Page 1

TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 3]

messengers to Narses, who, however, had already started to meet them, having been apprised of their arrival in a dream. From Sipontum they passed on to Lucera and thence to Benevento, where the whole population came out to greet her. From the Golden gate of the city she walked barefoot tc the church of our Lady, where she offered gifts, the bells in the meantime pealing forth in her honour. She then gave herself to unceasing prayer and fasted every day except Sunday-thereby, no doubt, undermining her health, for she died of fever at the age of sixteen amid general lamentation. These historical details cannot be regarded as trustworthy. Besides the two very short biographies printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i, a longer account is furnished in the text translated from a Greek original by a certain Peter. See S. Borgia, Memorie istoriche di Benevento, vol. i, pp. 143-176.

ST NON,

OR

NONNITA

(SIXTH CENTURY)

SINCE the revised March volume of Butler's Lives was published a church has been opened on the cliffs near Saint Davids by the Passionist fathers dedicated in honour of our Lady and St Non. It therefore seems desirable to say a word about this obscure saint, if only to show how little is known about her. If St Non is obscure, she is also famous in the Celtic lands as the mother of St David, and the few references to her are mostly to be found in Rhygyfarch's (Rice足 march) life of 5t David and its derivatives. According to his story there was in the sixth century a religious house of women at Ty Gwyn, north-west of the village-city that we now call Saint Davids and close to the \Vhitesand bay (Porth Mawr) from which tradition says St Patrick set out to convert the Irish. In this nunnery was a young woman of noble birth and great beauty named Non; she came under the notice of a local chieftain, called Sant, who violated her; and the fruit of this association was St David. He is supposed to have been born during a storm. at the spot on the coast, south of modern Saint Davids and overlooking St Bride's Bay, where the ruins of the medieval St Non's chapel still stand. Two hundred yards away is the Catholic church referred to above, built in part of stones from old ecclesiastical buildings of the district. David was baptized in the spring at Porth Clais, it is said, by or at the instance of St Ailbhe, who is stated to have been Non's nephew and who was responsible, according to some writers, for her leaving the nunnery after her violation. \Vhat truth there is in all this no one can say. It at least seems likely that she was not a. nun; the Latin form of her name, Nonna, means" nun ", and so could easily be misunderstood. According. to some Irish writers she subsequently had other children. ,And it may well be that, whether before or after David's birth, she was Sant's wife. Later in life she is said to have gone into Cornwall and then settled in Brittany, where place-names and church dedications give some support to the statement. In the west of England in the middle ages she was esteemed to be buried at Altarnun in Cornwall, but Dirinon, in the department of Finistere in Brittany, seems to have a better claim. Her grave is shown in the church there, covered by a striking medieval table-tomb on which is a recumbent effigy of the saint. In both Brittany and Wales there was considerable devotion to St Non in the past; she was often called Non the Blessed, and the bards refer to her beauty. Lewis Glyn Cothi (fifteenth century) in a poem swears" by the hand of Non ", perhaps a reference to the legend that while in labour with David she left the impression of her hand on a stone whicn was by her side.

468


ST WINWALOE, OR GUENOLE

[March 3

See bibliographical note to St David (March I). A mystery play in Breton, Buhez Santes Nonn, formerly performed at Dirinon, was translated from a manuscript of about 1400 into French in the Revue Celtique (vol. viii, 1887). See also LBS., s.v. Non and David, with numerous references. There are holy wells of St Non at Saint Davids, at Dirinon and at several places in Cornwall, though the best-known one here, at Altarnun, is now dried up ; the Saint Davids well is now in the grounds of the Passionist retreat there. For an interesting reference to St David's birth, see Blackfriars, vol. xxix (1948), pp. 123-125; and c/. G. H. Doble in the Cornish Times for August 17, 1928 (reprinted separately, St Nonna, same year) : he suggests that the Cornish St Non was a man.

ST WINWALOE,

OR

GUENOLE,

ABBOT

(SIXTH CENTURY)

THE accounts of the early life of St Winwaloe are so conflicting that it has been suggested that there were two holy men of that name, one of whom was born in Britain and became the disciple of St Samson, whereas the abbot who is commem足 orated on this day was born in Brittany, whither his parents, Fracan and Gwen, had migrated from Britain and settled at Ploufragan. On account of his beauty, the boy was named Winwaloe, or " He that is fair", and, because he was their third son, his parents consdcrated him to God from his birth. They were tenderly attached to him, and in spite of their vow they kept him with them until he was fifteen, although he had given early evidence of a vocation for the religious life. A violent thunderstorm which they took to be a sign from Heaven finally decided them to part from him, and his father took him to a monastery on the little island of Laure, under an Abbot Budoc. Here St Winwaloe anq his two brothers appear to have spent several years. It is told of him that while he was still at home he was one day walking with his father when he perceived a number of sails on the horizon, and with boyish exaggeration exclaimed, " I see a thousand ships". They turned out to be pirates who landed on the coast, but Fracan and his followers completely defeated them. Winwaloe, who had been praying earnestly during the fight, persuaded his father to build a monastery with the spoil, and a cross which marks the spot where the invaders landed is called to this day, "The Cross of the Thousand Sails". St Winwaloe made such progress as a monk that the thought occurred to him of sailing to 11:"eland to carryon the labours of St Patrick, but that saint, appearing in a vision, dissuaded him. Thereupon Budoc sent him with eleven monks to found another monastery. After wandering through the northern part of Brittany they found, as they thought, a suitable island at the mouth of the river Aulne, and there they built themselves a settlement of huts which afterwards gave to the island its name of Tibidy or " The House of Prayer ". The place proved, however, to be exposed to such violent storms that, after three years, the monks were obliged to abandon it and to settle on the mainland. With the assistance of the rough Prince Grallo, who had a great ven~ration for St Winwaloe, they founded the monastery of Landevennec in a sheltered valley on the opposite side of Brest harbour, and there the holy abbot ruled over a large number of monks for many years, until at last in extreme old age he died when standing at the altar after giving the kiss of peace. The popularity of the saint is attested by the number of dedications made to him and by the many variations of his name.. He appears as Winwalocus, Guin足 valoeus, Wingalotus, Galnutius, Guingalois, Guignole, Guenole and in several other spellings. St Winwaloe's name is entered in two or three late medieval English calendars, but there seems to have been little cultus outside the area of Celtic 469


l'lIE LIVES OF

March 3]

~rlIE

SAII"TS

influences; there are dedications to him in Cornwall, at Gunwalloe, Landewednack and elsewhere. The legendary character of the sources upon which this history is based is made evident by the extravagant miracles with which it is freely embroidered. l'he longest form seems to have been the composition of Wrdisten, Abbot of Landevennec, who lived more than 300 years after the time of St Winwaloe. The text of Wrdisten 's very tedious and discursive biography may be found in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. vii (1888), pp. 167-264. In LBS., vol. iv, pp. 353-362, there is a discussion of the various texts and abridgements of the life. See also G. H. Doble, St Win'Waloe (1940); and Fr J. Le Jollec, Cuino/i, /e saint de Landh'ennec (1952), who gives an account of the abbey of Landevennec, whose restoration has been undertaken by the Benedictines of Kerbeneat, and of the saint's cultus.

ST ANSELM OF NONANTOLA,

ABBOT

(A.D. 803)

WHEN the Langobard King Aistulf was reigning in Italy, he was greatly assisted in his military campaigns by his brother-in-law, Anselm, Duke of Friuli. The duke \vas not only a valiant soldier but also an ardent Christian, and founded first a monastery with a hospital at Fanano in the province of Modena and then a larger abbey twenty miles further south at Nonantola. Desirous of consecrating himself entirely to God, he then went to Rome, where he was clothed with the habit of St Benedict and appointed abbot over the new community. He also received from Pope Stephen III permission to remove to Nonantola the body of Pope St Silvester; and as Aistulf enriched the abbey with gifts and granted it many privileges it became very celebrated throughout all Italy. Abbot Anselm came to rule over nlore than one thousand monks, besides having charge of a great hospital and hospice for the sick and for pilgrims. This he had built near the monastery and dedicated it in honour of St Ambrose. After the death of Aistulf, his successor Desiderius banished the holy abbot to Monte Cassino, where he remained for seven years, but Charlemagne restored him to Nonantola, where he died in a good old age, after having spent fifty years in religion. The short Latin life of St Anselm, which has been several times printed (e.g. by l\1abillon, by Muratori, and in MGH.), was edited with much illustrative matter hy P. Bartolotti in 1892, Antica 'l'ita di S. Anselmo di Nonantola.

ST CUNEGUND,

WIDOW

(A.D. 1033)

ST CUNEGUND was piously trained from her earliest years by her parents, Siegfried of Luxemburg and his saintly wife Hedwig. She married St Henry, Duke of Bavaria, who gave her as a wedding present a crucifix of eastern workmanship which is said to be identical with one now existing in Munich. Later writers have asserted that they both took a vow of virginity on their wedding-day, and the story is accepted in the Roman Martyrology; but historians now seem to agree that there is no reliable evidence to corroborate the statement. In the middle of the eleventh century Cardinal Humbert knew nothing of the alleged celibate marriage: he attributed their childlessness to divine punishment for what he regarded as Henry's exploitation of the Church. Upon the death of the Emperor Otto III, Henry was elected king of the Romans, and his coronation by St Willigis at Mainz was followed, two months later, by that of his wife at Paderborn. In 1013 they went together to Rome to receive the imperial crown from Pope Benedict VIII. In spite of her exemplary life, Cunegund is said by the hagiographers of a later age to have become the victim of slanderous tongues, so that even her husband's

47째


ST CUNEGUND

[March 3

confidence in her was momentarily shaken. Feeling that her position required her vindication, the empress asked to be allowed the ordeal by fire, and walked unscathed over red-hot ploughshares. Henry was eager to make amends for his unworthy suspicions, and they lived thenceforth in the closest union of hearts, striving in every way to promote the glory of God and the advancement of religion. But this story too is insufficiently supported. It was partly at the instigation of St Cunegund that the emperor founded the monastery and cathedral of Bamberg, to the consecration of which Pope Benedict came in person, and she 0 btained for the city such privileges that by common report her silken threads were a better defence than walls. During a dangerous illness she had made a vow that if she recovered she would found a convent at Kaufungen, near Cassel, in Hesse. This she proceeded to do, and had nearly finished building a house for nuns of the Benedictine Order when St Henry died. Her later bio­ graphers relate a quaint story about the first abbess. It appears that the empress had a young niece, called Judith or Jutta, to whom she was much attached, and whom she had educated with great care. When a superior had to be found for the new convent, St Cunegund appointed Judith and gave her many admonitions and much good advice. No sooner, however, did the young abbess find herself free, than she began to show symptoms of frivolity and lax observance. It was soon noticed that she was ever the first in the refectory and the last to come to chapel, and that she was a gossip and listened to tales. In vain did her aunt remonstrate with her. The climax came when she failed to appear in the Sunday procession and was found feasting with some of the younger sisters. Filled with indignation St Cunegund sternly upbraided the culprit, and even struck her. The marks of her fingers remained impressed upon the abbess's cheek until her dying day, and the marvel not only converted her, but had a salutary effect upon the whole community. On the anniversary of her husband's death in 1024 Cunegund invited a number of prelates to the dedication of her church at Kaufungen. There, when the gospel had been sung at Mass, she offered at the altar a piece of the true cross, and then, putting off her imperial robes, she was clothed in a nun's habit, and the bishop gave her the veil. Once she had been consecrated to God in religion, she seemed entirely to forget that she had ever been an empress and behaved as the lowest in the house, being convinced that she was so before God. She feared nothing more than any­ thing that could recall her former dignity. She prayed and read much and especially made it her business to visit and comfort the sick. Thus she passed the last years of her life, dying on March 3, 1033 (or 1039). Her body was taken to Bamberg to be buried with her husband's. I t is to the contemporary chroniclers, rather than to the relatively late biography of St Cunegund, that we must look for a trustworthy statement of the facts of her life. The latter is under suspicion of having been written with a view to her future canonization, which even­ tually came about in the year 1200. J. B. Sagmuller, in particular (Theologische Quartal­ schnJt, 1903, 19°7, 191 I), has shown good reason for doubting that the childlessness of the emperor and empress was due to any compact between the parties to live together aE Mary and Joseph; cf. A. Michel in the same, vol. xcviii (1916), pp. 463-467. The biography, in varying forms, has been edited in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. i) and by G. Waitz in MGH., Scriptores, vol. vii. There are popular but rather uncritical modern lives of St Cunegund written by Toussaint and by H. Muller, the latter including an account of both St Henry and St Cunegund in one narrative. C/. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, \'01. iii, p. 539.


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 3]

ST GERVINUS,

ABBOT

(A.D. 1075)

ST GERVINUS came of a family which is said to have been related to Bruno, Bishop of Toul, who afterwards was raised to the papacy as Leo IX. He was born in the district of Rheims and received his education at the episcopal school. A clever and eager student, he was greatly attracted by the Latin classics, and was at one time in danger of being led astray by the sensuous charm of the poetry he read, but by the grace of God he triumphed over temptation. After his ordination to the priesthood he became one of the canons of Rheims, and was thus comfort­ ably provided for. Finding, however, that the life of a secular priest did not satisfy him, he entered the abbey of Saint-Vanne at Verdun, where he soon was noted for his wide knowledge, his eloquence and his modesty. In 1045 Henry I, King of France, appointed Gervinus abbot of Saint-Riquier, but he \vould not accept until he had received the suffrages of all the monks. His term of office was marked by the building of several chapels and sanctuaries, by his pru­ dence in the management of the affairs of the abbey and by the zeal he displayed in collecting Greek and Latin manuscripts for the library. Pilgrims used to throng the church, and the abbot sometimes spent nearly the whole day in hearing confessions. Nor was his zeal confined to his abbey, for he made excursions through Picardy, Normandy, Aquitaine and as far as Thuringia, preaching and hearing confessions. When Pope St Leo IX in 1050 came in person to Rheims to consecrate the church of St Remigius and to preside over a council, the abbot of Saint-Riquier accompanied him on his journey back to Rome. More than once St Gervinus visited England, where his abbey owned estates, and each time he preached the word and visited English shrines. S~ Edward the Confessor esteemed him highly, and a curious story is told that Queen Edith, sharing her husband's admiration, on their first meeting came forward accord­ ing to the English custom to welcome the abbot with a kiss. Gervinus, think­ ing this unseemly, drew back and declined the proffered salute. Queen Edith was so furious that her husband had some difficulty in placating her, but the scene ended in her making the abbot a present of a very handsome cloak. So great was the veneration in which he was held that he was called" the holy abbot" even during his lifetime. Although, for the last four years of his life, he suffered from a terrible form of leprosy, he continued to carryon all his customary duties as before, and he would often bless God for sending him the trial. On March 3, 1075, when he offered his last Mass in the little underground church of Notre-Dame de la Voute which he had built, he was so ill that he could scarcely finish, and had to be carried back to his cell as soon as it was over. 'fo his monks who stood round him in consternation he said, " Children, to-day our Blessed Lady has given me my discharge from this life ", and he insisted upon making a public confession of his sins. He then had himself taken back to the church and laid before the altar of St John Baptist, where he died. When his body was then washed, it was noticed that no trace of the leprosy remained. The main source of our knowledge of the life of St Gervinus is the Chronicle of Saint­ Riquier compiled by Hariul£. It is printed in Migne, PL., vol. clxxiv, and extracts also in MGH.

47 2


[March 3

ST AELRED

BD SERLO,

ABBOT OF GLOUCESTER

THE claims of Serlo to be included in the calendar are perhaps doubtful, but he is described as " Blessed " in the Benedictine martyrologies of Menard and Bucelin, while as abbot of a famous English monastery he has an interest for English readers. By birth he seems to have been a Norman, and he entered the Benedictine Order at Mont-Saint-Michel. In 1071 he was recommended to William the Conqueror by St Osmund (then chancellor of Salisbury) as a good religious to whose rule the abbey of Gloucester might suitably be confided, and he was consecrated abbot at the hands of 8t Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester. When he came to Gloucester there were only two adult monks and about eight young boys: he left when he died a community of more than a hundred professed. In July 1100 the abbot thought it his duty to write boldly to King William II telling him of the vision which had been vouchsafed to one of the Gloucester monks -it may have been himself-which announced that the cup of the king's iniquities was full to overflowing, and that the vengeance of Heaven was about to strike him down. Ordericus, the chronicler, tells us that the letter was brought to Rufus on the very morning that he was setting out on the hunting excursion from which he was never to return. After reading the letter the king laughed, gave his orders for the hunt to William Tirel, and said aloud in the presence of all: "I wonder why my lord Serlo has been minded to write thus to me, for he is, I believe, a good abbot, and a judicious old man. In his extreme simplicity he passes on to me, busied with so many affairs, the nightmares of his snoring monks, and from a long distance has even sent them to me in writing. Does he suppose that I follow the example of the English, who will defer their journey or their business for the dreams of wheezing old women?" Thereupon the king mounted his horse and rode off, only to be pierced an hour or two later by Tirel's sharp arrow glancing from a tree (?). Serlo himself died in 1104 after ruling the abbey for more than thirty years. William of Malmesbury, a younger contemporary, writes of him: "How much the grace of God, conspiring with his industry, elevated the place [Gloucester Abbey], what eloquence can sufficiently explain? The management of the abbey in spirituals is what the weak may look up to and the strong not despise. This was effected by the discipline of Serlo, a man humble to the good, but menacing and terrible to the proud of heart." Serlo seems to have been a writer of ability both in prose and verse, but it is difficult to disentangle his compositions from what has been written by others who bore the name of Serlo and from those of Godfrey of Winchester. See the Historia et Cartularium Monasterii Saneti Petri Gloueestriae, vol. i (Rolls Series), pp. xvii-xxii, as also the Gesta Regum of William of Malmesbury (Rolls Series), vol. ii, p. 512, and Symeon of Durham (Rolls Series), vol. ii, p. 236. There is also a notice of Serlo in the DNB. and in T. D. Hardy, Catalogue of British History, vol. ii, p. 27.

ST AELRED,

ABBOT OF RIEV AULX

AELRED (Ailred) was of good family, son of the" hereditary" priest of Hexham, and was born there in I I 10. After a good education he was invited by St David, King of Scotland, to his court, and made master of his household, where he gained the esteem of all. His virtue shone with bright lustre in the world, particularly his meekness, which Christ declared to be the distinguishing mark of His true disciples. The following is a memorable instance of his gentle bearing. A certain 473


March 3]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

person of quality having insulted and reproached him in the presence of the king, Aelred heard him out with patience, and thanked him for his charity in telling him his faults. This behaviour made such an impression on his adversary that he asked his pardon on the spot. Another time, whilst he was speaking on a matter of importance, someone interrupted him very harshly and rudely: the servant of God heard him with tranquillity, and afterwards resumed his discourse with the same calm and presence of mind as before. He wished to devote himself entirely to God by forsaking the world; but the claims of friendship detained him some time in it. Reflecting, however, that he must sooner or later be separated by death from those he loved most, he condemned his own cowardice, and broke these ties of friendship at no little cost to himself. He describes his feelings during this crisis, and says, " Those who sa\v me, judging by the courtly atmosphere in which I lived, and not knowing what passed within my soul, said, speaking of me: 'Oh, how well is it with him! how happy he is !' But they knew not the anguish of my mind: for the deep wound in my heart caused me a thousand torments, and I \vas not able to bear the intolerable stench of my sins." But after he had taken his resolution, he says, " I began then to know, by a little experience, what immense comfort is found in Thy service, and how sweet that peace. is which is its inseparable companion." To cut himself off from the world, Aelred left Scotland, and embraced the austere Cistercian life at Rievaulx in \"orkshire, where a noble lord called Walter Espec had founded a monastery in I 132. At the age of twenty-four he became a monk under the first abbot, William, a disciple of St Bernard. Fervour lending strength to his delicate body, he practised severe austerities and employed much of his time in prayer and reading. He surrendered his heart with great ardour to the love of God, and by this means finding all his mortifications sweet and light, he cried out, " This is a yoke which does not crush but liberates the soul; this burden has wings, not weight." He speaks of the love of God always with rapture, and from his frequent outbursts these thoughts seem entirely to have absorbed him. " May thy voice (says he) so sound in nlY ears, good Jesus, that my heart may learn how to love thee, that my mind may love thee, that the interior powers of my soul and the very marrow of my heart may love thee, and that my affections may embrace thee, my only true good, my sweet and delightful joy! What is love, 0 my God? If I mistake not, it is the wonderful delight of the soul, so much the more sweet as more pure, so much the more overflowing and enlivening as more ardent. He who loves thee, possesses thee; and he possesses thee in proportion as he loves, because thou art love. This is that abundance with which thy beloved are inebriated, melting away from themselves, that t,hey may pass into thee by loving thee." He had taken much delight in his youth in reading Cicero's De amicitia: but after his conversion found that author and all other reading tedious which was not sweetened with the honey of the holy name of Jesus and seasoned 'Nith the 'Nord of God. This he tells us himself in his book, On Spiritual Friendship. He was much edified with the very looks of a monk called Simon, who had despised high birth, an ample fortune and all the advantages of mind and body to serve God in that penitential state. This monk went and came as one deaf and dumb, always recollected in God; and was such a lover of silence that he would scarce speak a few words on necessary occasions. His very silence however, was sweet and full of edification. Aelred says of him, " The very sight of his humility stifled my pride, and made me blush at the immortification of my looks. The silence practised among us prevented my ever addressing him of set purpose; but one day, on my speaking a word to him

474


S1~

AELRED

[lWarch 3

inadvertently, his displeasure at my infraction of the rule appeared in his looks, and he suffered me to lie some time prostrate before him to expiate my fault; for \vhich I grieved bitterly, and for which I could never forgive myself." St Aelred, much against his inclination, was made abbot of a new monastery of his order, founded at Revesby in Lincolnshire, in 1142, and soon after, in I 147, abbot of Rievaulx, where he presided over three hundred monks. Describing their life. he says that they drank nothing but water; ate sparingly and of the coarsest food; laboured hard, slept little, with boards for their bed; never spoke except to their superiors on necessary occasions; carried the burdens which were laid on them \vithout refusing any; went wherever they were led; gave not a moment to sloth or amusements of any kind, and never had any lawsuit or dispute. 8t Aelred also speaks of their mutual charity and of the peace in which they lived, and he is not able to find words to express the joy which the sight of everyone of them inspired in him. His humility and love of solitude made him steadfastly refuse the bishop足 rics which were pressed upon his acceptance. Reading and prayer were his delight. Even in times of spiritual dryness, if he opened the divine books, he found his soul flooded with the light of the Holy Ghost. In the Revue Benedictine for April, 1925, Dom A. Wilmart printed for the first time a very beautiful prayer of 8t Aelred, which is called his" Oratio Pastoralis ". It is a sort of examination of conscience upon the duties and responsibilities incumbent upon him as superior of a large community. The document throws much light upon the saint's interior spirit and upon the deep and tender affection with which he regarded the monks committed to his charge. He adapted Osbert of Clare's life of 5t Edward the Confessor for the translation of his relics in 1163, and preached at Westminster on that occasion. It appears clearly from Aelred's biographers, notably from the life by Walter Daniel, that in spite of all the saint's stern asceticism there was something singularly gentle and lovable about him in his relations with others. "For seventeen years I lived under his rule ", writes Walter, " and during all that time he dismissed no one from the monastery." Towards the close of his life he was a great sufferer, apparently from gout and stone; in 1 1 57 we find the general chapter of the Cis足 tercians granting him exemptions which the state of his health demanded. Never足 theless he is heard of in Scotland in 1159 and again in 1165, and other visits of his can be traced to different parts of England, and on one occasion to Citeaux itself. For one afflicted as he was, such journeys must have been a torment. But by 1166 he could leave his monastery no more, and after a lingering illness he died, on January 12, I 167, in the shed alongside the infirmary which for ten years had been his living and sleeping quarters. Of those last days, Aelred's patience and trust in God, the love and grief of his monks, Walter Daniel has left us a most moving account. It must be admitted that Alban Butler is not at his best in his treatment of 8t Aelred, who is one of the most attractive of English saints, a great teacher of friendship, divine and human, and a man who, quite apart from his writings, must have exercised a great in fluence through the monasteries he founded from Rievaulx. He was himself, " One whom I might fitly call friendship's child: for his whole occu pation is to love and to be loved" (De spirituali amicitia). It seems that 5t Aelred was canonized in 1191 ; his feast is kept on March 3 in the dioceses of Liverpool, Hexham and Middlesbrough, and by the Cistercians. Besides the admirable study of St Aelred by Father Dalgairns (in Newman's series of Li'l'es of the English Saints), which may be truly described as one of the classics of hagiography,

475


March 3]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

a very complete and up-to-date account of the saint is provided by F. M. Powicke's Ailred of Rievaulx and his Biographer Walter Daniel (1922). This writer shows that the life by WaIter Daniel, a contemporary monk of Rievaulx, is the source from which both the two biographies previously known have been condensed. In 1950 Professor Powicke published Daniel's biography in Latin and English, with notes and a long introduction. We also obtain a good many sidelights upon Aelred's character from his own treatises and sermons. All these, with the exception of his book on the Hexham miracles, will be found printed in Migne, PL., vol. cxcv. There is a great devotional glow in many of his ascetical writings, notably in his Speculum charitatis. He was the author also of several short biographies足 e.g. that of St Ninian-and of historical and theological tractates. There is a translation of De spirituali amicitia by Fr Hugh Talbot, called Christian Friendship. T. E. Harvey's St Aelred of Rievaulx (1932) is an excellent short book by a Quaker. See also D. Knowles, The Monastic Order in England (1949), pp. 240-245, 257-266 and passim. Aelred's name is variously speIt. In the DNB., for example, he appears as " Ethelred ", in Powicke and others as " Ailred". See, further, the Acta Sanctorum for January 12 ; and the Dictionnaire de Spiritualite, vol. i, cc. 225-234.

BD JACOPINO OF CANEPACI

(A.D. 1508)

THE life of this good Carmelite lay-brother seems to have been one of those in which perfection is found by prayer, austerity and charity, and in which there is little to relate of striking achievements or of intercourse with the outer world. He was born of humble parents in the township of Piasca in the diocese of Vercelli, and being animated with an intense devotion to the Blessed Virgin he sought admission at Vercelli among the Carmelites of the old observance. The example of his fervour was a stimulus to all. His special work was to collect alms, begging from door to door throughout the town, and in the discharge of .this humble duty he seems to have found many opportunities for consoling those in trouble or saying a word of good advice to the tempted or the fallen. Worn out with toil, austerities and infirm health, he died on his seventieth birthday in 1508. A cultus is said to have begun at his tomb shortly after his death on account of the miracles worked there, and this was approved in 1845. The outlines of Bd Jacopino's life are sketched in the office sanctioned for his feast, and there is a short biography, Vita del b. Giacobino di Ayloche (1846).

BD TERESA VERZERI, VIRGIN, FOUNDRESS OF THE DAUGHTERS THE SACRED HEART

OF

(A.D. 1852)

TERESA VERZERI, born at Bergamo in Lombardy on July 31, 1801, was one of the several children of Antony Verzeri and his wife Helen, of the family of the counts of Pedrocca-Grume11i. The Verzeris had a devotion to St Jerome; a son (who became bishop of Brescia) was named after him, and Teresa was given as a second name Eustochium, after the daughter of St Paula, the dear friends of Jerome who were in turn the heads of the community of women near his monastery at Bethlehem. This choice of name proved to be prophetic. Teresa Verzeri is said to have first thought of becoming a nun when she made her first communion at the age of ten. Such aspirations are not uncommon at such a time; but by the time of her confirmation Teresa's inclination had hardened into a resolution. In this she received the help and encouragement of Canon Joseph Benaglio, of the cathedral chapter of Bergamo; but it is not easy to say whether at this time the good canon could not make up his own mind about Teresa or whether he was trying her. For three separate times she entered the Benedictine convent

47 6


BD TERESA VERZERI

[March 3

of St Grata on his instructions, and each time on his instructions she left it again. This unquestioning obedience brought upon her a certain amount of contempt and mockery, which she bore bravely and cheerfully. It was certainly a hard appren足 ticeship. After her third withdrawal from the convent Teresa gave herself entirely to the religious instruction of girls, at a small house in the country called Gromo, and this proved to be the seed of the new congregation which she was to establish. She was joined by one of her sisters, Antonia, and by two other young women, Virginia Simoni and Catherine Manghenoni; and these four made simple vows before Canon Benaglio, who designated them as teachers of the young. They imposed a stern way of life on themselves, with long periods of silence and fasting; and Teresa herself had many spiritual difficulties, doubts and temptations to contend with. But recruits began to come in, some of them of good education, and they eventually included three more of her own sisters, Mary, Judith and Catherine, and even her mother, who was now a widow. The community lived under the general direction of Canon Benaglio, and with his help a rule and constitutions were drawn up. The rule envisaged charitable works of several kinds: schools for poor children, visiting sick women, recreational and religious centres for girls in moral danger, and, above all, retreats for lay women, to be conducted according to the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. At first the bishop of Bergamo, Mgr Charles Gritti-Morlacchi, viewed the new institute with favour, but afterwards he put obstacles and discouragements in its way. A further and worse trial for Teresa Verzeri arose from her own undecided足 ness and humility. Was God really calling her to this work as a foundress, seeing that there were other similar congregations already in existence, notably the Society of the Sacred Heart of St Madeleine Sophie Barat? Sister Teresa visited Turin, where in 1832 Mother Barat began her work of retreats for women, and she there felt strongly drawn towards a fusion of her budding institute with that of Madeleine Sophie. But it became clear to her that God's will was otherwise; there was room and need for two separate congregations, though so alike. There were then these and other difficulties to be overcome and much patience to be exercised and dis足 appointments to be borne before the new congregation could be said to be solidly established. At length in 1841 Mother Teresa Verzeri and her companions were allowed to make their solemn vows, which were received for the Church by the prefect himself of the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars, Cardinal Constantine Patrizio A few days later the Holy See's approbation of the congregation was issued, and this approbation was confirmed in 1847; on this second occasion permissiorl was given to the mother foundress to open a house of her institute in Rome itself. Among those who helped Bd Teresa Verzeri in her difficulties was Bd Ludovic He printed the constitutions of her congregation at his Pavoni, of Brescia. institute, at a time when to do so was to risk serious displeasure; he simply refused to be intimidated by gossip and intrigue. Furthermore, he asked Mgr Speranza to do what he could to forward the cause of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart, and when Bd Teresa acquired an old monastery at Brescia, Canon Pavoni was the architect and contractor for the alterations and personally supervised their carrying out. On her behalf he went several times to Bergamo and Trento, and made himself responsible that Mass should be celebrated daily in their mother house. In fact nothing was too much for Bd Ludovic to do for these sisters; he and Bd Teresa

477


J\,larch 4]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

had a very high regard for one another, and this mutual esteem has continued in their respective congregations for the century that has passed since the death of their founders. For four more years, after opening the Rome house, Bd Teresa grew in grace and holiness, and ht.~!" foundation with her. Then, in a cholera epidemic that swept northern Italy, she was struck down and died, at Brescia, on March 3, 1852. The crowds at her funeral bore witness to the reputation of holiness that was already hers; as time passed it continued to increase, and she was beatified in 1946 . See the brief of beatification, printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xxxix, no. I (1947). There seem to be no biographies of Teresa Verzeri in other languages than Italian; apparently several volumes of her letters have been published: c/. Un apostolo della gioventu derelitta (Bd Ludovic Pavoni), pages 209-2 I I and footnotes (1928).

4 : ST

CASIMIR OF POLAND

T CASIMIR, to whom the Poles gave the title of" The Peace-maker ", was the third of the thirteen children of Casimir IV, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter of the Emperor Albert II. Casimir was the second son; he and his two brothers, Ladislaus and John, had as their tutor John Dlugosz, the historian, a canon of Cracow and a man of extraordinary learning and piety. All the princes were warmly attached to the holy man, but Casimir profited the most by his teaching and example. Devout from his infan'cy, the boy gave himself up to devotion and penance, and had a horror of anything approaching softness or self-indulgence. His bed was often the ground, and he was wont to spend a great part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. His clothes were plain, and under them he wore a hair-shirt. Living always in the presence of God he was invariably serene and cheerful, and pleasant to all. The saint's love of God showed itself in his love of the poor who are Christ's members, and for the relief of these the young prince gave all he possessed, using in their behalf the influence he had with his father and with his brother Ladislaus when he became king of Bohemia. In honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary Casimir frequently recited the long Latin hymn" Omni die die Mariae ", a copy of which was by his desire buried with him. This hymn, part of which is familiar to us through Bittleston's version, " Daily, daily sing to Mary", is not uncommonly called the Hymn of St Casimir, but it was certainly not composed by him; it is three centuries older than his time. The nobles of Hungary, dissatisfied with their king, Matthias Corvinus, in 1471 begged the King of Poland to allow them to place his son Casimir on the throne. The saint, at that time not fifteen years old, was very unwilling to consent, but in obedience to his father he went to the frontier at the head of an army. There, hearing that Matthias had himself assembled a large body of troops, and withal finding that his own soldiers were deserting in large numbers because they could not get their pay, he decided upon the advice of his officers to return home. The knowledge that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an embassy to his father to deter him from the expedition made the young prince carry out his resolution with the firmer conviction that he was acting rightly. King Casiolir, however, wa~ greatly incensed

S

47 8


[March 4

ST LUCIUS I

at the failure of his ambitious projects and would not permit his son to return to Cracow, but relegated him to the castle of Dobzki. The young man obeyed and remained in confinement there for three months. Convinced of the injustice of the war upon which he had so nearly embarked, and determined to have no further part in these internecine conflicts which only facilitated the further progress into Europe of the Turks, St Casimir could never again be persuaded to take up arms, though urged to do so by his father and invited once more by the disaffected Hungarian magnates. He returned to his studies and his prayers, though for a time he was viceroy in Poland during an absence of his father. An attempt was made to induce him to marry a daughter of the Emperor Frederick III, but he refused to relax the celibacy he had imposed on himself. St Casimir's austerities did nothing to help the lung trouble from which he suffered, and he died at the age of twenty-three in 1484 and was buried at Vilna, where his relics still rest in the church of St Stanislaus. Miracles were reported at his tomb, and he was canonized ~n 1521. A Latin life of St Casimir by Zachary Ferreri was printed at Cracow in 152 I and has been reproduced in the Acta Sanct~rum, March, vol. i, and there is also a biography by Prileszky in the Acta Sanctorum Hungariae (1743), vol. i, pp. 121-132. A popular account in German is that of Felix Iozefowicz, Der heilige Kasimir, commending the saint as a patron for young students. In the article devoted to St Casimir in the Catholic Encyclopedia, Prof. L. Abraham gives references to several works in Polish of more modern date. Casimir is sometimes referred to as king of Poland and Hungary, though he never occupied the throne of either country. The fact that he is accorded apparently only one line in the Cambridge History of Poland, vol. i (1950) shows perhaps how little impression he made in secular affairs. The so-called Hymn of St Casimir forms one division of the great Mariale, a remarkable rhyming Latin lyric of the twelfth century, which has been attributed both to St Anselm and to St Bernard of Clairvaux. The true author is probably Bernard of lVlorlaix, or Cluny. Casimir's love of these verses is a testimony at once to his good literary taste and to his devotion to the Mother of God. At a time when certain enthusiastic sympathizers with Polish aspirations were eager to claim the Omni die dic M ariae as a sort of national anthem, a book was brought out which printed the text of the hymn along with translations in various modern languages in the metre of the original. When a second edition was in contemplation, Cardinal Wiseman was invited to contribute an English version of this hymn. His rendering was afterwards published separately, with a musical setting, but it is now little known.

ST LUCIUS I,

POPE

immediately after his accession the persecution which had been initiated by Decius was renewed under Gallus, and Pope Lucius I was banished to a place the name of which has not been recorded. But he had been but a short time in exile when he and his companions were recalled, to the great joy of his people who flocked in crowds to meet him. On this occasion St Cyprian wrote him a letter of congratulation. In it he assures the pope that he had not lost the palm of martyr足 dom, although, like the three children in the fiery furnace, he had been preserved by God from death. The letter adds: ' , We do not cease in our sacrifices and prayers to God the Father and to Christ His Son, giving thanks and offering supplication that He who perfects all may consummate in you the glorious crown of your confession. He perhaps has only recalled you that your glory may not be hidden, for it is fitting that the victim who owes to his brethren an example of virtue and faith should be sacrificed in their presence." In another letter, which St Cyprian afterwards wrote to Pope St Stephen, he quotes St Lucius as having ALMOST

479


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 4]

condemned the Novatian heretics for their refusal of absolution and communion to those who had fallen but were penitent. According to Eusebius, St Lucius did not occupy the pontifical chair for more than eight months. Although in the Roman Martyrology on this day Lucius is described as " Martyr in the persecution of Valerian ", it is practically certain that he was no longer living when the persecution of Valerian began, and it is improbable that he suffered death as a martyr. The chronographer of 354 does not insert his name in the " depositio martyrum ", but in the "depositio episcoporum ", and the remnants of the catacomb inscription discovered by De Rossi supply no indica­ tion of martyrdom. No credence can be given to the statement of the Liher Pontificalis that St Lucius~ as he was being led to death, virtually nominated Stephen as his successor. Certain relics of St Lucius are said to be treasured in Bologna, whilst a head, reputed to be that of this pope, was long venerated in the cathedral of Roeskilde, near Copenhagen-the burial-place of the Danish kings-and Pope Lucius is honoured as chief patron of that city; but most probably the relics in Sweden and in Bologna are the remains of one of the two other saints of the name of Lucius who are commemorated on this same day. The pope's body was buried in the catacomb of St Callistus, but the remains after an early translation were transferred to the church of St Cecilia, where they now lie, by order of Clement VIII. See Duchesne, Liber PontificaHs, vol. i, pp. xcvii and 153; St Cyprian (Hartel), pt ii, pp. 695 and 748; De Rossi, Roma Sotterranea, vol. ii, 62-7°; and cf. the Acta Sanctorum. March, vol. i, and Allard, Histoire des persecutions, vol. iii, pp. 27 seq.

SSe ADRIAN

AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

(A.D.

875 ?)

IN the ninth century, during one of their numerous descents upon thAe coast of Scotland, the Danes massacred St Adrian and a number of his companions who, after having helped to evangelize Fifeshire, had retired into a monastery on the Isle of May in the Firth of Forth. The early history of these saints is uncertain. According to the Aberdeen Breviary, St Adrian was of royal descent and a native of Pannonia in Hungary, where he became a bishop. Fired by missionary zeal, he came to Scotland with Clodion, Gaius, Stolbrand, Monan and 6602 other com­ panions-all of whom perished with him. As a missionary bishop he appears to have had no fixed see, but he has been credited with the bishopric and even the archbishopric of Saint Andrews. Some modern historians identify St Adrian with the Irish St Odhran, and are disposed to follow Boece, who states that all the martyrs were Angles and Scots. The Angles may well have been the followers of St Acca who, when driven from Northumberland, founded a bishopric among the Picts, whilst the Scots or Irish will have been Adrian and his friends, who were probably obliged by Danish invasions to leave Ireland and so came to the Firth of Forth. Fordun gives the number of martyrs as 100; there certainly was a battle in 875 between the Scots and the Danes, in the course of which many of the Scots were killed. In the Aberdeen Breviary, printed in 1509, the martyrs had an office with nine lessons, and Wyntoun celebrates their death in a metrical chronicle: And upon Haly Thurysday Saint Adrian thai sloe in May With mony of his cumpany In that haly lIe thai Iy.

480


[March 4

ST PETER OF CAVA

St David I built a priory on the island and placed it under the Benedictines of Reading, but it afterwards passed to the canons regular of Saint Andrews. The Isle of May became a favourite place of pilgrimage, and as such it was visited several times by the Scottish King James IV. See the Aberdeen Breviary, and KSS., pp. 266-268.

ST PETER OF CAVA, BISHOP OF POLICASTRO

(A.D. 1123)

PETER PAPPACARBONE was a native of Salerno in Italy, a nephew of St Alferius, founder of the monastery of Cava, and entered upon the religious life at a very early age under St Leo, the second abbot. He distinguished himself at once by his piety, abstemiousness and love of solitude. At this time the fame of the abbey of Cluny had spread far and wide, and the young monk was so attracted by what he had heard that about 1062 he obtained permission to leave Cava and go to France. When the older monks at Cluny would have sent him to the school to be trained, their abbot, St Hugh, disagreed, saying that Peter might be young in years but that he was a full-grown man in devotion. The abbot's opinion was abundantly justified, for Peter proved himself well among that household of holy men and he remained there for some six years. He was then recalled to Italy, having been released by St Hugh apparently at the request of the archdeacon of Rome, Hilde足 brand (who was afterwards Pope St Gregory VII). St Peter was appointed the first bishop of Policastro, but he found himself unfitted for the turmoil of the world and for the secular cares which devolved upon him. He obtained permission to resign and retired to Cava, where Abbot Leo, realizing that he himself was becoming too old to govern, nominated him as his successor and withdrew. The monks by their votes had confirmed the election of their new superior, but soon found the strict rule he had brought from Cluny extremely irksome: they began to murmur and rebel, and some of them carried their complaints to the aged Leo in his retirement. St Peter, far from resisting and equally far from relaxing the rule, quietly left and betook himself to another monastery. It was not long before the nlonks of Cava, urged by Abbot Leo, came to entreat St Peter to return, \vhich he consented to do. Thereafter it was remarked that those who had the most vehemently opposed him were now foremost in welcoming the rule they had previously spurned. Under the government of Abbot Peter the monastery flourished amazingly. Not only did numbers of aspirants to the religious life flock to him from all sides, but men and women in the world showered money and lands upon the community, which was enabled to minister far and wide to the sick and the poor. The abbey itself had to be enlarged to admit the new members, and a new church was built, to the dedication of which came Pope Urban II, who had been with St Peter at Cluny and had remained his close friend. The description of this occasion was preserved in the chronicles of Cava, where it is stated that Bd Urban talked freely \vith the abbot and monks, as though " forgetting that he was pope". St Peter lived to a great age and died in 1123. The abbey of Cava still exists, and in 1912 the monks gave proof of their devotion to the founders of their observance by reprinting from the unique ancient manuscript in their possession the Lives of Alferius, Peter and two other early abbots, purporting to be written by Hugh of 'Venosa, a younger contemporary of St Peter. It is to this biography, which may be found in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. i) as well as in Ughelli and Muratori, that we owe all our knowledge of 8t Peter of Cava.

481


March

41 BD HUMBERT III OF SAVOY

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

(A.n. 1188)

HUMBERT III, Count of Savoy, was born in 1136 at Avigliana, and his parents, Amadeus III of Savoy and Matilda of Vienne, were at pains to give him a good and religious education.. They entrusted his training to Bd Amadeus, Bishop of Lausanne, under whom the youth made great progress, especially in the life of prayer. Called to rule at his father's death, he sacrificed a desire for solitude to the task imposed upon him, and though a mere boy when he took up the reins of government he showed himself fully equal to his position, finding it quite possible to reconcile the duty of a secular ruler with that of self-sanctification. When his wife died childless, the count sought in the monastery of Aulps the consolation he needed, and would fain have remained there, but his vassals came to entreat him not to abandon them and to take steps to ensure the succession in his family. Yielding to these representations he again took up the burden and contracted two, if not three, more marriages. By his second wife, Germana of Zahringen, he had a child, Agnes, who was betrothed to John Lackland, afterwards king of England, but both mother and daughter died before the marriage could take place. During this period Humbert had occasion to repel aggression by force of arms, and he then proved himself as capable in warfare as in peace. "Brave in contest, undaunted in reverse, just and moderate in victory, he was ever unflinching in his adherence to what he held to be just." His reputation for wisdom and probity reached far beyond the limits of his own country, and won for him the confidence of his con足 temporaries. We read, however, that on one occasion he came into violent conflict with St Anthelmus, Bishop of Belley. Happily the two holy men, though they had lost their tempers badly, arrived at a very edifying reconciliation. The time came at last when Count Humbert felt that he was justified in retiring from the world to prepare himself for death. He accordingly withdrew to the Cistercian abbey of Hautecombe, where he gave himself up to the humblest and most austere practices of the religious life. According to some authorities, how足 ever, he was not suffered to remain long in retirement: the call of his people, who were again threatened with invasion from Germany, summoned him from the cloister to take command of the army. Though forewarned of his approaching death he marched with them as far as Chambery, where he died in 1188. This account of the close of his troubled career is, it must be confessed, very doubtful. There is good reason to believe that Bd Humbert died peacefully in his Cistercian retreat, where also was buried nearly a century later Bd Boniface of Savoy, who had been archbishop of Canterbury. The cultus of Bd Humbert was approved in 18 38 . There seems to be no early biography of Bd Humbert. The facts have to be gathered from the imperfect and often conflicting accounts of the chroniclers. Most of the story can be gleaned from the important work of Samuel Guichenon, Histoire geneafogique de fa royale Maison de Sa7'oye, of which the first edition appeared in 1660. See also the convenient little yolume of F. C;. Allaria II b. Umberto III : storia e feggende (1879). It is noteworthy that C; uichenon strongly maintains that Humbert was married, not three, but four times, and that his fourth wife, \vhen he retired to his Cistercian abbey, herself became a nun at l\1essines in Flanders.

BD CHRISTOPHER BALES, MARTYR CONISCLIFFE in the d;ocese 0f Durham was the birthplace of Christopher Bayles, or Bales (\vho also took the name of Rivers). He received his education abroad at the 4 82


BD PLACIDA VIEL

[JJarch 4

English College in Rome and at the Douai College at Rheims, and was then ordained and sent on the English mission in 1588. After labouring for nearly two years, he was arrested and imprisoned. The misery of his confinement was aggravated hy his bodily weakness, for he was consumptive, but npthing could overcome his courage and patience. He was cruelly racked in prison to force him to admit where he had said Mass and by whom he had been harboured, and on one occasion he was left hanging by the wrists for twenty-four hours. Eventually he was brought to trial and found guilty of treason, for having been ordained priest beyond the seas and for coming to England to exercise his priestly office. When the judge asked him in the usual form whether he had anything to say in his defence, Bales answered that he wished to put one question: "Was St Augustine, the monk sent by the Pope of Rome to preach the Catholic faith in England, guilty of treason in complying with that commission ? " The court replied in the negative. " Why, then ", asked the martyr, " do you arraign and condemn me for a traitor who do the same thing as he did, and to whom nothing can be objected but what might equally be objected against him?" They replied that the difference lay in the fact that, by English law, such action had now been made treason. ..Having been accordingly sentenced to death, he was hanged, disembowelled and quartered in Fleet Street on March 4, 1590. See MMP., p. 160, and J. H. Pollen, Acts of English Martyrs. The Penkevel Papers in the Westminster Archives and Fr Grene's Collectanea at Stonyhurst furnish contemporary evidence, and cf. John Gerard's autobiography (ed. Caraman, 195 1), pp. 8-9.

BD PLACIDA VIEL, VIRGIN VICTORIA EULALIA JACQUELINE VIEL, who was to become second superior general of the Sisters of the Christian Schools, was born in the Norman village of Val足 Vacher in 1815, the eighth child of a farmer. The only schooling she had herself was seven years at a sort of dame's school in the near-by town of Quettehou. She was serious and shy by disposition, leading the quiet ordered life of a farmer's daughter and housekeeping for her brother until she was seventeen, when she went on a visit to her aunt, who was a member of St Mary Magdalen Postel's community at Saint-Sauveur-Ie-Vicomte. Victoria was so impressed by what she saw there that she offered herself to the community and was accepted, receiving the name of Placida at her clothing. Mother Mary Postel was then nearly eighty, and by the end of Sister Placida's noviciate had decided that this young sister was the one most likely to succeed herself at the head of the community. Placida was therefore sent for a short period of intensive training to the normal-school in Argentan; on her return she was set to teach in the boarding-school, and the foundress quietly initiated her into the duties and responsibilities of administration, even to the extent of sending her to open new houses. In five years' time Placida was made novice-mistress; but this was soon interrupted by her being sent to Paris to beg funds for the restoration of the abbey church at Saint-Sauveur and to do other important convent business. On July 16, 1846 St Mary Magdalen Postel died, and at the ensuing general chapter of the Sisters of the Christian Schools Sister Placida was chosen in her place. Her aunt, Sister Mary, had expected to be the choice; and although the new superioress gave her a maximum of authority and responsibility, Sister Mary, who had already shown hostility to her nirce, was the source of much worry and 483


March 5]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

unpleasantness to Mother Placida for the next ten years. Indeed, she stayed at the mother-house as little as possible so long as her aunt lived, directing her society " from the rough winding highways and byways of central and western France" which she traversed so often collecting funds and on other business of the rapidly­ growing convents: notably the getting of official civil recognition, a long and weari­ some business, which once took her on a mysterious secret visit to the Count de Chambord in Vienna. Mother Placida directed the institute for thirty years, and it was a period of great expansion: orphanages, nursery-schools, workrooms and free elementary schools were opened, one of the largest and best-loved foundations being the orphanage of the Holy Heart of Mary in Paris, where by 1877 there were 500 children being looked after; and the foundress's undertaking of the rebuilding of the great church at the mother-house was carried to a triumphant conclusion. Cardinal Guibert, Archbishop of Bordeaux, speaking of the state of France in the 1870S echoed what had been said of Bd Anne Javouhey, and remarked, " I know only one man capable of restoring order in France. He is at Saint-Sauveur-le­ Vicomte, and his name is Mother Placida." In reading of her life and achievements one gets an impression of great charm and good-humour, and of quietness and confidence in her determination that what St John Baptist de la Salle had done for boys should be spread wider yet among girls; thirty-six poor-schools were opened in Normandy--and Les ordonnances de Louis XIV \\Jas abolished as a reading-book for beginners, or for anyone else. Bd Placida's life was of the simplest from every point of view. We read of no great spiritual trials or mystical graces; but occurrences to all seeming miraculous were not wanting. These and other things she consistently attributed to the inter­ cession in Heaven of Mother Postel, the preliminary steps towards whose beatifica­ tion she took. Bd Placida herself died on March 4, 1877, being only 62 years old; and she was beatified in 1951. During the time she was at the head of the Sisters of the Christian Schools their convents in France had risen from 37 to 105, and their religious from 150 to over 1000. See, in French, D. Meunier, Une gerbe de merveilles (1931); L. Canuet, Bonne Mere Placide (1925) and the biography by P. de Crisenoy (1943); in English, Bd Placide Viel (1951), by S[ister] C[allista]. C/. also lives of St Mary M. Postel (July 16).

5 : SSe

ADRIAN

AND

EUBULUS,

T

MARTYRS

HE seventh year of Diocletian's persecution, when Firmilian was governor of Palestine, Adrian and Eubulus came from Batanea to Caesarea to visit the holy confessors. At the gates of the city they were asked their business and their destination, and frankly acknowledged that they had come to minister to the followers of Jesus Christ. They were immediately brought before the president, by whose orders they were scourged, their sides were torn with iron hooks, and they were condemned to be thrown to the wild beasts. Two days later, at the local festival of the goddess Fortune, Adrian was first exposed to a lion which mangled but did not kill him, and then slain with the sword i Eubulus suffered a similar fate a day or two after. The judge had offered him his liberty if he would sacrifice to idols, but the saint preferred to die, and was the last to suffer at Caesarea in this

484


ST EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA

[l\;[arr!l 5

persecution, which had lasted for twelve years, under three successive governors, Flavian, Urban and Firmilian. Retribution soon overtook the cruel Firmilian, for that same year he fell into disgrace and was beheaded by the emperor's order-as his predecessor Urban had been two years previously. The historian Eusebius, who was a contemporary, is our reliable source of information concerning these martyrs. See his Martyrs of Palestine, xi, 29-31.

ST PHOCAS OF ANTIOCH, MARTYR

(DATE UNKNOWN)

PHOCAS, in the words of the Roman Martyrology (derived ultimately from St Gregory of Tours), " after suffering many outrages in the name of the Redeemer, triumphed over the Old Serpent and has his victory made manifest to-day by this marvel; to wit, that whenever a man, bitten by a venomous snake and full of faith, touches the door of the martyr's basilica, the poison loses its power and he is cured" . The Bollandists have identified him with St Phocas of Sinope (" the Gardener "), of whom relics were deposited in the church of 8t Michael at Antioch. St Gregory of Tours, De gloria martyrum, bk i, ch. 98; his words have been adopted by Florus and the other later martyrologists. See Delehaye, Origines du culle des martyrs (1933), pp. 169, 2 0 5, and CMH., pp. 128, 374-375.

ST EUSEBIUS OF CREMONA

(c.

A.D.

423)

8T EUSEBIUS of Cremona paid a visit as a young man to Rome and during his stay made the acquaintance of 8t Jerome. There sprang up between the two an in足 timacy which proved lifelong, and when Jerome proposed to journey to the Holy Land Eusebius determined to accompany him. Arrived at Antioch, they were joined by the widow 8t Paula and her daughter 8t Eustochium, who accompanied them in their pilgrimages to the Holy Places and Egypt, before they all settled at Bethlehem. In view of the large number of poor pilgrims who flocked to Bethle足 hem, 8t Jerome proposed to build a hostel for them; and it was apparently to collect funds for that purpose that he sent Eusebius and Paulinian first to Dalmatia and then to Italy, where they seem to have sold the property 8t Eusebius owned at Cremona as well as that of 8t Paula in Rome. In Rome Eusebius found himself involved in an acrimonious dispute with Rufinus, a priest of Aquileia, who was charged with making a garbled translation of Origen and disseminating false doctrine. 8t Jerome had opposed his teaching, and Eusebius identified himself with his master. Rufinus attacked Eusebius violently, and complained that through his agency his translation of Origen had been stolen and tampered with. Later on, we find 8t Jerome accusing Rufinus of hiring a monk to get possession of a letter from 8t Epiphanius to John of Jerusalem -the monk having undertaken to make a Latin translation of it for Eusebius who, though an excellent Latin scholar, knew no Greek. The details of these protracted controversies are obscure and not very edifying. It seems that Eusebius was largely responsible for having eventually induced Pope 8t Anastasius to condemn the writings of Origen. In 400 he again visited his native town, and is said to have remained in Italy. The account attributed to him <?f Jerome's last illness is certainly a forgery. 8evera~ of 8t Jerome's commentaries are dedicated to his friend, whose body is said to have been buried beside that of his master at Bethlehem; but the fact is very doubtful.

485


March 5]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

An altar in the crypt of the church of the Nativity is dedicated in honour of St Eusebius. A tradition states that St Eusebius was the founder of the monastery of Guadalupe in Spain, and that he introduced into the Peninsula the Order of Hieronymites, but the legend is baseless. Nearly all the reliable information we possess concerning St Eusebius of Cremona comes from the works and letters of St Jerome. The long life printed in the Acta Sanclorum (March, vol. i) was compiled by Francis Ferrari from this source, but very uncritically. See also DCB., vol. ii, pp. 376-377, and Cavallera, St Jerome, sa vie et son reuvre (1922).

ST GERASIMUS,

ABBOT

(A.D. 475)

ST GERASIMUS was a native of Lycia in Asia Minor, where he embraced the life of a hermit. Passing thence to Palestine, he fell for a time into the errors of Eutyches, then very prevalent, but St Euthymius brought him back to the true faith. He appears afterwards to have stayed at several settlements in the Thebald and then to have returned to the Holy Land, where he became intimate with St John the Silent, St Sabas, St Theoctistus and St Anastasius of Jerusalem. So great a number of disciples gathered round him that he established for them by the Jordan, near Jericho, a laura of 70 cells, with a cenobium for the training of aspirants. His monks observed almost complete silence; their only bed was a reed mat and no fire was ever lighted in their cells, the doors of which might Ilever ce closed. Bread, dates and \vater were their usual food, and their time was divided between prayer and manual work: to each one was set an appointed task which he was expected to finish by Saturday. Severe as was the rule, St Gerasimus made it sev~rer still for himself, and never ceased doing penance for his temporary lapse into heresy. He was wont, it is said, to spend the whole of Lent without taking any food but the Holy Eucharist. So highly did St Euthymius esteem his convert that he used to send to him for training those of his followers whom he regarded as called to the highest perfection. The fame of St Gerasimus was second only to that of St Sabas, and at the time of the Council of Chalcedon in 451 his name was honoured through足 out the East. His great laura long survived its founder and was still flourishing a hundred years after his death. John Moschus in his Spiritual Meadow furnishes us with a charming anecdote. One day when the abbot was beside the Jordan, a lion came up to him evidently in great pain, walking on three feet with the fourth paw in the air. Gerasimus examined the paw and, seeing that a sharp thorn had entered, extracted it, bathed the foot and bound it up. After this, the lion would not leave him, but became tamer than any domestic animal. Now the monastery had a donkey that was used for fetching water, and after a time the lion was sent to take care of it when it went to pasture. One day, Arab traders stole the donkey, and the lion returned home to the monastery alone and very dejected. Questioned, it could only be silent and look over its shoulder. " Thou hast eaten him", said the abbot. "Blessed be God. But henceforth thou must do what the donkey did." Accordingly the lion had to carry the water-bottles for the community. Shortly afterwards the Arab thief passed again with the ass and with three camels, and the lion, recognizing them, chased the man off, seized the donkey's bridle in his mouth, and brought it and the camels back in triumph to the monastery. St Gerasimus saw his mistake and gave his favourite the name of Jordan. When the old abbot died the poor beast was disconsolate. The new abbot said to him, " Jordan, our friend has left us orphans and has gone to join the Master whom he served, but do thou take thy food and

4 86


S'f KIERAN, OR CIARAN, OF SAIGHIR

[March 5

eat." But he only moaned and roared the more. At last Sabbatius, the abbot, led him to the grave of Gerasimus, and weeping knelt down beside it saying, " See where he is buried." Then the lion stretched himself over the grave and beat his head upon the ground and could not be prevailed upon to leave, but was found dead there a few days later. It has been suggested that the lion which has become the attribute of St Jerome was really the lion of St Gerasimus, confusion having arisen when, as sometimes happened, St Jerome's name was spelt Geronimus. The Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i, prints more extracts from the Life of St Euthymius, by Cyril of Scythopolis, which mention Gerasimus, as well as quotations from John Moschus. But besides these sources a Life of Gerasimus has also been edited in Greek by Papadopoulos Kerameus in the fourth volume of his Ana/ecta. He ascribes it to Cyril of Scythopolis, but H. Gregoire in the Byzantinische ZeitschrtJt (vol. xiii, pp. 114-135) has given substantial reasons for setting aside this attribution.

ST KIERAN, OR CIARAN, OF SAIGHIR, (c. A.D. 530?)

BISHOP IN OSSORY

OF the sons of Erin senior to or associated with St Patrick, one of the most celebrated is St Kieran, whom the Irish designate as the first-born of their saints. Very conflicting accounts of him appear in the legendary lives, where he seems to have been confused with other holy men of his name and where, in order to reconcile discrepancies of date, he is sometimes credited with having lived to the age of 300. According to some he was a native of Ossory, according to others Cork was his birthplace. Having received some elementary knowledge of Christianity, he is said to have made a journey to Rome, at the age of about thirty, in order to be more fully instructed in the faith, and after a stay of some years to have returned to Ireland accompanied by four learned men, all of whom were afterwards raised to the episcopate. Some writers maintain that he was ordained bishop in Rome, and that it was in Italy, on his homeward journey, that he first met St Patrick, who was not yet a bishup; but others, with more show of probability, assert that St Kieran was one of the twelve whom St Patrick upon his arrival in Ireland consecrated bishops to assist him in evangelizing the country. We read that he made himself a cell in a lovely spot surrounded by woods near a famous spring, and for some time lived the life of a hermit. Ere long, however, disciples gathered about him and he constructed a monastery or collection of huts, round which subsequently sprang up a town called after him Sier-Ciaran and Saighir, or Saigher. He is venerated as the first bishop of Ossory, a diocese now including Kilkenny and parts of Leix and Offaly, and his feast is observed throughout Ireland. Many legends, some fantastic and some poetical, have grown up round St Kieran, but only two or three of them can be set down here. The holy man had had for his nurse St Cuach, \\'ho afterwards became abbess of Ros-Bennchuir, a place situated in a part of Ireland very remote from Saighir. Nevertheless, every Christmas night, when St Kieran had offered Mass and had given communion to his monks, he celebrated again at Ros-Bennchuir and gave communion to Cuach. How he got there and back in the same night was never known, for he told no one, but, as the chronicler truly remarks, God could if He willed convey this faithful servant, as He had in the past conveyed the prophet Habakkuk from Palestine to Chaldaea. St Kieran lent some oxen to Cuach to help her to cultivate her fields. He sent no word that they were arriving and the animals found their own way to the abbess,

4 87


Alarch 5J

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

who, divining from whence they came, set them to work at the plough. They remained for several years at Ros-Bennchuir, but when they judged that the land was in a good state of cultivation the wise beasts of their own accord returned to their master. One day a boy called Crichidh came to 8t Kieran, who took him in and employed him in the monastery. But the mischievous lad, " at the instigation of the Devil ", extinguished the paschal fire which was lighted at Easter and was kept burning for the rest of the year, the only source from which all lights in the monastery were kindled. Then said the aged 8t Kieran, " Brothers, our sacred fire has been put out on purpose by that rascally boy Crichidh, for he is always doing things to annoy us. Now we shall have no fire until next Easter unless the Lord sends us some", and he went on to foretell that the miscreant would meet with an un足 timely death. The very next day when the boy went out into the woods, he was eaten up by a wolf. Tidings of this reached 8t Kieran the Younger at Clonmacnois to whom the lad belonged, and he came to 8aighir. It was bitterly cold and the monks had no means of warming their guests or of cooking a meal. Then 8t Kieran the Elder upraised his hands to God in prayer, and immediately there fell into his lap a glowing fire-ball which he carried in his skirt to his guests, who were able to warm themselves by its heat. As soon as supper was announced and they had all sat down to table, Kieran of Clonmacnois said, " I will not eat here until my boy who has been killed in this place has been restored to me safe and sound." The other Kieran replied, " We knew why you had come. The Lord will bring him to life for us. Therefore eat freely, for the boy is just coming." Even as he spoke the lad entered and sat down to supper with the brethren, who all gave thanks to God. Aengus, King of Munster, had seven minstrels who were wont to sing him sweet lays of the deeds of heroes to the accompaniment of their harps. As they wandered through the land they were murdered by the king's enemies, who threw their bodies into a bog and hung their harps upon a tree which overshadowed the swamp. Aengus was very sad, for he did not know what had become of them, and, being a Christian, he would not consult magicians. 8t Kieran, however, was divinely enlightened as to their fate and came and told Aengus where they were. At the king's request, the saint went to the spot, and when he had fasted for a day the water from the bog evaporated and he could plainly discern the bodies of the bards lying side by side in the mud. 8t Kieran recalled them to life in the name of the Holy Trinity, and although they had lain in the bog for a month they arose as out of sleep, and taking down their harps they sang their sweetest songs to the king and to the bishop. Then, amid a shower of blessings from Aengus and his people, 8t Kieran returned to 8aighir and the bog has remained dry ever since. Both the Latin and the Irish lives of St Kieran have been edited and annotated by C. Plummer. See his VSH., vol. i, pp. 217-233, and Bethada Ndem n-Erenn (Eng. trans.), vol. ii, pp. 99-120. The newly-found Latin life in MS. Gotha I. 81, is printed in Ana/ecta Bollandiana. vol. lix (1941), pp. 217-271. There is, of course, only a very slender kernel of history to be looked for in these legends, and the stories themselves are differently narrated in different texts. For example, in the first Irish life the boy Crichidh becomes" Trichem, a rich man, cunning in many kinds of evil". The Latin life, BHL., 4658, is to be found both in Colgan and the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. i; and there is an analysis of it in G. H. Doble's St Perran (1931). See also LBS., vol. ii, pp. 119-138; and]. Ryan's Irish Monasticism (1931); and ef. next notice.


[,At/arch 5

ST VIRGIL OF ARLES

ST PIRAN, ABBOT

(SIXTH CENTURY ()

THE identification of the Cornish St Piran (or Perran) with St Kieran (Ciaran) of Saighir goes back to the middle ages; but the most recent investigation, that of Canon Doble, follows the early Bollandists, and Dr Plummer and Joseph Loth, in rejecting it. He conjectures that, the idrntification having been made on the strength of the resemblance of name (initial C in Irish is P in Cornish), and there being a connection between Ossory and Bodmin priory, a west-country cleric appropriated the life of Kieran for Piran. The life has suffered in the process, and nothing of Cornish interest has been added. It is specially disappointing if we know nothing of St Piran because there is more information about his medieval cultus than that of any other Cornish saint, and the remains of his chapel at the centre of this cultus are a " relic" of great interest. They were discovered by chance, buried in the sand at Perranzabuloe (Piran-in-the-Sand), on the coast north of Perranporth, at the end of the eighteenth century and properly excavated in 1910. It is not likely that the ruin goes back to the saint's time, but it, with the adjacent cross, was probably the centre of the Celtic monastic settlement that revered Piran as its founder. Other places bearing the saint's name are Perranarworthal and Perran U thnoe (the present Catholic church at Truro is dedicated in his honour), there are traces of his cultus in Wales, and it is widespread in Brittany. So late as the middle of the eighteenth century the tin-miners of Breage and Germoe kept the feast of St Piran as their patron on March 5; this date, like his life, was borrowed from St Kieran: but Wilson's Martyrology (1608) gives his date at Padstow as May II. Canon Doble's monograph, St Perran, St Keverne and St Kerrian (1931), with C. Henderson's section on the cultus, is most valuable. The medieval Latin life, U a recension of a recension" derived from the life of Kieran of Saighir, is in John of Tynemouth's Nova Legenda Angliae. The newly-found Vita Sancti Pirani in the Gotha MS. I. 81 is printed in .Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lix (1941), pp. 217-271. And see Doble in Old Cornwall, Winter, 1942.

ST VIRGIL, ARCHBISHOP OF ARLES

(c.

A.D.

610)

ST VIRGIL was born in Gascony, but was educated at the monastery on Saint足 J-Ionorat--one of the Lerins islands two miles south of Cannes which are so familiar a sight to the dwellers in the French Riviera. He became a monk there and after足 wards abbot-if we are to believe the anonymous biographer who is our chief authority for his life, but 'who, living some centuries later, romances freely to glorify his hero. According to him, the saint was walking one night by the shore when he noticed a strange ship drawn up on the beach. He could plainly discern the sailors working on the deck and it was evident that they must also have perceived him, for two of them disembarked and came to meet him. Accosting him by name, they assured him that his reputation had spread to foreign lands, and that if he would accompany them to Jerusalem he would give great joy to the faithful and would attain to great sanctity. Virgil was not to be deceived, and, making the sign of the cross, he replied, " The wicked wiles of the deceiver cannot beguile the soldiers of Christ, nor can you entrap those whom God forewarns. For prayer has so fortified the island of St Honoratus that the dragon is cast forth, nor has the Devil any power to do harm." Immediately the ship and its sailors vanished. The name of Virgil

489


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 5]

does not appear in the list of abbots of Lerins, and in other chronicles he is spoken of as a monk of Lerins who afterwards became abbot of Saint-Symphorien at Autun. It is certain that he was called from monastic life to become archbishop of ArIes, receiving the pallium from Pope 8t Gregory I, by whom he was appointed apostolic vicar for the kingdom of Childebert II. The Venerable Bede mentions him in connection with the mission to England of 8t Augustine: it would appear that it was 8t Virgil who was the consecrator of Augustine, at the special request of Gregory. The archbishop was an able and vigorous administrator whose zeal, in one instance, outran his discretion, for we find St Gregory remonstrating with his friend for his attempts to convert the Jews of his diocese by force, and recommending him to confine his efforts to prayer and preaching. 8t Virgil built several churches in ArIes, and the story goes that when the basilica of St Honoratus was under construction and the stone pillars were being brought there, it was suddenly found impossible to move them. No reason could be found until the archbishop repaired to the spot. His enlightened eyes at once perceived what was hidden from others, t:iz. that the Devil in the form of a little Negro of enormous strength was hanging on to the stone column and frustrating all efforts to drag it along. St Virgil spoke sternly to the fiend and he vanished in a dreadful stench, leaving the pillars free to be drawn to their destination. His biographer gives many instances of the saint's powers as a wonder-worker; accord­ ing to him, Virgil wrought many miracles of heayng, raised to life several dead persons and destroyed a terrible serpent which had been causing great damage. The people of ArIes undoubtedly had great confidence in his protection, for they were convinced that so long as they retained his body alive or dead in their midst, the great archbishop would deliver them from all their foes. He was buried in the church of St Saviour which he had built. The legendary biography of St Virgil has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum. March. vol. i. See also Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. i, pp. 259-260.

ST JOHN JOSEPH OF THE CROSS ON the feast of the Assumption 1654, in the island of Ischia, off Naples, a boy was born, who, being baptized the same day, received the names of Carlo Gaetano. His parents, Joseph Calosirto and Laura Garguilo, were a well-to-do and most exemplary couple, who strove to bring up their numerous family in the right way. Their house was ever open to the poor~especiallyto the shamefaced poor who were loath to beg-aI\d Madonna Laura used to prepare food and medicaments for those in need, to whom she dispensed them with her own hands. Of their seven sons, five entered religion, but little Carlo was pre-eminent amongst them for his pre­ cocious piety and for his sweet disposition. Generally the boy's sanctity was recognized and approved by his relations, who left him free to follow his own devices even when-to the modern mind at least-they might seenl extravagant and imprudent. To be freer to pray, Carlo chose as his bedroom a remote attic, and as he could not afford to buy any instrument of penance, he managed to make himself one with nails, and he undertook many severe fasts while still a mere child. After such a childhood it was but natural that the boy should feel a strong vocation for the religious life, and, with the hope of obtaining divine guidance to choose aright, he made a fervent novena.

49°


ST JOHN JOSEPH OF THE CROSS

[March 5

Two Spanish Franciscan friars of the " Alcantarine " reform in the course of a begging tour came to the hospitable house of Madonna Laura. Carlo, whose novena had just come to an end, was greatly impressed by the poverty and con­ versation of these sons of St Francis and went to their convent in Naples, Santa Lucia del Monte, to consult with the superiors. Here he met Father Carlo-of-the­ Wounds-of-Jesus, and this experienced director discerned in the youth the germs of a great vocation. For nine months he put him through a strenuous course of self-abnegation and trained him in the method of mental prayer bequeathed by St Peter of Alcantara. Then the aspirant, only sixteen years old, was clothed with the religious habit, and that habit, we are told, he never laid aside night or day in all the sixty-four years that he lived as a friar. It was at his clothing that he took the name of John Joseph-of-the-Cross. The new novice did not disappoint the ex­ pectation of his superiors: his fervour, humility and obedience were such that he seemed like another Peter of Alcantara. It is a proof of the high esteem in which he was held that when the Neapolitan Alcantarines were about to build a monastery at Piedimonte di Alife, they chose John Joseph to start a tradition of regular observance, although he was not yet twenty-one and was not a priest. To labour with his hands in such a cause "vas a congenial task to the young friar, who strove to make the new house an exact replica of St Peter's little monastery at Pedrosa. Day after day through the bitterest cold he might be seen toiling up the mountain with bare and bleeding f~et, carrying stone for the builders. It had been the wish of St John Joseph to remain a deacon in imitation of the Seraphic Father St Francis, but his superiors decided that he should be raised to the priesthood, and on Michaelmas day 167'/ he celebrated his first Mass. A month later, wh<tn at an unusually early age he was entrusted to hear confessions, it was found that the young priest, who from his purity of heart had grown up ignorant of evil, was endowed with an extraordinary insight and wisdom in the tribunal of penance. About this time he formed the plan of building in the wood near the convent some little hermitages, like those of the early Fran­ ciscans, where he and his brethren could spend periods of retirement in even stricter austerity than was possible in the house. He ea~ily obtained the permis­ sion of his superiors, and these hermitages became the means of great spiritual advancement. From this congenial life the saint was recalled to the mother-house to be charged with the delicate and difficult task of novice-master. Here again he acquitted himself successfully, inculcating upon his novices strict observance of the rule, but not exacting from them the austerities he practised himself. Indeed, he was most particular that they should have regular times of recreation. He was again trans­ ferred to Piedimonte to be superior, and though he obtained leave to lay down the office for a short period, which he devoted to the direction of souls, he was soon recalled to take up the charge of governing his brethren a second time. He was then passing through a season of great aridity and desolation, but he was consoled by a vision of a departed lay-brother who reassured him as to his condition. It was after this vision that St John Joseph began to show powers as a wonder-worker, not only by miracles of healing, but also by supplying and multiplying food for the house; his fame spread so rapidly that when he went back to Ischia, to visit his mother in her last illness, he had the unusual experience of being acclaimed as a saint in his native town. A second period as novice-master was succeeded by a third term as superior at Piedimonte, at the close of which an illness brought him

49 1


l\1arch 5]

1'I-1E LI\'ES OF THE SAINTS

to death's door-the malady had been brought on by hardships and austerities足 and hardly had he recovered when he was called upon to take the lead in a crisis which threatened the very existence of the Italian Alcantarines. I t had been laid down by a papal brief that the office of minister provincial and other important charges among the Italian branch of Alcantarines should always be confided to Spaniards. This led to great friction, partly no doubt on account of racial differences, but also because of the fact that, as the Spanish friars in Italy were comparatively few, suitable superiors were often not forthcoming. The troubles increased until the Spaniards obtained entire separation from the Italians, yvith possession of the two Neapolitan houses, one of which was Santa Lucia del Monte. Disorganized and threatened with total suppression, the Italian friars turned to St John Joseph to help and direct them, and it was mainly through his wisdom, personality and reputation that they held together, lived down slander and opposi足 tion, and gained permission to turn themselves into a province. At one period in Naples it was as much as they could do to keep a roof over their heads, and they were without many of the ordinary necessaries of life-but Father John Joseph took all these hardships cheerfully, as being in keeping with the teaching of the founder. As soon as the branch was well started the saint, who had been made the first tninister provincial, was bent on taking measures to lay down his office and to retire into obscurity. Obscurity for him, however, was out of the question, for his holiness, his miracles and the conversions he wrought made him more and more famous. By this time he was growing old and was partially paralysed, but when he appeared in the streets, hobbling along with the help of a stick, he was followed by crowds who wanted his advice or his blessing, or sought surreptitiously to cut--<>r even to bite-pieces from his habit. In 1722 the two Neapolitan houses were restored to them, and St John Joseph returned to Santa Lucia where, as he had prophesied when he had left it, he was ultimately to lay his bones. One of the many miracles reported by his biographer is worthy of record because of the sensation it created at the time and because of the large number of persons who appear to have witnessed it. It was in the octave of the feast of St Januarius and John Joseph had gone into the cathedral to honour the saint's relic, when, in the seething crowd, there slipped from his hand the stick without which he could not move a step. Undismayed he appealed to the saint whose festival was being kept, and immediately he was transported first to beneath the pulpit and then to the door of the cathedral. He was sitting on the steps without a stick when there drove up in a coach the Duke of Lauriano who, surprised to see him there, asked if there was anything the matter. "I have lost my steed", replied the friar cheerfully, and when the duke offered to carry him to his coach, John Joseph refused his offer with th'anks and motioned him to enter the cathedral, saying, " You will see the walking-stick there." The duke obeyed, but before he had reached the high altar he heard a cry of " A miracle! A miracle ! " from the congregation and, looking round, he saw the stick flying through the air at a distance of about two hand's-breadths above the heads of the congregation. Those ~ho were outside beheld the stick pass through the door, strike St John Joseph lightly on the chest with its handle, and then return to his hand. The old man grasped it joyfully and hobbled away home as fast as he could, for the crowd were following him with acclamations and were tearing pieces from his ragged old habit. Besides miracles and the gift of prophecy John Joseph was endowed with other supernatural gifts, such as ecstasies, levitation and heavenly visions: moreover, during a great part


SSe PERPETUA, FELICITY AND COMPANIONS

[J\,larch 6

of his life he could read the thoughts of those who came to consult him as clearly as though they had been writtten words. As the day of his death approached, St John Joseph was divinely warned and spoke of it freely to those around him, but he continued to carryon his usual avocations. At two o'clock in the morning of March I, 1734, he had a violent apoplectic seizure from which he never recovered, although he lingered on for five days, passing away at the age of eighty. He was buried at Santa Lucia del Monte in the habit he had ,vorn so long, and his tomb almost immediately became a very popular place of pilgrimage. He was canonized in 1839. See Diodato dell' Assunta, Saggio istorico (1789), and Compendium {'itae, virtutum et miraculorum B. Joannis Josephi a Cruce (1839).

6:

SSe

PERPETUA,

FELICITY

AND

THEIR

COMPANIONS,

MARTYRS

(A.D. 203)

T

HE record of the passion of St Perpetua, 8t Felicity and their companions is one of the greatest hagiological treasures that have corne down to us. In the fourth century these acts were publicly read in the churches of Africa, and were in fact so highly esteemed that St Augustine found it necessary to issue a protest against their being placed on a level with the Holy Scriptures. In them we have a human document of singularly vivid interest preserved for us in the actual words of two of the martyrs themselves. It was in Carthage in the year 203 that, during the persecution initiated by the Emperor Severus, five catechumens were arrested. They were Revocatus, his fellow-slave Felicity (who was shortly expecting her confinement), Saturninus, Secundulus and Vivia (Vibia) Perpetua, at that time t\\Tenty-two years of age, the wife of a man of good position, and the mother of a young child. She had parents and two brothers living--a third, names Dinocrates, having died at the age of seven. These five prisoners were joined by Saturus, who seems to have been their in­ structor in the faith and who underwent a voluntary imprisonnlent \\Tith them because he would not leave them. Perpetua's father, of whom she \\Tas the favourite child, was an old man and a pagan, whereas her mother was probably a Christian­ as was also one of her brothers, the other being a catechumen. The martyrs, after their apprehension, were kept under guard in a private house, and Perpetua's account of their sufferings is as follows: "When I was still with my companions, and my father, in his affection for me, was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and thus weaken my faith, ' Father " said I, ' do you see this vessel­ waterpot or whatever it may be ? • • • Can it be called by any other name than what it is ?' 'No', he replied. 'So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am-a Christian.' Then my father, provoked at the word' Christian " threw himself upon me as if he would pluck out my eyes, but he only shook me and in fact he was vanquished. . . . Then I th2'lked God for the relief of being, for a few days, parted from my father . . . and during those few days we were baptized, the Spirit bidding rne make no other petition.after the rite than for bodily endurance. A few days later we were lodged in prison, and I was greatly frightened because I had never known such darkness. What a day of horror! Terrible heat, owing to the cro\vds! Rough treatment by the soldiers! To crown all I was tormented

493


rrtIE LIVES ()F THE

AfaYr/t '6]

SAIN1~S

with anxiety for my baby. Then Tertius and Pomponius, those blessed deacons who ministered to us, paid for us to be removed for a few hours to a better part of the prison and obtain some relief. Then all of them \vent out of the prison, and I suckled my baby, who was faint for want of food. I spoke anxiously to my mother on his behalf and encouraged my brother and commended my son to their care. I was concerned because I saw their concern for me. Such anxieties I suffered for many days, but I obtained leave for my baby to remain in the prison with me, and, being relieved of my trouble and anxiety for him, I at once recovered my health, and my prison suddenly became a palace to me and I would rather have been there than anywhere else. " Then my brother said to me: 'Lady sister, you are now in great honour-so great that you may well pray for a vision in which you may be shown whether suffering or release be in store for you.' And I, knowing myself to have speech of the Lord for whose sake I was suffering, confidently promised, ' To-morrow I will bring you word.' And I made petition and this was shown me. I saw a golden ladder of wonderful length reaching up to heaven, but so narrow that only one at a time could go up; and on the sides of the ladder were fastened all kinds of iron weapons. There were swords, lances, hooks, daggers-so that if anyone went up carelessly, or without looking upwards, he was mangled and his flesh caught on the weapons. And at the foot of the ladder was a huge dragon [or' serpent '] which lay in \vait for those going up and sought to frighten them from making the ascent. Now the first to go up was Saturus, who had given himself up of his own accord for our sakes, because our faith was of his own building and he had not been present when we were arrested. He reached the top of the ladder, and, turning, said to me, ' Perpetua, I wait for you, but take care lest the dragon bite you,' and I said, , In the name of Jesus Christ, he will not hurt me.' And the dragon put out his head gently, as if afraid of me, just at the foot of the ladder; and as though I were treading on the first step, I trod on his head. And I went up and saw a large garden, and sitting in the midst a tall man with white hair in the dress of a shepherd, milking sheep; and round about were many thousands clad in white. And he raised his head and looked upon me and said, ' Welcome, child.' And he called me and gave me some curds of the milk he was milking, and I received it in my joined hands and ate; and all that were round about said Amen. At the sound of the word I awoke, still eating something sweet. And at once I told my brother, and we understood that we must suffer and henceforth began to have no hope in this world. " After a few days there was a report that we were to be examined. Moreover, my father arrived from the city, worn with anxiety, and he came up that he might overthrow my resolution, saying, 'Daughter, pity my white hairs! Pity your father if I am worthy to he called father by you, if I have brought you up to this your prime of life, if I have preferred you to your brothers. Make me not a reproach to men! Look on your mother and your mother's sister, look upon your son who cannot live after you are gone. Lay aside your pride, do not ruin us all, for none of us will ever speak freely again if anything happens to you.' So spoke my father in his love for me, kissing my hands and casting himself at my feet; and with tears called me by the name, not of ' daughter', but of ' lady'. And I grieved for my father's sake, because he alone of all my kindred would not have joy at my martyr足 dom. And I comforted him, saying, ' It shall happen as God shall choose, for assuredly we lie not in our own power but in the power of God.' And he departed

494


SSe PERPETUA, FELICITY AND COMPANIONS

[March 6

full of grief. Another day, whilst we were taking our meal, we were suddenly summoned to be examined and we arrived at the market-place. The news of this soon spread and brought a vast crowd together. We were placed on a platform before the judge, who was Hilarian, procurator of the province, the proconsul being lately dead. The rest, who were questioned before me, confessed their faith. When it came to my turn, my father appeared with my baby, and drawing me down from the step besought me, ' Have pity on your child.' The president Hilarian joined with my father and said, ' Spare your father's white hairs: spare the tender years of your child. Offer a sacrifice for the prosperity of the emperors.' I replied, , No.'-' Are you a Christian? ' asked Hilarian, and I answered, 'Yes, I am.' As my father attempted to draw me from my resolution, Hilarian commanded that he should be beaten off and he was struck with a rod. This I felt as much as if I myself had been struck, so greatly did I grieve to see my father thus treated in his old age. Then the judge passed sentence on us all and condemned us to the wild beasts; and joyfully we returned to our prison. Then, as my baby was accustomed to the breast, I sent Pomponius the deacon to ask him of my father, who, however, refused to send him. And God so ordered it that the child no longer required to suckle, nor did the milk in my breasts distress me." Secundulus seems to have died in prison before his examination. Before Hilarian pronounced sentence, he had caused Saturus, Saturninus and Revocatus to be scourged and Perpetua and Felicity to be hit on the face. They were reserved for the shows which were to be exhibited for the soldiers in the camp on the festival of Geta, whom his father Severus had made caesar when his brother Caracalla was created augustus four years previously. St Perpetua relates another of her visions in the following words: "A f~w days later, while we were all praying, I happened to name Dinocrates-at which I was astonished, because I had not had him in my thoughts. And I knew that same moment that I ought to pray for him, and this I began to do with much fervour and lamentation before God. The same night this was shown me. I saw Dinocrates coming out of a dark place where there were many others, hot and thirsty; his face was pale with the wound which he had on it when he died. Dinocrates had been my brother according to the flesh, and had died pitiably at the age of seven years of a horrible gangrene in the face. It was for him that I had prayed and there was a great gulf between us, so that neither of us could approach the other. Near him stood a font full of water, the rim of which was above the head of the child, and Dinocrates stood on tiptoe to drink. I was grieved that though the font had water he could not drink because of the height of the rim, and I awoke realizing that my brother was in travail. But I trusted that I could relieve his trouble and I prayed for him every day until we were removed to the garrison prison-for we were to fight with the wild beasts at the garrison games on Geta Caesar's festival. And I prayed for him night and day with lamentation and tears that he might be given me. The day we were in the stocks, this was shown me. I saw the place I had seen before, but now luminous, and Dinocrates clean, well-clad and refreshed; and where there had been a wound, there was now only a scar; and the font I had perceived before had its rim lowered to the child's waist; and there poured water from it constantly and on the rim was a golden bowl full of water. And Dinocrates came forward and began to drink from it, and the bowl failed not. And when he had drunk enough he came away-pleased to play, as children will. And so I awoke and I knew he suffered no longer.

