaria, Willibald set out with two companions to visit the holy places which Christ had sanctified by His presence on earth. They sailed first to Cyprus and thence into Syria. At Emesa (Homs) St Willibald was taken by the Saracens for a spy, and was imprisoned with his companions, but after a short time they were released. When first the prisoners were arraigned, the magistrate said, "I have often seen men of the parts of the earth whence these come travelling hither. They mean no harm, wishing but to fulfil their law." They then went to Damascus, Nazareth, Cana, Mount Tabor, Tiberias. Magdala, Capharnaum, the source of the Jordan (where Willibald noticed that the cattle differed from those of Wessex, having "a long back, short legs, large upright horns, and all of one colour"), the desert of the Temptation, Galgal, Jericho, and so to Jerusalem. Here he spent some time, worshipping Christ in the places where He wrought so many great mysteries, and seeing marvels that are still shown to the pious pilgrim to-day. He likewise visited famous monasteries, lauras and hermitages in that country, with a desire of learning and imitating the practices of the religious life, and whatever might seem most conducive to the sanctification of his soul. After visiting Bethlehem and the south, the coast towns, Samaria and Damascus, and Jerusalem several times again, he eventually took ship at Tyre and, after a long stay in Constantinople, reached Italy before the end of the year 730. Willibald was the first recorded English pilgrim to the Holy Land, and his vita the earliest travel book by an English writer.
The celebrated monastery of Monte Cassino having been lately repaired by Pope St Gregory II, Willibald chose that house for his residence, and his example contributed to settle it in the primitive spirit of its holy rule during the ten years that he lived there: indeed he seems to have had an important part in the restoration of observance there. At the end of that time. coming on a visit to Rome, he was received by Pope St Gregory III, who, being interested in his travels and attracted by his character, eventually instructed Willibald to go into Germany and join the mission of his kinsman Boniface. Accordingly he set out for Thuringia, where St Boniface then was, by whom he was ordained priest. His labours in the country about Eichstätt, in Franconia, were crowned with great success, and he was no less powerful in words than in works.
Very shortly afterwards he was consecrated bishop by Boniface and given charge of a new diocese of which Eichstätt was made the see. The cultivation of so rough a vineyard was a laborious and painful task; but his patience and energy overcame all difficulties. He set about founding, at Heidenheim, a double monastery, whose discipline was that of Monte Cassino, wherein his brother, St Winebald, ruled the monks, and his sister, St Walburga, the nuns. From this monastery the care and evangelization of his diocese was organized and conducted, and in it the bishop found a congenial refuge from the cares of his office. But his love of solitude did not diminish his pastoral solicitude for his flock. He was attentive to all their spiritual necessities, he often visited every part of his charge, and instructed his people with indefatigable zeal and charity, so that "the field which had been so arid and barren soon flourished as a very vineyard of the Lord". Willibald outlived both his brother and sister and shepherded his flock for some forty-five years before God called him to Himself. He was honoured with many miracles and his body enshrined in his cathedral, where it still lies. St Willibald's feast is kept in the diocese of Plymouth on this day, but the Roman Martyrology names him on July 7.
The materials for St Willibald's life are unusually abundant and reliable. We have in particular the account of his early history and travels (the "Hodoeporicon") taken down by a nun of Heidenheim, Hugeburc, an Englishwoman by birth and a relative of the saint. The best text is in Pertz, MGH., Scriptores, vol. xv. Besides this there are several minor biographies and references in letters, etc. All that is most important will be found both in Mabillon, vol. iii, and in the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. ii. For English readers a translation of the "Hodoeporicon" will be found in C. H. Talbot, Anglo-Saxon Missionaries in Germany (1954), and in the publications of the Palestine Pilgrims' Text Society (1891). There has been much debate over obscure questions of chronology. See also Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vol. i; H. Timerding, Die christliche Frühzeit Deutschlands, part ii (1929); Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xlix (1931), pp. 353-397; Abbot Chapman in Revue Benedictine, vol. xxi (1904), pp. 74-80, and St Benedict and the Sixth Century (1929), p. 131; and W. Levison, England and the Continent in the Eighth Century (1946).After studying in a monastery in Waitham, in Hampshire, he went on a pilgrimage to Rome (c. 722) with his father, who died on the way at Lucca, Italy. Willibald continued on to Rome and then to Jerusalem. Captured by Saracens who thought him a spy, he was eventually released and continued on to all of the holy places and then to Constantinople (modern Istanbul, Turkey), where he visited numerous lauras, monasteries, and hermitages. Upon his return to Italy, he went to Monte Cassino where he stayed for ten years, serving as sacrist, dean, and porter. While on a visit to Rome, he met Pope St. Gregory III (r. 731-741), who sent him to Germany to assist his cousin St. Boniface in his important missionary endeavors. Boniface ordained him in 741 and soon appointed him bishop of Eichstatt, in Franconia. the Site of Willibald's most successful efforts as a missionary. With his brother Winebald, he founded a double monastery at Heidenheim, naming Winebald abbot and his sister Walburga abbess. Willibald served as bishop for some four decades. His Vita is included in the Hodoeporicon (the earliest known English travel book). An account of his journeys in the Holy Land was written by a relative of Willibald and a nun of Heidenheim.