495


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

cc Some days later, Pudens, the officer who had charge of the prison, began to show us consideration, perceiving that there was some great power within us, and he began to admit many to see us for our mutual refreshment. When the day of the games drew near, my father came, overwhelmed with grief, and he began to pluck out his beard and throw himself upon the ground and to curse his years and to say such words as none could listen to unmoved. I sorrowed for the unhappiness of his old age. " On the eve of the day we were to suffer I saw in a vision Pomponius the deacon come hither and knock loudly at the prison door, which I opened to him. He was dressed in a white robe without a girdle, wearing shoes curiously wrough~, and he said to me, ' Perpetua, we are waiting for you: come.' Aud he took me by the hand and we began painfully and panting to pass through rough and broken country till we reached an amphitheatre, and he led me into the middle, saying, ' Fear not; I am here with you and I labour with you.' Then he departed. And I saw a huge crowd watching, and because I knew that I was condemned to the beasts, I won­ dered that there were none let loose on me. Then there came out an ill-favoured Egyptian with his attendants to fight against me. And another troop of goodly young men came to be my supporters. And I was stripped and changed into a man and my attendants rubbed me down with oil for the combat; and I saw the Egyptian, opposite, rolling in the dust. And there came forward a man so wonder­ fully tall that he rose above the top of the amphitheatre, clad in a purple robe without a girdle, with two stripes, one on each side, running down the middle of the breast, and wearing shoes curiously made of gold and silver; and he was carrying a rod like a trainer, and a green bough on which \\'ere golden apples. Having called for silence, he said, ' This Egyptian, if he overcome her, shall kill her with a sword, and if she overcome him, she shall receive this bough.' And he withdrew. And we approached each other and began to use our fists. My opponent tried to catch hold of my feet, but I kept on striking his face with my heels; and I was lifted up into the air and began to strike him as would one who no longer trod the earth. But when I saw that the fight lagged, I joined my hands, linking my fingers. And I caught hold of his head and he fell on his face; and I trod on his head. And the people shouted, and my supporters sang psalms. And I came forward to the trainer and received the bough; and kissing me, he said, 'Peace be with thee, daughter.' And I began in triumph to go towards the Gate of Life ;. and so I awoke. And I saw that I should not fight with beasts but with the Devil: but I knew the victory to be mine. I have written this up to the day before the games. Of \\' hat was done in the games themselves, let him write who will." St Saturus also had a vision which he described in writing. He and his com­ panions were conducted by angels into a beautiful garden, where they met martyrs named Jocundus, Saturninus and Artaxius, who had lately been burnt alive, and Quintus, who had died in prison. Then they were led to a place which seemed as though it were built of light, and sitting in it was One white-haired with the face of a youth-" whose feet we saw not "-and on His right and on His left and behind Him were many elders, and all sang with one voice, " Holy, holy, holy." They stood before the throne, and " we kissed Him, and He passed His hand over our faces.t And the other elders said to us, ' Stand up '. And we stood up and gave

• Porta sana'l'ivaria. See below, penultimate paragraph.

t Cf. Apocalypse vii, 17: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'


SSe PERPETUA, FELICITY AND COMPANIONS

[March 6

the kiss of peace. And the elders said to us, ' Go and play'." Then Saturus said to Perpetua, " You have all you desired"; and she replied, " Thanks be to God that as I was merry in the flesh, so am I still merrier here." He adds that as they went out they found before the gate their bishop Optatus, and Aspasius, a priest, alone and sorrowful. They fell at the martyrs' feet and begged them to reconcile them, for they had quarrelled. As Perpetua was talking to them in Greek, " be­ neath a rose-tree," the angels told the two clerics to compose their differences, and charged Optatus to heal the factions in his church. Saturus adds: "We began to recognize many brethren and martyrs there, and we all drew strength from an inexpressible fragrance which delighted us; and in joy I awoke." 'rhe rest of the acts were added by another hand-apparently that of an eye­ witness. Felicity feared that she might not suffer with them, because women with child were not allowed to be exposed for punishment. All joined in prayer on her behalf, and she was delivered in the prison, giving birth to a daughter, whom one of their fellow-Christians adopted. The apprehension that the captives might use magic to obtain their deliverance caused the tribune who had charge of the martyrs to treat them harshly and to refuse to allow them to see visitors; but Perpetua remonstrated with him and he relented somewhat, ar.d admitted certain of their friends, whilst Pudens their gaoler, "who now believed," did all he could for them. The day before the games, they were given the usual last meal, which was eaten in public, and was called" the free feast", but the martyrs strove to make of it an agape, a love-feast, and to those who crowded round them they spoke of the judgements of God and of the joy of their own sufferings. Their courage aston­ ished the pagans and caused the conversion of many. The day of their triumph having arrived, the martyrs set forth from the prison as though they were on their way to Heaven. After the men walked Perpetua, " abashing with the high spirit in her eyes the gaze of all ", and Felicity beside her " rejoicing to come from the midwife to the gladiator, to wash after her travail in a second baptism". At the gates of the amphitheatre the guards wished to force the men to wear the robes of the priests of Saturn and the women the dress conse­ crated to Ceres, but Perpetua resisted so strenuously that the officer allowed them to enter the arena clad as they were. Perpetua was singing a psalm of triumph, whilst Revocatus, Saturninus and Saturus threatened the bystanders and even Hilarian, as they passed his balcony, with the judgement of God. The crowd, enraged at their boldness, yelled that they should be scourged, and accordingly, as they passed in front of the gladiators, each received a lash. Saturninus had ex­ pressed a hope that he might be exposed to various sorts of beasts to gain a more glorious crown, and he and Revocatus, after being attacked by a leopard, were also set upon by a bear. Saturus, on the other hand, had a great horror of bears and hoped that a leopard would despatch him at once. He was exposed to a wild boar which turned upon its keeper, who received such wounds that he died soon after­ wards, whereas Saturus was only dragged along by the beast. Then the martyr was tied up before the bear, but the bear refused to come out of his den, and Saturus was reserved for a second encounter. This gave him an opportunity of speaking to the gaoler Pudens, who had been converted. He encouraged him, saying, " You see that what I desired and foretold has come to pass: not a beast has touched me. Believe steadfastly. See, I go forth yonder, and with one bite from the leopard, all will be over." It happened as he had foretold; a leopard sprang upon him and in a moment he was covered with blood. The mob jeered and cried out, " He is welJ

497


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

washed [baptized] ! " whilst the martyr said to Pudens, " Farewell: keep the faith and me in mind, and let these things not confound but confirm you." Then he took a ring from the gaoler's finger, and having dipped it in his blood, he returned it to Pudens as a keepsake, and so died, going to await Perpetua, according to her vision. In the meantime Perpetua and Felicity were exposed to a savage cow. Perpetua was tossed first and fell on her hack, but sat up and gathered her torn tunic round her, pinning up her dishevelled hair lest she should seem to he mourning. Then she went to the help of Felicity, who had also been tossed, and side by side they stood expecting another attack; but as the moh cried out that it was enough, they were led to the gate Sanavivaria, through which victorious gladiators left the arena. Here Perpetua seemed to return as from an ecstasy and asked when she was to fight the cow. Upon being told \vhat had happened, she could not believe it until she saw on herself and on her clothing the marks of what she had suffered. Then, calling her brother she said to him and to the catechumen Rusticus, " Stand fast in the faith and love one another; and do not let our sufferings be a stumbling-block to you." By this time the fickle people were clamouring for them to come out into the open, which they did willingly, and after giving each other the kiss of peace, they ,vere killed by the gladiators, Perpetua guiding to her own throat the sword of her nervous executioner, who had failed to kill her at the first stroke, so that she shrieked out with pain. " Perhaps so great a woman . . . could not else have been slain except she willed it." In 1907 Father Delattre discovered and pieced together an ancient inscription found in the Basilica Majorum at Carthage, where the bodies of these martyrs were buried-as we know from Victor Vitensis, a fifth-century African bishop, who had seen the place where they were interred. It reads: "Here are the martyrs Saturus, Saturninus, Revocatus, Secundulus, Felicity and Perpetua, who suffered on the nones of March." It cannot, however, be confidently maintained as. a matter of certainty that the inscription discovered is that of the tombstone of the martyrs. The proper day for their comrnemoration, that on which they suffered, is nonis Martii (March 7), but the feast, owing to its concurrence with that of St Thomas Aquinas, has now been transferred to March 6. No saints are more uniformly honoured in all the early calendars and martyrologies. Their names appear not only in the Philocalian calendar at Rome of the year 354, but also in the Syriac calendar compiled probably in the neighbourhood of Antioch at the end of the same century. The Acts of SSe Perpetua and Felicity have naturally produced a very considerable literature. Both Latin and Greek texts' may be conveniently consulted in the edition of Dean Armitage Robinson in Texts and Studies, vol. i, pt 2. There are English translations by R. W. Muncey: The Passion of St Perpetua (1927) and E. C. E. Owen, Some Acts of the Earl)' Martyrs (1927). But the best is by W. H. Shewring, The Passion of Perpetua and Felicity (1931), with a Latin tcxt and an excellent introduction. The theory that the Greek text was the original and the Latin a translation has now been generally abandoned, and no one seems to have followed Hilgenfeld in his curious contention t~lat the document was first drafted in the Punic language. A considerable number of scholars, notably among Catholics Fr Adhemar d'Ales, have inclined to the view that the editor of the acts was no other than Tertullian himself. One reason which weighs in favour of this theory is to be found in the traces which appear of Montanist teaching and phraseology; but these, as Delehaye has shown, are but slight, and there is no reason for identifying the acts with heretical teaching of any sort. See Delehaye, Les Passions des martyrs et les genres litteraires (1921), pp. 63-72. Cf. Monceaux, Histoire litteraire de I'Afrique chretienne, i, pp. 70-96, and A. J. Mason, Historic Martyrs (1905), pp. 77-106.


ST FRIDOLIN

ST FRIDOLIN,

[March 6 ABBOT

(SIXTH CENTURY?)

THE history of St Fridolin, "the Traveller", presents many difficulties to the historian, for the accounts which have come down to us are so conflicting that even the very century of his birth is uncertain. The" acts" of his life, long preserved at Sackingen, were unfortunately lost, and our chief authority, a some\vhat unreli足 able one, is a biography written by one Balther, who had read a copy of the acts and who professed to have reproduced them from memory, the prior of the monas足 tery which owned it having refused him permission to keep the book. Fridolin was reported to be an Irishman of good family who became a priest. He exercised his ministry by wandering from city to city preaching the word of God; but soon he felt the call to a missionary career and left his native land, in spite of the entreaties of his disciples, his relations and even the Irish prelates. His first landing-place was some distant shore which cannot with certainty be identified. Passing on to France, he travelled as an itinerant preacher until he reached Poitiers, where he was hospitably received by the monks of the monastery of St Hilary, which he eventually joined. The church had been left in ruins by the ravages of the Vandals and the bones of the founder had been lost, and Fridolin was most anxious to find them. His wish was gratified by a vision in which St Hilary told him where his body lay buried. It was agreed to rebuild the church and to place the relics in a suitable shrine, and St Fridolin was chosen abbot to carry out the work. News of the discovery having reached King Clovis III, that monarch summoned the bishop and the abbot to appear before him. According to the legend, a mag足 nificent banquet was given, at which many nobles, pagan and Christian, were entertained, and the king filled a costly goblet and he offered it to St Fridolin. By some misadventure the cup fell off the table and was broken into four pieces. Clovis, half in jest, suggested that the saint should work a miracle over them and thus exalt God's name before his pagan guests. St Fridolin took the fragments, bent over them in prayer, and then restored the cup entire and without a flaw. Immediately upon his return to Poitiers, Fridolin set to work to restore the monas足 tery, which had fallen into disrepair, as well as to rebuild the church, in which he caused part of the relics to be deposited with great ceremony. Two of the saint's nephews, who had come over from Northumbria to join him, assisted him in his work, and not long after their arrival St Fridolin had another vision of St Hilary, who said to him: "Brother Fridolin, why do you delay in doing what you promised to God and to me when you were separating a certain portion of my remains to carry with you? Do not tarry any longer in this place, which your nephews will take care to have dedicated to the service of Almighty God after your departure." In answer to Fridolin's inquiry as to where he should go, he was directed to a certain island in the Rhine. On his way he is said to have founded the monastery of Hilera on the Moselle and to have built a church in honour of St Hilary in the \Tosges mountains. Passing through the town now called Strasbourg, he erected another church under the same patronage. At Coire, in the present canton of Grisons in Switzerland, he stayed for some time with the bishop, and is credited with the foundation of yet another church of St Hilary. Whilst at Coire he ascertained that there was an uncultivated island in the Rhine which corresponded to the island of his dream; being unable to obtain any particulars beyond the fact that it was called Sackingen, he started out

499


March 6]

TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

to examine it for himself with a view to making a settlement there. His motives ,vere misunderstood, and he was so severely belaboured that he was forced to beat a retreat and to seek a charter granting him possession of the island. Authorities differ as to the ruler from whom he obtained this charter: some say Thierry I of Austrasia, and others Sigismund of Burgundy; but eventually he was able to build a church and monastery. He is also stated to have founded a convent for nuns and to have obtained lands for its endowment from the lord of Glarus. In later times the canton of Glarus was subject to the abbess of Sackingen. The last years of St Fridolin's life were spent at the head of his monastery, but he appears also to have founded a sort of school for very young boys in which he encouraged sports and at times joined in them. His many travels to spread the gospel earned him the name of " Viator", and it is recorded that in later centuries Scottish or Irish pilgrims who went to Rome used to track his progress along the Rhine. For the biography by Balther, see MGH., Scriptores Mero'v., vol. iii, pp. 354-369, and the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i. Extravagant as the legend is, it was very well known in the later middle ages, more particularly in Switzerland and the adjacent provinces. Hence a considerable literature has gathered round it. See more particularly the monograph of C. Benziger, Die Fridolins-legende nach einem Ulmer Druck des Johann Zainer (1913).

SSe CYNEBURGA, CYNESWIDE

AND

TIBBA

(SEVENTH CEN足

TURY)

BEDE tells us that Cyneburga, a daughter of King Penda of Mercia, was married to Alcfrid, a son of King Oswy of Northumbria. It is not known what happened to Alcfrid after he rebelled against his father, but after a time Cyneburga found herself free to leave the north and to return to her own land. On a piece of fenland on the borders of Northampton and Huntingdon, her brothers or she founded a convent which she entered. The place was afterwards called Cyneburgecester, and it is now known as Castor. Round her gathered a band of women who served God in much holiness, whilst she as their abbess outshone them all and was remark足 able for the wisdom and care with which she watched over her nuns. Here she was joined by her sister St Cyneswide, who from her earliest years had devoted herself to God alone. Her brother, King Wulfhere, had betrothed her to Offa, son of the king of the East Saxons, but she so wrought upon her affianced husband that he released her. She eventually succeeded her sister as abbess. A third holy woman, who is associated with the other two and was venerated on this day, is their kinswoman St Tibba, of whom it is recorded that she spent many years in solitude and devotion, but whether she lived in the abbey or in some cell in the neighbourhood history does not record. 1'hey were all laid to rest eventually in the abbey of Medeshamstede (Peterborough), which the two sisters must have helped to establish, for their names appear in the list of those who took part in the assembly which sanctioned its foundation, and they were reckoned among its patrons. In the reign of Henry I the bones of these three saints were restored to Peterborough from Thorney, whither they had been taken when Peter足 borough was for a second time ravaged by the Danes, and a festival was instituted to honour the translation. According to Camden, St Tibba was specially honoured at Ryhall in Rutlandshire, so she may possibly have at one time occupied a cell in that neighbourhood, where, indeed, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (s.a. 963) says she was at first buried.

500


S'T CHRODEGANG

[111arch 6

We know little of St Cyneburga beyond what may be four.d in the text and notes of Plummer's edition of Bede's Historia Ecclesiastica. What is stated in William of Malmesbury and the Peterborough Chronicle is not very trustworthy. 'I'he references to Cyneburga in the Cartularium Gloucestriae are due to confusion with another saint of that name: r/. l. B. L. Tolhurst, " St Kyneburga of Gloucester ", in Pax, Summer 1943, pp. 85-87. i'he names AIcfrith and Cyneburh may clearly be read in the runes of the Bewcastle Cross in Cumberland.

ST CHRODEGANG, BISHOP OF METZ

(A.D. 766)

ST CHRODEGANG was born near Liege, and was probably educated at the abbey of S.-Trond. We are told that he spoke his o\vn tongue and Latin with equal fluency; in appearance he was singularly prepossessing, and his kindness and gracious manners endeared him to all. Charles Martel recognized his exceptional qualities, and chose him as his secretary and referendary. After the death of Charles, Chrodegang, though still a layman, was in 742 invested with the bishopric of Metz ; he cornbined in such an eminent degree sanctity with sagacity that nothing but good could result from such an appointment, and every\vhere the holy man used his influence for the furtherance of justice and for the public weal. His biographers extol his almost boundless charity and his special solicitude for wido\vs and orphans. As ambassador from Pepin, mayor of the palace, to Pope Stephen III, Chrodegang was concerned closely with Pepin's coronation as king in 754, his defeat of the Lombards in Italy, and the handing over of the exarchate of Ravenna and other territory to the I-Ioly See. St Chrodegang, having thus contributed to set the papacy on a firmer basis and to establish the Frankish supremacy in Italy, turned his attention to the spiritual affairs of his diocese. The laxity and lawlessness of the times had not been without influence on the clergy: many of them had become overmuch entangled in worldly affairs, and the younger ones were not being adequately trained in knowledge and discipline. He started with those of his own city and cathedral, for whom he drew up a series of regulations, founded to a considerable degree on the Rule of St Benedict. He brought together in clergy-houses all the ecclesiastics-higher and lower-and obliged them to assist at the choir offices and to live a common life according to rule. The code which has come down to us consisted originally of thirty-four chapters. At the daily meetings, one of these sections had to be read, and from this reading the meeting came to be called " the chapter". Soon the name" chapter" became attached to those present, whilst those who were bound by these canons (rules) were called canon£c£ or canons, the conventuals who had their own regulations becoming known as "regulars". The reputation of St Chrodegang caused his reform to spread beyond his own diocese and later it attracted the attention of Charlemagne; the emperor caused it to be enacted that all bodies of clerics should live either the collegiate life-according to canon-or else as regulars or monks. Thus was the saint a notable influence in the " canon regular" movement that reached beyond France and Germany to Italy and the British Isles. Another of the activities of St Chrodegang was the building and restoration of churches, monasteries, and charitable institutions. The abbey of Gorze, which he loved above all others, was one of his foundations. For these monasteries the pope sent him the bodies of three saints whose shrines attracted crowds of pilgrims, and as a further mark of favour the Holy See accorded him precedence of all the other Frankish bishops-even, according to some authorities, sending him the pallium.

5°1


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

I t is generally agreed that the church of Metz under Chrodegang was the first in the north to adopt the pure Roman liturgy and the Gregorian chant. The choir school which he established became famous, and in 805 Charlemagne ordered that all choirmasters should be drawn from the school at Metz. Its reputation lasted for several centuries, and when the fathers of Citeaux wished to perpetuate the very best traditions in the matter of choral service they turned to the church of Metz and adopted its antiphonary. St Chrodegang died on March 6, 766, and his body was laid to rest at Gorze. As a source of reliable history the biography of St Chrodegang attributed to John of Gorze and printed in MGH., Scriptores, vol. x, cannot claim confidence, but from Paul Warnefrid, De Episcopis Mettensibus (in Scriptores, vol. ii, of the same series), and from other chroniclers we are fairly well informed concerning the saint's activities. The primitive text of Chrodegang's rule for his canons is best studied in the edition of Wilhelm Schmitz, S. Chrodegangi Regula canonicorum mit Umschrift der Tironischen Noten (1889). See also the paper of Dr H. Reumont in the Festschnjt jur Georg von Hertling (1913), pp. 202-2 15 ; the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. i); A. Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, vol. ii, pp. 62-68; DCB., vol. i, pp. 498-5째3; and J. C. Dickinson, The Origin oj the Austin Canons (1950), pp. 16-20.

SSe BALRED AND BILFRID

(EIGHTH CENTURY)

ST BALRED or Balther was a priest who led the solitary life in the kingdom of Northumbria, which comprised the south of Scotland. He appears to have lived at one time at Tyningham, at another period inhabiting a cell on the Bass Rock. A legend recounts that there was then a dangerous shoal in the Firth of Forth, which was visible only at low tide and was the cause of many shipwrecks; it stood between the Bass Rock and the mainland. According to the lesson in the Aberdeen Breviary, St Balred, out of pity for sailors, decided to move it. Going out to the rock, he stood upon it and it floated away under him" like a little boat wafted by a fair wind", and was steered bj- him to the neighbouring shore, where it remained and became known as St Baldred's Rock. After a life of great austerities and trials, the holy hermit died at Aldham, and a dispute arose with the neighbouring parishes of Tyningham and Preston for the possession of his body. Tradition relates that in the morning it was found that there were three precisely similar bodies and so each parish was able to have its own. The relics were lost during a Danish attack, but two centuries later a priest called Elfrid discovered through a dream the body of St Balred, which was removed to Durham together ,vith the remains of another hermit, St Bilfrid the goldsmith, who was honoured with him on March 6. Bilfrid, as the inscription on it states, adorned with gold, silver and gems St Cuthbert's famous Book of the Gospels, which, after being miraculously rescued uninjured from the sea, was long preserved in Durham, but now forms one of the treasures of the Cottonian Library in the British Museun1. Here again, as pointed out in Stanton's Menology (pp. 105 and 633), some confusion seems to have arisen between two different holy men, the Baldredus of the Aberdeen Breviary, who was a bishop, and the Baltherus of Symeon of Durham, who was a priest. Moreover, if Baldredus, as stated in the Breviary, was a bishop under St Kentigern, he cannot have died more than 150 years later, as Baltherus is said to have done. See KSS., pp. 273-274.

ST CADROE, OR CADROEL, ABBOT

(A.D. 976)

ST CADROE was the son of a Scottish prince or thane, who was sent over to Ireland for his education, and so greatly distinguished himself at Armagh that he was

502


ST OLLEGARIUS, OR OLDEGAR

[1vlarch 6

credited with having read cc all that ever poet has sung, orator spoken and philo足 sopher thought ". U pan his return to Scotland he set to work to foster vocations and to train priests because-to quote the old chronicler-" the Scots had many thousands of schoolmasters and but few fathers". After some years he ,vas divinely moved to relinquish his country and his father's house, and amid general lamenta足 tions he left Scotland with his pilgrim's staff in hand. After visiting shrines in England and Wales he came south to London, where he was kindly received by an aged man named Hegfrid. In the middle of the night Cadr()e was aroused by his host, who told him that the town was on fire. Cadroe made his way to the scene of the conflagration and, earnestly invoking God's help, lifted his hands towards heaven. The flames immediately died down and London was saved. The news of the miracle spread far and wide and reached King Edmund, who invited the saint to visit him in his royal city of Winchester. Then St ado, bishop of that see and af~erwards archbishop of Canterbury, escorted him to the coast, from whence he sailed to France with a dozen companions. At Peronne they were befriended by a lady who enabled them to settle in the forest of Thierache, in a monastery which they dedicated to St Michael. 8t Cadroe refused to become abbot and went on to Fleury, where he received the Benedictine habit, but he returned to St Michael's after he had passed through the novitiate. He became abbot of Waulsort, on the Meuse, which he ruled for several years, until the bishop of Metz begged him to take charge of the abbey of 8t Clement at Metz which had fallen upon evil days. He completely reformed it and succeeded in raising it to even more than its former glory. No doubt can be entertained that St Cadroe ruled the abbey of Waulsort, for, as Mabillon points out, a charter of the Emperor Otto III in the year 991 refers to him as " Cadroel of blessed memory". But it is not easy to pronounce upon the historical value of the Latin life written, probably in the eleventh century, by one Reimann or Ousmann-the name is uncertain. It is not a mere romance, in spite of its occasionally extravagant tone. The text is published most fully by Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae~ under March 6, but it has also been edited by the Bollandists and by Mabillon. See also Skene, Chronicles of the Picts and Scots, pp. 106-116; KSS., pp. 293-294; and cf. Gougaud, Gaelic Pioneers of Christianit)' .

ST OLLEGARIUS, 1137)

OR

OLDEGAR,

ARCHBISHOP OF TARRAGONA

(A.D.

THE father of Ollegarius (Olaguer in Spanish) and his mother both came of noble Visigothic families. Catalonia was suffering severely from the ravages of the Saracens, and it was apparently as a votive offering for protection from their incur足 sions that Ollegarius was dedicated by his parents to God and to 8t Eulalia in the church of which that saint was patroness in Barcelona-. At the age of fifteen the boy was made over to the canons attached to the church, and with him was given an endowment of vineyards, buildings and other property. In those days it was not essential that a canon should be a priest, or even a celibate, and therefore it did not seem extraordinary that the youth should be appointed provost when he had scarcely reached manhood-the importance of his family and his personal piety would sufficiently justify such a choice. When he had been raised to the priesthood he was sent to France to the monastery of 8t Adrian, in which canons regular had l:ltely been installed, and was made prior, the first of several such offices that he held. 1'1he story goes that, the bishopric of Barcelona falling vacant in I I 15, Count

5属3


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Raymond was desirous of appointing Ollegarius, but the holy man shrank from taking the office and withdrew into hiding. The count, not to be beaten, went to Rome to obtain confirmation of his choice, and, fortified with a papal bull and accompanied by a legate, he tracked Ollegarius to his retreat amongst the canons of Maguelonnes and overcame his resistance. The new bishop proved himself both a zealous overseer and an able administrator, and was soon translated to the archi足 episcopal see of Tarragona. In 1123 Ollegarius went to Rome to attend the first Council of the Lateran, where he asked Pope Callistus II and the assembly to enact that the privileges which were being offered to those who would take part in the crusades in Palestine should be extended to those who would fight the Moslems in Spain. His petition was granted, and he returned home as apostolic delegate charged to preach a crusade against Moors. Success crowned his efforts, and Count Raymond succeeded in obtaining sufficient reinforcements to inflict severe losses on the Moors and to drive them from some of their strongholds. Ollegarius also did much to encourage and extend in his diocese the newly formed Order of Knights Templars. His metro足 politan city of Tarragona had been almost entirely destroyed by the Moors, and he set to work to rebuild and restore it. Ollegarius also made the care of the sick poor, and in particular the mentally afflicted, the object of his special solicitude. Al足 though he was closely bound to the ruling family, he did not hesitate to denounce Count Raymond III when the count sought to reimpose an unjust tribute which his father, Raymond Berengarius, had remitted. At a synod in 1137 the archbishop, who was old and in failing health, was suddenly taken ill. He was carried from the council-chamber to his bed, from which he never rose again. There is a Latin life, or rather two separate lives, of Ollegarius which have been printed by Florez in his Espana Sagrada, vol. xxix, pp. 472-499, together with a collection of the saint's miracles. In Spain, and especially in Catalonia, his memory was at one time cherished very devoutly, and he was the subject of many popular biographies, such as that of Jaime Rebullosa, Vida y milagros del d. Olaguer (1609). See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i.

ST CYRIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE

(c.

A.D.

1235?)

IN the Carmelite supplement to the Roman Martyrology we may read on this day the following entry: "In the Holy Land, of St Cyril, Confessor, of the Carmelite Order, who by his learning and holiness brought many to the faith of Christ and ruled his order with great praise for twenty-seven years. At length, in the reign of the Emperors Philip and Otto, he had rest in a blessed end." The unsatisfactory character of this notice is revealed at once by the fact that while the Emperors Philip of Swabia and Otto IV must unquestionably be here referred to, Otto was not the colleague but the opponent and successor of Philip. Moreover Otto IV died in 1218, while Brocard, the predecessor of Cyril in the office of prior general of the Carmelites, was still living at that date. It would serve no good purpose to enter into any detail regarding the fanciful biography which at a later period was invented for St Cyril and which still holds its place in the lessons of the Carmelite Breviary. According to this, Cyril was a gifted priest of Constantinople who had rendered marvellous services to the Church in controversy with the Greek Orthodox over the question of the Filioque, and who had been sent by the Emperor Manuel Comnenus on an embassy to Pope Alexander III. In point of fact we know no more about St Cyril than the circumstance that about the year 1232 he succeeded

5属4


BD JORDAN OF PISA

[March 6

to the office of prior general in Palestine, retaining it for not more than three years, and secondly that, owing in part to a most extravagant confusion of his name with that of St Cyril of Alexandria and St Cyril of Jerusalem, there were attributed to him long after his death a supposed treatise on the procession of the Holy Ghost, a dissertation upon the development cf the Carmelite Order, and a much-controverted Oracle or Prognostic, " solemnly transmitted from Heaven by angelic hands to St Cyril of Constantinople, the Carmelite". The first of these alleged writings probably never existed in any shape or form, while the second and third were forgeries. Owing, however, to the enormous vogue \\'hich attached in the thir­ teenth century to the mystic and prophetical utterances \vhich passed under the name of Joachim of Flora, the su pposed Oraculum of St Cyril, the first mention of which occurs about the year 1295, came to playa part in the controversy over Joachim's" Eternal Gospel". As a result Cyril's name became widely known, and by the aid of much c0nfusiori with the other Cyrils who had lived 800 or 900 years earlier he was venerated by his brethren as a saint and doctor of the Church. It should be mentioned, however, that no commemoration of this " St Cyril of Constantinople" finds a place in the Roman l\'1artyrology. The case of St Cyril has been very frankly and thoroughly investigated by Fr Benedict Zimmerman. The outcome of his researches is presented summarily in the Catholic En­ cyclopedia (vol. iv, p. 595), but a fuller discussion will be found in his Monumenta Historica Carmelitana, pp. 295-311, and in his contribution to U. Chevalier's Bibliotheque liturgique, vol. xiii, pp. 289-291 and 329-332. The fictitious history of the saint may be read in some detail in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i. The literature which centres round Cyril's Oraculum and Joachim of Flora, notably certain contributions by Cardinal Ehrle to the Archiv fur Litteratur und Kirchengeschichte, is duly indicated in Fr Zimmerman's notes.

BD JORDAN OF PISA

(A.D. 1311)

JORDAN OF PISA is perhaps best known at the present day as one of the creators of the modern Italian language. A contemporary of Dante and a preacher of great eloquence and learning, he was among the first to use the Tuscan dialect instead of Latin in his addresses and sermons-thus fixing and enriching the spoken language, as Dante and Petrarch gave a stable form to the written word. Nothing is known of his parentage or early youth, but from a passage in one of his sermons it is thought that he was studying in Paris in 1276. "Consider", he says, " a man who has obtained the friendship of the king of France: what honour may he not receive? I have seen such a man with my own eyes-a man of mean and low extraction who managed to win the friendship of the king. The entire court and all the barons bowed down before him and paid him incredible honour simply because he was the king's friend." The allusion was certainly to Peter de la Brosse, who, after acting as barber-surgeon to St Louis IX, became the intimate friend of his son, King Philip the Bold. The first thing we know about Jordan is that he received the Dominican habit at Pisa in 1280, and that he was afterwards sent to complete his studies at the University of Paris. At the Dominican provincial chapter at Rieti in 1305 he was appointed lector in Florence, and during the three years that he occupied that post he made the house of Santa Maria Novella famous throughout Italy for the high standard of excellence of its studies. Whilst teaching in the schools, Bd Jordan never forgot that he belonged to the Order of Preachers, and he was one of the greatest orators of his age. In Florence he sometinles preached five times a day, in the churches 3nd in

5°5


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

the open air. Often he would begin to treat of a subject in the morning in one church, continue it at noon in another, and finish it in the evening in a third, the Florentines following him from church to church. Many of his hearers took notes, some of which have come down to us and are treasures of the language of the time. His teaching was simple but powerful: he preached Christ crucified and the doc­ trine of the faith illustrated by examples from Holy Scripture and by anecdotes from the lives of the saints. He often refers to the necessity and importance of preaching, and to the work of St Dominic, before whose time, Jordan said, "there were scarcely any schools of theology: now they fill the whole of Christendom, and every great community has its own school-a most useful thing. Before him, only bishops announced the word of God: it was their distinctive office. Priests, monks and hermits did no more than preach by example." The effect of his own preaching-especially in Florence-was quite wonderful, and the tone of public morality in the city was entirely changed. He was al~o careful to ensure the perseverance of his penitents by constantly pointing out to them the means of perseverance, daily attendance at Mass, frequent use of the sacraments, morning and evening prayer, recalling the presence of God, reading, meditating on the vanity of this world and on the eternity that awaits us. Often after he had spoken for a couple of hours, he would be completely exhausted, and sometimes his disciple Ventura-afterwards Bd Silvester of Valdiseve-would wait at the foot of the pulpit stairs to refresh him with wine. The two men were close friends, and Ventura afterwards entered the Camaldolese monastery in Florence as a lay-brother. Many of Jordan's other penitents likewise became famous for their sanctity. In the chronicle of the Dominican convent at Pisa it is noted that the holy man had learnt by heart " the Breviary, the Missal, the greater part of the Bible with its marginal notes, the second part of the Summa of St Thomas and many other things". Of the confraternities which Jordan founded in Pisa, one, the Confraternity of the Holy Redeemer, still retains its primitive constitution. In 131 I Bd Jordan was appointed professor of theology in the friary of St James in Paris, but he was taken ill on the way and died at Piacenza. His cultus was con­ firmed in 1833. See S. Razzi, Historia degli Uomini illustri D.P., vol. i, pp. 66 seq.,. A. Galletti, " Fra Giordano da Pisa, predicatore del secolo xiv" in Archivio storico italiano, vol. xxxiii (1899) ; Procter, Li'lJes of Dominican Saints, pp. 01-64; Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographicus D.P. (19 18 ), p. 25·

ST COLETTE,

VIRGIN

ALL human institutions, however excellent, are apt to degenerate after the death of their founders or the immediate successors of those founders. If they are to con­ tinue they need to be reanimated with their original ideals or else remodelled to bring them up to date. We find this with the great religious orders, which all have their ups and downs, their periods of activity and eclipse, and it is as the reformer of one of the most austere of these families, the Poor Clares, that St Colette did her chief work in the world. The impression she made upon her order was very great, and one branch still bears after her the name of Colettines. The circumstances of her birth were humble, her father being a carpenter at the abbey of Corbie in Picardy; her parents were devout people who gave to their little girl the name of Nicolette, in honour of St Nichoias of Myra. Colette, as she was called, was a

5°6


ST COLETTE

[Afarch 6

singularly attractive child, very lovely to behold, but so tiny that her father was quite concerned about it. The child prayed that she might grow taller, and her prayer was answered. As she grew older she lived at home almost as a solitary, busying herself with prayer and manual work, and her parents, recognizing that she was led by the spirit of God, allowed her full liberty. Nevertheless, even in her retirement, her beauty attracted so much attention that Colette, finding ,it a hindrance, prayed that her complexion might be changed, and we read that her face became so thin and pale that she was scarcely recognizable, but that her sweet and modest demeanour continued to make her singularly attractive to all who saw her. Both her parents died when Colette was seventeen, leaving her under the care of the abbot of Corbie; after a time in a convent, she distributed to the poor the little she had inherited and entered the third order of St Francis. The abbot gave her a small hermitage beside the church of Corbie, where she lived a life of such austerity that her fame spread far and wide and many sought her prayers and advice. After a while, however, she received no more visitors, and for three years main足 tained complete silence and seclusion. Doubtless during that period she had pondered much over the condition of the order to which she was affiliated and had spoken of it to her confessor, Friar Henry de Baume, for we read that he dreamt he saw Colette tending a vine covered with leaves but fruitless, and that after she had pruned it it began to bear an abundance of grapes. Colette herself also had visions, in one of which the Seraphic Father St Francis appeared and charged her to restore the first rule of St Clare in all its original severity. Not unnaturally, she hesitated, but she received what she recognized as a sign from Heaven when she was struck blind for three days and dumb for three days more. Encouraged by her director, she left her cell in 1406, and straightway made an attempt to explain her mission in one or two convents, but soon discovered that, if she was to succeed, she must be invested with the proper authority. Barefoot, dresseod in a habit made up of patches, Cole~te set out for Nice to seek Peter de Luna, who at that epoch of the great schism was acknowledged by the French as pope, under the name of Benedict XIII. He received her with great consideration, and not only professed her under the rule of 8t Clare, but was so much impressed that he constituted her superioress of all convents of Minoresses that she might reform or found, with a mission to the friars and tertiaries of St Francis as well. At the same time he appointed Father Henry de Baume to act as her assistant. Armed with these powers, 8t Colette went from convent to convent, travelling through France, Savoy and Flanders, and at first she met with violent opposition, being treated as a fanatic and even accused of sorcery. But rebuffs, ill-will, and calumnies were all alike received with joy, and after a while she began to meet with a more favourable reception, especially in Savoy, where her reform gained both sympathizers and recruits, and from thence it passed to Burgundy, France, Flanders and Spain. Besan~on was the first house of Poor Clares to receive her revised rule, in 1410. Her fame spread far and wide and "las enhanced by the many miracles she wrought. "I am dying to see that ,vonderful Colette who raises people from the dead ", wrote the Duchess of Bourbon. She sa,,, her, and no family was more deeply influenced hy the saint. This peasant wOlnan exercised a singular spell over people of high rank in the world, like Blanche of Geneva, the Duchess of Nevers, Amadeus II of Savoy, the Princess of Orange, and Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.


March 6]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

It is said that, as Colette made a stay at Moulins in 1429, she met St Joan of Arc on her way with an army to besiege La Charite-sur-Loire, and one would be pleased to imagine an intervie~ between these two remarkable women, so unlike in their missions but so similar in their spirit. Unfortunately no evidence exists of any personal intercourse between them. One place closely connected with St Colette is Le Puy-en-Velay, where her convent has had an unbroken life to this day. Altogether she founded seventeen new convents, besides reforming numerous old ones, and several houses of Franciscan friars accepted her reform. Underlying all her external activity was St Colette's life of prayer which sus­ tained her throughout her whole career. She beheld our Lord in a vision suffering and dying on the cross, and always on Fridays, from six in the morning until six in the evening, she meditated unceasingly on the Passion, neither eating nor drinking nor doing anything else. In Holy Week particuiarly, but also at other seasons, she would be rapt in ecstasy when assisting at Mass or when praying in her cell, which was sometimes irradiated with a supernatural light, whilst her own counten­ ance shone with celestial brightness. Almost always after holy communion she was rapt in an ecstasy which lasted for many hours. Once she had a vision of men and women falling from grace in appalling numbers, like the flakes in a snowstorm, and ever afterwards she would daily pour forth fervent prayer for the conversion of sinners and for the souls in Purgatory: indeed we read that she actually died in a transport of intercession for sinners and for the Church. l.like her spiritual father St Francis, Colette was a lover of animals, especially of those that are weak and gentle: lambs and doves she would gather round her and the shyest of birds would eat out of her hand. For children too she had a great affection, and she Jiked to play with them and to bless them-as her Saviour had done. It was in Flanders, where she had established several houses, that St Colette was seized with her last illness. She foretold her own death, received the last sacraments and died in her convent at Ghent in her sixty-seventh year. Her body was removed from Ghent by the Poor Clares when the Emperor Joseph II was suppressing a number of religious houses in Flanders, and borne to her convent at Poligny, thirty-two miles from Besan~on. She was canonized in

18°7· Although much manuscript material for the history of St Colette which is known to have existed in the sixteenth century has now disappeared, we are not destitute of contemporary and first-hand sources. The text of the narrative of Father Henry de Baume, her confessor for thirty-three years, seems to have been lost, as also the memoirs of Fr Francis Claret, another of her spiritual guides, but the record compiled by her devoted friend and daughter in religion, Sister Perrine, still survives. Moreover, we have a good number of the saint's own letters and the copious but disjointed recollections of Fr Peter de Vaux, her confessor in her last years. It is interesting to note that a copy of this life by Peter de Vaux was made and richly illuminated by command of Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, who was the sist~r of Edward IV, King of England. She presented it to a convent of Colettines and wrote at the end in her own hand, " Votre Loyal fylle Margarete d'Angleterre; priez pour elle et pour son salut ". This manuscript is now in the convent of the Poor Clares at Ghent. The lives by Sister Perrine and Peter de Vaux, formerly printed in a Latin translation by the Bollandists, together with some extracts from the processes, have been edited by Fr Ubald d'Alen~on in the language in which they were written (1911). In modern times we have biographies by Bizouart, Germain, Pidoux, Imle and Poirot. See also some valuable notes by Ubald d'Alen~on in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum, vols. ii and iii (1909-1910). The admirable biography of the saint by Mme Sainte-Marie Perrin has been translated into English with some useful additions (1923), as has the life by Fr Sellier (1864).

5°8


ST THOMAS AQUINAS

7 : ST

THOMAS AQUINAS,

[March 7

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

I-IE family of the counts of Aquino was of noble lineage, tracing its descent back for several centuries to the Lombards. 8t Thomas's father was a knight, Landulf, and his mother Theodora was of Norman descent. 'fhere seems something more northern than southern about Thomas's physique, his imposing stature, massive build and fresh complexion. The precise year of his birth is uncertain, but it was about 1225 and took place in the castle of Rocca Secca, the ruins of which are still to be seen on a mountain crag dominating the fertile plain of Campagna Felice and the little town of Aquino. Thomas was the youngest of four sons, and there were also several daughters, but the youngest little girl was killed by lightning one night, whilst Thomas, who was sleeping in the same room, escaped unscathed. Throughout life he is said to have been very nervous of storms, often retiring into a church when lightning was about. I-Ience the popular devotion to St Thomas as patron against thunderstorms and sudden death. A few miles to the south of Rocca Secca, on a high plateau, stands the abbey of Monte Cassino, the cradle of Western monasticism and one of the holiest spots in Europe, whose abbot at this time was a kinsman of the Aquino family, Landulf Sinibaldo. As a child of five Thomas was taken here as an oblate (cf. cap. lix of St Benedict's Rule), and he remained till he was about thirteen, living in the monastery and getting his schooling there. I-Ie was taken away probably because of the disturbed state of the times, and about 1239 was sent to the University of Naples, where for five years he studied the arts and sciences, and even began to " coach " others. It was in Naples that he became attracted by the Order of Preachers, whose church he loved to frequent and with some of whose members he soon became intimate. The friars, who saw him often absorbed in prayer in their midst, noticed on several occasions rays of light shining about his head, and one of them, Father John of San Giuliano, exclaimed, " Our Lord has given you to our order". 8t Thomas confided to the prior that he ardently desired to become a Dominican, but in view of the probable opposition of his family, he was advised to foster his vocation and to wait for three years. Time only confirmed his determination, and, at the age of about nineteen, he was received and clothed in the habit of the order. News of this was soon carried to Rocca Secca, where it aroused great indignation -not because he had joined a religious community, for his mother was quite content that he should become a Benedictine, and indeed probably saw in him the destined abbot of Monte Cassino, but because he had entered a mendicant order. Theodora herself set out for Naples to persuade her son to return home. The friars, however, hurried him off to their convent of Santa Sabina in Rome, and when the angry lady followed in pursuit, the young man was no longer to be found there. The master general of the Dominicans, who was on his way to Bologna, had decided to take Thomas with him, and the little party of friars had already set out on foot together. Theodora, not to be baulked, sent word to the saint's elder brothers, who were serving with the emperor's army in Tuscany, desiring them to waylay and capture the fugitive. As Thomas was resting by the roadside at Aquapendente near Siena, he was overtaken by his brothers at the head of a troop of soldiers, and after a vain attempt to take his habit from him by force, was brought back, first to Rocca Secca and then to the castle of Monte San Giovanni, two miles distant, where he was kept in close confinement, only his worldly-minded sister Marotta being allowed to visit

T


THE LIYES OF THE SAINTS

him. They sought to undermine his determination in every \vay, but after a time began to mitigate the severity of his imprisonment. During his captivity Thomas studied the Sentences of Peter Lombard, learned by heart a great part of the Bible, and is said to have written a treatise on the fallacies of Aristotle. Other devices for subduing him having failed, his brothers conceived the infamous plan of seducing him by introducing into his room a woman of bad character. St Thomas immediately seized a burning brand from the hearth and chased her out of the place. We are told that he immediately fell into a deep sleep in which he was visited by t\VO angels, who seemed to gird him round the waist with a cord emblematic of chastity. * This captivity lasted two years before Thomas's family gave up :lnd in 1245 permitted him to return to his order. It was now determined to send him to complete his studies under St Albert the Great, and he set out in company with the master general, John the Teutonic, who was on his \vay to Paris; from thence Thomas went on to Cologne. The schools there were full of young clerics from various parts of Europe eager to learn and equally eager to discuss, and the humble, reserved new-comer was not immediately appreciated either by his fellow students or by his professors. His silence at disputations as well as his bulky figure led'to his receiving the nickname of " the dumb Sicilian ox ". A good-natured com­ panion, pitying his apparent dullness, offered to explain the daily lessons, and St Thomas humbly and gratefully accepted the offer; but when they came to a difficult passage which baffled the would-be teacher, his pupil explained it to him so clearly and correctly that his fellow student was amazed. Shortly afterwards a student picked up a sheet of Thomas's notes, and passed it on to the master, who marvelled at the scholarly eluciqation. The next day St Albert gave him a public test, at the close of which he exclaimed, " We call Brother Thomas' the dumb ox ' ; but I tell you that he will yet make his lowing heard to the uttermost parts of the earth". But Thomas's learning was exceeded by his piety, and after he had been ordained priest his union with God seemed closer than ever. His disciple and biographer William da Tocco writes that from that time he used to spend hours in prayer, both during the day and at night, and, he adds, "when consecrating at Mass, he would be overcome by such intensity of devotion as to be dissolved in tears, utterly absorbed in its mysteries and nourished with its fruits". There are chronological difficulties about these years of St Thomas's life, but certainly in 1252, at the instance of St Albert and Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher, he was ordered to Paris to teach as a bachelor in the university. Academical degrees were then very different from what they are now, and were conferred only in view of the actual work of teaching. In Paris Thomas expounded the Holy Scriptures and the Liher sententiarum of Peter LOITlbard; he also wrote a commentary on these same Sentences, and others on Isaias and St Matthew's Gospel. Four years later he delivered his inaugural lecture as master and received his doctor's chair, his duties being to lecture, to discuss and to preach; and towards the end of the time he began the Summa contra Gentiles. From 1259 to 1268 Paris saw nothing of her most popular professor, for he was in Italy. Here he was made a preacher general, and was called upon to teach in the school of selected scholars attached to the papal â&#x20AC;˘ It has been suggested that the first part of this story is simply an exaggerated version of the visit to Thomas of his sister Marotta. He certainly converted her to better ways, and she became a Benedictine nun and abbess at Capua. After her death she appeared to St Thomas, asking him to offer Masses for her in Purgatory.

510


ST THOMAS AQUINAS

[March 7

court, and, as it followed the pope In his movements, St Thomas lectured and preached in many of the Italian towns. About 1266 he began the most famous of all his written works, the Summa theologiae. In 1269 he was back again in Paris. St Louis IX held him in such esteem that he constantly consulted him on important matters of state, but perhaps a greater testimony to his reputation was the resolution of the university to refer to his decision a question upon which they were divided, viz. ,vhether in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar the accidents remained really or only in appearance. St Thomas, after fervent prayer, wrote his answer in the form of a treatise which is still extant, and laid it on the altar before making it public. His decision was accepted by the university first and afterwards by the whole Church. It was on this occasion that we first hear of the saint receiving from our Lord's own lips a formal approval of what he had set down. Appearing in a vision, the Saviour said to him, " Thou hast written well of the sacrament of my Body"; and almost immediately after足 wards Thomas passed into an ecstasy and remained so long raised from the ground that there was time to summon many of the brethren to behold the spectacle. Later on, towards the end of his life, whet:l the Angelic Doctor was at Salerno and was busied with the third part of his Summa which deals with Christ's passion and resurrection, a sacristan saw him at night kneeling before the altar in ecstasy. Then a voice, which seemed to come from the crucifix, said aloud, " Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what reward wouldst thou have?" To which he answered, " Nothing but thyself, Lord". A story of a different kind is told of an occasion when Thomas had been invited to lunch with King St Louis. During the meal he suddenly had an idea about a matter on which he had been writing, and banging his fist on the table he exclaimed, "That's finished the Manichean (?) heresy! " The prior tugged at Thomas's cappa and reminded him that he was at table with the king, and Thomas pulled himself together and apologized for his absent足 mindedness. During his second, as during his first, period in Paris the university was torn by dissensions of different kinds, and in 1272 there was a sort of " general strike" among the faculties, in the midst of which St Thomas was recalled to Italy and appointed regent of the study-house at Naples. It was to prove the last scene of his labours. On the feast of St Nicholas the following year he was celebrating Mass when he received a revelation which so affected him that he wrote and dictated no more, leaving his great work, the Summa theologiae, unfinished. To Brother Reginald's expostulations he replied, " The end of my labours is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me." He was ill when he was bidden by Pope Gregory X to attend the general council at Lyons for the reunion of the Greek and Latin churches and to bring with him his treatise " Against the Errors of the Greeks ". He became so much worse on the journey that he was taken to the Cistercian abbey of Fossa Nuova near Terracina, where he was lodged in the abbot's room and waited on by the monks. In com足 pliance with their entreaties he began to expound to them the Canticle of Canticles, but he did not live to finish his exposition. It soon became evident to all that he ,vas dying. After he had made his last confession to Father Reginald of Priverno and received viaticum from the abbot he gave utterance to the famous words, " I am receiving thee, Price of my soul's redemption: all my studies, my vigils and my labours have been for love of thee. I have taught much and written much of the

5 11


TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

!vlarch 7]

most sacred body of Jesus Christ; I have taught and written in the faith of Jesus Christ and of the holy Roman Church, to whose judgement I offer and submit everything." Two days later his soul passed to God, in the early hours of March 7, 12 74, being only about fifty years of age. That same day 8t Albert, who \vas then in Cologne, burst into tears in the presence of the community, and exclaimed, " Brother Thomas Aquinas, my son in Christ, the light of the Church, is dead. God has revealed it to me." 8t Thomas was canonized in 1323, but it \vas not until 1368 that the Dominicans succeeded in obtaining possession of his body, \vhich was translated with great pomp to Toulouse, where it still lies in the cathedral of Saint-Sernin. 8t Pius V conferred upon him the title of doctor of the Church, and in 1880 Leo XIII declared him the patron of all universities, colleges and schools. Of the holy man's writings, which fill twenty thick volumes, this is not the place to give any detailed account: they were mainly philosophical and theological. He commented much on .A.ristotle, whose teaching he was in some sense the first to utilize in order to build up a com­ plete system of Christian philosophy. With regard to his method it has been said that he applied geometry to theology, first stating his problem or theorem, and then propounding difficulties. This he follows up with a train of relevant passages drawn from the Bible, the Church's tradition and various theological works, and concludes with a categorical answer to all the objections made at the beginning. St Thomas also wrote dissertations on the IJord's Prayer, the Angelical Saluta­ tion and the Apostles' Creed, besides composing commentaries on many parts of the Holy Scriptures and treatises in answer to questions propounded to him. Of all his works the most important was the Summa theologiae, which is the fullest exposition of theological teaching ever given to the world. He worked at it for five years, but, as already stated, he never finished it. It was the greatest monument of the age, and was one of the three works of reference laid on the table of the assembly at the Council of Trent, the other two being the Bible and the Pontifical Decrees. I t is almost impossible for us, at this distance of time, to realize the enormous influence St Thomas exerted over the minds and theology of his con­ temporaries and their immediate successors. Neither were his achievements confined to matters of dogma, Christian apologetic and philosophy. When Pope Urban IV, influenced by the visions of Bd Juliana of Liege, decided to institute the feast of Corpus Christi, he appealed to St Thomas to compose the liturgical office and the Mass for the day. These give proof of an extraordinary mastery of apt expression, and are as remarkable for their doctrinal accuracy as for their tender­ ness of thought. Two of the hymns, the "Verbum supernurn" and "Pange lingua", are familiar to all Catholics, because their final verses, " 0 salutaris " and ""fantum ergo", are regularly sung at Benediction; but others of the saint's hymns, notably the " Lauda Sion " and the " Adoro te devote", are hardly less popular. Of the many noble characteristics of 8t "fhomas Aquinas perhaps the two which may be considered with the greatest profit are his prayerfulness and his humility. He was ever wont to declare that he learnt more at the foot of the crucifix than from books. " His marvellous science", says Brother Reginald, "\vas far less due to his genius than to the efficacy of his prayers. He prayed with tears to obtain from God the understanding of His mysteries, and abundant enlightenment ,vas vouch­ 5t Thomas was singularly n10dest about his great gifts. safed to his mind."

512


ST PAUL TI-IE SIMPLE

[March 7

Asked if he were never tempted to pride or vainglory, he replied, " No ", adding that if any such thoughts occurred to him, his common sense immediately dispelled them by showing hiIn their utter unreasonableness. Moreover he was always apt to think others better than himself, and he was extremely modest in stating his opinion: he was never known to lose his temper in argument, however great the provocation might be, nor was he ever heard to make a cutting remark or to say things which would wound other people. We are not as well informed about the life of St Thomas as we should like to be--especially about his early years-but there is a considerable amount of more or less contemporary evidence. William da Tocco, the author of the biography printed in the Acta Sanctorum, 'was a pupil of his, and so also was Ptolemy of Lucca, who devotes a good deal of space to him in his Ecclesiastical History. A great part of the testinlony presented when evidence \vas taken with a view to canonization has been preserved and is printed by the Bollandists. Besides this, the letters and chronicles of the period, and Denifle's great work, the Chartu足 larium [lniversitatis Parisiensis, supply an abundance of collateral information. But for fuller details the reader must be referred to the Bibliographie thomiste (192 I) compiled with great care by Frs Tvlandonnet and Destrez. For the English public we have the very copious Ltfe and Labours of St Thomas of Aquin (1871), by Abp. R. B. Vaughan, and smaller bio足 graphies by Frs Conway and Kavanagh, and two works dealing with the more philosophic aspect of the work of the Angelic Doctor, M. Grabmann, Thomas Aquinas, his Personality and Thought (1928), trans. from the German; and Fr M. C. d'Arcy, Thomas Aquinas (1930). Those who desire to obtain an insight into the spirituality of St 'rhonlas, to learn, in other words, what made him a saint, may be recommended to make acquaintance with the admirable sketch of L. H. Petitot, Saint Thomas d'Aquin : la vocation, l'reuvre, la 'l.'ie spirituelle (1923). This is largely based upon the very thorough researches of Fr l\landcnnet, notably his Siger de Brabant. On the other hand the contributions to the subject made by modern German scholars, notably by Endres and Grabmann, should not be neglected. Among more recent publications in English may be mentioned J. 1\1aritain, The Anf!elic Doctor (1931); G; K. Chesterton, St Thomas Aquinas (1933); A. Sertillanges, St Thomas Aquinas and Hzs J.Vork (1933); G. v"ann, St Thomas Aquinas (1940); R. Coffey, The .l'vlanfrom Rocca Sicca (1944). But the standard biography, in which critical science and " unction " are neatly combined, is St Thomas Aquinas (1945), by Fr Angelo Walz, tr. into English by Fr Sebastian Bullough (1951); this has extensive bibliographies. There are anthologies of the saint's writing by Fr d'Arcy (1939) and Fr 1'homas Gilby (195 1 and 1955).

ST PAUL THE SIMPLE

(c.

A.D.

339)

surnamed" the Simple" on account of his childlikeness, is not to be confused with St Paul, the first herrnit, of whom an account has been given under January 15. This second Paul, also an anchorite, became one of the most eminent of the early followers of 8t Antony in the Egyptian 1"hebaid. IJ p to the age of sixty he had lived the life of a labourer, but the misconduct of his wife, whose infidelity he had surprised, contributed to wean him from all earthly ties. IJeaving her without a word, the old man went an eight days' journey into the desert to seek St Antony and to beseech him to accept him as a disciple and to teach him the way of salvation. The great patriarch, judging him to be too old to enter upon a hermit's life, repulsed him, bidding him return to the world to serve God by hard work, or at any rate to enter some monastery where they would put up with his stupidity. He then shut the door. Paul, instead of obeying, remained outside, fasting and praying con足 tinuously until the fourth day, when Antony opened the door and discovered him still there. "Go away, old man", he exclaimed. "\\Thy are you so persistent? You cannot remain here."--" I cannot die anywhere but here ", replied his would足 be disciple. Realizing that Paul had had no food, and fearing lest he should actually have the old man's death on his conscience, Antony admitted him rather reluctantly, PAUL,


l\farrlz 7]

TlfE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

saying, " You can be saved if you are obedient and do what I enjoin." The reply was, " I will do whatever you command." The neophyte was thereupon subjected to a course of training which was calculated to discourage anyone less determined. First he was bidden to stand outside and pray until he was told to stop-and he obeyed, undisturbed by the heat of a scorching sun and without having broken his fast. Next he was invited to enter the cave and to weave mats and hurdles as he saw 8t Antony do. This also he performed, praying all the while. When he had made fifteen mats he was told that they were badly made and that he must take them to pieces and start over again. He complied without a murmur, although he was still fasting. This done, 8t Antony bethought him of another test, telling him to moisten with water four six-ounce loaves of bread-the bread being exceedingly hard and dry. When the food was ready, instead of eating, he instructed Paul to sing psalms with him and then to sit down beside the loaves until the evening, when it would be time to eat. At night they would pray together and then take a short rest, rising at midnight for further prayers which continued until daybreak. After sunset each one would eat a loaf and Antony would ask his disciple if he would like another, receiving the reply, "Yes, if you do." To Antony's rejoinder, "It is enough for me; I am a monk ", the old man would meekly reply, " Then it is enough for me; I also wish to be a monk." The same routine was repeated day after day, but some足 times the training would take another form. Paul would have to spend the time drawing \vater and pouring it away, or weaving rushes into baskets and undoing them, or sewing and unsewing his garments; but whatever he was told to do he did it cheerfully and promptly. Once 8t Antony overturned a pot of honey and told him to collect it all from the ground without picking up any dust. On another occasion, when there were guests at the hermitage and a general conversation was going on, Paul asked if the prophets were before Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ before the prophets. 8t Antony, mortified at his disciple's display of ignorance, told him sharply to hold his tongue and go away. Paul at once did so, and continued to keep silence until the matter was reported to Antony, who had forgotten all about it. When he had elicited the fact that Paul's silence was simply a question of obedience, he exclaimed, " How this monk puts us all to shame! He immediately obeys man's simplest order, while we often fail to listen to the word which comes to us from Heaven." 'Vhen the training was deemed complete, Antony established Paul in a cell at a distance of three miles from his own, and there he was wont to visit him. He recognized in the old man singular spiritual gifts and certain powers of healing and exorcising greater than his own. Often when he could not effect a cure, he would send the sufferer on to 8t Paul, who would restore him at once. Another divine gift he possessed was the power to read men's thoughts. As each one came into church he could tell by glancing at his face what was in his mind and whether his thoughts were good or bad. By such signs of God's predilection 8t Antony came to esteem his aged follower above all his other disciples, and frequently held him up to them as a model. The substance of all that precedes is to be found in the 2znd chapter of Palladius's Lausiac History, with a few additions from the IIiscoria Monachorum as translated by Rufinus. Seeing that Palladius wrote sixty or seventy years after the death of Paul the Simple it is likely that his account is embellished by some legendary accretions. A detailed account of Paul nlay also he found in J. Bremond, Les Peres du desert, vol. i, pp. xli-xliii and 94-96.


[,,1farch 7

ST ESTERWINE

ST DRAUSIUS,

OR

DRAUSIN, BISHOP OF SOISSONS

(c.

A.D.

674)

ONE of the treasures now preserved in the museum of the Louvre in Paris is an interesting and beautiful Romano-Gallic sarcophagus \vhich is actually the tomb of St Draus ius, though the relics it contained \vere scattered at the time of the Revolution. Up to that period it had stood in the cathedral of Soissons, \vhere the saint's shrine was held in the utmost veneration. Five foot six in length, the tomb is made of hard stone, dug out for the body and adorned with sculptures outside. Drausius was educated by 5t Anseric, Bishop of Soissons, and was appointed archdeacon by Anseric's successor. So highly did Bishop Bettolin esteem his young subordinate that when he himself was about to retire, on the plea that his election had not been valid, he urged that Drausius should be chosen in his place. The new bishop soon proved himself a most zealous administrator, \vhilst by his sermons and instructions he gained many to Christ. His abstinence \vas such that his life was one constant fast, and although he suffered nearly all his life from most painful maladies, he added to his sufferings by voluntary mortifications. He founded two religious houses, one for men and the other for women, to serve as havens of rest in those troublous times, and also that through the prayers of the communities the blessing of God might descend upon the city. From Bettolin he bought land beside the Aisne, and there he built his monastery for men at Rethondes. The nunnery was at 50issons itself, and in establishing it 5t Drausius was greatly assisted by Leutrude, the wife of Ebroin, mayor of the palace. In 664 the church of Notre-Dame de 50issons ~Nas completed and dedicated. Already at this date a single church was not considered sufficient for the needs of a great community, and 5t Drausius therefore huilt two other chapels, one for the abbess and obedientiaries, and another for sick nuns, guests and the poor whom they received. The holy bishop only lived long enough to complete his work, and died on March 5 about the year 674. 5t Drau3ius's fame extended to other countries, and it is recorded that 5t Thomas of Canterbury had recourse to him before returning to England, where he foresaw martyrd~m awaiting him. As it was supposed that those who spent a night in intercession at the tomb of the saint became invulnerable against all hostile machinations, Italians and Burgundians, when they had war in their own country, were wont to make pilgrimages to the shrine of 5t Drausius to enable them to bid defiance to their enemies. All this comes to us on the authority of John of Salisbury who, writing in 1166, remarks that Robert de Montfort had passed a night at the shrine in prayer before his encounter with Henry, Earl of Essex. There is a short Latin life of St Drausius which has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. i). See also Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, p. 90, from whom we may learn that in signing his name the saint "Tote variously Drusio, DrauLlo, and Drauscio.

ST ESTERWINE, ABBOT

(A.D.

686)

ST ESTERWINE spent his early years at the court of Northumbria where his noble birth, handsome looks and gracious speech seemed to offer him every chance of advancement. Feeling called, however, to the religious life, he betook himself to the abbey of Wearmouth, lately founded by his kinsman, 5t Benedict Biscop. The high qualities which had endeared him to the court \vere no less conspicuous in the monastery, and his exceptional abilities, coupled with his piety and humility, made him eminently fitted for a post of authority. \Vhen 5t Benedict, finding that duty

51 5


March 7]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

often called him away, decided that it would be to the interest of the monastery that another abbot should be appointed to rule. in his absence, his choice fell upon St Esterwine, who held office wisely and successfully for four years-until his death, which took place whilst Benedict was still absent in Rome. Though aware that his sickness was mortal, St Esterwine lay in the common dormitory of the monks until four days before the end, when he caused himself to be carried to a quiet spot where he could prepare himself for death. He passed away while his monks were singing the night office. Nearly all that is to be known concerning St Esterwine will be found in the text and notes of Plummer's Bede. The older Historia Abbatum should be consulted, as well as Bede's own narrative. Cf. also Stanton's Menology, p. 106.

ST ARDO ARDO is remembered chiefly through the life he wrote of his superior, St Benedict of Aniane, "the reviver of monastic discipline, the second father of monasticism in the West". A Frank by race, he was a native of Languedoc, but not much is known of his history, which appears to have been uneventful. He changed his name of Smaragdus to Ardo, and became one of the earliest followers of Benedict of Aniane, from whom he received the habit. He was raised to the priesthood and was made director of the schools attach~d to the monastery. He won the special regard of his abbot, who generally chose him as his travelling companion. It seems to have been on one of these journeys that he became known to Charlemagne, who presented him with a curiosity in the shape of a stone which resounded like brass. When, in 814, St Benedict was about to leave Aniane to settle at Aachen he chose Ardo as provisional superior of Aniane. History furnishes us with no further details as to his life or death. The only one of his writings that has survived is the biography of Benedict, which he compiled at the request of his brethren. In the ninth century all knowledge and science was kept alive by the monks, who alone saved it from extinction. Among the schools of the day that of Aniane, of which Ardo was director, was perhaps the most prominent. St Benedict, its founder, had collected a considerable library and had selected some excellent masters. We know there was a singing master, a reading master, and teachers of literature and arts, as well as experienced theologians. Several of the boys trained under Ardo became bishops, and many of the others helped to spread the method of Aniane in the schools attached to the great religious houses of France and Ger足 many. Although the Bollandists reject the claims of Ardo to be included in the register of saints, Mabillon seeks to prove that he must have been the subject of a definite cultus, because he has his own office in the Aniane Breviary and his relics were publicly venerated. See his Acta Sanctorum D.S.B., vol. iv, pt I, p. 558, where we learn also that Ardo's head was preserved in a casket of silver-gilt, and his body in a wooden chest" wonderfully carved ".

ST THEOPHYLACT BISHOP OF NICOMEDIA t

ST THEOPHYLACT came as a boy from Asia to Constantinople and became known to St Tarasius, who took a liking to him and gave him a good education. Finding that he had a vocation to the religious life, the patriarch sent him and another of his disciples, St Michael the Confessor, to a monastery which he had recently founded beside the Bosphoms. After they had lived there some years and had been

516


[J.11arch 8

ST JOHN OF GOD

thoroughly tested, St Tarasius raised them both to the episcopate, Theophylact becoming bishop of Nicomedia and Michael bishop of Synnada. \Vhen Leo V revived Iconoclasm, St Nicephorus, the successor of St Tarasius in the see of Constantinople, summoned a council to maintain the Catholic doctrine in the presence of the emperor. The case was ably and eloquently argued by St Theophylact and other learned men, but Leo remained obdurate. When all had spoken and there was a slight pause, Theophylact stood up and prophesied, saying, " I know that you are scornful of the patience and long-suffering of God. But, like a hurricane, calamity and a terrible death will overtake you, and there shall be none to deliver you.)) Leo was infuriated and ordered them all into banishment: St Theophylact was imprisoned in a fortress in Caria, where he died thirty years later. As for the words of his prophecy, they were fulfilled to the letter. When he was in his chapel on Christmas day 820, Leo \vas attacked by conspirators, and although he seized the cross from the altar and fought desperately with it against his foes, he was cut down and killed before assistance could arrive. We read of the liberality of St Theophylact, his generosity to the poor, his care of widows, orphans and the insane, and of his tenderness to the blind, the lame and the sick, for whom and for travellers he established hospices. In the Acta SanctoTum under March 8 will be found a summary of such information as it is possible to collect concerning St Theophylact, who must not, of course, be confused either with the historian Theophylact who lived in the seventh century, or with the arch足 bishop and scripture commentator who wrote at the close of the eleventh. St Theophylact was duly honoured in the Greek Menaion and in the synaxaries. See Delehaye, Synaxarium Constantinopolitanum, pp. 5 19--522; and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. 1 (1932), pp. 67 seq.

8: ST JOHN

OF GOD,

FOUNDER OF THE BROTHERS HOSPITALLERS

(A.D.

155 0 )

T

HIS St John was born in Portugal and spent part of his youth in the service of the bailiff of the count of Oroprusa in Castile. In 1522 he enlisted in a company of soldiers raised by the 'count, and served in the wars between the French and the Spaniards and afterwards in Hungary against the Turks. From contact with licentious companions in the army, he gradually lost the practice of religion and fell into grievous excesses. The troop having been disbanded, he went to Andalusia, where he entered the service of a woman near Seville as a shepherd. At the age of about forty, stung with remorse for his past misconduct, he resolved to amend his life, and began to consider how he could best dedicate the rest of his life to God's service. Compassion for the distressed led him to leave his situation in the hope that by crossing to Africa he might succour the Christian slaves there and perhaps win the crown of martyrdom. At Gibraltar he met a Portuguese gentleman who had been condemned to banishment. This exile and his wife and children were bound for Ceuta in Barbary, and John was so full of pity for them that he attached himself to the family and served them without wages. At Ceuta the man fell ill, and John hired himself out as a day labourer to earn a little money for their benefit. However, he sustained a great shock owing to the apostasy of one of his companions, and as his confessor assured him that his going in quest of martyrdom was an illusion, he resolved to return to Spain.


1~I-fE

A/arch 8J

LIVES OF T'IIE SAI).;tI'S

Upon reaching Gibraltar the idea suggested itself that by turning pedlar and selling sacred pictures and books he Inight "find opportunities of doing good to his customers. lIe succeeded well in this business, and in 1538, \vhen he \vas forty足 three, he \\yas able to open a shop in Granada. Now on St Sebastian's day, \vhich is kept as a great festival in that city, it happened that they had inYited as special preacher the famous John of Avila. Amongst those who flocked to hear him was this other John, who was so affected by his sermon that he filled the church with his cries, beating his breast and imploring mercy. Then, as though demented, he ran about the streets, tearing his hair and behaving so wildly that he was pelted \vith sticks and stones and returned home a pitiable object. There he gaye away his stock and began roaming the streets distractedly as before, until some kindly persons took him to Bd John of Avila. The holy man spoke to him in priYate, gave him adYice and promised him help. John was quieted for a time, but soon returned to his extravagances and was carried off to a lunatic asylum, where, according to the practice of the times, the most brutal methods were employed to bring him to his senses. When John of Avila was informed of what had befallen, he came to visit his penitent and told him that he had practised his singular method of penance long enough, and advised him to occupy himself for the future in something more conducive to his own spiritual profit and that of his neighbour. This exhortation had the effect of instantly calming John-much to the astonishment of his keepers足 but he remained in the hospital, waiting upon the sick, until St Ursula's day 1539, \vhen he finally left it. His mind was now set upon doing something to relieve the pOOf, and he began selling wood in the market-place to earn money for feeding the destitute. Soon afterwards he hired a house in which to harbour the sick poor, whom he seryed and catered for with such wisdom, zeal and economy as to astonish the whole city. This \\ras the foundation of the order of Brothers of St John of God, which has since spread all over Christendom. John was busy all day long tending his patients, and at night he used to go out and find new objects of charity: he soon ceased to go daily in quest of provisions, for people of their own accord brought him all that was necessary for his little hospital. The archbishop of Granada favoured the under足 taking and gav~ considerable sums to extend it. This encouraged others to con足 tribute in various ways, and the modesty and patience of St John did quite as rrluch as his wondertul efficiency to make the hospital popular. The bishop of Tuy invited the holy man to dinner and put questions to him which he answered in such a manner as to impress the prelate most favourably with his prudence and common sense. It was this bishop who gave him the name of " John of God" and who prescribed for him a kind of habit, although John never thought of founding a religious order: the rules which bear his name were only drawn up six years after his death, and religious vows were not introduced among his brethren before the year 1570, twenty years after he had disappeared from the scene. To make trial of the saint's disinterestedness, the marquis of Tarifa came to him in disguise to beg an alms, and received from his hands twenty-five ducats-which was all John had. The marquis, in addition to returning the loan, bestowed on him IS0 gold crowns, and sent to his hospital daily during his stay in Granada good supplies of bread, mutton and poultry. 8t John was always generous, but he was willing to give more than money to help those in distress. When a fire broke out in his hospital he carried out most of the sick on his own back, and, although he passed and repassed through the flames and stayed in the midst of thenl several

518


Sl' JOHN OF (;00

[J\1al'ch 8

times, he received no hurt. Moreover, his sympathies were universal. lJnlike many beneficent persons, he did not confine his charity to his own hospital: he considered himself bound to try to succour every distressed person of whom he had tidings. I-Ie therefore organized inquiries into the wants of the poor throughout the province, relieved some in their homes, provided work for others, and with singular tact and wisdom laid himself out in every way to comfort and assist the afflicted members of Christ. He was particularly careful to provide for young girls in distress to protect them from the temptations to which they are often exposed. Nor did his solicitude stop there. Crucifix in hand, St John would seek out hardened sinners and with tears exhort them to repentance. Although his life seemed to be one of continual action, he accompanied it with perpetual prayer and corporal austerities. Frequent ecstasies and an exalted spirit of contemplation shed lustre upon the other qualities, but pre-eminent amongst his virtues was the extraordinary humility which appeared in his actions, not least of all amidst the honours he received at the court of Valladolid, whither business sometimes called him. Worn out at last by ten years' hard service, St John fell ill. The immediate cause was over-fatigue through his efforts to save his wood and other things for the poor in a flood, and to rescue a drowning man. At first he concealed his symptoms that he might not be compelled to diminish his work, but he carefully went over the inventories of the hospital and inspected the accounts. He also revised the rules of administration, the time-tables, and the devotional exercises to be observed. His archbishop sent for him in consequence of a complaint that he harboured tramps and women of bad character. When told of the charges John dropped to his knees at the prelate's feet and said, " The Son of man came for sinners, and we are bound to seek their conversion. I am unfaithful to my voca足 tion because I neglect this, but I confess that I know of rio bad person in my hospital except myself alone, who am indeed unworthy to eat the bread of the poor." He spoke with such evident sincerity that the archbishop dismissed him with respect, leaving all things to his discretion. As his disease gained greater hold it became impossible to conceal it, and the news quickly spread. Lady Anne Ossorio came in her coach to visit him, and found him lying in his habit in his little cell, with an old coat spread over him instead of a blanket, whilst under his head was a basket. The good lady, who seems to have been as practical as she was kind, despatched a messenger to the archbishop, who immediately sent an order to John to obey her during his illness as he would obey himself. In virtue of this autho'rity Lady Anne prevailed with him to leave his hospital. He named Antony Martin superior over his helpers, and before leaving he visited the Blessed Sacrament, remaining there so long that the masterful Lady Anne caused him to be lifted forcibly into her coach, in which she conveyed him to her own home where he was looked after with delicate attention. He complained that whilst our Saviour in His agony drank gall, he, a miserable sinner, was served with good food. The magistrates begged him to give his benediction to his fellow townsfolk. This he was loath to do, saying that his sins made him the scandal and reproach of the place, but that he recommended to them his brethren, the poor and those who had served him. At last, at the wish of the archbishop, he gave the city his dying blessing. St John passed away, on his knees before the altar, on March 8, 1550, being exactly fifty-five years old. He was buried by the archbishop, and the whole of Granada followed in procession.

519


1-'l1E LIVES OF TI-1E SAINTS

1\1arch 8]

8t John of God was canonized in 1690, and in 1886 Pope Leo XIII, as the Roman lVlartyrology records, " declared him the heavenly patron of all hospitals and sick folk ", with 8t Camillus of Lellis, to whom Pope Pius XI in 1930 added nurses of both sexes. Because of his early venture in hawking books and pictures he is also sometimes specially honoured by book and print sellers. The facts set out in the life, compiled, it would seem, about twenty years after the founder's death by Francis de Castro, who was rector of St John's own hospital at Granada, may be taken as substantially reliable: De Castro's biography, \vritten in Spanish, has been repro足 duced in Latin in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. i). Modern resettings of the same story are fairly numerous. The best known are those of A. de Govea (1624) and L. del Pozo ( 1908) in Spanish; and those of Sagnier (1877) and R. l\1eyer (1897) in French. In English a translation of the life by G. de Villethierri ,vas included in the Oratorian Series in 1847, and there are lives by E. Baillon (1884), by 1\;1. and F. Leonard, and by N. McMahon (1952). Cf. also Heimbucher, Die Orden und Kongregationen, vol. ii, pp. 245-251, who gives details of the developments of the institute founded by St John. In art the saint is commonly represented with a pomegranate surmounted by a little cross. The granada, which is the Spanish for pomegranate, stands for the city of Granada, and the reference is to a vision in which the Child Jesus told him, "'Thou wilt find thy cross in Granada ".

ST PONTIUS

(c.

A.D.

260)

8t Cyprian, the great bishop of Carthage, was banished to Curubis, his deacon Pontius volunteered to accompany him, and remained with him until his death. In those days the tie between a bishop and his deacon was a close one, and in this case circumstances no doubt drew the two men together into a somewhat intimate relationship. Pontius must have had ample opportunities for obtaining inforrnation about the bishop's earlier life and activities. But he seems to have been preoccupied with the idea o'f producing a tractate which would eclipse in popularity the" acts" of Perpetua and Felicity, and in his biography of 8t Cyprian, from the date of his baptism to his martyrdom, it is the last scenes which rouse his en足 thusiasnl aimost to the exclusion of other matter. This Vita et passio Cypriani, as it is called, won high praise for its style and matter from 8t Jerome and other great churchmen. Certain modern writers, on the other hand, have depreciated the tractate as being uncritical and over-laudatory, not realizing that it was written professedly as a panegyric-to glorify the martyr-and that a critical biography in the modern sense would have been neither comprehensible nor acceptable to the circle for whom it was intended. Quite incidentally the author exhibits his own piety and zeal for the Christian faith. \\Then 8t Cyprian was condemned, Pontius was spared-probably because he was not considered to be of much importance. As he had longed for martyrdom, this was a great disappointment to him, and he ends his account of 8t Cyprian with the \vords: "Greatly, very greatly do I exult in his glory, but even more greatly do I grieve that I have remained behind." How and \vhere he died we do not know, but there is no reason to suppose that he suffered martyrdom. '\THEN

I t is only through St Jerome that we know the name of the author of the Life of St Cyprian, which is referred to again under Cyprian on September 16. Here it is sufficient to give a reference to Delehaye, Les passions des martyrs et les genres litteraires (1921), pp. 82-110, and to point out that Harnack has re-edited and annotated the text of Pontius, Das Leben Cyprians von Pontius, in the series Texte und Untersuchungen, vol. xxxix. This Pontius enust not be identified with the martyred Pontius whose feast is observed on May 14.

520


SSe PHILEMON AND APOLLONIUS

SSe PHILEMON

AND

[March 8

APOLLONIUS, MARTYRS

(c.

A.D.

3°5)

ST ApOLLONIUS was a Christian deacon of Antinoe in the Thebaid, and Philemon was a popular musician and entertainer who was converted through his instru­ mentality. They were apprehended during the persecution of Diocletian and brought before a judge of the name of Arrian, who had already put to death SSe Pisclas, Timothy, Paphnutius and severa] other martyrs. After being questioned and tortured they were removed to Alexandria, where they were condemned to death and cast into the sea. The so-called acts of these martyrs as circulated in Greek by the Metaphrast are very extravagant. They end, as these romances usually do, with the conversion and martyrdom of the judges, but the earlier part may conceivably be founded on fact-especially in view of the circumstance that timorous Christians in time of persecution did occasionally hire pagans to offer sacrifice in their stead and to bring back to them a certificate to the effect that they had complied with the law. The Church compelled such libellaticii, as they were called, to do penance, but did not everywhere regard them as apostates. According to these" acts", Apollonius, alarmed at the prospect of torture, went to a well-known piper and dancer called Philenlon and offered him four gold pieces if he would go and sacrifice in his place. Philemon agreed, but asked him for some of his clothes and for his hooded cloak with which he might conceal his face. Thus disguised he went before the judge, who began to question him and required him to carry out the rite imposed. Then the Holy Spirit came upon Philemon, and he avowed himself a Christian and refused to offer sacrifice. The judge argued \vith him, and then said, " Send for the piper Philemon: perhaps his sweet tunes will drive away the fancies of this fool". Being unable to find Philemon, the officers brought his brother Theonas, who promptly revealed the identity of Philemon. The judge treated the incident as a joke, quite in keeping with the jester's powers of impersonation, but made it clear that he must now in earnest comply \vith the emperor's edicts. This Philemon stoutly refused to do. Arrian told him that it was folly for him to pretend to be a Christian, seeing that he \vas not baptized. Upon hearing these words the piper was greatly distressed, but when he prayed to God there descended upon him a cloud from heaven, and in that cloud he was baptized. Then Arrian appealed to his professional pride, reminding him how greatly he would be missed at the forthcoming games, and asking how he could bear to think of his beloved pipes being played by unskilled hands. Again Philemon prayed, and this time there came down from heaven fire which consumed the pipes. In the meantilne the officers had arrested Apollonius, who now appeared before the tribunal very penitent for his cowardice and eager to proclaim himself a Chris­ tian. As both men persisted in their refusal to sacrifice, they were sentenced to have their heads struck off. Before the execution, Philemon asked that a great pot should be brought into court and a living baby placed inside. Then, the lid having been replaced, he directed the officers to shoot at it with their bows. They did so, and the pot was transfixed with their arrows, but the child within was found to be unscathed. Thereupon Philemon said, " The Christian's body like the pot may be riddled with wounds, whilst the soui within, like the baby, remains unhurt". At these words the judge ordered the archers to direct their arrows upon the prisoner, but the musician raised his hand and all the arrows remained poised in mid-air, with the exception of one which turned back and blinded Arrian himself. The judge's sight was, however, rniraculously restored by clay from the martyr's tomb.

521


THE LIVES OF THE SAli\TS

lvlarch 8]

This led to his conversion as well as to that of four officials sent to hold an inquiry, and eventually all five were put to death by being sewn up in sacks and cast into the sea. The story of the death of these martyrs, di vested of its later accretions, is told in the Historia Jl;!onachorum, which was translated by Rufinus (see Preuschen, Palladius und Rufinus, pp. 80-82). Rufinus declares that he had visited the shrine and seen the relics. 'There was evidently a cultus in his time. But there is no mention of the burning of the pipes or of the shooting with arro'ws; there is indeed a cloud-burst, but this only puts out the fire in which the martyrs were at first sentenced to be burned alive. Another version of the tale appears in the synaxaries: see Delehaye, S)'l1ax. Constant., pp. 307-308. Here the com足 memoration of the martyrs is attached to December 14; but the Roman Martyrology registers their names on l\larch 8.