Willibald (Willebald) of Eichstätt B (RM) Born in Wessex, October 21, c. 700; died on July 7, 786; canonized 938 by Pope Leo VII; feast day formerly on July 7.
The life of Saint Willibald had been despaired of as a child and he had been cured, so it was believed, by being placed at the foot of a market cross where his royal parents had prayed and made a vow that if his life were spared it should be dedicated to the service of God. As a result, when five years old, he was placed for education in Waltham Monastery in Hampshire.
In 721, he accompanied his father, King Saint Richard of the West Saxons, and brother, Saint Winebald, to Rome and the Holy Land. Richard died at Lucca in Italy. At some point Willibald was arrested at Emessa as a spy and imprisoned at Constantinople for two years. After an absence of six years, during which he visited many lauras, monasteries, and hermitages, Willibald settled in the great monastery of Monte Cassino, where he assisted Saint Petronax in its restoration. During his ten years there, Willibald was appointed sacristan, dean and, for eight years, porter.
While on a visit to Rome in 740, he met Pope Saint Gregory III, who sent him to Germany to join his uncle (or cousin) Saint Boniface in his missionary labors. Soon after his arrival, Boniface ordained him priest (741) and then consecrated him bishop of Eichstätt in Franconia (742). It was a hard and rough task in a barbarous land, for it was pioneering work demanding great qualities of energy and evangelism.
During that period he lived in the Heidenheim Abbey ruled by his brother, Saint Winebald, and afterwards by his sister, Saint Walburga. There he found a welcome retreat from the cares of his work, but was no less diligent in his pastoral oversight. "The field which had been so arid and barren soon flourished as a very vineyard of the Lord."
For over 50 years he labored for God in a foreign land and no story of missionary enterprise is more exhilarating than that of this faithful prince, who, whether as porter of a monastery or bishop of a diocese, served the needs of men and to the glory of God. And thus these three children of the good Saxon King Richard came to be numbered among the saints.
Willibald was the first known Englishman to visit the Holy Land. The account of his wanderings, Hodoeporicon, is the earliest known English travelogue. It was dictated from his memories and recorded by a nun at Heidesheim (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Gill).
Saint Willibald is depicted in art holding two arrows. Sometimes he may be shown (1) with a crown at his feet as he talks to a woodsman who fells a tree; (2) in infancy as he is dedicated by his parents at the foot of the cross; (3) as a pilgrim with his father and brother; (4) receiving the mitre from the pope; (5) with the words fides, spes, charitas on his cloak or arm; (6) with a broken glass; or (7) directing the building of a church (Roeder).
St. Leo of Catania Bishop of Catania, Sicily.
called ii Maravigloso, “the Wonder-Worker.” He was revered for his holiness and learning.
Cátanæ, in Sicília, sancti Leónis Epíscopi, qui virtútibus atque miráculis coruscávit.
At Catania in Sicily, St. Leo, bishop, illustrious for virtues and miracles.
|788 Patto of Werden abbot
many miracles attributed OSB B (AC)
(also known as Pacificus) Born in Britain; died at Werden (Verden), Saxony, Germany, c. 788. Saint Patto was abbot of the Irish monastery of Anabaric in Saxony, which was established by Blessed Charlemagne about 780. Later he was consecrated bishop of Werden to succeeded its first bishop, Suibert.
Because many miracles have been attributed to him, his body was exhumed in 1630 (a common action during a papal investigation of sanctity), but no record was made of the result. This may have been because the remains of Bishops Suibert, Saint Tanco, Saint Patto, Cerelon, Nortrila, Saint Erlulf, and Saint Harruch, plus debris of mitres, sandals, and episcopal ornaments were all found in the same tomb. The relics were collected into a new casket and rested behind the high altar until they were taken by the bishop to Regensburg during the Swedish invasions in 1659 (Benedictines, D'Arcy, Fitzpatrick2, Kenney, Montague, O'Hanlon).
|789 ST WILLEHAD, BISHOP OF BREMEN: see also Nov 08:
seems to be responsible for the book of miracles attached to his life
In vico Blexen, ad Visúrgim flúvium, in Germánia, sancti Willehádi, qui primus éxstitit Breménsis civitátis Epíscopus; atque, una cum sancto Bonifátio, cujus discípulus fuit, in Frísia et Saxónia Evangélium propagávit.
In the village of Plexem, on the Weser River in Germany, St. Willehad, first bishop of Bremen, who, together with St. Boniface, whose disciple he was, spread the Gospel in Friesland and Saxony.
WILLEHAD was an Englishman, a native of Northumbria, and was educated probably at York, for he became a friend of Alcuin. After his ordination the spiritual conquests which many of his countrymen had made for Christ, with St Willibrord in Friesland and St Boniface in Germany, seemed a reproach to him, and he also desired to carry the saving knowledge of the true God to some of those barbarous nations. He landed in Friesland about the year 766 and began his mission at Dokkum, the place near which St Boniface and his companions had received the crown of martyrdom in 754. (The Roman Martyrology mistakenly calls St Willehad a disciple of St Boniface.) After baptizing some, he made his way through the country now called Overyssel, preaching as he went. In Humsterland the missionaries were all put in peril of their lives, for the inhabitants cast lots whether he and his companions should be put to death; Providence determined the lots for their preservation. Having escaped out of their hands, St Willehad thought it prudent to go back to Drenthe, in the more favourable neighbourhood of Utrecht. Here, in spite of the labours of St Willibrord and his successors, there was still plenty of heathens to convert, but the promising field was spoiled by imprudent zeal. Some of Willehad’s fellow missionaries venturing to demolish the places dedicated to idolatry, the pagans were so angered that they resolved to massacre them. One struck at St Willehad with such force that the sword would have severed his head but that the force of the blow, as his biographer assures us, was entirely broken by cutting a string about the saint’s neck by which hung a little box of relics which he always carried with him. The whole incident bears a suspicious resemblance to that recorded of St Willibrord on the island of Waicheren.
Having made so little progress among the Frisians St Willehad went to the court of Charlemagne, who in 780 sent him to evangelize the Saxons, whom he had recently subdued. The saint thence proceeded into the country where Bremen now stands, and was the first missionary who passed the Weser; some of his companions got beyond the Elbe. For a short time all went well, but in 782 the Saxons rose in revolt against the Franks. They put to death all missionaries that fell into their hands, and St Willehad escaped by sea into Friesland, whence he took an opportunity of going to Rome and laying before Pope Adrian I the state of his mission. He then passed two years in the monastery of Echternach, founded by St Willibrord, and assembled his fellow labourers whom the war had dispersed; here, too, he made a copy of the letters of St Paul.
Charlemagne put down the Saxon rebellion in ruthless fashion, and Willehad was able to return to the country between the Weser and the Elbe.*[* Charlemagne’s dealings with the barbarous Saxons were not such as to make solid missionary work any easier.]
When the saint had founded many churches, Charlemagne in 787 had him ordained bishop of the Saxons, and he fixed his see at Bremen, which city seems to have been founded about that time. St Willehad redoubled his zeal and his solicitude in preaching. His cathedral church he built of wood and consecrated it on November I, 789, in honour of St Peter. A few days later he was taken ill, and it was seen that he was very bad. One of his disciples said to him, weeping, “Do not so soon forsake your flock exposed to the fury of wolves”. He answered, “Withhold me not from going to God. My sheep I recommend to Him who intrusted them to me and whose mercy is able to protect them.” And so he died, and his successor buried his body in the new stone church at Bremen. St Willehad was the last of the great English missionaries of the eighth century.Our knowledge of St Willehad is almost entirely derived from a Latin life written about the year 856 by some ecclesiastic of Bremen. It was formerly attributed to the authorship of St Anskar, but this view has now been abandoned, though Anskar seems to be responsible for the book of miracles attached to the life. The best text of both is that edited by A. Poncelet in the Acta Sanctorum, November, vol. iii ; but they have been printed several times before, e.g. by Mabillon, and in Pertz, MGH., Scriptores, vol. ii. See also H. Timerding, Die Christliche Frühzeit Deutschlands, vol. ii (1929); Louis Halphen, Etudes critiques sur l’histoire de Charlemagne (1921); and Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vol. ii. Cf. W. Levison, England and the Continent . . . (1946).