ST SENAN,

BISHOP

(A.D. 560)

ST SENAN of Scattery Island (Inis Cathaigh) was the most celebrated of the twenty足 two saints who, according to Colgan, bore the name of Senan, and some of the episodes recorded in his life and certain of the miracles with which he is credited may well have belonged originally to one or other of his less well known namesakes. Senan came of Christian parents in Munster, and the legends, as is often the case, lay stress upon his youthful precocity; we are told that when he was out with his mother and she began to pluck and to eat some berries, the child gently reproved her for eating between meals. On another occasion, when the family was moving home elsewhere, Senan was told to get the house ready by arranging the furniture and cooking utensils in their place. Absorbed in prayer he neglected to do so, and was scolded by his mother. The boy told her to trust in God who would repair his negligence, and immediately the pots and pans shot up to their places on the shelves and the furniture began to move automatically into position-to the great edification of all present. After some time as a fighting-man Senan determined to enter upon the religious life. He therefore betook himself to a holy abbot called Cassidus, who trained him in monastic discipline. After a time the abbot was told in a vision to send his young disciple ~o 8t Natalis, abbot of Kilmanagh in Ossory. In his new home St Senan was soon distinguished for his piety and docility as well as for many remark足 able miracles. One day he was sent to mind a herd of cows, and, in order that the abbey might have enough milk, he sought to prevent the calves from having access to the cows. At first he \vas unsuccessful; but when he laid his staff on the ground between them and retired to pray, the animals were unable to cross the barrier. On another occasion he was working at the mill, and, as it was growing dark, he asked the cook for some candles. He replied that he had none for the moment, but ex足 pected soon to have some ready. As Senan did not return to him for a week, the cook was curious to know how he had managed without candles or whether he was neglecting his work. He therefore peeped through the mill-door and was amazed to see the millstones working automatically, whilst the saint was reading in a corner by the light of a candle which the cook recognized as being the last one which he himself had supplied. These and similar wonders spread Senan's fame, and multitudes flocked to him to be healed, to ask his prayers and to be instructed. N atalis decided that he was now fit to be placed over others, but when Senan asked where he was to go, N atalis replied that such direction must be sought from God. St Senan started out towards East Leinster, and was directed by an angel to a place

522


ST SENAN

[Jlarrh S

called Inis Conerthe, which is probably identical with the present Enniscorthy. After some time spent there, the saint journeyed to Rome, from \\'hich he returned through France, England and vVales. He appears to have stayed \\'ith 8t David, and we are told that when they parted David presented his friend \vith his staff, which St Senan brought back to Ireland. Landing on a small island off the coast of Leinster, he \vas \\'arned by an angel that this was not the place where he could rest and he huried, but that he must go on and build many cells and churches to God's glory and must do much to promote the increase of monastic discipline in Ireland before he could settle down. Accordingly he made a foundation at Inishcarra, near Cork (where he was joined by some Italian monks), and others elsewhere. At length he \VdS told that the time had come for him to choose his final retreat. From the summit of Mount Tese an angel pointed out Arnanaingel, the Hill of the Angels, rising up in the distance, in the estuary of the Shannon, and promised not only that he and his monks should possess the island on which it stood, but also that other holy men should succeed them there. This piece of land, which is now called Scattery Island, lies south of Kilrush Quay, and contains a round tower which local tradition attributes to St Senan, and also a small church of St Senan, part of which is of great antiquity. Accompanied by the angel, the saint afterwards made a circuit of the island, and when he saw the waves dashing against the cliffs, he criticized the place as being too exposed, but the angel gave him the assurance that none of his monks would be drowned when crossing the water in obedience to their superior. The monastery soon became famous and many men came there, but it was 8t 5enan's rule that no woman should be allowed to land on the island. Legend, however, relates that 5t Cannera, knowing she was about to die, greatly desired to receive viaticum and to be buried there. An angel brought her across the water, but on the shore she was met by Senan, who refused to allow her to proceed. "If Christ ,vill receive my soul, why should you reject my body?" she asked. "That is true," replied St Senan, " but for all that, I will not allow you to CaIne here: go back and do not plague us. You may be pure in soul . . . but you are a wonlan." -" I will die before I go back ", retorted 8t Cannera; and she gained her point, for she died on the shore and was buried in the island. At some period of his life, St Senan appears to have been consecrated a bishop but the chroniclers do not say when or where. As his last hour was approaching, the holy man was moved to revisit the monastery of St Cassidus and the nunnery of 5t Scotia, his aunt. On his return journey, in a field at Killeochailli, he heard a voice saying, " 5enan, servant of God, thou art called to Heaven", and that very day he passed away. His monks brought his body back to Iniscattery. According to another legend, he was restored to life for a short time and sat up in his coffin to nominate his successor and to deliver a long discourse to the assembled monks, ,vho were not unnaturally much impressed by what they had seen and heard. 'fhe documents printed by Colgan in his Arta Sanctorum Hiberniae and thence re-edited by the Bollandists (March, vol. i) seem substantially to exhaust the available material for the life of St Senan. There is an Irish life preserved in the Book of Lismore and one or t\\'o other manuscripts; it has been edited by Whitley Stokes in the Anerdota Oxoniensia (1890) and Colgan gives an abbreviated Latin translation of it. For his rulflls in Cornwall see G. l~. Doble, Saint Senan, Patron of Sennen (1928); but this may be another man. See also C;leeson in the North l'v!unster Antiquarian Journal, 1940, pp. 14-3°; and Analerta Bollandiana, vol. lxvi (1948), pp. 199-230. St Senan has a commemoration today through­ out Ireland.


Alarch 8]

THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

ST FELIX OF DUNWICH, BISHOP OF THE EAST ANGLES SIGEBERT, ruler of the East Angles, had previously been an exile in Gaul, where he had accepted the Christian faith and received baptism. On becoming king he in 63 I obtained a bishop, Felix, from the archbishop of Canterbury, St Honorius, to direct the evangelization of the East Anglian people. This Felix was a Burgundian and \vas, it seems, already a bishop before conling on the English mission. Sigebert, whom Bede describes as "a most Christian and learned man", appointed Dunwich in Suffolk to be the epIscopal see of Felix, who for seventeen years preached the gospel in \\That are now the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and (~ambridge; he was very successful in bringing the people" to the faith and works of rig~teousness and the gift of everlasting happiness". A school was set up, for which Felix secured teachers who could conduct it on the Kentish model.. From this slender foundation later writers have argued that this institution was the germ of Cambridge University, and would have us honour King Sigebert and St Felix as its founders. But neither Bede nor even William of Malmesbury makes any mention of Carnbridge. The young East Anglian church was further strengthened at this time from another quarter, when St Fursey came from Ireland and estab足 lished a monastery, probably at Burghcastle. Dunwich, where St Felix died and was buried in 648, has been entirely swal足 lo\ved up by the gradual inroads of the sea, although it was once a considerable town. The relics of the saint were translated first to Soham, near Ely, and then to Ramsey abbey, where they still were in the twelfth century. St Felix (whose name is found in Felixstowe) is mentioned in the Roman Martyrology as the apostle of the East Angles; his name appears in a number of English medieval calendars, and his feast is observed today in the diocese of Northampton. All our reliable information is derived from Bede's Ecclesiastical History, bks ii and iii.

ST JULIAN, ARCHBISHOP OF TOLEDO

(A.D. 690)

AT the time of his death in 690 St Julian, Archbishop of Toledo, was the most important person in Spain. He is said to have been of Jewish extraction, but his parents were Christian and he was baptized in the chief church of Toledo, as we learn from his successor in the episcopal chair, who gives a short account of his life. The y~)uth \\ras trained by another prelate of Toledo, St Eugenius II, and he had ~s cOlnpanion a lad \yho was afterwards known as Gudila Levita. Bound by com足 munity of tastes as well as by affection, the friends at first gave themselves to prayer, study and retirelnent, but apostolic zeal drew them into the world to labour for the cOllycrsion of sinners. St Julian, who was an able theologian and a learned man, rose promptly to a position of importance, and when Wamba, the last of the Visi足 gothic kings, was given over by the physicians, it was Julian who gave him the monastic habit and shaved his head that he might " die in religion". The Life of King \Vamba written by Julian has survived, and is much valued by historians as it enables them to know more of the reign of that monarch than they can learn of his predecessors or successors. Julian was chosen to occupy the see of "foledo in 680, and he seems to have ruled his diocese with the same wisdom which characterized him in secular affairs. His biographer assures us that he was endowed with all graces of soul and body, and was so kind th~t everyone who appealed to him for assistance went away comforted and


[AJarch 8

ST I-IUMPI-IREY, OR HUNFRID

content. lIe presided over several synods and succeeded in obtaining for his see the supremacy over all Spain. He is consequently recognized as archbishop of Toledo, though the term \vas not in general use in Spain at that period. Later writers have censured Julian for encouraging the kings to revive persecution against the Jews; but it should be noted that the really scandalous and cruel law which enacted that all adult Jews should be sold as slaves, while their children were to be taken from them at the age of seven and reared in Christian families, was not passed until the sixteenth council of Toledo, five years after his death. The bishop was a voluminous \\,oriter. Amongst his literary works was a revision of the lVlozarabic liturgy in use in Spain at that period, a book against the Je\vs, and the three books of the' Prognostics ", which treat of death and the state of the soul after death. In this work he states that love and the ,,"ish to be united to God are sufficient to extinguish in us the natural fear of death; and that the blessed in Heaven pray for us, earnestly desire our happiness and know our actions-either in God \vhom they behold and in whom they discern all the truth they are concerned to know, or else through the angels, God's messengers upon earth. l

'rhe very brief menl0ir written by Felix, Julian's successor 111 the see of Toledo, is the principal source of infonnation concerning him. See the .Acta Sanctorum, lVlarch, vol. i ; but something also may be learnt from the chroniclers and the acts of the councils over which he presided.

ST HUMPHREY,

OR

HUNFRID,

BISHOP OF THEROUANNE

(A.D.

871)

THE Benedictine abbey of Priim in the Eifel was celebrated in the ninth century, and it attracted amongst others a young man named Humphrey, who came thither from France and received the habit. It was when St Egilon was abbot and I-Ium足 phrey and 5t Ansbald (the future rebuilder of the abbey) \vere fellow monks at Priim that there arrived in the monastery a yery sick old man, the Emperor Lothair I, to end his life amongst the brethren. He only survived six days, and doubtless Humphrey was one of those of whom it is recorded in an ancient chronicle that " the brothers reverently buried the emperor in the church of the Holy Saviour". \Vithin a year died another important personage-St Folkwin, Bishop of Therou足 anne; and Humphrey was elected in his stead. The position in which the new bishop found himself ,vas one of great difficulty, and it is little to be wondered at if the simple monk was appalled at the prospect before hirn. In the report of the Council of Toulouse at which St Humphrey was present we read sonlething of the condition of the country-devastated by the Normans, insufficiently defended, and with everything in disorder. The diocese of 'Therouanne suffered even more than others. The invading Northmen had penetrated as far as they could in their ships and had then descended upon the country, laying \vaste the fields and burning the towns and villages. At Whitsuntide they seized the great monastery of Saint-Bertin at Saint-Orner and set it on fire, after having looted it and put to death with cruel tortures four monks who had been left in charge. The town of Therouanne was also attacked, and the bishop was obliged to seek safety in flight. Dismayed and discouraged, HUluphrey appealed to Pope St Nicholas I for permission to lay down his charge and to retire into a monastery. The pope answered kindly and sympathetically, but \vould not grant the petition. "Do you not know, dearest brother", he wrote, " that if it is dangerous for the pilot to desert the ship when the sea is calm, it is far worse if he


THE LIVES OF l'IIE SAINTS

March 8]

abandons his post in troubled waters?" Whilst making it quite clear that I--Ium足 phrey was justified in escaping from his persecutors, the pope urged him to hold himself in readiness to return as soon as the storm blew over, again to gather together and encourage his scattered flock. The barbarians did actually withdraw shortly afterwards, and St Humphrey went back to his devastated see and played a noble part in encouraging the people to return to their homes and restore their sanctuaries. He assisted Abbot Adelard to rebuild Saint-Bertin and after Adelard's death, Humphrey was chosen to succeed him, and ruled the abbey wisely and well whilst continuing to be bishop of Therouanne. But in 868 he was ousted from Saint-Bertin by King Charles the Bald, who wished to replace him by a creature of his own, a secular canon named Hildwin. St Humphrey continued to rule his diocese and died three years later. By his order the feast of the Assumption became generally observed throughout his province: up till then it had only been fitfully kept in certain churches. No proper biography of St Humphrey seems to be known, but a good deal of information concerning him has been collected by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i. See also Destouches, Vies des saints de Cambrai et Arras, vol. i, pp. 310-314; Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, p. 136.

ST DUTHAC,

BISHOP OF

Ross

(c.

A.D.

1065)

ST DUTHAC was greatly venerated in Scotland before the Reformation, and his memory is still preserved in place-names-notably KiJduthie, Arduthie near Stonehaven and Kilduich on the Loch of Duich. Tayne, where he v;as buried and where a church was built in his honour, is called in Gaelic Dhuich Baile, or Duthac's Town, and near it still stands St Duthac's Cairn, although the biennial fairs called by his name are no longer held in the town. Educated in Ireland, like so many of his countrymen, he returned to labour in Scotland as a priest and became bishop of Ross. His reputation for sanctity was enhanced by his miracles and predictions: he is said to have foretold the invasion of the Danes which took place ten years after his death. The victory of the Scots under Alexander Stewart, great-grandfather of King Robert II, was ascribed to the intercession of St Andrew and of St Duthac, whose shrine became a favourite place of pilgrimage. Legendary history relates that 8t Duthac, as a child, was once sent by his master to fetch embers from the forge to kindle a fire, and that he carried home the live coals in his kilt without being singed. In later life, when a kite stole a ring and some meat from one of the saint's disciples, 8t Duthac summoned the bird, which relinquished the ring but was ..a llowed to retain the flesh. On another occasion a canon slew an ox at Dornoch, and after distributing portions to the poor, determined to carry a piece to the saint who lived some way off. The canon travelled on a dark and stormy night, but "the spit on which he bore the meat shone like a lamp and led him safely on his way until he had delivered up his gift, in its first freshness, to the holy bishop. His feast is kept in the diocese of Aberdeen. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i; KSS., pp. 328-329; and the lessons of the Aberdeen Breviary. s~r

VEREMUND,

ABBOT

(A.D.

1092)

OF the religious houses in the kingdom of Navarre in the eleventh century the chief in importance was the Benedictine abbey of Hyrache, which under the direction of

526


ST STEPI-IEN OF OBAZINE

[March 8

St Veremund became second to none in all Spain. He had entered the monastery as a mere boy under his uncle, Abbot Munius, from whom he afterwards received the habit. He grew up an exemplary monk, distinguished especially for his bound足 less love of the poor. In illustration of this, a story appears amongst the chronicles of the abbey. When serving as doorkeeper Veremund was sometimes carried away by his zeal to distribute to the poor more than the prescribed allowance of food, and the abbot, meeting him one day as he was going to the door with a great number of pieces of bread gathered up in his tunic, asked him what he was carrying. "Chips", replied the young man-" pieces of bread being, as it were, like chips for warming the poor within", explains the chronicler. When, at the abbot's command, Veremund opened out his tunic the bread had been changed into chips-" God thus showing through this miracle", to quote the words of the narrative, " that the liberality of Veremund to the poor was pleasing in His eyes and that his ambiguity was not a lie but a mystery." Upon the death of Munius, St Veremund succeeded him as abbot and led his brethren on by precept and example to ever higher degrees of perfection. He appears to have possessed the gift of healing the sick, and is said to have arrested in a marvellous way a fire which was about to destroy the crops of the abbey. His care for the reverent and accurate recitation of the Divine Office won for him high approval and praise from Rome, and he was an upholder of the particular Spanish usages, called Mozarabic. The kings of Navarre made grants to his abbey, and the rise of the town of Estella was due to one of these donations. One night shepherds watching their flocks were amazed to see a shower of stars fall on a hill which was afterwards known in the local dialect as Yricarra, " Starry". A search at the spot where the meteorites had fallen was rewarded by the find of a remarkable statue of our Lady with the Holy Child, and King Sancho Ramirez was so much impressed that he started to build a city to be called Estella upon the same spot. He presented the site to Veremund, with the request that he would dedicate the new town to the l\;lother of God. Thus it came to pass that practically every building in Estella paid rent or tribute to the abbey. At one time there arose a great famine in Navarre, and the poor flocked to their good friend the abbot, and the numbers were increased by pilgrims on their way to or from Compostela. The monks' granaries and store-houses were bare, but three thousand persons had collected and their wailing rent the air. Veremund had gone up to the altar to celebrate Mass, and when he reached that part where the priest prays for the people, he made intercession with tears for the starving crowd. Suddenly there appeared a white dove, which flew down low over the heads of the people, seeming to touch them in its passage, and then disappeared as sud足 denly as it had come. Meanwhile the people experienced a wonderful feeling of contentment: not only was their hunger appeased, but their mouths were filled with a delicious taste, as though they had been regaled with some heavenly and invigorating food. In their joy and relief they cried aloud and gave thanks and glory to God for His goodness. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i, and Mabillon.

ST STEPHEN OF OBAZINE,

ABBOT

THE parents of this Stephen lived in the IJimousin district of France, and the youth from his childhood was addicted to rehgious exercises and to works of charity.


A1arch 8]

'rflE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

After his ordination he felt called to a stricter life, and renouncing all pleasures he began to practise mortifications. Having made friends with another priest of similar views, he determined to embrace with him the solitary life and to retire into the forest of Obazine, a wild district about two leagues from Tulle. On the day they were to start they gave a feast to their friends and distributed all their posses足 sions to the poor. After a time others desired to join them, and the holy men felt called to accept these disciples. Stephen's friend Peter accordingly went to Limoges to ask the sanction of Bishop Eustace, and they were allowed to build a monastery and to celebrate the Holy Mysteries on condition that they maintained the rules handed down by ancient custom. These eremitical monasteries were not, of course, single buildings, but collections of huts, in each one of which lived one or two solitaries. The austerities practised by the little community were extreme, and Stephen, though he had a gentle and kindly nature, was rigid in enforcing them. All their time was occupied with prayer, reading and manual labour, and they never ate until evening. St Stephen did not look upon himself as in any way above the others, and he cooked and carried water like the rest: but they had no written rule, because Stephen was their living rule. His brethren nominated him superior, but he left the direction of the community to Peter. Stephen also founded a convent for women which soon contained 150 nuns, with a rule almost as severe as that of the men. It was said of them that they lived so much separated from the world and in such simplicity that they appeared to be only tied to earth by bonds which they were not allowed to break. After some years St Stephen, fearing lest the discipline of his communities should grow relaxed after his death because they had no written constitutions, applied to the monastery of Dalon, belonging to the Order of Citeaux, to ask that some monks might be sent to instruct his own in the rule of that order. In 1142 he himself received the Cistercian habit and the bishop of Limoges gave him his blessing as abbot. He died twelve years later. There is a Latin life of St Stephen of Obazine of considerable bulk which has been printed by Baluzius and of which a summary will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. i.

BD VINCENT,

BISHOP OF CRACOW

(A.D.

1223)

VINCENT KADLUBEK was born at Karnow in Poland about the year 1150. He studied in Italy and France, took his master's degree, and held several ecclesiastical offices, of which provost of the cathedral chapter of SandoIl)ir was one. In 1208 he was elected to the bishopric of Cracow. At this time the archbishop of Gniezno, Henry Kietlicz, was energetically implementing the reforms of Pope Innocent III in Poland, and he received notable support from Bishop Vincent, his fellow student. The country was in a state of political disorder and religious demoralization, and Bd Vincent looked particularly to the religious orders to help him in his task: with the object of strengthening their influence he became a benefactor of several monasteries, and at the same time seconded their efforts by his own preaching and frequent visitations. He took an active part in politics, and was solicitous for the temporal welfare of the common people. In 1218 Vincent resigned his see and retired to the monastery of ]edrzejow, where he was professed a monk of the Cistercian reform. It was perhaps, but not

528


ST FRANCES OF ROME

[March 9

certainly, in these last years of his life that he was engaged in that historical work for which he is best remembered, for he was the first Polish chronicler. His " Chronicle of the Kings and Princes of Poland ", in four books, is valuable in so far as part of it was written from his own experience, and it has been reprinted in modern times. But his uncritical acceptance of popular legends has caused him to be likened to Geoffrey of Monmouth; and" the Latin which he employs is detestable." Vincent Kadlubek died at his monastery on March 8, 1223, leaving a great reputation for holiness, and in 1764 his ancient cultus was confirmed by the Holy See. See Manrique, Annales Cistercienses, vol. iv; Henriquez, Menologium Cisterciense,. and the Cambridge History of Poland, vol. i (1950), pp. 154-155. In some calendars Bd Vincent appears as Saint.

9 : ST

T

FRANCES OF ROME,

WIDOW

HE gentle saint who was known first to her fellow-citizens and then to the Church at large as Santa Francesca Romana, St Frances the Roman, possessed to an extraordinary degree the power of attracting the love and admiration of those who came in contact with her. Nor has her charm ended with her death, for she is still honoured by countless souls who seek her intercession and pray before her tomb in Santa Maria Nuova. On her feast day and within its octave, crowds flock to visit Tor de' Specchi and the Casa degli Esercizi Pii (the successor of the old Palazzo Ponziano), the rooms of which are annually thrown open to the public and every memorial and relic of the saint exhibited. She was born in the Trastevere district of Rome in 1384, at the beginning of the Great Schism of the West, which was to cause her much grief as well as adversely to affect the fortunes of her family. She did not live to see harmony completely restored. Her parents, Paul Busso and Jacobella dei RofFredeschi, were of noble birth and ample means, and the child was brought up in the midst of luxury but in a pious household. Frances was a precocious little girl, and when she was eleven she asked her parents to allow her to become a nun, only to be met by a point-blank refusal. Her parents, who were excellent people and much attached to her, had quite different plans for their attractive little daughter. Within a year they announced to her that they had arranged to betroth her to young Lorenzo Ponziano, whose position, character and wealth made him a suitable match. After a time Frances withdrew her objections, and the marriage was solemnized when she was barely thirteen. At first she found the new life very trying, although she did her best to please her husband as well as her parents-in-law, and Vannozza, the young wife of Lorenzo's brother Paluzzo, discovered her one day weeping bitterly. Frances told her of her frustrated hopes, and learnt to her surprise that this new sister of hers would also have preferred a life of retirement and prayer. This was the beginning of a close friendship which lasted till death, and the two young wives strove together henceforth to live a perfect life under a common rule. Plainly dressed they sallied out to visit the poor of Rome, ministering to their wants and relieving their distress, and their husbands, who were devoted to them, raised no objection to their charities and austerities. This life was for a time interrupted by a severe and somewhat mysterious illness to which Frances fell a victim, and which


MarcJz 9]

her relatives sought to remedy by the aid of magic. We are told that after a year St Alexis appeared to her in a vision. He inquired if she was prepared to die or if she wished to recover. She replied that she had no will but the will of God. The saint then informed her that it was God's will that she should recover and work for His greater glory, and, after throwing his cloak over her, he disappeared. Her infirmity had disappeared also. After this the lives of the sisterly pair became even stricter than before, and daily they went to the hospital of Santo Spirito in Sassia to nurse the patients, singling out more particularly those suffering from the most repellent diseases. Their mother-in-law, Donna Cecilia, not unnaturally, was afraid lest they might injure their health, and thought that their avoidance of banquets and entertainments might be miscon"strued in society and bring discredit on the family, but her sons, to whom she appealed, refused to interfere in any way. In 1400 a son was born to Frances, and for a time she modified her way of life to devote herself to the care of little John Baptist (Battista). The following year Donna Cecilia died, and Frances was bidden by her father-in-law take her place at the head of the household. In vain she pleaded that Vannozza was the wife of the elder brother: Don Andrew and Vannozza insisted that she was the more suitable, and she was obliged to consent. She proved herself worthy of this position, discharging her duties efficiently whilst treating her household not as servants but as younger brothers and sisters, and trying to induce them to labour for their own salvation. In all the forty years that she lived with her husband there was never the slightest dispute or misunderstand­ ing between them. \Vhen she was at her prayers, if summoned by Lorenzo or asked to give orders about the house, she laid all aside to respond to the call of that duty. "It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout", she was wont to say, " but she must never forget that she is a housewife. And sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping. n Her biographers relate that once when she was reading our Lady's office a page was sent to fetch her. " Madonna, my master begs you to come to him", said the lad. She immediately closed the book and went. Three more times this interruption happened; but when at last she opened the book for the fifth time she found the words of the antiphon were written in letters of gold. In addition to the eldest" two other children of Frances are known, a younger boy, Evangelist, and a girl, Agnes; and she allowed no one but herself to look after them during childhood. Although, like so many other interior souls, Frances was sorely tried all her life by violent temptations, which in her case sometimes took the form of hideous or enticing visions, and sometimes resembled bodily assaults, still for several years outward prosperity seemed to smile upon her and her family. The first indication of the clouds that were gathering came in the form of a famine and pestilence, mainly the result of the civil wars which were then convulsing Italy. Plague­ stricken people were dying in the streets, and disease and starvation decimated Rome. Frances was unremitting in her efforts to relieve the sufferers and, with the help of Vannozza, tried to succour all she came across. Even the plentiful stock of provisions at the Palazzo Ponziano was exhausted at last, and the two women went from door to door begging for food for the poor in spite of rebuffs and insults. It was then that she received her father-in-Iaw's consent to sell her jewels, and she never from that time forth wore any but the plainest dresses. In 1408 the troops of Ladislaus of Naples, the ally of the antipope, had entered Rome and a soldier of fortune, Count Troja, had been appointed governor. The

53°


ST FRANCES OF ROME

[March 9

Ponziani had always supported the legitimate pope, and in one of the frequent conflicts Lorenzo ,vas stabbed and carried home to Frances, to whose devoted nursing he owed his restoration to health. Troja resolved to leave the city after having wreaked his vengeance on the principal papal supporters. Amongst these were the Ponziani, and he not only arrested Vannozza's husband Paluzzo, but also demanded as a hostage little Battista; but whilst his mother Frances was praying in the church of Ara Coeli the boy was released in circumstances that seemed to be miraculous. Then, in 1410 when the cardinals were assembled at Bologna for the election of a new pope, Ladislaus again seized Rome. Lorenzo Ponziano, who as one of the heads of the papal party went in danger of his life, managed to escape, but it \vas impossible for his wife and family to follow him. His palace was plun足 dered and Battista was taken captive by the soldiers of Ladislaus, though he after足 wards got away and was able to join his father. The family possessions in the Campagna were destroyed, farms heing burnt or pillaged and flocks slaughtered. whilst many of the peasants were murdered. Frances lived in a corner of her ruined home with Evangelist, Agnes and Vannozza, whose husband was still a prisoner, and the two women devoted themselves to the care of the children and to relieving as far as their means would allow the sufferings of their still poorer neighbours. During another pestilence three years later, Evangelist died. Frances then turned part of the house into a hospital, and God rewarded her labours and prayers by besto",ring on her the gift of healing. Twelve months after the death of Evangelist, as his mother was praying one day, a bright light suddenly shone into the room and Evangelist appeared accom.. panied by an archangel. After telling her of his happiness in Heaven he said that he had come to warn her of the impending death of Agnes. A consolatiun was, however, to be vouchsafed to the bereaved mother. The archangel who accom足 panied Evangelist was henceforth to be her guide for twenty-three years. He was to be succeeded in the last epoch of her life by an angel of still higher dignity. Very soon Agnes began to fail, and a year later she passed away at the age of sixteen. From that moment, as Evangelist had promised, the angel was always visible to St Frances, though unseen by others. Only when she committed a fault did he fade away for a time, to return as soon as she felt compunction and made confession. The form he took was that of a child of about eight years old. But, weakened by what she had gone through, Frances herself fell a victim to the plague. So ill was she that every hope of recovery was abandoned, but the disease suddenly left her, and she began to regain her health. It was at this time that she had a vision of Hell so terrible that she could never allude to it without tears. After many delays Pope John XXIII summoned the Council of Constance which was to prepare the healing of the Great Schism, and in that same year 1414 the Ponziani regained their property after being recalled from banishment. Lorenzo was now a broken man and lived in retirement, being tended with the utmost devotion by his faithful ","ife. It was his great wish to see his son Battista married and settled before his death, and he chose for him a beautiful girl called Mobilia, who proved to have a violent and overbearing temper. She conceived a great contempt for Frances, of "'Thom she complained to her husband and his father, and whom she ridiculed in public. In the midst of a bitter speech she was struck down by a sudden illness, through which she was nursed by the saint. Won by her kindness Mobilia found her contempt turned to love, and thenceforward she sought to imitate her saintly mother-in-law. By this time the fame of the virtues and miracles of St

53 1


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 9]

Frances had spread over Rome, and she was appealed to from all quarters, not only to cure the sick but also to settle disputes and heal feuds. Lorenzo, whose love and reverence for her only increased with age, offered to release her from all the obligations of married life provided only that she would continue to live under his roof. She was now able to carry out a project which had been taking shape in her mind of forming a society of women living in the world and bound by no vows, but pledged to make a simple offering of themselves to God and to serve the poor. The plan was approved by her confessor Dom Antonio, who obtained the affiliation of the congregation to the Benedictines of Monte Oliveto, to which he himself belonged. Known at first as the Oblates of Mary, they were afterwards called the Oblates of Tor de' Specchi. The society had lasted seven years when it was thought desirable to take a house adapted for a community, and the old building known as Tor de' Specchi was acquired. Whatever time she could spare from her home duties St Frances spent with the oblates, sharing in their daily life and duties. She never allowed them to refer to her as the foundress, but insisted that all should be subject to Agnes de Lellis who was chosen superioress. Three years later Lorenzo died and was laid beside Evangelist and Agnes; and St Frances announced her intention of retiring to Tor de' Specchi. On the feast of St Benedict she entered her founda足 tion as a humble suppliant and was eagerly welcomed. Agnes de Lellis immediately insisted upon resigning office and Frances had to take her place in spite of her protestations. Her life was now lived closer than ever to God. Her austerities indeed she could not well increase, for she had long subsisted on dry bread with occasionally some vegetables; she had scourged herself and made use of horsehair girdles and chains with sharp points. But now visions and ecstasies became more frequent, and she sometimes spent whole nights in prayer. One evening in the spring of 1440, though feeling very ill she tried to get back home after visiting Battista and Mobilia. On the way she met her director, Dom John Matteotti, who, shocked at her appearance, ordered her to return at once to her son's house. It was soon evident that she was dying, but she lingered on for seven days. On the evening of March 9 her fa~e was seen to shine with a strange light: "The angel has finished his task: he beckons me to follow him", were her last words. As soon as it was known that she was dead, the Ponziani Palace was thronged by mourners and by those who brought their sick to be healed. Her body ,vas removed to Santa Maria Nuova, where the crowds became even greater as the report of miracles wrought there was spread abroad. She was buried in the chapel of the church reserved for her oblates. Her congregation still survives at Tor de' Specchi, where the oblates carryon educational work; their dress remains that of the Roman noble ladies of the period. St Frances was canonized in 1608, and Santa Maria Nuova is now known as the church of Santa Francesca Romana. By far the most important source for the Life of St Frances of Rome is the collection of visions, miracles and biographical details compiled first of all in Italian by John Matteotti and afterwards, with omissions and additions, translated by him into Latin. Matteotti had been the saint's confessor during the last ten years of her life, but there is no evidence that he had been acquainted with her at an earlier date. The seventeenth-century biography which has been printed under the name of Mary Magdalen Anguillaria, superioress of Tor de' Specchi, adds little to the materials provided by Matteotti, though it may have incor足 porated some new facts from the processes which preceded the canonization. All these sources in a Latin version will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. There is a

53 2


ST GREGORY OF NYSSA

[March 9

short but very sympathetic life of St Frances in English by Lady Georgiana Fullerton published in 1855; and lives in French by Rabory (1884), Rambuteau (19 00) and Mrs Berthem-Bontoux (1931), the last a solid but rather prolix work. The Italian text of Matte­ otti has been edited by Armellini, but c/. M. Pelaez in the Archi'vio Soc. Romana di Storia patria, vols. xiv and xv (1891-1892).

ST P ACIAN, BISHOP OF BARCELONA

(c.

A.D.

39 0 )

ST PACIAN is chiefly remembered through his writings, for very little is known of his history. At some time in his life he married-probably before he became a priest-and his son, Flavius Dexter, was chamberlain to the Emperor Theodosius and captain of the royal bodyguard under Honorius. St Jerome, who was intimate with Dexter, had the greatest regard for the father, whose eloquence, learning and sanctity he extolled while dedicating to the son his Catalogue of Illustrious Men. St Pacian lived to old age and was a voluminous writer; but of his many works the only ones which have come down to us are an exhortation to penance, a sermon on baptism and three epistles addressed to a nobleman called Sympronian, who had embraced the Novatian heresy and had sent Pacian a letter in which he censured the Church for allov;ing repentance and absolution for aU sins and also for taking the title of Catholic. In his reply St Pacian makes the now famous retort: "Chris­ tianus mihi nomen: Catholicus vero cognomen. Illud me nuncupat: istud ostendit. Hoc probor: inde significor."-" My name is Christian, my surname Catholic. The one puts me in a class, the other gives me a character. The second Elsewhere he insists that those alone are is a testimonial, the first is a labeL" embraced in the unity of the Church who are united to the chair of St Peter. "To Peter alone did the Lord speak" (Thou art Peter, etc.) " that from him, the one, He might establish unity."- " U t ex uno fundaret unum." Amongst St Pacian's lost writings was one entitled Cervulus, directed against an obscene heathen pageant which took place annually at the new year and in which, apparently, Christians sometilnes participated. The performance, which centred round a little stag and which is alluded to by St Ambrose and other writers, con­ sisted of masquerades in which those who took part were dressed up as wild animals. Like many a modern censor the bishop found that his strictures acted rather as an advertisernent, and at the beginning of his treatise on penance he deplores that the chief effect of his censure was to make more people curious to witness the objection­ able revels. A brief account of St Pacian will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, l\tlarch, vol. ii. also Bardenhewer's Patrologie.

ST GREGORY, BISHOP OF NYSSA

(c.

A.D.

See

395)

ST GREGORY of Nyssa, upon whom the seventh general council, the second at Nicaea, bestowed the title of " Father of the Fathers", was the brother of St Basil the Great, St Peter of Sebastea and St Macrina, and the son of St Basil and St Emmelia, herself the daughter of a martyr. He was born at Caesarea in Cappa­ docia, and must have been left an orphan at an early age for he was brought up by his elder brother Basil and by his sister Macrina. In a letter to his younger brother Peter, Gregory speaks of Basil as " our father and master", and throughout his life he looked up to him with the greatest affection and veneration. After an excellent education in secular and religious knowledge he became a rhetorician and married

533


March 9]

THE LIVES OF THE SAI:-\TS

a wife called Theosebeia. He had become a reader in the Church, but was led to accept a wholly secular post as professor of rhetoric, a branch in which he excelled. The post was not very congenial: he complained that his scholars were more intent upon military than upon academic distinction, and when St Gregory Nazianzen wrote him a sharp letter of reprimand in which he urged him to renounce " that ignoble glory", as he expressed it, the epistle had the desired effect of bringing the young man back to the sacred ministry. He was promoted to the priesthood, and it has been suggested that he ceased to live with Theosebeia as his wife, but there is no evidence to show this. Celibacy at that date was not a matter of precept for the clergy even in the West, and in any case we do not know whether she still remained under his roof or whether, as some have thought, she joined St Macrina in her convent. St Gregory Nazianzen, who had a great regard for Theosebeia, was wont to refer to her as his friend's "holy and blessed sister", and in the eloquent oration which he preached at her funeral he calls her " the boast of the Church and the blessing of our generation." St Gregory is thought to have spent the first few years of his priesthood in some sort of retirement-perhaps on the Iris in Pontus. In the meantime, his brother Basil, the bishop of Caesarea, was having a hard struggle against heresy and opposition on all sides, and amongst his opponents was his own uncle, the Pontic bishop Gregory. This division in a family otherwise so united seemed a terrible scandal to the younger Gregory, and in hopes of bringing about a reconciliation he devised the extraordinary expedient of forging letters purporting to come from his uncle to Basil tendering the olive branch. Of course the fraud was promptly exposed, and brought upon the real author his brother's wrathful reprimand, not unmingled, however, with a little amusement. It was apparently at Basil's suggestion that Gregory was chosen bishop of Nyssa in 372. It was part of his policy to place orthodox prelates on the outposts of his diocese to try to stem the inroads of heresy, and he accordingly consecrated his brother, sorely against Gregory's desires, to this remote see on the confines of Lower Armenia. As soon as he arrived in Nyssa he was faced with difficulties. The city was a hotbed of Arianism, and one of the emperor's courtiers had wanted the bishop's chair for himself or for a friend. Gregory, with the best will in the world, was wanting in tact, and he had not much notion of ruling a province. In the hopes of helping Basil he called a synod of provincial bishops at Ancyra, but as he could not handle the delegates the meeting did more harm than good to Basil's cause. No wonder then that, when Gregory was suggested to his brother as one of his envoys to Pope St Damasus in Rome, Basil should have negatived the pro足 posal, saying that his brother was entirely inexperienced in ecclesiastical affairs and was no diplomatist. Supported by the Arians, the governor of Pontus, Demosthenes, called a meeting at which a certain Philocares accused Gregory of embezzling church property as well as of irregularity in his election, and soldiers were sent to arrest him. The bishop suffered himself to be led away, but discouraged by the brutality of his gaolers he contrived to escape and reached a place of safety. His enemies pretended that his flight was an evidence of guilt, and St Basil wrote them a strong letter in which he pointed out that the treasurer of the church had entirely acquitted Gregory of any irregularity. However, a synod of Galatian and Pontic bishops deposed him, and he wandered about whilst a usurper took possession of his see until the year 378, when the Emperor Gratian restored him after his lengthy banishment. 534


ST GREGORY OF NYSSA

[March 9

His people received him with open arms, but his joy at returning was clouded by the death of St Basil and by that of St Macrina which occurred soon afterwards. Of his sister's approaching end he had a premonition, and he was able on the after足 noon before her death to have a long conversation with her which he afterwards recorded. From the time of St Basil's death, Gregory became a man of influence, and a period of great activity opened out for him. I-Ie was present at the Council of Antioch which was called to deal with the errors of the Meletians, and the orthodox bishops of the East there assembled sent him on a mission to Palestine and Arabia to remedy the disorders which heresy had caused in the Arabian church. To assist him in his work, the Emperor Theodosius gave him the use of government post足 horses and carriages. At the General Council of Constantinople in 381 Gregory occupied an important place. He had come to be regarded as "the common mainstay of the Church ", and to be on Gregory's side was considered in his day as a proof of orthodoxy. The council, which had been called by the Emperor Theodosius, asserted the faith of Nicaea and strove to put an end to Arianism. At that assembly he seems to have been charged with a kind of inquisitorship over Pontus. Towards the end of his life he paid another visit to Palestine, and was so much shocked by the abuses he found among the pilgrims as well as by the heretical atmosphere to which they were exposed, that he came to the conclusion that pilgrimages under the conditions then prevailing were not a form of devotion to be recommended. In a letter or treatise on those who go to Jerusalem he remarks that pilgrimages form no part of the gospel precept, and adds that he himself derived no benefit from visiting the Holy Places. Three episcopal sees having been fixed by the Emperor Theodosius as centres of communion in the East, Gregory of Nyssa, Helladius of Caesarea and Otreius of Melitene were the bishops selected. This honour, however, seems to have gained for Gregory the jealousy and ill-will of Helladius, who considered himself his metropolitan and resented being placed on an equality with him. In one of Gregory's letters he gives a graphic description -of the discourtesy with which Helladius had treated him. At Cortstantinople, on the other hand, he was highly honoured and much consulted. He preached there the funeral orations on St Meletius of Antioch and on the Princess Pulcheria and the Empress Flaccilla. He also delivered a discourse at the enthronization of St Gregory Nazianzen, and, at a much later period, the oration at the dedication of the great church which the prefect Rufinus erected near Chalcedon. Although it is known that he lived to a great age, the exact date of his death is uncertain. The veneration in which Gregory was held during his life and the even greater esteem with which he was regarded for some time after his death, is not altogether endorsed by modern ecclesiastical writers, who are indisposed to regard him as the main destroyer of Arianism and as the originator of those clauses which the Council of Constantinople inserted into the Nicene Creed. Nevertheless it is certain that he exercised a predominant influence in this the second great oecumenical council, and that his orthodoxy was quite unquestioned, although it may be admitted that he inclined to Universalism and to the theory that all things WOll Id be restored in Christ at the last day. The writings of St Gregory show him to be well versed in the pagan philosophers, and he used the teaching of Plato in much the same way that the schoolmen used that of Aristotle. Of Christian teachers he was most influenced by Origen, whose allegorical interpretations of Holy Scripture he largely

535


Jlrtareh 9]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

adopted. His literary works, which were greatly admired for their diction, are valuable for their accurate exposition of the Christian faith and interesting for their intermixture of everyday ideas with elaborate mystical and poetical speculations. Of his voluminous writings the chief are his great Catechetical Discourse, \\rhich was an instruction on the Christian faith, two works against Eunomius and Apol足 linaris which are the main source from which knowledge of these heresies has been derived, and numerous commentaries on Holy Scripture. On the ascetic side may be mentioned his book on Virginity, a number of sermons on Christian life and conduct, and sundry panegyrics on the saints. His letters, of which about twenty are extant, are natural and charming. Amongst them may be mentioned one which narrates the life and death of St Macrina, one to three ladies in Jerusalem, and one which describes in a truly modern manner the beauties of a house and villa in Galatia where he stayed on a visit. Both he and his brother Basil had an appre足 ciation of the beauties of nature seldom found in the writers of the early centuries. Our knowledge of the life of St Gregory of Nyssa is derived from many various sources, and more especially from the correspondence of his friends. Sec the Arta Sanetorum, March, vol. ii; Bardenhewer, Patrology (Eng. trans.), pp. I95~206; Bardenhewer's larger work on the Fathers which is accessible in French as well as in German; and DTC., vol. vi, cc. 1847-1852, etc. There is also an excellent account of Gregory in DCB., vol. ii, pp. 761-768. Recent works on the saint's thought are H. Drs von Balthasar, Presence et Pensee (1942), and }. Danielou, Platonisme et theolo/!ie mystique (1944).

ST BOSA, BISHOP OF YORK WHEN 8t Wilfrid of York had been driven out in consequence of his dissensions with King Egfrid and his diocese was divided into two sees, it was a monk of \Vhitby, Bosa by name, who was chosen to become bishop of Deira, the southern portion, whilst Eata of Lindisfarne was appointed to Bernicia. They were both consecrated by 8t Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, in 678. Bosa, who is described by the Venerable Bede as " beloved by God . . . a man of singular merit and holi足 ness", made his seat at York, and governed his province \visely and well until his death, being succeeded by St John of Beverley. Bede says that St Acca, for \vhom he had the greatest regard, had been brought up and trained from boyhood by 8t Bosa at his schuol in York, and that he owed much to the example and teaching of this holy master. All the facts will be found in the text and notes of Plummer's edition of Bede.

ST CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA, \lIRGIN JOHN DE' VIGRI, the father of St Catherine of Bologna, \vas a la\vyer and diplomatic agent to Nicholas d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. At the request of his patron, he sent Catherine at the age of eleven as maid of honour to young l\largaret d 'Este, \vhose studies she shared and whose most intimate companion she hecarne. Amongst other lessons, the two girls worked at Latin, in \vhich language Catherine afterwards \\lrote several small works. When a marriage was arranged bet\veen l\Iargaret and Robert Malatesta she desired to retain her friend in her service, but (:atherine had already felt the call to the religious life. Soon after return ing horne she lost her father, and almost immediately she joined a company of Franciscan tertiaries at Ferrara, who lived a serni~monastic life under the guidance of a wornan called Lucy Mascaroni.


ST CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA

[March 9

Although only fourteen at the time of her adnlission, Catherine at once aimed at a perfection so exalted as to win the admiration of her sisters. From this early age she was subject to visions, some of which indeed came from God, whilst others were of Satanic origin, as she was afterwards forced to conclude. In order to help others to distinguish between divine visions and the artifices of Satan, Catherine subsequently declared that she had learnt to recognize when it was our Lord who was really deigning to visit her, by the holy light of humility which, at such times, always preceded the rising sun, for, as she went on to explain, " she used to experi足 ence at the approach of the Divine Guest a sentiment of respect which would inwardly bow her spirit, or make her out\vardly bow her head; or else she would be aware that the origin of her faults, past, present or future, was in herself: she used to consider herself too as the cause of all the fau Its of her neighbours, for whom she felt a burning charity. And Jesus \vould enter into her soul like a radiant sunshine. to establish there the profoundest peace." The Devil then sought to instil into her mind blasphemous thoughts and doubts, the most grievous of which concerned the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament. This caused her intense misery, until at last God revealed the whole doctrine to her, and so com足 pletely answered her difficulties that her doubts left her for ever. He also assured her that if the conscience is pure the effects of the sacrament are independent of sensible fervour, nor do doubts hinder its efficacy, provided no consent is given to them; and, moreover, that those who are patient under such trials gain more by their communions than if they were favoured \vith spiritual consolation. Probably as the result of all she had gone through, St Catherine became oppressed by a constant and overpowering inclination to sleep, which she regarded as a diabolic temptation, but which may well have been a merciful dispensation to relieve the bodily and mental strain which had preceded. This too passed away and peace settled upon her soul. She now began to write down an account of her trials and the favours she had received, thinking that it might help others after her death. Not wishing the sisters to see this diary, she used to sew it up in the cushion of a chair, but the others, suspecting that she was doing something of the sort, searched for and found the manuscript. Their indiscretion was soon discovered by Catherine, and taking the leaves she threw them into the oven furnace. This oven was under her special charge, for she was the baker, and at one time, indeed, finding that the glare was Injuring her eyes and fearing lest she might become a burden to the community, she mentioned her apprehensions to the superior, who, however, told her to remain at her post and leave her health to God. When she had been baker for a consider足 able period, St Catherine became novice-mistress, and it was about this time that she had a remarkable vision which is often represented in art and which may best be described in her own words. Writing of herself in the third person she says: '4 She asked permission of her mistress to pass the night of Christmas in the church of the nlonastery and she obtained it. She went there as soon as she could, with the intention of reciting a thousand Ave Marias in honour of our nlost Blessed Lady: and this she really did with all the attention and fervour of \vhich she was capable, and she was occupied in this \"'ay till midnight, the hour when it is believed our Saviour was born. At this very hour she saw our Blessed Lady appear. holding in her arms the Infant Jesus, swathed in linen bands as new-born infants commonly are. This kind mother came to her and gave her Son to her. I leave you to picture the joy of this poor creature when she found herself holding the Son of the

537


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 9]

eternal Father in her arms. Trembling with respect, but still more overcome with joy, she took the liberty of caressing Him, of pressing Him against her heart and of bringing His face to her lips. . . . When the poor creature we speak of dared to move her lips towards the Divine Infant's mouth, He disappeared, leaving her, however, filled with joy." Two works she wrote about this time consisted of a series of non-metrical verses on the mysteries of the life of our Lord and of His Mother, which she called a " Rosary ", and which was treasured after her death in her monastery at Bologna, and a treatise on the Seven Spiritual W ~apons which was published posthumously and had a great circulation throughout Italy. Already some years earlier the little community governed by Lucy Mascaroni had embraced the strict Rule of St Clare and had removed to a more suitable building, but it was felt by St Catherine and the more austere sisters that the full regularity of the convent could not be obtained until it should become enclosed. The inhabitants of Ferrara, however, long resisted this innovation, and it was mainly through the prayers and efforts of St Catherine that enclosure was conceded, and finally sanctioned by Pope Nicholas V. Catherine was then appointed superioress of a new convent of strict observance at Bologna, and although she shrank from the office and would have preferred to remain in Ferrara, she received a divine intimation that she was to go and made no further protest. She and the religious who accompanied her were received at Bologna by two cardinals, by the senate and magistrates, and by the entire population, and there they established the convent of Corpus Christi. Despite the strictness of the enclosure, the fame of the sanctity and healing powers of St Catherine, as well as her gifts of prophecy, attracted so many would-be postulants that room could not be found for them all. After working hard all the week, she would devote the free time she had on Sundays and festivals to copying her breviary, illuminating it with colours. The whole of this breviary, with the figures of our Lord, our Lady and the saints was her work and is still preserved. She also composed a number of hymns and painted several pictures. Three precepts which Catherine practised all her life she was wont to impress upon her daughters. The first was always to speak well of others, the second was to practise constant humility, and the third was never to meddle in matters which were no business of hers. Strict beyond measure with herself, she was most tender to the weaknesses of other people, and when the triennial election of the abbess was pending the only objection that could be urged against her re-election was that the rules lost their force through her kindness. When she was novice-mistress and thought some of the younger sisters were insufficiently fed, she used to beg for eggs (hard-boiled, presumably), which she slipped into their bags after having peeled them and left the shells on her own plate. This caused her to be censured for sensuality at the annual visitation, but she received the reproofs humbly as though they had been deserved. The saint's health, which had been failing since before her return to Bologna, ere long broke down altogether. On the first Sunday in Lent of 1463 she was attacked by violent pains, and was obliged to take to her bed, from which she never rose again. On March 9 she rendered up her soul to God, and her passing was so peaceful that the watching sisters did not realize that she was dead until they perceived a sweet fragrance and noticed that her face had become so fresh and beautiful that she looked like a young girl of fifteen who was sleeping. Her body was buried without a coffin and remained in the ground for eighteen days, when it was disinterred, owing to the cures which were reported and to the sweet scent 53 8


[ivlarch 9

ST DOl\JIINIC SAVIO

which proceeded from the grave. It was found to be incorrupt, and has ever since been preserved in the chapel of the convent church in Bologna. There the entire body may be seen through glass and behind bars: it is in a sitting posture and richly habited, but the face and hands, which are uncovered, are now black with damp and age. St Catherine is honoured as a patron of artists. The miniatures executed by her, which are still preserved in her convent of Corpo di Cristo at Bologna, are said to have been painted with remarkable delicacy. Two pictures of hers are also still in existence. One is in the Pinacoteca at Bologna, the other in the Academy of Fine Arts at Venice. She was canonized in 1712. The outlines of St Catherine's history may be learnt from a short memoir published nearly fifty years after her death by a Franciscan friar, Denis Paleotti, but more completely from the biography of Father J. Grassetti who, though he only wrote in 1610, had access at Bologna to such records as existed concerning her. Both these lives, originally composed in Italian, were printed by the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii) in a Latin trans足 lation. It seems regrettable that the most valuable source of first-hand information concern足 ing Catherine Vigri has apparently never yet been printed. This is the Specchio d'illumin足 azione, a memorial of the saint penned by her fellow religious and subject, Sister Illuminata Bembi, whose manuscript is still preserved in the convent. Most modern biographies depend almost entirely on Grassetti. The most imposing of these is that of J. E. Duver, Vie de sainte Catherine de Bologne (19属5); there is another in French by J. Stienon du Pre (1949). A very useful collection of essays bearing on the subject of Catherine appeared at Bologna in 1912 under the title La Santa nella storia, nelle lettere e nell' arte. See also Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans., vol. i, pp. 394-437) and Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. i, pp. 160-161. An English translation of Grassetti was included in the Oratorian Series.

ST DOMINIC SAVIO year 1950 saw the canonization of a twelve-year-old girl, Mary Goretti, as a martyr and the beatification of a fifteen-year-old boy, Dominic Savio, as a confessor. The Church has raised several child martyrs to her altars, but the case of Dominic Savio seems to be unique. He was canonized in 1954. He was born at Riva in Piedmont in 1842, the son of a peasant, and grew up with the desire to be a priest. When St John Bosco began to make provision for training youths as clergy to help him in his work for neglected boys at Turin, Dominic's parish-priest recommended him. An interview took place, at which Don Bosco was most deeply impressed by the evidence of grace in the boy's soul, and in October 1854, when he was twelve, Dominic became a student at the Oratory of St Francis de Sales in Tur'in. His own personality apart, Dominic was best remembered at the oratory for the group he organized there. It was called the Company of the Immaculate Conception, and besides its devotional objects it helped Don Bosco in his work by undertaking various necessary jobs, from sweeping the floors to taking special care of boys who for one reason or another were misfits. When the time came, in 1859, for St John Bosco to form the kernel of his now world-wide Salesian congregation, among the twenty-two present were all the original members of the Company of the Immaculate Conception; all, that is, except Dominic Savio: he had been called to the congregation of Heaven two years before. Early on at the oratory Dominic prevented a brutal fight with stones between two boys by characteristically direct action. Holding up a little crucifix between them, " Before you fight", he said, "look at this, both of you, and say, ' Jesus THE

539


March 9]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Christ was sinless, and He died forgiving His executioners; I am a sinner, and I am going to outrage Him by being deliberately revengeful'. Then you can start-and throw your first stone at me." The rascals slunk away. He was scrupulous in observing the discipline of the house, and some of the wilder spirits did not like it when he expected them to be equally scrupulous. They called him a sneak, and told him to " run and tell Don Bosco"--thereby showing how little they knew about Don Bosco, who would not tolerate tale-bearing. Likely enough Dominic laughed it off; for he was a ready laugher, and sometimes it got him into trouble with the masters. But if he was no tale-bearer he was a good story-teller, and that endeared him to his companions, especially the younger ones. It was a specially happy dispensation of Providence that brought Dominic Savio under the care of so moderate and wise a man as St John Bosco: otherwise he might have developed into a young fanatic and spoiled himself by excess. Don Bosco insisted on cheerfulness, on careful attention to daily duties, on joining in the games, so that Dominic would say, " I can't do big things. But I want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God." "Religion must be about us like the air we breathe; but we must not weary the boys with too many devotions and observances and so forth ," Don Bosco used to say. And, true to that spirit, he forbade Dominic to inflict the least bodily mortification upon himself without express permission. "For", he said, " the penance God wants is obedi足 ence. There is plenty to put up with cheerfully-heat, cold, sickness, the tiresome ways of other people. There is quite enough mortification for boys in school life itself." Nevertheless he found Dominic shivering in bed one cold night, with all the bed-clothes save one thin sheet thrown off. "Don't be so crazy," he said, " You'll get pneumonia." "Why should I ?" replied Dominic. "Our Lord didn't get pneumonia in the stable at Bethlehem." The most important source for the details of Dominic Savio's short life is the account written by St John Bosco himself. In writing it he was careful not to set down anything that he could not vouch for, and he was most particularly careful when dealing with the spiritual experiences that were accorded to this boy: such things as supernatural knowledge-of people in need, of their spiritual state, of the future. Or the occasion when Dominic was missing all the morning till after dinner. Don Bosco found him eventually in the choir of the church, standing in a cramped position by the lectern, rapt in prayer. He had been. there for about six hours, yet thought that early Mass was not yet over. Dominic called these times of intense prayer" my distractions ". They would sometimes overtake him at play: "It seems as though Heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or do something that will make the other boys laugh." St John Bosco tells us that the needs of England had an important part in this boy's prayers; and he records "a strong distraction " in which Dominic saw a wide mist-shrouded plain, with a multitude of people groping about in it; to them came a pontifically-vested figure carrying a torch that lighted up the whole scene, and a voice seemed to say, " This torch is the Catholic faith which shall bring light to the English people". At Dominic's request Don Bosco told this to Pope Pius IX, who declared that it confirmed his resolution to give great care and attention to England. Dominic's delicate health got worse and worse, and in February 1857 he was sent home to Mondonio for a change of air. His complaint was diagnosed as inflammation of the lungs, and according to the practice of the day he was bled,


THE FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTEA

[Marth

10

bled to excess. The treatment seems certainly to have hastened his end. He received the last sacraments, and on the evening of March 9 he asked his father to read the prayers for the dying. Towards the end of them he tried to sit up. " Good-bye, father", he murmured, "the priest told me something. . . . But I can't remember what. . . ." Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of intense joy, and he exclaimed, " I am seeing most wonderful things ! " He did not speak again. The cause of the beatification of Dominic Savio was begun in Rome in 1914. It met with some opposition"on the ground of his extreme youth. Pope Pius X on the other hand regarded his age as a point in favour of beatification. This view eventually prevailed; but Dominic Savio was not beatified till 1950, sixteen years after the canonization of Don Bosco. The definitive text of the biography written by St John Bosco is that published at Turin in 1950, edited by Fr E. Ceria. An Epglish translation, by Mary Russell, was published in 1934. Other Italian lives are by Cardinal Salotti (1921) and Don Cojazzi (1950), and among the French ones is A. Auffray's Un Saint de quinze ans (1950). There is an excellent short account by Fr John Sexton, issued by the Salesian Press in London in 1950.

10 : THE

FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTEA

T

(A.D. 320)

HE Emperor Licinius who at one time had extended a measure of toleration to Christians, reversed his policy after his breach with his brother-in-law Constantine and a fresh persecution was begun. In Cappadocia he pub足 lished a decree ordering every Christian, on pain of death, to abandon his religion. When Agricolaus, the governor of Cappadocia and Lesser Armenia, communicated this decree to the army, forty young soldiers of various nationalities stationed at Sebastea refused to sacrifice to idols. The forty, who are said to have all belonged to the famous " Thundering Legion ", appeared before the tribunal at Sebastea (now Sivas in Turkey) saying that they were Christians and that no torments would induce them to forsake their religion. The governor at first tried persuasion, representing to them the disgrace which would follow upon their refusal to obey and promising promotion if they would conform. Finding them inexorable, he commanded that they should be tortured and cast into prison. Here they sang together Psalm xc, " He that dwelleth in the aid of the most High shall abide under the protection of the God of Heaven", and they were comforted by a vision of oUr Lord who encouraged them to persevere. Then the governor, incensed at their obstinacy, subjected them to a strange ordeal which he had devised. The cold in Armenia is very severe, especially in March when the north wind rages. Under the walls of the city stood a pond or lake which was frozen hard, and on it the prisoners were condemned to be exposed quite naked and to be left there night and day. Agricolaus also ordered that a fire and a warm bath should be prepared on the edge of the lake to tempt them to apostasy. The martyrs, without waiting to be stripped, undressed themselves, encouraging each other and saying that one bad night would purchase for them a happy eternity. Together they prayed, " Lord, we are forty who are engaged in this conflict: grant that forty may be crowned and that we may not fall short of that sacred number". Their guards were continually urging them to offer up sacrifice and so to pass on to the fire and the warm bath, but all in vain. St Gregory

54 1


March

10]

TIlE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

of Nyssa asserts that they endured for three days and three nights this lingering death. Out of the whole number, only one faile4 and allowed himself to be led to the shore. As it turned out, the reaction of the heat after the intense cold was too great and he died in the bath, thus losing the life he had striven to save as well as the palm of victory. This defection greatly grieved the others, but they were consoled by seeing his place filled and their number miraculously completed. One of the soldiers who had been set to guard the prisoners, being off duty, sat down by the fire, and he fell asleep and had a strange dream. He seemed to be standing by the lake when suddenly the sky was filled with beautiful angelic forms. One by one they descended upon the ice bearing robes and crowns with which they invested the martyrs. The soldier counted: there were thirty-nine crowns. This vision and the desertion and fate of the apostate wrought his instantaneous con足 version. By a special inspiration of the Holy Ghost, he flung off his clothes, stepped on to the ice, and took his place among the survivors, proclaiming himself a Chris足 tian. By his martyrdom he obtained the grace of what is known as the" baptism of blood" as well as the fortieth crown which had been forfeited by the deserter. God had indeed heard the petition of His servants and had answered it in this wholly unexpected way. By the following morning most of the victims were dead, but a few stip lingered on, notably Melito, the youngest. Agricolaus ordered that the arms and legs of the survivors should be broken and the bodies cast into a furnace where they would be consumed. With their dying lips they sang faintly, " Our soul hath escaped from the snare of the fowler: the snare is broken and we are set free". The officials left Melito to the last: they pitied his youth and hoped that he. would give way when he found himself alone, but his mother, a poor widow, reproached the executioners for their mistaken kindness. As she drew near to her son he looked up at her with his dimmed eyes, and being unable to smile he made a little sign of recognition with his feeble hand. Fortified by the Holy Ghost, she urged him to persevere to the end, and lifted him up and placed him herself upon the waggon with the rest of the victims. The bodies of the martyrs were burned and their ashes thrown into the river, but the Christians managed secretly to rescue some of the charred remains or bought them with money. A portion of the precious relics were kept at Caesarea, and St Basil says of them, " Like bulwarks they are our protection against the inroads of enemies". He adds that everyone implored the succour of the martyrs, who raised up those who had fallen, strengthened the weak and increased the fervour of the saints. St Basil the Elder and St Emmelia, the parents of the four saints, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, Peter of Sebastea and Macrina, procured a share of these relics some of which Emmelia gave to the church she built near Annesis. The enthusiasm with which they were received was extraordinary, and according to St Gregory of Nyssa they were honoured by miracles. He adds, " I buried the bodies of my parents by the relics of these holy martyrs, that in the resurrection they may rise with the encouragers of their faith; for I know they have great power with God, of which I have seen clear proofs and undoubted testimonies". St Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia, writes in his sermons on these martyrs, " God gave me a share of these venerable relics and granted me to found this church in their honour". He says that as he passed through Caesarea on his way to Jerusalem they were pn~sented to him by the two nieces of St Basil, who had received them frem their


THE FORTY MARTYRS OF SEBASTEA

[March

10

uncle. Portions of their relics were also taken to Constantinople, as we learn from Sozomen and Procopius. Perhaps the most interesting feature connected with the memory of these champions of the faith is the preservation of a document known as " The Testament of the Forty Holy Martyrs of Christ". The Greek text has been in print for more than a couple of centuries, but it is only of recent years that its authenticity has come to be recognized. It is a unique but perfectly genuine relic of the age of persecution. Though it cannot well be here inserted entire, the summary account written by Father H. Delehaye, the Bollandist, will not be out of place. "Meletios, Aetios and Eutykhios, prisoners of Christ, salute the bishops, presbyters, deacons, confessors and other 'ecclesiastics' of the whole Christian world, and make known their wishes regarding the disposal of their mortal remains after the consummation of their martyrdom. They desire that all their relics be placed in the care of the priest Proidos and certain other persons, in order that they may repose together in Sareim near Zela. Meletios writes this exordium in the name of all. " At this point Aetios and Eutykhios, speaking for their companions, conjure the families of the martyrs not to give way to excessive grief, and carefully to fulfil their last wishes as to the disposal of their remains. When their ashes shall be gathered together, let no one retain any particle for himself, but deliver every足 thing to the persons designated. Should anyone disobey this injunction, they hope he may fail of obtaining the favours which he looks for from the possession of the relics. " The martyrs then express their solicitude for one of their number, a young man named Eunoikos, whose tender age might probably move the persecutors to clemency. If, say they, he shall win the palm of martyrdom with us, let him repose with us. In case he should be spared, let him remain faithful to the law of Christ, in order that, on the day of the resurrection, he may enjoy the blessed lot of those whose sufferings he has shared. " Here, it seems, Meletios again takes the pen. He addresses himself to his brothers, Krispinos and Gordios, exhorting them to be on their guard against the deceitful pleasures of this world, and to hold themselves in constant readiness by a strict adherence to the precepts of our Lord. He wishes these exhortations to be taken to heart by all the followers of Christ. "Then begins a list of salutations: 'We salute the lord priest Philip, and Proklianos and Diogenes and at the same time the holy church. We salute the lord Proklianos of Phydela with the holy church and all who are his. We salute Maximos with the church, Magnos with the church. We salute Domnos with his, and lIes our father, Valens with the church.' Again Meletios intervenes: 'And I, Meletios, salute my relations Lutanios, Krispos and Gordios, etc.' There follow other salutations, general and particular; and finally: '\\le salute you, we the forty brethren united in captivity,' with the forty names. 'We, the forty prisoners of Christ, have signed by the hand of Meletios, one of us; we have confirmed all that has been written, for we were all in full agreement with it.' " It is extremely improbable that all, or even many, of the forty would have been able to write for themselves. Therefore Meletios set down the names in their place. But the names preserved in the acta are those of the" Testament", and we may fairly draw the inference that there was sound historical evidence for part of the story, though not necessarily for such extravagant excrescences as that the 543


March

TI--IE LIVES OF TIlE SAINrrS

10]

stones hurled at thelTI recoiled upon the throwers or that their ashes were recovered after being cast in to the \vater. T'he (;reek passio, which seeIns to be the source fron1 which all the other versions of the " acts" are deri\ ed, \vas first edited by R. Abicht in the Archi7, fur Sla'l'isc!ze Philologie (vol. xviii, pp. 144 seq.). rrhe text may now nlost conveniently be consulted in (). von Gebhardt, Ada Jlart)'rum Selecta, pp. 166-181, where the "l~estament " is also printed. 'fhe Latin. Arn1enian and ()ld Slavonic versions have no particular irrlportance. On the other hand, the panegyrics of St Basil, St C;regory of Nyssa, St Ephraem, St John Chrysostom and St Gaud~ntius of Brescia bear valuable witness to the veneration in which the Inartyrs were held already at the close of the fourth century. See on these homilies Delehaye, Les Passions des ~lartyrs . . . , pp. 184-235. l'here are certain inconsistencies between the details furnished by the l)(1ssio and those of the panegyrics, notably as to the question whether the n1artyrs \vere exposed to their ordeal in the Iruddle of the town or upon a frozen lake outside it. ()n this see Pio Franchi de' Cavalieri in Studi e Testi, no. 22, fase. 3, pp. 64-70, and l)elehaye in American Catholic Quartf'rl)' Rrl'ie'lv, 1899, pp. 161 - I 7 1. Cf. also Bonwetsch, ..~'ludien :::;ur Geschi('hte d. Theoloxie, vol. i, pt I, pp. 71--95; and BIIC;., nn. 1201-1208.

SSe CODRATlJS

AND HIS COMPANIONS, 1\lARTYRS

(A.D. 258 ?)

'fHE parents of St Codratus 'A'ere C;reek Christians belonging to the city of Corinth. 1'hey hath died early and, according to one tradition, he \vas actually born in the \vilderness \\'hither his mother had retired to escape persecution under Decius and \vhere she died. It \\'as commonly reported that he grew up in the desert and was divinely nourished with food fron1 the skies-the clothes with which his mother had covered hirn adapting themselves miraculously to his growth. In any case, he ernerged from his retirernent to study nledicine and surrounded hilnself with a band of disciples, Inost of whom seern to have led ascetical lives. tinder the Ernperors I)ecius and Valerian, Jason was the prefect of Greece entrusted with the enforcement of the cruel laws against the Christians. 8t ('odratus \vas one of those sumrnoned to appear before hinl, and the judge strove at first to persuade him to offer sacrifice to the gods and so escape punishment. 1'he holy man, \\rho was attended by five of his faithful disciples, protested that eternal sal vat ion \vas dearer to them than life, and instead of defending hirnself, he is said to have given a sumnlary of God's dealings with men from the creation of the \vorld to the death and resurrection of our l.lord. Jason scornfully rejected the doctrine that God had become man and had suffered for us, and finding that argu足 rnent and persuasion had no effect upon the martyr, he ordered hinl to be scourged. 'rhen the prefect addressed hilTIself to Cyprian, a mere boy, thinking that he \\'ould be more readily won, but Codratus exhorted his companions to be steadfast. 'fhey were all of thenl subjected to tortures and then cast to the \vild beasts, which, however, refused to touch them. Finally they \vere led out of the city to the place of execution, where they were beheaded. 1'he names of the other four were Dionysius, Anectus, Paul and Crescens.

1'\0 confidence can be placed in the C;reek acts and the synaxaries in which this history is recounted. See the ",4cta Sanclorum, March, vol. ii.

ST

~IACARIUS, BISHOP OF JERUSALEM

(c.

A.D.

335)

PRESERVED in the pages of the historian Eusebius is the letter which Constantine wrote to l\1acarius, Bishop of Jerusalem, entrusting him with the construction of a church on the spot \vhere the Empress Helen had discovered the site of Christ's

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ST SlMPLICILTS

[A1arch

10

sepulchre, and giving hinl practically a free hand in its design and in the choice of workmen and nlaterials. lie lived to complete the basilica he had undertaken. We kno\v from the testimony of 8t Athanasius that Macarius was a sincere and upright man, filled with the true apostolic spirit. He succeeded Bishop I-Iermon in 314 at the time when the Arian heresy was beginning seriously to filenace the Church, and we know from the testimony of St Athanasius that he proved hin1self a valiant champion of the true faith. At the Council of Nicaea his narne appears first of the Palestinian bishops in the 1ist of the signatories. .l\ccording to the popular legend, l\1acarius was not only present at the finding of C:hrist's cross, but was also actually the means of identifying it. \iVhen the necessary excavations had been made three crosses were discovered, and it was at first doubtful which of the three was that on which our l.Jord had suffered. If we may trust the account which Rufinus gives in his Ecclesiastical History: "It happened that in the city there was a woman lying ill, nigh unto death. l\lacarius was bishop of that church at the time. \Vhen he saw the queen and the rest standing by, he said, ' Bring hither all the crosses that have been found, and God will show us which it was that bore the l.Jord '. Then having entered with the queen and the others into the house of the \vornan who was ill, he knelt down and prayed thus: , 0 God, who through thine only-begotten Son hast inspired the heart of thine handmaid to seek the holy wood upon which our salvation depends, shc)\v plainly which cross was identified \vith the glory of the l.Jord and which served for the punishment of slaves. Grant that as soon as the health-giving wood touches this woman who is lying half-dead, she filay be recalled to life from the gates of death.' \Vhen he had spoken these words, he touched her with one of the crosses-and nothing happened. Then he applied the second--equally \vithout effect. As soon, however, as he touched her with the third cross, she started up open -eyed and) with her strength fully restored, began to glorify God and to run about the house with greater agility than before her illness. 1~he queen; having obtained her desire through such a clear indication, erected with royal ponlp a marvellous ternple on the spot \\lhere she had found the cross." Constantine's great basilica was consecrated on September 13, 335, the year which is generally considered to have been that of the death of its supervisor and builder l\1acarius. It must be confessed that there is SOlne discrepancy between the accounts given by St Arnbrose and the church historians concernlng the rniracle by 'which the cross was identified, but this is dealt with more fully on l\lay 3. Sec the /lela Sanelarum, March, vol. ii; I)('B., vol. iii, p. 765 ; and F. J. Bacchus in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. ix, pp. 482-483.

ST SIMPLICIUS,

POPE

ST SIMPLICIUS, who succeeded St I-lilarus in 468, occupied the papal throne at a most difficult and troublous period. Already all the provinces of the \:Vest outside Italy had fallen into the hands of the barbarians, who were rnostly pagans or £A..rians, and during his tenure of the chair of St Peter R(nne itself was permanently occupied by Odoacer, the ruler of the Heruli, and the empire of the \Vest ceased to exist. The people, ground down under the taxes of the Rornan governors and ilnpover­ ished by devastating raids, offered but little resistance to the conquerors who exacted no imposts from them. 8t Silnplicius was greatly concerned to alleviate their miseries and to sow the seeds of the faith arnong the barbarian invaders. In the East he was engaged in a protracted .itruggle with monophysite influences. lIe

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THE LIVES OF THE

10]

SAINTS

vindicated the binding force of the Council of Chalcedon against those who sought to set it aside, and laboured zealously to maintain the faith which he saw betrayed on every hand. Simplicius died in 483 and was buried in St Peter's. I t would be possible to compile a long biography of St Simplicius, for his activities made themselves felt in secular as well as ecclesiastical history, but regarding his virtues as a servant of God we know little beyond generalities; neither is there any great evidence of cultus. See the Liber Pontlficalis (Duchesne), vol. i, pp. 249-251 ; Hefele-Leclercq, Conciles, vol. ii, pp. 912-930; and the excellent notice by J. P. Kirsch in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

ST KESSOG, BISHOP AND MARTYR

(SIXTH CENTURY)

ST KESSOG (Mackessog) is believed to have come of the royal race of Munster, his father being king at Cashel. The story is told that on one occasion, when several of the neighbouring princes and their sons were being entertained, Kessog, with two of the visitors, boys like himself, fell into a lake and only Kessog escaped with his life. For some reason he was blamed by the victims' parents, who threatened to burn Cashel and devastate the province. Kessog had recourse to prayer and the life of the two boys was restored. The saint passed over to Scotland, where, after having been attached to the Culdees, he was elected itinerant bishop and laboured in the provinces of Leven and Boyne; he made his headquarters on Monks' Island in Loch Lomond, and from there he evangelized the whole of the surrounding country. There is considerable uncertainty about his fate. According to one tradition he suffered death for the truth at Bandry: according to another he was martyred in foreign parts and his body, embalmed with sweet herbs, was brought back to Scotland and buried at Luss. From these herbs, which germinated and were called in Gaelic fuss, the parish afterwards derived its name. The Scots used to invoke him as a battle-cry until they adopted St Andrew as the national patron, and they long held him in honour. They represented him in their art as an archer with a quiver at his back and a bent bow in his hands. In Lennox, of which he is the patron, St Kessog's bell was venerated in the seventeenth century, and the church of Auchterarder is dedicated in his honour. At Inverness there is a Kessog Ferry, and in Cumbrae a Kessog's Fair is held on the third Wednesday in March, whilst the fair of Fel-ma-Chessaig is held on March 21, which, according to the old style, would be March 10. Malcolm, Earl of Lennox, gave a charter to John of Luss " for the reverence and honour of our patron, the most holy man, the blessed Kessog ", and at Buchanan is, or was, another charter wherein Robert Bruce granted a sanctuary-girth of three miles" to God and St Kessog " at Luss. See KSS., pp. 373-374, and the Aberdeen Breviary. him in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii.

ST ANASTASIA PATRICIA, VIRGIN

There is also a short notice of

(No DATE)

THE history of this Anastasia rests on very slender authority. She is stated to have been the daughter of a patrician of Egyptian race and to have been a lady-in-waiting in the court of Constantinople. Her beauty won the heart of the Emperor Justinian and the jealousy of the Empress Theodora. She was as good as she was fair, and when she found herself the object of the emperor's attentions she escaped by night and made her way to Alexandria, where she entered a convent. The emperor did not forget her, and after the death of Theodora he caused a search to be made,

546


ST ATTALAS

[.1[(/rdl

10

intending to raise her to the throne as his \\'ife. Ne\\'s of this reached Anastasia and she fled into the desert, where she \vandered about until she came to the community ruled over hy Abbot Daniel, \vhom she told her history and her plight. Without delay he gave her the habit of a monk and the necessary instructions for becoming a hermit. Then he enclosed her in a cave at a considerable distance from his o\vn cell and left her-charging her on no account ever to emerge or to allow anyone to enter her hermitage. After that, she sa\\' no more of him. His disciples used to bring water and food which they placed before her door, but they never knew her sex. Thus did" Anastasius the Eunuch" live for twenty-eight years, and in all that time she never beheld the face of man, but gave herself up to prayer and nlortifica足 tion. Only when she felt the hand of death upon her did she send a message to the aged abbot, requesting him to come to her. Full of foreboding, Daniel hastened to the cell, accompanied by one of his disciples, and there he found her at the point of death. After a few parting words, he gave her communion and stood by while her soul left her body. Then the abbot and his disciple buried her in her habit according to the wish she had expressed just before her death. It is supposed that her relics were afterwards removed to Constantinople. ~rhe story in all probability is pure romance. The theme is one very familiar to the C;reek hagiographers; see, for example, the legend of St Apollinaris Syncletica (January 5) and that of St Pelagia (October 8), and ef. De1eha) e, Les Legendes Hagz"ot.;raphiques (1927), pp. 188-189. 'The talf' of Anastasia Patricia may be found in certain copies of the synaxaries, and it is printed by Delehaye, Synax. Constant., cc. 524-528, as well as in the Ae/a Sane/orum, March, vol. ii.

ST DROCTOVEUS, OR DROTTE, ABBOT

(c.

A.D.

580)

AUXERRE was the birthplace of St Droctoveus. He was educated under 8t Germanus in the abbey of Saint-Symphorien at Autun, and afterwards became a monk in that community. The rule followed was a very strict one, and we are told that Droctoveus was foremost amongst his brethren for his spirit of morti足 fication and prayer. When Germanus was appointed bishop of Paris, he still wished to lead the religious life, and a monastery was accordingly attached to the church which King Childebert built, dedicated in honour of the Holy Cross and 5t Vincent. Probably St Droctoveus was placed by 8t Germanus over the new abbey and he continued to govern it until his death. He is lauded by the chron足 iclers as the embodiment of all Christian and monastic virtues, and Venantius Fortunatus has left us some verses in his honour, but any detailed record of his life was destroyed by Northmen when they burnt the monastery. The monks of his house subsequently adopted the Benedictine rule, and when the body of St Ger足 manus had been laid there both church and abbey took the name of Saint-Germain. The site is that of the present well-known church of Saint-Germain-des-Pres. See Mabillon, vol. i, pp. 239-24~ ; and the Acta Sanetorum, 1\1arch, vol. ii.

ST ATTALAS, ABBOT ST ATTALAS, a Burgundian, spent his youth with Aregius, Bishop of Gap, to whom his parents had confided him. There he received excellent instruction in letters, but found that he was not making sufficient spiritual progress. He therefore made his way to the monastery of Lerins, where he entered, but later resolved to seek a

547


March

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

10]

stricter community. At the celebrated monastery of Luxeuil, ,,,,hich St Columban had founded on the site of the old Rornan town of Luxovium, he found all the austerity he desired, and of all the pious band .Attalas was perhaps the one most after Columban's heart: he recognized in him a kindred spirit and took special pains to lead him on to perfection. When the holy abbot and his Irish companions were exiled frorn France by Theodoric, King of Austrasia, whom he had boldly rebuked for his vices, Columban took Attalas with him on his travels, which ended in Lombardy, when Agilulf, King of the Lombards, gave him land for the founda­ tion of a monastery at Bobbio, a lonely spot in the . ,. ,"pennines. St Columban was seventy years of age at the time, and as he only lived one year after the foundation of Bobbio much of the credit for the establishment and prestige of the great monas­ tery is certainly due to Attalas, who succeeded him as abbot in 615. The new superior had many difficulties with which to contend, the chief of which was disloyalty amongst his brethren. Once the authority of St Columban was removed, they murmured against the severity of the rule and broke out into rebellion. Like 8t Columban, Attalas contended strenuously against Arianism, which was rife in the districts about Milan. He was endowed with the power of healing, and Jonas the Scot, who wrote his life, was eye-witness of some of the cureS which he effected. Fifty days before his death, St Attalas was divinely warned to get ready for a long journey. Doubtful whether this meant an expedition to foreign parts or the passage to eternity, the abbot put everything in order in the monastery and prepared himself for a voyage. Falling ill ,vith fever he realized that the warning referred to death, and when the disease increased, he asked to be laid outside the door of his cell, beside which stood a cross which he always toucheq on leaving or returning to it. As he wished to be alone for a while, all withdrew except St Blimond (afterwarqs abbot of Saint-Valery), who remained near at hand in case St Attalas might require assistance. The dying man'besought mercy of God with many tears, and then he saw Heaven unveiled, and contemplated it for several hours. Afterwards he recalled his monks and bade them carry him back to his cell. The follo""ing day he rendered up his soul to his Creator, and was buried at Bobbio beside his master Columban. The body of St Bertulf was afterwards placed in the same tomb and the three holy men were venerated together. See Mabillon, vol. ii, pp. I 15-1 18. The short contemporary biography of St Attalas by his disciple Jonas is also printed by the Bollandists (March, vol. ii) and by Migne, PL., vol. lxxxvii, cc. 1°55-1062. But the best edition is by B. Krusch in MGH., Script. merov., vol. iv, PP. 113-119.

ST HIMELIN

(c.

A.D.

750)

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

548


[l\.1arch

BD .ANDREW OF STRUMI

10

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 \vell 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 pilgrirn 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. I-lis shrine is still a resort for pilgrims, especially on his feast-day, March 10. See the Acta Sane/orum, March, vol. ii.

BD ANDREW OF STR"UMI, ABBOT ABOUT the middle of the eleventh century the city of Milan was torn between the rival factions of Archbishop Guido and the" Pataria ", a nickname which has never been quite satisfactorily explained: they were the reform party who, under the leadership of the deacon Arialdo and a knight called Herlembald, strove against simony and concubinage amongst the clergy. Of all Arialdo's disciples perhaps the most prominent was Andrew, then known as "the Ligurian", a native of Parma, who became his closest friend and associate. The archbishop excommunicated Arialdo, who was, however, exculpated at Rome, Guido himself coming under ecclesiastical censure for simony. He con足 tinued, nevertheless, to harass the Pataria, and having seized Arialdo he is said to have \vreaked his vengeance upon the unfortunate deacon, whose eyes were blinded and body mutilated in the nl0st barbarous manner. At the risk of his life, Andrew penetrated several times into the enemy's territories, first to learn the fate of his master and then to try to recover his body. Shepherds led him to a lonely spot where they had seen the body deposited, but it was no longer there, having been disinterred and cast into the water. It was washed up again-miraculously as it seemed-at the very spot from which it had been cast, and Andrew was enabled with the assistance of Herlembald to remove it, still incorrupt after ten months. After seeing Arialdo's body duly honoured at Milan, where he is venerated as a martyr, Andrew retired into the Vallombrosan Order, to which he appears to have been admitted by Abbot Rudolf, \vho was also in close sympathy with the Pataria. Rudolf's successor promoted Andrew to be abbot of San Fedele at Strumi on the Arno, and he was then able to devote part of his time to literary work. From his close association with Arialdo, he was eminently competent to amplify and sup足 plement the Life of Arialdo, which had been begun by Abbot Rudolf. He also wrote the Life of St John Gualbert. Busily occupied as he was, Bd Andrew still retained the public spirit which had made him a leader of the Pataria. Italy was in a very disturbed condition owing to the struggle between the Emperor Henry I\T and Pope Urban II, and Florence and Arezzo were paralysed by mutual antagonisrn. The abbot of Strumi came forward as a peacemaker between them; and so well did he manage the situation that he earned the confidence of both parties, and the peac~ which he negotiated continued unimpaired during the rest of his life. The prestige he obtained had a totally unforeseen result: a number of churches, priories and hospitals in the dioceses of Florence and Arezzo and throughout the Casentino

549


A/arch

TIlE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

10]

placed themselves under his supervision and became affiliated to the Vallombrosan Order. Ed Andrew died in 1097. IVlost of his 'Vvritings appear to have perished about the year 1530 when, at the time of the siege of Florence, the mother-house of the Vallombrosans was almost entirely destroyed by firc, the library being burnt with nearly all its books and manuscripts, which included the records and documents of the beatified members of the community. See the Acta Sanctorum, l\1arch, yol. ii.

BD JOHN OF VALLOMBROSA

(c.

A.D.

1380)

JOHN OF \TALLOlVIBROSA \vas a Florentine \vho entered the monastery of the Holy Trinity in his native city. He \vas a clevcr man and spent hours of thc day and night poring over books. In the course of his studies he became interested in necrornancy and began to practise the black arts in secret. He had become thor­ oughly vicious and depraved \\Then reports of his proceedings reached the ears of the abbot of \!allombrosa, who summoned him before a commission of monks and formally accused him. At first John lied and denied that he had had any dealings with magic, but when incontrovertible evidence was brought against him he ackno\vledged his guilt. His punishment was a lengthy imprisonment in a pes­ tilential prison where he lost his health and was reduced to a skeleton. \Vhen at last he was liberated John could scarcely walk, but he was sincerely penitent. Although the abbot and the monks \\!ould fain have restored him to their fellowship he asked to be allowed to continue voluntarily the life he had been compelled to lead. "I have learnt", he said, " in this dark and long impriso~ment, that there is nothing better. nothing more holy, than solitude: in solitude I intend to go on learning divine things and to try to rise higher. Now that I am free from temporal fetters I am resolved, with the help of Christ, to waste no more time." \Vith the consent of the abbot he embraced the life of a hermit and soon became known as thc foremost amongst the solitaries of the countryside for his sanctity and great learning. His letters and treatises, some written in Latin and some in the vernacular, we'."e handed about from one to another and were prized for their subject-matter as well as for the elegance of their diction. He seemed as though divinely inspired to touch the hardest hearts and to expound the most abstruse points of Holy Scripture. The" hermit of the cells", as he came to be called, lived to extreme old age and enjoyed the friendship and esteem of St Catherine of Siena. Writing to Earduccio of Florence after her death, John says that whilst he was mourning over her loss she came to him in a vision, and gave him the consolation of witnessing her celestial glory. rrhere is a short life printed in the Acta Sanctorum under Andrew of Strumi, March, vol. ii, 3rd ed., pp. 49-50. Gj. Zambrini, Opere 'l'olgari a stampa dei sec. 13 e 14, pp. 23 8, 263-264, etc.

BD PETER GEREMIA THE life of this holy man was written by one of his brethren who knew him well and had lived with him in the same friary. Born in Palermo, Peter was the son of a jurist and fiscal agent to King Alfonso I and at the age of eighteen was sent to the

55°


BD PETER GEREMIA

[March

10

University of Bologna to study law with a view to succeeding to his father's office. There he made such progress that he was often called upon to take the chair of the professor when the latter was prevented from delivering his lectures. Peter was on the eve of taking his degree when he had a strange experience which he ever afterwards looked upon as a supernatural interposition. He was sitting one evening in his room, buried in study, when he was disturbed by loud and persistent rapping on his window-which was on the third storey. Startled, he inquired who the unseen visitor could be and what he wanted. "I am your cousin", replied a voice. " After I had taken my degree, I also was called to the bar where, as you know, I gained honour and distinction. Blind and miserable wretch that I was, I spent my whole time in defence of others, and I even, against my conscience, undertook unjust cases in order to obtain money and fame. I found no one to plead my own case before the judgement-seat of God, and I am now condemned to ever足 lasting torment. But before I am cast into Hell I am sent to warn you to flee from the courts of men if you wish to be acquitted before the judgement-seat of God." Peter lost no time in acting upon the warning. Then and there he took a vow of perpetual chastity, and the next morning he bought an iron chain which he wound three times round his body and riveted there. This was found embedded in his flesh fifty-one years later when his body was being prepared for burial. He theh obtained admission into the Dominican convent at Bologna. When news of this reached the ears of his father he was greatly incensed and travelled to Bologna, intending to remove the novice by force and compel him to complete his legal studies. Peter refused to see his parent, but sent a message saying that he was well and needed nothing that his relations could give him except their prayers. Whilst the father raged and threatened, the young man was asking as a special grace that he might neither be unfaithful to his vocatio}1 nor forfeit the love of his parents, to whom he w.as greatly attached. When an interview was at last arranged, the father was completely softened and gave Peter his blessing. After he was raised to the priesthood he became a celebrated preacher and brought many to repentance and newness of life. St Vincent Ferrer when he visited Bologna sought him out to congratulate him on the work he was doing and to urge him to continue labours which God had so wonderfully blessed. Summoned as a theologian to the Council of Florence, Bd Peter found his learning and elo足 quence greatly extolled by Pope Eugenius IV, who wished to raise him to high ecclesiastical honours. He declined all preferment, but was obliged to accept the post of apostolic visitor in Sicily, though he stipulated that his powers should be limited to the restoration of regular observance in religious houses where irregu足 larities had crept in during the Great Schism. In this delicate task he was entirely successful, and his preaching to the people was no less popular than in Italy. He died at Palermo in 1452, and his cultus was confirn1ed in 1784. A picturesque story is told of Bd Peter when he was prior of Palermo. One day the procurator told him that there was no food in the house. It was a Friday, and the prior, knowing that a fisherman in the neighbourhood had had a good haul of tunny, took boat and went to beg a few of the fish for his brethren. The man refused roughly. Peter said nothing and started back in his boat, when lo! all the fish broke through the nets and were escaping out to sea. The fisher足 man, aghast, follo\ved in pursuit of Peter and besought pardon. He made the sign of the cross over the sea, and thereupon the fish again became entangled

55 1


Mareli

TI-IE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

10]

in the nets, and the man eagerly besto\ved on the prior as much fish as he needed. See the Aeta Sanetorum, l\larch, vol. i; Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiographieus a.p., p. 38; Mortier, Maltres Generaux a.p., vol. iv, pp. 152-212; and M. A. Coniglione, Pietro Geremia (1952).

BD JOHN OGILVIE,

MARTYR

THE father of John Ogilvie was baron of Drum-na-Keith, lord of large territories in Banffshire and head of the younger branch of Ogilvies, whilst his mother, through whom he was connected with the Stewarts and the Douglases, was the daughter of Lady Douglas of Lochleven, Queen Mary's gaoler. The family, like many Scottish families at that time, was partly Catholic and partly Presbyterian, but John's father, though not unfriendly to the old faith, brought his eldest son up as a Calvinist, and as such sent him at the age of thirteen to be educated on the continent. There the lad became interested in the religious controversies which then and until a much later date were popular in France and in lands under French influence. The best Catholic and Calvinistic protagonists took part in these disputations, which profoundly influenced the intellectual 路world. Ere long the boy felt himself called to reconsider his position, and according to a speech ascribed to him in a Scottish version of his trial, he went to consult Italian, French and German scholars, who contrasted the unbroken faith of the Church with the novelty of the reformed doctrines and laid stress upon the unity which is character颅 istic of the Catholic organization alone. Confused, John withdrew himself from controversy and fastened upon two texts of I-Ioly Scripture: "God wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth ", and " Come to me, all who suffer and are laden, and I will refresh you". He began to see that the Catholic Church could embrace all kinds of people and that in her could be found men and won1en of every class who could and did despise the world. These reflections and the testimony of the martyrs decided him, and it was in order to belong to the Church of these martyrs that he decided to become a Catholic and was received into the Church at the Scots College in Louvain in 1596, at the age of seventeen. His next three years were spent in various continental educational centres. IJack of funds caused Father Crichton, the head of the Scots College, to dismiss many of his pupils, including John Ogilvie, who betook himself to the Scottish Benedictines at Ratisbon, with whom he remained six months, studying the arts and perhaps acquiring something of the Benedictine outlook, which is independent of national traditions. He next passed on to the Jesuit College at Olmutz, which he entered as a lay student, and henceforth we find him intimately connected with the Jesuits. The Society, though not much more than fifty years old, was at the height of its fame, and had attracted some of the finest minds of the age. Within a year of joining the college, John asked to be admitted to the Society, but at that very moment an outbreak of plague compelled the authorities to close the college. Not to be deterred, the young man followed the superior to Vienna, obtained his consent, and after probation was admitted a novice at Brunn. For the next ten years he worked and trained in' Olmutz, Gratz and Vienna. To quote the words of the Rev. W. E. Brown in his Life of John Ogilvie: "During these ten years in the Austrian province of the Society of Jesus, Ogilvie was undergoing a rigorous discipline. Renaissance learning and scholastic rnethod were combined into an


RD JOHN OG ILVIE

[.l\1"arch

10

intellectual training, consistent and, as far as kno\vledge went, complete. His spiritual life was being formed by a discipline no less severe. And all this time he was learning pre-eminently that discipline of the \vill which was the hall-mark of the Jesuit, which guaranteed the readiness of his obedience and his detachment from all earthly ties." By the express command of Aquaviva, father general of the Society, John Ogilvie came to the French province, and it was in Paris that he received priest's orders in 1610. In France the young man \vas brought into contact with two Jesuits who had undertaken missionary work in Scotland, and had made expeditions thither still hoping, through the nobles, to win over King James. Both Crichton and Gordon had suffered arrest, and Gordon had spent three years in the To\ver of London. It seemed to them that conditions were more unpronlising than ever, and they were utterly dispirited. Therefore, when in 161 I the father general charged them to " consider the affairs of Scotland ", all they could do was to draw up a record of past failure and a declaration of the futility of any further efforts in that kingdom, in view of the tightening of the penal laws. It was at this time that Ogilvie formed the project of devoting his life to the work, and he wrote to the father general offering himself for the mission. In reply he received a stern reminder that it was for his superiors to recommend whom they would, and neither Crichton nor Gordon wished him to go. Undeterred, the young man returned to the charge, and after two and a half years of worrying and importunity received orders to proceed to Scotland. In consequence of the strict regulations against the entry of priests into Great Britain, he travelled under the naIne of John ",r atson, and figured henceforth sometimes as a horse-dealer and sometinles as a soldier returning from the European wars. The Jesuit lVloffat and a secular priest narned Campbell crossed with him, but they parted at Leith and Ogilvie went north. He soon found out that the Catholic nobles on whom he had relied were only anxious to be left alone. Most of them had conformed, at least outwardly, to the established religion, and none but a very few middle-class uninfluential families were prepared to receive a proscribed priest. We know little of his movements during the next six months. According to his own depositions, he spent six weeks in the north of Scotland and apparently wintered in Edinburgh, but he does not seem to have gained any converts or to have made Dluch headway. Realizing this, he reverted to the methods attempted by the earlier Jesuits and went to London, where he got into touch with King James, or one of his ministers, to whom he proposed some semi-political project the details of which are lost. On the strength of this, he made a journey to Paris to consult his superior, Father Gordon, who rebuked hirn sharply for leaving his mission and sent him back to Scotland. Upon his return to Edinburgh, John Ogilvie made his headquarters at the house of William Sinclair, a parliamentary advocate and a sincere Catholic. Here he met a Franciscan namesake, and the two ministered to the little congregations which met at the houses of Sinclair, John Philipps and H.obert Wilkie. Ogilvie soon increased his flock and became famous for his insistence on greater devotion among Catholics. He also appears to have acted as tutor to Sinclair's elder boy Robert, who afterwards became a Jesuit. Warming to his work, he now began to extend it in other directions, and set about visiting Catholics in prison-a risky proceeding in a place where all visitors were watched-and he even climbed to the castle and obtained leave to see old Sir James MacDonald, who recalled his ministrations in

553


March

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

10]

after years. During the summer months of 1614 he made some converts, and Sinclair afterwards maintained that the number was great, considering the shortness of the time. Towards the end of August he went to Glasgow, where he was harboured by a widow called Marion Walker, who ended her days in prison for the faith. She had made of her house a centre where wandering priests could celebrate Mass and hear confessions. In Glasgow he succeeded in entering into relations with Sir John Cleland and Lady Maxwell, who were both secret Catholics, and also in reconciling to the faith several members of the Renfrewshire gentry. At the same time he was building up a congregation among the bourgeoisie. Shortly after his return to Edinburgh, news came that five other persons in Glasgow wished to be reconciled and he hurried back to Glasgow. On May 4 he celebrated Mass, one of the five would-be converts, Adam Boyd by name, being present. After the service the man said he desired instruction, and requested the priest to come at four o'clock in the afternoon to the market-cross, where a messenger would meet him and con足 duct him to a safe place. Ogilvie agreed, and Boyd immediately went to Archbishop Spottiswoode, a former Presbyterian minister who was now one of the king's most capable lieutenants, and who from his residence in Glasgow kept watch upon Catholics and Presbyterians alike. It was agreed between them that one of the archbishop's most muscular servants, Andrew Hay, should meet Adam Boyd and Ogilvie in the market-place. At the same time Boyd denounced all those whom he suspected of having dealings with Ogilvie. The appointment was kept, and the Jesuit arrived in the square accompanied by James Stewart, the son of the former provost, who, recognizing Hay, tried to induce Ogilvie to return home. Stewart and Hay fell into a dispute which ended in a free fight in which outsiders took part, but finally Ogilvie was borne along to the provost's house. Thither came also Spottiswoode and his guards, and the prisoner was called upon to come forward, only to be received by a blow from the archbishop. " You are overbold, sir, to say your Masses in a reformed city! " the prelate exclaimed. " You act as a hangman, sir, and not as a bishop in striking me ", was the spirited if impolitic answer he received. Immediately he was assailed by the servants and citizens, dragged by the beard, torn by men's nails, and only saved by the personal intervention of Lord Fleming, who happened to be present. A search was made in which he was stripped naked, but all that could be found on him was a purse of gold, another of silver, a few medicaments, a breviary and a compendium of religious controversy. The following morning he was brought before the archbishop and the burghal court of Glasgow, and was asked, " Have you said Mass in the king's dominions? " Knowing that this came under the criminal law the prisoner replied, " If this is a crime, it should be proved, not by my word, but by witnesses ". Questioned as to why he had come to Scotland, he replied boldly, " I came to unteach heresy and to save souls". In response to the query, " Do you recognize King James? "he said, " King James is de facto king of Scotland "; and when interrogated in respect to the Gunpowder Plot, he answered, "I detest parricide and praise it not"足 " parricide" being the recognized term for the assassination of a sovereign. All questions which would incriminate himself or endanger the life of others he refused to answer, and the trial dragged on until he had been without food for twenty-six hours and was trembling with fever. Then at last the judge allowed him to warm himself by the fire, but even there he was insulted by one of the archbishop's retainers, who then proceeded to express hi~ desire to throw the prisoner into the

554


BD JOHN OG ILVIE

[March

10

fire. " Your action would never be more welcome than it is now, \vhen I am shivering with cold," replied the priest. At last he was sent back to his cell, where he was bound by the feet to an enormous iron bar which kept him lying on his back, for he \vas too weak to carry it about. Spottiswoode obtained permission to use the torture of the boot, but though it was fitted to his leg, the complete process does not appear to have been carried out upon him. His misery was increased by a report, spread by his captors, to the effect that he had betrayed the names of his friends. When it was found that neither the threat of " the boot" nor yet promises of the king's favour if he would give way could obtain from the prisoner the betrayal of the unknown Catholics of Scotland, it was determined to deprive him of ~leep and thus weaken his power of resistance. For eight days and nights he was kept from sleep by being prodded with sharp-pointed stakes, by being dragged from his couch, by shouts in his ears, by having his hair torn and by being flung upon the floor. Only because the doctors declared that another three hours would prove fatal was he allowed a day and a night's rest before being brought up for his second examination, which took place in Edinburgh before the lords commissioners appointed by the king's missives for his examination and trial. The charge against him \vas now completely changed. Ogilvie, the authorities declared, had been guilty of high treason in refusing to acknowledge the king's jurisdiction in spiritual matters; but actually the whole object of the privy council was, not to convict him of saying Mass, or even to condemn him for asserting the papal jurisdiction in Scotland, but to discover, through him, what Scotsmen would be prepared to welcome a return to the Catholic faith. While he lay in prison, the authorities had encouraged people to visit him and had spread rumours that he had betrayed his friends, for they hoped that these, when arrested, would betray themselves and others. All the tortures he underwent were directed to the same end, and only when foiled in all their efforts to obtain from him the desired information did they press the question of the power of the pope to depose a monarch. To this-which was a moot point among the theologians of the day-the prisoner consistently replied that he would answer that question to the pope alone. After the second trial, Ogilvie was taken back to Glasgow, where he seems to have been, at first, kindly treated. The report of his heroism in prison had gone through the length and breadth of Scotland, and even his keepers, including the archbishop, desired nothing so much as that he should recant and accept the royal supremacy. Soon, however, there came for the prisoner a questionnaire drawn up by no less a person that King James himself. To these five questions, which dealt entirely with the relations between church and state, he could only return answers which practically sealed his fate. His treatment in prison grew more rigorous. Nevertheless he still continued to write, in Latin, an account of his arrest and sub足 sequent treatment and managed to transmit the pages through the crack between the door and the floor to persons who were passing outside--ostensibly on their way to visit other prisoners. Though the gallows had been erected in readiness, there was still the show of a trial to be gone through. For the last time Father Ogilvie appeared before his judges. He was told that he was being tried, not for saying lVlass, but for the answers he had given to the king's questions. In the face of the archbishop's offers of his patronage if he \vould retract his replies to the questionnaire he boldly declared, " In all that concerns the king, I will be slavishly obedient; if any attack

555


March'

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

II]

his temporal power, I will shed my last drop of blood for him. But in the things of spiritual jurisdiction which a king unjustly seizes I cannot and must not obey." He was accordingly condemned for high treason and sentenced to a traitor's death. His friend John Browne, who attended him to the end and heard his last words, asserted that even on the scaffold he was offered his freedom and a fat living if he would abjure his religion-a sure proof, if further proof were needed, that his offence \vas his faith and not his politics. As the ladder was removed and his body swung in the air, the cro\vd groaned and anathematized the cruelty and injustice of those who had done the martyr to death. The cause of John Ogilvie was not includeq in that of the English martyrs, but he was beatified separately, December 22, 1929; his feast is kept in Scotland and by the Society of Jesus. See W. E. Brown, John Ogilvie (1925), which includes a translation of documents from the process of beatification; James Forbes, Jean Ogilvie, Ecossais, Jesuite,. G. Antonelli, II b. Giovann'i Ogilvie (1929), with some attractive illustrations.

11 : ST

CONSTANTINE,

MARTYR

(SIXTH CENTURY)

CORDING to the lessons in the Aberdeen Breviary the early career of King Constantine of Cornwall gave no promise of the holiness to which he afterwards attained; but after the death of his wife, daughter of the king of Brittany, he was so grief-stricken that he resolved to mend his ways and gave up his kingdom to his son. Concealing his rank and identity, he found his way to Ireland, where he entered the monastery of 8t Mochuda at Rahan. There he served for seven years, performing the most menial offices and carrying sacks of corn to and from the mill. According to the legend, he was finally identified by a monk who happened to be in the granary one day and overheard him laughing over his work and saying to himself: "Is this indeed King Constantine of Cornwall who formerly wore a helmet and breastplate and who now drudges at a handmill ? " He learnt letters, was raised to the priesthood, and was sent to Scotland, where he was associated first with St Columba and then with St Kentigern. He is said to have preached the faith in Galloway and then to have become abbot of a Inonastery at Govan. As an old Inan Constantine went on a mission into Kintyre, but was attacked by pirates, who cut off his right arm. Calling his followers he gave them his blessing, and slowly bled to death. Scotland regarded him as her first martyr, and his feast is still observed in the diocese of Argyll and the Isles. Cornwall, Wales and Ireland also had traditions of a Cornish king named Constantine who became a monk, but no confidence can be placed in their often contradictory details; nor is there any good reason to suppose that Constantine of Cornwall was identical with Gildas's " tyrannical Whelp of the unclean Lioness of Domnonia ".

X

The principal source is the Aberdeen Breviary and Martyrology. The Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii) seem to have adopted in the main the conclusions of Colgan in his Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae. See KSS., pp. 3 I 1-3 14, and especially Canon Doble's excellent summary, St Constantine (1930), no. 26 in his Cornish Saints series. rrhe annals of Tigernach (so-called) enter under the date 588 " Conversio Constantini ad Dominum " ; the Annals of Ulster. however, record it in 587, and the Annales Cambriae give it under 589.

55 6


ST SOPHRONIUS

[March

I I

ST SOPHRONIUS, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM ST SOPHRONIUS was born in Damascus. Although threatened at one time with blindness through over-study, he eventually became so great an adept in Greek philosophy that he was surnamed" the Sophist". Falling under the influence of the celebrated hermit John Moschus, he joined forces with him, and they travelled widely in Syria, in Asia Minor and in Egypt, where he appears to have taken a monk's habit about the year 580. The two friends lived together for some years in the laura of St Sabas and at the Inonsatery of St rrheodosius near Jerusalem. Ever eager to advance in the practice of asceticism they visited the monasteries and many famous solitaries in Egypt and then went on to Alexandria, where St John the Alm_sgiver, the patriarch, detained them for two years to assist him in reforming his diocese and opposing heresy. It was in that city that John Moschus wrote his Spiritual Meadow, which he dedicated to Sophronius. About 620 Moschus died in Rome, where they had gone on pilgrimage, and Sophronius eventually returned to Palestine, where his piety, learning and orthodoxy led to his being elected patriarch of Jerusalenl. No sooner was he established in his see than he assembled all the bishops of his patriarchate to condemn monothelite teaching, and composed a synodal letter to explain and state the Catholic doctrine on the subject contested. This letter, which ,vas afterwards confirmed in the sixth general council, was sent by St Sophronius to Pope Honorius and to Sergius, Patriarch of Constantinople, who had persuaded Honorius to write evasively on this question as to one or two wills in Christ. It seems evident that Honorius never professed to pronounce upon the matter in dispute, but his silence was ill-tilned, as it gave the appearance of con足 niving at heresy. Sophronius, seeing that the emperor and many Eastern prelates were fighting against the truth, felt that it was his duty to defend it \vith greater zeal than ever. He took his suffragan Stephen, Bishop of Dor, to Mount Calvary, and there adjured him by Christ who was crucified on that spot, and by the account he would have to render at the last day, "to go to the Apostolic See, where are the foundations of holy doctrine, and not to cease to pray till those in authority there should examine and condemn the novelty". Stephen obeyed and remained in Rome for ten years, until he saw the heresy condemned by Pope 8t Martin I at the Council of the Lateran in 649. Sophronius soon had other troubles to contend with. The Saracens had in足 vaded Syria and Palestine, taking Damascus in 636 and Jerusalem in 638. During that time he had done all he could to help and strengthen his flock, sometimes at the peril of his life. He preached to them a most pathetic Christmas s~rmon when the Mohammedans were beleaguering the city and the faithful could not go out to keep the festival at Bethlehem according to custom. After the to\\'n fell, St Sophronius fled, and is thought to have died of grief soon afterwards, perhaps in Alexandria. Besides the synodal letter, St Sophronius wrote biographies and homilies, as well as hymns and anacreontic odes of considerable merit. The Life of John the Almsgiver, which he compiled in collaboration with John Moschus, has not come do\vn to us, and another large work, in which he cited 600 passages from the fathers in support of the doctrine of Christ's twofold will, has likewise perished. 'fhe identity of Sophronius " the Sophist" with Sophronius the patriarch of Jerusalem has been called in question: set S. Vai1he in the Re'i.'ue de l'orient chretien, '/ols. vii and viii

557


J\;fare!l

TI-IE LIVES OF

1 I]

TI~IE

SAIN1~S

(19°2- 19°3). We have no direct evidence that the patriarch was associated with John Moschus. It has, however, been generally assumed that « the Sophist" who travelled with Moschus is the man who ,vas aftenvards patriarch; so e.g. by the B'ollandists (Acta Sanetorum. March, vol. ii). Cf. Bardenhe\ver, Patrology (Eng. trans.), pp. 559-561 and 564-565 ; and DeB., vol. iv, pp. 719-72 I.

ST VINDICIAN, BISHOP OF CAMBRAI

(A.D. 712)

BULLECOURT near Bapaume was the birthplace of 5t Vindician who, upon the death of 5t Aubert about 669, was elected to succeed him as bishop of Carnbrai. We are told that he visited all the parishes in his diocese and converted many sinners. He translated the body of 5t l\1axellendis, who had been murdered by Harduin, a nobleman whom she had refused to marry. A great sensation was caused on that occasion by the sudden cure of blindness and conversion of the murderer. At Caudry, \vhere the relics were deposited, Vindician settled an establishment of pious women to serve God and to watch over them. Monasteries sprang up plentifully under his fostering care, and we find him soon afterwards consecrating the chapels of two n10re new convents and assisting, when invited by 5t Amand, at the consecration of the church of the monastery of Elnone. Upon his return to his own diocese, 5t Vindician found that it had become the scene of a terrible tragedy. 5t Leger (Leodegar), Bishop of Autun, had incurred the displeasure of the savage Ebroin, mayor of the palace, who had blinded him, mutilated his face and had him beheaded In the forest of Sarcy in Artois. The horror-stricken bishops held a consultation as to what should be done. Tradition says that they decided to send Vindician as their spokesman to King Thierry to make a solemn protest. It was an embassy fraught with danger, but he accepted it and succeeded in gaining access to the king. Vindician came straight to the point. I t was the duty of a bishop, he said, to reprove those who have fallen from grace lest they perish in their sin and the bishop with them. He went on to call upon the king to listen to a solemn expostulation in regard of the murder of 8t Leger which had been perpetrated with his connivance. It was a crime so great that the assernbled bishops hardly knew what atonement could be made for such an outrage. The king Inust humbly seek reconciliation with God, acknowledging his fault and saying with the patriarch Job, " I have not concealed my fault, but have confessed it in the presence of all the people". King Thierry declared that he recognized his offence and would try to make amends. The monastery of Arras-since called 5aint-Vaast -became the special recipient of his bounty as being near the place where 5t Leger had died. That monastery, which had been begun by 5t Aubert on the spot where St \~aast used to retire for prayer and contemplation, had become for St \~indician the object of his particular solicitude. Carrying out the intentions of his predecessor, he was anxious to establish at Arras a community of men eager for the sanctification of souls. With that end in view he spared neither pains nor expense, and has consequently always been considered the primary benefactor of the abbey. He attempted to obtain for Arras the body of 5t Leger, but after some contention it was given to Poitiers. \Ve find the holy bishop concerned in one more consecra­ tion, when he dedicated the church of the abbey of Hamage. No special events mark the rest of his life. He continued to rule over his diocese, and in his old age would often retire to Mont-5aint-Eloi or to 5aint-Vaast to renew his fervour. He had reached his eightieth year when he was seized with the fever which proved

55 8


ST OENGUS

[March

II

fatal. He was on a visit to Brussels, but his body at his own request was buried on Mont-Saint-Eloi. There is no early biography of St Vindician, and it is to be feared that some of the details incorporated in the account of him furnished by the Bollandists (Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii) and by the Abbe Destombes (Vies des Saints des dioceses de Cambrai et Arras, vol. i, pp. 320-335) are based upon a forgery. See the article of A. Poncelet, Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxvii, pp. 384-39°. But there can be no question as to the important part played by this saint in the ecclesiastical history of the Low Countries in the seventh century: Van der Essen, Saints Merovin£?iens, pp. 276-277.

ST BENEDICT,

ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN

VERY little is known about St Benedict Crispus. After he became archbishop of Milan he had a great lawsuit at Rome, being what Ughelli describes as " a very earnest defender" of his episcopal rights: but he lost his case. He has an interest for English people as he composed the epitaph for the tomb in St Peter's of the young Anglo-Saxon prince Caedwalla (April 20). Benedict is named in the Roman Martyrology. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii.

ST OENGUS,

ABBOT-BISHOP

(c.

A.D.

824)

ST OENGUS (or Aengus) sometimes called " the Hagiographer", is better known as "the Culdee" or " God's Vassal "-a Celtic title which came to be applied to those who practised a particularly rigid observance, especially in the order of divine service, but which was attached specially to him as to one who made an important contribution to the devotional literature of the Church and who lived according to the strictest rule of religion. He came of royal race in Ulster, and was born about the middle of the eighth century. In early youth he entered the famous monastery of Clonenagh in Leix, which, under its saintly abbot Maelaithgen, then enjoyed a great reputation for learning, for sanctity and for its numbers. Here he made rapid advance until he had reached a point at which it could be said of him that no one in his time could be found in Ireland to equal him in virtue and in sacred knowledge. To shun the world more entirely he retired to a cell at Dysartenos some seven miles from the monastery, where he hoped to continue unnoticed the austerities he practised. Besides making three hundred genu flexions, it was his custom to recite the whole Psalter daily, dividing it into three parts, one of which he recited in his cell, another under a spreading tree, and the third whilst he stood tied by the neck to a stake, with his body partially immersed in a tub of cold water. His fame soon attracted too many visitors, and he departed secretly from his hermitage. At the church of Coolbanagher, Oengus had a vision of angels who seemed to surround a particular tomb, singing hymns of celestial sweetness. Inquiry from the local priest elicited the fact that the tomb was that of a poor old man who formerly lived at the place. "What good did he do ? " asked Oengus. "I saw no particular good done by him", replied the priest, "but that his customary practice was to recount and invoke the saints of the world, as far as he could remember them, both at his going to bed and his getting up, in accordance with the custom of the old devotees."-" Indeed", said Oengus, "he who would make a poetical composition in praise of the saints should doubtless have a high

559


.Ivlarch

TI-IE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

II]

re\vard, ,vhen so much has been vouchsafed to the efforts of this holy dcyotee." Froln this moment his metrical hymn in honour of the saints began to shape itself in Oengus's mind, although he did not immedjately put it into \vords, fearing that he was unworthy and that his verses might not be dignified enough for so lofty a subject. Continuing his journey, he finally reached the great monastery of Tallaght near Dublin, and asked to be received as a serving-man-concealing his nalnc and scholarship. He. was accepted by the abbot, 5t Maelruain, and for seven years he was given the meanest and most laborious offices, but he was well satisfied because he found plenty of time to raise his heart and thoughts to I-Ieaven. I-li5 identity, however, was discovered in a singular \vay. One day as he was ,vorking in the monastery barn a scholar, who did not kno,v his lesson and was therefore playing truant, took shelter in the granary and asked to be allowed to stay. Oengus took the little fellow in his arms and lulled him to sleep. When he- a-woke he had learnt his lesson perfectly. That, at least, was what he told the abbot, who cross足 questioned him after hearing hIm repeat his lesson with unprecedented fluency and intelligence. \V'"hether Maelruain thought that a miracle had been performed, or whether he realized that the humble serving-man '\vas a teacher of exceptional ability, he ran out to the barn and enlbraced 5t Oengus with tender affection, divining or eliciting that he was the missing Oengus of Dysartenos. Blamed for the misplaced humility which had deprived the community of the benefit of his learning and experience, he fell on his knees and begged the abbot's pardon. :From that moment the two saints became the closest of friends, and St Oengus, freed from menial work, set about composing the metrical hYITln kno\vn in the Irish language as the Fe/ire and in I.Jatin as the Festilogium, although it does not appear to have been circulated until after the death of St Maelruain in 787, for the name of that abbot is included and he is called the" Bright Sun of Ireland". As he meant to imitate the practice of the old man who was buried at Coolbanagher, Oengus could hardly be expected, consistently with the recital of the ,vhole Psalter and his other devotions, to do rnore than invoke the principal saints in this llletrical hymn, the repetition of which he is said to have added to his daily exercises. He remained on for some years at Tallaght, but after the death of St Maelruain he turned his steps back to Clonenagh, where he had spent his youth. Here he appear~' to have been made abbot in succession to Maelaithgen, and to have been raised to episcopal dignity in accordance with the practice prevalent in Ireland at the time of making the superiors of religious houses bishops without a definite see. As he felt his end approaching, he withdrew to Dysartbeagh and there finished his :Felire and perhaps composed some of his other works now lost, but \vhether he built a monastery in that place or whether he had a hermitage whilst continuing to guide a religious community elsewhere is uncertain. The exact date of his death is contested, but it is not thought that he lived to a great age. As he is said to have died on a :Friday we may choose between 819, 824, and 830, in each of \vhich years March I I, which is certainly his day, fell on a Friday. 1'he Life of St Oengus printed by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. ii) is taken from Colgan. T'here seems to be no early biography in either Latin or Irish) and the saint is not commemorated liturgically in any Irish diocese. Some useful illustrative material has been collected by Whitley Stokes in the edition of the Felire which he edited for the Henry Bradshaw Society. See also Abp ]. Healy, Ireland's Ancient Schools and

560


ST EULOGIUS OF CORDOVA

[March

I I

Scholars, pp. 4°4--413; J. O'Hanlon in the Irish Ecclesiastical Record for 1869, as also in his LIS.; and L. Gougaud, Christianity in Celtic Lands (1932).

ST EULOGIUS OF CORDOVA,

lVIARTYR

ST EULOGIUS has been described as the principal glory of the Spanish church in the ninth century. The descendant of a stock which had o\vned land in Cordova since the Roman occupation, he was one of a family of four brothers and t\VO sisters. Cordova \vas then in the hands of the Moors, who had made it their capital) and Christianity, although to a certain extent tolerated, was hampered by vexatious restrictions: public worship was allowed on payment of a monthly tax, but Chris­ tians were forbidden under pain of death to make converts. At the same time many of them held high office under their conquerors, and the saint's youngest brother Joseph was an important official in the court of Abdur Rahman II. Eulogius received his early education from the priests of Saint Zollus, and when he had learnt all they could teach him he placed himself under the illustrious writer and abbot Sperandeo. Here he had as fellow pupil Paul Alvarez, and they con­ tracted a lifelong friendship, Alvarez afterwards becoming his biographer. Their studies completed, Eulogius was raised to the priesthood, whilst his friend married and took up a literary career. The two carried on a voluminous corresponden ce, but agreed to destroy their letters as being too effusive and lacking in polish. In his Life of St Eulogius, Alvarez gives a delightful description of his friend, whom he represents as pious, mortified, learned in all branches of knowledge, but especi­ ally in the Holy Scriptures, of an open countenance, so humble that he often deferred to the opinions of those whose judgement was greatly inferior to his own, and so kindly that he won the love of all who had dealings with hirn. \"isiting hospitals and monasteries was his recreation, and he was in such high esteem that he was asked by the monks to dra\v up new rules for them. 1'0 do this- he not only went to stay in Spanish houses, but also visited monasteries in Navarre and Pamplona, comparing their regulations and selecting what was best in each code. In 850 the Moors started a sudden persecution of Christians in Cordova, either because certain Christians were indiscreet in inveighing openly against Mohammed, or else because they had attempted the conversion of some of the lVloors. Matters were made worse for the faithful when an Andalusian bishop called Reccared, instead of defending the flock of Christ, opened the door of the fold to the fury of the \volves. \Vhy he should have turned against his own clergy is not clear: probably he was a " moderate" man and preferred peace and toleration to mission­ ary zeal and persecution. Whatever the reason, it was he who was responsible for the arrest of the priests of Cordova and of their bishop. They were shut up in prison and Eulogius, \vho was of their number, occupied himself in reading the Bible to the rest and in encouraging them to remain faithful to God. From his dungeon he wrote his Exhortation to Martyrdom, addressed to t\VO maidens, Flora and Mary. " They threaten to sell you as slaves and dishonour you", he said, " but be assured that they cannot injure the purity of your souls, whatever infamy they may inflict upon you. Cowardly Christians will tell you in order to shake your constancy that the churches are silent) deserted and deprived of the sacrifice on account of your obstinacy: that if you will but yield temporarily you will regain the free exercise of your religion. But be persuaded that, for you) the sacrifice most pleasing to God is contrition of heart, and that you can no longer draw back or 561


March

THE LIVES OF 'fHE SAINTS

II]

renounce the truth you have confessed." The girls were spared the threatened humiliation and were executed with the sword, declaring with their dying breath that as soon as they should find themselves in the presence of Jesus Christ they would ask for the release of their brethren. Six days after their death the prisoners were set free, and Eulogius immediately composed a metrical account of the passion of the martyrs in order to induce others to follow in their footsteps. His brother Joseph was deprived of his office at court and he himself was compelled to live from thenceforth with the traitor Reccared, but he continued to instruct and confirm the faithful both by his voice and by his pen. In 852 several others suffered martyrdom, and that same year the Council of Cordova forbade anyone to provoke arrest of set purpose. As the persecution waxed hotter under Abdur Rahman's son and successor the zeal of Eulogius only increased, and he kept numerous weak Christians from falling away, besides encouraging others to martyrdom. In the three volumes which he entitled The Memorial of the Saints he described the sufferings and death of all who perished in that persecution. He also wrote an Apologia, directed against those who denied to these victims the character of true martyrs on the grounds that they had wrought no miracles, that they had sought death instead of awaiting it, that they had perished at one blow without previous torture, and that they had been killed, not by idolaters, but by men who acknowledged the one true God. In defending these he was also defending himself, because he had approved and encouraged their action. After the death of the archbishop of Toledo, the clergy and people cast their eyes upon St Eulogius as the most prominent leader of the Church, but although he was canonically elected he did not live to be consecrated. For his activities he was a marked man and could not long escape the fate to which he had urged others. There ",as a young woman in Cordova called Leocritia who had been converted td Christianity by a relative and baptized, although her parents were Moslems. For a follower of Islam to become a Christian was punishable by death, and the girl's parents discovering her change of faith beat her and treated her cruelly in order to induce her to apostatize. She made her sufferings known to St Eulogius, who with the help of his sister Anulona assisted her to escape and concealed her amongst faithful friends. Her place of hiding, however, was discovered, and she and all those concerned in her escape were brought before the kadi. Eulogius, undaunted, offered to show the judge the true road to heaven, and declared that the prophet Mohammed was an impostor. The kadi threatened to have him scourged to death. The martyr replied that it would be to no purpose as he would never change his religion. The kadi then gave orders that he should be taken before the king's council. There ,one of the council led him aside and said, " Although ignorant people rush headlong to their death, a man of your learning and standing ought not to imitate their folly. Be guided by me. Say but one word-since necessity requires it: afterwards you may resume your own religion and we will promise that no inquiry shall be made." Eulogius replied with a smile, " If you could but conceive the reward which awaits those who persevere in the faith until the end, you would resign your dignities in exchange for it !" He then began boldly to proclaim the gospel to them, but the council, to avoid listening, promptly sentenced him to death. As he was being led away, one of the servants struck him on the face for having spoken against Mohammed: he at once turned the other cheek and meekly received a second blow. He was led out of the city to the place of execution,

562


BD Cl-IRI51--0PI-IER l\IACASSOLI

[March

and with great composure allowed himself to be decapitated. four days later.

II

5t Leocritia suffered

As stated above, for our knowledge of the history of 5t Eulogius we are almost entirely dependent upon the short Latin biography of his friend Alvarez or Alvarus. This has been printed in the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. ii, and also in l\1igne, PL., vol. cxv, cc. 705-720, and other collections. See further Gams, Kirehengesehichte 'l.'on Spanif!n, vol. ii, pp. 299-338, and the article "Eulogius" in the Kirchenlexikon. Cf. Doz) , Histoire des Musulmans d'Espagne, vol. ii, pp. 1-174, and W. von Baudissin, Eulogius und Alvar (1872). There is a popular account tr. into English, J. Perez de Urbel, A Saint under Masle1n Rule (1937).

ST AUREA, VIRGIN

(c.

A.D.

1100)

WHEN Spain lay under the Moorish yoke it became the custom for those Christians who desired to live the religious life to build their monasteries in desolate mountain fastnesses where their conquerors seldom troubled to molest them. One of these was San Millan de la Cogolla above the Upper Ebro in the diocese of Calahorra. It was primarily a Benedictine abbey for men but, as was not unusual at the time, there was a settlement for women a short distance away, and these women were under the direction of the abbot of La Cogolla. Down below, in the village of Villavelayo, lived a couple, Garcia Nunno, or Nunnio, and Amunia his wife, with their daughter Aurea. Constant study of the Holy Scriptures and meditation on the lives of St Agatha, St Eulalia and St Cecilia determined her to devote herself to God in the religious life, and she sought admittance to the convent of San Millan. Receiving the habit she lived a life of complete abnegation as a solitary. Aurea was rewarded by a vision of her three patron saints who assured her of God's approval and promised her a crown of glory; the fame of her penances and miracles spread, and her assistance and intercession were eagerly sought. She became the victim of a painful disease, dying in her mother's arms, in the presence of the monk who wrote her life. Her mother, who did not long survive her, was buried by her side. The evidence is not very satisfactory. Mabillon in the Annales says nothing of 5t Aurea; bu t a summary account is in the Bollandist Acta Sanctarum, March, vol. ii.

BD CHRISTOPHER MACASSOLI THIS Bd Christopher of Milan must not be confused with a Dominican of the same name and place who is commemorated on March I. Christopher Macassoli entered the Franciscan Order at an early age. Love of poverty, great purity of heart and complete trust in God were his distinguishing characteristics. As a priest he converted many by his preaching and example. At \Tigevano he helped to enlarge the friary in which he lived, and thousands of people flocked to receive his counsel and to ask his intercession with God. He died in 1485 and Pope Leo XIII in 1890 confirmed the local cultus which had been unbroken We are told that the little chapel of 5t Bernardino at Vigevano, since his death. where his remains repose in a tomb built into the wall, is covered with votive offerings made by the faithful in acknowledgment of miraculous answers to prayer. See Mark of Lisbon, G'raniche dei l\.Jinori (Italian adaptation by B. Barezzi), vol. iv, pp. 25 1 -252.


March

THE LIVES OF

1 I]

1~HE

SAINTS

BD JOHN BAPTIST OF FABRIANO THE life led by John Baptist Righi of Fabriano is much extolled in the chronicles of the Order of Friars Minor. I-Ie \vas a priest, but though said to be a man of great natural ability he would never, out of humility, acquire more learning than was needful for ordination. The rigour of his fasts recalled the asceticism of the fathers of the desert. He often passed the entire \veek from Sunday to Sunday without taking food, and during the long Lent which he kept from the Epiphany until Easter day he never ate except on Sundays and Thursdays. After the ter­ mination of the night office, instead of retiring to his cell to rest, he used to remain praying in the church, and on one occasion was discovered there by the sacristan rapt in ecstasy, while diffusing around him a heavenly perfume which had attracted the intruder to the corner in which John Baptist had hidden himself. He was a little man and very frail, but he would not consent to protect hinlself from the cold by using any more clothing than his single patched habit. He wore himself out rendering services to others, for though he was most earnest in insisting that the rule should be observed with strict fidelity, he spared no pains to secure for his brethren, and especially for the sick, such alleviations as they really needed. After his death at the friary of Massaccio in 1539 miracles were reported to have been worked at his tomb, and a considerable cultus followed, \vhich was confirmed in 19°3· See Ciro da Pesaro, Vita e culto del B. Giovanni Righi (19°4); the author has made use of a $hort biography \vritten C:I bout sixty years after Father John's death. GJ. also Mark of Lisbon, Croniche dei 1\1inori, vol. iii, pp. 602-603.

BB. JOHN LARKE, JERMYN GARDINER IVIARTYRS

(A.D.

AND

JOHN IRELAND,

1544)

JOHN LARKE is sometimes erroneously described as having been Sir Thomas More's chaplain, whereas he was actually rector of Chelsea, the church which Sir Thomas habitually attended when in London, his town house being situated in that parish. We have no details concerning Larke's parentage, birth or upbringing, but it is conjectured that he must have been an old man when he suffered martyrdom. In 1504 he had been appointed rector of St Ethelburga, Bishopsgate, the incumbency of which he continued to hold until shortly before his death. =*= In 1526 he became rector of Woodford in Essex, but he resigned the living four years later when he was nominated to Chelsea by Sir Thomas More, \vho as lord chancellor held the right of appointment from the abbey of Westminster. He seems to have had the greatest veneration for his patron, and Cresacre More in his life of Sir Thomas says that " his death so wrought on the mind of Dr Larke, his own parish priest, that he, following the example of his own sheep, afterwards suffered a most famous martyrdom in the same cause of supremacy". The title of " doctor" appears to have been one of courtesy only. Though he never took the oath or sacrificed his principles to preserve his life and benefices, Larke does not appear to have been molested until 1544, when he was arrested and charged with treason, together with a secular priest named John Ireland, of whom little is known, and a young man called German or Jermyn Gardiner, a secretary and probably a relation of Stephen • A remarkable painting of Larke may be seen in this interesting church, one of the few in the City to be spared by the grea t fire of 1666.


ST TERESA MARGARET REDI

[March

I I

Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester. German was a zealous Catholic who, though sometimes spoken of as a priest, was almost certainly a layman. The trial of Larke, Ireland and Gardiner took place at Westminster on February 15, 1544, and the record in the state papers contains the following statement: The Jury say upon their oath that John Heywood, late of London, gentle足 man, John Ireland, late of Eltham in the county of Kent, clerk, John Larke, late of Chelsea in the county of Middlesex, clerk, and Gernlan Gardiner, late of Southwark in the county of Surrey, gentleman, not weighing the duties of their allegiance nor keeping God Almighty before their eyes, but seduced by the instigation of the devil, falsely, maliciously and traitorously [have acted] like false and wicked traitors against the most serene and Christian prince, our Lord lIenry VIII, by the grace of God King of England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, and upon earth Supreme Head of the English and Irish Church-ehoosing, wishing and desiring and cunningly machinating, invent足 ing, practising and attempting-together with many other false traitors unknown, in confederacy with them to deprive our said King Henry VIII of his royal dignity, title and name of " Supreme Head of the English and Irish Church" which has been united and annexed to his imperial crown by the laws and proclamations of this his realm of England. The prisoners were all condemned and sentenced to death, but John Heywood, whose name figures first in the report of the trial, recanted after he had been placed on the hurdle, and received the king's pardon. The rest remained steadfast and perished at Tyburn on March 7, 1544. The feast of John Larke in the diocese of Brentwood is assigned to this day_ See Camm, LEM., vol. i, pp. 541-547.

ST TERESA MARGARET REDI,

VIRGIN

(A.D. 1770)

To the list of youthful saints who of late years have been honoured by the Church is now to be added the name of the Carmelite nun, Teresa-Margaret-of-the-Sacred Heart) canoniz~d in 1934- Anne Mary Redi, as she was called in the world, belonged to Arezzo, but the greater part of her life was spent at Florence and within convent walls. Born in 1747, she was sent to Florence at the age of ten to be educated by the nuns of the community of St Apollonia. She remained with them for seven years, giving a most admirable example of obedience, modesty, prayerful足 ness, diligence and all the virtues appropriate to a child at school. Reclaimed by her parents when her education was completed, she remained for a few months at home, but received what seemed to her a supernatural admonition from St Teresa of Avila that she was called to the Carmelites. She accordingly entered the convent of St Teresa at Florence in 1765- She would have wished to enter as a lay-sister, but this was not allowed, and after a most edifying noviceship she took her vo\vs as a choir-nun. There is not much to chronicle in the retired life Teresa Margaret led in a cloistered order, but those who had known her during the five years she was spared to them spoke in glowing terms of her extraordinary fidelity to her Christian vocation. We have the actual words used by her fellow Carmelites when summoned to give evidence in the episcopal process instituted not long after her death in view of her beatification. She was especially devout to the Sacred Heart and marvellously

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12]

charitable, putting to profit every opportunity which a cloistered life could afford of sacrificing herself for the benefit of others. Her prayers, penances and a practice of poverty far more rigid than the rule required probably shortened her life. Moreover, she was much employed in tending the sick of the community, maintaining an unclouded brightness and equanimity even when she herself was far more fit to be a patient than a nurse. After her death at the age of twenty-three her body lay exposed for fifteen days without a sign of decomposition, and it has remained incorrupt until the present time. The devotion paid to her, especially in the city of Florence, has been attended with many miracles. The summarium de virtutibus printed for the process of beatification may be found in the library of the British Museum. See also Fr Lorenzo, La b. Teresa MarRherita (1930) ; and Fr Stanislas, Un angelo del Carmelo (1930), of which there is an adapted English version by Mgr J. F. Newcomb, St Theresa Margaret . .. (1934). She is honoured liturgically among the Carmelites on March II, though March 7 was the day of her death.

12 : ST

GREGORY THE GREAT, (A.D. 604)

POPE,

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

OPE GREGORY I, most justly called "the Great", and the first pope who had been a monk, was elected to the apostolic chair when Italy was in a terrible condition after the struggle between the Ostrogoths and the Emperor Justinian, which ended with the defeat and death of Totila in 562. The state of Rome itself was deplorable: it had been sacked four times within a century and a half, and conquered four times in twenty years, but no one restored the damage done by pillage, fire and earthquake. St Gregory, writing about 593, says: "\Ve see what has become of her who once appeared the mistress of the world. She is broken by all she has suffered from immense and manifold misfortunes. . . . Ruins upon ruins everywhere ! . . . Where is the senate? \Vhere are the people ? . . . We, the few who are left, are menaced every day by the sword and innumerable trials. . . . Deserted Rome is in flames: her buildings also." The saint's family, one of the few patrician families left in the city, was dis足 tinguished also for its piety, having given to the Church two popes, Agapitus I and Felix III, Gregory's great-great-grandfather. Little is known of Gordian, Gre足 gory's father, except that he was a regionarius-whatever that might be-and that he owned large estates in Sicily as well as a house on the Coelian Hill; his wife Silvia is named as a saint in the Roman Martyrology. Gregory appears to have received the best education obtainable at that time in Rome, and to have taken up the career of a public official. In 568 a fresh calamity fell upon Italy in the form of the first Lombard invasion, and three years later the barbarian horde came alarmingly near Rome. At that time of panic Gregory probably showed something of the wisdom and energy which distinguished him later, for at the age of about thirty we find him exercising the highest civil office in Rome-that of prefect of the city. In that capacity he gained the respect and esteem of the Romans and developed an appreciation of order in the administration of affairs which he retained throughout his life. Faithfully and honourably though Gregory fulfilled his duties, he had long been feeling the call to a higher vocation, and at length he resolved to retire from the world and to devote himself to the service of God alone. I-Ie was one of the richest men in Rome, but he gave up all, retiring into his own house on

P

566


ST GREGORY THE GREAT

[March

12

the Clivus Scauri, which he turned into a monastery and which he placed under the patronage of St Andrew and in the charge of a monk called Valentius, of whom Gregory writes that he was " the superior of my monastery and of myself" . The few.years the saint spent in this seclusion were the happiest of his life-although his excessive fasting brought on gastric troubles and sowed the seeds of the painful infirmity which tormented him for the rest of his life. It was not likely that a man of St Gregory's talents and prestige would be left long in obscurity at such a time, and we find him ordained seventh deacon of the Roman church, and then sent as papal apocrisiarius or ambassador at the Byzantine court. The contrast between the magnificence of Constantinople and the miserable condition of Rome could not fail to impress the saint, but he found the etiquette of the court wearisome and the intrigues revolting. He had the great disadvantage of knowing no Greek, and more and more he lived a monastic life with several of the monks of 8t Andrew's who had accompanied him. In Constantinople he met St Leander, Bishop of Seville, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship, and at whose request he began a commentary on the Book of Job which he afterwards finished at Rome and which is generally known as his Moralia. Most of the dates in St Gregory's life are uncertain, but it was probably about the beginning of the year 586 that he was recalled to Rome by Pelagius II. He immediately settled down again, deacon of Rome though he was, in his monastery of St Andrew, of which he soon became abbot; and it seems that it is to this period we must refer the celebrated story told by the Venerable Bede on the strength of an old English tradition. St Gregory, it appears, was one day walking through the market when he noticed three golden-haired, fair-complexioned boys exposed for sale and inquired their nationality. "They are Angles or Angli ", was the reply. "They are well named," said the saint, "for they have angelic faces and it becomes such to be companions with the angels in heaven." Learning that they were pagans, he asked what province they came from. " Deira."-" De ira! " exclaimed St Gregory. " Yes, verily they shall be saved from God's ire and called to the mercy of Christ. What is the name of the king of that country? "-" Aella."-" Then must Alleluia be sung in Aella's land." So greatly was he impressed by their beauty and by pity for their ignorance of Christ that he resolved to preach the gospel himself in Britain, and started off with several of his monks. However, when the people of Rome heard of their departure they raised such an outcry that Pope Pelagius sent envoys to recall them to Rome.路 The whole episode has been declared apocryphal by modern historians on the ground of the flimsiness of the evidence. They also point out that Gregory never alludes to the incident, and moreover that even in his most informal writings he never indulges in puns. On the other hand, the first part of the story-the scene in the market-place-may easily be true: men sometimes pun in familiar conver颅 sation who would abstain from the practice when writing. Also it might plausibly be urged that St Gregory's admiration for the fair complexion and hair of the English lads, while natural enough in an Italian, is not the sort of trait which it would have occurred to a northern scribe to invent; while finally there can be no dispute that Gregory later on was deeply interested in St Augustine's mission, however it came about. The trental of Masses or Gregorian Masses for the Dead are also connected in origin with this period. Justus, one of his monks, being ill, acknowledged to having

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THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

12]

three golden crowns hidden away, and the abbot sternly forbade the brethren to Upon his have any communication with him or to visit him on his death-bed. death he was excluded from the monks' burial ground and was interred under a dunghill, the pieces of gold being buried with him. Nevertheless, as he died penitent, the abbot ordered that Mass should be offered for thirty days for the repose of his soul, and we have 8t Gregory's own testimony that at the close of that time the dead man's soul appeared to Copiosus, his natural brother, assuring him that he had been in torments but was now released. A terrible inundation of the Tiber was followed by another and an exceptionally severe outbreak of the plague: Rome was again decimated, and in January 590 Pelagius died of the dread disease. The people unanimously chose Gregory as the new pope, and to obtain by penitence the cessation of the plague he ordered a great processional litany through the streets of Rome. From seven churches in the city proceeded seven columns of people, who met at St IVlary Major. St Gregory of Tours, after the report of one who was present, describes it: "The procession ordered for Wednesday took place on three successive days: the columns proceeded through the streets chanting' Kyrie eleison ' while the plague was still raging; and as they walked people were seen falling and dying about them. Gregory inspired these poor people with courage, for he did not cease preaching and wished that prayer should be made continually." The faith of the people was rewarded by the speedy diminution and cessation of the plague, as we learn from contemporary writers, but no early historian mentions the appearance of the Archangel Michael sheathing his sword on the summit of Hadrian's mausoleum during the passing of the procession. This legend, which subsequently gained great credence, accounts for the figure of the angel which now surmounts the ancient pile and for the name of Sanl' Angelo which the castle has borne since the tenth century. Although St Gregory had thus been publicly devoting himself to the help of his fellow-citizens, his inclinations still lay in the direction of the contemplative life, and he had no intention of becoming pope if he could avoid it: he had written to the Emperor Maurice, begging him not to confirm the election; but, as we are told by Gregory of Tours, " while he was preparing to run away and hide himself, he ,vas seized and carried off to the basilica of St Peter, and there, having been conse足 crated to the pontifical office, was given as pope to the city". This took place on September 3, 590. A correspondence with John, Archbishop of Ravenna, who had modestly censured him for trying to avoid office, led to Gregory's writing the Regula PastoT足 alis, a book on the office of a bishop. In it he regards the bishop as first and foremost a physician of souls whose chief duties are preaching and the enforcement of discipline. The work met with immediate success, and the Emperor Maurice had it translated into Greek by Anastasius, Patriarch of Antioch. Later St Augus足 tine took it to England, where 300 years later it was translated by King Alfred, and at the councils summoned by Charlemagne the study of the book was enjoined on all bishops, who were to have a copy delivered to them at their consecration. For hundreds of years Gregory's ideals were those of the clergy of the West and "formed tnt bishops who have made modern nations". To the twofold duty of enforcing discipline and of preaching the pope set himself vigorously from the moment of his assuming office. He promptly and publicly deposed the Archdeacon Laurence~ the ITlOSt important ecclesiastic in Rome, "on account of his pride and misde足 meanours, about which we think it our duty to keep silence", says an old chronicle; 568


ST GREGORY TI-IE GREAT

[March

12

he appointed a vice-dominus to look after the secular affairs of the papal household, he enacted that only clerics should be attached to the service of the pope, he forbade the exaction of fees for burial in churches, for ordinations, or for the conferring of the pallium, and he prohibited deacons from conducting the sung part of the Mass lest they should be chosen for their voices rather than for their character. In the matter of preaching, 8t Gregory was no less zealous: it was the great work he did for the churches of Rome. He liked to preach during Mass and preferred to choose as his subject the gospel for the day. We still possess a number of these homilies, \vhich are popular and eloquent: they always end with a moral lesson which each one is to apply to himself. In his instructions to his vicar in Sicily and to the overseers of his patrimony generally, Gregory constantly urged liberal treatlnent of his vassals and farmers and ordered that money should be advanced to those in difficulties. I-Ie was indeed an ideal papal landlord; his tenants were flourishing and content, and yet money flowed into the treasury. After his death he was blamed for the empty coffers left to his successors) but his huge charities--which took almost the form of state relief -must have saved multitudes from starvation in that distressful period. Large sums were spent in ransoming captives from the Lombards, and \ve find him com足 mending the bishop of Fano for breaking up and selling church plate for that object and advising ~nother prelate to do the same. In view of a threatened corn shortage he filled the granaries of Rome, and a regular list was kept of the poor to whom grants were periodically made. Cases of " decayed gentlewomen" seem to have received special consideration. 8t Gregory's sense of justice showed itself also in his enlightened treatment of the Jews, whonl he \vould not allo\v to be oppressed or deprived of their synagogues. He declared that they must not be coerc,:d but Iuust be won by meekness and charity, and when the Jews of Cagliari in Sardinia complained that their synagogue had been seized by a converted Je\v who had turned it into a church, he ordered the building to be restored to its former o\vners. From the very outset of his pontificate the saint was called upon to face the aggressions of the Lombards, who from Pavia, 8poleto and Benevento made incursions into other parts of Italy. No help was obtainable from Constantinople or from the exarch at Ravenna, and it fell upon Gregory, the one strong man, not only to organize the defences of Rome, but also to lend assistance to other cities. When in 593 Agilulf with a Lombard army appeared before the walls of Rome and general panic ensued, it was not the military or the civil prefect but the Vicar of Christ who went out to interview the Lombard king. Quite as much by his personality and prestige as by the promise of an annual tribute Gregory induced him to withdraw his army and leave the city in peace. For nine years he strove in vain to bring about a settlement between the Byzantine emperor and the I-.lom足 bards; Gregory then proceeded on his own account to negotiate a treaty with King Agilulf, obtaining a special truce for Rome and the surrounding districts. Antici足 pating a few years we may add that Gregory's last days were cheered by news of the re-establishment of peace. I t must have been a relief to the saint to turn his thoughts sometimes from the busy world to his writings. Towards the end of 593 he published his celebrated Dialogues-one of the most popular books of the middle ages. It is a collection of tales of visions, prophecies and miracles gathered from oral tradition and designed to form a sort of picture of Italian efforts after holiness. His stories were obtained fronl people still living who, in many cases, claimed to be eye-witnesses of the

569


March

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

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events recorded. St Gregory's methods were not critical, and the reader today must often feel misgivings as to the trustworthiness of his informants. Modern writers have wondered whether the Dialogues could have been the work of anyone so well balanced as St Gregory, but the evidence in favour of his authorship seems conclusive; and we must remember that it was a credulous age and that anything unusual was at once put down to supernatural agency. Of all his religious work in the West that which lay closest to Gregory's heart was the conversion of England, and the success which crowned his efforts in that direction was to him-as it necessarily is to Englishmen-the greatest triumph of his life. Whatever may be the truth of the Angles and Angels story, it seems most probable that the first move in regard to the sending of a mission came from England itself. This is the inference to be drawn from two letters of St Gregory still preserved. Writing to the French Kings Thierry and Theodebert he says: " News has reached us that the nation of the Angli greatly desires to be converted to the faith, but that the bishops in their vicinity pay no heed (to their pious wish) and refuse to second it by sending preachers." He writes to Brunhilda in almost exactly the same terms. The bishops alluded to are most probably the bishops of northern France-not the British (" Welsh ") or Scottish bishops. In this diffi­ culty the pope's first action was to order the purchase of some English slaves, boys of about seventeen or eighteen, in order to educate them in a monastery for the service of God. Still, it was not to them that he intended primarily to entrust the work of conversion. From his own monastery of St Andrew he selected a band of forty missionaries whom he sent forth under the leadership of Augustine. I t is not necessary to retell here the further history of that mission, already dealt with on May 26. Well may we say with the Venerable Bede: "If Gregory be not an apostle to others, he is one to us, for we are the seal of his apostleship in the Lord." During nearly the whole of his pontificate St Gregory was engaged in conflicts with Constantinople-sometimes with the emperor, sometimes with the patriarch, occasionally with both. He protested constantly against the exactions of Byzantine officials whose pitiless extortions reduced the Italian country people to despair, and remonstrated with the emperor against an imperial edict which prohibited soldiers from becoming monks. With John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople, he had an acrimonious correspondence over the title of Oecumenical or Universal which that hierarch had assumed. It only meant the general or superior authority of one archbishop over many, but the use of the title Oecumenical Patriarch seemed to savour of arrogance, and Gregory resented it. For his own part, though one of the most strenuous upholders of the papal dignity, he preferred to call himself by the proudly humble title of Servus servorum Dei-Servant of the servants of God­ a title still retained by his successors. In 602 the Emperor Maurice was dethroned by a military revolt under Phocas, who murdered the old emperor and his whole family in the most brutal fashion. The writing of a tardy but rather painfully diplo­ matic letter to this cruel usurper is the only act which has exposed the pope to hostile criticism. The letter consists mainly of hopes that peace is now assured; in the in­ terest of his defenceless people Gregory could not afford to launch denunciations. Into the thirteen years of his pontificate Gregory had crowded the work of a lifetime. His deacon Peter declared that he never rested, and he certainly did not spare himself, though he suffered from chronic gastritis and was a martyr to gout. He became reduced almost to a skeleton, and the sands of life were running low, yet he dictated letters and looked after the affairs of the Church to the very end.

57°


[lvlarclz ] 2

ST l\lAXIMILIAN

Almost his last action ,vas to send a warm winter cloak to a poor bishop who suffered from the cold. Gregory was buried in St Peter's, and as the epitaph on his tornb expresses it, "after having conformed all his actions to his doctrines, the great consul of God went to enjoy eternal triumphs." St Gregory has been credited with the compilation of the Antiphonary, the revision and rearrangement of the system of church music, the foundation of the famous Ronlan schola cantorum, and the composition of several well-known hymns. These claims have been contested, though he certainly had considerable effect on the Roman liturgy. But his true work lies in other directions. He is venerated as the fourth doctor of the Latin church, in which capacity he may be said to have popularized St Augustine and to have given clear expression to certain religious doctrines which had not previously been perfectly defined. For several centuries his was the last word on theology, though he was a popular preacher, catechist and moralist rather than a theologian. Perhaps his chief work was in strengthening the position of the Roman see. As the Anglican Milman writes in his History of Latin Christianity: "It is impossible to conceive what would have been the confusion, the lawlessness, the chaotic state of the middle ages without the medieval papacy; and of the medieval papacy, the real father is Gregory the Great." Not without reason did the Church bestow upon him that seldom granted title of Magnus, "the Great". As stated above, King Alfred the Great had a translation made of St Gregory's Regula Pastoralis, and presented a copy to each of his bishops. This he equipped with both a preface and an epilogue written by himself, and he also prefixed some Anglo-Saxon verses, of which the following prose translation may give an idea: This message Augustine brought over the salt sea from the south to the islanders, as the pope of Rome, the Lord's champion, had- formerly decreed it. The wise Gregory was versed in many true doctrines through the wisdom of his mind, his hoard of studious thoughts. For he gained over most of mankind to the guardian of Heaven [St Peter], he the best of Romans, wisest of men, most gloriously famous. Afterwards King Alfred translated every word of me into English and sent me to his scribes south anq north; ordered more such to be brought to him after the exemplar, that he might send them to his bishops, for some of them needed it who knew little Latin. St Gregory's own letters and writings are the most reliable source of information for the history of his life, but in addition to these we have a short Latin biography by a monk of Whitby which probably dates from the early years of the eighth century, another by Paul the Deacon late in the same century, and a third by John the Deacon, between 872 and 882. We have also valuable notices in Gregory of Tours, Bede and other historians, and especially in the Liber Pontifiealis. For the letters of St Gregory the edition of P. Ewald and L. M. Hartmann in MGH. should of course be consulted. A valuable modern life in brief compass is that of Mgr Batiffol i:l the series" Les Saints" (Eng. trans., 1929). See also the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. ii; Mann, Lives of the Popes, vol. i; Snow, Life of St Gregory the Great; Fliche and Martin, Histoire de l'Eglise, vol. v (1938); and amongst Anglican writers the very careful work of Dr J. H. Dudden, St Gregory the Great (19째5); but the literature of the subject is, of course, vast. See the bibliographies in DAC. and DTC.

ST MAXIMILIAN,

MARTYR

THE passio of St Maximilian is one of that small collection of precious documents that is an authentic, contemporary and practically unembroidered account of the trial and death of an early martyr. It runs as follows:

57 1


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THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

12]

In the consulate of Tuscus and Anulinus, on March 12, at Theveste in Numidia,· Fabius Victor was brought before the court, together with Maximilian. The public prosecutor, Pompeian, opened the case, and said, "Fabius Victor is here with Caesar's commissary, Valerian Quintian. I demand that Maximilian, son of Victor, a conscript suitable for service, be measured." The proconsul Dion asked the young man his name, and he answered, " What is the good of replying? I cannot enlist, for I am a Christian "; and added when the proconsul told the usher to take his height, " I cannot serve, I cannot do evil. I am a Christian." The proconsul repeated his order, and the usher reported that Maximilian measured five feet ten inches. Then the proconsul said he was to be given the military badge, but Maximilian persisted, ' , Never !-I cannot be a soldier." DION: Yau must serve or die. MAXIMILIAN: I will never serve. You can cut off my head, but I will not be a soldier of this world, for I am a soldier of Christ. t DION: What has put these ideas into your head? MAXIMILIAN: My conscience and He who has called me. DION (to Fabius Victor): Put your son right. VICTOR: He knows what he believes, and he will not change. DION (to Maximilian): Be a soldier and accept the emperor's badge.t MAXIMILIAN: Not at all. I carry the mark of Christ my God already. DION: I shall send you to your Christ at once. MAXIMILIAN: I ask nothing better. Do it quickly, for there is my glory. DION (to the recruiting-officer): Give him his badge. MAXIMILIAN: I will not take the badge. If you insist, I 'will deface it. I am a Christian, and I am not allowed to wear that leaden seal round my neck. For I already carry the sacred sign of the Christ, the Son of the living God, whom you know not, the Christ who suffered for our salvation, whom God gave to die for our sins. It is He whom all we Christians serve, it is He whom we follow, for He is the Lord of life, the Author of our salvation. DION : Join the service and accept the seal, or else you will perish miserably. MAXIMILIAN: I shall not perish: my name is even now before God. I refuse to serve. DION: You are a young man and the profession of arms befits your years. Be a soldier. MAXIMILIAN: My army is the army of God, and I cannot fight for this world. I tell you, I am a Christian. DION: There are Christian soldiers serving our rulers Diocletian and Maximian, Constantius and Galerius. MAXIMILIAN: That is their business. I also am a Christian, and I cannot serve. DION: But what harm do soldiers do ? MAXIMILIAN ~ You know well enough. DION: If you will not do your service I shall condemn you to death for con­ tempt of the army. • Now Tebessa in Algeria. It is suggested that this is a copyist's mistake, and that the martyrdom was really somewhere near Carthage. C/. the penultimate paragraph.

t It was this insistence of the early Christians on being soldiers of Christ that gave us our word" pagan" : paganus = a civilian. C/. Shorter Oxford Dictionary, edition of 1936. t

A leaden seal (bulla), worn round the neck.

57 2

C/. the modern identity disc.


SS. PETER, GORGONIUS AND DOROTHEUS

[March

12

MAXIMILIAN: I shall not die. If I go from this earth my soul will live with Christ my Lord. DION: Write his name down. . . . Your impiety makes you refuse military service, and you shall be punished accordingly as a warning to others. fIe then read the sentence: "Maximilian has refused the military oath through impiety. He is to be beheaded." J.\tlAXIMILIAN": God liveth ! Maximilian's age was twenty-one years, three months and eighteen days. On his way to death he said to the assembled Christians, " Beloved brethren, Inake haste to attain the vision of God and to deserve a crown like mine with all your strength and with the deepest longing." He was radiant; and, turning to his father, he said, " That cloak you got ready for when I was a soldier, give it to the lictor. The fruits of this good work will be multiplied an hundredfold. May I welcome you in Heaven and glorify God with you! " Almost at once his head was cut off. A matron named Pompeiana obtained Maximilian's body and had it carried in her litter to Carthage, where she buried it close to the holy Cyprian, not far from the palace. Victor went home joyfully, thanking God for having allowed him to send such a gift to Heaven, whither he was not long in following his son. Amen. The text of the passio is in Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and Ruinart, Acta sincera. See Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, vol. iv; Delehaye, Les Passions des martyrs . . ., pp. 104-110. In the third century the Roman army was recruited chiefly from volunteers, but the sons of veterans were under obligation to serve. St Maximilian's rejection of this obligation has been the occasion of needless embarrassment to some writers (e.g. Paul Allard); the conflicting views on soldiering current in the early Church can be con足 veniently examined (without necessarily accepting all his conclusions) in the work of a Protestant scholar, Dr C. J. Cadoux, The Early Christian Attitude to War. C/. St Victricius (August 7) and St Martin of Tours (November I I). In the Roman Martyrology, St Maximilian is called Mamilianus, and the place of his martyrdom is erroneously given as Rome.

SSe PETER, GORGONIUS (A.Da 303)

AND

DOROTHEUS,

MARTYRS

WHEN the Emperor Diocletian was in residence at Nicomedia in Asia Minor it was reported to him that there were Christians in his own household. He accordingly caused images of the gods to be set up and ordered that all suspected persons should offer sacrifice to them. The Christians boldly refused, and the first to incur his vengeance was Peter, his major-domo. We read in Eusebius and elsewhere of the terrible tortures he had to endure. Stripped naked, he was suspended in the air while he was scourged until his bones were laid bare; vinegar mixed \vith salt was poured over the quivering flesh. Upon seeing this, Dorotheus, who was set over the imperial bedchamber, and Gorgonius, another high official, exclaimed, " Sire, why do you punish Peter for sentiments in which we all share? His faith, his opinions and his religion are ours also. Hitherto we have fought for you: from They and another official henceforth we will serve God whose creatures we are." named Migdonius were thereupon tortured and then put to death. Peter, whose spirit was undaunted, was cut down and trampled underfoot and finally slowly roasted like meat on a spit, pieces of flesh being cut off from time to time. In the

573


March

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

12]

midst of his agony he uttered no cry of pain, but exclaimed exultingly, " The gods of the heathen are but devils: it is the Lord who made the heavens". We know practically nothing of these martyrs except what is found in the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, bk viii, ch. 6. But it is noteworthy that the Syriac Calendar or Breviar­ ium of the end of the fourth century mentions on this day the names of martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia, and amongst these we find those of Peter and Dorotheus, to whom Eusebius gives prominence. It is probable that the" Egdunus and seven others at Nicomedia " commemorated in the Roman Martyrology all belong to the same group. The" Migdonius " mentioned above and the" Egdunus " of the martyrology are probably mere miswritings of the same name. C/. note to St Gorgonius on Septelnber 9.

ST PAUL AURELIAN,

BISHOP OF LEON

(c.

A.D.

573)

THE Bretons are fortunate in having a life of one of the fathers of Christianity in their country written before the wholesale destructions by the Northmen, with some authentic particulars of its author. He was a monk of Landevennec, named Wrmonoc, who knew the Leon country well; he based his work, he tells us, on an earlier life, and finished it in the year 884. The following is a summary of this document. Paul Aurelian (afterwards known as St Pol de Leon), was the son of Perphius, a British chief, and was born in Penychen (or elsewhere) in South Wales. At the monastic school to which he had asked to be sent he had as his fellows St David, St Samson and St Gildas: this was at Ynys Byr under St Illtyd, and Paul was When he present at the well-known miracle of the enlargement of that island. was sixteen his master allowed him to withdraw to a lonely spot elsewhere (Llan­ ddeusant in Carmarthenshire ?), where he built some cells and a chapel. There he lived for years a life of prayer, praise and study, and there after he had been raised to the priesthood he gathered round him twelve companions who lived in cells near his own. From this retreat he was recalled to a troubled world by a king called Mark, who besought him to come to "Villa Bannheddos" and evangelize his people. This he did so successfully that they wished to make him their bishop. He was reluctant to consent, and while casting about in his mind what to do an angel appeared to him, who told him that his vocation lay beyond the sea. King Mark was loath to let him go, and churlishly refused his request for a parting present in the shape of a little bell--one of seven which were rung before meals. The holy man with his twelve companions took ship and arrived at the coast of Armorica or Brittany. But before setting sail from British soil he touched at a bay (in Cornwall ?) where his sister lived a solitary life with a few other nuns.· She prevailed upon him to stay some days, and on the eve of his departure besought him with tears to obtain for her a favour from God. The place, though convenient for their purpose, was too confined and close to "tiresome relatives". "It is easy for you to obtain what I want if you will but pray to God for it: ask that the sea may be forced into a stationary bed and that the land may be a little extended," Then St Paul and his sister knelt down on the shore in prayer, having first put two rows of stones along low-water mark; and immediately the sea receded and left dry ground behind. And the stones grew up into mighty pillars which acted as a dyke and kept out the sea. • Her name is given as Sitofolla, and attempts have been made to identify her with that mysterious person St Sativola-Sidwell-who was venerated at Exeter. C/. Fr P. Grosjean in Analecta Bollandians) vol. liii (1935), pp. 359-365.

574


ST PAUL AURELIAN

[March

12

8t Paul and his disciples came to the island of Ushant, where they landed at the place which is now called Porz-Pol. There they built cells and lived happily for some time, until the angel 8t Paul had seen before appeared again and told him to move further. Coming to the mainland they went inland and made a settlement at Ploudal足 mezeau. Then Paul, again urged on by the angel, made his way to the lord of the district, a good Christian named \Vithur, who befriended them and gave them the island of Batz, where 8t Paul settled down and built a monastery. Wonderful tales are told about the benefits the saint conferred. He killed a dragon that had done untold mischief, he taught the people how to get honey by gathering a swarm of wild bees and setting them in a hive, and he tamed a \vild sow whose descendants remained at Leon for many generations. When Paul was talking one day to Withur, a fisherman came to show them a fish he had caught. In its head was embedded a bell which-curiously enough足 turned out to be the very bell which King Mark had refused to give 8t Paul. (In proof of the authenticity of this incident the peasants of Leon point to an ancient hand-bell which is preserved in their cathedral, made of red copper mingled with silver. Miraculous properties were attributed to it.) The people who had profited so much from the teaching and miracles of 8t Paul now began to clamour to have him as their bishop. Withur was equally anxious, but he knew how unwilling the holy man would be to accept such a dignity and therefore he had recourse to a stratagem. He gave him a letter which he asked him to deliver personally to King Childebert in Paris, as it contained matter of great importance. It actually contained a request that 8t Paul should be appointed bishop. He protested with tears, but the king had him consecrated and then sent him back to Leon, where he was received with acclamation. The name of the oppidum where his seat was fixed was changed to St-Pol-de-Leon in memory of him. He continued to live the same austere life as before, his only food being bread and water except on great festivals, when he took a little fish. It seems that \Vithur had given him his own house on the island of Batz as a monastery for his monks, and thither the holy bishop loved to retire at intervals for prayer and contemplation. He lived to extreme old age, but had resigned office for some years before his death. After having outlived two of his followers whom he had ordained to succeed him in his episcopacy, he died in his monastery at Batz. 8t Paul was endowed with the gift of prophecy and foretold the incursions of the Marcomanni (North足 men), says \\lrmonoc, and he recounts the saint's last moments very simply and movingly. For discussion of this narrative-which must by no means be taken at its face value-the reader may be referred to the works mentioned below. It may be added that there are considerable traces of 8t Paul All r~lian in Wales, and in Cornwall at Paul, close to the western shore of Mount's Bay. If his sister's little monastery was in fact close by, on Gwavas Lake (as Charles Henderson thought), it is an interesting coincidence that, when driven out by the French Revolution, the last bishop of Leon, John Francis de la Marche, landed in Mount's Bay in 1791, nine days before 8t Paul's feast. That feast is now observed in the diocese of Quimper and at the monastery on Caidey. The earliest manuscript (tenth century) of Wrmonoc's Life of St Paul Aurelian was printed by C. Cuissard in the Revue Celtique, vol. v (1883), pp. 417-458; a later manuscript (eleventh-twelfth century) is printed in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. i (1882), pp. 209-258 ;

575


March

12]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINT S

see also vol. ii, pp. 191-194. The fullest and best discussion of the subject is by Canon G. H. Doble, St Paul of Leon (1941), where the more important parts of the Wrrnonoc vita are translated; cf. the same writer's article, " 5t Paulinus of Wales ", in Laudate, July 1941, See also LBS., vol. iv, pp. 75-86; and F. Duine, Sources hagiographiques . . . de Bretagne, pp. 58- 6 1.

ST TI-IEOPHANES THE CHRONICLER,

ABBOT

(A.D. 817)

I T was at the court of the Emperor Constantine V that St Theophanes grew up. His father had died early, leaving him heir to a large estate and entrusting hirn to the guardianship of the emperor. He was induced to rnarry, but by mutual agreement his wife became a nun; rfheophanes also retired from the world and secrningly built two monasteries, the first of which was situated on Mount Sigriana, near Cyzicus. \Vhen he established the second, on the island of Kalonyrnos, which was part of his heritage, he made this his home, and there spent six years. Even t足 ually he returned to Mount Sigriana and remained on as abbot. In 787 l'heo足 phanes was invited to take part in the Second Council of Nicaea, which sanctioned the use and veneration of sacred images. But Leo the Arn1enian in 814 reversed the policy of his predecessors, and strove to suppress the cultus of images. Recog足 nizing hovl widespread was the authority and reputation of St Theophanes, he atteInpted to win him over to his side by civilities and crafty letters. But the holy man ,vas well armed against all the devices which could be used to ensnare him. At the age of fifty he had begun to be grievously afflicted with the stone and with another painful internal disease; but, called to Constantinople by the emperor, he obeyed the call, although he was at the time tortured by these agonizing infirm足 ities. Leo' sent him a message that flattered and then threatened. 1'0 this rfheophanes replied: "Being now far advanced in years and much broken with pain and the weakness of my body, I have neither relish nor inclination for any of those things which I despised, for Christ's sake, in nlY youth. As to rny monastery and my friends, I corrlmend them to God. If you think to frighten Ine into compliance by your threats, as a child is awed by the rod, you are only losing your pains." The emperor sent several ernissaries to argue with him, but he remained inflexible. He was condenlncd to be scourged and imprisoned, and, after receiving 300 stripes, was confined for two years in a close and stinking dungeon, where he was left almost without the necessaries of life, although his malady \vas ever increasing. At last he \NaS removed frorn prison and banished to the island of Samothrace, where he died l\1arch 12, 817, seventeen days after his arrival, as the result of the treatment he had endured. He left a Chronography or short history of the \vorld to the year 813, starting from A.D. 284, the date which terminated an earlier history written by his friend George Syncellus, secretary of the patriarch St r-rarasius. 'The importance of the work of St Theophanes as a chronicler of Byzantine history has led to much attention being paid to his life. 'The complete biography of the saint by Methodius was edited completely for the first time by D. Spyridon in the periodical , EKKATJa,aanKo~' cPa.po~', vol. xii (1913). The lives previously known seem all to be dependent on this. Moreoyer, we have a panegyric delivered by his fello\v monk and disciple, St 'T'heodore Studites, which is to be found in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 11--25, as well as certain letters of the same Theodore printed in Migne, P(3., voL xcix, ce. 1197 seq. Gj. BHG., nn. 1788-1792. The Chronographia of Theophanes' has been edited by De Boor (1885), with a valuable introduction. See also Pargoire in Bv~aJ/nJ/a. XPOJ/tKa., vol. ix (1902), pp. 31-102; Krumbacher, Gesch. der Byz. Literatur, pp. 342--347; and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxi (1912), pp. 11-25, 148-156.


ST FINA, OR SERAPHINA

[March

ST ALPHEGE, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER

12

(A.D. 951)

ST ALPHEGE the Elder, or the Bald, as he is called to distinguish him from one of his successors, St Alphege the Martyr, is now chiefly remembered for his indirect part in the restoration of monasticism in England by encouraging his kinsman St Dunstan to become a monk. No doubt the bishop's arguments sank into his mind, but it required a dangerous illness to decide him. St Alphege, on hearing of his purpose, was greatly rejoiced and lost no time in investing him with the habit, and later had the joy of raising him to the priesthood. Two others ,vere ordained on that occasion, 8t Ethelwold and another monk named Ethelstan. The spirit of prophecy came upon St Alphege, and addressing the new priests he is reported to have said, " To-day, before God, I have laid my hands upon three men, of whom two will attain to the grace of the episcopal order-one in the city of Winchester and then at Canterbury, and the other will also occupy my seat in legitimate succession later on. The third, after doing much evil and wallowing in sensual pleasures, will come to a miserable end." His words were fulfilled in every particular. The good bishop's life was one of great holiness and he was famous for his prophetical gifts. The Life of Dunstan by " B ", together with the histories of William of l\1alrnesbury and Simeon of Durham, are the principal sources for the little we know' of St Alphege, whose name figures in two or three medieval calendars.

ST BERNARD OF CAPUA, BISHOP OF CALENO ST BERNARD OF CAPUA, of whose antecedents and early life no records are available, became chaplain and adviser to Duke Richard II, son of Prince Jordan of Capua. He gained the confidence of his patron so entirely that it was said that Richard would undertake nothing without first consulting his confessor. When the see of Foro-Claudio was vacant he was appointed by Pope Victor III, and he soon began to consider removing his episcopal seat. Foro-Claudio was in an exposed place足 not easily defended-on the high-road between Rome and Naples, whereas at a short distance off, in a far better position, stood Caleno. The change was accord足 ingly made. On Monte Massico hard by lay the body of the hermit 8t Marcius (Martin), mention of whom is made in the Dialogues of St Gregory; and Arachis, Duke of Benevento, came with a great retinue intending to remove the body and to take it to Benevento. Mass was celebrated for them in the presence of the relics, but suddenly there came an earthquake, and the duke, interpreting this as a warning that it was not God's will that the body should leave the neighbourhood, returned home. Then St Bernard and his priests went up to the mountain, and having brought the precious treasure to their new cathedral enclosed it in the altar. The account of this saint in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, is based upon certain breviary lessons cited by U ghelli and by Michael Monachus in his San ctuarium Capuanum. The authority is not very satisfactory, but there can be no doubt of St Bernard's historical existence.

ST FINA, OR SERAPHINA, VIRGIN 1"HE old town of San Geminiano in Tuscany treasures with special veneration the memory of Santa Fina, a young girl whose claim to be recognized as a saint lay in the perfect resignation with which she accepted bodily suffering. She was born of parents who had seen better days but had fallen into poverty. The child was

577


BD NICHOLAS OWEN

[March

12

she and several other sisters lived in great self-abnegation and from midnight to midday served God in unbrcken prayer. Diseases and sufferings of many kinds were cured through the prayers of Bd Justina, and still more wonderful miracles of healing we re wrought after her death. She died in 1319 and her cultus was approved in 1890' All that we know of Bd Justina is contained in the short life printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii.