| 793 Ethelbert of
East Anglia a man of prayer from his childhood miracles revealed at his
hidden tomb M (AC)
Died near Hereford, England, in 793. King Ethelbert had a considerable cultus during the middle ages, although some, such as William of Malmesbury, have misgivings about the continuance of his veneration. He was murdered at Sutton Walls in Herefordshire, apparently for dynastic reasons at the instigation of the wife of Offa of Mercia.
His pious vita, written by Giraldus Cambrensis, tells us that Ethelbert was a man of prayer from his childhood. While still very young, he succeeded his father Ethelred as king of East Anglia and ruled benevolently for 44 years. It is said that his usual maxim is that the higher the station of man, the humbler he ought to be. This was the rule for his own conduct.
Desiring to secure stability for his kingdom by an heir, he sought the hand of the virtuous Alfreda, daughter of the powerful King Offa. With this in mind, he visited Offa at Sutton-Wallis, four miles Hereford. He was courteously entertained, but after some days, treacherously murdered by Grimbert, an officer of king Offa, through the contrivance of queen Quendreda who wanted to add his kingdom to their own.
His body was secretly buried at Maurdine of Marden, but miracles revealed its hiding place. Soon it was moved to a church at Fernley (Heath of Fern), now called Hereford. The town grew around the church bearing Ethelbert's name after King Wilfrid of Mercia enlarged and enriched it.
Quendreda died miserably within three months after her crime. Her daughter Alfreda became a hermit at Croyland. Offa made atonement for the sin of his queen by a pilgrimage to Rome, where he founded a school for the English. Egfrid, the only son of Offa, died after a reign of some months, and the Mercian crown was translated into the family descended of Penda (Attwater, Benedictines).
794 Saint Stephen
Sabbaites, nephew of St John of Damascus entered Lavra of St Sava at
10 spent his life there; given gifts of wonderworking and clairvoyance;
healed the sick, cast out devils
Born in the year 725. The ten-year-old boy entered the Lavra of St Sava and spent his whole life at this monastery, sometimes going out into the desert for solitary ascetic deeds. The venerable Stephen was given the gifts of wonderworking and clairvoyance. He healed the sick, cast out devils, and discerned the thoughts of those coming to him for counsel. He died in the year 794, foretelling in advance the day of his death. The Life of the monk was compiled by his student Leontius.
Stephanus der Sabait Orthodoxe Kirche: 13. Juli Katholische Kirche: 31. März
Stephanus wurde 725 geboren. Mit 10 Jahren trat er in das Sabakloster ein, das er bis zu seinem Tod 794 nicht mehr verließ. Er zog sich zeitweise in die Einöde zurück und wurde mit den Gaben der Heilung, Teufelsaustreibung und Prophetie beschenkt.
Timothy of Symbola Italian gift of healing sick casting out
He became a monk at a young age and pursued asceticism at a monastery called "Symbola," in Asia Minor near Mount Olympus. At that time Theoctistus was the archimandrite of the monastery. St Timothy was the disciple of Theoctistus and also of St Platon of the Studion Monastery (April 5).
Attaining a high degree of spiritual perfection, he received from God the gift of healing the sick and casting out unclean spirits. He spent many years as a hermit, roaming the wilderness, the mountains and forests, both day and night offering up prayer to the Lord God. He died at a great old age, in the year 795.
|8th v. Saint Stephen
Impressed by the lives of the great asceticss glorious departure
into Heaven with the angels
he made the rounds of many monasteries in Palestine, and in the wilderness visited also the great Fathers Euthymius the Great (January 20), Sava the Sanctified (December 5) and Theodosius the Great (January 11). Tonsured into monasticism, St Stephen founded his own monastery in Bithynia, near Mount Oxos near Chalcedon. Many monks gathered at the monastery near Moudania in Asia Minor, which was called "chenolakkos" ["by the goose-pond"].The holy ascetic foresaw his own death, and certain of the brethren were granted to behold his glorious departure into Heaven with the angels.