BD NICHOLAS OWEN, MARTYR

(A.D. 1606)

PERHAPS no single person contributed more to the preservation of the Catholic religion in England during the penal times than a humble artisan called Nicholas Owen, who in the reign of James I saved the lives of many priests by his extra足 ordinary skill in devising hiding-places for them. Nothing is known of his ante足 cedents or early life, but it is thought that he may have been a builder by trade. Familiarly known as " Little John" and" Little Michael", he also passed under the names of Andrewes and Draper. Summarizing contemporary records Father Tanner says of him: "A great servant of God in a diminutive body, Nicholas Odoenus, otherwise Owen, spent eighteen years with Fathers Henry Garnet and John Gerard in the capacity of a faithful and most useful servant. Born in England in an age of licence, he lived a singularly innocent life, untainted by the allurements of the world; his confessor, who had known his conscience from his earliest childhood, solemnly asserts that he pre~erved his baptismal innocence unsullied until death. With incomparable skill he knew how to devise a place of safety for priests in subterranean passages, to hide them between walls, and to bury them in impenetrable recesses. But what was rl1.uch more difficult of accomplishment, he so disguised the entrances to these as to make them most unlike what they really were. Moreover he kept these places so close a secret with himself, that he would never disclose their existence to anyone else. He alone was both their architect and their builder, working at thenl with inexhaustible industry and labour, for generally the thickest walls had to be broken into and large stones excavated, requiring stronger arms than were attached to a body so diminutive as to give him the nickname of ' Little John'. And by his skill many priests were preserved from the fury of the persecutors, nor is it easy to find anyone who had not often been indebted for his life to Owen's hiding-places-a benefit redounding to all Catholics, whose progress in virtue and whose access to the sacraments were thus due to him. His unwonted success in constructing these hiding-places would seem to have been a reward from Heaven for his remarkable piety; for when he was about to design one, he commenced the work by receiving the most holy Eucharist, sought to aid its progress by continual prayer, and offered the completion of it to God alone, accepting of no other reward for his toil than the merit of charity and the consolation of labouring for the good of Catholics." When he had worked for some years in this way, Father Garnet admitted him to the Society of Jesus, before 158o, and he was amongst the first English lay足 brothers-although, for good reasons, his connection with the order was kept secret. He was with F'ather John Gerard when they were betrayed by an unsus足 pected traitor and apprehended together on St George's day, 1594. He was imprisoned in the Counter and was subjected to terrible tortures to force him to disclose the names of other Catholics. He and Brother Richard Fulwood were

579


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

J\,farch 12]

hung up for three hours together, with their arms fixed into iron rings, and their bodies hanging in the air, and Owen's suffering was increased by heavy \veights which were attached to his feet. This was the notorious" 'fopcliffe " rack, which was also applied to Father Southwell. No information could be obtained from either of the prisoners, and Nicholas was released for a sum of money which a Catholic gentleman paid, because, as Father Gerard testified, his services in con足 triving priests' hiding-places were indispensable to them and many others. He soon proved that he could do more than conceal them: he could deliver them from prison. The wonderful escape of Father Gerard from the Tower was almost certainly planned by Owen, although it was carried out by Brothers Fulwood and Lilly, who were less \vell-known to the prison authorities. Owen himself was waiting at a fixed spot with horses. Father Gerard in his narrative says: "After we landed . . . I with Richard Fulwood went to a house which Father Garnet had in the suburbs, and there I and Little John shortly before daylight mounted our horses which he had ready there for the purpose, and rode straight off to Father Garnet who was then living a short distance in the country." Father Gerard also mentions a narrow escape which Owen had when he had been lent by Garnet to construct hiding-places in a new house which Gerard had taken and was about to occupy. Suspicion had been aroused and the house was surrounded, "but the house was so large that although they had a numerous body of followers, they were not able to surround it entirely, nor to watch all the outlets so narrowly but what Little John managed to make off safely". At length, after a faithful service of twenty years, Owen fell once more into the hands of his enemies together with Father Garnet and Father Oldcorne. He came voluntarily out of the hiding-place in which he had carefully concealed ~hem, in order that he might be captured and, by passing for a priest, save the lives of the fathers as more useful to the Church. He was apprehended with Brother Ralph Ashley, the servant of Father Oldcorne. At first a " free custody" was allowed in order that those who visited him might be watched, but Owen's prudence baulked the intentions of his captors. He was then removed from the Marshalsea to the Tower of London, the keeper of which, Wade, was possessed by a fanatical hatred of the Catholic faith. He kept his victim suspended day after day, sometimes for six hours together, although he was ill and suffering from a hernia, which was girt with an iron band. Owen consistently refused to answer Wade's questions and would speak to God alone, invoking the aid of Jesus and Mary. In the end the prolonged strain so extended the martyr's body that his bowels broke in a terrible way, the iron band assisting to tear and enlarge the wound, and in the midst of terrible anguish Brother Nicholas passed to his eternal reward. Attempts were made to vilify his memory and to attribute his death to suicide, but his courage was too well known and the lie obtained little credence. A piece of evidence which has only been made available of recent years is contained in a despatch of the Venetian ambassador, Giustiniani, who on March 13, 1606, wrote to his government as follows (the portion in square brackets is in cypher) : I ought to add that while the king (James) was talking to me he let fall that last night one of the Jesuits, conscience-stricken for his sins, stabbed himself deeply in the body twice with a knife. When the warders ran up at the noise they found him still alive. He confessed to having taken a share in the plot at the suggestion of his provincial (Garnet), and now, recognizing his crime,

580


ST' ELTPHRASIA, OR EUPRAXIA

[JJ(l}'C}z

I]

he had resolved to kill himself, and so escape the terrible death that overhung him, as he deserved. [Public opinion, however, holds that he died of the tortures inflicted on him, which were so severe that they deprived him not only of his strength, but of the power to move any part of his body, and so they think it unlikely that he should have been able to stab himself in the body, especially with a blunt knife, a~ they allege. It is thought that as he confessed nothing and is dead, they have hoodwinked the king himself by publishing this account] in order to rouse him and everybody to greater animosity against the Catholics and to make the case blacker against his companion the provincial. King James's statement that Brother Owen in his dying agony" confessed to having taken a share in the plot at the suggestion of his provincial", is not only supremely improbable in itself, but is refuted by the fact that not the least use was made of this alleged confession at Garnet's trial. Father Gerard wrote of Brother Owen: "I verily think no man can be said to have done more good of all those who laboured in the English vineyard. For, first, he was the immediate occasion of saving the lives of many hundreds of persons, both ecclesiastical and secular, and of the estates also of these seculars, \vhich had been lost and forfeited many times over if the priests had been taken in their houses; of which some have escaped, not once but many times, in St veral searches that haye come to the same house, and sometimes five or six priests together at the same time. Myself have been one of the seven that have escaped that danger at one tinle in a secret place of his making. How many priests then filay we think this man did save by his endeavours in the space of seventeen years in all shires and in the chiefest Catholic houses of England ! " 1'he most reliable information we possess concerning Bd Nicholas Owen is to be found in the writings of his conlpanion and contenlporary, Father John Gerard, which are printed in The Condition of Catholics under James 1, by Fr ] ohn Morris; and see the translation of his autobiography by Fr P. Caraman (1951). See also REPS]., vol. iv, pp. 245-267. Gius足 tiniani's despatch, which alone enables us to fix the exact date of the death of Bd Nicholas, is printed in the Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, vol. x, pp. 327-328.

13 : ST

EUPHRASIA,

OR

EUPRAXIA,

T

VIRGIN

(c.

A.D.

420)

HE Emperor Theodosius I had a kinsman Antigonus, who died within a year of the birth of his daughter Euphrasia, and the emperor took the wido\v and her child under his protection. When the little girl was five years old he arranged to betroth her to the son of a wealthy senator-in accordance \vith the custom of the time-the marriage being deferred until the maiden should have reached a suitable age. The widow herself began to be sought in marriage, and she withdrew from court and went with Euphrasia to Egypt, where she settled down near a convent of nuns. Euphrasia, then seven years of age, was greatly drawn to the nuns and begged to be allowed to stay with them, To humour her and thinking it was only a childish fancy, her mother left her there for a little, expecting her soon to weary of the life, but the child was persistent, although she was told that she would have to fast and to sleep on the ground and to learn the whole Psalter if she remained. The abbess then said to the mother, " Leave the little girl with us, for the grace of God is working in her heart. Your piety and that of Antigonus have

581


A1artlz 13]

TI-IE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

opened to her the most perfect way." The good woman \vept for joy, and leading her child before the image of our Lord she said, " Lord Jesus Christ, receive this child. Thee alone doth she love and seek, and to thy service alone doth she commend herself." Then turning to Euphrasia she exclaimed, " 1\lay God who laid the foundations of the mountains, keep you always steadfast in His holy fear". A fe\\' days later the child was clothed in the nun's habit, and her mother asked if she were satisfied. "Oh, mother! " cried the little novice, " it is my bridal robe, given me to do honour to Jesus my beloved." Soon afterwards the mother went to rejoin her husband in a better world, and as the years went by Euphrasia grew up a beautiful girl in the seclusion of the convent. In due time the emperor, presumably Arcadius, sent for her to come to Con足 stantinople to marry the senator to whom he had betrothed her. She was no'w twelve years old and an heiress, but she wrote him a letter begging him to allow her to follow her vocation and requesting him to distribute her parents' property to the poor as well as to enfranchise all her slaves. The emperor carried out her requests; but Euphrasia \vas sorely tried by vain imaginations and temptations to know more of the world she had forsaken. The abbess, to whom she opened her heart, set her SOIne hard and humbling tasks to divert her attention and to drive away the evil spirits from which she suffered in body as well as in soul. Once the abbess ordered her to remove a pile of stones from one place to another, and when the task \vas completed she continued to make her carry them backwards and forwards thirty times. In this and in whatever else she was bidden to do, Euphrasia complied cheerfully and promptly: she cleaned out the cells of the other nuns, carried water for the kitchen, chopped the wood, baked the bread and cooked the food. The nun who performed these arduous duties was generally excused the night offices, but Euphrasia was never missing from her place in the choir, and yet at the age of twenty she was taller, better developed and more beautiful than any of the others. Her meekness and humility were extraordinary. A maid in the kitchen once asked her why she sometimes went without food for the entire week, a thing no one but the abbess ever attempted. When the saint said she did it out of obedience, the woman called her a hypocrite, who sought to make herself conspicuous in the hope of being chosen superior. Far from resenting this unjust accusation, Euphrasia fell at her feet and besought her to pray for her. As the saint lay on her death-bed, Julia, a beloved sister who shared her cell, besought Euphrasia to obtain for her the grace of being with her in Heaven as she had been her companion on earth, and three days after her friend's demise, Julia was taken also. The aged abbess who had originally received Euphrasia remained for a month together very sad at the loss of her dear ones. She prayed earnestly that she rnight not have to linger on now that the others had gone to their reward. The following morning when the nuns entered her cell they found only her lifeless body, for her soul had fled in the night to join the other two. According to Russian usage St Euphrasia is named in the preparation of the Byzantine Mass. The remarkable Greek life, which is the source of all 'we know concerning St Euphrasia, has been printed in the Acta Sanctorum, l\larch, vol. ii. There seems good reason to regard it as a mere or less contemporary and, in its main features, a trustworthy narrative. Certainly the asceticism it reflects is the asceticism of that age. Within a few years of the date at which Euphrasia died, St Simeon Stylites set up his first pillar. Of Euphrasia, as of her abbess, it is stated that she stood upright in one spot for thirty days until she lost consciousness


ST MOCHOEMOC

[March 13

and fell down in a swoon. Etheria in her pilgrimage (c. 390) tells us much of the ebdomadarii who made it a point of honour and endurance to pass an entire week without food from Sunday to Saturday evening. Moreover, the whole atmosphere of the document recaHs vividly the ascetic ideals set before us in the Life of 8t Melania the Younger, who was a contemporary. See also A. B. C. Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. i, pp. 292-293.

ST MOCHOEMOC,

ABBOT

(SEVENTH CENTURY)

THE accounts we have of St lVlochoemoc are overladen with fantastic legends. Perhaps all that we should be justified in asserting is that he was the nephew of St Ita, who had charge of him in his youth, that he entered the monastery of Bennchor (Bangor) in County Down, that he was afterwards commissioned by St Comgall to found a settlement at Arderin, that he eventually established a flourishing community at Liath-mor, where he became the teacher of 8t Dagan and St Cuan足 gh~s, and that he died at a very advanced age. Tradition, however, declares him to have been the son of St Ita's sister Nessa and of Beoan, whom Ita had so marvellously raised to life. The boy was so hand足 some that he was named Coemgen (Pulcherius), but his aunt called him by the pet-form Mochoemog, and by that name he was always known. His father and mother came to St Ita and said, " Lady, the grace of God shines wonderfully in your little favourite, our son: we are earthly, and he is so spiritual that he cannot live with us." She at once replied, " Bring him hither and I will rear him myself. n So she watched over him until he was twenty and superintended his studies. Then she blessed him and sent him to St Comgall at Bangor, where he \\-'as ordained. Recognizing his sanctity the abbot said one day to him, " My son, it is necessary that you should become the spiritual father of others, and that you should erect a house for God's service wherever He may decree." So Mochoemoc set out with other monks and settled first at Arderin on Slieve Bloom, but later he departed to the country of Eile. There the chieftain offered to give him a lonely wooded place, and this the saint willingly accepted. Now when Ita had parted from her nephew she had given him a little bell, saying, " Here is this silent bell for you: it \vill not sound till you have reached the place of your resurrection." As soon as Mochoemoc had reached the land granted him, the bell tinkled, and the saint gave thanks to God because he knew it was to be the place of his resurrection. There also he found a great \vild hog, which greeted the monks, and Mochoemoc exclaimed, " As the colour of that hog is liath-grey-so shall it be the name of this place for ever." Here then at Liath he founded his principal church which was called Liath-mor or Liath-Mochoemoc, but the place is now known as Leamokevoge in County Tipperary. Round the holy man gathered a number of disciples, and St Mochoemoc built for them a great monastery in which they lived in peace. At last, when he had founded many monasteries, the saint was warned that his time was come, and having blessed his monks and Liath he went to his reward a very old man. There was formerly venerated in Scotland, particularly in the district about Glasgow, a maiden St Kennoch whose history is wrapped in great obscurity. We are met first with the difficulty that while in the text of the Aberdeen Breviary the name is printed Kenoca, the form in the calendar of the same book, as well as in the Aberdeen Martyrology and in the Arbuthnott calendar, is Keuoca or Kevoca. On the other hand, ,;, Kennocha " appears among the virgins and widows in the ancient Litany of Dunkeld. Forbes, in his Kalendars of Scottish Saints, suggests

58 3


TIlE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

March 13]

that an ancient Irish monk-no other than Mochoemoc of Leamokevoge-has here through some confusion been transformed into a woman. The Kevoge, in fact, which we find in Leamokevoge is simply the saint's name, and it may obviously be identified with }(evoca. No certain conclusion is possible. The statement that 8t Kennoch lived in the time of King Malcolm II (10°5-1°34) rests apparently only on the authority of Adam King (1588), which is quite worthless in such a matter. There is a Latin Life of St Mochoemoc and an Irish text which is the translation of it. The Latin was printed by Colgan, and also in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. It has been re-edited in VSH., vol. ii, pp. 164-183; see also LIS., vol. iii. For St Kennoch, see the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and KSS.

ST GERALD OF MAYO,

ABBOT

(A.D. 732)

8T GERALD was an Englishman, a native of Northumbria, who became a monk at Lindisfarne. After the Council of Whitby which prohibited the Celtic observance of Easter in Northumbria, 8t Colman left England accompanied by all the Irish monks and thirty of the English novices. At Inishbofin, an island off the coast of Mayo, he founded a monastery for his comnlunity, but as he found that the English­ nlen and the Irish could not agree, he built a second house on the mainland for the English nlonks. It is not certain whether Gerald was one of the original thirty or whether he followed later, for we know that English and other students long continued to frequent Colman's school at Mayo of the Saxons, as it came to be called. At first St Colman acted as abbot over the two monasteries, but Gerald afterwards succeeded him in the English house, which flourished exceedingly. He is sometimes spoken of as a bishop, notably in the litany of Irish saints from the Book of Leinster, but this is very doubtful, as even his so-called acts which attribute to him many marvellous miracles only allude to him as an abbot. It has been suggested that the title pontzJex or president of the English which was bestowed upon him gave rise to the idea that he was a bishop, whereas it probably only meant that the abbot of Mayo had certain privileges as protector of his countrymen who were strangers in Ireland. St Gerald, who lived to old age, must have witnessed the introduction into his abbey of the Roman observance of Easter. I-Ie is also credited, though on doubtful authority, with the foundation of the abbeys of Elytheria or Tempul-Gerald in Connaught and of Teagh-na-Saxon, as well as of a nunnery which he is said to have placed under the care of his sister St 8egretia. The extravagant Latin Life of St Gerald printed by Colgan has been re-edited by Plurnnler, VSH., vol. ii, pp. 107-115. See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and LIS. vol. iii.

ST NICEPIIORUS,

PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE

(A.D. 828)

THE father of 8t Nicephorus was secretary and commissioner to the Emperor Constantine Copronymus, but when that tyrant declared himself a persecutor of the orthodox faith, his minister maintained the honour due to holy images with so much zeal that he was stripped of his dign ities, scourged, tortured and banished. Young Nicephorus grew up with his father's example before him to encourage him in boldly confessing his faith, while an excellent education developed his exceptional abilities. After Constantine VI and Irene had restored the use of sacred pictures and images, Nicephorus was introduced to their notice and by his sterling qualities

58 4


1-'IIE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

J\;!arch 13]

that an ancient Irish monk-no other than Mochoemoc of Leamokevoge-has here through some confusion been transformed into a woman. The Kevoge, in fact, which we find in Leamokevoge is simply the saint's name, and it may obviously be identified with Kevoca. No certain conclusion is possible. The statement that St Kennoch lived in the time of King Malcolm II (1°°5-1°34) rests apparently only on the authority of Adam King (1588), which is quite worthless in such a matter. There is a Latin Life of St Mochoemoc and an Irish text which is the translation of it. The Latin was printed by Colgan, and also in the Acta Sane/orum, March, vol. ii. It has been re-edited in VSH., vol. ii, pp. 164-183; see also LIS., vol. iii. For St Kennoch, see the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and KSS.

ST GERALD OF MAYO, ABBOT

(A.D. 732)

8T GERALD was an Englishman, a native of Northumbria, who became a monk at Lindisfarne. After the Council of Whitby which prohibited the Celtic observance of Easter in Northumbria, 8t Colman left England accompanied by all the Irish monks and thirty of the English novices. At Inishbofin, an island off the coast of Mayo, he founded a monastery for his community, but as he found that the English­ n1en and the Irish could not agree, he built a second house on the mainland for the English nlonks. It is not certain whether Gerald was one of the original thirty or whether he followed later, for we know that English and other students long continued to frequent Colman's school at Mayo of the Saxons, as it came to be called. At first St Colman acted as abbot over the two monasteries, but Gerald afterwards succeeded him in the English house, which flourished exceedingly. He is sometimes spoken of as a bishop, notably in the litany of Irish saints flom the Book of Leinster, but this is very doubtful, as even his so-called acts which attribute to him many marvellous miracles only allude to him as an abbot. It has been suggested that the title ponttfex or president of the English which was bestowed upon him gave rise to the idea that he was a bishop, whereas it probably only meant that the abbot of Mayo had certain privileges as protector of his countrymen who were strangers in Ireland. St Gerald, who lived to old age, must have witnessed the introduction into his abbey of the Roman observance of Easter. I-Ie is also credited, though on doubtful authority, with the foundation of the abbeys of Elytheria or Tempul-Gerald in Connaught and of Teagh-na-Saxon, as well as of a nunnery which he is said to have placed under the care of his sister St Segretia. The extravagant Latin Life of St Gerald printed by Colgan has been re-edited by Plurnn1er, VSH., vol. ii, pp. 107-115. See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and LIS. vol. iii.

ST NICEPIIORUS, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE

(A.D. 828)

THE father of 8t Nicephorus was secretary and commissioner to the Emperor Constantine Copronymus, but when that tyrant declared himself a persecutor of the orthodox faith, his minister maintained the honour due to holy images with so much zeal that he was stripped of his dignities, scourged, tortured and banished. Young Nicephorus grew up with his father's example before him to encourage him in boldly confessing his faith, while an excellent education developed his excepticnal abilities. After Constantine VI and I rene had restored the use of sacred pictures and images, Nicephorus was introduced to their notice and by his sterling qualities

58 4


ST N'ICEPIIORUS OF

CONST~;\NTINOPLE

[A1arch 13

obtained their favour. He distinguished hirnself by his opposition to the Icono­ clasts and was secretary to the Second Council of Nicaea, as \vell as imperial commissioner. Although a brilliant speaker, a philosopher, a musician and in every respect fitted for statesmanship, he always had a great inclination for the religious life, and while still occupied \vith public affairs had built a Inonastery in a solitary spot near the Black Sta. .After the death of St Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, no one could be found more worthy to succeed him than Nice­ phorus. As he \vas a layman at the time, his election was opposed by some as uncanonical, and it was only at the express request of the en1peror that he could be induced to accept office. During the consecration, as a public testimony of his faith, he held in his hand a treatise he had \vritten in defence of images, and at the conclusion he laid it up behind the altar as a pledge that he would ever defend the tradition of the Church. The new patriarch ere long still further antagonized the hostile rigorists. At the request of the emperor, Nicephorus, with the consent of a small synod of bishops, pardoned and re'instated in office a priest called Joseph, \vho had been deposed and exiled for celebrating a marriage bet\veen the Emperor Constantine 'VI and Theodota during the lifetime of the lawful Empress l\lary. No doubt he acted in this way to avoid worse evils, but the party which was headed by 8t Theodore Studites refused to have any dealings or even to be in cornmunion with the patriarch and with those \vho supported what they called the" Adulterine Heresy)): they went so far as to appeal to the pope. St Leo III sent them an encouraging reply but, being imperfectly informed about the whole matter and having received no communications from Archbishop Nicephorus, he took no further action. After a time, however, a reconciliation was brought about between the patriarch and 8t Theodore (who meanwhile had been imprisoned and his monks dispersed). It "vas not until then that Nicephorus sent to the pope a letter announcing his apppoint­ ment to the see of Constantinople, with an apology -and a rather lame excuse for his delay in making the customary notification. At the same time, in view of attacks that had been made upon his orthodoxy, he added a lengthy confession of faith and prornised that in future he would give due notice at H.ome of any irnportant questions that might arise. St Nicephorus was a zealous administrator and applied himself with patient determination to improving morals and restoring discipline in the various monas­ teries under his control as well as amongst the clergy generally, with the support of St Theodore. But Leo the Armenian becan1e emperor in 8 I 3. I-Ie was an Icono­ clast, although he did not at first express his opinions and evaded the confession of faith which Nicephorus tried to elicit before consecrating him. It was only when he felt his position assured that he allowed his views to become kno\vn. He attempted by crafty suggestions to win over Nicephorus to favour his design of destroying the images which had been replaced in the churches after their use had been vindicated and sanctioned by the Second Council of Nicaea. The patriarch replied, "We cannot change the ancient traditions: we respect the holy images, as we do the cross and the book of the gospels." Leo, however, persisted in his antagonism, which he proceeded to propagate without at first showing his hand too clearly. He privately encouraged some soldiers to insult ~n image of Christ which was fixed to a great cross at the Bronze Gate of Constantinople, and then ordered the figure to be removed on the plea of preventing a second profanation. Shortly afterwards the emperor, having assembled in his palace certain Iconoclastic bishops,

585


Tl-IE LIVES OF Tl-IE SAINTS

..M arch 13]

sent for the patriarch and his fellow dignitaries. They entreated Leo to leave the government of the Church to her pastors, one of them saying, "If this IS an ecclesiastical affair, let it be discussed in the church, not in the palace." The emperor in a rage drove them all from his presence. Some little time later the heteroJox bishops held a meeting and cited the patriarch to appear before them. To their summons he replied, " \Vho gave you this authority? If it was he who pilots the vessel of Old Rome, I am ready. If it \vas the Alexandrine successor of the Evangelist Mark, I am ready. If it was the patriarch of Antioch or he of Jerusalem, I make no opposition. But who are you? In Iny diocese you have no jurisdiction." He then read the canon which declared those men excommunicated who presume to exercise any act of jurisdiction in the diocese of another bishop. On their side they proceeded to pronounce against him a sentence of deposition. After several attempts had been made against his life he was sent by the emperor into exile, and spent his fifteen remaining years at the monastery which he had built on the Bosphorus. Although Leo's successor Michael the Stammerer would not bring b3ck the sacred images which Leo had banished from the churchts, he was no persecutor and would have restored the patriarch had he been willing to keep silence on the disputed question; but Nicephorus would not purchase his liberty at the expense of his conscience, and he felt that silence would be tantamount to consent. In exile he could and did continue to defend his tenets in writings which have lasted to this day. His chief works were an Apology for orthodox teaching regarding sacred images and another larger treatise in two parts, the first of which consisted of a defence of the Church against the charge of idolatry, and the second, known as the Antirrhetica, was a confutation of the writings on images of Constantine V. Besides several other treatises, mostly dealjng with Iconoclasm, he left two historical "rorks known as the Breviarium and the Chronographia, the one a short history from the reign of Maurice to that of Constantine and Irene, and the other a chronicle of events from the beginning of the world. In the collection of the councils may still be found the seventeen canons of Nicephorus, in the second of which he declares it to be unla\vful to travel on Sunday without necessity. In 846, by order of the Empress Theodora and in the patriarchate of 8t Methodius, the body of St Nicephorus was translated from the island of Prokenesis to Constantinople, where it was deposited in the church of the Apostles on March 13-the day appointed for the commemoration of the saint in the Roman Mar足 tyrology. The principal source for the life of St Nicephorus is a biography of the deacon Ignatius. It has been edited by De Boor in Inodern times, but is also found in the Acta Sanelorum, March, vol. ii. There is a good account of this disturbed period in H~rgenr6ther, Kirelzen足 geschichte, vol. i, and in the article" Nicephorus " in the Kirehenlexikon,. and summaries of the Iconoclast controversy in Baynes and Moss, Byzantium (1948), pp. 15-17, 105-108, by H. L. B. l\1oss and If. C;regoire. C/. Hefele-Leclercq, Histoire des Condles, vol. 111, pt 2 (1910), pp. 741 seq.

ST ANSOVINUS, BISHOP OF CAMERINO

(A.D. 840)

ST ANSOVINUS was born at Camerino in Umbria, but no details of his early life have been preserved. After his ordination to the priesthood he retired into a solitary spot at Castel-Raimondo, near Torcello, where he soon acquired a reputa足 tion for sanctity and miracles. It was even believed that when he came to church

586


[J\,farch 13

ST HELDRAD

he crossed the river on his cloak which he cast into the water, and that, when the rays of the sun dazzled him as he was offering the holy sacrifice, he hung the linen purificator in the air and it shaded his eyes. The Emperor Louis the Pious when in Italy chose him as his confessor, and ratifieu his election to the see of Camerino. The saint, however, had no wish to accept the dignity, and when he did consent it was with the proviso that he should not be expected to provide soldiers for the imperial army. Although such military service was usual in feudal and semi-feudal states, he considered it unsuitable and contrary to the law of the Church. Ansovinus proved himself a wise and prudent pastor. Not only was he liberal to the poor, but in seasons of dearth he husbanded all the resources at his command with such sagacity that he was able to relieve the sufferings of the needy. Indeed, it was said that when he had entirely emptied a granary, it was supernaturally refilled. The saint had the gift of healing and ",'as instrumental in curing many sick persons. He was in Rome when he was seized with a form of fever which he and those about him recognized as likely to prove fatal. In spite of the protests of his friends he insisted upon returning home to die amongst his own people. They carried the sick man out to his horse, and when the animal saw him that strange instinct which dumb creatures often possess impelled him to kneel down to enable his master to mount. Ansovinus reached Camerino and was able to give a last blessing and to receive the viaticum before he quietly expired. A singular miracle with which he is credited is worth relating, if only to account for the attribute commonly connected with 8t Ansovinus. He was on his way to Rome to be consecrated when he and his friends arrtyed at N arni, where they stayed for refreshment. They called for wine, and the innkeeper brought some. Ansovinus, detecting that it had been watered, remonstrated with the man, who answered rudely that they could take it or leave it-it was all they would get. The saint then asked for cups, but the innkeeper said that he only provided wine and that visitors were expected to bring their own drinking-cups. 80 8t Ansovinus took off his cape and told the host to pour the wine into the hood. He did so, under protest, and the hood retained the wine, whilst the water with which it had been mixed ran away. The life printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, which purports to haye been written by a certain Eginus not less than a century after the death of the saint, is a wordy and unconvincing document consisting mainly of miracles. But the cultus of St Ansovinus is recognized, and his name is entered in the Roman Martyrology. See also M. Santoni, Gulto di Sant' Ansovino (1883).

ST HELDRAD,

ABBOT

(c.

A.D.

842)

THE father of 8t Heldrad was a feudal lord in Provence, whose castle was near Aix at a town called Lambesc, the exact situation of \vhich appears to be uncertain. Heldrad, while still quite young, succeeded to a large fortune, a considerable proportion of which he expended in good works. Not far from the town, at a spot where several important roads met, a market was held which was a veritable Vanity Fair, with much fraud and blasphemy. Beside the market 8t Heldrad built a church and a hospice, where all guests, rich or poor, were received without payment. He also laid out a garden where vegetables could be grown by the people. In spite of all he had done, he was not satisfied and resolved to give up everything for Christ's sake and to seek the way of perfection. Part of his possessions he gave to the bishop for the upkeep of the works he had established, and the rest was devoted to

587


THE LIVES OF TJ-IE SAIN1"S

A/arch 13]

the poor. Meanly clad in the guise of a pilgrim, he started forth, visiting first the holy places of western France and of Spain, but not finding anywhere the kind of life to which he felt called. Then he began tramping through Italy. Quite casually he heard from other pilgrims of the Benedictine monks of Novalese who, in their monastery at the foot of the Alps, not only exercised hospitality day and night, but also, it is said, took charge of a hospice on the top of the pass of Mont Cenis. Leon Lallemand, in his Histoire de fa Charite (vol. ii, p. 183), speaks of a refuge on Mont Cenis constructed by Charlemagne on the site of an ancient temple of Jupiter, and it is possible that this was in charge of the monks of Novalese. One would like to think that in the winter season the brethren used to set out to seek travellers who were lost in the snow, bringing them back to the hospice to tend them and aid them on their journey. But positive evidence of this is lacking. The short summer season only gave the monks time to gather wood for fuel and to lay in provisions for the winter. It was in the autuInn that Heldrad presented himself at the door of the abbey. The abbot Amblulf had had a premonition with regard to his coming and therefore received him with special cordiality. Here at last Heldrad found the life of devotion and active charity which satisfied his aspirations. For a time the abbot tested him by entrusting him with the care of the monastery vineyards, but before long he gave him the habit. Raised to the priesthood, Heldrad no doubt took part in perilous mountain expeditions, perhaps even anticipating the work subsequently taken up by the canons of the Great 8t Bernard. What is more certain is that he was charged with the training of the young religious; he does not, however, seem to have been tied to the spot, for at one time we find him at Cluny whither he had been summoned by Louis the Pious. ..t\fter the death of Amblulf, Charlemagne's son Hugh was appointed abbot, but he \vas so often absent that the abbey would greatly have suffered but for Heldrad, who acted as administrator with so much success that he was elected abbot upon the death of Hugh. In this capacity he did much for the monastery. \Vithin the fortified enclosure he erected a tower, the upper part of \vhich served as a signalling-station, whilst the lower part contained the treasures of the house and the famous library which was his special care. Not satisfied with succouring travellers on the Mont Cenis he established another hospice on the Lautaret Pass, now called the Monestier de Brian~on. 8t I-Ieldrad's death took place about 842. He was held in such veneration that his relics were long carried in procession in the valley of Novalese at Rogationtide~ and his cultus was approved in 1903. Nearly all that can be learnt about 5t Heldrad will be found collected in the volume published by C. Cipolla, JV/onumenta Novaliciensia Vetustiora (1898), including a fragmentary rhythmical life which may possibly be assigned to the ninth century and which is certainly not later than the tenth, and also a prose life which had previously been printed in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. ii) and else\\rhere. This latter, according to Bethmann (MGH., Scriptores, vol. vii, p. 73 n.), may be assigned to the early eleventh century. A short poem addn:s3ed to Heldrad is printed among the Poetae Latini Aevi Carolini, ii, p. 549.

SSe RODERIC

AND

SOLOMON,

1VIARTYRS

THE history of the two martyrs Roderic and Solomon has been preserved for us by their contemporary 8t Eulogius, who wrote, either from his own knowledge or from

588


BD AGNELLO ()F PISA

[March 13

the testimony of eye-witnesses, the acts of all those who perished before him in the persecution in which, as narrated above (March I I), he himself laid down his life. I t must be acknowledged that these acts give an unfavourable impression of the mentality of the general run of Christians in Moorish Spain at that epoch. Families were divided, apostasy was common, and the Moors themselves were scandalized at the unfaithfulness of Christians and cast their laxity in their teeth. No wonder then that Eulogius begins his book with the words, "In those days, by a just judgement of God, Spain was oppressed by the Moors". The story of St Roderic may serve as an illustration. The martyr was a priest of Cabra who had two brothers, one of whom had become a Mohammedan whilst the other was a bad Christian who had practically abandoned his faith. One night the two brothers fell into an altercation which became so heated that they came to blows, and Roderic rushed in to separate them. Thereupon they both turned OR him and beat him until he fell senseless to the ground. The Mohammedan then had him placed upon a litter and carried through the streets, whilst he himself walked beside the stretcher proclaiming that Roderic had apostatized and wished to be publicly recognized as a Moham足 medan before he died. The victim was too ill to speak, but he suffered great anguish of mind, and as soon as he had recovered the use of his limbs he made his escape. Not long afterwards, the Mohamnledan brother met him in the streets of Cor足 dova and immediately haled him before the kadi on the charge of having returned to the Christian faith after having declared himself a Mohammedan. Roderic indignantly denied ever having forsaken the Christian religion, but the kadi refused to believe him and cast him into one of the vilest dungeons in the city. There he found another prisoner, named Solomon, who had been confined there on the same charge. The two encouraged each other during the long and weary imprisonment by which the kadi had expected to wear out their constancy. As they remained inflexible, they were separated, but when that also proved ineffectual they were condemned and decapitated. St Eulogius, who saw their dead bodies exposed beside the river, noticed that the guards threw into the stream the pebbles stained with the martyrs' blood lest the people should pick them up to preserve them as relics. Our primary authority is the Apologeticus of St Eulogius, frool which the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. ii) have extracted the relevant passages. See also Florez, Espana Sagrada, vol. xii, pp. 36 seq.

BD AGNELLO OF PISA

(A.D. 1236)

THE founder of the English Franciscan province, Bd. Agnello, was admitted into the order by St Francis himself on the occasion of his sojourn in Pisa. He was sent to the friary in Paris, of which he became the custos or guardian, and in 1224 St Francis appointed him to found an English province, although he was as yet only a deacon. Of the eight brothers selected to accompany him three were English足 men, but only one was in priest's orders, namely, Richard of Ingworth. True to the precepts of St Francis, they had no money, and the monks of Fecamp paid their passage over to Dover. They made Canterbury their first stopping足 place, whence Richard of Ingworth, Richard of Devon and two of the Italians went on to London to see where they could settle. The rest were lodged at

589


March 13]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

the Poor Priests' House, sleeping in a building which was used as a school by day. While the scholars were there, the friars were penned up in a small room at the back, and only after the boys had gone home could they come out and make a fire. It was the winter of 1224, and they must have suffered great discomfort, especially as their ordinary fare was bread and a little beer, which was so thick that it had to be diluted before they could swallow it. Nothing, however, damped their spirits, and their simple piety, cheerfulness and enthusiasm soon won them many friends. They were able to produce a commendatory letter from Pope Honorius III, so that the archbishop of Canterbury, Stephen Langton, in announcing their arrival, said, "Some religious have come to me calling themselves Penitents of the Order of Assisi, but 1 call them of the Order of the Apostles ". By this name they were at first known in England, and when some of them were to be ordained acolytes at Canterbury four months after landing, the archdeacon, in bidding the candidates come forward, said, "Draw near, ye brothers of the Order of the Apostles" . In the meantime Richard of Ingworth and his party had been well received in London and had hired a dwelling on Cornhill. They were now ready to push on to Oxford, and Agnello came from Canterbury to take charge of the London settlement. Everywhere the friars were received with enthusiasm, and Matthew Paris himself attests that Bd Agnello was on familiar terms with King Henry III. Although the minister provincial was not himself a learned man, yet he established a teaching centre which afterwards greatly influenced the university. To that school, in which Grosseteste, afterwards bishop of Lincoln, was a lecturer, flocked numbers of eager youths who were trained as friars and who, before many years were over, helped to raise Oxford to a position hardly inferior to Paris as a centre of learning. Agnello seems to have died at the age of forty-one, only eleven years after he landed at Dover, but his reputation for sanctity and prudence stood high amongst his fellows. It is stated that his zeal for poverty was so great that" he would never permit any ground to be enlarged or any house to be built except as inevitable necessity required ". In particular the story runs that he built the infirmary at Oxford " in such humble fashion that the height of the walls did not much exceed the height of a man". During Mass and when saying the Divine Office he shed tears continually, "yet so that neither by any noise nor by groans nor by any contortion of the face could it be known that he wept". He was stern in resisting relaxations in the rule, but his gentleness and tact led him to be chosen in 1233 to negotiate with the rebellious Earl Marshal. His health is said to have been under­ mined by his efforts in this cause and by a last painful journey to Italy. On his return he was seized with dysentery ~t Oxford and died there, after crying out for three days, " Come, sweetest Jesus". The cult of Bd Agnello was confirmed in 1892; his feast is observed in the archdiocese of Birmingham today and by the Friars Minor on the 11th. The narrative of Thomas of Eccleston, De adventu Fratrum Mi1lOrum, together with the Chronicle of Lanercost, and the De conformitate of Bartholomew of Pisa are the most reliable sources of information. See especially the translation of Thomas of Eccleston with its appendixes, by Father Cuthbert, and the text edited by A. G. Little. See also the last­ named's The Grey Friars in Oxford (1892); E. Hutton, The Franciscans in England (1933) ; and Father Gilbert, Bd Agnellus and the English Grey Friars (1937).

59°


ST EUTYCHIUS, OR EUSTATI-IIUS

14 : ST

LEOBINUS,

OR

[1\1arch 14

LUBIN,

BISHOP OF CHARTRES

(c.

A.D.

558)

T

HE parents of St Lubin were peasants in the country near Poitiers, and from childhood he was set to work in the fields. As a boy he \vas keen to learn, and his thirst for knowledge increasing with years he went to a monastery-probably Noailles-,,"here he was employed in menial tasks. His work occupied him all day, and he was obliged to do most of his studying at night, screening his lamp as best he could, because the monks complained that the light disturbed their slumbers. By humility and perseverance he advanced in religious knowledge until he had reached an honourable place in the house. In some way, however, he came into contact with St Carilef, and .it was probably at his suggestion that Lubin sought out the hermit St Avitus, who recommended him to spend some time longer in a monastery and then to return to him in Le Perche. After sundry misadventures Lubin settled down for five years in an abbey near Lyons, until in a war between the Franks and the Burgundians the monastery was raided and the monks took to flight, only Lubin and an old man remaining behind. Th( raiders, who were intent on plunder, tried to discover from the old man where the treasures were concealed, and he referred them to St Lubin. As they could obtain no information from him they had recourse to torture-fastening a cord round his head and tightening it. After this they tied his feet and dipped him, head first, into the river, but failing to make hin1 divulge anything they eventually left him for dead. He recovered, howevtr, and with two companions returned to Le Perche where St Avitus received him into his monastery. After the death of St Avitus, Lubin again lived the life of a hermit. Bishop Aetherius of Chartres nominated him abbot of Brou and raised him to the priesthood. He seems to have found his responsibilities too onerous and longed to lay down office and become a simple monk at Lerins, but St Caesarius, to whom his own bishop sent him for advice, told him to go back to Brou and not to leave his people like sheep with足 out a shepherd. He obeyed, but soon after his return was promoted to succeed Aetherius 2S bishop of Chartres. He brought about various reforms and con足 tinued to be very famous for his miracles. He took part in the Fifth Council of Orleans and in the Second Council of Paris, dying on March 14, about 558, after a long illness. The ancient Life of St Leobinus has been edited by B. Krusch in MGH., Auct. Antiquiss., vol. iv, part 2, pp. 73-82, as an appendix to the works of Venantius Fortunatus, who was at one time believed to have been the author. Fr A. Poncelet considers that the biography in its present form cannot be older than the middle of the ninth century. See the Ana/efta Bollandiana, vol. xxiv (1905), pp. 25-3 I, and p. 82. C/. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, p. 422, and the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. ii.

ST EUTYCHIUS,

OR

EUSTATHIUS,

MARTYR

(A.D.

741)

DURING 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 continu足 ally 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 c(;lebrated by a fresh holocaust of victims. Eutychius

59 1


THE LIVES OF THE SAIN'rS

March 14]

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 Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, where the brief account given is based entirely upon the Chronography of Theophanes.

ST MATILDA,

WIDOW

(A.D.

968)

A DESCENDANT of the celebrated Widukind who led the Saxons in their long struggle against Charlemagne, St Matilda was the daughter of Dietrich, a Westphalian count, and of Reinhild, a scion of the royal Danish house. The little girl, who was born about the year 895, was confided to the care of her paternal grandmother, the abbess of the convent of Erfurt. Here, not far from her home, Matilda was edu­ cated and grew up to womanhood, excelling all her companions, we are told, in beauty, piety and learning. In due course she married the son of Duke Otto of Saxony, Henry, called" the Fowler" because of his fondneRs for hawking: the union was an exceptionally happy one, and Matilda ever exerted a wholesome and restraining influence over her husband. Just after the birth of their eldest son Otto, three years after their marriage, Henry succeeded to his father's dukedom, and when, about the beginning of the year 919, King Conrad died child­ less, he was raised to the German throne. It was well indeed for him that he was a capable soldier, for his life was one of warfare-in which he was singularly successful. By Henry himself and his subjects his successes were attributed as much to the prayers of the queen as to his own prowess. Throughout her life she retained the humility which had distinguished her as a girl, and in the royal palace she lived almost like a religious. 'To her court and to her servants she seemed less a queen and mistress than a loving mother, and no one in distress ever applied to her in vain. Her husband rarely checked her liberal almsgiving or showed irritation at her pious practices, having entire confidence in her goodness and trusting her in all things. After twenty-three years of marriage King Henry died of an apoplectic fit in 936. Matilda had gone to the church to pour forth her soul in prayer for him at the foot of the altar when it was announced to her that he had passed away. At once she asked for a priest to offer the holy sacrifice for his soul, and cutting off the jewels that she was wearing gave them to the priest as a pledge that she renounced, from that moment, the pomps of the world. Five children had been born to Henry and Matilda-Otto, afterwards emperor, Henry the Quarrelsome, St Bruno, subsequently archbishop of Cologne, Gerberga, who married Louis IV, King of France, and Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. Although it had been Henry's wish that his eldest son Otto should succeed him, Matilda favoured her younger son Henry and persuaded a few nobles to vote for hinl; but Otto was chosen and cro\\'·ned. Unwilling to give up his claims, Henry raised a rebellion against his brother, but finding himself worsted, sued for peace, was pardoned by Otto, and at Matilda's intercession was made duke of Bavaria. 1"he queen was now living a life of almost complete self-abnegation; her jewellery

59 2


ST MATILDA

[March 14

had gone to help the poor, whilst her bounties were so lavish as to arouse criticism. Her son Otto accused her of having treasure in hiding and of wasting the crown revenues: he called upon her to give an account of all she had spent and set spies to watch her movements and her donations. The bitterest part of her suffering was the discovery that her favourite Henry was aiding and abetting his brother. She bore all with invincible patience, remarking, with a touch of pathetic humour, that it was a consolation to know that her sons were united--even though it was only in their persecution of herself. "I would willingly endure all they could do against me if it would keep them together-provided that they could do it without sin ", she is reported to have said. To satisfy them, Matilda resigned her inheritance to her sons and retired to the country residence where she had been born. But no sooner was she gone than Duke Henry fell ill and disaster began to descend upon the state. It was generally felt that these misfortunes were due to the treatment meted out to their mother, and Otto's wife Edith persuaded him to ask her forgiveness and to restore all he had taken from her. Matilda freely forgave both her sons and returned to court, where she resumed her works of mercy. But though Henry had ceased to persecute her, his conduct continued to cause her great sorrow. He again revolted against Otto and afterwards punished an insurrection of his own Bavarian subjects with almost incredible cruelty; even the bishops were not spared. In 955 when Matilda saw him for the last time, she prophesied his approaching death and entreated him to repent before it was too late. The news that he had died, which reached her shortly afterwards, almost prostrated her and cut away one of the last ties that bound her to earth. She set about building a convent at Nordhausen, and made other foundations at Quedlinburg, at Engern and also at Poehlen, where she established a monastery for men. That Otto no longer re足 sented her spending her own revenue in religiol.].s works is evident from the fact that when he went to Rome to be crowned emperor he left the kingdom in her charge. The last time Matilda took part in a family gathering was at Cologne at the Easter of 965. Thither came also the Emperor Otto, " the Great ", and her other surviving children and grandchildren. After this appearance she practically retired from the world, spending her time in one or other of her foundations, chiefly at Nordhausen. Urgent affairs had called her to Quedlinburg when a fever from which she had been suffering for some time grew gradually worse and she realized she was dying. She sent for Richburga, who as lady-in-waiting had assisted her in her charities and was now abbess of Nordhausen. According to tradition, the queen proceeded to make a deed of gift of everything in her room until she was told that there was nothing left but the linen which was to serve as a winding-sheet. " Give that to Bishop William of Mainz ", she said designating her grandson. "He will need it first." He actually died, very suddenly, twelve days before his grand足 mother's decease on M~rch 14, 968. Matilda's body was buried beside that of her husband at Quedlinburg, and she was locally venerated as a saint from the moment of her death. The MGH. contain the best text of the two ancient lives of St Matilda-the older in Scriptores, vol. x, pp. 575-582, the more recent in Scriptores, vol. iv, pp. 283-302. Further information may be gleaned from the contemporary chroniclers and charters. See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; L. Clarus, Die hi. Mathilde,. L. Zopf, Die Heiligenleben im 10 Jahrhundert,. and L. E. Hallberg, Ste Mathilde.

593


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 15]

BD JAMES, ARCHBISHOP OF NAPLES

(A.D. 1308)

VITERBO was the birthplace of James Capocci, ,vho entered the Augustinian Order at an early age. Giving great promise of eminence both in piety and learning he was sent to make his higher studies at the University of Paris, where he attended the lectures of his illustrious fellow Augustinian, Aegidius Romanus, who had been the pupil of St Thomas Aquinas and was an enthusiastic upholder of the teaching of the Angelic Doctor. After returning for a while to Italy and acting as theological instructor to his own brethren, Capocci was sent to make a second stay in Paris, where he took his doctor's degree, and thereupon lectured in that city and subse足 quently at Naples. It is recorded of him that he solemnly expressed his conviction that God had sent into the world three teachers to enlighten the Universal Church -first Paul the Apostle, then later on Augustine, and now in these last days Brother Thomas. In 1302 Bd James was appointed archbishop of Benevento by Pope Boniface VIII, but only a few months later the same pontiff translated him to the archiepiscopal see of Naples, in ,vhich office he won the veneration vf all by his virtue and his learning. His death in 1308 was followed by many spontaneous manifestations of the ardour with which his memory was cherished by his flock, and the cultus then begun was confirmed in 191 I. See the rescript for the confirmatio cultus, which is printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. iii (191 I), p. 319. Some idea of the rnental attitude of Bd Jatues towards questions much discussed in his day may be obtained from his work De regimine christiano, which was printed and edited by H. X. Arquilliere in 1926, and also from the article of M. Grabmann in the Festgabe Josef Geyser (1930), vol. i, pp. 209-232.

15 : ST

LONGINUS, MARTYR

(FIRST CENTURY)

HE story of St Longinus, who is commemorated on this day in the Roman Martyrology and is there associated with the city of Caesarea in Cappadocia, may conveniently be given in the terms of Bd James of Voragine's Golden Legend. St Longinus, according to this account, was the centurion who, standing by Pilate's direction with other soldiers beside the cross of our Lord, pierced His side with a lance, and seeing the portents which followed, the darkening of the sun and the earthquake, believed in Christ. But what influenced him most, as some relate, was that though his sight was failing him, either through age or infirmity, the blood of our Saviour running down the lance touched his eyes, and straightway he saw clearly. For this reason he gave up his soldiering, and, after being instructed by the apostles, he led a monastic life in Caesarea of Cappadocia, by his words and example winning many souls to Christ. Having been brought to trial and refusing to offer sacrifice, the governor ordered all his teeth to be knocked out and his tongue cut off. Nevertheless Longinus did not in consequence lose his power of speech. Catching up an axe, he broke the idols into fragments, and cried aloud, " Now we shall see whether they are gods". But a pack of demons issuing forth from the idols entered into the governor and his attendants. Then gibbering and howling they fell down at Longinus's feet. Thereupon Longinus said to them, " Why take ye up your abode in idols?" Who answered, " Where the name of Chri3t is not heard and the sign of His cross is not imposed, there is our dwelling-place". Meanwhile the governor continued to rave and he was now blind. So Longinus

T

594


ST MA'rRONA

[March 15

said to him, " Know that thou canst only be cured when thou hast put me to death. But as soon as I shall have surrendered my life by thy act, I will pray for thee, and I will obtain for thee health both of body and of souL" Straightway then the governor ordered his head to be cut off; and immediately this was done he threw himself down beside the corpse and with tears manifested his repentance. But in that same moment he recovered his sanity along with his sight, and he ended his life in the doing of all good works. The untrustworthy character of this account, which is supported by no docu足 mentary evidence of the early centuries, is patent upon the face of it. The" cen足 turion " of Mark (xv 29) is unwarrantably identified with the" soldier" (John xix 34) who pierced the side of Jesus. To this latter, in the apocryphal" Gospel of Nicodemus ", otherwise known as the" Acts of Pilate ", the name Longinus is given in its later recensions; but there seems every probability that it was suggested by the Greek word AoyX'YJ (a lance), the weapon he is recorded to have used. There is a Syriac manuscript of the gospels in the Laurentian I~ibrary at Florence written by a certain monk Rabulus in 586, which contains a miniature of the crucifixion. In this the soldier piercing our Lord's side has the name Loginus written over his head in Greek characters. This may, however, have been a later addition. What we know for certain is that there were several different stories in circulation re足 garding Longinus which have given rise to different feasts at different dates. The most notable legend is that of Mantua, which claims that Longinus came to that city shortly after the death of our Lord, and that there, after preaching the gospel for some years, he suffered martyrdom. He is said, moreover, to have brought with him a portion of the precious blood shed upon the cross, which relic is alleged to be still preserved at Mantua, as \vell as the body of the saint. There is a considerable literature connected with these fables. Some account of it will be found in C. Kroner, Die Longinuslegende (1899), but a stiiI fuller treatment in R. J. Peebles, The Legend of Longinus in Ecclesiastical Tradition and English Literature (1911). See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; and F. I. Dolger, Antike und Christentum, bk iv (1933), pp. 81-94揃

ST MATRONA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

(DATE UNKNOWN)

THERE are three saints of this name who are commemorated in the Acta SanctoTum on March IS. One only of the three appears in the Roman Martyrology, where she is honoured with the followin g eulogium: "At Thessalonica, of St Matrona, the servant maid of a certain Jewess, who wcrshipp~d Christ by stt:alth and went daily to the church for secret prayer. She was discovered by her mistress and in many ways tormented until at last she was beaten to death with stout rods and in the confession of Christ rendered up her pure soul to God." The same aCt.:;ount, slightly developed, is found in the Greek synaxaries, and we meet it in the West in the early part of the ninth century with certain additional details describing how the martyr, on two occasions being left overnight bound with thongs to a bench, was found in the morning miraculously released. Of this St Mafrona no cultus seems to survive. In Barcelona, however, there is, or was, what purport to be the remains of a virgin cf the same name who, though born in that region, was taken to Rome, and there, on account of the services she rendered to the Christians in prison, was arrested and put to death, her body being brought back to her own country. A third St Matrona, who is not a martyr, is honoured on this day in the

595


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March IS]

neighbourhood of Capua. She is said, however, to have been of royal birth and to have come from Portugal. She suffered grievously from dysentery, and was supernaturally directed to go to Italy to find a cure, for the relief of which disease she is now invoked. See the Acta Sanctorurll, March, vol. ii; A. B. C. Dunbar, Dictionary of Saintly Women, vol. ii, p. 77; Quentin, Les Martyrologes Historiques, p. 181.

ST ZACHARY,

POPE

(A.D. 752)

DETAILS of the early life of St Zachary are lacking, but he is known to have been born at San Severino of a Greek family settled in Calabria, and he is believed to have been one of the deacons of the Roman church. Upon the death of St Gregory III, he was unanimously elected pope. No better selection could have been made: a man of learning and of great personal holiness, he joined a conciliatory spirit to far-sighted wisdom, and was able to cope with the grave problems which confronted him upon his accession. The position of Rome was one of much peril. The Lombards were again preparing to invade Roman territory, when the new pope decided to treat directly with their ruler, and went himself to Terni to visit him. lIe was received with respect, and his personality produced such an impression that Liutprand returned all the territory that had been taken froni the Romans in the preceding thirty years. Moreover he made a twenty years' treaty and released all his prisoners. Peace having been made with Rome, Liutprand prepared to attack Ravenna. The exarch immediately turned to St Zachary and implored his assistance. The pope, after sundry unsuccessful efforts, went in person to Pavia, Liutprand where his intervention induced the king to abandon his offensive. died soon afterwards, and his second successor, Rachis, was encouraged by Zachary eventually to become a monk at Monte Cassino. But his brother Aistulf was a different sort of man: in the last years of St Zachary's pontificate he captured Ravenna, bringing the Byzantine imperial exarchate finally to an end, and Rome was again threatened. Pope Zachary's relations with Constantinople, where the Emperor Constantine V maintained Iconoclasm, were rendered unimportant by political upheavals there, but in the further West progress was continuous. This was in the first place due to St Boniface, with whom the pope kept in close touch and to whom he gave every encouragement. By this time the power of the Merovingian kings in France had passed completely to the mayors of the palace, and in 75 I Pepin the Short sent an embassy to the pope asking if he did not think that ont; who exercised sovereign rule ought to be king. Zachary, with equal diplomacy, replied that he did think so, and Pepin was accordingly elected king at Soissons and anointed by the papal legate St Boniface-a happening full of significance for both papacy and secular sovereignty. Amid all his activities Pope Zachary found time to translate St Gregory's Dialogues into Greek, and he was always full of care for the poor and oppressed. He provided a home for nuns driven out of Constantinople by the icono­ clasts, he ransomed slaves in the Roman market who otherwise would have been sold by the Venetians to the Saracens, and early in his pontificate he threatened with excommunication those who should sell Christian slaves to Jews. Zachary was venerated as a saint im·mediately after his death, which happened in March 75 2 •


[March 15

BD WILLIAM HART

There is a fairly satisfactory account of St Zachary in the Liber Pontificalis, but for fuller detail we have to turn to his letters and to the chronicles, such as the Annals of Lorsch. See 1-I. K. lVlann, Lives of the Popes, vol. ii, pp. 225-288, and Cardinal Bartolini, Di S. Zaccaria Papa (1879). Hodgkin, Gregorovius and other secular historians speak appreciatively of his \vork.

ST LEOCRITIA, OR LUCRETIA, VIRGIN AND MARTYR

(A.D. 859)

ST LEOCRITIA lived in Cordova when it was a Moorish city and when the conversion of a follower of Islam was punishable by death. Her parents were wealthy and influential Moslems, but she herself had been converted to Christianity by a relation called Ijtiosa, and had been baptized. At first she kept her religion secret, but as time went on she practised it more openly and admitted her faith to her parents. Angry and alarmed, they sought to make her apostatize by entreaties, by threats and finally by blows and confinement. She managed to send word to St Eulogius, asking if he could find her a refuge with his sister Anulona, and the messenger brought back a favourable answer. She now awaited an opportunity to escape. Her apparently passive attitude had led her parents to think she was about to comply with their wishes, and they accurdingly gave her permission to attend a wedding; she contrived to slip away from the gathering and to rejoin her Christian friends. Her absence was soon discovered and a great hue and cry was raised, followed by the arrest and examination of any Christians suspected of having had communication with her. Leocritia was handed on from one Christian family to another, St Eulogius visiting her from time to time to instruct her more fully and to strengthen her for the fate that awaited her. At length she was discovered, and both she and St Eulogius were brought before the judge. When St Eulogius was asked why he had concealed her, "I have been entrusted with the office of a preacher", he replied, " and it is my holy duty to enlighten all who seek the light of the faith. To no seeker may I refuse to show the way of life. What I have done for her I would also have done for you, if you had asked me." They were both flogged and condemned to death. After St Leocritia had been decapitated, her body was thrown into the Guadalquivir. It was afterwards deposited at Oviedo, beside that of St Eulogius. A short account of St Leocritia is given in the Acta Sanctorum J March, vol. ii.

BD WILLIAM HART, MARTYR THIS martyr, born at Wells in Somerset, went to Lincoln College, Oxford, and there came under the influence of Dr Bridgewater, who, on account of his Catholic principles, soon after resigned the rectorship and took refuge in Douai. Hart followed his example, and though a delicate man, suffering at times paroxysms of pain from the stone, he faced with marvellous cheerfulness the many hardships entailed by his life as a refugee. After teaching at Rheims he passed on to Rome, and being there ordained priest, returned to the English mission and laboured in Yorkshire. He was particularly remarkable for his joyous spirit and for his courage and charity in visiting those Catholics who were imprisoned in York Castle. On one occasion, when suspicion was aroused, he only escaped capture by letting himself down over the wall into the moat, where he was up to the chin in mud and water. Not long afterwards he was betrayed by an apostate and seems to have been arrested on Christrnas night in the house of Bd Margaret Clitherow, who was one

597


March 15]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

of his penitents. He suffered much in the dungeon into which he was cast, not only from physical hardships, but also from the persistent attempts of Protestant ministers to argue with him even at the very foot of the gallows. He was hanged, but the crowd would not allow him to be cut down and diserrLbowelled alive. See Challoner (MMP., pp. 72-79), who prints a very touching letter written by the martyr to his Protestant mother a few days before his death; and Camm, LEM., vol. ii, pp. 300 seq.

ST LOUISA DE

MARILLAC,

WIDOW,

VINCENTIAN SISTERS OF CHARITY

CO-FOUNDRESS

(A.D.

OF

THE

1660)

To the modt.-rn reader it must seem strange that this valiant woman, who had been a wife and a mother before she consecrated her widowhood to the service of God, was best known to her contemporaries as Mademoiselle Le Gras, Le Gras not being even her maiden name but the name of her husband. The title Madame, however, in seventeenth-century France, was given only to great ladies of the high nobility, and Louisa de Marillac, though well-born and married to an important official in the service of the queen, was not of the rank to whom that compliment was paid. Her father, Louis de Marillac, was a country gentleman of ancient lineage, and her father's brothers after rising to fame became even more celebrated in history as the tragic victims of the resentment of Cardinal Richelieu. Louisa, born in 1591, lost her mother when still a child, but had a good up-bringing and education, thanks partly to the nuns of Poissy to whose care she was confided for a while, and partly to the personal instruction of her own father, who, however, died when she was little more than fifteen. She had wished at one time to become a Capuchin sister but her then ('nnfessor, himself a Capuchin, dissuaded her because her health was too frail. In the end a suitable husband was found for her and she consented to marry Antony Le Gras, a man who seemed destined for a distinguished career. A son was born to them, and her twelve years of married life were happy enough except that before very long her husband fell ill of a lingering sickness in which she nursed him most devotedly. Unfortunately she was tempted to regard this visitation as a punishment for her own infidelity to grace, and these anxieties of conscience became the occasion of long spells of aridity and doubt. It was, however, her good fortune to make the acquaintance of St Francis de Sales, who spent some months in Paris during the year 16 I 9. From him she received the wisest and most sympathetic of guidance. But Paris was not his home, and though he con足 fided her to the spiritual care of his favourite disciple, Mgr Le Camus, Bishop of Belley, the latter's visits to the capital were rare and apt to be somewhat uncertain. Not long before the death of her husband, Louisa made a vow not to marry again but to devote hereself wholly to the service of God, and this was followed a little later by a strange spiritual illumination in which she felt her misgivings dispelled and was given to understand that there was a great work which she was called to do in the future under the guidance of a director to whom she had never yet spoken. Her husband's state of health had long been hopeless. He died in 1625, but before this she had already made the acquaintance of " M. Vincent ", as the holy priest known to us now as St Vincent de Paul was then called, and he, though showing reluctance at first, consented eventually to act as her confessor. St Vincent was at this time organizing his " Contraternities of Charity", with the

59 8


ST LOUISA DE MARILLAC

[March 15

object of remedying the appalling misery and ignorance which he had found existing among the peasantry in country districts. With his wonderful tact and zeal he was soon able to count upon the assistance of a number of ladies (whom he styled Dames de Char£te), and associations were formed in many centres which undoubtedly effected a great deal of good. None the less experience showed that if this work was to be carried on systematically and was to be developed in Paris itself, good order was needed and a copious supply of helpers. The aristocratic ladies of charity, however zealous, could not spare enough time from their other duties, and in many cases had not the physical strength, to meet the demands made upon them. For the purpose of nursing and tending the poor, looking after neglected children and dealing with rough-spoken male folk, the most useful recruits were as a rule those in humble station, who were accustomed to hardships. But they needed supervision and guidance from one whom they thoroughly respected and who had the tact to win their hearts and to show them the way by example. Coming by degrees to be better acquainted with Mlle Le Gras, St Vincent found that he had here at hand the very instrument he needed. She had a clear intelligence, unflinching courage, a marvellous endurance in spite of feeble health and, perhaps most important of all, the readiness to efface herself completely, realizing that the work was wholly for God and not for her glory. Never perhaps was a greater or more enduring religious enterprise set on foot with less of sensa­ tionalism than the founding of that society which was at first known by the name of the " Daughters of Charity" (F£lles de la Char£te) and which has now earned the respect of men of the most divergent beliefs in every part of the world. It ,vas only after some five years personal association with Mlle Le Gras that M. Vincent, who was ever patient to abide God's own good time, sent this devoted soul in May 1629 to make what we might call a visitation of the" Charity" of Montmirail. This was the precursor of many similar missions, and in spite of much bad health, of which St Vincent himself was by no means inconsiderate, his deputy, with all her reckless self-sacrifice did not succumb. Quietly, however, and very gradually, as activities multiplied, in the by-ways of Paris as well as in the country, the need of robust helpers made itself felt. There were many girls and widows of the peasant class who were ready to give their lives to such work, but they were often rough and quite illiterate. To obtain the best results instruction was necessary and tactful guidance. Vincent's own energies were already taxed to the uttermost, most of his time being necessarily given to his company of mission priests. More­ over, much of the work of the" Charities" had necessarily to be done by women, and to organize and superintend that work a womCln was needed who was well acquainted with the instruments upon whom she had to depend. Hence it came about that in 1633 a sort of training centre or noviceship was established in what was then known as the Rue des Fosses-Saint-Victor. This was the unfashiona hIe dwelling which Mlle Le Gras had rented for herself after her husband's death, and she now gave hospitality to the first candidates who were accepted for the service of the sick and poor, four simple people whose very names are unrecorded. These with Louisa as their directress formed the grain of mustard seed which has grown into the world-wide organization known as the Sisters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul. But expansion was rapid. Soon it became evident that some rule of lite and some guarantee of stability was desirable. Louisa had long wanted to bind herself to this service by vow, but St Vincent, always prudent

599


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

l1v1arch IS]

and content to wait for a clear manifestation of the will of God, had restrained her ardour. But in 1634 her desire was gratified; and this naturally paved the way for a scrutiny of the whole position and the possibilities of the future. St Vincent had now complete confidence in his spiritual daughter, and it was she who drafted something in the nature of a rule of life which was to be followed by the members of their association. The substance of this document forms the kernel of the religious observance of the Sisters of Charity down to the present day. But although this was a great step forward, the recognition of the Sisters of Charity as an institute of nuns was still far distant. St Vincent himself insisted that he had never dreamed of founding a religious order. It was God who had done it all. These poor souls, as he often reminded them, must look upon then1selves as nothing but Christian women devoting their energies to the service of the sick and the poor. "Your convent ", he said, " will be the house of the sick; your cell, a hired room; your chapel, the parish church; your cloister, the streets of the city or the wards of the hospital; your enclosure, obedieEce; your grating, the fear of God; your veil, holy modesty." If at the present day the white cornette and the grey stuff gown to which his daughters have remained faithful during nearly three centuries at once attract the eye in any crowd, that is only due to the modern abandonment of the peasant costume of past ages. In the towns of Nonnandy and Brittany not so long ago the white linen headdresses of the country-\vomen were such that a Sister of Charity who had strayed amongst them would not easily have been distinguishable in the throng. St Vincent, the foe of all pretension, was reluctant that his daughters should claim even that distinction and respect which attach to the religious habit of those who are consecrated to God. It was not until 1642 that he allowed four of the company to take annual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, and it was not until I6ss-though this delay was mainly due to political and accidental causes-that Cardinal de Retz, Archbishop of Paris, despatched from Rome the formal approbation of the company and placed them definitely under the direction of St Vincent's own congregation of priests. Meanwhile the good works of the Daughters of Charity had multiplied apace. The patients of the great Paris hospital of the Hotel-Dieu had passed in large measure under their care, the brutal treatment of an abandoned child had led 5t Vincent to organize a home for foundlings, and despite the illiteracy of many of their own recruits the associates had found themselves compelled to undertake the teaching of children. In all these developments Mlle l.le Gras had borne the heaviest part of the burden. She had set a wonderful example at Angers in taking over the care of a terribly neglected hospital. The strain had been so great that in spite of the devotion of her Daughters of Charity she had suffered a seyere breakdown, ~'hich at first was reported, but incorrectly, to be a case of plague infection. In Paris she had nursed the plague-stricken herself during an outhreak of the epidemic and in spite of her delicate constitution had survived the ordeal. I-Ier frequent journeys, necessitated by the duties of her office, \"ould have tried the endurance of the most robust, but she \vas always at hand when her presence was needed, full of hope and creating around her an atmosphere of joy and peace. As we may learn from her letters to 8t Vincent and others, two things only troubled her; the one was the respect and veneration with \vhich she found her visits welcomed, the other was her anxiety for the spiritual welfare of her son lVlichael. \Vith all her occupations she never forgot him. St Vincent hirnself kept an eye on 1Vlichael, and was satisfied that the young man was a thoroughly good fellow I

600


ST CLE1\tJENT HOFBAUER

[March 15

but with not much stability of character. He had no vocation for the priesthood, as his nlother had hoped, but he married and seerns to have led a good and edifying life to the end. lIe came with his wife and child to visit his mother on her deathbed and she blessed thenl tenderly. It 'was the year 1660, and St Vincent was himself eighty years old and very infirm. She would have given much to see this beloved father once more, but that consolation was denied her. Nevertheless her soul was at peace, her life's work had been marvellously blessed, and she uncomplainingly made the sacrifice, telling those around her that she was happy to have still this one deprivation left which she could offer to God. The burden of what, in those last days, she said to her grieving sisters was abvays this: "Be diligent in serving the poor . . . love the poor, honour them, my children, as you would honour Christ Himself." 8t Louisa de Marillac died on March 15, 1660, and St Vincent followed her only six Inonths later. She was canonized in 1934. No rnore valuable source exists for the biographer of St Louisa than the Vie de Saint ITincent de Paul, by Father P, Coste, together with the saint's correspondence and discourses which had previously been collected and published by the diligence of the same painstaking editor. Some value also attaches to the Vie de Mile Ie Gras, which was brought out by M. Gobillon in 1676, and to three others of more modern date, that by the Countess de Richemont in 1882, that of Mgr Baunard in 1898, and that of E. de Broglie in the series" Les Saints" (Eng. trans., 1933). A slight but attractive, if not always accurate, sketch was written by Kathleen O'Meara under the title of A Heroine of Charit)', and there are other popular accounts by M. V. Woodgate (1942) and Sister M. Cullen. All the lives of St Vincent de Paul mentioned herein under July 19 necessarily include much information concerning St Louisa.

ST CLEMENT HOFBAUER 8T CLEMENT MARY I-IOFBAUER is sometimes called the second faun der of the Redemptorists, because it was he who first plante.d the congregation of St Al足 phonsus I--liguori north of the Alps. To him is due the further credit of having done more than any other individual to bring about the collapse of" Josephinism ", that Austrian counterpart of Erastianism which treated ecclesiastics as functionaries of the state and subject to secular control. Born in 175 I in Moravia, St Clement, whose baptismal name was John, was the ninth of the twelve children of a grazier and butcher who had changed his Slavonic surnanle Dvorak to the German equivalent Hofbauer. Even as a child the boy longed to become a priest, but poverty stood in the way, and, at the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to a baker. Later he was employed in the bakery of the Premonstr3tensian monastery at Bruck, where his self-sacrifice during a tirne of famine won him the favour of the abbot, who allo\ved him to follow the classes of the Latin school attached to the abbey. ..t \fter the abbot's death, the young man lived as a solitary, until the Emperor Joseph's edict against hermitages obliged hirn tc take up his old trade again, this tilne in Vienna. From that city he twice made pilgrimages to Rome, in company with his friend Peter Kunzmann, and on the second occasion they obtained per足 mission from Bishop Chiaramonti of Tivoli (afterwards Pope Pius VII) to settle as hermits in his diocese. Within a few months, however, it was borne in upon him that his \vork \\'as to be that of a missioner, not a solitary, and he accordingly returned to Vienna. One day, after he had been serving l\1ass at the cathedral of 5t Stephen, he offered to fetch a carriage for two ladies who \vere detained in the porch by a downpour of rain, and this chance meeting led to the accomplishment of his heart's desire, for the two ladies, discovering that he had not the means to 601


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March IS]

prosecute the necessary studies for the priesthood, paid not only for him but also for his friend Thaddeus Hubl. As the University of Vienna was tainted with rationalistic teaching, they returned to Rome, and there, being greatly attracted by the Redemptorists, they both sought admission into the novitiate. St Alphon足 sus himself, who was still alive at the time, rejoiced greatly when he heard of the new-comers from the north, foreseeing the establishment of his congregation in Austria. The two friends were professed and ordained in 1785, Clement being then already 34 years old. They then were sent back to Vienna, but since the Emperor Joseph II, not content with the overthrow of the Jesuits, had already suppressed several hundred monasteries belonging to other orders, it was useless to think of making a new foundation there. He was then charged by his superiors to begin a mission in Courland, and started northwards with Thaddeus H ubI. On the way St Clement met his old friend Emmanuel Kunzmann, who had continued to live in the hermitage at Tivoli, but was then on a pilgrimage. Their encounter seemed providential. Kunzmann soon determined to join the other two as a lay-brother, and became the first Redemptorist novice to be received north of the Alps. At Warsaw the papal nuncio placed at their disposal the church of St Benno. There were several thousand German Catholics in the city who, since the suppression of the Jesuits, had had no priest who knew their language. In his anxiety to retain the Redemptorists, the nuncio wrote to Rome and obtained the postponement of the mission to Courland in view of the work to be done in Warsaw. They began their labours in the utmost poverty: they had no beds, and the priests slept upon the table while Brother Emmanuel rested in a chair. They borrowed thtir cooking utensils, and as the lay-brother knew nothing of cooking, Clement was obliged to help him. In the early days they preached in the streets, but when the government prohibited outdoor sermons, they remained in St Benno's, which became the centre of a continuous mission. Between the years 1789 and 1808 the work done by St Clement and his brethren was extraordinary: five sermons were preached every day, three in Polish and two in German, for although St Clement's work lay primarily with the Germans, he wished to help all, and the work amongst the Poles received a great impetus after the reception of the first Polish novice, John Podgorski. The church of Holy-Cross-in-the-Fields was handed over to Clement and served from St Benno's. Numbers of Protestants were brought to the church, and St Clement was particularly successful in the conversion of Jews. In additicn to this apostolic ministry the holy man also accomplished a great social work. The constant wars had left the lower classes in great misery, and the condition of many of the children was pitiful. To provide for them, he opened an orphanage near St Benno's and collected alms for their support. On one of his begging expeditions, a man who was playing cards in a tavern replied to his appeal by spitting in his face. St Clement, undeterred, said, " That was a gift to me personally; now please let me have something for my poor children": the man who had insulted him afterwards became one of his regular penitents. A school for boys was also founded, while confraternities and other associations helped to ensure the permanence of the good work thus begun. As his community increased, he began to send out missionaries and to establish houses in Courland as well as in Poland, Germany and Switzerland -but they all had eventually to be abandoned, owing to the difficulties of the times. After twenty years of strenuous labours, St Clement had to give up his work in Warsaw also, in consequence of Napoleon's decree suppressing the religious 602


L1\;[arch

ST CLEMENT HOFBAUER

J5

orders. The previous year the saint had lost his beloved friend Father H libl, who had died of typhus contracted when he was giving the last sacraments to some Italian soldiers. A police-agent risked his life to warn the Redemptorists of their impending expulsion. They were therefore prepared for the official visitation when it came on June 20, 1808, and surrendered themselves without delay. They were taken to the fortress of Ciistrin on the banks of the Oder and there imprisoned; but such was their influence on their fellow prisoners and on the people outside who used to crowd round the prison to listen to the Redemptorists' hymns, that the authorities decided not to keep them there lest their presence should cause too many conversions. It was decided that the community should be broken up and that each member should return to his native country. 8t Clement, however, determined to settle in Vienna, in the hope of founding a religious house there in the event of the repeal of the lavvs of Joseph I I, and after great difficulties, including another imprisonment on the Austrian frontier, he succeeded in reaching the city where he was to live and work for the last twelve years of his life. At first he laboured quietly, helping in the Italian quarter, but before long the archbishop appointed him chaplain to the Ursuline nWlS and rector of the public church attached to their convent. There he was free to preach, to hear confessions and perform all priestly duties, and soon from this centre fresh vigour was infused into the religious life of Vienna. His confessional was besieged not only by the poor and simple, but by ministers of state and university professors. As one of his biographers remarks: "By the sheer unaided force of his holiness, he, a man to whom the opportunity of acquiring anything like wide intellectual culture had been denied, gained such an ascendency over the minds of his contemporaries that he came to be regarded as an oracle of wisdom by leaders of thought both in the world of politics and letters." It was actually 8t Clement Mary Hofbauer and his friends and penitents, one of whom was Prince Ludwig of Bav2ria, who were mainly responsible for defeating at the Congress of Vienna the attempt to create a national German church independent of the pope. The saint interested himself specially in the diffusion of good literature, but ptrhaps his crowning work was the establishment of a Catholic college, which proved an inestimable boon to Vienna, supplying many prif'sts and monks as well as well-instructed laymen who afterwards occupied important positions in every civic career. All through his life 8t Clement had a great devotion to the sick, whom he loved to visit, and he is said to have been present at two thousand death-beds. He was summoned to rich and poor alike, and never refused a call. He was a particularly good friend to the Catholic Armenian Mekhitarist monks who had come to Vienna not long before; and in his dealings with Protestants he was much helped by his realization that, as he wrote in a ¡letter to Father Perthes in 1816, " If the Reform in Germany grew and main­ tained itself it was not through heretics and philosophers, but through men who truly aspired after interior religion". In spite of all his good works and public spirit 8t Clement was the object of frequent persecution by the supporters of " Josephinism ", and the polict kept an un wearying eye on him. They reported in 18 I 8 that, "Pietism and bigotry are increasingly becoming the fashion of the day. The confessional, however, is the decisive factor in keepin g this fashion alive"; and it indeed seems that his work as a confessor and director was a principal source of the influence that made of 8t Clement Hofbauer" the apostle of Vienna". Once he was forbidden to preach,

6°3


March 16]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

and his opponents, after the failure of their attempts at the Congress of Vienna, accused him of being a spy who reported to Rome all that was done in the Empire. The Austrian chancellor asked that he should be expelled, but Francis I heard such a good report of Clement from the archbishop and from Pope Pius VII, that he not only forbade any further annoyance of the Redemptorists, but in an interview with the saint spoke encouragingly of the prospect of a legal recognition of his congregation. The saint's two great objects were now practically attained: the Catholic faith was once more in the ascendant, and his beloved congregation was about to be firmly planted on German soil. He did not live to see the actual realization of his hopes, but he was perfectly satisfied. " rrhe affairs of the con­ gregation will not be settled until after my death", he said. "Only have patience and trust in God. Scarcely shall I have breathed my last when we shall have houses in abundance." The prophecy was soon to be fulfilled. Towards the end, in 1819, St Clement was suffering from a complication of diseases, but he worked as hard as ever. On March 9 he insisted upon walking through a storm of snow and wind to sing a requiem Mass for the soul of Princess Jablonowska, who had helped him greatly when he was living at Warsaw. He nearly fainted at the altar, and on his return home took to his bed, from which he was not again to rise. There, six days later, he breathed his last in the presence of many of his friends. All Vienna crowded the streets to do him honour when his body was borne by twelve of his dearest disciples into the cathedral through the great doors, which were only opened on solemn occasions; and in 1909 he was canonized. There are excellent biographies in German by A. Innerkofler, M. Meschler and M· Haringer (this last was translated into English by Lady I~erbert of Lea), but the best is that of J. Hofer, Der heilige Klemens Maria Hofbauer: Ein Lebensbild (I9~U). l\1uch information may be gleaned from Fr H. Castle's Life of St Alphonsus Liguori, and there are English accounts by Fr O. R. Vassall-Phillips and Fr J. Carr. See also an article by W. C. Breitenfeld in The Tablet, January 5, 1952, pp. 7-9, and E. Hosp, Der hi. K. M. Hofbauer (1951).

16 : ST

JULIAN OF ANTIOCH,

MARTYR

(DATE UNKNOWN)

0NGST the many St Julians who are registt,red as martyrs in the Roman Martyrology, perhaps the most important is the Cilician saint from Anazarbus who is honoured on this day. From the fact that his body­ one knows not how or wherefore-was afterwards conveyed to Antioch, he is often referred to as St Julian of Antioch. In the church dedicated to him just outside that city St John Chrysostom preached a panegyric which is still preserved, and the great orator appeals to the marvellous effects which, as all men might witness, were produced by his relics in the exorcising of evil spirits, as evidence of the glory of the martyr and his power with God. What we learn from the panegyric and from the synaxaries about St Julian's history is not very much or probably very reliable. He is said to have been subjected to almost every form of torment which malignity could devise, and to have been paraded for a whole year as a kind of show through the various cities of Cilicia. In the end he was sewn up with scorpions and vipers in a sack and thrown into the sea. We are not told, however, at what period this happened or how the body was recovered. But the cultus of the martyr at Antioch

.K

6°4


[Afarch 16

ST ABRAIIA1\!l KII)lJNAlr\

in Chrysostom's tin1e was clearly very real and vigorous, and portions of his relics seem to have been conveyed to distant parts of the world. Our I11aln authority is the panegyric of St Chrysostom mentioned above (l\lIigne, PG., vol. I, cc. 665--676). 'The Greek synaxaries give an account of St Julian under March 16 ; the" llieronymianum " nlentions hinl both under l)ecenlber 26 and February 14. See also I)e!ehaye, Les origines du culle des martyrs (1933), pp. 166, 200; Synax. Const., p. 541 ; Cl\!lI-I., p. 148.

ST ABRAIIAM KIDUNAIA

(SIXTH CENTURY)

1~HE birthplace of 8t Abraham was near Edessa in lVlesopotamia, \vhere his parents occupied an important position, being possessed of great riches. 1~hey chose for him a bride, and although he felt called to a celibate life he did not dare to oppose their wishes. In accordance with the custom of the time and country, a seven-days' festivity preceded the actual marriage, and on the last day Abraham ran away to conceal himself in the desert. A search was made for the fugitive, \vho at length was discovered absorbed in prayer. ..All appeals and entreaties having failed to shake his resolution, his friends finally withdre\v, and he walled up the door of his cel], leaving only a little window through which food could be passed. VVhen his parents died, he inherited their riches, but he commissioned a friend to distribute all his goods to the poor. I-lis only remaining possessions were a cloak, a goatskin garment, a bowl for food and drink, and a rush mat on which he slept. "He was never seen to smile", says his biographer, " and he regarded each day as his last. And yet he preserved a fresh complexion and as healthy and vigorous a body (although he was naturally delicate) as though he \vere not leading a penitentjallife. . . . And, what is even more surprising, never once, in fifty years, did he change his coat of goatskin, \\lhich was actually worn by others after his death." Not far from Abraham's cell there was a colony of idolaters who had hitherto resisted with violence all attempts to evangelize them, and \vho \vere a source of constant grief to the bishop of Edessa. The bishop accordingly appealed to him to leave his hernlitage and preach to the people. Reluctantly St Abraham allowed himself to be ordained priest and did as he was bidden. Corning to the town which was called Beth-Kiduna he found the citizens determined not to listen, and on all sides were signs of idolatry and appalling abominations. He asked the bishop to build a Christian church in the midst of the pagan settlement, and when it was completed, the saint felt that his time had come. After praying earnestly, he went forth and cast down the altars and destroyed every idol he could see. The in­ furiated villagers rushed upon him, beat him and drove hirn from the village. During the night he returned, and was found in the morning praying in the church. Going out into the streets he began to harangue the people and to urge them to give up their superstitions, but they again turned on him, and seizing him dragged him away, stoned him and left him for dead. Upon recovering consciousness he again returned, and though constantly insulted, ill-treated and sometimes attacked \vith sticks and stones, he continued for three years to preach, without any apparent result. Suddenly the tide turned: the saint's nleekness and patience convinced the people that he was indeed a holy man, and they began to listen. "Seeing them at last so well disposed, he baptized them all in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, to the number of a thousand persons, and thenceforth he read the floly Scriptures assiduously to them every day while instructing them

6°5


l\.[arch 16]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

in the principles of faith, of Christian justice and of charity." Thus for a year he continued to build up his converts, and then, fearing that he himself was becoming too much absorbed in the things of this world, he determined to leave his flock to the c'!.re of others and stole away at night to hide himself once more in the desert. St Abraham lived to the age of seventy. At the news of his last illness, the whole countryside flocked to receive his benediction, and after his death each one sought to procure some fragment of his clothing. To the story of Abraham, which is in substance perhaps authentic, is attached the un historical legend of his niece Mary, to which in all probability the narrative owes the wide popularity it enjoyed both in the East and in the West. Mary is said to have been only seven years old when she became an orphan and was sent to her uncle, her sole surviving relation. For her he built a little cell near his.own, and trained her in learning and piety until she had reached the age of t\venty. She was then seduced by a false monk who came under pretence of receiving instruction from St Abraham, and having left her cell secretly she made her way to Troas, where she led the life of a common prostitute. Her uncle did not know what had become of her, and for two long years he ceased not to weep and to pray for her. Learning the truth at last, he resolved to seek out the lost sheep and to reclaim her if possible. He borrowed a horse and disguised himself in a soldier's uniform. He found where Mary was living, and sent word inviting her to sup ",ith him, but not dis足 closing his identity. She made her appearance in a garb and with a lightness which plainly indicated her degradation, but she did not recognize her uncle, although she f( lt embarrassed in his presence. When the meal was over, laying aside his dis足 guise, he grasped her hand and made a moving appeal until she was overcome with sorrow. Then, filled with hope and joy, he began to comfort her, undertaking to take all her sins upon himself if only she would return with him and resume her former holy life. Mary promised that henceforward she would obey him in all things, and Abraham led her back into their solitude. After three years God showed her that she was pardoned by granting her the gift of healing and of working miracles, the legend relates. In accord with the Roman Martyrology, Alban Butler and one or two modern writers, notably lVIgr Lamy, St Ephraem has been spoken of as the author of the narrative just summarized: this attribution seems now to be definitely rejected and the saint assigned to the sixth century. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. x (1891), pp. 5-49, where a Syriac text is printed, and vol. xxvi (1907), pp. 468-469 ; Delehaye's Synax. Consl., under October 29; DHG., vol. i, cc. 175-177; A. Wilmart on the Latin versions of the story in the Revue benedictine, vo 1. I (1938), pp. 222-245; and especially E. de Stoop in Musee beIge, vol. xv, pp. 297-312.

ST FINNIAN LOBHAR,

ABBOT

(c.

A.D.

560?)

THE records we have of this St Finnian are conflicting and untrust\vorthy, and even the century of his birth is uncertain. On his father's side he was descended from the kings of Munster, but his mother's family came from Leinster, and it was in Brfgia on the east coast of Leinster that he appears to have been born. He was called Lobhar, "the Leper", from a painful scrofulous affection from which he suffered for many years-the name of leprosy being attached by the Irish (and others) to various forms of skin trouble. He is said to have been a disciple of St Columba, but it is possible that he lived much later and was only educated at one of the houses of the Columban observance. On reaching manhood he set out for

606


ST EUSEBIA

[March 16

the south of Ireland, where Bishop Fathlad conferred holy orders upon him and perhaps raised him to episcopal rank. In any case his virtues and miracles began to make him famous, and people flocked to him to be cured of their diseases. It is related that a woman brought her small boy, who was blind, mute and a leper from birth, and that the saint prayed earnestly that the child might recover. It was revealed to him that if he ",ished his prayer answered he must bear the leprosy himself. He cheerfully agreed, and was covered with ulcers from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot. One day, as he sat reading by a lake, his book fell in and sank. The water was too deep for anyone to recover it, but presently it rose to the top and was restored to the saint undamaged. In that place he built a church and made a cemetery. Some writers identify the spot with the famous Innisfallen, and regard Finnian as the founder of the abbey. If we may believe the" acts", the saint afterwards went to a place later called Clonmore, where he suffered greatly from his infirmity, and then, wishing to revisit his own country, he came to Swords, where- he found St Columba, who gave over Swords abbey to Finnian and took his departure. The new abbot ruled for many years, exercising hospitality, healing the sick and living a life of great austerity. For one quarter of each night he sat in cold water to sing the psalms, the rest of the night he lay on the bare groWld. Elsewhere, however, we read that St Finnian spent the last thirty years of his life presiding over Clonmore monastery, which hÂŁJd been founded by St Maidoc. See the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, whose account is largely based upon Colgan's Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, pp. 627~629, and upon a late Latin life which they consider to be of English origin. If we may trust the verses attributed to St Mcling (seventh century) by the glossator of the Felire, St Finnian Lobhar rested at Clonmore in the same grave with St Onchu.

ST EUSEBIA, ABBESS

(c.

A.D.

680)

ST EUSEBIA was the eldest daughter of St Adalbald of Ostrevant and of St Rictrudis. After the murder of her husband, Rictrudis retired to the convent of Marchiennes with her two younger daughters, and sent Eusebia to the abbey of Hamage, of which her great-grandmother St Gertrude was abbess. Eusebia was only twelve years old when St Gertrude died, but she was elected her successor, in compliance with her dying wishes and in accordance with the custom of the times, which required that the head of a religious house should, when possible, be of noble birth, so that the community should have the protection of a powerful family in times of disturbance. St Rictrudis, who was now abbess of Marchiennes, not unnaturally considered Eusebia far too young to have charge of a community, and bade her come to Marchiennes with all her nuns. The little abbess was loath to comply, but she obeyed, and arrived with her community and with the body of St Gertrude, when the two communities were merged into one and all settled down happily, except Eusebia. The memory of Hamage haunted her, until one night she and some of her nuns stole out and made their way to the abandoned buildings, where they said office and lamented over the non-fulfilment of St Gertrude's last in­ junctions. Though this escapade did not go unpunished, St Rictrudis, finding that her daughter was still longing for Hamage, consulted the bishop and other devout men, who advised her to yield to Eusebia's wishes. She therefore consented to her return and despatched her back with all her nuns. She had no reason to regret

60 7


TI-IE LIVES OF 1"'HE SAINTS

her action, for the young abbess proved herself wise and capable, re-establishing discipline as in the days of St Gertrude, \vhom she strove to imitate in all things. No special incidents appear to have rnarked Eusebia's after life. She was only in her fortieth year when she had a premonition of her impending end, and gathering her nuns round her, gave them her parting instructions and blessing. As she finished speaking a great light spread throughout her room and almost immediately her soul ascended to Heaven. See the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. ii; Destombes, fries des Saints de Cambrai, i, pp. 349-353; and Ana/eeta Bollandiana, vol. xx (I90I), pp. 461-463.

ST GREGORY MAK.AR, BISHOP OF NICOPOLIS

(c.

A.D. 1010)

ST GREGORY MAKAR, it is said, was born in Arlnenia and, desiring to serve God in solitude in a land where he was not known, he found his \vay to a monastery near Nicopolis in Little Armenia and joined the cOlumunity. The bishop of Nicopolis after some time attached him to his own person, ordaining him priest and en足 couraging him to preach against prevailing heresies. Thus when this bishop died the clergy and people chose Gregory to be their shepherd. In that capacity he shone not only by his virtue and eloquence, but also as a wonder-worker, especially in healing the sick. Nevertheless he was not satisfied: he still longed for a solitary life and he feared that the adulation of his people would lead him to vainglory. I-Ie therefore left the city secretly, and in the company of two C;reek monks made his way westwards, first to Italy and then to France. At Pithiviers in the diocese of Orleans Gregory felt inspired to settle, an j he built himself a hermitage and set about leading the life of a recluse after the Eastern Hlanner, hitherto little practised in }--rance. He abstained from all food on Mon足 days, \Vednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and even on Tuesdays and Thursdays never ate till after sundown. flis ordinary food \vas a handful of lentils, steeped in water and exposed to the sun, supplemented by a little barley bread and sometimes by a few roots eaten ra\v. Much as 8t Gregory wished to live in solitude, it soon became known that a holy hermit had settled at Pithiviers, and visitors began to throng to his cell. He worked rnany miracles of healing and gave wise spiritual counsel. The faithful brought him offerings, but these for the most part he distributed to the poor. For seven years St Gregory lived in his hermitage. combining the severe life of a solitary with the missionary zeal of a great preacher, and when he died the whole countryside was filled with lamentations. The Latin Life of St Gregory has been printed in the Acta Sanetorum, l\1arch, vol. ii. See also Cochard, Saints de I'Eglise d'Orleans, pp. 384-393.

ST HERIBERT, ARCHBISHOP

OF

COLOGNE

(A.D. 1021)

ST I-IERIBERT, one of the ITlOSt distinguished of the prelates who have ruled over the diocese of Cologne, was born in the town of Worms in the Palatinate of the Rhine, and as he showed himself eager to learn he was sent to the celebrated abbey of Gorze in Lorraine. There he would fain have tntered the Benedictine Order, but his father had other ambitions for him and recalled him peremptorily to Worms, where the young man was given a canonry and was raised to the priesthood. Heribert gained the confidence of the Emperor Otto III, whose chancellor he becarne, and in 998 he was raised to the see of Cologne amid general approval.

608


s~r f-LERIBERT

[A1ayr!l 16

The one dissentient was IIeribert himself, who declared and honestly believed that he was quite unfitted for the high dignity. From Benevento, whither he was summoned by Otto, he passed on to Rome, and there received the pallium from Pope Silvester II. He then returned to Cologne, \vhich he entered hunlbly '" ith bare feet on a cold December day, having sent the pallium on before him. It was on Christmas eve that he was consecrated archbishop in thE cathedral of 8t Peter, and from that moment he devoted himself indefatigably to the duties of his high calling. State affairs were never allowed to hillder him from preaching, from relieving the sick and needy, and from acting as peacemaker throughout his diocese. He did not despise the out\vard splendour \\thich his position required, but under his gold-embroidered vesture he ahvays wore a hair-shirt. 1~he more the business of the world pressed upon him, the nlore strenuously did he strive to nourish the spiritual life \vithin. Soon after taking posst-ssion of his see, lleribert accompanied the emperor on another visit to Italy, which was to prove Otto's last, for he died there, probably of smallpox, not, as alleged, by poison. Irl accordance \vith his master's last wishes 8t Heribert brought his body back to Aachen, where it \vas buried. He also bore \vith him the imperial insignia for he foresa,v that thlre \vould be a contest for the imperial cro\vn, and he felt in duty bound to retain possession of the insignia ,vith which he had been entrusted until he could hand them oyer to the properly constituted sovereign. Unfortunately the nearest claimant, Duke Henry of Bavaria, misinterpreted his attitudt and concluded that the archbishop ,vould have preferred to see SOIne other sovereign chosen. The consequence \vas that St Heribert was in disfavour \vith the duke, and continued to be so long after 8t I-lenry II had been duly elected king and emperor, and in spite of the fact that the prelate had immediately yielded up the insignia, pruying hirnself on every occasion one of the ernperor's most loyal supporters. I-Ienry does not appear to have taken from hinl the chancellorship, for his nan1C appears ~ppendcd to edicts of the years 1007 and 1008, hut it \vas only towards the close of I--Ienry's reign that the emperor learned to appreciate the virtue and good faith of the great archbishop, and there was a public and moving reconciliation bet,veen the t\VO saintly men \vho had heen so Ion g estranged. 8t Heribert would gladly have freed himself from secular business to be at liberty to devote the rest of his life to the spiritual needs of his diocese and people. On the opposite side of the H.hine, at l)eutz, he and Otto I I I had begun a rnonastery and church which he after\vards completed ",路jth the help of money \vhich that emperor had bequeathed to him. 1-lis o\vn incon1e he habitually divided between the Church and the poor, rest-rving for his personal use only \vhat ",,路as absolutely necessary. I-fe would often steal a""'ay and seek out the sick and poor in their homes and in hospitals; he relieved them, \vashed their fect, and by his exan1ple inspired others to do likewise. Not did he contine his charity to Cologne, hut sent money to priests he could trust in other to\vns to be spent on assisting tht destitute. At a time of great drought the archbishop instituted a penitential procession tronl the church of St Severinus to that of St Pantaleon, and exhorted the n1ultitude to do penance and to trust in C;od. Some of those present declared that they sa\v a white dove flying close to the saint's head as he \\alked with the procession. Entering the church of 8t Severinus l-Ierihert went up to the high 2ltar and, bo\ving his head in his hands, gave hirrlself to earnest prayer for his people. Scarcely had he risen from his knees when a torrlntial rain poured do",路n upon the city and the

6掳9


TIlE LIVES OF TI-IE SAIt\TS

March 16J

countryside, and the harvest was saved. Another procession which he instituted to avert plague and famine took place round the walls of the city in Easter week and was kept up each year until the end of the eighteenth century. He is still invoked for rain. Zealous for the maintenance of discipline amongst the clergy, Heribert was assiduous in his visitations, and it was when visiting Neuss for one of these pastoral visits that he contracted a fever which he soon recognized as destined to be fatal. With great fervour the saint received viaticum and then suffered himself to be borne back to Cologne. .f\.fter being laid at the foot of the crucifix in the cathedral of St Peter and commending himself and his flock to the mercy of God, he was carried to his own house, and shortly afterwards he breathed his last. His body was laid at Deutz, where in after years many miracles were attributed to his intercession. The archbishop had been the founder of the abbey and minster of Deutz, and the monks were naturally solicitous that his memory should be held in veneration. A short biography of him was accordingly written by Lantbert, one of the monks, and it has been printed both by the Bollandists and in vol. iv of MGH (Scriptore:-). This life, rewritten and somewhat expanded by the more famous Rupert of Deutz, will also be found in the Arta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and in lVligne, PL., vol. clxx, cc. 389-428. The text of what purported to be a bull of canonization, issued seemingly by Pope Gregory VI I, was at one time accepted 'without suspicion, but of late years it has been shown to be almost certainly a forgery of the seventeenth century. See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxvii (1908), p. 232; and vol. xxxii (1913), p. 96. There is a long account of 5t Heribert in Kleinermanns, Die Heiligen auf den erzb. Stuhl von Koln, vol. ii.

BD JOHN, BISHOP OF VICENZA, MARTYR JOHN was a native of Cremona and a member of the family of Sordi or Surdi; the name of Cacciafronte, by which he was generally known, was that of his stepfather, who wished the boy to adopt it. At the age of fifteen John was made a canon of Cremona, but the following year he entered the Benedictine abbey of St Laurence. Eight years later he became prior of St Victor and in 1 155 he was recalled to be abbot of St Laurence. It was said by the monks that obedience was no hardship under his rule, for he was the first to practise what he enforced, and he made the spiritual and temporal \velfare of the community his constant care. Bd John espoused the cause of Pope Alexander III against Octavian, Cardinal of St Cecilia, who, under the title of Victor IV, claimed to occupy the chair of St Peter. For his zeal in organizing penitential processions and urging the people of Cremona to remain loyal to Alexander, the good abbot was banished by the Emperor Frederic Barbarossa, who favoured the antipope. He lived for several years the life of a solitary in Mantuan territory and was then called upon to fill the bishopric of Mantua. He continued to practise great austerity, his food, clothing and furniture being of the plainest, and he daily fed the poor at his own table. He did much to remedy abuses and kept a strict watch over church property, although he was so indifferent to his own possessions and position that he wrote to urge the pope to reinstate Bishop Graziodorus, his predecessor, who had abandoned Mantua to follow the antipope, but \vho had afterv~'ards repented. The Holy See acceded to his request and John resigned Mantua, but was soon given the see of Vicenza, where he became as popular as he had beell in Mantua. His death was due to an act of revenge. It was usual to farm out ecclesiastical property to tenants, \vhose rent formed part of the episcopal revenues. Amongst 610


BD TORELLO

[Jlarch

I ()

the farmers on the estates of the hishopric of \ricenza was a man called Peter, \vho not only would not pay his dues but also treated the property as his o\\"n. The bishop expostulated with him-gently at first, and then ITIOre severely. Remon足 strance proving ineffectual, excommunication follo\\'cd. Peter thereupon \vaylaid Bd John and killed him \vith a dagger, the holy man exclaiming \vith his last breath, " Do thou forgive him, Lord". The people of \'icenza \\"ere filled \vith grief and anger. Determined to punish the murderer, they set fire to his house: he managed to escape, but "",'as never heard of again. 1\\'0 interesting documents containing a brief report of the official inquiry made at Crenlona in 1223 and at Vicenza in 1224 into the life of Bd John are printed hy the BoIlc:lndists in an appendix to the Acta Sanctorum, l\Iarch, vol. ii; see also A. Schiavo, Della 'l'z:ta e dei tempi del B. Gio'l'anni Cacciafronte (1866).

BD TORELLO

(A.D. 1282)

THE town of Poppi in the Casentino \vas the birth place of Bd Torello, \vho under parental care passed an almost blameless youth. After his father's death, ho\vever, he \vas led away into evil courses, until one day, \vhen he was playing at bowls \vith some of his dissolute companions, a cock fle"",' out from a hen-roost and, perching upon his arm, cro\ved three times-as though to wake him from the sleep of sin. Torello stood stock-still in amazement, convinced that this was a divine \varning. Thereupon he sought out the abbot of San Fedele, at whose feet he poured forth his confession and from whom he received absolution and good advice. Torello then left Poppi, and striking out into the woods wandered about for eight days. At length he reached a great rock, under the shelter of which he reluained for another eight days, subsisting on herbs and three little loaves \vhich he had taken with him. Upon that rock he resolved to build himself a hermitage in which to serve God for the rest of his life, and he therefore returned to Pappi to distribute to the poor all his property except the little he required to carry out his plan. He bought a small parcel of land about the rock for a garden and had a hut built just large enough to contain him, and there he lived a most penitential life. He wore next his skin a half-shaven pigskin garment with bristles so prickly that they cut into his flesh. He allo\ved himself barely three hours for sleep, and often he would go for two days without food, whilst his ordinary fare consisted of four ounces of bread and a little water. His manner of life was hidden from all but one chosen friend. Against temptations he would lacerate his body until the blood flo\ved and stand in cold water till he trembled with shivering fits. Increasing age and illness compelled him to eat more and to mix a little wine with the water he drank. Death overtook him at the age of eighty as he knelt in prayer; he had spent over fifty years in his hermitage. l\1any miracles were attributed to Torello-notably the rescue of a boy from a \volf and the taming of the \volf, who used afterwards to sleep at the entrance of the hermitage. Bd Torello is sometimes claimed as a Vallom足 brosan and sometimes as a Franciscan, but though he took the habit of a penitent from the abbot of Poppi he belong~d to no order. His cultus was approved by Pope Benedict XIV. rrhe text of a short Latin Life of Torello is printed in the Acta Sanclorum, March, vol. ii. Also, in the eighteenth century, when his cuftus \\'as confirmed, several biographical sketches were published in Italian or Latin by l\1accioni, Soldani, Cinlatti, Bellogrado and others. 611


~r..larclz

'Tl-IE LIYES

17]

BB. JOliN .A.MlA.S

AND

ROBERT

DALBY,

()}7

TIlE

SAIN1~S

IVIARTYRS

(A.D.

15 8 9)

JOHN ~-\1'VIIAS (or Anne) and Robert Dalby \vere two 'Yorkshire men \vho, after being educated in the [)ouai (~ollegc at Rheims, were ordained priests, were sent on the English mission, and suffered death together in 1589. .Amias, a widower and formerly a clothmonger at \Vakefield, had rninistered for seven or eight years in England before he \\as captured, whereas Dalby, who had been a Protestant minister, had only come back to England the year before he was apprehended. Not much detail as to their labours seems to be extant, but we have a graphic description of their death in Dr Charnpney's manuscript history as quoted by Challoner. He says: "T'his year on lVlarch r6, John Amias and Robert Dalby, priests of the College of Do\vay, suffered in York as in cases of high treason, for no other cause but that they \vere priests ordained by the authority of the See of Rome, and had returned into England and exercised there their priestly functions for the benefit of the souls of their neighbours. I was myself an eye-witness of the glorious combat of these holy men, being at that time a young man in the twentieth year of my age; and I returned home confirmed by the sight of their constancy and meekness in the Catholic faith, which by God's grace I then followed. For there visibly appeared in those holy servants of God so much meekness, Joined with a singular constancy, that you \vould easily say that they were lambs led to the slaughter." After describing the execution Dr Champney adds: "The sheriff's men were very watchful to prevent the standers by from gathering any of their blood or carrying off anything that had celonged to them. Yet one, who appeared tv me to be a gentlewonlan, going up to the place where their bodies were in quartering, and not without difficulty making her way through the cro\vd, fell down upon her knees before the multitude, and with her hands joined and eyes lifted up to heaven, declared an extraordinary motion and affection of soul. She spoke also some words, which I could not hear for the tumult and noise. Immediately a clamour was raised against her as an idolatress, ar..d she was drove away; but \"hether or no she was carried to prison, I could not certainly understand." See lVIlVIP., pp. 152-153, and

17: ST

"IF'"

PATRICK,

J.

II. Pollen, rlcts of English Martyrs, pp. 329-331.

ARCHBISHOP OF ARMAGH, ApOSTLE OF IRELAND

(A.D.

4 61 )

says Alban Butler, " the virtue of children reflects an honour on their parents, much more justly is the name of 8t Patrick rendered illustrious hy the lights of sanctity with which the Church of Ireland shone during many ages, and by the colonies of saints \vith which it peopled many foreign countries." 'fhe field of his labours, he adds, was the remote corner of the then known world, and he himself was born upon its confines. Whether his birthplace, the village of " Bannavem Taberniae ", was near Dumbarton on the Clyde, or in Cumberland to the south of Hadrian's Wall, or at the mouth of the Severn or elsewhere is of no great moment. We may infer from what he says of himself that he was of Romano足 British origin. I-lis father Calpurnius was a deacon and a municipal official, his 612


grandfather a priest, for in those days no strict la\v of celibacy had yet been imposed on the \Vestern clergy. 1'he saint's full narne in the H.ornat1 style \vas not irn足 probably Patricius .I\lagonus Sucatus. }-1e tells us that \vhen he \vas sixteen he " kne\v not the true God", meaning probably no rnore than that he lived thought足 lessly, like those around him, not heeding n1uch the \varnings of the clergy" \vho used to adrnonish us for our salvation)). \:Ve cannot be far \\Tong in SupposIng that he was born about 389, and that about 403 he \vith many others \vas carried off by raiders to Decon1e a slave among the still pagan inhabitants of Ireland. There for six years he served his master, and arnid the bodily hardships of this bondage his soul grev~' marvellously in holiness. It is the generally accepted tradition that these years ",'ere spent near Ballymena in i\ntrim upon the slopes of the mountain no\v called Slemish, but according to another vie\v the place of his captivity, near the forest of Fochlad (or Foclut), was on the coast of lVlayo. If this be true, then Crochan Aigli (Croagh Patrick), \vhich was the scene at a later date of his prolonged fast, was also the lllountain upon \vhich in his youth he had lived alone \vith God tending his master's herds. \Vherever it may have been, he tells us himself how ,~ constantly I used to pray in the daytime. l.1ove of God and His fear increased more and lllore, and rny faith grew and my spirit \\"as stirred up, so that in a single day I said as many as a hundred prayers and at night nearly as many, so that I used to stay even in the woods and on the n10untain [to this end]. And before the dawn I used to be aroused to prayer, in snow and frost and rain, nor was there any tepidity in me such as now I feel, because then the spirit \vas fervent within." After six years he heard a voice in his sleep warning him to be ready for a brave effort which would bring him back to freedom in the land of his birth. t\.ccord足 ingly he ran away from his master and travelled 200 nliles to the ship of \vhose approaching departure he had had some strange intimation. His request for free passage was refused at first, but, in answer to his silent prayer to God, the sailors called him back, and with them he made an adventurous journey. They were three days at sea, and \\Then they reached land it was only to travel in company for a month through some uninhabited tract of country until all their provisions gave out. It is Sf Patrick himself who narrates how hunger overcame them. "And one day the shipmaster began to say to me, ' How is this, 0 Christian, thou sayest that thy God is great and alnlighty; wherefore then canst thou not pray for us, for we are in danger of starvation? Hardly shall we ever see a human being again.' 1'hen said I plainly to them, ' Turn in good faith and with all your heart to the Lord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that this day He may send you food in your journey, until ye be satisfied, for he has abundance every\vhere! And, by the help of God, so it came to pass. Lo, a herd of swine appeared in the \vay before our eyes, and they killed many of them, and in that place they remained two nights; and they were well refreshed and their dogs were sated, for many of them had fainted and were left half dead by the way. And after this they rendered hearty thanks to God, and I becanle honourable in their eyes; and froln that day they had food in abundance. Moreover, they found wild honey, and gave me a piece of it. But one of thern said, 'This is an idol-offering'. Thanks be to God, I tasted none of it." At length they reached human habitations-probably in Gaul-but the fugitive was safe, and thus eventually Patrick, at the age of twenty-two or twenty足 three, was restored to his kinsfolk. They welcomed him warmly and besought

61 3


l'llarcli 17]

TIlE LIVES OF 'TIlE SAI!"rS

hinl not to depart from them again, but after a while, in the watches of the night, fresh visions came to him, and he heard" the voices of those \vho dwelt beside the \vood cf Foclut \vhich is nigh to the ",路estern sea, and thus they cried, as if \vith one mouth, ' \Ve beseech thee, holy youth, to come and \valk among us once more'." " Thanks be to God", he adds " that after many years the Lord granted to them according to their cry." \Vith regard to the order of events \vhich followed there is no certainty. 5t Patrick could hardly have set out upon such an undertaking as the conversion of Ireland \vithout study and preparation, without priestly orders, without some sort of commission from ecclesiastical authority. It seems therefore beyond dispute, and it is quite in agreement \vith the statements of the saint's earliest biographers, that he spent several years in France before he made any attempt to take up his work in Ireland. The evidence for a considerable sojourn on the island of Lerins (off Cannes) is strong, and so also is that which represents him as being in personal contact with Bishop St Germanus, at Auxerre. Some have maintained that he journeyed to Rome at this period and was despatched on his special mission to the Irish by Pope St Celestine I. Since the publication of Prqfessor Bury's Lzfe of St Patrick the view has gained favour that he was three years at Lerins, from 412 to 415, that he then spent some fifteen years at Auxerre, during which tiTne he received holy orders, that meanwhile Pope Celestine had sent Palladius to Ireland, who after less than a twelvemonth died among the Picts in North Britain, and that then, in 432, St Germanus consecrated Patrick bishop to replace Palladius and carry on his work of evangelization, which as yet was hardly begun. To trace in detail the course of the saint's heroic labours in the land of his former captivity is impossible, left as we are to the confused, legendary and sometimes contradictory data supplied by his later biographers. Tradition declares that his first effort was made in the north beside that Slemish where, according to Muirchu, he had pastured the cattle and prayed to God as a slave. We mayor may not accept the story that, apprised of the coming of his former bondsman, the master who had owned him elected to set fire to his own house and perish in the flames. But it seems probable that there is an historical basis for a preliminary stay of St Patrick in U"lster, whence after the foundation of Saul he embarked with characteristic energy on his attempt to gain the favour of the High-King Laoghaire, who held his court at Tara in Meath. There is doubtless much that is purely mythical in the legend of the encounter of Patrick with the magicians or Druids, but it is clear that something momentous was decided on that occasion, and that the saint, either by force of character or by the miracles he wrought, gained a victory over his pagan opponents which secured a certain amount of toleration for the preaching of Christianity. The text of the Senchus Mor (the old Irish code of laws), though in its existing form much later than St Patrick's time, makes definite reference to some under颅 standing arrived at at Tara, and associates the saint and his disciple St Benen (Benignus) with the work of its composition. \Ve are there told how " Patrick requested the men of Erin to come to one place to hold a conference with him. When they came to the can ference the gospel of Christ was preached to them all ; and when the men of Erin heard of the killing of the living and the resuscitation of the dead, and all the power of Patrick since his arrival in Erin; and when they saw Laoghaire with his druids overcome by the great signs and miracles wrought in the presence of the men of Erin, they bowed down in obedience to the will of God and Patrick."


ST PATRICK

[March 17

Although King Laoghaire seems not to have become a Christian himself, certain members of his family did, and from that time the work of the great apostle, though carried on amid manifold hardships and often at the risk of his life owing to the lawless violence of those whom he thwarted or rebuked, was openly favoured by many powerful chieftains. The druids, as the most interested representatives of paganism, were his bitter opponents. A strange prognostic is preserved to us by Muirchu which was alleged to have been current amongst them even before the preaching of the gospel began. "Adze-head [this was a reference to the form of the tonsure] will come, with his crook-headed staff, and his house [chasuble, casuLa = a little house] holed for his head. He will chant impiety from his table in the east of his house. All his household shall answer, Amen, Amen." And they added, " \Vhen, therefore, all these things come to pass, our kingdom, which is a heathen one, will not stand." How full of peril the mission was we learn from the incident of Odhran, 8t Patrick's charioteer, who by some presentiment asked to take the chief seat while Patrick himself drove. Odhran was killed by a spear­ thrust intended for his master, while the saint himself escaped. But the work of the evangelization of Ireland went steadily¡ on, despite opposition. Proceeding northwards from Tara, Patrick overthrew the idol of Crom Cruach in Leitrim, and built a Christian church in the place where it had stood. Thence he passed to Connaught, and amongst his other doings there Tirechan has preserved the story of the conversion of Ethne and Fedelm, the two daughters of King Laoghaire, though the incident of the shamrock, used as an illustration of the Trinity in their instruction, is an accretion of much later date. But the whole history of his preaching in Ulster again, as well as in Leinster and Munster, cannot be told here. When Patrick had gathered many disciples round him, such, for example, as Benigrtus, who was destined to be his successor, the work of evangelization was well under way. He maintained his contacts abroad, and it has been suggested that the " approval" of which we read was a formal communication from Pope 8t Leo the Great. In 444, according to the Annals of Ulster, the cathedral church of Armagh, the primatial see of Ireland, was founded, and no long time probably elapsed before it became a centre of education as well as administration. There is good reason to believe that 8t Patrick held a synod-no doubt at Armagh, though this is not expressly mentioned-and although, again, there may be interpolations, many of the decrees then enacted are still preserved to us as they were originally framed. The names of Auxilius and Iserninus, the southern bishops, which are attached to his Collectio Canonum Hibernensis, support the presumption of authen­ ticity. It is likely that the synod was held towards the close of Patrick's days, and he must have been by that time a man in broken health, for the physical strain of his austerities and endless journeys cannot, apart from some miraculous intervention of Providence, have failed to produce its effect. Nevertheless the story of his forty days' fast upon Croagh Patrick and of the privileges he then extorted from the divine clemency by his importunity in prayer must be connected with the end of his life. As Tirechan briefly tells us: "Patrick went forth to the summit of Mount Aigli, and he remained there for 40 days and 40 nights, and the birds were a trouble to him, and he could not see the face of the heavens, the earth or the sea on account of them; for God told all the saints of Erin, past, present and future, to come to the mountain summit-that mountain which overlooks all others, and is higher than all the mountains of the West-to bless the tribes of Erin, so that

61 5


Tl-IE LIVES OF TI-IE SAIN1'S

March 17]

Patrick might see [by anticipation] the fruit of his labours, for all the choir of the saints of Erin came to visit him there, who was the father of them 211." The British chronicler Nennius gives a similar account, but adds that" from this hill Patrick blessed the people of Ireland, and his object in climbing to its summit was that he might pray for them and see the fruit of all his labours. . . . .f\.fterwards he went to his reward in a good old age, \\JThere no\v he rejoices for ever and ever. Alllen." It seems certain that Patrick died and was buried, in or about the year 461, at Saul on Strangford Lough, where he ilad built his first church. That he spent his last days as abbot of Glastonbury is quite untrue. It need hardly be said that in all the ancient lives of St Patrick the 1l1arvellous is continuously present and often in a very extravagant form. If 'we \vere dependent for our kno\vledge of him upon such material as is supplied in the Vita Tripartita we should understand little of his true character. 'foo many of the \vonder-workers who are portrayed for us by Celtic hagiographers remain featureless, simply from the profusion of incredible marvels \'''hich reduces all to a dead level of unreality. Fortunately in the case of the apostle of Ireland we have a slender collection of his o\vn \vritings, and these show us the rrlan himself as he was and felt and acted. It is only by a study of the" Confession", the Lorica and the Coroticus letter, that \ve come to understand the deep human feeling and the still rnore intense love of God which were the secret of the extraordinary impression he produced upon those with whom he came into contact. If he had not possessed a strongly affectionate nature which clung to his own kith and kin, he would not h3ve referred so many tinles to the pang it had cos t him to leave them, turning a deaf ear to their efforts to detain him. He was deeply sensitive. If he had not been that, he could never have laid so much stress upon his disinterestedness. The suggestion that he \\raS seeking profit for himself in the mission he had undertaken stung hiln almost beyond endurance. All that was rnost human, and at the same time most divine, in Patrick comes out in such a passage as the follo\ving, from his" Confession". And many gifts \vere proffered me, with weeping and with tears. And I displeased them, and also, against my "'-ish, not a few of my elders; but, God being my guide, in no way did I consent or yield to them. It was not any grace to me, but God \v ho conquereth in me, and He resisted them all, so that I carne to the heathens of Ireland to preach the gospel and to bear insults from unbelievers so as to hear the reproach of my going abroad and to endure many persecutions even unto bonds, the while that I \\JTas surrendering my liberty as a man of free condition for the profit of others. And if I should be found w-orthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name's sake unfalteringly and very gladly, and there I desire to spend it until I die, if only our Lord should grant it to me. On the other hand, the marvel of the wondrous harvest which God had allowed him to reap \\JTas always before his eyes and filled him with gratitude. It is un足 questionably true that, in his apostolate of less than thirty years, Patrick had con足 verted Ireland as a whole to Christianity. This is not a mere surmise based upon the unmeasured encomiurns of his enthusiastic biographers. It is the saint himself who alludes nlore than once to the "n1ultitudes" (innumeros), the "so many thousands", whom he had baptized and confirmed. .f\.nd again he says: "Where足 fore then in Ireland they \vho never had the knowledge of God, but until now only worshipped idols and abominations-how has there been lately prepared a people

616


[l\IQrch 17

ST JOSEPH OF ARIMATIIEA

of the Lord, and they are called children of God? Sons an d daughters of Scottic chieftains are seen to become monks and virgins of Christ." Paganism and rapine and vice had not entirely loosed their hold. 1'he saint in this same" Confession", which was \vritten in his later days, still declares: "Daily I expect either a violent death or to be robbed and reduced to slavery or the occurrence of some such calamity." But he adds: "I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, for He rules everything; as the Prophet saith, ' Cast thy care upon the .Lord, and lIe Himself will sustain thee'." This was apparently the secret of the inexhaust足 ible courage and determination manifested by 8t Patrick throughout his whole career. The literature of the subject is naturally vast. The primary source of any accurate kno'wledge must always be St Patrick's o\vn writings, referred to aboye. The most valuable text of the" Confession" (though incomplete) is that contained in the" Book of Armagh ". This manuscript, written in the first years of the ninth century, contains also the memoirs of 8t Patrick compiled by l\1uirchu and rrirechan, as \\rell as other documents. The whole was very carefully edited by Dr John C;wynn for the Royal Irish ~>\('ademy in 1913. 'I'he documeJ1ts bearing on 5t Patrick had previously been published by Fr Edmund Hogan in the Analecta Bullandiana, vols. i and ii (1882-1883), and else\vhere. The Vita Tripartita is most readily accessible in the edition prepared for the Rolls Series by Whitley Stokes (1887). It is there supplemented by the l\1uirchu and Tirechan collections and other documents, notably by the hymns of Secundinus (Sechnall) and Fiacc, which last are also critically edited in the Irish Liber Hymnorum published by the l-Ienry Bradsha\\T Society. Other later lives of St Patrick were printed for the first time by Colgan in his Trias Thaumaturga (1647). A very convenient little book containing in English the most material documents connected with St Patrick's life is that of Dr N. White, St Patrick, his Ulritings and LIfe (1920). lVlodern biographies of the saint are very numerous, the most noteworthy being those of J. B. Bury (1905) and the still more comprehensive volume of Abp J. Healy (1905), \\rhich last includes 3 text and translation of the documents of which St Patrick himself is the author. Prof. Bury's work is particularly valuable as exploding from an agnostic standpoint the theory of Prof. Zimmer that Palladius and Patrick were one and the same person and that the story of Patrick's life is a n1yth. But the identification of Palladius and Patrick has been revived in a n10dified form by T. F. O'Rahilly, The Two Patricks (1942). See also biographies by I-I. Concannon (1931), K. Muller (Der hI. Patrick, 1931), E. MacNeill (1934); J. Ryan, Irish Alonasticism (1931), pp. 59--96 and passim,. Codices Patriciani Latini (1942), a descriptive catalogue ed. by L. Bieler, with notes thereon by the editor in Analefta Bollandiana, vol. lxiii (1945), pp. 242--256; Dr Bieler's Lzfe and Legend of St Patrick (1949), \\Tith Fr P. Grosjean's notes on the same in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxii (1944), pp. 42-73; and for Patrick's birthplace, his stay in Gaul and other matters, Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxiii (1945), pp. 65- 11 9. I)r. Bieler has edited the texts, and see his Works of St. Patrick (1953) in English.

ST JOSEPH OF

ARIMATHE~t\.

(FIRST CENTURY)

\VE know nothing authentically of St Joseph of Arimathea beyond what is recorded in the Gospels. He is mentioned by all four evangelists and we learn from them that he \vas a disciple of our Lord, but" secretly, for fear of the Je\vs ". He was " a counsellor, a good and a just man". He had not taken any part in the vote of the Sanhedrin against Jesus and " was himself looking for the kingdom of God ". 1-'he scenes beside the cross would seem to have given him courage, so " he went in boldly to Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus". Having obtained his request, he bought fine linen, and wrapping the body therein he laid Him in a sepulchre which was hewed out of the rock and in which "never yet any man had been laid". I-listory has no more to tell us about Joseph, but the apocryphal gospels, and in particular that fuller redaction of the" Gospel of Nicodemus", which was

61 7


A/arch 17]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

originally known as the " Acts of Pilate", contain further references, but of a legendary kind. But the most astonishing of the legends associated \vith the name of Joseph of Arimathea is of much later date. It was at one time supposed that William of Malmesbury in his De Antiquitate Glastoniensis Ecclesiae (c. I 130) was already familiar with the story of the coming of this Joseph to Glastonbury. This, how足 ever, has been shown to be an error. It was not until more than a century later that a chapter by another hand, embodying this fiction, was prefixed to William's book. Here at last we are told how when St Philip the Apostle was preaching the gospel in Gaul, he was accompanied by Joseph of Arimathea, \\t'ho was his devoted disciple. St Philip sent over to England twelve of the clerics in his company and placed them all under Joseph's direction. The king in Britain to whom they addressed themselves would not accept their Christian teaching, but he gave them an island, Yniswitrin, afterwards known as Glastonbury, in the midst of the swamps, and there at the bidding of the archangel Gabriel they built a church of wattles in honour of our Blessed Lady, thirty-one years after the passion of Jesus Christ and fifteen after the assumption of the Blessed Virgin. This tale, before the end of the fourteenth century, is found very much developed in John of Glastonbury's history of the abbey. John informs us that besides St Philip's twelve disciples, no less than one hundred and fifty other persons, men and women, came from France to Britain to spread the gospel, and that at our Lord's command all of them crossed the sea borne upon the shirt of Josephes, the son of Joseph of Arimathea, on the night of our Saviour's resurrection, and reached land in the morning. They were afterwards imprisoned by the "king of North "Vales", but, on being released, St Joseph, Josephes and ten others were permitted to occupy the isle of Yniswitrin, which is here identified not only with Glastonbury but also with Avalon. Here, as previously stated, the chapel of wattles was built, and in due course St Joseph of Arimathea was buried there. Neither in Bede, Gildas, Nennius, Geoffrey of Monmouth, the authentic William of Malmesbury nor any other chronicler for eleven hundred years do we find any trace of the supposed coming of Joseph of Arimathea to Glastonbury. Not even in the legend as presented by John of Glastonbury about the year 1400 is mention made of the Holy Grail, though this is so conspicuously associated with Joseph and his son Josephes in the Grail romances. On the other hand, much is made by the later Glastonbury writers of two silver cruets which Joseph is supposed to have brought with him, one containing the blood and the other the sweat of our Saviour. But when this legend did obtain currency towards the close of the fourteenth century, it was enthusiastically adopted as a sort of national credential, and at the Councils of Constance (1417) and of Basle (1434) the English representa足 tives claimed precedence on the ground that Britain had accepted the teaching of Christianity before any other country of the West. It might at any rate be said that the claim was not less well-founded than that made by France in virtue of the coming of SSe Mary Magdalen, Martha and Lazarus to Provence, or by the Span足 iards on the ground of the preaching of the gospel in Spain by the apostle St James. An admirable account of this example of medieval myth-making was published by Dean Armitage Robinson in Two Glastonbury Legends (1926), in which full bibliographical references are provided. The learned writer's sober exposition of the facts of history is particularly valuable in view of the mass of extravagant fictions obtained by automatic script足 not the less pernicious because the writers who produced them printed them, no doubt, in

J.


[2\'1"arch 17

ST AGRICOLA

good faith--with \vhich the country was flooded after the publication of Bligh Bond's Gate of Remembrance in 1918. See also the Acta Sanctorum, l\larch, vol. ii; articles by Henry Jenner in Pax, no. 48 (1916), pp. 125 seq., and by Fr Thurston in The Month, July 1931, pp. 43 seq.,. and T'. D. JZenrick, British Antiquity (1950).

THE MARTYRS OF THE SERAPEUM

(A.D. 390)

THEOPHILUS, Archbishop of Alexandria (the same who later compassed the down足 fall of 8t John Chrysostom) obtained a rescript from the Emperor Theodosius authorizing him to convert a temple of Dionysius into a Christian church. rrhis proceeding led to riots, in the course of which many were killed in the streets. The insurgents made their headquarters in the great temple of 8erapis, from which they made sallies and seized a number of Christians, whom they tried to induce to offer sacrifice to 8erapis, and upon their refusal put them to a cruel death. The emperor expressed his admiration of those who had received the crown of martyr足 dom, and in order not to dishonour their triumph he pardoned their murderers; but he ordered the destruction of all the heathen temples in Egypt. When his letter was read in Alexandria, the pagans abandoned the temple of 8erapis, and the idol having been cast down, it was thrown into a fire. The populace had been told that if it were touched the heavens would fall and the earth revert to chaos, but as soon as they realized that no terrible judgement followed upon its destruction, many heathens errLbraced Christianity. Two churches were built on the site of the temple of 8erapis. one of the most famous buildings of the ancient world. The accounts furnished by Theodoret, Rufinus, and other early church historians have been extracted and annotated in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. For a vivid account of the scene in the Serapeum, see DeB., vol. iv, p. 1000. There seems to have been no ecclesiastical cultus, but an entry was added to the Roman Martyrology by Baronius.

ST AGRICOLA, BISHOP OF CHALON-SUR-SAONE

(A.D. 580)

8T AGRICOLA, or Aregle, as he is popularly called in France, was a contemporary of 8t Gregory of Tours, who knew him well and was greatly impressed with the simplicity of his life. T'he saint came of a Gallo-Roman family of senatorial rank, but it seems to have been the father of another Agricola who adopted Venantius Fortunatus and educated him with his own son. In the year 532, during the reign of the sons of Clovis, Agricola was raised to the bishopric of Chalon-sur-8aone. His new position, which obliged him to keep up an appearance of state and to exercise hospitality, made no change in the simplicity and penitential abstinence of his daily life. 8t Gregory says that he never dined, and that he never broke his fast until the evening, when he partook of a light meal standing. Whole-heartedly devoted to the spiritual welfare of his people, 8t Agricola spent much time and money upon the enlargement and adornment of the churches of his diocese. His interests, however, were not entirely restricted to his own see, and he was present at many councils. After governing his diocese for forty-eight years and translating to his own cathedral city the remains of the recluse 8t_ Didier, 8t Agricola died at the age of eighty-three, and was buried in the church of 8t Marcellus, where his body was found three hundred years later. His relics are still preserved above the high altar. St Gregory of Tours is the main authority (see Migne, PL., vol. lxxi, cc. 362 and 895), and cf. Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. ii, p. 193 ; P. Besnard, Les origines . .. de l'eglise chalonnaise (1922), pp. 62-65.


Jlarr!z 17 J

ST GERTRUDE OF NIVELLES,

(A.D. 659)

'lJRGJN

ST GERTRUDE. the youngtr daughter of Bd Pepin of IJanden and of Bd 1tta) Ida or Iduberga, \vas born at Landen in 626. She had a brother, (]rirnoald, \vho suc­ ceeded his father, and a sister 8t Begga, \vllo married the son of St Arnulf of lVletz. Gert.rude \vas brought up carefully by her parents, \vho fostered her naturally religious disposition. \Vhen she \vas about ten years old her father gave a feast at which he entertained King Dagobert and the chief nobles of AustrC1sia. ()ne of these lords asked the rnonarch to besto\v the hand of Gertrude on his son, \vho \vas present. J)agobert, no doubt thinking to please the little girl, sent for her and, pointing to the handsome young man in his brave attire, asked the child if she "\Nould like him for a husband. fro his surprise C~ertrude ans\vered that she \vould never take him or any earthly bridegrooln, as she \vished to have Jesus Christ as her only lord and master. No one seems to have thought of overruling the girl's deter­ minaticn, \vhich \vas indeed applauded by the king and the assembly. Upon being left a wido\v, Bd 1tta consulted 8t Amand, Bishop of l\1aestricht, as to ho\v she and her daughter could best serve C;od, and by his advice began to build a double monastery at Nivelles. I.Jest any attempt should be rnade to interfere with Ger­ trude's vocation, her mother herself cut off hex hair, shaving her head to the shape of a monk's tonsure. As soon as the new foundation \vas ready both mother and daughter entered it, but 1tta insisted upon making Gertrude superior, while she herself served under her daughter, though assisting her from time to time \vith her advice. The young abbess proved herself fully equal to the position. She won the respect not only of her nuns but of the many pilgrims of distinction ",rho visited the house. Amongst the latter were 8t Foillan and 5t Ultan on their way from Rome to Peronne, where their brother St Fursey \vas buried. St Gertrude gave thern land at Fosses on which to build a monastery and a hospice. Foillan becanle its abbot, but Ultan and sorne others were retained at Nivelles (according to Irish \\Titers) in order to instruct the community in psalmody. Bd 1tta died in 652, and 8t Gertrude, feeling the charge of so large on establish­ ment, committed much of the external administration to others. Tfhis gave her more time for the study of the Holy Scriptures and enabled her to add to her mortifications. So severely did she treat her body that by the time she was thirty she was \vorn out by fasting and want of sleep, and felt compelled to resign in favour of her niece Wulfetrudis, whom she had trained, but who \vas only t\venty years old. 'fhe saint now began to prepare for death by increasing her devotions and disci­ plines. I-Ier biographer relates that once, \vhen she \vas praying in church, a globe as of fire appeared above her head and lit up the building for half an hour. Holy though she was, \vhen the time of her departure approached she \vas afraid because of her un\\iorthiness, and sent to ask 5t Ultan at Fosses whether he had had any revelation with regard to her. rrhe holy man sent back word that she \vould die the following day while Mass was being celebrated, but that she need have no fear, for 8t Patrick with many angels and saints was waiting to receive her soul. 5t Gertrude rejoiced at the message, and on March 17, while the priest \vas saying the prayers before the preface, she rendered up her soul to God. In compliance \vith her wish she was buried in her hair-shirt without shroud or winding-sheet, and her head was wrapped in a worn-out veil which had been discarded by a passing nun. 1

i

620


ST

PAUL

CYPRUS

OF

[A/arch 17

St Gertrude has always been regarded as a patroness of travellers, probably o""ing to her care for pilgrin:s and to a miraculous rescue at sea of some of her monks who invoked her name in great peril. Before starting on a journey it was once the custon1 to drink a stirrup-cup to her honour, and a special goblet, of old used tor the purpose, is preserved at Nivelles with her relics. She can1C to be regarded also as a patroness of souls who, on a three days' journey to the next world before the particular judgement, were popularly supposed to lodge the first night '\vith St Gertrude and the second night with St l\1ichael. 1'he most constant emble~ with \vhich St Gertrude (who was \videly invoked and a very popular saint in Belgium and the Netherlands for many centuries) is associated is a mouse. One or more nlice are usually depicted climbing up her crozier or playing about her distaff. No really satisfactory explanation of this symbolism has ever been given, though many suggestions have been made-for example, that while Gertrude was spinning, the Devil in the form of a mouse used to gnaw her thread in order to provoke her to lose her temper. In any case she was specially invoked against mice and rats, and as late as 1822, when there was a plague of field-mice in the country districts of the l..lower Rhine, a band of peasants brought an offering to a shrine of the saint at Cologne in the form of gold and silver mice. There may also have been some underlying tran3ference to her of traits derived from the Freya or other pagan myths. St Gertrude is further invoked for good quarters on a journey and for gardens. Fine weather on her feast day is regarded as a favourable omen, and this day is treated in son1e districts as marking the beginning of the season of out-door garden work. There is an early Latin Life of St Gertrude (which has been critically edited by B. Krusch in M(]H., Scriptores lY!erov., Y01. ii, pp. 447-474), as well as a number of other do~uments of which details \vill be found in the BHL., nne 3490-3504. See also lVlabillon and the Bollandist Acta Sanctorum. A full account of the folk-lore connected \\路ith St Gertrude of Nivelles is provided in Bachtold-Staubli, Handlvorterbuch des deutschen Aberglaubens (1927), vol. iii, cC. 699---786, with a comprehensive bibliography; and c/. Klinstle, lkonographie der Heiligen, pp. 280-28 I. See also A. F. Stocq, Vie (ritique de ste Gertrude . . . (H)3 I).

ST PAUL OF CYPRUS

(c.

A.D.

760)

AMONG the victims of the persecution initiated by the Emperor Constantine Copronymus against those who venerated the sacred images, one of the most outstanding was a Cypriot called Paul, who was hailed before the governor of Cyprus, and given the alternative of trampling upon the crucifix or of suffering the torture of the rack which \vas standing beside him. Without a moment's hesitation Paul cried out, I~"'ar be it from me, Lord Jesus Christ, only begotten Son of God, to trample on thy divine image", and stooping down he kissed the figure on the cross. The irate governor gave orders that he should be stripped and pressed between two boards. His body was then torn with iron combs and finally hung, head downwards, over a fire until it was consumed. The author of the Acts of St Stephen the Younger says that his example helped greatly to encourage the Constantinopolitan martyrs, and consequently some writers have thought that St Paul suffered in Constantinople, but the not very copious evidence shows that he almost certainly was martyred in the island of Cyprus. U

See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; the account is based on the Greek Mellaia. The entry in the Roman Martyrology, assigning this martyr to Constantinople, seems to have been due to a mistake of Baronius. 621


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 17]

BD JOHN SARKANDER, MARTYR

(A.D. 1620)

JOHN SARKANDER, who was to end his life as a martyr for the seal of confession, was born on the borders of Austrian Silesia, of well-connected parents who were more pious than affluent. His father died when he was thirteen, and his mother took special pains to find a suitable teacher for her fourth son, John, whose great abilities she recognized. He was eventually sent to the Jesuit college at Prague, and in due course raised to the priesthood. Returning to the diocese of Olmutz (Olomuc), he attracted the attention of the bishop, Cardinal von Dietrichstein, who appointed him parish priest of Holleschau (Holeshov). Since the fifteenth century that district had been a hotbed of the Hussite heresy and the Bohemian Brothers, but supported by the local landowner, Baron von Lobkovitz, and with the help of members of the Society of Jesus, Sarkander rekindled the faith amongst the inhabitants and reconciled about 250 heretics to the Church. By so doing he incurred the enmity of a powerful neighbouring landowner, Bitowsky von Bystritz, who was violently anti-Catholic and regarded Lobkovitz as a dangerous rival. In 1618, at the beginning of the Thirty Years War, a revolt broke out in Moravia: the Protestants seized the reins of government and set about destroying Catholic institutions. On the advice of his friends, Sarkander left Holleschau and betook himself eventually to Cracow, where he remained for several months. As soon, however, as he could prudently do so, he returned to his .parish and strove to reorganize his scattered flock. The country was still in a very disturbed state, and in February 1620 Polish troops, sent to the assistance of the emperor, came pouring across Moravia, pillaging on their way. When they drew near to Holleschau, Sarkander, at the head of his parishioners, went out to meet them carrying the Blessed Sacrament. As pious Catholics the Poles dismounted, fell on their knees and asked for the priest's blessing. Not only did they leave Holleschau intact, but they left a warning to the troops who followed that they should spare the village. Sarkander had indeed saved Holleschau, but he had signed his own death-warrant. His enemy Bitowsky immediately accused him of having treasonably brought the Poles into the country. His visit to Poland was misconstrued, and it was declared that he had planned the incursion as the agent of Baron von Lobkovitz, so he was carried off to Olmutz, where he was loaded with chains and confined in a sub足 terranean dungeon. The commission which tried him was composed almost entirely of Hussites, and they called upon him to disclose who had hrought the Polish troops into the country and what Baron von Lobkovitz, who was known to be his penitent, had told him in the confessional. Sarkander denied that he had anything to do with the coming of the Poles, but refused absolutely to divulge the secrets of the confessional. Thereupon he was subjected to the rack in its severest form, and four days later was again racked, and branded for two hours with torches. Moreover, the next morning, after being racked for three hours, he was plastered with feathers which had been dipped in a mixture of pitch, sulphur and oil and was then set on fire. He survived this atrocious treatment and lingered on for a month, reduced to almost complete helplessness, but praying continually, until on March 17, after receiving the last sacraments, he passed peacefully and joyfully to his reward. The words Sarkander had used to those who sought to make him reveal the secrets of the confessional are worthy of record: "I know nothing, and nothing 622


ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

[March 18

has been entrusted to me in the holy sacrament of penance. Anything that may ever have been confided to me in that way is not retained in my memory. I have buried it in oblivion out of veneration for the inviolable seal of confession, and I would choose, with God's help, rather to be torn in pieces than sacrilegiously to violate the seal of confession." Bd John Sarkander was venerated as a martyr from the time of his death, and was beatified in 1859. We are indebted to John Scintilla, a Catholic magistrate of Olmiitz, for an account of the proceedings of the commission which tried the martyr. He was constrained by his official position to be present at the first session and he afterwards drafted a report for Cardinal von Dietrichstein. See Liverani, Della vita e passione del Ven. Giovanni Sarcander (1835), and the articles in the Catholic Encyclopedia (under" John "), and the Kirchenlexikon (under " Sarkander "). There is a fuller biography in Polish, P. Matuszynski, Zyvot bl. Jana Sarkandra meczennika (1875).

18: ST CYRIL,

ARCHBISHOP OF JERUSALEM, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

(A.D.

386 ) T was the lot of St Cyril of Jerusalem, a man of gentle and conciliatory dis­ position, to live at a time of bitter religious controversy. The Duc de Broglie characterizes him as "forming the extreme right wing of Semi-Arianism, touching on orthodoxy, or the extreme left wing of orthodoxy, bordering on Semi­ Arianism, but there is nothing heretical in his teaching ", and Newman describes him more accurately when he says: "He seems to have been afraid of the word , Homoousios ' (consubstantial), to have been disinclined to the friends of Athan­ asius and to the Arians, to have allowed the tyranny of the latter, to have shared in the general reconciliation, and at length, both in life and death, to have received honours from the Church \vhich, in spite of whatever objections may be made to them, appear, on a closer examination of his history, not to be undeserved" (Preface to the translation of Cyril's Catecheses, p. ii). If he was not born in Jerusalem (about 315), he was certainly brought up there, and his parents, who were probably Christians, gave him an excellent education. He acquired a wide know­ ledge of the text of Holy Scripture, of which he made great use, some of his instruc­ tions consisting almcst entirely of biblical passages connected and interwoven with each other. He seems to have been ordained priest by the bishop of Jerusalem, St Maximus, who thought so highly of his abilities that he charged him with the important duty of instructing the catechumens. His catechetical lectures were delivered for several years-those to the illuminandi, or candidates for baptism, taking place in Constantine's basilica of the Holy Cross, usually called the Martyrion, and those to the newly-baptized being given during Easter week in the circular Anastasis or church of the Resurrection. They were delivered without book, and the nineteen catechetical discourses which have come down to us are perhaps the only ones ever committed to writing. They are most valuable as containing an exposition of the teaching and ritual of the Church in the middle of the fourth century, and are said to be " the earliest example extant of anything in the shape of a formal system of theology". We find in them also interesting allusions to the discovery of the cross, to the proximity of the rock which closed the Holy Sepulchre, to the weariness his hearers must be experiencing after their long fast, and so on.

I


TIlE LIVES OF TIlE SAINTS

l\1arch 18]

The circumstances under which Cyril succeeded 8t MaxiInus in the see of Jerusalem are obscure. We have two stories recorded by his opponents, but they are quite inconsistent with each other, and 8t Jerome, who is responsible for one of them, seems to have been prejudiced against him. In any case it is certain that 8t Cyril was properly consecrated by the bishops of his province, and if the Arian Acacius, who was one of them, expected to find in him a pliable tool he was doomed to disappointment. The first year of his episcopate \vas marked by a physical phenomenon \vhich made a great impression on the city, and of which he sent an account to the Emperor Constantius in a letter which has been preserved. Its genuineness has been questioned, but the style is undoubtedly his, and, though possibly interpolated, it has resisted adverse criticism. The letter says: "On the nones of May, about the third hour, a great luminous cross appeared in the heavens, just over Golgotha, reaching as far as the holy mount of Olivet, seen, not by one or t\VO persons, but clearly and evidently by the whole city. This was not, as might be thought, a fancy-bred and transient appearance: but it continued several hours together, visible to our eyes and brighter than the sun. rrhe whole city, penetrated alike with awe and with joy at this portent, ran immediately to the church, all with one voice giving praise to our Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God." Not very long after Cyril's accession, misunderstandings began to arise between him and Acacius, prirnarily about the precedence and jurisdiction of their respective sees, but also over matters of faith, for Acacius had now become imbued with the full Arian heresy. Cyril maintained the priority of his see as possessing an " apos足 tolic throne", whilst Acacius, as metropolitan of Caesarea, claimed control over it and pointed to a canon of the Council of N icaea \vhich ran, " Since a custom and old tradition has obtained that the bishop of Aelia [JerusalemJ should receive honour, let him hold the second place, the metropolitan [of Caesarea] being secured in his own dignity". Disagreement increased to open strife, and finally Acacius called a small council of bishops of his own party~ to which Cyril was summoned, but before which he refused to appear. To the charge of contumacy was added that of having sold church property during a famine to relieve the poor. 'rhis he had certainly done, as it was also done by St Ambrose, St Augustine and many other great prelates, \vho have been held fully justified. However, the packed meeting condemned him and he was driven out of Jerusalem. l-Ie made his way to Tarsus, \\There he was hospitably received by Silvanus, the semi-Arian bishop, and where he remained pending the hearing of an appeal which he had sent to a higher court. Two years after his deposition, the appeal came before the Council of Seleucia, which consisted of semi-Arians, Arians and a very few members of the strictly orthodox party--all from Egypt. Cyril himself sat among the semi-Arians, the best of whom had befriended and supported him during his exile. Acacius took violent exception to his presence and departed in anger, though he soon returned and took a prominent part in the subsequent debates. His party, however, was in the minority, and he himself \\Tas deposed, whilst Cyril was vindicated and rein足 stateo. Acacius thereupon, making his \\yay to Constantinople, persuaded the Emperor Constantius to summon another council. Fresh accusations were made in addition to the old ones, and what particularly incensed the emperor was the information that a gold-brocaded vestment presented by his father Constantine to lViacarius for administering baptism had been sold, and had been seen and recognized on a comedian performing on the boards of a theatre. Acacius triumphed and obtained

62 4


ST CYRIL OF JERUSALEM

[March 18

a second decree of exile against Cyril within a year of his vindication. But upon the death of Constantius in 361, his successor Julian recalled all the bishops whom his predecessor had expelled, and Cyril returned to his see with the rest. Com足 paratively few martyrdoms marked the reign of the Apostate, ,vho recognized that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church, and who sought by other and more insidious means to discredit the religion he had abandoned. One of the schemes he evolved was the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem in order to falsify the prophecy of our Lord, who had foretold its permanent and utter ruin. The church historians Socrates, Theodoret and others expatiate in great detail upon the attempt made by Julian to rebuild the Temple and to appeal to the national sentiment of the Jews to further this scheme. Gibbon and other more modern agnostics scoff at the record of preternatural occurrences, the earthquakes, the visible balls of fire, the collapsing walls, etc., which led to the abandonment of the enterprise, but even Gibbon is constrained to admit that the story of these prodigies is confirmed not only by such Christian writers as St John Chrysostom and St Ambrose, but, "strange as it may seem, by the unexceptionable testimony of Ammianus Marcellinus~ the philosophic soldier ", and a heathen. St Cyril, we are informed, looked on calmly at the vast preparations made for the rebuilding of the Temple and prophesied that it would fail. In 367 St Cyril was banished for the third time, Valens having decreed the expulsion of all prelates recalled by Julian, but about the date of the accession of Theodosius he was finally reinstated and enjoyed undisturbed possession of his see for the last eight years of his life. He was distressed on his return to find Jerusalem torn with schisms and party strife, overrun with heresy and stained by appalling crimes. The Council of Antioch to which he appealed for help sent him St Gregory of Nyssa, who, however, found himself unable to do much and soon departed, leaving to posterity in his "\Varning againgt Pilgrimages" a highly足 coloured description of the morals of the holy city at this period. In 381 both Cyril and Gregory were present at the great Council of Constan足 tinople-the second oecumenical council-and the bishop of Jerusalem on this occasion took his place as a metropolitan with the patriarchs of Alexandria and Antioch. At this gathering the Nicene Creed was promulgated in its amended form, and Cyril, who subscribed to it '\\rith the rest, accepted the term" Homoo足 usios ", which had come to be regarded as the test word of orthodoxy. Socrates and Sozomen have described this as an act of repentance. On the other hand, in the letter written by the bishops who had been at Constantinople to Pope St Damasus, Cyril is extolled as one who had at various times been a champion of orthodox truth against the Arians; and the whole Catholic Church, by including him among her doctors (in 1882) confirms the theory that he had been, all along, one of those whom Athanasius calls" brothers, who mean what we mean and only differ about the word". He is thought to have died in 386 at the age of nearly seventy, after an episcopate of thirty-five years, sixteen of which were spent in exile. Of St Cyril's writings, the only ones which have survived are the Catechetical Lectures, a sermon on the Pool of Bethesda, the letter to the Emperor Constantius, and three small fragments. Our knowledge of St Cyril's life and work is n1ainly derived from the church historians and from the writings of his contemporaries. rrhe Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and especially Dom Touttee in his preface to the Benedictine edition of this father, have brought together the most notable references. See also the articles devoted to St Cyril in

62 5


March 18]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Bardenhewer's Patrology, the DCB. and the DTC. J. H. Newman's preface to the translation of the Catechetical Discourses is still of value; see also the text and translation published by Dr F. L. Cross in 1952. There is an excellent sketch of St Cyril in A. Fortescue's Greek Fathers (1908), pp. 150-168.

ST ALEXANDER, BISHOP OF JERUSALEM, MARTYR ST ALEXANDER was a student with Origen in the great Christian school of Alexandria, at first under St Pantaenus and then under his successor Clement. He was chosen bishop of his native city in Cappadocia, and during the persecution of Severus he made a good confession of his faith. Although not put to death, he was imprisoned for several years, until the beginning of the reign of Caracalla. His former master, Clement, who had been forced to leave Alexandria, undertook to convey a letter to the church of Antioch, in which 8t Alexander sent his congratulations upon the election of St Asclepiades-the news of which, he said, had lightened the chains with which he was loaded. When released from prison, he made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and there we read that moved by some celestial portent the people appointed him coadjutor bishop of that see. This event, which took place in 212, is the earliest recorded instance of an episcopal translation and coadjutorship, and it had to be ratified by the hierarchy of Palestine assembled in council. The two bishops were still governing the church of Jerusalem when St Alexander wrote to another see: "I salute you in the name of Narcissus who here, in his I 16th year, implores you with me to live in inviolable peace and union." St Alexander came into conflict with Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria, who censured him for having taken part in the ordination of Origen and for having encouraged him while still a layman to teach in the churches. We have Origen's testimony that Alexander of Jerusalem excelled all other prelates in mildness and in the sweetness of his dis足 courses. Amongst the benefits which he conferred on the city was the formation of a great theological library which still existed when Euse bius wrote and of which he made considerable use. In the persecution of Decius, St Alexander was seized and made a second public confession. He was condemned to the beasts, but they could not, we are told, be induced to attack him, and he was taken back to prison in Caesarea where he died in chains. The Church reckons him as a martyr. Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History (bk vi) is the primary source of information con足 cerning St Alexander, from whose letters he quotes a few extracts. See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii; and Bardenhewer, Geschichte der altkirchlichen Literatur, vol. ii, pp. 27 1 - 2 73.

ST FRIGIDIAN, OR FREDIANO, BISHOP OF LUCCA

(A.D. 588 ?)

ST FRIGIDIAN, or Frediano as he is called in Italy, was an Irishman by birth or by extraction. He is said to have been the son of a king of Ulster and to have been educated in Ireland, where he was raised to the priesthood. Irish writers have tried to identify him with St Finnian of Moville, but St Frediano lived for over twenty-eight years in Lucca and died there, whereas Finnian ended his days in Ireland, where he had spent the greater part of his life. On a pilgrimage to Italy Frediano visited Lucca, and was so greatly attracted by the hermitages on Monte Pisano that he decided to settle there himself as an anchorite. His repute for sanctity caused him to be chosen for the bishopric of Lucca; it required, however, the intervention of Pope John II to induce Frediano to give up his life of solitude. After seven years of peaceful rule he was temporarily driven out of the city by the

626


[March 18

ST EDWARD TlfE l\lARTYR

Lombard invaders, who sacked and burnt the cathedral; but the holy bishop returned, and when the ferocity of the invaders had begun to abate he set to work to repair the damage. He rebuilt his cathedral on a new site outside the north wall of the city. This church, which now bears his own name, was by him dedi­ cated to the Three Deacons (Stephen, Vincent and Laurence). We are told that he showed goodwill and charity to all, relieved the necessitous, clothed the naked, comforted the sorrowful and visited the sick. His influence extended to the conquerors, many of whom were converted. He never ceased to aspire to the solitary life, and would retire from time to time to some lonely hermitage. It is stated that he formed a community of clergy, with whom he lived, sharing their austere discipline. This association continued after his death, and we read that when relaxation had crept in among the canons of the Lateran, Pope Alexander II (d. 1°73), who had been bishop of Lucca, "sent for some regular canons from San Frediano, as from a house of strict observance". It was not till 1507 that the congregation of San Frediano was merged into that of St John Lateran. One of the many miracles said to have been worked by 5t Frediano has become specially famous, because it is recorded in the Dialogues of 5t Gregory, who writes: " Nor shall I be silent on this also which was related to me by the venerable Venantius, Bishop of Luni. I learned from him two days ago that at Lucca there had lived a bishop of marvellous power, by name Frediano, of whom the inhabitants relate this great miracle: that the river Auxer [Serchio] running close under the walls of the city and often bursting from its bed with great force, caused grievous damage to its inhabitants, so that they . . . strove to divert its course . . . but failed in the attempt. Then the man of God Frediano made them give him a little rake, and advancing to where the stream flowed, he knelt in prayer. He then got up and ordered the river to follow him. As he dragged the rake behind him, the waters left their usual course and ran after it, making a new bed wherever the saint marked the way. Whence thus ever following on, it ceased to do injury to the fields and crops." When St Frediano felt his death approaching pe gathered his brethren round him, and while they were singing hymns of praise and thanksgiving, he fell into a placid sleep and passed to his rest. His relics were, it is said, miraculously redis­ covered during the reign of Charlemagne; in 1652 the bones were put together and the skeleton now lies in a glass coffin under the high altar of the cathedral at Lucca. As well as at Lucca the feast of St Frediano is kept throughout Ireland (as St Frigidian) and by the Canons Regular of the Lateran. See Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, pp. 634-641, and especially Guerra and Guidi, Compendio di storia ecclesiastica Lucchese dalle origini . . . (1924). On St Finnian or Winnin, with whom St Frediano has been wrongly identified, see KSS., pp. 465-466. See also A. M. Tommasini, Irish Saints in Italy (1937), pp. 360-377; A. Pedemonte, S. Frediano (1937), who denies that the saint was Irish, and, with less reason, dates him in the third century; and M. Giusti in Bollettino storico lucchese, vol. xi, pp. 1-27.

ST EDWARD THE MARTYR

(A.D. 979)

ST EDWARD was the son of King Edgar, sovereign of all the English, by his first wife, Ethelfleda, who did not long survive the birth of her son; he was baptized by 5t Dunstan, then archbishop of Canterbury. After Edgar's death a party sought to set aside Edward in favour of Ethelred, a boy hardly ten years old, who was Edgar's son by his second queen, Elfrida. Edward himself was but a youth

627


March 18]

TilE LIVES OF TIlE SAINTS

when he came to the throne, and his reign lasted a brief three years. The guidance of 8t Dunstan was unable to commend him to the disaffected thegns, for \vhich the young king's violent ternper was perhaps partly responsible. The chroniclers, \vho are all agreed that he was murdered, are not in accord as to the actual perpetrator of the deed, but \Villiam of l\1almesbury claiITls to describe the crilne in detail. lIe tells us that, from the moment of Edward's accession, his stepnlother had sought an opportunity to slay him. One day, after hunting in Dorsetshire, the king, \vho was weary and \vished to see his little stepbrother, of whom he was fond, determined to visit Corfe Castle, the residence of l~lfrida, \vhich was close at hand. Apprised of his arrival, the queen \vent out to meet him and noticed that he \vas alone, having outstripped his companions and attendants. She feigned pleasure at seeing him and ordered a cup to be brought to allay his thirst. As he drank, Elfrida ITlade a sign to one of her servants, who stabbed the young king \vith a dagger. Although I~dward imrnediately set spurs to his horse and tried to regain his escort, he slipped fronl the saddle, his foot caught in the stirrup, and he was dragged along till he died. " This year", says the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under 979, "was King Ed\vard slain at eventide at Corfe-gate, and was buried at \Vareham without any kind of kingly honours." \Villiam of lVlalmesbury says that Elfrida had his body thrown into a marsh, thinking thus to dispose of it, but a pillar of light caused it to be discovered, and it was taken up and buried in the church at Wareham. His relics were afterwards removed to Shaftesbury. Elfrida herself was in the end seized ,vith remorse for her crilne and, retiring from the world, she built the monasteries of Amesbury and \Vherwell, in the latter of which she died. The earliest account of the murder attributes it to Erhelred's retainers; there is no good evidence for Queen Elfrida's alleged part in it, \vhich is not n1~ntioned till over a hundred years after the event. Ed ward \vas a martyr on ly in the broad sense of one who suffers an unjust death, but his cuitus was considerable, encouraged by the rniracles reported from his tomb at Shaftesbury; and his feast is still observed in the diocese of Plymouth. Our principal authorities are William of Malmesbury, Florence of \Vorcester, the Anglo足 Saxon Chronicle, ()shern the hagiographer anu, earliest of all, the author of the Life of St Oswald in the Historians of the Church of York (Rolls Series), yol. i, pp. 448-452. See also F. 1\1. Stenton, Anglo-Saxon En!dand (1943), pp. 366-369; and particularly R. M. Wilson, Lost Literature of Medie1.'al England (1952), pp. I I I - I 12.

ST ANSELM,

BISHOP OF LUCCA

(A.D. 1086)

IT was in 1036 that 8t Anselm ,vas born in Mantua, and in 1073 his uncle, Pope Alexander II, nominated him to the bishopric of Lucca, left vacant by his own elevation to the chair of 8t Peter, and sent him to Germany to receive from the Emperor Henry IV the crozier and the ring- in accordance with the regrettable custom of the time. Anselm, however, was so stroligly convinced that the secular power had no authority to confer ecclesiastical dignities that he could not bring himself to accept investiture from the emperor and returned to Italy without it. Only after he had been consecrated by Alexander's successor, POlJe 8t Gregory VII, did he consent to accept from Henry the crozier and the ring, and even then he felt scruples of conscience on the subject. These doubts led him to leave his diocese and to withdraw to a congregation of Cluniac monks at Polirone. A dignitary of such high-minded vie\vs could ill be spared, and Pope Gregory recalled

628


ST A:r\SELl\1 OF I-iUCCA

him from his retirement and sent him back to Lucca to resume the government of his diocese. Zealous with regard to discipline, he strove to enforce among his canons the common life enjoined by the decree of Pope 5t Leo IX. In acute discordance with the edifying example accredited to them above in our notice of 8t Frediano, the canons refused to obey, although they were placed under an interdict by the pope and after\vards excommunicated. Countess Matilda of Tuscany undertook to expel them, but they raised a revolt and, being supported by the Emperor Henry, drove the bishop out of the city in 1079. 8t Anselrn retired to Canossa, to the Countess Matilda, whose director he becalne, and in all the territories under her jurisdiction he established strict order among the monks and the canons. lIe was wont to say that he would prefer that the (~hurch should have neither, rather than that they should live undisciplined lives. lIe himself \vas most austere, and always spent several hours daily in prayer: he never drank \vine, and found some pretext for avoiding delicate food at well-served tables. Although he used to celebrate every day, he was moved to tears in saying lVlass, and he lived so continually in the presence of God that no secular affairs could banish the remembrance of it. As one of Pope Gregory's most faithful supporters, he drew upon himself much persecution. His chief services to the pontiff \vere rendered in connection with investitures, the suppression of which was at that period a matter of life or death to the orderly government of the Church. This abuse had been gradually increasing until it had become a grievous scandal, especially in Germany. It had its roots in the feudal system, under which bishops and abbots had become o\vners of lands and even of cities, for \vhich they naturally paid allegiance to the sovereign, receiving in exchange tenlporal authority over the territories they governed. But the con足 sequence was that in course of time all sacred offices were shamelessly sold to the highest bidder or bestowed on profligate courtiers. Gregory had no more vigorous supporter than Anselm of Lucca, who had himself protested against receiving investiture at secular hands. ...J\fter the death of Gregory, the next pope nominated 8t Anselm to be his legate in Lombardy-a post which entailed the administration of several dioceses left vacant in consequence of the investitures quarrel. Thus Anselm \vas apostolic visitor, but he was never actually made bishop of Mantua, as some of his biographers have claimed. We read that he \vas a man of great learning, and had made a special study of the Bible and of its commentators: if questioned on the meaning of any passage of Holy 8cripture-a great part of which he knew by heart-he could cite at once the explanations given by all the great fathers of the Church. Amongst his writings may be mentioned an important collection of canons and a commentary on the Psalms which he began at the request of the Countess Matilda, but which he did not live to complete. The holy bishop died in his native town of Mantua, and the city has since adopted him as its principal patron saint. The main source of information is the life of the saint, formerly attributed to Bardo, primicerius of the cathedral of Lucca, though Mgr Guidi has shown that the true author must have been a priest belonging to the suite of the Countess Matilda (see Analecta Bol足 landiana, vol. xlviii, p. 203). This" Bardo" life has been many times printed, e.g. by Mabillon, the Bollandists, and in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xii. But there is also a long poem by Ranierius (7300 lines), first printed by La Fuente (1870), on which cf. Overmann in the Neues Archiv, vol. xxi (1897). See also the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii, and P. Schmeidler in the Neues Archiv., vol. xliii. Anseln1's Collectio Canonum has been critically edited in recent times by Thaner.


March 18]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

BD CHRISTIAN, ABBOT OF MELLIFONT

(A.D. 1186)

BEYOND the fact that he was abbot of the first Cistercian monastery ever established in Ireland, practically nothing at all can be stated with certainty about Bd Christian, otherwise called Christian O'Conarchy or Giolla Criost Ua Condoirche. The various traditions and legends are confused an d conflicting. According to some accounts, he was born at Bangor in Ulster, and Colgan says that he was the disciple and afterwards the archdeacon of St Malachy of Armagh, and that he probably accompanied that prelate on a visit to Rome, staying at Clairvaux on his way there. He would appear to have been one of the four disciples who remained behind at Clairvaux on the homeward journey and who received the habit from St Bernard himself. Upon his return to Ireland, St Malachy was anxious to introduce the Cistercian Order into his country, and at his prompting Donough O'Carroll set about building Mellifont. Malachy applied to the founder for a superior and some monks to start the new foundation, and St Bernard sent Christian and several French brothers in 1142. Abbot Christian is said by some writers to have become bishop of Lismore and papal legate for Ireland. An ancient anonymous Irish annalist notes the year 1186 as the date of the death of Christian, the illustrious prelate of Lismore, " formerly legate of Ireland, emulator of the virtues which he saw and heard from his holy father St Bernard and from the Supreme Pontiff, the venerable man Eugenius, with whom he was in the novitiate at Clairvaux ". See Colgan, Acta Sanctorum Hiberniae, and LIS., vol. iii, p. 839.

ST SALVATOR OF HORTA ST SALVATOR is usually described as " of Horta" because he spent many years in the Franciscan friary of that place, although he was born at Santa Columba in the diocese of Gerona in Spain. He came of a poor family, and lost both his parents while still a child. Migrating to the town, he worked as a shoemaker in Barcelona, but at the age of twenty, as his heart was set on the religious life, he became a Franciscan of the Observance. Employed in the kitchen, his virtue quickly matured in these humble surroundings, but he thirsted for greater austerity, and passed on, first to the convent of St Mary of Jesus at Tortosa, and then to the solitude of St Mary of the Angels at Horta in the same diocese. In that house of very strict observance he made a protracted stay, but eventually he returned to Barcelona, where his supernatural gifts attracted much notice, and where the blind, lame and deaf came to him to be healed. He always walked barefoot, scourged himself daily, and kept long and rigorous fasts. He was specially de足 voted to our Lady and to St Paul, who appeared to him on several occasions, notably on his death-bed. St Salvator had gone to Sardinia in compliance with the orders of his superiors when he was seized with an illness which proved fatal. He died at Cagliari, being forty-seven years of age, in 1567. He was venerated as a saint during his lifetime, and was eventually canonized in 193 8 . A full biography by Father Serpi, who was the promoter of the cause of St Salvator in the process of beatification, is printed in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. ii. See also Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 470-483.

630


ST JOSEPH

19 : ST

[March 19

JOSEPH,

HUSBAND OF OUR LADY ST MARY

(FIRST CENTURY)

CORDING to the Roman Martyrology March 19 is "the [heavenly] birthday of St Joseph, husband of the most Blessed Virgin Mary and confessor, whom the Supreme Pontiff Pius IX, assenting to the desires and prayers of the whole Catholic world, has proclaimed patron of the Universal Church". The history of his life, says Butler, has not been written by men, but his principal actions, through the inspired evangelists, are recorded by the Holy Ghost Himself. What is told in the gospels concerning him is so familiar that it needs no commentary. He was of royal descent and his genealogy has been set out for us both by St Matthew and by St Luke. He was the protector of our Lady's good name, and in that character of necessity the confidant of Heaven's secrets, and he was the foster-father of Jesus, charged with the guidance and support of the holy family, and responsible in some sense for the education of Him who, though divine, loved to call Himself" the son of man". It was Joseph's trade that Jesus learnt, it was his manner of speech tha~ the boy will have imitated, it was he whom our Lady herself seemed to invest with full parental rights when she said without qualification, "Thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing". No wonder that the evangelist adopted her phrase and tells us, in connection with the incidents which attended the Child's presentation in the Temple, that" His father and mother were wondering at those things which were spoken concerning Him." None the less our positive knowledge concerning St Joseph's life is very re足 stricted, and the" tradition" enshrined in the apocryphal gospels must be pro足 nounced to be quite worthless. We may assume that he was betrothed to Mary his bride with the formalities prescribed by Jewish ritual, but the nature of this ceremonial is not clearly known, especially in the case of the poor; and that Joseph and Mary were poor is proved by the offering of only a pair of turtle-doves at Mary's purification in the Temple. By this same poverty the story of the com足 petition of twelve suitors for Mary's hand, of the rods deposited by them in the care of the High Priest and of the portents which distinguished the rod of Joseph from the rest, is shown to be quite improbable. The details furnished in the so-called "Protevangelium", in the "Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew", in the " History of Joseph the Carpenter", etc., are in many respects extravagant and inconsistent with each other. We must be content to know the simple facts that when Mary's pregnancy had saddened her husband his fears were set at rest by an angelic vision, that he was again warned by angels-first to seek refuge in Egypt, and afterwards to return to Palestine-that he was present at Bethlehem when our Lord was laid in the manger and the shepherds came to worship Him, that he was present also when the Infant was placed in the arms of Holy Simeon, and finally that he shared his wife's sorrow at the loss of her Son and her joy when they found Him debating with the doctors in the Temple. St Joseph's merit is summed up in the phrase that " he was a just man", that is to say, a godly man. This was the eulogy of Holy Writ itself.

X

Although St Joseph is now specially venerated in connection with prayers offered for the grace of a happy death, this aspect of popular devotion to the saint was late in obtaining recognition. The Rituale Romanum, issued by authority in

63 1


March 19]

THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAIN'rS

1614, \vhile making ample provision of ancient furmularies for the help of the sick and dying, nowhere-the litany not excepted-introduces any mention of the name of 8t Joseph. Many Old Testament examples are cited, our Lady of course is appealed to, and there are references to St Michael, SSe Peter and Paul, and even to St Thecla, but St Joseph is passed over, and it is only in recent times that the omission has been repaired. What makes this silence the more relnarkable is the fact that the account given of the death of St Joseph in the apocryphal ,~ I-listory of Joseph the Carpenter" seems to have been very popular in the Eastern church, and to have been the real starting-point of the interest aroused by the saint. More­ over, it is here that we find the first suggestion of anything in the nature of a litur­ gical celebration. The recognition now universally accorded to St Joseph in the West is commonly said to have been derived from Eastern sources, but the matter is very obscure. In any case it is worthy of note that the" l-Iistory of Joseph the Carpenter" was almost certainly first written in Greek, though it is now kno\\"n to us only through Coptic and Arabic translations. In this document a very full account is given of St Joseph's last illness, 0f his fear of God's judgements, of his self-reproach, and of the efforts made by our Lord and His mother to cornfort him and to ease his passage to the next world, and of the promises of protection in life and death made by Jesus to such as should do good in Joseph's name. It is easy to understand that such alleged promises \\'ill have made a deep impression upon simple folk, many of whom no doubt believed that they carried with them a divipe ,,:arrant of fulfilment. At all periods of the world's history ,ve find such extrava­ gances developing hand in hand with great popular movements of devotion. The wonder \vould seem to be that for nearly a thousand years we find no recognizable traces either in East or \Vest of any great response to such an appeal. Dr 1.1. Stern, a high authority, who interested himself much in this document, believed that the Greek original of the" History of Joseph the Carpenter" might be as old as the fourth century, but this estimate of its antiquity, as Father Paul Peeters thinks, is probably excessive. As regards the West and certain Irish references, Father Paul Grosjean con­ cludes (see bibliography bclo\v) that the oldest explicit mention of 8t Joseph about March 19 that \ve have is in a manuscript preserved at Zurich (Rh. 30, 3) ; this martyrology, from Rheinau, is of the eighth century, and originated in northern France or Belgium. 1~he references in the l\1artyrology of 'fallaght and the Fe/ire of Oengus, \vrites Father Grosjean, are concordant \\"itnesses (depending on one another) to a continental tradition, that of the copy or abridgernent of the " Martyrology of J erarne " that the writers used; and that tnHiition is further attested, a little later, by t\",O abridgements of the Hieronymianurn frorn Reichenau and one from Rheims. 'The idea that the Irish Culdees celehrated a feast of 8t Joseph on l\1arch 19 is a nlistakcn onc. 'The Felire is indeed the "'ork of a Culdee, but it is not a calendar: it is a devotional poem commemorating certain saints whose names are taken arbitrarily, day by day, from an abridged martyrology of continental origin, \vith supplements for Ireland. 'The evidence of Oengus is very valuable, because it testifies to the presence of the names of the saints he mentions in the document that he used; but a martyrology is not a liturgical calendar, and it does not enable us to conclude that such and such a saint was celebrated on such and such a day at Tallaght or in some other Jrish monastery. rrhese early references \vere a starting-point for future developrnents, but they only (:ame slo\vly. In the first printed Roman l\lissal (J474) no com­

63 2


ST JOI-IN OF PANA.CA

[l\.1arch 19

memoration of St Joseph occurs, nor does his name appear even in the calendar. \Ve find a Mass in his honour at Rome for the first time in 1505, though a Roman Breviary of 1482 assigns him a feast with nine lessons. But in certain localities and under the influence of individual teachers a Ilot~ble cultus had begun long before this. Probably the mystery plays in which a prominent role was often assigned to St Joseph contributed something to this result. Bd Herman, a Premonstratensian who lived in the second half of the twelfth century, took the name of Joseph, and believed that he had received assurance of his special protection. St l\Iargaret of Cortona, Bd l\1argaret of Citta di Castello, St Bridget of Sweden and St Vincent f--errer seem to ha ,,'C paid particular honour to St Joseph in their private devotions. Early in the fifteenth century influential writers like Cardinal Peter d' Ailly, Johl1 Gerson and St Bernardino of Siena warmly espoused his cause, and it was no doubt mainly due to the influence they exercised that before the end of the same century his feast began to be liturgically celebrated in many parts of western Europe. 'The clairn which has been made that the Carmelites introduced the devotion from the East is quite devoid of foundation; St Joseph's name is nowhere mentioned in the "Ordinarium" of Sibert de Beka, and though the first printed Carmelite Breviary (1480) recognized his feast, this seems to have been adopted from the usage already accepted in Belgium, where this breviary was set up in type. The Carmelite chapter of 1498 held at Nimes was the first to give formal authorization to this addition to the calendar of the order. But from that tirne forward the devotion spread rapidly, and there can be no question that the zeal and enthusiasm displayed by the great St Teresa in St Joseph's cause produced a profound im­ pression upon the t--:hurch at large. In 1621 Pope Gregory XV made St Joseph's feast a holiday of obligation, and though this has been subsequently abrog?ted in England and elsewhere there has been no diminution do\vn to our own time in the earnestness and the confidence of his innulnerable clients. The numher of churches now dedicated in his honour and the rna~y religious congregations both of men and women which hear his name are a striking evidence of the fact. 'T'he vast devoticna 1 literature which centres round the eultus of St Joseph does not call for attention here. From the historical point of view we rnust he content to refer to the Acta Sallctorum, March, vol. iii, and to a small selection of modern essays of which the hest seems to be that of J. Seitz, Die Verehrunft des hi. Joseph in ihrer geschirht!ichen Ent'lcieldung !lis zum Konzil 'l'on Trent dargestellt (1908). See also three articles in the Re'Z'ue Benidictine for 1897; Canon Lucot, St Joseph: Etude historique sur son culte (d~7 5); Pflilf in the Stimmen aus Maria Laach, 1890, pp. 137 --161,282-3°2; Leclercq in DAC.! vol. vii; and Cardinal L. E. I)ubois, ..S t Joseph (1927), in the series " Lcs Saints". On the festivals celebrated in honour of the saint sec especially F. C;. l-Iolweck, C'alendarium Festorum Dei et Dei Main's (1925), p. 448. The Man Nearest to Christ (1944). by Fr. F. L. Filas is an exceilent popular \vork J v.ell documented. U. Holzmeister's De sancto Joseph quaestiones biblicae (1945) is a very useful surrlmary of history and tradition. The last word to date on the subject of the earliest liturgical references is from Fr P. Grosjean, in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lxxii (1954), fasc. 4, "Notes d'hagiographie celtique ", no. 26. My grateful thanks are due to Fr C;rosjean for an advance copy of this article.

ST JOHN OF PANACA,

ABBOT

(SIXTH CENTURY)

DURING the monophysite disturbances in the East, a Syrian called John left his native land and, coming to the \Vest, settled nut far from Spoleto. '"rhere he built an abbey of which he became superior, and he also founded another religious house near Pesaro. An untrust\\Torthy legend informs us that when the holy ITlan \\'as leaving Syria, he prayed: "L/ord God of I-Ieaven and earth, C;od of Abraham,

633


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 19]

Isaac and Jacob, I beseech thee, the true light, to enlighten me who hope in thee and to prosper my way before me, and to let it be to me for a sign of my resting足 place when the person to whom I shall give my psalter shall not return it to me that same day." He landed in Italy and had travelled as far as the neighbourhood of Spoleto when he met a handmaid of the Lord, to whom he lent his psalter. When he asked her to return it, she said, " Where are you going, servant of God? Remain here and resume your journey to-morrow. " John agreed to tarry the night, and remeInbering his prayer he said to himself, " This is indeed what I asked of the Lord: here will I stay." The next morning he received back his psalter and had walked the distance of four bow-shots when there appeared an angel, who led him to a tree under which he told him to sit, adding that it was the Lord's will that he should remain in that place and that there he would have a great congregation aTld would find rest. It ",as the month of December and the ground was hard with frost, but the tree under which John ,vas seated was blossoming like a lily. Some passing huntsmen asked him whence he came and what he was doing there. The holy man told them his whole history and they were filled with astonishment-especially at his clothes, the like of which they had never seen. "Please do not hurt me, my sons", said John, " for I have come here in the service of God." But the request was un足 necessary, as they had already noticed the tree which was blossoming and recognized that the Lord was with him. Far from wishing to do him harm they were eager to announce his arrival to the bishop of Spoleto, who hurried out to greet him and found him praying under the tree. They wept for joy wh~n they met, and all who were present gave glory to God. In that place John built his monastery, and there he lived until forty-four years later, when he fell asleep in peace and was buried with hymns and songs. St John, who in the Roman Martyrology is said to have built his abbey" apud Pinnensem civitatem ", appears in the Martyrology of Ado. His festival is still kept at Spoleto. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii.

SSe LANDOALD

AND HIS COMPANIONS

(c.

A.D.

668)

FOR the life of St Landoald and his companions we have only a very untrustworthy biography written in 981, three hundred years after their death, to replace their original acts said to have been lost in 954. When St Amand decided to resign the see of Maestricht, in order to resume work as a missionary bishop in the provinces which are now Holland and Belgium, he went to Rome to obtain the pope's sanc足 tion. St Martin I not only signified his warm approval, but selected several companions to assist him in his labvurs. Of these the principal was Landoald, a priest of the Roman church who came of a Lombard family and was filled with missionary zeal. A deacon, 8t Amantius, and nine other persons completed the party, which included St Adeltrudis, St Bavo's daughter, and St Vindiciana, Landoald's sister. They reached the territory between the Meuse and the ScheIdt, and here Landoald remained, at the request of St Remaclus. He found a wide scope for his energies in the huge diocese of Maestricht, the country having been only partly evangelized and the people still addicted to gross superstitions and vices. At Wintershoven, on the river Herck, Landoald made his headquarters, and there he built a church which St Remaclus dedicated about the year 659. Childeric II, King of Austrasia, made Maestricht one of his residences, and there he became

634


BD ANDREW OF SIENA

[March 19

interested in the little community at Wintershoven, to whose support he contributed. It ,vas necessary to send a messenger from time to time to receive the royal gifts, and one of St Landoald's disciples, Adrian by name, was deputed for that purpose. Returning from one of these expeditions, he was attacked and murdered by thieves, and was honoured as a martyr. St Landoald did not long survive his disciple, and ~s thought to have died before St Lambert succeeded to the see of Maestricht after the murder of St Theodard. He was buried in the church of Wintershoven, but his body was several times moved, eventually to Ghent in 980. There is said to have been another translation of part of the relics back to Wintershoven in 1624, which seems to have been the occasion for the fabrication of other spurious documents. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; Analecta Bollandiana, vol. iv (1885), pp. 196-J:98, and vol. xxvii (1908), p. 475. See also Pirenne in Biographie nationale (de Belgique), vol. xi, pp. 256-257; Balau, Sources de l'histoire de Liege, pp. 135-139, but especially Holder-Egger in the AuJsiitze an Georg Waitz gewidmet, pp. 622-665, and L. Van der Essen, Saints Mero颅 vingiens, pp. 357-368.

ST ALCMUND, MARTYR

(c. A.D. 800)

THERE were two Alcmunds to whom honour was paid in the north of England. One was a bishop of Hexham who died in 781, and is commemorated on September 17. The other is styled martyr and is said to have been put to death on March 19. This Alcmund was the son or nephew of Alhred, King of Northumbria, who according to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle was driven from York in 774. It would seem that somewhere about 792, Osred, stated to have been the brother of Alcmund, made an attempt to regain possession of the Northumbrian kingdom, which he had previously ruled for a while, but was "seized and slain". It is possible that Alcmund took part in, or repeated, this attempt ~nd shared his brother's fate. Eardwulf, who was" hallowed for king" in 795, is said to have been responsible for the crime. The slender items of information preserved by different writers are hopelessly inconsistent. If veneration ,vas paid to Alcmund's remains shortly afterwards, this would seem to be due to the fact that many miracles were alleged to have been worked at his tomb at Lilleshall; these relics were afterwards trans-路 lated to Derby. Several churches were dedicated in his honour in Shropshire and Derbyshire. See Stanton, Menology, pp. 124, 636; Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. vi, p. 262 ; and Analecta Bollandiana, vol. lviii (1940), pp. 178-183.

BD ANDREW OF SIENA

(A.D. 1251)

BD ANDREW DE' GALLERANI was a distinguished soldier, who led the Sienese to victory against the Orvietans. Having killed a man for openly blaspheming God, he ,,'as obliged to escape from justice or from the vengeance of his victim's friends, and retired to a family estate near the sea-coast. When he returned to Siena, it was to devote himself entirely to good works. He founded in that city the Society of Mercy to assist the sick, and established a hospital. The rest of his life was divided between charitable activities and prayer. His society, the members of which wore a special kind of cloak bearing a cross and the letter M, continued until the year 1308, when it was merged in the Dominican Order. Many miracles were attributed to Bd Andrew. Once he healed a foot which had already begun to 635


Jlarr/z

'THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

20]

nlortify; once he walked dry-shod and untouched by the rain through the streets of Siena \vhilst a violent downpour was raging; on another occasion, when he returned to his hOlne late at night froln a distant errand of n1ercy, the gates and doors of his house opened to him of their o\vn accord. 1'here is an early and seemingly tn!stv:ortLy Latin lif .Acta Sallctorum, March, \01. iii.

20 : SS.

PHOTINA

p

which has been printed in the

AND HER COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

(No DATE)

X

-'CORDING to the Roman lVlartyrology, "Photina the Sarnaritan woman, Joseph an d v~ictor her sons, the army officer Sebastian, Anatolius, Photius, the sister~ Photis, Parasccve and (~yriaca, all confessed Christ and attained martyrdorn ". The story \vhich is presprved by the Greeks is purely egendary. I t asserts that Photina was th~ Samaritan wornan whom our Lord talked with at the \vell. After preaching the gospel in various places she went to Carthage, 'Nhere she died after suffering three years' imprisonment for the faith. 5t Victor, an officer in the in1perial army, was made governor in Gaul and converted 8t Sebastian. rfhe martyrs were brought to Rome, \\J'here some of them were burned over a slow J1re and then flayed, whilst the rest were beheaded after being horribly tortured. A Spanish legend statcs that St Photina converted and baptized Domnina (\vho \vas ~ero's daughter) with one hundred of her servants. See the .Acta Sanctorunl, l\larch, vol. iii, and Delehaye, Synax. Constant., cc. 549-552. difficult to understand how Baronius could have includf'd this entry in t1-le Roman ~lartyrolog~r. I-Ic scerns in his notes to suggest that this ComtnelDora tion had come to Rome by \yay of the monks of l\lonte Cassino. 'l'he story, howe\ er, in its divergent forms had \"ide currency in the East, and there was a Syrian convent of St Photina on lVlount Sion at ] erusa lern. Gj. the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxviii, pr. J 97 and 406. It

i~

ST MARTIN,

ARCHBISHOP OF

BRAGA

(A.D. 579)

ST lVIARTI~ OF BRAGA is said by St GrEgory of 1'ours to have surpassed in learning all the scholars of his age, and the Christian poet Fortunatus described him as having inherited the merits as well as the name of St l\1artin of rrours. I-lis early history is uncertain. The story that he \vas a native of Pannonia is possibly the m lstake of some scribe \vho confused him \vith St lVlartin of Tours. I-Ie is said to have made a pilgrimage to Palestine, and it was perhaps \vith returning pilgrims that he made his 't'vay to Galicia in Spain. There the 5uevi held the mastery and had propagateu Arian doctrines. St Martin, hO\\J-ever, by his earnest preaching brought C;alicia back to the Catholic Church. He began by converting and instructing King 1"heodomir, and subsequently reconciled many other Arians and lapsed Catholics. He built several monasteries, the principal among which, DUnliurYl, served him as a centre for his missionary efforts. The Suevian monarchs out of regard for him made Dumium the seat of a bishopric (now MondoTledo), of which he became the first occupant, and so closely did they attach lVlartin to their court that he was called " the Bishop of the Royal Family". Nevertheless he never relaxed his own severe monastic rule of life, and rnaintained strict discipline in the government of his monks. He was after\vards promoted to the sec of Braga, which made him metropolitan of the whole of

63 6


ST CUTI-IBER'T

[1vlarch

20

Galicia, and he held that dignity until his death. Besides his rnain work as a missionary, St Martin rendered great service to the Church by his writings. 'The chief of these are a collection of eighty-four canons, a J?ormula vitae honestae, written as a guide to a good life at the request of King Miro, a description of super足 stitious peasant custorns entitled De correctione rusticorum, a symposium of moral maxims, and a selection of the sayings of the Egyptian solitaries. St Martin died in 579 at his monastery at Dumium, and his body was translated to Braga in 1606. Our principal authorities are here Gregory of Tours and Venantius Fortunatus. See the Acia Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; Florez, Espana Sagrada, vol. iv, pp. 151-158; Gams, Kirchengeschichte Spaniens, vol. ii, pt I, pp. 472-475. A cordial appreciation of the work and scholarship of St lVlartin of Braga may be found in the Cambridge iV!edieval History, vol. iii, pp. 489-490. Prominence is also given to hiql in Ebert's Geschichte der Literatur des Mitlelalters, vol. i, 2nd ed., pp. 579--584. T'hcre is an account of his life in Alartini Episcopi Bracarensis ()pera Omnia (1950), ed. C. W. Barlow.

ST CUTIIBERT,

BISHOP OF LINDISFARNE

authentic is known about the parentage and birthplace of 8t Cuthbert. Irish hagiographers claim him as an Irishman, whereas all the Saxon chroniclers maintain that he was born in the Lo\vlands of Scotland. According to Bede's metrical biography he was a Briton, and Bede in the preface to his prose History of St Cuthbert distinctly states that he has written nothing which is not well attested. The narne Cuthbert is undoubtedly Saxon and not Celtic. We first make his acquaintance when he was about eight and was under the charge of a widow named !(ens\vith, whom he regarded as a mother and who treated him as her son. rIe was then a healthy, lively little lad, full of fun, and the ringle~der of the boys of the countryside, all of whom he could beat in running, jurnping and wrestling. One day, in the midst of their play, one child burst into tears, and exclaimed, " Oh, Cuthbert, how can you waste your time in idle sport-you whom God has set apart to be a priest and a bishop?" rfhese words made so deep an impression on his mind that, from that morDent, he developed a gravity beyond his years. rfhe occupation to which he was bred-that of a shepherd-gave him ample opportunities of quiet comrnuning with God on the great pasturages or folklands of Northumbria. It was at the end of August 65 I that Cuthbert, then about fifteen years of age, had a vision which decided him to consecrate his life to God. The summer day \vas followed by a dark night without moon or stars, and Cuthbert was alone and in prayer. Suddenly a beam of dazzling light shone across the black sky, and in it appeared a host of angels carrying, as though in a globe of fire, a soul to heaven. Later he learnt that the holy bishop 8t .Aidan had died that night at Bamborough. Although this was actually the turning-point in his life, he does not appear at once to have given up the world. It has been suggested that he may have been called upon to fight against the lVlercians, for it was on horseback and armed with a spear that he eventually appeared at the gate of Melrose .A.bbey and asked to be admitted amongst the brethren. \Ve are not told whether 8t Boisil the prior had any previous knowledge of him, or whether he instantaneously read the thoughts of his heart, but, as Cuthbert dismounted, he turned to one of the monks and said, " Behold a servant of the Lord ! " In the year 660 the abbot of Melrose received land for another monastery, and upon an e!evation at the confluence of the rivers Ure and Skell was built the abbey of Ripon, to ""hich St Eata came in 66I, bringing \yith him Cuthbert as NOTHING

637


lv/arch

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

20]

guest-master. \Ve read that on one cold winter's morning, as he entered the guest-chalnber, he found a stranger already installed there. Fetching water he washed the visitor's hands and feet and offered refreshment. The guest courteously declined, saying that he could not wait because the home to which he was hastening lay at some distance. Cuthbert nevertheless insisted and went off to fetch some food. At his return he found the cell unten~nted, but upon the table lay three loaves of singular whiteness and excellence. There was no footprint on the snow which surrounded the abbey, and St Cuthbert felt sure that he had indeed enter足 tained an angel. The stay of Eata and Cuthbert at Ripon was of short duration. A year later King Alcfrid transferred the abbey to St Wilfrid, and, in the words of Bede, "Eata with Cuthbert and the rest of the brethren whom he had brought with him was driven home and the site of the monastery he had founded was given for a habitation to other monks". Cuthbert returned to Melrose. The whole country was being ravaged by a disease known as "the yellow plague", and it prostrated Cuthbert. When, however, he was told that the monks had spent the whole night in prayer for his recovery, he cried, " \Vhat am I doing in bed? It is impossible that God should close His ears to sHch men! Give me my staff and my shoes." Getting up he immediately began to walk; his will at the time seemed to triumph over his disease, but he never really regained his health. Under the infliction men and women were again, as Bede tells us, putting faith in charms and amulets. To assist the stricken people and to revive Christianity St Cuthbert now entered upon a strenuous missionary effort which extended over the years that he \vas prior, first at Melrose, and afterwards at Lindisfarne. Over hill and dale he travelled, some足 times 揃on horseback, sometimes on foot, ever preferring the remoter hamlets because they had less chance of being visited. Like Aidan he taught from house to house, but whereas Aidan, who did not know the dialect, was always accompanied by an interpreter, Cuthbert could talk to the peasants in their own tongue and with their own Northumbrian accent. He knew the topography, having wandered over the low lands with his flocks, and he could enter into the lives of his hearers and was content with their simple fare. Of pleasing appearance moreover and of cheery, winning address, he made his way at once to the hearts of his hosts, so that his teaching was extraordinarily successful. From the coast of Berwick to the Solway Firth he carried the gospel message, and everywhere he was a welcome and honoured guest. At Coldingham, where he visited the monastery, a monk who watched him reported that he used to rise quietly at night from amongst the sleeping brethren, and making his way to the beach would enter the sea, and with the water up to his armpits would chant praises to God. A legend still current amongst the border peasantry tells of two otters-more probably seals- which followed the holy man back over the rocks and licked his half-numbed feet and wiped them with their coats until warmth was restored. If we may believe the tradition of St Cuthbert's visit to the Picts of Galloway, it was from Coldingham that he sailed with two companions, landing at the estuary of the Nith on the day after Christmas. Snow足 drifts prevented them from penetrating inland, whilst a succession of storms made re-embarkation impracticable, and they seemed in danger of dying from hunger. The two companions were discouraged and depressed, but Cuthbert's faith never wavered. He assured them that all would be well, and presently they discovered, at the foot of a cliff, slices of dolphin's flesh which sustained them until the storm

63 8


ST CUTIIBERT

[..Warch

20

abated and they \vere able to take once more to the sea. I t is said that a church was afterwards built to mark the spot, and the name of the to\vn, Kirkcudbright, which grew up near it, has preserved the memory of St Cuthbert's visit. Mean\vhile great changes were taking place at Lindisfarnc, and it seemed at one moment as though l-Ioly Island might lose altogether the famous community which had made it the lnost venerable sanctuary in the north. The disputes flver the datc of I~aster had culminated in the celebrated Council of Whitby, at which King OS\vy decided for the Roman use. 8t Colman returned to Lindisfarne, but soon decided that he could not cOliform and preferred to resign. Followed by all the Irish monks and thirty of the English, and bearing the body of St Aidan, he left England and made new homes in Ireland. To fill his place St Eata was recalled from Melrose and given the rank of bishop, and Cuthbert accompanied him again to act as his prior. Their task was no easy one, for many of the remaining monks were set against the innovations, whilst Eata and Cuthbert, whatever their private feelings nlay have heen, \vere determined to enforce the decisions of the Council of \\'hitby. 1'hey had to face opposition and even insult, but Cuthbert's conduct \vas beyond praise: never once did he lose patience or self-control, but, when the malcontents became too offensive, he would quietly rise and close the discussion, only to resume it when passion had subsided. The life St Cuthbert led at Lindis­ farne was similar to that at Melrose. He carried on his apostolic labours amongst the people, preaching and teaching and ministering not only to their souls but also to their bodies, by virtue of the gift of healing \vhich was bestowed upon him. Wherever he went cro\vds flocked to hear him, to open their hearts to hiln, and to beg him to heal their sick. The days were not long enough, and he would some­ times forgo sleep on three nights out of four that he might spend the time in prayer by the sea-shore, or in the recitation of psalms as he paced up and down the church, or in meditation and manual work in his cell. After some years at Lindisfarne, the longing to lead a life of still closer union with God led him with his abbot's consent to seek solitude. His first hermitage was at no great distance from the abbey-probably in the islet off Holy Island which local tradition associates with him and calls St Cuthbert's Isle. The place, wherever it may have been, appears not to have been sufficiently secluded, for in 676 he moved to a bleak and desolate island of the Farne group, two miles from Bam­ borough. 1'he spot was then uninhabited, and afforded him at first neither water nor corn, but he found a spring and though the first crop which he planted failed entirely the second crop---which was barley-yielded sufficient to sustain him. In spite of the storms which then, as at all times, were wont to rage round the islands, visitors persisted in coming, and St Cuthbert build a guest-house near the landing­ stage to lodge them. Only once did he leave his retreat, and that was at the request of the abbess St Elfleda, King Oswy's daughter. This meeting took place on Coquet Island, and Elfleda urged him on that occasion to accept a bishopric which King Egfrid was anxious to bestow upon him. Shortly afterwards he was elected bishop of Hexham. He refused to leave his island cell, and was only induced to consent when King Egfrid came in person to Farne, accompanied by Bishop Trumwin. Very reluctantly Cuthbert gave way, but stipulated to be allowed to remain in his hermitage for the six months that would elapse before his consecra­ tion. During that period he visited St Eata and arranged for an exchange of dioceses, whereby Eata would take Hexham and Cuthbert would have the see of Lindisfarne with charge of the monastery.

639


March

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

20]

On Easter day 685 he was consecrated in York Minster by St Theodore, Arch­ bishop of Canterbury. As a bishop the saint" continued to be the same man that he was before "-to quote his anonymous biographer. The two years of his episcopate were mainly spent in visiting his diocese, which extended far to the west and included Cumberland. He preached, taught, distributed alms, and wrought so many miracles of healing that he won during his lifetime the name of " the Wonderworker of Britain", which the remarkable cures effected at his tomb caused him to retain after his death. lIe was making his first visitation of Carlisle, a few weeks after his consecration, when, by some strange telepathic gift or by divine revelation, he was apprised of the overthrow of the Northumbrian army and of the death in battle of King Egfrid. Defeat in \var was followed by a recurrence of the plague, which was so severe that many villages were entirely deserted. The good bishop went fearlessly amongst his people ministering to the sick and dying, his very presence inspiring hope and often restoring health. On one occasion he revived with a kiss a widow's son in whom life appeared to be extinct. But labours and austerities had sapped St Cuthbert's constitution, and he realized that he had not long to live. Upon his second visit to Carlisle he told his former disciple St Herbert, the hermit of Derwentwater, that they would meet on earth no more, consoling his afflicted friend by obtaining from Heaven the promise that they would die on the same day. After a farewell visitation through the diocese, he laid down the pastoral staff, and after celebrating the Christmas of 686 with the monks in Holy Island, he \vithdrew to his heloved Farne to prepare for his end. "rrell us, my lord bishop", said one of the monks who assembled to bid him farewell, " when we may hope for your return."-" When you shall bring back my body", was the reply. His brethren often visited him during the last three months, although he would not allow anyone to stay and Ininister to him in his growing weakness. Fever set in and he endured terrible trials from the spirits of evil during a stormy period of five days, when no one could approach the island. He wanted to be buried in his retreat, but yielded to the entreaties of his monks who wished that his bones should rest amongst them at the abbey. "You will bury me ", he said, " wrapped in the linen which I haye kept for my shroud, out of love for the Abbess \Verca, the friend of God, who gave it to me." His last instructions were given to Abbot Herefrid who sat beside him and asked for a message to the brethren. "Be of one mind in your councils, live in concord with the other servants of God: despise none of the faithful who seek your hospitality: treat them with kindly charity~ not esteeming yourselves better than others \vho have the same faith and often live the same life. But hold no communion with those who err from the unity of the Catholic faith. Study diligently, carefully observe the canons of the fathers, and practise with zeal that monastic rule which God has deigned to give you by my hands. I know that many have despised me, but after nlY death it will be found that my teaching has not deserved contempt." These \vere St Cuthbert's last words as Bede learnt them from the lips of Herefrid. He then received the last sacraments and died peacefully, seated, with his hands uplifted and his eyes gazing heavenwards. A monk imn1ediately climbed the rock on which now stands the lighthouse and waved two lighted torches- for it was night-to announce to the brethren at Lindisfame that the great saint had passed to his rest. Ilis body, which at first was laid in the abbey and remained at Lindisfarne for 188 years, was removed when the Northmen began to descend upon the coast, and after many translations was deposited in a magnificent shrine in

64°


ST CUTI-IBERT

[March

20

J)urham Cathedral, which continued to be a favourite place of pilgrimage for the north of England until the Reformation. In the reign of Henry VIII the shrine was desecrated and plundered, but the monks secretly buried the relics. In 1827 8t Cuthbert's body was again discovered, and the various articles through which it was identified were removed to the cathedral library. Although the genuineness of the relics is generally admitted, yet there is another tradition, according to which St Cuthbert's remains still lie interred in another part of the cathedral, known only to three members of the English Benedictine Congregation, who hand on the secret before they die. St Cuthbert is usually represented as carrying in his hands the head of King Oswald. This was buried with him for safety, and was found when the bishop's coffin was opened and examined at Durham in I 104. Sometimes the compassionate otters appear at his feet, but more often he is accompanied by a bird-probably representing one of the wild fowl, known as 5t Cuthbert's birds, which once swarmed in the Farne Islands. Several beautiful legends are told about the saint's friendship with these creatures whom he tamed and to whom he promised that they should never be disturbed. Two ancient copies of the gospels are specially connected with the saint. One is the famous eighth-century Lindisfarne Gospels, which the scribe ,vho wrote it laid on St Cuthbert's tomb and which was beautifully adorned by St Bilfrid. It was accidentally dropped overboard by monks ,vho were taking it to Ireland, but was washed up on the shore practic足 ally undamaged, and is now at the British Museum. The other is the seventh足 century Gospel of St John which was buried with St Cuthbert and is one of the IllOSt cherished possessions of Stonyhurst College. His ring is treasured at Ushaw. St Cuthbert's life was one of almost continuous prayer. All that he saw spoke to him of God, and his conversation was habitually about heavenly things. Bede says, " lie was aflame \\'ith the fire of divine charity'; and to give counsel and help to the weak he considered equal to an act of prayer-knowing that He who said , Thou shalt love the Lord thy God', also said' Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself '." As well as in several northerf' Er~glish dioceses, the feast of this great saint is kept in Saint Andre\vs and in Meath. I-Iexham has a second, translation, feast on 5eptelnber 4. Our sources of information concerning St Cuthbert are in an exceptional degree authentic and reliable. No n1edteval historian commands more respect than Bede, and supplementary details of later date--notably in the account of the translaticns, etc., by Simeon of Durham (his complete works have been edited in the Rolls Series) and in the discoveries made when the ton1b was opened in 1827 (for which see Raine, who did not like monks, Saint Cuthbert, 1828)--also confinn the earlier narratives. l'vluch incidental information will be found in the notes to Plummer's edition of Bede's Ecclesiastical History. 1'he archaeologic31 aspects of the question may be best studied in the catalogue of Haverfield and Canon Greenwell, Inscribed Stones, etc., and in the Durharn vol. i of the Victoria County History. The Irish account of 5t Cuthbert was printed in the eighth volume of the publications of the Surtees Society. rrhe early anonymous life of the saint ,vas edited with that written by Bede by Fr Stevenson, "vho a Iso has pri nted a convenient English translation (1887) of the Bede life. There is a very full biography by Abp C. Eyre (1849) which is specially useful for its plans and maps; another by Provost Consitt (1887); and an excellent popular sketch by J\1rs II. Colgrave (1947). A new edition of the anon. and Bede lives is by B. Colgrave, Two Lives of St Cuthbert (1940); and for some miracles at Farne see .Ana/ecta Bollandiana, vol. lxx (1952), pp. 5--19. See also Craster in the English l-listorical Re7.'ieU', April 1954 (important for the translations of the relics).


March

THE LIVES OF

20]

1~HE

SAIN'rS

ST HERBERT 5T HERBERT'S Island on Lake Derwentwater derives its name from the holy anchoret and priest who lived and died there in the seventh century. He was the disciple and close friend of 5t Cuthbert, and it was his custom every year to visit his master at Lindisfarne and thus to renew his fervour. 8t Cuth bert in the year before he died had occasion to come to Carlisle, and St Herbert repaired to him there instead of going all the \vay to Lindisfarne. They talked together tor some time, and then 5t Cuthbert told his friend that if he had anything to ask he must ask it at once, because the time of his own departure was at hand and they would meet no more in this world. 8t Herbert wept bitterly, beseeching his spiritual father not to abandon him, but to pray that, as they had served God together in this life, they might be allowed at the same moment to behold His glory in heaven. 5t Cuthbert paused for a moment in prayer, and then replied, "\Veep no more, but rather rejoice, dear brother, for God in His mercy has heard our prayer and has granted our petition". Almost immediately afterwards 8t Herbert was seized with a painful illness which lasted until lVIarch 20 of the follo\ving year, when both saints \vere called from this world to enter Heaven together. In the fourteenth century an indulgence was granted to pilgrims \vho should visit 8t Herbert's Island, and the present Catholic church at \Vindermere is dedicated in his honour. 8t Herbert is best remembered in these days through \Vordsworth's lines, beginning " If thou in the dear love of some one friend . . .". See the Lives of St Cuthbert, prose and metrical, by Bede, and the Acta Sanclorum, March, vol. iii. 1~here is a brief account of St Herbert in the" Lives of the English Saints ", edited by J. 11. Newnlan. 1'his was v;ritten by John Barrcw, of Kendal, principal of St Edmund's 1-lall, who, when he becanle a Jesuit in 1867, changed his name to William Bernard.

ST WULFRAM, ARCHBISHOP OF 5ENS

(A.D. 703 ?)

THE father of 8t Wulfram was an officer of King Dagobert, and the saint himself, though early raised to the priesthood, \vas summoned to the court. When Lambert, the occupant of the archiepiscopal seat of 8ens, died, \Vulfram \vas elected to succeed him, and discharged his episcopal duties very devotedly for two and a half years. I-Ie then made a solemn abdication, mo\'ed by a desire to labour among the heathen :Frisians, coupled probably \vith doubts as to the canonicity of his appoint足 ment, for 8t Amatus (Arne), the rightful archbishop, was still alive. He had been unjustly banished by Thierry 1I I and had survived both l\lery and Lambert who had been installed in his place. In preparation for his missionary labours Wulfran1 retired to the abbey of Fontcnelle and there obtained monks to assist him in his mISSIon. They travelled by sea and, upon landing in Friesland, they were successful in converting a number of people, including one of King Radbod's sons, and strove to \vean the natives from the practice of offering human sacrifices. In reply to 5t \Vulfram's remonstrances King Radbod declared that it \vas the custom of the country, and that he could not and \vould not interfere. It had become the practice to cast lots for the victim, \vho was usually a child of noble birth. A boy called Ovon was chosen in this \vay, and St \Vulfram begged that he might be spared. rfhe king replied that \Yulfram \\'as at liberty to rescue the child by the po\ver of his God~ if he could. The saint betook himself to prayer, and after the boy had been left hanging for t\\'O hours, the rope broke and the lad fell to the ground. He

64 2


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\vas still alive and was giycn to \Vulfranl, who sent him to Fontenelle, \vhere he became a monk and a priest and in later life supplied the details of the saint's mission to Friesland. St Wulfranl also, in a wonderful \vay, rescued t\\'O children who were being drowned as victims to the sea-goddess. According to a story, which, however, is not to be found in the earliest manuscripts of his life, King Radbod was so impressed by the saint's rniracles that he consented, half unwillingly, to be baptized. But at the last moment he suddenly asked where his ancestors were, and \vas informed by 8t Wulfram that Hell was the portion of all idolaters. Upon hearing these words Radbod drew back, declaring that he chose Hell with his ancestors rather than Heaven without them. After working for many years among th~ Frisians St Wulfram went back to Fontenelle, where he died. His relics were translated first to Blandigny and then to Abbeville, where they are still venerated. The Latin Life of St Wulfram (printed by Mabillon, yol. iii, pt I, and critically edited by W. Levison in MGH., Scriptores Mero'l'., vol. v) professes to be written by Jonas, nlonk of Fontenelle, and a contemporary of tht> saint. Despite the attempted vindication by Abbe Legris (Analeeta Bollandiana, yol. XYii, pp. 265-306) it seems certain that it must haye been compiled nearly a hundred years later (see Analeeta Bollandiana, vol. xix, p. 234; yol. xxix, p. 450) and that it is not historically trustworthy. 'There is a short account of St \Vulfram by W. (;laister in English, and in French by Sauyage and La Yieille (1876). Cf. Duchesne, Fastes Episeopaux, vol. ii, p. 413.

THE MARTYRS OF MAR SABA

(A.D. 796)

THE story of the sufferings of the monks of l\1ar Saba, between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, has been graphically told by one of themselyes, Stephen the \'''onder足 worker, known also as " the Poet", from the hymns which he composed. The Arabs had been devastating Palestine for some time, burning rnonasteries as well as despoiling churches, and the monks of the laura of St Sabas doubted whether to remain or to fly. (~oming to the conclusion that their home would assuredly be destroyed if they left, they decided to I emain, hoping that through their poverty they might be spared. Soon afterwards a party of Arabs rode down from the hills and, when some of the monks went forth to beg to be left in peace, demanded money. In vain did the brethren assure them that they were pledged to poverty and o\vned nothing. The new-comers drove them back into the settlement, and followed them there to ransack their cells and church. They could find nothing of value, and after desecrating the church and burning some of the hermitages, they withdrew. Ahout thirty of the monks had been wounded, but Thomas, the leech, bound up their wounds. The monks repaired the other damage as best they could and resumed their customary life. A week later, as they \vere keeping their Saturday yigil in church, an aged \vhite-haired brother from the monastery of St Euthymius brought a letter advising them that the marauders \\'ere about to return. In their terror the hermits tried to find hiding-places, and Sergius, the sacristan, concealed the sacred vessels-the only treasure \vhich the laura possessed. r-rhe marauders did not fail to reappear, and at once searched for the monks, many of \vhom they drove from their hiding-places. 'rhe first to suffer death was the sacristan, who had escaped, fearing lest under torture he might reyeal the place where he had secreted the sacred vessels. \Vhen ordered to return he refused, and hared his neck to the executioner's sword. John, the hospitaller, they found at the top of the hill, near the guest-house of \\'hich he had charge. He \vas stoned,

643


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THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

20]

hamstrung and then dragged by the feet over the rocks down into the church, where the Arabs hoped to force him to disclose hidden valuables. They failed, but he was suffocated with smoke as he lay there. Patricius tried to save those who were concealed with him by giving himself up when the enemy discovered the entrance to their hiding-place. He and others were then driven into a winding cavern and the Arabs blocked up the entrance with thorns and brushwood, which they set on fire. The dense smoke entered the cave, choking and blinding the poor victims. At intervals their tormentors \vould summon them to come out through the smouldering embers, question them, and drive them back. They would then pile on more fuel. Finally, after having pillaged and burnt the settlement and its church, they departed, taking with them everything that was portable. Of the monks who had been driven into the cav~rn, eighteen had died of suffocation and most of the others were at their last gasp. The Greek narrative is printed in full in the Acta Sanctorum, l\1arch, vol. iii. See also Delehaye, S)'nax. Constant., p. 548, in which text the marauders are called" Ethiopians".

BB. EVANGELIST

AND

PEREGRINE

(c.

A.D.

1250)

DURING their school days in Verona, two boys, afterwards known as Evangelist and Peregrine, struck up a friendship which was to last throughout their lives and to extend beyond the grave. Both wished to give themselves to God in religion, and whilst uncertain what order to enter, they were favoured with a vision which led them to join a community of the Hermits of St Augustine outside Verona. Their conduct was exemplary, but the prior asked them one day why they usually prayed out of doors, with their eyes fixed on the sky. They replied that it was because they always saw our Lady there with her divine Son and with St Anne, as they had appeared in the vision which had brought them to join the hermits. The supernatural favours which they received, far from elating the two friends, only rendered them the more humble, and they were al""ays eager to perform the most menial duties, as well as to do any good service to their brethren. 'fhey were both of them endowed with the gift of healing, and cured the sick people who came to them from all sides. Evangelist was warned by an angel of his approaching death, and passed peacefully away while upon his knees. Peregrine besought God that He would allow him to join his friend and, as he prayed, Evangelist appeared to him in glory and assured him that he was about to follow him. A few hours later he breathed his last, and the two were buried in the same grave. 1"heir cultus was confirmed in 1837. See the Acta Sanctorum, July, vol. vi.

BD AMBROSE OF SIENA

(A.D.

1286)

SIENA venerates on this day the memory of one of the noblest of her sons, Ambrose Sansedoni. His paren ts belonged to two of the most distinguished Sienese families, and his father, nicknamed for his valour " Buonattaco ", was foremost in all schemes for the defence of Christendom against the Moors. The boy was born with an abnormally large head and apparently without having the use of his arms and legs. One day, when his nurse had taken him to the Dominican church of St Mary Magdalen, he \\,as seen to struggle, and upon being extricated from the swathing bands in which he was wrapped like a Della Robbia bambino, it was found

644


BD AMBROSE OF SIENA

that his limbs were as vigorous as those of any other child. Many instances of his precocious piety are given by his biographers, and as he grew older he developed a great devotion for the sick and poor, visiting the hospital every Sunday and the prison every F'riday. At seventeen Ambrose decided to join the Order of Preachers. His superiors were not slow in recognizing his ability, and they sent him to Cologne, where he had St Albert the Great as his master and St Thomas Aquinas as a fellow student. So intelligent a pupil could not fail to make progress under such a teacher, and before long he was besieged in his cell by applicants asking for help in their difficulties. This popularity was distasteful to him, and he besought his superiors to allow him to retire into solitude. Having won their consent he with足 drew from public life-but not for long. Influential people urged the Dom足 inicans to recall him and to set him to preach. For three years he taught theology in Paris, where the students crowded to his lectures. lie was sent to preach in Germany, France and Italy, and we are told that his sermons seemed inspired. Sinners were converted and enemies settled their differences amicably; some of his hearers declared that while he stood in the pulpit they had seen the Holy Spirit descend upon his head in the form of a dove. Like many other Italian saints, men and women, the eloquent friar did not confine his energies to spiritual exhortations, but was called upon to take part in important public affairs. By his persuasive words he managed to reconcile the prince electors, who in their private quarrels were on the eve of kindling civil war. He arrested a new heresy in Bohemia which was causing strange disorder, and when charged by Bd Gregory X to preach the crusade he obtained a generous response to his appeals. Twice did he reconcile with the Holy See the people of Siena, who, having taken the part of Manfred, the bastard son of Frederic 1I, had beer: placed under an interdict. Several writers assert that when Ambrose entered the con足 sistory to plead for his fellow-townsmen, his face was illurninated with so super足 natural a light that the pope exclaimed, " Father Ambrose, you need not explain your mission; I grant whatever you wish". In spite of all the important missions with which he was entrusted, and of the, success which attended his effort6, Ambrose ever remained singularly humble. The pope wished to make him a bishop, but he never could be induced to consent, although he filled the office of master of the sacred palace. After the death of Gregory he sought retirement in one of the houses of his order. Here he often swept out the church, the dormitories and the cloisters, and never gave more than four hours to sleep. After Matins he prayed for two hours in choir and studied the rest of the night until Prime. During the forty-five years that he was a religious Ambrose ate meat once-out of obedience-and on Fridays he took nothing but bread and water. Even to old age he continued to preach, and his sermons lost none of their fire and eloquence. At the beginning of Lent 1286, when preaching one day against usury, he spokE with such vehemence that he broke a blood-vessel. The following morning, as the haerllorrhage had stopped, he tried to continue his sermon, but the trouble began again, and it was evident that his days wert numbered. He died in his sixty-sixth year, and the cultus \vhich had been paid to hinl in Siena from the time of his death was confirmed in 1622. Ample materials for the biography of Bd Ambrose will be found in Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and they include a very interesting collection of contemporary testimonies to the numerous miracles worked at his tomb. Departing from the usual practice, Pope Clement VIII seems to have ordered his name to be inserted in the Roman IVlartyrology


A/arch

'TIlE LIVES OF Tl--IE

20]

SAI~T'S

before any formal canonization or rOl1firmatio cultus had taken place; but Baronius in his note upon this eulogiurrl supplies a number of references to Dominican and other writers \\ ho bore testimony to the sanctity of Ambrose and the miracles he had worked. For a fuller bibliography see Taurisano, Catalogus Hagiograplzirus G.P., p. 22.

BD JOHN OF PARMA JOHN BURALLI, the seventh minister general of the Franciscans, was born at Parma in 1209, and he was already teaching logic there when at the age of twenty-five he joined the Franciscans. I-Ie was sent to Paris to prosecute his studies and, after he had been ordained, to teach and to preach in Bologna, Naples and Rome. His eloquence drew crowds to his sermons, and great personages flocked to listen to him. It has been stated that in 1245, when Pope Innocent IV convoked the first general council of Lyons, John was deputed to represent Crescentius, the minister general, who o\ving to his infirmities was unable to attend, but this is incorrect; the friar who went to the council was Bonaventure of Isco. John, however, that same year journeyed to Paris to lecture on the" Sentences" in the university, and in 1247 he was chosen minister general of the order. The work that lay before him \vas exceedingly difficult, for many abuses and a spirit of strife had crept in o\ving to the lax observance of Brother Elias. We are fortunate in having a first足 hand description of Bd John's activities, \vritten by his fellow townsman Brother Salirnbene, who was closely associated with him for a long time. We learn that he \vas strong and robust, so that he could bear great fatigue, of a s\veet and smiling countenance, with polished manners, and full of charity. He was the first among the ministers general to visit the whole order, and he travelled always on foot. Outside the friaries he \vould never allow his dignity to be known, and he was so humble and unassuming that on coming to a house he often helped the brothers to \vash vegetables in the kitchen. A lover of silence and recollection, he was never heard to utter an idle word, and when dying he admitted that he would have more to answer for in respect of his silence than of his speech. He began his general visitation with England, and when King Henry III heard that he \vas at hand to pay his respects, he rose from table and came out of doors to embrace the hUITlble friar. In France John was at Sens visited by 8t I.Jouis IX \vho, on the eve of his departure for the crusades, came to a3k his prayers and blessing on the enterprise. The king, who arrived in pilgrim guise, staff in hand, struck Brother 8alimbene as looking delicate and frail. He took food with the brothers in the refectory, but could not persuade John of Parma to sit beside him. Burgundy and Provence were next visited. At Arles, a friar from Parma, John of Ollis, came to ask a favour. \Vould the minister deign to give to him and to Salimbene a commission to preach? John, however, was not going to make favourites of his compatriots. "Of a truth, if you were my blood-brothers", he replied, "you would not obtain that office from me without an examination." John of Ollis \vas not easily snubbed. "r-rhen if \ve lnusl be examined, will you call on Brother Hugh to examine us ?" Hugh of Digne, the former provincial, \vas actually in the house. "No!" said the minister promptly. "Brother Hugh is your friend and he might spare you, but call hither the lecturer and tutor of the house." Brother Salimbene cannot resist telling us that he himself passed the test, but that John of Ollis was sent back to do some more studies. Soon after John of Parma's return from a mission as papal legate to the Eastern en1peror, trouble broke out in Paris, whither he had sent 8t Bonaventure, as one 64 6


BD 1\lACRICE OF I-IlfNC;ARY

[.l\1arclz

20

of the greatest scholars of the Friars Minor. \Villiam of Saint-Amour, a secular doctor of the university, had raised a storm against the mendicant orders and attacked them in a scurrilous libel. Ed John \Verlt to Paris, and is said to haye addressed the uni\Tersity professors in terms so persuasive and humble that all were moved, and the doctor who was to have replied could only say, " Blessed al t thou, and blessed are thy words". The storm abated, and the minister general then applied himself to the restoration of discipline. Even before he had gone to the East he had held a genera] chapter at Metz, \vhere measures were taken to secure the proper observance of the rule and constitutions and to insist upon the Roman Missal and Breviary being strictly adhered to. He obtained several papal bulls which assisted him, and Pope Innocent IV bcsto\ved on the order the convent of the Ara Coeli in Rome, which became the residence of the minister general. In spite of all his efforts Blessed John met with bitter opposition, partly cdused by his Joachimite leanings. He became convinced that he was not capable of carrying through the reforms \vhich he felt were essential. \Vhether he acted spontaneously or in obedience to pressure put upon him by the papal curia is not clear, but he resigned office in Rome in 1257, and when asked to nominate a suc­ cessor chose St Bonaventure. The selection was a happy one, and St Bonaventure is sometirnes spoken of as the Second Founder; but the way had been prepared for him by his predecessor's firrn go\'ernment. John now retired to the hermitage of Greccio, the place where St Francis had prepared the first Christmas crib. He spent the last thirty years of his lifE- there in retirement from which he only emerged two or three times when summoned by the pope. When, as a very old man of eighty, he heard that the Greeks had relapstd into schism, he begged that he might be allowed to go again to plead with them. He obtained the pope's consent and started off, but as he entered Camerino he realized he was dying, and said to his companions, " 1"his is the place of my rest". He went to his reward on March 19, 1289, and many miracles were soon after reported at his tomb. His cultus was approved in 1777. John of Parma played so considerable a part in the early developments of the troubles which culminated in the Fraticelli revolt that his name figures more or less prominently in a multitude of books dealing with the Franciscan movement. Salimbene's picture of him, even as transmitted through the distorted medium of Dr Coulton's From St Francis to Dante, is unforgettable. Salirrlbene's text is published in MGH., Scriptores, vol. xxxii. We have no ancient biography, but hvo or three modern ones in Italian, notably by B. Affo (1777) and by Luigi da Parma (1909). See also Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 493-512, and Edouard d'Alen~on in DTC., vol. viii, cc. 794-796. Although the Joachimite Introductorius evanf!elii aeterni was at one time attributed to John of Parma, it certainly ,vas net written by him but by Gerard of Borgo-San- Donnino; and even the authorship of the Sacrum commercium beati Francisci cum domina paupertate c()ITlmonly assigned to him is uncertain; see the critical edition of this latter brought out by Edouard d' Alen~on in 19°°.

BD MAURICE OF HUNGARY

(A.D. 1336)

MAURICE CSAKY belonged to the royal Hungarian dynasty, his father being count of Csak, but the exact place of his birth is not known. From childhood he was seriously disposed, and loved to hear and read the lives of the saints, and he wished to enter a monastery; but his aspirations were overruled, and at the age of twenty he \vas married to the daughter of the Palatine Prince Amadeus. His bride \vas in

647


!vIareli

1~HE

20]

LIVES OF THE SAINTS

every way worthy of him, and they were tenderly attached to each other ; but after some years they agreed to part and to retire into the cloister. Maurice chose the Order of Preachers, and entered the friary on the island of 5t Margaret. 1'he step taken by the young couple created a great sensation, and Ladislaus, governor of Budapest, actually caused Maurice to be imprisoned for five months to test his resolution. He emerged from captivity with his intention unshaken, but his superiors in the order thought it wise to transfer him from Hungary to Bologna. Later the young friar returned to his own country as an emissary of peace. So eager was he to avert strife that he would rush in between combat足 ants and exhort them to come to terms. When he was appointed sacristan he made this office an opportunity for almost unbroken devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. A great love for the poor was another characteristic of a singularly winning personality. Maurice died at Raab and was buried in the monastery of Javarin. A Latin Life of Bd Maurice is printed by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii. See also F. Kaindl in Archiv f. osterreichische Geschichte, vol. xci (1902), pp. 53-58. Although there seems never to have been any formal beatification or confirmatio cultus, Bd lVlaurice is, or at any rate was, honoured liturgically in his native country.

BD MARK OF MONTEGALLO THIS great promoter, if he was not the originator, of those charitable loan-banks known as monli di piela, was born in the town of Santa Maria di Montegallo, in the diocese of Ascoli. He studied with distinction at Perugia and Bologna, and after qualifying as a doctor he married. Before long, however, both he and his wife realized vocations to the religious life and separated by mutual consent, she to become a Poor Clare at Ascoli and he to enter a Franciscan community at Fabriano. Soon he was launched upon a preaching and missionary career which was to last for forty years. Once, as he knelt in prayer, a voice had murmured in his ear: " Brother Mark, preach love)), and love had become his favourite theme as he tramped up and down the country from Sicily to the valley of the Po. He seemed absolutely indefatigable in his zeal for souls, and often combined the healing of their bodies with that of their consciences. Out of compassion for the poor who fell into the clutches of usurers Mark established houses where the impoverished could borrow the money they needed on very small security, and sometimes on no security at all. To found one such bank in 'Vicenza he preached with such eloquence that the money required was l.:ollected in one day, and the office \\'as built and launched within a year. Pitiful and kind as Bd Mark was to others, he was merciless to himself. Even on his journeys he omitted nothing of the scourgings, night-watches and mortifications he practised in the friary. Dawn often found him deep in prayer which had begun at midnight. At Camerino, where the plague was rife, he prophesied the cessation of the pestilence if the people would repent. Believing his words they crowded to the tribunal of penance, confessing their sins, and the scourge was stayed. Besides the house at Vicenza, other loan-banks and hostels were started at Bd Mark's instigation, notably one at Fabriano which a friend of his built, and another at Perugia, founded by St James of the Marches. When he lay dying at Vicenza he asked that the Passion should be read to him, and as the reader pronounced the words, " It is consummated ", he breathed his last. In some Italian cities Bd

64 8


BD BAPTIST OF MANTUA

[March

20

Mark of Montegallo was called " A new star of love", and the description seemed singularly appropriate to one who was all aglow with the fire of charity. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, where the Bollandists have printed extracts from W ddding's Annales together with a rhythmical Latin eulogy written by a contemporary. Cf. Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, p. 530.

BD BAPTIST OF MANTUA

(A.n. 1516)

Bn BAPTIST came of a Spanish family on his father's side, but his mother was a native of Brescia in northern Italy, and he himself was born at Mantua. Because of his ancestry he, like his father, was known by the nickname, or possibly the surnalne, of Spagnuolo-the Spaniard. As a child he displayed great ability, and while still young he received a good grounding in philosophy and rhetoric. There were irregularities in his youth which led to trouble at home; but in the end Baptist felt himself called to the religious life, and he joined the Carmelite com足 munity at Ferrara. From the outset he sought to follow the path of perfection, but he also devoted himself to literature and sacred science with such success that in his Latin composition and verse he was accounted the equal of the most famous humanists of the age. God bestowed on him in a remarkable degree the gift of counsel, which was widely recognized, especially among the Carmelites of Mantua, by whom he was six times re-elected vicar general of the Reform. It was not only in the cloister that he gave inspiration and help, but he endeared himself to many people living in the world, and to the poor and destitute to whom he was a father. Princes and popes held him in the utmost esteem, partly for his scholarship and partly for the tact he displayed in dealing with delicate negotiations. When away from his convent and in secular surroundings never did he abate any of the rules of his order or depart from that poverty to which he had pledged himself; on several occasions he was visited with illness when a little relaxation would have been permissible, yet he continued all his customary mortifications and practices of devotion in spite of ill-health. Sorely against his \vish Bd Baptist was elected prior general of the Carmelite Order, but the special command of the pope was required before he could be induced to accept the office. In spite of his humble opinion of his own capacities, he proved himself a most able and exemplary superior. He had a great devotion to our Lady and lost no opportunity of extolling her and extending her veneration. His incredibly vast output of Latin verse (55,000 lines) was nearly all animated by some religious purpose. He glorified the marvels of Loreto and sang of the feasts of the Church, desiring above all things to prove that good literature need not necessarily be associated with paganism. His fellow-townsmen of Mantua thought so highly of his merits as a poet that they set up a bust of him in rivalry with that of Virgil. Baptist dedicated one of his longest effusions to that great connoisseur of letters, Pope Leo X, but he did not hesitate to tell him that one of the gravest needs of the time was the reform of the Roman curia, "which was infected by a deep corruption disseminating poison throughout all countries". "Help, holy father Leo", the poet exclaimed, "for Christendom is nigh its fall. " Returning to Mantua at the end of his days, Baptist endured with exemplary patience a painful illness, to which he succumbed, passing peacefully to his eternal reward in the spring of 15 16. The whole city turned out to honour him on the 649


.11arcil

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'TI-IE LIVES ()F 'TilE SAIl\;TS

day of his b1Jrial, and a number of rniracles, ascribed to his intercession, established his culilis irnlnediately after his death. lIe v;as beatified in 1885. Sec F. An!l)roslo. ])e rebus ~estis . . . Baptistae j.fantuani (1784); C;. Fanucci, Della 7'ita di ntlttista ."'paul/o/i (d~R7); Yilliers. Bihliotheca Carnzelitana, i, pp. 2 17-24°; B. Zirnrnerrnan. Jlol/unznlta historiea C,'arnze/ital/a (1()07), pp. 261 and 4g3-504, where several interestin~ letters of BJ Baptist are printed. Cf. also Pastor, [fistor)' of the Popes, vol. viii, Pp· 20 4- 20 7·

BD HIPPOLYTUS GALANTINI HIPPOLYTUS GALA~TI:'\II \vas one of those who have attained to great holiness amid the cares of a secular life. The son of a \vorthy Florentine silk-weaver, he learnt and follo\ved his father's trade, by \vhich he earned his li\·i~g. He was only twelve years old when he attracted the notice of Archbishop Alexander de' Medici­ after""ards Pope Leo XI--who allowed him to help the priests in instructing children. He \vould fain have entered a religious order, but ,vas debarred by ill­ health, and adopted in his fathcr's house a rule of life which was a counterpart of that of the cloister. By fasts, scourgings and long night-\vatches he obtained complete mastery over rebellious nature, and acquired a spiritual discernmt-nt \vhich more than compensated fer his lack of secular education. \Vithout influence, without money and without book-learning Hippolytus succeeded in founding a secular institute dcvoted to teaching the main principles of religion and Christian duty to ignorant children of both sexes and even to uninstructed adults. For his associates he composed a rule about the year 1602, and his example inspired others all over I taly to imitate his work. The Institute of Christian Doctrine was the name given to the congregation thus founded, but they were popularly known as the" \Tanchetoni ". Hippolytus had only reached the age ot fifty-five when he \vas seized \\'ith a painful and serious illness which proved fatal. His sufferings \\'ere alleviated by celestial visions, and he passed away whilst kissing a picture of his crucified Lord. His name is still greatly venerated in Tuscany and among the Franciscans, \vho reckon him as one of their tertiaries. He was beatified in 1824.

See I). A. l\IarselIa, De B. l!ippolyto Galantinio (1826): IVloroni, Dizionario di erudizione, vol. xx, pro 262 ~eq., and xxxvi, 75-77; Leon, Aureole Siraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 5 1 3--5 16 .

21:

ST BENEDICT, 547)

ABBOT, PATRIARCH OF WESTERN MONKS

(c.

A.D.

~ yicw of the immense influence exerted over Europe by the followers of 8t Benedict, it is disappointing that we have no contemporary biography of the great legislator, the father of \Vestern monasticism; for St Benedict, it has been said, " is a dim figure, and the facts of his life are given us in a clothing which ohscures rather than rcyeals his personality". The little we know about his earlier life cornes from the Dialogues of St Gregory, who does not furBish a connected history, but merely a series of sketches to illu~trate the miraculoLs incidents in his career. Benedict \vas of good birth, and was born and brought up at the ancient Sabine town of Nursia (Norcia). Of his twin sister Scholastica, we read that from her

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[1\1arch

ST BENEDICT'

21

infancy she had vowed herself to God, but we do not hear of her again until towards the close of her brother's life. He was sent to Rome for his" liberal education", being accompanied by a " nurse", probably to act as housekeeper. He was then in his early teens, or perhaps a little more. Overrun by pagan and Arian tribes, the civilized world seemed during the closing years of the fifth century to be rapidly lapsing into barbarism: the Church was rent by schisms, town and country were desolated by war and pillage, shameful sins were rampant amongst Christians as well as heathens, and it was noted that there was not a sovereign or a ruler who \vas not an atheist, a pagan or a heretic. The youths in schools and colleges imitated the vices of their elders, and Benedict, revolted by the licentiousness of his com足 panions, yet fearing lest he might become contaminated by their example, made up his mind to leave Rome. He made his escape without telling anyone of his plans excepting his nurse, who accompanied him. There has been considerable difference of opinion as to his age when he left the paternal roof, but he may have been near 1.y twenty. They made their way to the village of Enfide in the mountains thirty miles from Rome. What was the length of his stay \ve do not know, but it was sufficient to enable him to determine his next step. Absence from the temptations of Rome, he soon realized, was not enough; God \vas calling him to be a solitary and to abandon the world, and the youth could no more live a hidden life in a village than in the city-especially after he had miracu足 lously mended an earthenware sieve which his nurse had borrowed and had accidentally broken. In search of complete solitude Benedict started forth once more, alone, and clirrlbed further among the hills until he reached a place now known as Su biaco (Sublacum, from the artificial lake forrned in the days of Claudius by the hanking up of the waters of the Anio). In this wild and rocky country he came upon a monk called Romanus, to whom he opened his heart, explaining his intention of leading the life of a hermit. Romanus himselt liv~d in a monastery at no great distance, but he eagerly assisted the young man, clothing him with a sheepskin habit and leading him to a cave in the mountain. It \vas roofed by a high rock over \vhich there was no descent, and the ascent from below was rendered perilous by precipices as well as by thick woods and undergrowth. In this desolate cavern Benedict spent the next three years of his life, unkno\vn to all except Romanus, who kept his secret and daily brought bread for the young recluse, \vho drew it up in a basket let do\vn by a rope oyer the rock. Gregory reports that the first outsider to find his \vay to the cave was a priest \vho, when preparing a dinner for himself on Easter Sunday, heard a voice which said to him, ' , You are preparing yourselt a savoury dish whilst my servant Benedict is afflicted with hunger". The priest immediately set out in quest of the hermit, whom he found with great difficulty. After they had discoursed for some time on God and heavenly things the priest invited him to eat, saying that it was Easter day, on which it \vas not reasonable to fast. Benedict, who doubtless had lost all sense of tinle and certainly had no means of calculating lunar cycles, replied that he kne\v not that it was the day of so great a solemnity. They ate their nleal together, and the priest went home. Shortly afterwards the saint was discovert;d by some shepherds, who took him at first for a wild animal because he \vas clothed in the skin of beasts and because they did not think any human being could live among the rocks. When they discovered that he was a servant of God they were greatly impressed, and derived much good from his discourses. From that time he began to be kno\vn and many people visited

65 1


March

~rl-IE

21]

LIVES ()F TI-IE SAINTS

him, bringing such sustenance as he would accept and receiving from him instruc足 tion and advice. Although he lived thus sequestered from the world, St Benedict, like the fathers in the desert, had to meet the temptations of the flesh and of the })evil, one of which has been described by 8t Gregory. "On a certain day ,vhen he was alone the tempter presented himself. For a small dark bird, commonly called a blackbird, began to fly round his face, and came so near to him that, if he had wished, he could have seized it with his hand. But on his making the sign of the cross, the bird flew a\vay. Then such a violent temptation of the flesh followed as he had never before experienced. The evil spirit brought before his imagination a certain wornan \vhom he had formerly seen, and inflamed his heart with such vehement desire at the memory of her that he had very great difficulty in repressing it; and being almost overcome he thought of leaving his solitude. Suddenly, however, helped by divine grace, he found the strength he needed, and seeing close by a thick growth of briars and nettles, he stripped off his garment and cast himself into the midst of them. There he rolled until his whole body was lacerated. Thus, through those bodily wounds he cured the wounds of his soul", and was never again troubled in the same way. Between Tivoli and Subiaco, at Vicovaro, on the summit of a cliff overlooking the Anio, there resided at that time a community of monks who, having lost their abbot by death, resolved to ask 8t Benedict to take his place. He at first refused, assuring the community, \\'ho had come to him in a body, that their \vays and his ,vould not agree-perhaps he knew of theln by reputation. Their importunity, however, induced him to consent, and he returned with them to take up the govern足 ment. It soon became evident that his strict hotions of monastic discipEne did not suit them, for all that they lived in rock-hewn cells; and in order to get rid of him they went so far as to mingle poison in his wine. When as was his \vont he made the sign of the cross over the jug, it broke in pieces as if a stone had fallen upon it. "God forgive you, brothers", the abbot said without anger. "vVhy have you plotted this \\licked thing against me? Did I not tell you that my customs would not accord with yours? Go and find an abbot to your taste, for after this deed you can no longer keep me among you." With these ,vords he returned to Subiaco--no longer, however, to live a life of seclusion, but to begin the great work for which God had been preparing him during those three hidden years. Disciples began to gather about him, attracted by his sanctity and by his miraculous powers, seculars fleeing from the world as well as solitaries who lived dispersed among the mountains; and St Benedict found himself in a position to initiate that great scheme, evolved perhaps or revealed to him in the silent cave, of " gathering together in this place as in one fold of the Lord many and different families of holy monks, dispersed in various monasteries and regions, in order to make of them one Hock after I-lis own heart, to strengthen them more, and bind them together by fraternal bonds in one house of the Lord under one regular observance, and in the permanent worship of the name of God". He therefore settled all who would obey him in twelve wood-built monasteries of twelve monks, each \vith its prior. He himself exercised the supreme direction over all from \vhere he lived with certain chosen monks whom he wished to train with special care. So far they had no written rule of their own: but according to a very ancient document" the monks of the twelve monasteries were taught the religious life,

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S'T BEI\EI)ICT

[7\;Jarrh

21

not by follo\ving any \\Titten rule, but only by following the example of St Bene足 dict's deeds". ROlnans and barbarians, rich and poor, placed themselves at the disposal of the saint, who made no distinction of rank or nation, and after a time parents came to entrust him \\,;th their sons to be educated and trained for the monastic life. 8t Gregory tells us of two noble Romans, Tertullus the patrician and Equitius, \vho brought their sons, Placid, a child of seven, and lVlaurus, a lad of twelve, and devotes several pages to these young recruits (see St l\1aurus, January IS, and St Placid, October 5). In contrast \vith these aristocratic young Romans, St Gregory tells of a rough untutored Goth "\vho canle to 8t Benedict and \vas recei\'ed v;ith joy and clothed in the monastic hahit. Sent with a hedge-hook to clear the thick undergrowth from ground overlooking the lake, he worked so vigorously that the head fle\v off the haft and disappeared into the lake. 1~he poor man was over\\'helmed with distress, but as soon as St Benedict heard of the accident he led the culprit to the water's edge, and taking the haft from him, threw it into the lake. Irrlmediately from the bottom rose up the iron head, which proceeded to fasten itself automatically to the haft, and the abbot returned the tool saying, " There! Go on with your work and don't be miserable". It was not the least of St Benedict's miracles that he broke down the deeply-rooted prejudice against manual work as being degrading and servile: he believed that labour \vas not only dignified but conducive to holiness, and therefore he made it compulsory for all who joined his community-nobles and plebeians alike. \Ve do not know ho\v long the saint remained at Subiaco, but he stayed long enough to establish his monasteries on a firm and pennanent basis. His departure was sudden and seems to have been unpremeditated. There lived in the neigh足 bourhood an un",'orthy priest called Florentius, who, seeing the success which attended St Benedict and the great concourse of people who flocked to him, was moved to envy and tried to ruin him. Having failed in all attempts to take away his character by slander, and his life by sending him a poisoned loaf (which 8t Gregory says was removed miraculously by a raven), he tried to seduce his monks by introducing women of evil life. The abbot, \\'ho fully realized that the \vicked schelnes of Florentius were aimed at him personally, resolved to leave Subiaco, lest the souls of hIs spiritual children should continue to be assailed and endangered. I-Iaving set all things in order, he \vithdrew from Subiaco to the territory of Monte Cassino. It is a solitary elevation on the boundaries of Campania, commanding on three sides narro\v valleys runrJing up towards the mountains, and on the fourth, as far as the Mediterranean, an undulating plain which had once been rich and fertile, but having fallen out of cultivation owing to repeated irruptions of the barbarians, it had become marshy and malarious. The town of Casinum, once an important place, had been destroyed by the Goths, and the remnant of its inhabi足 tants had relapsed into-or pt,rhaps had never lost-their paganism. They were wont to offer sacrifice in a temple dedicated to Apollo, which stood on the crest of Monte Cassino, and the saint made it his first work after a forty days' fast to preach to the people and to bring them to Christ. His teaching and miracles Inade many converts, with whose help he proceeded to overthrow the temple, its idol and its sacred grove. U pan the site of the temple he built two chapels, and round about these sanctuaries there rose little by little the great pile which was destined to become the most famous abbey the world has ever kno\vn, the foundation of which is likely to have been laid by 8t Benedict in the year 530 or thereabouts. It was

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TllE LIVES OF TIlE SAINTS

21]

from here that went forth the influence that \vas to play so great a part in the christianization and civilization of post- Roman Europe: it was no mere ecclesias足 tical museum that \vas destroyed during the second \Vorld \Var. It is probable that Benedict, who was now in middle age, again spent some time as a hermit; but disciples soon flocked to Monte Cassino too. Profiting no doubt by the experience gained at Subiaco, he no longer placed them in separate houses but gathered them together in one establishment, ruled over by a prior and deans under his general supervision. It almost immediately became necessary to add guest-chambers, for Monte Cassino, unlike Subiaco, was easily accessible from Rome and Capua. Not only laymen but dignitaries of the Church came to confer with the holy founder, whose reputation for sanctity, wisdom and miracles became widespread. It is almost certainly at this period that he composed his Rule, of which St Gregory says that in it may be understood " all his manner of life and discipline, for the holy man could not possibly teach otherwise than he lived". Though it was primarily intended for the monks at Monte Cassino, yet, as Abbot Chapman has pointed out, there is something in favour of the view that it was written at the desire of Pope St Hormisdas for all monks of the West. It is ad足 dressed to all those who, renouncing their own will, take upon them" the strong and bright armour of obedience to fight under the I~0rd Christ, our true king", and it prescribes a life of liturgical prayer, study (" sacred reading ") and work, lived socially in a community under one common father. Then and for long afterwards a monk was but rarely in holy orders, and there is no evidence that 8t Benedict himself \vas ever a priest. He sought to provide" a school for the Lord's service", intended for beginners, and the asceticism of the rule is notably moderate. Self-chosen and abnormal austerities were not encouraged, and when a hermit, occupying a cave near Monte Cassino, chained his foot to the rock, Benedict sent him a message, saying, " If you are truly a servant of God, chain not yourself with a chain of iron but with the chain cf Christ". The great vision, w hen Benedict saw as in one sunbeam the whole world in the light of God, sums up the inspiration of his life and rule. The holy abbot, far from confining his ministrations to those who would follow his rule, extended his solicitude to the population of the surrounding country: he cured their sick, relieved the distressed, distributed alms and food to the poor, and is said to have raised the dead on more than one occasion. \Vhile Campania was suffering from a severe famine he gave away all the provisions in the abbey, with the exception of five loaves. "You have not enough to-day", he said to his monks, marking their dismay, " but to-morrow you will have too much". The following morning two hundred bushels of flour were laid by an unknown hand at the monastery gate. Other instances have been handed down in illustration of St Benedict's prophetic powers, to which was added ability to read men's thoughts. A nobleman he had converted once found him in tears and inquired the cause of his grief. The abbot replied, " This monastery which I have built and all that I have prepared for my brethren has been delivered up to the heathen by a sentence of the Almighty. Scarcely have I been able to obtain mercy for their lives." 'The prophecy was verified some forty years later, when the abbey of Monte Cassino was destroyed by the I-Jombards. vVhen Totila the Goth was making a triumphal rrogress through central Italy, he conceived a ,,揃ish to visit St Benedict, of whom he had heard much. He there足 fore sent \vord of his coming to the abbot, who replied that he would see him. fro

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[.l\larch

ST SERAPION OF THl\lUIS

2I

discover whether the saint really possessed the powers attributed to him, Totila ordered Riggo, the captain of his guard, to don his own purple robes, and sent him, \\-ith the three counts who usually attended the king, to Monte Cassino. The impersonation did not deceive St Benedict, who greeted Riggo \vith the words, " My son, take off what you are wearing; it is not ycurs ". His visitor withdrew in haste to tell his master that he had beefl detected. rrhen Totila came himself to the man of God and, we are told, was so much awed that he fell prostrate. But Benedict, raising him from the ground, rebuked him for his evil deeds, and foretold in a fev., words all that should befall him. Thereupon the king craved his prayers and departed, but from that time he was less cruel. This interview took place in 542, and St Benedict can hardly have lived 10ng enough to see the complete fulfil足 ment of his own prophecy. The great saint who had foretold so many other things was also forewarned of his own approaching death. He notified it to his disciples and six days before the end bade them dig his grave. As soon as this had been done he \vas stricken with fever, and on the last day he received the Body and Blood of the Lord. Then, while the loving hands of the brethren were supporting his weak limbs, he uttered a few final words of prayer and died-standing on his feet in the chapel, with his hands uplifted towards heaven. He was buried beside St Scholastica his sister, on the site of the altar of Apollo which he had cast down. The fact that we know practically nothing of the life of St Benedict beyond what is told us by St Gregory, or what may be inferred from the text of the Rule, has not stood in the way of the multiplication of biographies of the saint. Among those in foreign languages, the lives by Abbots 'Tosti, I-Ierwegen, Cabrol and Schuster have been translated into English; perhaps the best life of English origin is that by Abbot Justin l\lcCann (1938). See also T. F. Lindsay's St Benedict (1950) ; High flistorr of St Benedict and His Monks (194'5), by a monk of Douay; and Zimmermann and Avery's Lzfe and Miracles oj" St Benedict (1950), being bk ii of St Gregory's" Dialogues n. For those 'who wish to learn something of the spirit of the saint, Abbot Cuthbert Butler's Benedictine Monachism (1924) and Abbot Chap足 man's St Benedict and the Sixth Century (1929) may be strongly recommended, especially the first. See also P. Renaudin, St Benoit dans l'llistoire (1928). A convenient edition of the Rule, Latin and English, has been published by Abbot I-Iunter-Blair (1914), a critical revision of the Latin text by Abbot Butler (1933), text and translation by Abbot lVlcCann (1952), and a commentary by Abbot Delatte (Eng. trans., 1921). See too The Monastic Order in England (1940), pp. 3-15 and passim, by Dom David Knowles, and his The Bene足 dictines (1929).

ST SERAPION,

BISHOP OF THMUIS

(c. A.D. 370)

SURNAMED "the Scholastic" on account of his learning both in sacred and in secular knowledge, St Serapion for some time presided over the catechetical school ot Alexandria; he aftcr\vards retired into the desert, ,vhere he becamf a monk and formed a friendship with St Antony, who at his death left him one of his tunics. Serapion was drawn from his retreat to be placed in the episcopal seat of Thmuis, a city of Lower Egypt near Diospolis. He took part in the Council of Sardica in 347, was closely associated with St Athanasius in defence of the Catholic faith, and is said by St Jerome to have been banished by the Emperor Constantius. He informed Athanasius about the new Macedonian heresy which was being propa足 gated and the four letters which Athanasius, from the desert where he lay concealed, wrote to Serapion were the first express confutation of that error to be published. St Serapion laboured with great success against the Arians and the Macedonians, and he also compiled an excellent book against the Manicheans. He wrote several 655


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THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

21]

learned letters and a treatise on the titles of the Psalms, which are lost, but for us his most important work is the Euchologion, discovered and published at the end of last century. Socrates says that St Serapion made a short epigram or summary of Christian perfection which he often repeated: "The mind is puri足 fied by spiritual knowledge (or by holy meditation and prayer), the spiritual passions of the soul by charity, and the irregular appetites by abstinence and penance." He is thought to have died in banishment, but the exact date of his death is not known. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; DeB.) vol. iv, p. 613 ; and ClV1H., pp. 154-155. There has been much confusion in the martyrology entries. There is a short account of Serapion's career in the preface to Bishop John Wordsworth's booklet Bishop Serapion's Prayerbook (1910), being a translation of the prayers of his Euchologion.

ST ENDA,

ABBOT, AND

ST FANCHEA,

VIRGIN

(c.

A.D.

530)

THE little which is recorded of St Fanchea (whose day is January I) is of a very fabulous character, and is nearly all contained in the Life of St Enda, her brother. Fanchea, who along with other Irish maidens had consecrated herself to God, knew that Enda had taken part in a raid against his enemies, one of whom had been slain in the fight. The shouts of the victors as they returned from their expedition penetrated the convent walls. :Fanchea recognized her brother's voice, but at the same time received a supernatural intimation that he was called to serve God in great sanctity of life. She accordingly reproved him for the deed of blood upon which he had been engaged, and when he promised to settle peacefully at home if she \vould give him one of her maidens in marriage, she pretended to be ready to comply. But it pleased God that the maiden in question should die at that very time, and when she brought her brother to see the bride that had been promised him, he found only a corpse, pale and rigid in death. Enda thereupon gave himself up to a monastic life; but "even so thoughts of \varlike exploits still recurred, and his sister impressed it upon him that when these temptations came he ought to put his hand to his shaven head to remind himself that he now wore, not a regal diadem, but the tonsure (corona) of his Master, Christ. Finally, still by her advice, Enda left Ireland and went to Rome, whither, after a long interval, Fanchea, with some of her nuns, set out to visit him, only spreading her cloak upon the sea, and being wafted over the waters. In Rome she asked Enda to return to Ireland for the good of his people. He promised to do so after a year, but she herself on reaching home surrendered her soul to God before he could follow her. It has been stated that St Fanchea built a nunnery at Ross Oirthir, or Rossory, in Fermanagh, and that her remains were deposited and long venerated at Killaine, but the evidence does not seem very satisfactory. All that we are told of St Enda's history previous to his settlement at Aranmore is quite legendary, except perhaps for an irrlportant stay at Candida Casa, the monastery founded by St Ninian in Galloway. After his alleged visit to Rome, \vhere he was ordained priest, Enda landed at Drogheda and built churches on both sides of the river Boyne. Afterwards he crossed Ireland and went to see Oengus, King cf Munster, who was married to another of his sisters, and lived at Cashel. From his brother-in-law he asked for the isle of Aran that he might found a religious establishment there. Oengus urged him to choose a more fertile place nearer at hand, but when St Enda persisted that Aran was to be the place of his resurrection

65 6


ST PAUL OF NARBONNE

[March

22

and that it was good enough for him, Oengus yielded, declaring that he willingly gave it to God and to Enda, whose blessing he craved in return. To this island 8t Enda brought his disciples, and the fame of his austerity and sanctity led many others to join them. The saint built, on the eastern side of Aranmore, a great monastery at Killeany, OVtX which he presided, and half the land was apportioned to it, whilst the rest of the island was divided between ten other smaller houses which he founded and ove- which he set superiors. We are told that not only did he live a most penitential life himself, but that he exacted a very strict discipline from all under his charge. A legend relates that every night he tested his brethren by putting them in turn into a curragh, or wicker-work canoe, and setting it afloat without the hide covering which rendered it \vatertight. If a man was free from sin, the water could not get in. All the monks-including the abbot himself--escaped a wetting, except Gigniat the cook, who when questioned admitted that he had added a little to his own portion of food from that of Kieran, son of the artificer. St Enda ordered him to leave the island, saying, " There is no room here for a thief; I will not permit this at all ". With St Finnian of Clonard, St Enda was a father of monachism in Ireland: with him organized monasticism, properly speaking, seems to have begun. One of his best-known disciples was St Kieran of Clonmacnois, just referred to. The Latin Life of Enda has been printed by Colgan and in the Acta Sanctoru1n, March, vol. iii, but more critically by Plunlmer in his VSH., vol. ii, pp. 60-75, and cr. J. Healy, Ireland's Ancient Schools and Scholars, pp. 163-187. See J. Ryan, Irish Monasticism (1931), pp. 106-107. Fanchea's name is variously written Faenche, Faenkea, Fainche, Fuinche, etc.

BD SANTUCCIA,

MATRON

THE picturesque town of Gubbio in Umbria was the birthplace of Santuccia Terrebotti. She married a good man and they had one daughter, called Julia, who died young. The bereaved parents thereupon decided to retire fronl the world and to devote the rest of their days to God in the religious life. For some time Santuccia ruled a community of Benedictine nuns in Gubbio, but upon receiving the offer of the buildings ,vhich had once been occupied by the Templars on the Julian Way, she transferred herself and her sisters to Rome. There she inaugurated a community of Benedictine nuns who called themselves Servants of Mary, but were popularly known as Santuccie. The cultus of Bd Santuccia has never been confirmed. See Garampi, Memorie ecclesiastiche,. Spicilegium Bencdictinum (1898), vol. ii; and the Arta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii.

22 : ST

PAUL OF NARBONNE

(c.

A.D.

290)

E learn from 8t Gregory of Tours that 8t Paul of Narbonne was sent from Rome with several other missionaries to plant the faith in Gaul. Two of the band, 8t Saturninus of Toulouse and 8t Dionysius of Paris, received the crown of martyrdom, but St Paul of Narbonne, St Trophimus of ArIes, St Martial of Limoges and St Gatian of Tours, after passing through many dangers and founding churches in the places now connected with their names, finally died in peace. Prudentius says that the name of Paul shed lustre on the city of

W

657


March

1'HE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

22]

Narbonne. No attention need be paid to an extravagant legend which has ideIlti足 fied 5t Paul of Narbonne with the 5ergius Paulus who was proconsul at Cyprus when the apostle 5t Paul withstood the magician Elymas. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, yol. i, p. 303.

ST BASIL OF ANCYRA, MARTYR IN the middle of the fourth century when Arians and semi-Arians were propagating their heresies, Basil was a priest of Ancyra, a holy man who had been trained by the saintly Bishop Marcellus in the full doctrine of the Catholic Church. After Marcellus had been banished by the Emperor Constantius, and a semi-Arian, another Basil, in truded into his see, the priest Basil never ceased exhorting his people to remain staunch to the orthodox faith. In 360 the extreme Arians obtained the upper hand, and not only deposed the semi-Arian bishop, but ordered the degradation of 8t Basil, whom they forbade to hold religious assemblies. He, however, disregarding their orders, supported his own flock, ,von over many who had been led astray, and boldly defended the faith in the presence of Constantius himself. When Julian the Apostate came to the throne, open persecution of Christians almost ceased for a time, as the emperor trusted to subtler means of undermining their faith. In some cases, however, he grew impatient, and per足 mitted-if he did not actually urge-the punishment of well-known Christian leaders. Basil, who had continued to do his utmost to thwart the imperial policy in Ancyra, was arrested and accused of sedition, of overturrling altars, of inciting the people against the gods and of speaking irreverently against the emperor and his religion. He made a bold confession, and after being suspended by his wrists and ankles and having his flesh torn with rakes, he was cast into prison, and even足 tually put to death. This martyred presbyter must not be confused with his opponent, the better-known Bishop Basil of Ailcyra. There is a fantastic account, upon which no reliance can be placed, of the torments endured by St Basil. See his so-called acts, a short Greek romance \vhich appears to have been written in the tenth century by John, a monk of the monastery of St Elias. This was critically edited by M. Krascheninnikov in 19属7, and it will be found also in the Acta Sanclorum, March, vol. iii. But there can be no reasonable doubt that Basil did suffer martyrdom, for Sozomen speaks of him in his Eccles. Hist., v, I I .

ST DEOGRATIAS, BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

(A.D. 457)

WHEN Carthage was seized by the Vandals in 439, the Arian barbarians expelled Bishop Quodvultdeus and set him adrift with most of his clergy in a water-logged hulk, which, however, managed eventually to reach Naples. After fourteen years, during which Carthage remained without a chief pastor, Genseric, at the request of Valentinian, allowed the consecration of another bishop. He was a priest of the name of Deogratias, who by his example and teaching strengthened the faith of his people and succeeded in winning the respect of pagans and Arians alike. Two years after the bishop's consecration, Genseric sacked Rome and returned to Africa with a multitude of captives. These unfortunate people were distributed between the Vandals and the Moors, regardless of natural ties, husbands being separated from wive~ and parents from their children. To buy them back, Deogratias sold the gold and silver vessels and ornaments of the altar, and thus redeemed a great number of families. As there were not enough houses in Carthage available for

65 8


[iV/arch

ST BENVENUTO OF OSIMO

22

their accommodation, the bishop gave over two of the largest churches which he filled with bedding, and organized a daily distribution of food. Some of the baser spirits among the Arians, resenting his activity, lay in wait to kill him, but the project failed. vVorn out by his efforts, however, Deogratias died after an epis足 copate of little over three years, and was deeply mourned by his own flock and by the exiles \vho had found in him their great protector. The Carthaginians would have torn his body to pieces to obtain relics, but his corpse was secretly buried while the public prayers were being chanted, and was thus preserved from dismember足 ment. Victor, Bishop of Vita, in his Historia Persecutionis Vandalicae, is the principal authority for what we know of St Deogratias. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii.

BD ISNARDO OF CHIAMPO CHIAMPO, where Bd Isnardo was born, is a village near Vicenza. As a youth he seems to haye fallen under the spell of St Dominic's eloquence, and joining the Order of Preachers he received the habit from the holy founder himself about the year 1219, along with Bd Guala Romanoni. Isnardo, we are told, in spite of the fact that he led an extremely ascetic life, was very stout, and physical exertion of any kind was a matter of much difficulty to him. Nevertheless nothing could daunt his energy as a preacher, and his persuasiveness and learning were such that he made many conversions. On one occasion a scoffer ridiculing the speaker's corpulence shouted out, " I could no more believe in the holiness of an old porpoise like Brother Isnardo than I could believe that that barrel there would jump up of itself and break my leg". Whereupon, we are told, the barrel did fall upon his leg and crush it. Isnardo was one of the first Dominicans to preach in Pavia, and when a house of the Order was founded there he was elected prior in 1240. In this house he passed away in 1244, being credited with many miracles both before and after his death. His cuitus was confirmed in 1919.

See G. M. Pio, Delle vite de[;!li huomini illustri di S. Domenico (1607), pp. 205-206; the decree confirming the cultus in Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xi (1919), pp. 184-186; and R. Majocchi, B. Isnardo da Vicenza (1910). On this last c/. Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxiii (1914), pp. 100-101.

ST BENVENUTO, BISHOP OF OSIMO

(A.D. 1282)

ST BENVENUTO SCOTIVOLI was born at Ancona and inten~ed for the law, which he studied at Bclogna, but feeling that God called him to labour for souls he was ordained to the priesthood. By Pope Alexander IV he was appointed archdeacon of Ancona, besides being made administrator of the diocese of Osimo. The seat of the bishopric had been removed from that town to Recanati, because the people of Osimo had espoused the cause of the Emperor Frederick II against the Holy See, but Benvenuto succeeded in the difficult task of reconciling the city with the papacy. The episcopal chair was then restored to Osimo, of which in 1264 he was nominated bishop by Alexander's successor, Urban, and he was also appointed governor of the Marches of Ancona. Before his consecration Benvenuto was admitted into the Franciscan Order, and during the remaining eighteen years of his life he con足 tinued to wear his Minorite habit, which was long preserved at Osimo with his relics. 1t had eyer heen his earnest desire to imitate St Francis, and as he felt


TJ-lE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

March 221

death approaching, he asked to be carried into the church and laid on the bare ground that he might die like the Seraphic Father. Whilst the psalms 'were being intoned by the clergy round him, he passed away to his eternal rest. See the Acta Sane/Drum, March, vol. iii, and Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. i, pp. 517-519. It is stated that Benvenuto was canonized by Pope Martin IV, and consequently less than four years after his death.

BD llUGOLINO OF CORTONA

(c.

A.D.

1470)

VERY little seems to be known of the Augustinian hermit Hugolino Zefferini of Cortona. When Father Papebroch the Bollandist wrote to a high authority of the Augustinian Order to obtain information, a courteous reply \vas returned to the effect that the archives of their house in Cortona had unfortunately perished in a conflagration, and that a manuscript life of the holy man which they had once possessed had either been lost or stolen. All they could send was a seventecnth足 century engraving which contained representations of a certain number of miracles alleged to have been wrought in connection with the relics of the beatus. One of the most surprising of these had reference to a lily which, growing out of the corpse of the deceased thirty years after his burial, effected the cure of a woman who was blind. Other traditions stated that when the first lily had been thoughtlessly plucked, t\VO other lilies grew out of the wounds of the hermit's incorrupt body. From the conflicting accounts given it is not even clear whether Bd I-Iugolino belonged to Cortona or to Mantua, and whether he lived in the fourteenth century or in the fifteenth. It seems, ho\vever, to be certain that his relics were preserved and venerated at Cortona, and the cultus paid to him there was apprC'ved by Pope Pius VII in 1804. See the Acta Sane/orum, March, vol. iii. Two short Italian biographies are also cited, one by F. Baldelli (1704), the other by N. Fabbrini (1891).

ST NICHOLAS VON FLUE NICHOLAS VON FLUE (" Bruder Klaus ") occupies a unique place in the estimation of his countrymen. Ecclesiastics, patriots, politicians, historians and poets of all creeds have sung his praises, and it may safely be asserted that no religious figure in the history of Switzerland has given rise to so varied and volunlinous a body of literature. The holy man, who was born near SachseIn in Unterwalden in 1417, belonged to a much respected family of small farmers, owners of the Ktuster Alp or pasture in the Melchthal and of the estate of Fliieli on the Sachsterberg, from which they derived their surname. His father Henry also held a civil post in the cantonal service, whilst his mother, Emma Robert, was a native of Wolfenschiessen. She was a deeply religious woman who brought up her two sons, Nicholas and Peter, to belong as she did to the brotherhood of the Friends of God (Gottesfreunde). The members of this society were scattered over Germany, Switzerland and the Nether足 lands, and were drawn from both sexes and all classes. Adhering loyally to the Catholic Church, they sought by strictness of life as well as by constant meditation on the passion of our Lord and similar devotions, to enter, as their name implied, into specially close relationship with God. Some of them lived in their own families, others formed small communities, and a few retired from the world altogether to lead an eremitic life. Nicholas was specially responsive to the training

660


ST NICHOLAS VON FLUE

[March

22

he received, and was remarkable from childhood for his piety, his love of peace and his sound judgement. At the age of twenty-two, and in spite of his peace-loving disposition, Nicholas fought in the ranks in the war with Zurich. Fourteen years later, on the occasion of the occupation of the Thurgau, he again took up arms, but this time he was captain of a company. The high esteem in which he was held caused him to be appointed magistrate and judge and to be sent on various occasions as deputy for Obwalden to councils and meetings, wrere his clear-sighted wisdom carried great weight. He was repeatedly offered the highest post of all, that of landamman, or governor, but he could never be induced to accept it. He had married a religious足 minded girl called Dorothea Wissling, and their union had been a happy one. Of their ten children, John, the eldest son, became landamman during his father's lifetime, and the youngest studied at the University of Bale, and \vas afterwards for many years parish-priest of Sachseln. Throughout the years of his married life, Nicholas had continued the devout practices of his youth. To quote the testimony of his eldest son: "My father always retired to rest at the same time as his children and servants; but every night I saw him get up again, and heard him praying in his room until morning. Often too he would go in the silence of the night to the old church of 8t Nicholas or to other holy places." In obedience to what seemed to him a supernatural call to contemplation, for he had many visions and revelations, he used at times to withdraw into solitude in the valley of the Melch, but when he was about fifty he felt irresistibly drawn to abandon the world altogether and to spend the rest of his days far from home as a hermit. His wife did not oppose him, for the Friends of God recognized such vocations as sent from on high. Nicholas resigned his offices, took leave of his wife, his father and his children in the early autumn of 1467 and set forth barefoot and bareheaded, clad in a grey-brown habit and carrying his rosary and his staff. His destination appears to have been Strasbourg, in the neighbourhood of \vhich was a settlement of the brethren, Alsace having been their headquarters. Before crossing the frontier, however, he received hospitality from a peasant whom he discovered to be also a Friend of God, and in the course of conversation his host sought to deter him from leaving the country, assuring him that the Swiss were unpopular in Alsace and elsewhere abroad on account of tht:ir rough manners, and that he might fail to find the peaceful retreat he sought. That night there was a terrific thunderstorm, and as Nicholas looked at the little town of Liechstall beyond the frontier, the flashes of lightning made it appear to be in flames. tIe took this to be a sign which confirmed the advice he had received, and immediately retraced his steps. One evening during the homeward journey, as he lay under a tree, he was seized with such violent gastric spasms that he thought his last hour had come: the pain passed off, but from that time he lost all desire for ordinary food or drink, and became in fact incapable of taking either. Later that autumn, hunters who had been looking for game in the Melchthal brought home news that they had come across Nicholas on his pasture land of the Kliister, where he had made himself a shelter of boughs under a larch tree. His brother Peter and other friends went to beseech him not to remain there to die of exposure, and he was persuaded to move to Ranft, another part of the valley, where the people of Obwalden soon built him a little cell with a chapel attached. In this spot, which was situated above a narrow gorge, the loneliness of which was emphasized by the roar of the mountain torrent in the valley below, St Nicholas

661


~\1arch 22]

1'HE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

spent nineteen peaceful years. The hours from midnight to midday were passed in prayer and contemplation, but in the afternoon he would interview those who found their way to his hermitage to seek his advice on spiritual or even on temporal matters. God had given him the spirit of counsel, as he once admitted to his friend Henry Imgrund, and he continued to exercise it as he had done in the past. Strangers also were attracted by the fame of this remarkable man, who was reported to live without eating and drinking. Never very talkative, he was particularly sparing of his words to those who came out of mere curiosity. So also, when questioned as to his abstention from food, he would only reply, " God knows". That no one brought him provisions the cantonal magistrates proved by having all approaches to his cell watched for a month, and unprejudiced foreigners, such as Archduke Sigismund's physician and envoys from the Emperor Frederick III, satisfied themselves of the truth of the report and were profoundly impressed by the hermit's sincerity. Once a year Nicholas took part in the great .Musegger procession in Lucernc, but otherwise he only left his retreat to attend divine service and occa5ionally to visit Einsiedeln. The gifts of the faithful enabled him in his later years to found a chantry for a priest in connection with his own little chapel, and he was thus able to assist at Mass daily and to communicate often. At this epoch the Swiss Confederation had just passed through the most glorious phase in its history. Within six years, in the three battles of Grandson, Morat' and Nancy, the sturdy mountain folk had vindicated their independence and had routed the hitherto unconquered Charles the Bold, master of the two Burgundies and nearly the whole of Belgium: their reputation was so great that every prince in Europe sought their alliance. The hour of their most signal triumph proved nevertheless to be the hour of their greatest danger, for internal dissensions threatened to undo the success which their arms had won. Quarrels arose over the division of booty and between the country party and the towns. Another source of contention was the proposal to include Fribourg and Soleure (or Solothurn) in the confederation. At length agreement was reached on most points and was embodied in a document known as the Edict of Stans. On the subject of the inclusion of Fribourg and Soleure, however, no accommodation could be reached, and feeling. ran so high that it seemed that the question would have to be settled by arms. The meeting was breaking up in disorder when the parish-priest of Sta:ls suggested secking a final opinion from Nicholas von FlUe. The deputies gave their consent and he set out to seek the hermit. His suggestion was no casual or sudden inspiration. As \\re know from the protocols of the Council of Lucerne, that city, which occupied an ambiguous position between the two parties, had, at an early stage of the strife, sent delegates to Brother Nicholas to obtain his advice, and it is quite possible that other districts had done the same. It has been even suggested that the Edict of Stans, a most statesmanlike charter, may have been drafted in the hermit's cell. In any case, it is greatly to the credit of the deputies that, in the heat of their quarrel, they should have been willing to refer the matter to him. The chronicler Diebold Schilling, who represented his father at the council, tells us that the priest Imgrund arrived back in Stans streaming \vith perspiration, and that, seeking out the deputies in their lodgings, he besought them with tears to reassemble immediately to hear the message \vhich he must impart to them alone. Schilling does not record the words of that message, but he informs us that within an hour the council had arrived at a unanimous agreement. Fribourg and Soleure \vere to be admitted into thc Swiss Confederation, but upon certain

662


SSe VICTORIAN AND HIS COMPANIONS

[March 23

conditions, which were accepted for them by Hans von Stall, the delegate of Soleure. The date was December 22, 1481. That Christmas was a specially joyful one throughout Switzerland, and the Stans Council expressed in laudatory terms its gratitude to Nicholas for his services. Letters of thanks from Berne and Soleure to the holy man are still extant, as ,veIl as a letter written on his behalf by his son John, thanking Berne for a gift which would be expended upon the Church. (He himself could neither read nor \vrite, but used a special seal by way of a signature.) Several of the hermit's visitors have left accounts of thei!; intervie,vs with him, and that written by Albert von Bon足 stetten, dean of the monastery of Einsiede1n, is particularly interesting. He describes the recluse as tall, brown and wrinkled, with thin grizzled locks and a short beard. His eyes were bright, his teeth white and well preserved, and his nose shapely. He adds, " He praises and recommends obedience and peace. As he exhorted the Confederates to maintain peace, so does he exhort all who come to him to do the same." The dean held him in great veneration, but with regard to the prophetical gifts ascribed to Nicholas in some quarters, he says cautiously that he had received no evidence of them from trust\\torthy sources. Six years after the Council of Stans, Nicholas was seized with his last illness, which lasted only eight days, but caused him intense suffering. He bore it with perfect resigna足 tion and died peacefully in his cell, on his birthday, having attained the age of seventy. Immediately his death became known he was honoured in all Switzerland both as a patriot and as a saint, though it was only in 1669 that his cultus was formally sanctioned: he was canon ized in 1947. His skeleton lies in a shrine under a black marble canopied altar which stands close to the entrance to the choir of the present church of Sachseln, and the habit in which he died is preserved in a cupboard in the south apse. The two" Fliie houses" at Fliieli date back to the days of St Nicholas, and although they have been greatly modernized one room in his dwelling-house remairs intact. In 1917 the fifth centenary of the birth of " Bruder Klaus" was celebrated throughout Switzerland with quite remarkable enthusiasm. Perhaps the most valuable result of the interest thus awakened was the publication of a great historical monograph by Robert Durrer. a scholar with an unrivalled knowledge of the archives of his country. In these two quarto volumes, entitled Bruder Klaus, which together total some 1350 pages, will be found all the available material bearing on the life of Nicholas von FlUe. The collection includes two early sketches of the career of Bruder Klaus, one by Albrecht von Bonstetten, the other by Heinrich von Gundelfingen, but these are supplemented by a mass of documentary evidence derived from ancient records and other sources. A comprehensive nineteenth-century biography is that of J. Ming, Der selige Bruder Nikolaus von Flue, and others have since been written by A. Baumberger, F. X. Wetzel and J. T. de Belloc, in Italian by F. Andina (1945), and in French by A. Andrey (1941) and C. Journet (1947). See also the Acta Sancforum, March, vol. iii, and the Kirchenlexikon, vol. ix. pp. 316 -319.

23 : SS.

VICTORIAN

AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS

UNERIC, the Arian king of the Vandals, succeeded his father Genseric in 477. He at first showed a certain moderation in regard to his orthodox Catholic subjects in Mauretania, but in 480 a policy of relentless persecu足 tion was again resorted to. Amongst the more conspicuous victims were a group of martyrs who are honoured 0揃) this day. Victorian, in particular, a native of

H

663


March'23J

THE LIVES OF TI-IE SAINTS

Hadrumetum, who was one of the wealthiest citizeIls of Carthage, had been appointed proconsul by Huneric himself. When the persecuting edicts were published, the Vandal king did all in his power to induce this representative Catholic to conform to Arianism. When promises and threats alike failed to shake his adherence to the true faith, the courageous witness to Christ was subjected to horrible torments, but persevered gloriously until death released him. With Victorian the Roman lViartyrology associates four others who suffered about the same time. Two of these, who were brothers, were subjected to the same torture which, more than a thousand years later, was employed by the priest-hunter, Topcliffe, to test the constancy at the Elizabethan martyrs. 1'he two l'>rothers were hung up by the wrists and heavy weights were attached to their feet. \Ve are told that when one of them gave signs that his resolution was weakening, the other exhorted him so powerfully to endure further that the faint-hearted brother cried out to the executioners not to diminish but to augment his pains. Both were afterwards seared with red-hot plates of iron, but bore all patiently to the end. Our authority for these facts is the Historia Persecutionis of Vita, a contemporary.

ST BENEDICT THE HERMIT

(c.

~Tandalicae

A.D.

by St Victor, Bishop

550)

ST GREGORY the Great, in his nÂŁalogues, has preserved the memory of a hermit or solitary monk, named Benedict, who resided in some part of the Campagna and was barbarously shut up in an oven by the Goths when, under the leadership of Totila, they were devastating Italy. By a miracle, he was preserved from death, and was liberated unhurt the next day. He lived at the time of St Benedict of Nursia, who was personally acquainted with him. The holy man appears to have died a natural death in 543 or 550, and he may perhaps be identified with a St Benedict whose relics are venerated at Lavello, in the diocese of Venosa, who is also commemorated upon this day. The Dialogues of 8t Gregory the Great (bk iii, ch. 18) are here our only authority, but the Roman Martyrology registers the name of 8t Benedict the Hermit on this day.

ST ETHELWALD THE HERMIT

(A.D.

699)

AFTER the death of St Cuthbert, the hermitage he had inhabited on Farne Island was occupied by St Ethelwald, or Oidilwald, a monk from l~ipon. He found Cuthbert's cell in a very dilapidated condition, and asked for a calf's skin to nail over the ill-adjusted planks of the wall against which he was wont to pray, because the wind, howling in his ear through the gaps, hindered his devotions. Farne is not very far distant from Lindisfarne or Holy Island, from ""hich its cliffs are plainly visible on a clear day, but ocean swells and currents as \-vell as fierce gales formerly rendered the group of islands inaccessible for weeks together. Bede relates a miracle wrought by St Ethelwald over the elements, which ",-as told him by one of those for whom it was performed. Three monks from Lindisfarne had paid a visit to the hermit on a fine day, and had been greatly edified by his discourses. After they had started on their homeward journey, a terrific storm suddenly arose and they were in danger of their lives. Looking back, they saw 5t Ethel\vald appear at the entrance of his cell and then fall on his knees in prayer. The wind immediately dropped, and a breeze wafted them safely home. No sooner, however, 664


BD SIBYLLINA OF PAVIA

[March 23

had they disembarked and secured their boat, than the storm began again with redoubled fury and raged for the rest of the day. After living for twelve years on Fame, St Ethelwald died and was buried at Lindisfarne. Owing to Danish incursions, his relics were exhumed more than once, but they were eventually translated to Durham. Bede and the books cited above in the notice of St Cuthbert tell us all that is to be known of St Ethelwald, but particular reference should be made to the account of him included in the volume of Hermit Saints (1844) in the series" Lives of the English Saints ", edited by J. H. Newman. A verse translation is there given of an incident concerning St Ethelwald.

BD PETER OF GUBBIO

(c. A.D. 1250?)

No particulars have been preserved about the life of Bd Peter, a member of the Ghisengi family of Gubbio, who Joined the Brictinian Hermits of St Augustine and is said to have become provincial. Attention was directed to him because of the wonders which were reported to have taken place at his tomb. During the night office a voice was heard chanting the alternate verses of the Te Deum, and when the community traced the sound and discovered that it proceeded from the vault where he was buried, they found his body in a kneeling posture with open mouth and joined hands. It was translated to a more horlourahle resting-place, where it remained incorrupt. Hence pilgrims, even from distant places, flocked to Gubbio to venerate his relics. The last translation of his body took place in 1666. Pope Pius IX confirmed his cultus. See the Acta Sacntorum, March, vol. iii.

BD SIBYLLINA OF PAVIA,

VIRGIN

SIBYLLINA BiSCOSSI, left an orphan in early childhood, constrained to earn her bread as a servant-maid before she was ten years old, unable to read or write, and afflicted with total blindness at the age of twelve, can have known little of comfort or joy in the sense which the world attaches to these terms. When her blindness rendered her incapahle of doing any useful work, some kind Dominican tertiaries of Pavia, in which city she was born and died, took her to live with them. Intensely devout and full of faith, the child was at first convinced that if she prayed hard enough St Dominic would restore her sight. The days slipped by and nothing happened, but at last, when all hope of cure seemed to have left her, she had a dream, or perhaps a vision. She thought that St Dominic took her by the hand and led her through a long, long passage in pitchy darkness where the felt presence of evil beings would have caused her to faint with terror had it not been for the hand-clasp of her guide. But a glimmer of light sho\\~ed itself beyond, which became more intense as they struggled forwards, and in the end they emerged into glorious sunshine in a home of ineffable peace. When she awoke Sibyllina was at no loss for an interpretation. God meant her to remain blind; and so she determined to second the divine purposes which had already made her so pointedly an exile in this world. She made arrangements to become a recluse and was enclosed in an anchorage beside the Dominican church. At first she had a companion living with her, who died after three years and no one took her place. Sibyllina as a solitary led a life of incredible austerity, but she lived until the age of eighty. People of all classes came to consult her in

665


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 23]

their troubles and conversed with her through the window of her cell, while many miracles were ascribed to her intercession. It is recorded of her that she was specially devout to the Holy Ghost and that she regarded Whitsunday as the greatest feast of the year. "'Then she died in 1367 she had been a recluse for sixty-five years. Her body was still incorrupt in 1853 when her cult was confirmed. See G. M. Pio, Delle vite degli huomini illustri di S. Domenico (1607), cc. 467-469; Procter, Lives of the Dominican Saints, pp. 72-74; M. C. de Ganay, Les Bienheureuses Dominicaines, pp. 179- 191.

ST JOSEPH ORIOL

(A.D. 1702)

ST JOSEPH ORIOL was born in Barcelona and spent almost all his life in that city. His father having died while he was still in the cradle, hi" mother contracted a second marriage with a shoemaker, who loved his little stepson as though he had been his own child. Joseph early became a choirboy at the church of St Mary-of颅 the-Sea, and the clergy, noticing that he spent hours in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, taught him to read and write, foreseeing in him a vocation to the priesthood. They subsequently enabled him to follow the university courses. At the death of her second husband, Joseph's mother was left very poor, and the son went to live with his foster-mother, \\路ho was tenderly attached to him. The young man's life as a student \va~ most exemplary. After he had taken his doctor's degree and had been raised to the priesthood, Joseph accepted some tutorial work in a family of good position to enable him to support his mother. Here also he gained all hearts and was looked upon as a saint, but he remained under no illusions about himself, for God made known to him how far he was from perfection. In consequence of that revelation, he took a vow of perpetual abstinence, and lived for the rest of his days on bread and water. He also increased his bodily penances and wore such miserable clothes that he was often insulted in the streets of Barcelona. Relieved of the support of his mother by her death in 1686, Joseph started for Rome to venerate the tombs of the apostles, and made the whole journey on foot. Here he was presented by Pope Innocent XI to a benefice in his native Barcelona, and as a priest with the cure of souls he continued to live in the most complete self-abnegation. The one little room which he hired at the top of a house contained on ly a crucifix, a table, a bench and a few books-it was all he needfd. The income of his cure went for the relief of the poor, being expended in alms to the living and in Masses for the dead. No bed was necessary for one who never slept for more than two or three hours at night. St Joseph had a great gift for direction, and whatever time he could spare was spent in the confessional. At one time, indeed, he was accused of over-severity and of inflicting penances \vhich were ir.jurious to health. His critics succeeded in gaining the ear of the bishop, who forbade him to hear confessions, but the prohibition did not last long. The prelate in question died soon afterwards and his successor reirlstated Joseph in all his faculties. Throughout his ministry his zeal was all-embracing, including the most opposite extremes. He was fond of teaching little children, but he also had a great influence over soldiers, whom he won by his gentleness and sympathy. Strangely enough, in the midst of this busy life, St Joseph was suddenly seized with an ardent desire for martyrdom, and decided to go at once to Rome to place himself at the disposal of the Congregation de Propaganda Fide. In vain did the people of Barcelona 666


l;11ardl 24

ST GABRIEL THE ARCIIANGEL

entreat him not to leave them; in vain did two \\'ise priests urge him to take time for reflection. His decision was made; his purpose unalterable: and he started off for Italy. At Marseilles, however, he fell ill, and the Blessed Virgin in a vision told him that his intention was accepted but that it was God's will that he should go back to Barcelona and spend the rest of his life in caring for the sick. His return was attended with extraordinary demonstrations of joy. The fame of his wonderful healing po\vers spread far and \\'ide, and sufferers came from long distances to be cured of their infirmities. Miracle after miracle \vas reported, and at one time the saint's confessor forbade him to perform such cures in church because of the disturbance which they caused. l\S a matter of fact St Joseph always sought to direct attention away flom himself and to associate bodily cures with the tribunal of penance, but powers such as his could not be hidden. Like many other wonder-workers, he also possessed the gift of prophecy, and amongst other predictions he foretold the time of his own death. After receiving the last sacraments he asked for the Stahat Mater to be said aloud, and died on March 23, 1702. He was in his fifty-third year. Immense crowds collected round the bier of the dead saint, and on the day of the funeral it became necessary to close the cathedral before his burial could be proceeded with. His few little possessions were eagerly sought for as relics, and the tribute of popular veneration only aug­ mented \vith the lapse of years. St Joseph Oriol was canonized ill 1909. The bull of canonization (Acta Apostolicae Sedis, yol. i (1909), pp. 60~-622), of almost unprecedented length, gives a full summary of his career. The principal published life is that of J. Ballester de Claramunt, Vida de San Jose Griol, presbitero (19°9) : but there are' others both in Spanish and Catalan by 1\1. E: Anzizu and by Masden, and one in Italian by Salotti.

24 : ST

GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL

B

y a decree of the Congregation of Sacred Rites dated October 26, 1921 , issued by command of Pope Benedict XV, it was directed that the feast of St Gabriel the Archangel should be kept in future as a greater double on March 24 throughout the Western church. As the question of the liturgical celebration of festivals in honour of the great archangels wilt be more naturally treated in connection \vith the older feast of St Michael on September 29, it will be sufficient here to point out that according to Daniel (ix 2 I) it was Gabriel who announced to the prophet the time of the coming of the Messiah, that it was he again who appeared to Zachary" standing on the right side of the altar of incense" (Luke i 10 and 19) to make known the future birth of the Precursor, and finally that it was he who as God's ambassador was sent to Mary at Nazareth (Luke i 26) to proclaim the mystery of the Incarnation. It was therefore very appropriate that Gabriel should be honoured on this day which immediately precedes the feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. There is abundant archaeological evidence that the cultus of St Gabriel is in no sense a novelty. An ancient chapel close beside the Appian Way, rescued from oblivion by Armellini, preserves the remains of a fresco in which the prominence given to the figure of the archangel, his name being written underneath, strongly suggests that he was at one time honoured in that chapel as principal patron. There are also many representations of Gahriel in the early Christian art hath of East and \Vest \vhich make it plairl that

667


March 24]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

his connection with the sublime mystery of the Incarnation was remembered by the faithful in ages long anterior to the devotional revival of the thirteenth century. This messenger is the appropriate patron-saint of postal, telegraph and telephone workers. See the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xiii (1921), and the note to Michael the Archangel on Septen1ber 29.

ST IRENAEUS,

BISHOP OF SIRMIUM, MARTYR

AN account of the sufferings and death of St Irenaeus, Bishop of Sirmium, is contained in the acts of his martyrdom which, while untrustworthy as to details, seem undoubtedly to be based on some authentic historical records. Sirmium, then the capital of Pannonia, stood on the site of the present l\litrovlca, forty miles or more to the \vest of Belgrade, and St Irenaeus, quite apart from his position as leader of the Christians, must have been a man of considerable local importance. It was during the persecution of Diocletian that he was apprehended as a Christian and brought before Probus, governor of Pannonia. \Vhen commanded to offer sacrifice to the gods he refused, saying, " He that sacrifices to the gods \\Till be cast into hell-fire!" "The edicts of the most clement emperors require that all should sacrifice to the gods or suffer under the law", replied the magistrate. "The law of my God bids me rather to suffer all torments than to sacrifice to the gods ", is said to have been the saint's retort. He was put to the rack, and whilst being tortured was again urged to sacrifice, but his resolution rernained unshaken. All the bishop's relations and friends \\rere greatly distressed. Ilis mother, his wife and his children surrounded him. His wife, in tears, threw her arrns round his neck and begged him to preserve his life for her sake and for that of his innocent children. His sons and daughters cried, " Father, dear father, have pity upon us and upon thyself", whilst his mother sobbed aloud, and servants, neighbours and friends filled the court-house with their lamentations. The martyr steeled himself against their appeals for fear that he might seem to offer to God a divided allegiance. He repeated those words spoken by our Lord, " If anyone renounce me before men, him \vill I renounce before my father who is in Heaven," and he avoided making any direct ans\ver to their entreaties. He was again committed to prison, where he was detained a long time, sufferin.g still more hardships and bodily torments, by which it was hoped to shake his constancy. A second public examination produced no more effect than the first, and in the end sentence was passed that for disobedience to the imperial edict he should be drowned in the river. Irenaeus is said to have protested that such a death was unworthy of the cause for which he suffered. He begged to be given an opportunity to prove that a Christian, strong in his belief in the one true God, could face without flinching the persecutor's most cruel torments. It was conceded to him that he should first be beheaded and that t.hen his body should be cast from the bridge into the river. The narrative of the martyr's death, drawn up originally in Greek, has been included by Ruinart in his collection of Acta sincera. But, as Delehaye has pointed out, the documents which Ruinart has brought together under this head vary greatly in value, and it cannot be maintained that the Passion of St Irenaeus represents the highest type of such acts: sec Delehaye, Les Legendes hagiographiques (1927), pp. 114-116. The text may also be read in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, the Greek original being printed in the appendix.

668


ST CATI-IERINE OF VADSTENA

ST ALDEMAR,

ABBOT

[1\1arch 24

(C.

A.D. 1080)

CAPUA was the birthplace of the holy priest and monk Aldemar, surnamed the Wise. His parents sent their son to be educated and trained at the abbey of Monte Cassino, where he was raised to the diaconate. Princess Aloara of Capua asked that he might become the director of the convent which she had built in Capua. Here it soon became evident that God had bestowed upon him the gift of miracles, and these gave rise to so much talk that the abbot recalled him to Monte Cassino. The princess, ho\vever, would not consent to his removal and, the quarrel between them growing bitter, Aldemar, to bring it to an end, made his escape to Boiano, where he joined three brothers who lived like canons attached to the church. l-Io\vever, he did not find the peace he sought, for one of the brethren took an intense dislike to him which developed into hatred. He actually tried to kill Aldemar \vith a cross足 bow, but either through his own clumsiness or by a miraculous interposition of Providence, the missile pierced his own arm, and he was only cured through the prayers of his intended victim. St Aldemar then \vithdrew from the little company and built the monastery of Bocchignano in the Abruzzi, the first of several religious houses, all of which remained under his direction. He had a very great love of animals, and \vhen a swarm of bees made a hive of one of the cupboards in his monastery, he would not allow them to be disturbed. It was whilst he \vas making a visitation of the houses he had founded that he was stricken with a fever which proved fa tal.

A short Latin life by Peter, a deacon of Monte Cassino, has been edited by Mabillon, and by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum,. see also Michael Monachus, Sallctuarium Capuanum.

ST CATHERINE OF VADSTENA,

VIRGIN

ST CATHERINE (Karin) ULFSDOTTER was the fourth of the eight children of St Bridget, who \vith Catherine is commonly called " of Sweden", though they were not of the royal house. In that religious family she first learned to love God, and at an early age she was entrusted to the care of the abbess of Risaberga. Catherine was betrothed by her parents to a devout young nobleman, Eggard von Klirnen (}{yren), who was of German descent, and the wedding was solemnized in due course; but St Catherine is celebrated with the office of a virgin, for it is said that the young couple agreed from the outset to live together in perpetual continency. In her new position the young \vife led a life of austerity which Eggard countenanced if he did not actually encourage, but her brother Charles was greatly incensed when she tried to induce his own wife to follow her example. After the death of her husband Ulf, St Bridget went to live in Rome, and Catherine after\\7ards told her namesake of Siena that on the day her mother left Sweden she, her daughter, forgot how to smile. In 1350 she got Eggard's leave to visit her mother in Rome, where足 upon brother Charles wrote a violent letter to Eggard forbidding him to allow her to go. The letter came into Catherine's hands, but she \vas not deterred and set out under protection provided by one of her uncles. She was then about nineteen years old. St Bridget had long desired a companion, and when her daughter, after a few weeks' stay, proposed to return home, she besought her earnestly not to go but to work with her in Rome for the cause of Christ. 'Vhat followed is not altogether clear or easy to understand, seeing that Catherine was under obligation to her

669


Jlal'c/z 24]

hushand, to whon1 she appears to have been deeply attached. But remain in Rome she did, though not without moments of great unhappiness: "I lead a wretched life, caged up here like an animal, while the others go and nourish their souls at church. IVIy brothers and sisters in Sweden can serve God in peace"; for o,ving to the disorders of the city her mother, when she went out, made Catherine stop at home indoors. In the circumstances it may be reasonably supposed that her dream of our Lady reproaching her for her discontent was a product of nervous depression, though poor Catherine took it very seriously. Bridget, however, believed it to be revealed to her that her daughter's husband was about to die, as indeed he did before the year ,,'as out; and Catherine then seems to have lost all desire to go back to Sweden. \Vhen it became kno,vn that this beautiful girl was a wido\v, she began to be importuned for her hand, and some of her suitors, in spite of her emphatic refusals, went so far as to lay plans for kidnapping her. One day, as she was on her W2Y to ,vorship at the church of St Sebastian, a Rornan count, Latino Orsini, was actually lying concealed ,vith his servants in a vineyard beside the road. Suddenly a stag made its appearance, and so diverted their attention that 8t Catherine passed by unobserved. * On another similar occasion, the same would-be abductors were temporarily blinded-so at least the leader of the party afterwards testified in the presence of the pope. But the outward beauty of the saint was only a mirror of the inward graces of her soul. Her charity was so great, extending beyond deeds to words, that she was never heard to sayan angry or impatient word or to utter an unkindly criticism. Years later she prayed that the Bridgettine Order might always he kept from the poisonous venom of detraction, and she warned her niece Inge­ gerda, afterwards abbess of Vadstena, against uncharitable judgements, saying that both the backbiter and the listener carried the devil in their tongues. She shunned all display and wore her clothes until they were threadbare; yet she is stated to have cast a kind of radiance over her material surroundings, so that the very cover of her bed and the curtain behind her head se~med to be of gorgeous texture and hue. rUi tIle next twenty-five years, Catherine's life was almost identified ,vith that of her mother, in ,vhose good works she took an active part. Besides the vocal prayers to wh ich she had always been addicted, the daughter no\v spent four hours of every day in meditation on the Passion. She was praying in St Peter's one day when she was accosted by a woman in a white dress and a black mantle, whom she took to be a Dominican tertiary. The stranger asked her to pray for one of her fel1o,v-countrY\\Tomen, from ,vhom she '''ould presently receive valuable assistance and ,vho would set a crown of gold upon her head. Shortly afterwards came tidings of the death of a sister-in-law, who beq~eathed to her the golden headdress which-like other women of her rank and country-she "rore on great occasions. The tiara was broken up and on the proceeds of the sale St Bridget and her daughter lived for two years. From time to time they made pilgrimages to Assisi and elsewhere, and at last St Bridget resolved to pay a final visit to the Holy Land. She was accompanied by Catherine. Bridget herself did not long survive her return to Rome, and her body was that same year conveyed back to Sweden to be buried in her convent church at Vadstena. The monastery had not yet been canonically erected, its religious living with­ out vows and ,vithout habit. To St Catherine now fell the task of forming the â&#x20AC;˘ Cf. a some\vhat similar story told of the English St Osyth (October 7).


SSe SIMON OF TRENT AND WILLIAM OF NORWICI-I

[i\1arch 24

community according to the rule which her mother had laboured so long to get approved; but a year later she returned to Rome to forward the cause of Bridget's canonization. Not till the end of five years did she come back to Sweden, with the canonization still not accomplished-the" Great Schism" had broken out mean­ while-but with a ratification of the Bridgettine rule from Pope Urban VI. During this time in Italy, St Catherine Ulfsdotter formed a friendship \vith St Catherine Benincasa of Siena, and Urban wished to send them together on a mission to Queen Joanna of Naples, who was supporting the claimant pope who called himself Clement VII. Catherine is said to have refused to go to the court of the woman who had seduced her brother Charles, as is mentioned in the notice herein of St Bridget on October 8. But Bd Raymund of Capua in his life of Catherine of Siena explains it otherwise: he himself, he says, dissuaded the pope from sending the two Catherines into so dangerous a 1nilieu. It seemed as though Catherine's work was now done, for immediately after her final retirement to Vadstena her health began to fail. She continued the prac­ tice she had long observed of making a dally confession, but the gastric trouble from which she suffered made it impossible for her to receive the Blessed Sacrament. She used therefore to ask that the Body of the Lord lnight be brought to her sick­ room that she might adore It and offer up her devotions in Its presence. Com­ mending her soul to God in a final prayer, she passed away peacefully on March 24, 1381. It was remarked that a bright star appeared over the house at the moment of her death and remained until the funeral. Her obsequies were attended by all the bishops and abbots of Scandinavia, as well as by the son of the king and by the whole neighbouring population. St Catherine has never been formally canonized, but her name was added to the Roman Martyrology and her feast is observed in Sweden and elsewhere as well as by the Bridgettines. She is said to have \vritten a book entitled The Consolation of the Soul, consisting of extracts and maxims from Holy Scripture and various devotional \vorks, hut no copy has been preserved to us. There is a short Latin biography of St Catherine \vhich was written in the first quarter of the fifteenth century by one of the monks of \Tadstena, U"1f Birgersson. It may be found in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and it \vas one of the first books printed in Sweden. A more critical text appears in the Scriptores rerum Sueciarum, vol. iii. Some of the docu­ ments and collections of miracles connected with her projected canonization have also been printed in both the works just named. rrhe full text of the canonization documents has been edited by I. Collijn, Processus seu }·legocium Canonizaclonis b. Katerinae de Vtldstenis (1942-1946). 5t Catherine's life was so intimately bound up \vith that of her mother, that perhaps the best account of the daughter will be found in the biographies of St Bridget, for whom see under October 8.

SSe

SIMON OF TRENT (A.D. 1475 and 1144)

AND

WILLIAM

OF

NORWICH

IN accord with the Roman Martyrology, \vhich on this day commemorates " the passion of St Simeon, a boy, most cruelly slain by Jews at Trent and afterwards glorified by many miracles", Alban Butler devotes some little space to two alleged cases of ritual child-murder for which the Jews were held responsible. Of the many reputed examples of this crime, the truth of which was universally credited in the middle ages, only that of 8t Simon, or Simeon, finds recognition in the martyrology. According to the statement drawn up at Trent shortly after the tragedy, a Jewish physician decoyed and kidnapped a little Christian child, two and a half years old,

67 1


Marth 24]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

in view of the celebration of the Jewish pasch. After crucifying the boy and draining his blood, the officials of the synagogue hid the body for a short time and eventually threw it into the canal. The crime was discovered; and those suspected, under torture, admitted their guilt. Horrible punishments were inflicted after conviction, while on the other hand a profusion of miracles followed beside the tomb of the infant. In the case of William of Norwich, which occurred more than three centuries earlier, the victim was twelve years old. Here again it is alleged that the boy was enticed away, gagged, bound and crucified. The body was carried in a sack by two Jews to Mousehold Wood for the purpose of burying it there, but being surprised apparently before their task was completed they left it hangi ng on a tree. It is to the credit of Butler's sober judgement that even while he accepts without question the traditional belief that the various child victims were really put to death by Jews in hatred of the Christian faith, he adds that" it is a notorious slander of some authors, who, from these singular and extraordinary instances, infer this to have been at any time the custom or maxim of that people". Butler's protest is certainly well-founded. No scrap of serious evidence has ever been adduced which would show that the use of Christian blood formed any part of Jewish ritual. There is little room for doubt that in each of these cases a child had been deliberately killed by somebody; and it is possible that such child-murders may occasionally have been committed by Jewish maniacs, or as an act of private vengeance, or by necro­ mancers who wished to use the blood for some magical rite. This is not the place for a discussion of the problem which, in some instances-notably in that of " el santo Nino de la Guardia", the official records of which have been published in the Spanish Bolet£n de la real Academ£a de la Historia, vol. xi-presents many perplexing features, but even medieval and eastern Jews must, as a people, unquestionably be acquitted of any participation in, or sympathy with, such crimes. Moreover, if we confine our attention to the two martyrs here in question, there is no conclusive evidence--that of confessions under torture being worthless-that the guilt was brought home to those who were really the culprits. For Simon of Trent the more important documents will be found in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; in Muratori, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, vol. xx, pp. 945 seq.; and in G. Divina, Storia del beato Simone da Trento (1902), but cf. the critical discussion of the last-named work in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxiii (1904), pp. 122-124. For William of ~orwich the only real authority is Thomas of Monmouth, whose manuscript was edited for the first time by Dr A. Jessopp and M. R. James in 1896. On the general question of these alleged Jewish ritual murders, the English reader may be referred to H. L. Strack, The Jew and Human Sacrifice (Eng. trans.), and to Father Thurston in The Month, June 1898, pp. 561-574, and November 1913, pp. 502-513. A number of cases of such alleged martyrdoms are discussed also by W. H. Hart, Cartularium of Gloucester (Rolls Series), vol. i, pp. xxxix to Ii. Concerning the similar case of St Wernher, at Trier in 1275, the Bollandists have printed the greater part of the documents which were prepared for the canonical process. See the Acta Sanctorum, April, vol. ii, where the very unsatisfactory nature of the evidence must strike every reader. The vindication of the Jews by Cardinal Ganganelli (afterwards Pope Clement XIV) in 1759, has been translated by C. Roth, The Ritual Murder Libel and the Jews (1935), and cf. Dr Roth's History of the Jews in England (1941).

BD DIDACUS,

OR

DIEGO, OF CADIZ

(A.D. 1801)

BD DIDACUS JOSEPH OF CADIZ was popularly called "the apostle of the Holy Trinity", because of his devotion to the mystery of the Three Divine Persons and the ingenuity with which he contrived to make the theological dogma of the Blessed

67 2


T'I-IE ANNUNCIA'TION OF i'HE BLESSED VIR(;IN l\lARY

[21Iarch 25

Trinity the subject of his eloquent and most fruitful sermons. He was born on March 29, 1743 in Cadiz, and was baptized Joseph Francis. I-lis parents brought him up devoutly, and he preserved throughout his life his baptismal innocence. As a child he liked to construct and decorate little altars, and the same instinct led him when he was older to wait at the church doors in the early morning that he might offer his services to any priest who wanted a server. Constant attendance at the Capuchin church ,,,here he made his comnlunions, and the reading of the lives of Capuchin saints, led Diego to desire to enter the Order of 8t Francis, but he was refused at first as he seemed to be insufficiently educated. Howeyer, he overcame this obstacle, and on being at last accepted began his novitiate at Seville as Brother Diego or Didacus. In due course he was raised to the priesthood and sent to preach. From the first it became evident that he was endowed with gifts of no mean order, for his sermons wherever he went brought conviction of sin and amend足 ment of life. Throughout Spain, but more particularly in Andalusia, the holy man journeyed, teaching and preaching in remote villages and crowded towns, shrinking from no fatigue or hardship so long as there was work to do for souls. He was content simply to pre~ch the gospel, indulging in no rhetorical artifices or flowery language. A wonderful intuition or sympathy seems to have brought him into touch with his hearers, so that he won the hearts alike of the poor and of the well足 to-do, of young students in schools and of professors in universities. His work in the tribunal of penance was complementary to his preaching, for it enabled him to direct and strengthen those whom his sermons had touched. Any free time during the day was spent in visiting prisons and hospitals or in similar works of charity, ,vhilst a great part of the night was given to prayer. I t is related that in preaching about the love of God, there were occasions when Father Diego was raised supernaturally into the air so that he required assistance to regain the floor of the pulpit. Sometimes the largest churches could not contain the crowds who flocked to hear him, and he would preach in a square or in the streets, whilst the crowds stood for hours entranced. At the close of his sermons he had to be protected from the people, who tried to tear pieces from his habit as relics. Popularity, however, could not injure one so humble as Bd Diego: slights and insults nlight serve, he thought, as a very inadequate expiation for his sins. He shunned all presents, and, if obliged to accept them, he immediately distributed them to the poor; money he absolutely refused. Immediately his death became known in 1801 he was acclaimed as a saint, and Pope l.Jeo XIII proclaimed his beatification in 1894. See C. Kempf, The lIoliness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century,. Ana/ecta Ecclesias足 tica, 1894, pp. IS I seq.,. Damase de Soisey, Le bx Diego Joseph de Cadiz (1902).

2S :

THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY COMMONLY CALLED LADY DAY

HIS great festival takes its name from the tidings announced by the angel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin Mary concerning the incarnation of the Son of God. It was the divine purpose to give to the world a saviour, to the sinner a victim of propitiation, to the righteous a model, to this maiden-who should remain a virgin-a son, and to the Son of God a new nature, a human nature,

T

673


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 25]

capable of suffering pain and death, in order that He might satisfy God's justice for our transgressions. The Holy Ghost, who was to her in place of a husband, \vas not content with rendering her body capable of giving life to the God-man, but enriched her soul with fullness of grace, that there might be a sort of proportion between the cause and the effect, and that she might be the better qualified to co-operate in this mystery of holiness: therefore the angel begins his address \vith " Hail! full of grace". If Mary had not been deeply rooted in humility, this manner of salutation and the purport of that great design for which her co-operation ,vas asked might easily have elated her, but in her lowliness she knew that the glory of any graces she possessed belonged to God. Her modesty had suggested a doubt, but once that ,vas set at rest, without further inquiry she gives her assent in that all-potent submission: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word." The world was not to have a saviour until she had given her consent to the angel's proposal: she gives it, and behold the power and efficacy of her Fiat! In that moment the mystery of love and mercy promised to mankind thousands of years earlier, foretold by so many prophets, desired by so many saints, is accomplished upon earth. In that instant the Word of God becomes for ever united to manhood: the soul of Jesus Christ, produced from nothing, begins to enjoy God and to know all things, past, present and to come: at that moment God begins to have a worshipper who is infinite, and the '''Orld a mediator who is omnipotent: and to the \vorking of this great mystery Mary alone is chosen to co-operate by her free assent.

There is some reason to think that of all tl:e great mysteries of our Lady's life the Annunciation may have been the first to be honoured liturgically, and that the date of that event having once been identified, however this came about, with March 25, it became the starting-point for the whole of what may be called the Christmas cycle. If our Lord became incarnate on March 25, it ,vould he natural to suppose Him born on December 25. His circumcision would then follow on January I, and IIis presentation in the Temple and the purification of His mother on February 2, the fortieth day after that on which the shepherds were summoned to the manger at Bethlehem. Moreover as the day of the Annunciation was" the sixth month with her that is called barren", the birth of St John Baptist would follow just a week before the end of June. What \ve know for certain is that already in the very early years of the third century Tertullian (.4dv. Judaeos, ch. viii) states definitely that our Saviour died on the cross upon March 25. Moreover, this tradition, if it can so be called, is confirmed by other early writers-notably by Hippolytus in the first half of the same third century, who not only in his Com足 mentary on Daniel indicates this same day as that of our Lord's passion, but in his Chronicle assigns to March 25 " the begetting of Christ" as well as His crucifixion. With this we find St Augustine in agreement, "" ho in his De Trinitate (iv, 5) declares that Jesus \vas put to death upon March 25, the same day of the year as that on which He was conceived. At the same time it must not be assumed that this recognition of a particular day in the calendar as the actual anniversary of the coming of the angel to Mary necessarily implied that any liturgical celebration had already been instituted to commemorate it. Apart from the birth and resurrection of our Lord and the feast of Pentecost, the primitive calendar of the Church seems only to have paid formal

674


THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

[March 25

honour to the heavenly birthdays ot its martyrs. But by degrees all the greater episodes in the history of man's redemption came to be honoured separately by a special offering of the Holy Sacrifice \\'ith formularies of prayer appropriate to the occasion. Early Christian literature unfortunately abounds in apocryphal docu足 ments, often fathered without warrant upon writers whose names are famous in church history. Also there are genuine discourses and treatises which have been interpolated with foreign matter, or which, in the process of translation iato other tongues, have taken on a colouring \\' hich belongs, not to the original, but to the country or period at which the translation was made. All this must of necessity impose very great caution in drawing inferences from literary allusions which cannot be securely dated. Though St Gregory Thaumaturgus, who lived in the third century, is credited with not less than six sermons which have the Annuncia足 tion for their principal subject, there is no solid ground for believing anyone of them to be authentic, much less for supposing that any such festival was kept at that date. But before the year 400 a church in commemoration of the Annuncia足 tion was built at Nazareth, and the building of a church may be taken as good evidence ot some liturgical celebration of the occasion it expressly commemorates. Such a solemnity would be likely to be adopted in course of time in other localities, and may gradually have diffused itself throughout the Christian world. There seems to be some indication of this in a sermon of St Proclus of Constantinople, before 446, but a more satisfactory example is provided by a discourse of 8t Abramius, Bishop of Ephesus, about a century later. As the oriental tradition was always opposed to the celebration of the eucharistic liturgy during Lent on aliY day except Sunday (or, in some countries, Saturday also), it was the practice to keep no feasts during the great fast. This must have stood in the way ot any general recognition of the Annunciation, and in fact we find the Council in Trullo in 69 2 making a definite rule that the liturgy was not to be celebrated on week-days during Lent with the single exception of the feast of the Annunciation on l\1arch 25. From the discourse of St Abramius just referred to we learn that there had previously been a commemoration of this mystery (which of course may be regarded as a feast of our Lord as well as of His mother) on the Sunday before Christmas. The observance of the festival in Mar~h among the Greeks is clearly attested about the year 641 by the Chronicon Paschale. In the \Vest the history seems to have been very similar. The liability of the commonly accepted date to coincide with the solemn observances of Holy \Veek, or in any case with the" scrutinies" and fasts of Lent, was always an obstacle to the celebration of a feast in March. We learn from 8t Gregory of Tours that in the sixth century some festival of our Lady-its special purpose is not mentioned足 was kept in Gaul" in the middle of January". The Auxerre Hieronymianum (c. 595) apparently indicates more precisely January 18, but refers expressly to her passing away (depositio). The choice of this date seems to have been determined by the wish to avoid the possibility of concurrence with the earliest possible day on which Septuagesima could fall, and it therefore point.s to a liturgical celebration which was something more than a mere entry in the martyrology. In Milan, at Aquileia, and at Ravenna, as well as among such memorials as remain to us of the early Mozarabic rite in Spain, we find indications of a commemoration during Advent, stress being laid upon our Lady's special relation to the mystery of the Incarnation; while among the decrees of the Council of Toledo in 656 we have a definite pronouncement on the subject. This enactment deplores the then 675


March 25]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

prevalent diversity of usage with regard to the date on which the feast of the Mother of God was kept, it points out the difficulty of observing it on the actual day when the angel came to her to announce the conception of her divine Son, owing to the likelihood that the festival would occur during Passiontide, and it enacts that in future it should be celebrated on December 18, exactly a week before Christmas. The statutes of Sonnatius, Bishop of Rheims (c. 625), let us know that the" Annun­ ciation of Blessed Mary" was kept as a holiday, with abstention from servile work, but there is nothing to tell whether it fell on January 18 or in March. It seems, however, to have been generally recognized that the proper day was March 25, and there can be little doubt that when under Pope St Sergius, at the end of the seventh century, we find that the Annunciation, together with three other feasts of our Lady, was celebrated liturgically at Rome, it was kept, Lent notwithstanding, in March as the Greeks kept it. Henceforward the feast, obtaining recognition in the Gelasian and Gregorian sacramentaries, was gradually received throughout the West as part of the Roman tradition. See Abbot Cabrol's article" Annonciation " in DAC., vol. i, cc. 2241-2255; S.Vailhe, Echos d'Orient, vol. ix (1906), pr. 138-145, also the same periodicgl, vol. xxii (1923), pp. 129-152 ; M. Jugie, in Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xiv (1913), pp. 37-59, and in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xliii (1925),.PP. 86-95; and K. A. Kellner, Heortology (1908). On the date of the Crucifixion and its identification with the day of our Lord's conception cf. also the admirable article of C. H. Turner on the" Chronology of the New Testament" in Hastings, Dictionary of the Bible.

THE GOOD THIEF ON the supposition that our Lord was crucified upon March 25 the Roman Mar­ tyrology for this day contains the following entry: "At Jerusalem the commemora­ tion of the holy thief who confessed Christ upon the cross and deserved to hear from Him the words: 'This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.'" We know no more of his history than is contained in the few sentences devoted to him by the evangelist St Luke, but, as in the case of most of the other personalities men­ tioned in the gospels, such as Pilate, Joseph of Arimathea, Laz~rus, Martha, a story was soon fabricated which gave him a notable place in the apocryphal literature of the early centuries. In the Arabic " Gospel of the Infancy" we are told how, in the course of the flight into Egypt, the Holy Family was waylaid by robbers. Of the two leaders, named Titus and Dumachus, the former, stirred by compassion, besought his companion to let them pass unmolested, and when Dumachus refused, Titus bribed him with forty drachmas, so that they were left in peace. Thereupon the Blessed Virgin said to her benefactor, " The Lord God shall sustain thee with His right hand and give thee remission of sins". And the Infant Jesus, inter­ vening, spoke, " After thirty years, mother, the Jews win crucify me in Jerusalem, and these two robbers will be lifted on the cross with me, Titus on my right hand Dumachus on my left, and after that day 'fitus shall go before me into paradise". This story, with others, subsequently found popular acceptance in western Christen­ dom, though the names there most commonly given to the thieves were Disrnas and Gestas. But we also find Zoathan and Chammatha, and yet other variants. That genuine devotional feeling was sometimes evoked by the incident of the pardon of the good thief upon the cross seems to be shown by the vision of St Porphyrius (c. 400), to which passing reference was made herein on his day (February 26). We find the two thieves represented in pictures of the crucifixion at a quite early date,

67 6


ST H'ERMENLAND

[March 25

as, for example, in the Syriac manuscript illuminated by Rabulas in 586, which is preserved in the Laurentian Library at Florence. The words of the good thief, "Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom", are adapted to very solemn usage in the Byzantine Mass, at the "great entrance" and again at the communion of the ministers and people. See the Evangiles apocryphes, edited by P. Peeters, vol. ii; the article" Larrons " in the Dictionnaire de la Bible,. Bauer, Leben Jesu im Zeitalter der N.T. Apokryphen, pp. 221-222 ; Rendel Harris in The Expositor, 1900, vol. :, pp. 304-308 ; and Notes and Queries, loth series, vol. xi, pp. 321 and 394; vol. xii, p. 133. Echoes of the legend of the Good Thief are met with both in the medieval Cursor Mundi, 11. 16739 seq., in Longfellow's Golden Legend, and elsewhere.

ST BARONTIUS

(c. A.D. 695 ?)

AFTER a career " in the world " Barontius about the year 675 withdrew with his young son to the abbey of Lonray in Berry; but though he professed first to distribute all his property he secretly retained some of it for his own use. One day after Matins he was suddenly attacked with violent pains, accompanied by difficulty of breathing, and he fell into a state of coma which lasted many hours. Upon coming to himself he described a series of extraordinary visions vvhich he had experienced. He thought that two demons had seized him by the throat and had tortured him till the hour of Terce, but that St Raphael had come to his assistance and had delivered him from their hands. He had then been brought before St Peter, and the devils had accused him of the sins of his past life, but Peter (who was also the patron of the monastery) had defended him and had declared that he had expiated his lapses, but imposed a penance for his deceit about the property. After having sent him to witness the torments of Hell (where Barontius recognized certain bishops suffering for their avarice) and a wait in Purgatory, St Peter had bidden him return to his monastery, give his remaining possessions to the poor, and be careful not to relapse into sin. Deeply impressed by this experience, Barontius went on a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle in Rome, and then retired to a hermitage near Pistoia, together \vith another monk, named Desiderius. In 1018 a monastery was built on the site where the two hermits had lived and died. It was dedicated under the name of St Barontius, but it is possible that this recluse Barontius and he of the vision were not the same person. We have two documents which supply infonnation concerning St Barontius-the Vision and the Life. The former, as W. Levison has shown in MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v, pp. 368-394, is of early date, possibly the close of the eighth century, and is an interesting specimen of the same type of experience as those of Fursey and Drithelm recorded in the pages of Bede. The life can hardly be older than the year 1000, and little reliance can be placed upon the incidents it professes to record. Both these texts had previously been edited by the Bo11andists and Mabi11on.

ST HERMENLAND,

(c. A.D. 720)

ABBOT

ST HERMENLAND was born in the diocese of Noyon, and from his earliest youth aspired to the religious life. His parents, however, had worldly ambitions for him and sent him to the court of King Clotaire III, where he was appointed cup-bearer. A marriage was arranged for him and preparations for the wedding were already in train when, convinced that he was opposing the will of God, Hermenland opened 677


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 25]

his heart to the king, who, though grieved at the prospect of losing him, consented to allow him to follow his true vocation. He went to the abbey of Fontenelle in Normandy and received the habit from St Larnbert; and when St Pascharius, Bishop of Nantes, appealed to the monastery for monks to take part in the evangel足 ization of his diocese, Lambert chose Hermenland to be the superior of the t\velve brethren \vhom he sent. Pascharius established them in a monastery which he had built in the estuary of the Loire, on the island called Aindre, and there they kept the Rule of St Columban as they had observed it at Fontenelle. In this solitude St Hermenland and his brethren lived a life of great austerity, and in spite of their isolation their fame spread rapidly amongst the inhabitants of the mainland. Parents brought their children to be educated by the monks, who taught them to be good Christians as well as to love learning. The abbot sought to escape at times from the many visitors who frequented the monastery, and at certain seasons, notably in Lent, he would retire with several other monks to Aindrette, a neighbouring islet, for a period of retreat and special austerity. St Hermenland had the gift of prophecy and could read men's thoughts, besides being famous as a wonder-worker. It was said that once, when one of the monks was speaking with great relish about a lamprey which he had tasted at the table of the bishop of Nantes, Hermenland asked, " Don't you think that God is able to send us one here?" As he spoke a wave washed up a lamprey at his feet, and that one small fish, distributed by the abbot, fed the whole community of monks. Another legend relates that when the saint had occasion to visit Coutances, he was offered hospitality by a citizen who had only a little wine left to set before his guests. Although a large number of people partook of the wine, the barrel, instead of being emptied, was found to have been miraculously filled. When the saint gre\v old, he resigned office and retired to Aindrette, where he spent his last years in solitude. The Life of St Hermenland, attributed to the monk Donatus, which had previously been printed by the Bollandists and by Mabillon, has been critically edited in modern times by W. Levison. He pronounces that it is not the work of a contemporary, but was written at least fifty years after the saint's death, and that it is of little val ue as a historical document: see MGH., Scriptores Merov., vol. v, pp. 674-710, and cf. the Ana/ecta Bollandiana, vol. xxix (19 10), p. 451.

ST ALFWOLD, BISHOP OF SHERBORNE

(c.

A.D.

1058)

ST ALFWOLD became bishop of Sherborne during the reign of St Edward the Confessor in succession to his brother Bertwin. He had been a monk at Winchester, and he brought with him a picture of St Swithun, the patron of that city, and spread devotion to him in Dorsetshire. He was an extremely abstemious man, and in a country where self-indulgence in food was generai and where even bishops were expected to keep a rich table, he drank water from a rough bowl and ate off a common platter. St Alfwold had a great veneration and love for St Cuthbert, and loved to repeat an antiphon from his office in memory of him. Quite late in life he visited Durham to honour Cuthbert's relics, and when the shrine was opened he talked familiarly ,vith the great saint-as a man talks to his friend. It is said that when a sharp dispute arose between him and Earl Godwin, that noble ,vas seized with a sudden illness which only left him when he had begged Alfwold's forgiveness . .A.s the saint was dying, he tried to repeat once more his favourite antiphon from St Cuthbert's office, but he lost the power of speech when he was half-way through and made a gesture to those round his bed to complete the sentence for him. After

67 8


[March 25

BD MARGARET CLITHEROW

his death the see of Sherborne was united to that of Ramsbury to form the diocese of Salisbury. ()ur principal authority is William of Malmesbury's Gesta Pontificum (Rolls Series, pp. 179- I 8 I). 1'here seems to be little evidence of cultus.

BD THOMASIUS

(A.D. 1337)

BD THOMASIUS, or Thomas, was a native of the village of Colle-Stracciario­ popularly called Costacciaro-about seven miles from Gubbio in Umbria. Even as a child his heart \vas set on practices of piety, and his father would take him about the country to visit shrines and places of pilgrimage. It was in this way that he made the acquaintance of the Camaldolese hermits of St Romuald in their settlement at Sitria, and he was so greatly attracted by their way of life that he obtained his father's consent to enteripg their order. He spent several years among them, but he longed for a yet more penitential and solitary life. With the abbot's consent, he took possession of an old cave on l\10nte Cupo or Cucco, which was supposed to have been occu pied at one time by St Jerome. For years he lived in this solitude, and his manner of life, as his biographer says, \vas only known to God. That he must have lived on roots and \vild fruit is certain, because the faithful, not kno\ving of his existence, could not provide hiln with food as they did other hermits. At last, by accident, he \vas discov~red by some travellers who had lost their \vay. His mortifications and fasts had reduced him to skin and bone, and pitiful people brought food and drink, but he would not alter his mode of life, and gave away everything to the poor who also began to gather round hirn. Several young men vvished to join him and to sublnit to his discipline, but he would not bind therrl to any promises and left them free to come or to go. They treasured up his sayings and his miracles, and one of them afterwards wrote his life. Thomasius is said to have died in 1337, worn out hy austerities and privations. See the £4.cfa Sancforum, lVlarch, vol. iii, and Mittarelli, ,Annales Camaldulensium, v, pp. 160 seq.

BD

M~>\RGARET

CLITHEROW,

MARTYR

(A.D. 1586)

\\~E are fortuna[e in possessing ample information about Margaret Clitherow, thanks to the biography \vritten by her confessor, Father John Mush, supplemented by details fron1 other conterrlporary documents. In York \ve can still see the guildhall in which she was tried, the castle in \vhich she was imprisoned, the house in the Little Shambles \vhich is the reputed home of her married life, and the room \vith the dormer windo\v at the Black Svvan inn, which tradition points out as the place which she hired as a lVlass-house, when her o\vn private chapel was considered unsafe. lVlargaret \vas the daughter of a \vealthy \\ ax-chandler, called Thorrlas Middle­ ton, who \\;'as a freeman of the city of York and had held the office of sheriff for the year 1564,-65. He died shortly after\vards, and his wife \vithin five months married a man of inferior condition of the l1arrle of May, who took up his residence with the family at the Middleton house in Davygate. It was from there that Margaret was married in 1571 to John Clithero\v, a grazier and butcher, who like her own father \vas \yell-to-do and had held civic appointments. He had been bridgemaster and then chamberlain --becoming thus entitled to the address of Mr before his name.

679


THE LIVES OF

March 25]

l~IIE SAIN1~S

Margaret was bred a Protestant, but two or three years after her marriage she embraced the Catholic faith, which she had been led to study, as her biographer tells us, " finding no substance, truth nor Christian comfort in the ministers of the new gospel, nor in their doctrine itself, and hearing also many priests and lay people to suffer for the defence of the ancient Catholic faith". I-Ier kindly, easy-going husband seems to have made no opposition then or at any time to what she chose to do. He was not of the stuff of ,vhich heroes arc made, and continued to conform to the state religion, but he had one brother a priest, and a certain Thomas Clitherow who was imprisoned in York Castle for his religion in 1600 was probably another brother. l\1r Clitherow was wont to say that he found but two faults in his wife: she fasted too much, and she would not accompany him to church. Quite at first it seems that Margaret was able to practise her faith without much difficulty and could seek out backsliders and win converts, but the laws became harsher or were more strictly enforced. She was warned by cautious friends to be more circumspect: fines were imposed upon Mr Clitherow for his wife's continued absence from church and she herself was imprisoned in the castle--once for two whole years. The conditions there, as we know from conternporary records, were very bad, the cells were dark, damp and verminous, and many of the captives died during their confinement; yet Margaret treated these periods as times of spiritual retreat, praying and fasting four days a week-a practice she continued after her liberation. It is not clear at what date she began to open her house to fugitive priests, but she continued to do so to the end, in spite of the enactment of the law \vhich made the harbouring of priests an offence punishable by death. Father rrhompson, Father Hart, Father Thirkill, Father Ingleby and many others had been hidden in the secret priest's chamber, the entrance to which" was painful to him that ",ras not acquainted with the door, by reason of the straitness thereof, and yet large enough for a boy". Moreover, in order that none should be deprived of Mass when it could be had, Father l\1ush tells us: "She had prepared t\VO cham足 bers, the one adjoining to her own house, whereunto she might have resort at any time, \vithout sight and kno~rledge of any neighbours. . . . The other \vas a little distant from her o\vn house, secret and unknown to any but to such as she knew to be both faithful and discreet. . . . 'fhis place she prepared for more troublesome storms, that God might yet be served there when her own house was not thought so safe, though she could not have access to it every day as she desired." She also supplied and tended all that was required for the service of the altar, both vestments and vessels. Possessed of good looks, full of wit and very merry, Margaret's was a charming personality. ":Everyone loved her ", we read, "and would run to her for help, comfort and counsel in their distresses. . . . I-Ier servants also carried that reverent love to her that notwithstanding they kne~' \vhen priests frequented her house, and she would reasonably sharply correct them for their faults and ncgligences, yet they had as great a care to conceal her secrets as if they had been her natural children." In many cases people of a different faith from hers ~'ere the first to try to shield her and to warn her of impending danger. Moreover, fike a true Yorkshire woman, she was a good housewife and capable in business. 1ft" buying and selling her wares", \ve learn, " she ~'as very wary to have the \vorth of them, as her neighbours sold the like, as also to satisfy her husband who committed all to her trust and discretion ", but ~re are not surprised to find that she often urged

680


BD MARGARET CLITHEROW

[March 25

her husband to give up the shop with all its worries and to confine his energies to the wholesale business. Every day was begun with an hour and a half devoted to private prayer and meditation. It there was a priest available, Mass followed, and during it she would kneel behind her children and servants in the lowliest place beside the door­ perhaps to be able to give the alarm in case of surprise. Twice a week, on Wednes­ day and Sunday, she tried to make her confession. Although not an educated woman she had learnt much from the priests who frequented the house, and three books she knew thoroughly, the Bible, Thomas a Kempis and Perrin's Exercise. At some time-perhaps in prison-she had committed to memory the whole of the Little Office of our Lady in I.Jatin, " not knowing what God might do \vith her". The thought of the martyred priests whom she had known and who had suffered at Knavesmire was constantly in Mrs Clithero\v's mind, and \vhen her husband was away she would sometimes go on pilgrimage barefoot with other women to the place of execution outside the city walls. At all hours a dangerous pro­ ceeding o\ving to spies, it was particularly perilous during the day, and therefore they generally went by night, and Margaret would remain meditating and praying under the gallows "as long as her company would suffer her" These expeditions were cut short, for Margaret, during the last year and a half before her final arrest, was compelled to remain confined in her own house, " at liberty under bonds"-­ apparently because she had sent her eldest son to school beyond the seas. On March la, 1586 Mr Clitherow was summoned to appear before the York tribunal set up by the Great Council of the North, and in the absence of the master his house was searched. Nothing suspicious was found until the officials reached a remote room where the children and a few others were being taught by a school­ nlaster named Stapleton, whom they took for a priest. In the confusion that ensued he eluded them and escaped through the secret room, but the children were questioned and threatened. An eleven-year-old boy from abroad, who was living with the family, was terrorized into disclosing the entrance to the priest's chamher. No one was in occupation, but in a cupboard were found vessels and books ""hich were obviously used for Mass. These were seized and Margaret herself was apprehended and led first before the council and then to prison in the castle. Once reassured as to the safety of her family, her high spirits never forsook her, and when two days later she was joined by Mrs Ann Tesh, whom the same boy had betrayed as frequenting the sacraments, the two friends joked and laughed together until Margaret exclaimed, " Sister, we are so merry together that I fear, unless we be parted, to lose the merit of our imprisonment". Just before the summons to appear before the judge she said, " Yet before I go, I will make all my brethren and sisters on the Qther side of the hall merry; " and, "looking forth of a window toward them-they were five and thirty and might easily behold her from thence­ she made a pair of gallo\\rs with her fingers and pleasantly laughed at them". After the charge had been read, accusing her of harbouring and maintaining priests and of attending Mass, the judge asked her whether she \vas guilty or not guilty. She replied, " I know no offence whereof I should confess myself guilty", and \vhen questioned as to how she would be tried she would only say, " Having made no offence, I need no trial". From this position she never s\\Jerved, although she was brought up several times and urged to plead and to choose trial by jury. It would be death in any case, as she well knew, but if she accepted trial her children, servants and friends would

681


TI-IE LIVES OF THE

March 25]

SAI~TS

be called up as witnesses, and either they would lie to save her, and thus cornmit perjury, or they would have to give evidence and so suffer the scandal and sorro\\" of having caused her death. Many attempts were made to persuade her to aposta足 tize or at least submit to trial, and one Puritan divine who had argued \vith her in prison had the courage to stand up in court and declare that condemnation on the charge of a child was contrary to the law of God and of man. Judge Clinch, \vho \vould have \vished to save her, was overruled oy others of the council, and he finally pronounced the terrible sentence which the English law decreed for anyone \\7ho \vould not plead, viz. that she should be pressed to death. She heard the sentence \vith the utmost serenity and said, " God be thanked; all that He shall send me is welcome. I am not worthy so good a death as this." After this she was imprisoned in John Trew's house on the Ousebridge where even then she' was not left in peace, but was visited by various people who tried in vain to shake her constancy, including her stepfather Henry May, who had been elected mayor of York. She was never allowed to see her children, and only once did ~he see her husband and then only in the presence of the gaoler. She was to suffer on March 25, which was the Friday in Passion week, and the evening before she sewed her shroud and then spent the greater part of the night on her knees. At eight in the morning the sheriff came to conduct her to the toll-booth a few yards from the prison, and " all marvelled to see her joyful, smiling countenance". Arrived at the place of execution, she knelt down to pray and some of those present desired her to join them in prayer. She refused, as Bd William Hart had done almost exactly three years before. "I '" ill not pray with you, nor shall you pray with me ", she said. "Neither will I say Amen to your prayer, nor shall you to mine." But she prayed aloud for the pope, cardinals, clergy, Christian princes and especially for Queen Elizabeth, that God would turn her to the faith and save her soul. She was then ohliged to strip and to lie flat on the ground, with a sharp stone under her back and her hands were bound to posts at the side. A door was laid over her and weights placed upon it to the quantity of seven or eight hundred足 weights. Her last words, as they descended upon her were, " Jesu, Jesu, Jesu, have mercy upon me !" She was about a quarter of a hour in dying, but her body \vas left for six hours in the press. At the time of her death she was some足 thing over thirty years old. To her husband she had sent her hat" in sign of her loving duty to him as to her head", and to her twelve-year-old daughter Agnes her shoes and stockings to sigflify that she should follow in her steps. The little girl became a nun at Louvain, whilst two of the martyr's sons were afterwards priests. One of lVlargaret Clithero\v's hands is preserved in a reliquary at the Bar Convent, York. Fr John Morris, in his Troubles of our Catholic Forefathers, yol. iii (1876), very fully investigated the materials available for the life of Margaret Clithero\v and printed an accurate text of the contemporary memoir by John Mush, the martyr's confessor. 1\0thing sub足 stantial has since been added; but see Burton and Pollen, LEM., vol. i, pp. 188-199 ; J, B. 1\lilburn, A .lliart)'r of Old York (1900); and Margaret 1"'. Monro, Bd Margaret Clithero'lV (194 8 ).

BD JAMES BIRD, MARTYR

(A.D. 1593)

J AMES BIRD was a layman and only nineteen years old when he suffered martyrdom. His father was a Protestant gentleman of Winchester, and James had been brought up by him in that religion. Becoming convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith

682


ST LUCY FILIPPINI

[March 25

he ",as received into the Church and went abroad, spending sonle time at the Douay College at Rheims. Upon his return to England, his zeal for religion led to his being apprehended and imprisoned. He was accused of high treason, in that he haa become rec0nciled with the Church of Rome and had asserted that the pope was the head of the Church on earth. Bird pleaded guilty to both charges, and was sentenced to death, but he was offered life and liberty if he \Vould once attend a Protestant service. He refused thus to compromise his conscience, and when his father entreated him to make this one concession, he replied that, as he had ahvays obeyed him in the past so would he willingly have obeyed him now, if he could have done so without offepding God. After enduring a long imprisonment he ,vas brought to the scaffold, and endured the extreme penalty with perfect serenity. He ,vas hanged, drawn and quartered at Wi;1chester, and his head \vas set up on a pole upon one of the city gates. See Ml\1P., pp. 188-189; and

J. 11.

ST LUCY FILIPPINI,

Pollen, Acts of English Martyrs, p. 231.

VIRGIN

THE institute of the " Maestre Pie" is not as well-known outside of Italy as it deserves to be, but at a period \vhen compulsory education ,vas still undreamed of it worked wonders both for the religious and the social improvement of the women of that country. Atlhough 8t Lucy \vas not the actual foundress of this remarkable organization, she was perhaps the most zealous, the most influential and the most holy of all its early promoters. Born in 1672 at Tarquinia in Tuscany, about sixty miles from Rome, she was left an orphan at an early age, and when still quite young her seriousness of purpose, her great piety and remarkable gifts brought her to the notice of the bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Marcantonio Barbarigo, who persuaded her to come to Montefiascone to take part in an educational institute for training teachers which he had established in that city under the direction of religious. Lucy threw herself heart and soul into the work and was there brought into contact with Bd Rose Venerini, whom as the successful and most devoted organizer of a similar work in Viterbo, the cardinal had summoned to Montefiascone, that she might give his own foundation the benefit of her experience. No pupil could have shown more aptitude than 8t Lucy. Her modesty, her charity, her intense conviction of the value of the things of the spirit, together with her courage and her practical common sense, won all hearts. The work prospered amazingly. New schools for girls and educational centres multiplied in all direc­ tions, and in 1707, at the express desire of Pope Clement XI, she came to Rome and there founded the first school of the Maestre Pie in the Via delle Chiavi d'Oro. She ",as only able to remain in the city a little more than six months, her duties calling her elsewhere, but the children came in crowds which far exceeded the £Jccommo­ dation which could be provided for them, and Lucy before she left was known to half the district as the Maestra santa (the holy schoolmistress). Like Rose Venerini, she had a great gift of easy and convincing speech. Unfortunately her strength was not equal to the strain that \vas put on it. She became seriously ill in 1726, and in spite of medical care in Rome itself was never able to regain her normal health, dying a most holy death on March 25, 1732, the day she had herself predicted. St Lucy Filippini \\-as canonized in 1930. See the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. xxii (1930), pp. 433-443 (the canonization); F. de Simone, Vita della serva . . . Lucia Filippini (1732) ; and La B. Lucia Filippini . .. (1926).

68 3


March 26]

26: ST

TI-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

CASTULUS, MARTYR

(A.D.

286)

DRING the reign of Diocletian, Pope St Caius was greatly concerned for the safety of the Christians in Rome. Certain legen dary acts tell us that Castulus, a zealous Christian, who was the emperor's chamberlain, offered to arrange for religious services to be held actually in the palace itself, because no search ,,,as likely to be made there; and moreover, that he sheltered Christians in his own house, which adjoined the palace, and showed them the place of rendezvous. Not satisfied with thus serving the Church, he and his friend Tiburtius went about Rome converting men and women to Christianity and bringing them to the pope to be baptized. Ever.. tually he was betrayed by an apostate Christian called Torquatus, and brought before Fabian, prefect of the city. I-Ie was cruelly tortured and then cast into a pit and smothered with sand. A cemetery and a cht.:rch on the Via Labicana were named after St Castulus.

D

While the Acts of St Castulus, printed in the Acta Sanctorum (March, vol. iii), are his... torically valueless and are partly plagiarized from those of 8t Sebastian, there is no reason to doubt the historical existence of the martyr or that his ren1ains were interred in the catacomb 'which bears his rame. The friable nature of the sandsJone in this cemetery, 'which easily crumbles, may have some relation to what is said of the manner of the martyr's death. See Leclercq in DAC., vol. ii, cc. 2372-2375.

ST FELIX, BISHOP OF TRIER

(c.

A.D.

400)

ST FELIX was consecrated bishop of Trier in 386 and took part in a synod held in his episcopal city at which St l\lartin was also present. He \vas a most holy man and extremely liberal to the poor. He built a monastery and a church which he dedicated to our Lady and the Theban Martyrs and in \vhich he placed the alleged relics of the advance-guard of the Theban Legion--Thyrses the General and nine others. Because he had been elected by those who were said to have compassed the death of Priscillian, St Ambrose and Pope St Siricius refused to hold ecclesias足 tical communion with St Felix, and it ,",as probably for this reason that he resig',led his see in 398 and retired to the monastery he had built, which was subsequently called after St Paulinus. He died an edifying death and many miracles were reported as having taken place at his tomb. Sulpicius Severus speaks of him with much respect. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, p. 36.

ST MACARTAN, BISHOP

(c.

A.D.

505)

VERY little is known of St Aedh Mac Cairthinn, although his feast is kept throughout Ireland, in the diocese of Clogher, of which see he is said to have been the first bishop, as a double of the first class. On August IS, which was at one time reckoned as his special day, we find this cryptic utterance in the Fe/ire of Oengus : " Fer da chrich, a fair champion." "Fer da chrich ", used here as a name, means " man of two districts", and the gloss goes on to explain that this " man of two districts" was the abbot of Dairinis, or Bishop Mac Cairthinn, adding: "Aedh is truly the man's name, grandson of Aithmet, with many deeds, his name at Clochar of the churches was afterwards Bishop Mac Cairthinn; 'man of two districts' was his name at first; I will tell you his history, a true brother with victory, \vith fame,

68 4


[March 26

ST BRAULIO

to Mael-ruain, to his teacher. He was the maternal uncle of Mael-ruain, Oengus's tutor, and from him Mael-ruain brought 'Fer da chrich's' bell, \vhich is in Tallaght." Little more is told in the fragmentary Latin life still preserved, except the extravagant miracles with which the saint defeated the attempts of the local chieftain to drive him from Clogher. St Macartan is believed to have been con足 secrated bishop by St Patrick himself. A mutilated Latin life is printed by Colgan, and in the Acta Sanctorum (under August IS), from the Codex Salmanticensis. See also LIS., vol. viii, pp. 208 seq.

ST BRAULIO,

BISHOP OF SARAGOSSA

(A.D. 651)

AT the college founded in Seville by St Isidore, one of the more promising of the alumni was a boy of noble birth cCJlled Braulio, who grew up to be so eminent a scholar that Isidore regarded him as a friend and disciple rather than a pupil, and used to send him his own writings to correct and revise. Braulio prepared for the priesthood and was ordained, and when in 63 I the see of Saragossa beca!lle vacant at the death of his brother Bishop John, the neighbouring prelates assembled to elect a successor and their choice fell upon Braulio. They are said to have been assisted in their selection by the appearance of a globe of fire which rested above Braulio's head, whilst a voice pronounced the words, " Behold my servant whom I have chosen and upon whom my spirit rests". As a pastor, St Braulio laboured zealously to teach and encourage his people, and at the same time to extirpate the Arian heresy which continued to flourish even after the conversion of King Rec足 cared. He kept in close touch with St Isidore, whom he assisted in his task of restoring church order and regularizing ecclesiastical discipline. A small portion of the correspondence between the two saints has survived to this day. So great was St Braulio's eloquence and his power of persuasion, that some of his hearers asserted that they had seen the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, resting on his shoulder and imparting in his ear the doctrine he preached to the people. He took part in the fourth Council of Toledo, which was presided over by his friend and master St Isidore, and also in the fifth and sixth. The last-named assembly charged him to write an answer to Pope Honorius I, who had accused the Spanish bishops of negligence in the fulfilment of their duties. His defence was dignified and convincing. The good bishop's duties did not prevent his constant ministrations in his cathedral church and in that of our Lady" del Pilar", where he spent many hours of the day and night in prayer. Luxury of all kinds he abhorred: his garments were rough and plain, his food simple and his life austere. An eloquent preacher and a keen controversialist, he could carry conviction by his telling arguments and absolute sincerity. His liberality to the poor was only matched by his tender care of all his flock. The close of his life was saddened by failing eyesight-a heavy trial to anyone, but especially to a scholar. As his end dre\\' hear, he realized that he was dying, and the last day of his life was spent in the recitation of psalms. According to a legend, which, however, appears to be comparatively modem, heavenly music resounded in the chamber of death, and a voice was heard to say, " Rise, my friend, and come away !" The saint, as though \vaking from sleep, replied with his last breath, " I come, Lord: I am ready! " Of St Braulio's writings, we have a Life of St Emilian \vith a poem in his honour, forty-four letters, which were discovered at Leon in the eighteenth century 68 5


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

lvlarch 26]

and shed great light on Visigothic Spain, and an eulogy of St Isidore, as well as a catalogue of his works. He is said to have completed some writings which St Isidore Ie: t unfinished, and he is almost certainly the author of the Acts of the Martyrs of Saragossa. St Braulio is the patron of Aragon and one of the most famous of the Spanish saints. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, yol. ii; Florez, Espana Sagrada, vol. xxx, pp. 305 seq. ,. Gams, Kirchengeschichte Spaniens, vol. ii, pt 2, pp. 145-149; DTC., vol. ii, cc. 1123 seq. ; DHG., vol. x, cc. 441 seq.,. and C. H. Lynch, St Braulio (1938). But the indispensable work is now the critical edition of the saint's letters by]. Madoz, published in Madrid in 1941.

ST LUDGER,

BISHOP OF MUNSTER

IT was in the abbey school of Utrecht, presided over by St Boniface's friend Gregory, that 8t Ludger (Liudger), a Frisian, received his earlier education. In the life which the pupil afterwards wrote of his master he tells us that in that school " some were of noble Frankish families; some were English; some of the new seed of God planted among the Frisians and Saxons; others of the Bructeri and the Suevi; others of sundry nations whom God had sent thither. Of all these, I, Ludger, am the least-yea, the weakest and most insignificant." At his own request the boy had been sent to Utrecht at an unusually early age by his parents; amongst the memories of his childhood, he cherished the recollection of having once seen the great 5t Boniface, " when the hair of his head was white and his body decrepit with age". Ludger was preparing for the diaconate when there arrived in Utrecht a priest from York, Alubert, who had been moved to preach the gospel in Friesland. St Gregory welcomed him eagerly, and urged him to have himself consecrated regionary bishop. Alubert rather unwillingly consented, but only on condition that he should be given one or two native clergy. 5igbold and Ludger were appointed to him, and the three returned to York, where Alubert was con­ secrated bishop, Sigbolrl ordained priest and Ludger deacon. There they met the famous Alcuin, whom the archbishop of ¥ork had set ov~r the cathedral school. I . . udger \vas attracted to him as steel to a magnet, and when he had to accompany his friends back to Utrecht he earnestly entreated permission to return to England to continue his studies under the most learned man and the greatest teacher of the age. St Gregory wished to retain him, but he was allowed to go back to England. He sat at Alcuin's feet for three and a half more years, and would, no doubt, have stayed longer, but for an untoward incident. In a quarrel, the son of an English earl had been killed by a Frisian merchant, and to avert the vengeance of the English it was thought expedient that all Frisians in England should return to their own land. I~udger accordingly returned to Utrecht, where he received a warm greeting from Gregory, who died not long afterwards, entrusting his monastery to his nephew Alberic. Abbot Alberic sent Ludger to rebuild the wrecked church over the reputed grave of 5t Lebuin at Deventer. While he was occupied with this work, the true place of burial was revealed to him in a dream, and he was able to include the tomb in the new building. As soon as the church had been consecrated, Ludger was sent with several companions to preach on the frontiers of Friesland, where he made a number of converts and destroyed several pagan shrines. In these much treasure was found-the greater part of which was appropriated by Charlemagne, but one­ third was returned for ecclesiastital use. Ludger was still only a deacon, and it

686


ST LUDGER

[l\larch 26

was felt that he ought to be raised to the priesthood. Accordingly, when Alberic went to Cologne to be consecrated bishop, he took with him IJudger, and there ordained him priest and gave him spiritual charge of the Ostergau. At Dokkum, the place of St Boniface's martyrdom, he seems to have built a church, for the porch of which Alcuin sent hifD. from England some lines of his own composition. For seven years 8t Ludger worked with great success, founding churches, con verting pagans and bad Christians and in general laying the foundations of a flourishing Christian community. Suddenly all his efforts were brought to a standstill, and his work to outward appearance ruined, through an invasion of Friesland by the Saxons, under Widukind; they overran the country, destroyed the churches, drove out the priests and compelled the people to return to heathen rites. Ludger conducted his disciples to a place of safety and then started on a pilgrimage to Rome, accompanied by his brother Hildegrim and his nephew Gerfrid. They went on to Monte Cassino, and here Ludger spent three years, not taking the Benedictine vows, but studying and observing the Rule, fOf, as we read, " he was anxious to build a monastery on his own estate, and this was afterwards done at Werden ". Meanwhile Alcuin, whom Charlemagne had attached to his court, brought his friend Ludger to the monarch's notice, and it seems not improbable that the emperor had met the saint on the occasion of his visit to Monte Cassino. In any case St Ludger returned to his country in 785, prepared to resume his missionary labours now that the field was again open to him. Charlemagne formed such a high opinion of him that he gave him spiritual charge over five provinces of Fries足 land. Aided by his knowledge of the people and of their speech, the holy man's labours \vere abundantly blessed, although he had but few helpers. He crossed the water to Heligolanct, where he preached to the inhabitants and converted many, baptizing them in th{, fountain in which St Willibrord had once baptized three converts. On the return journey, he cured a blind minstrel named Bernlef, who embraced Christianity and afterwards accompanied the saint on his missionary journeys. These successes induced Charlemagne to offer Ludger the recently subjugated province of north-west Saxony or Westphalia, and the ardent missionary willingly accepted the additional charge. Although by no means a strong man, he laboured untiringly in this fresh field, travelling over the country, teaching and preaching indoors and in the open air, and baptizing his converts himself. Lud足 ger's gentleness, persuasiveness and attractive personality did more to reconcile and settle the Saxons than all the emperor's repressive measures. His headquarters he made at Mimigerneford, where he built a monastery, from which the town derived its later name of M ilnster, and in it he instituted the rule of St Chrodegang of Metz for clergy living in community. As the number of the faithful increased it became necessary to have a bishop, and Ludger was accordingly consecrated at Cologne about 804 by Archbishop Hildebald. With the help of his brother Hildegrim, the saint not only succeeded in evangelizing Westphalia, but crossed the Weser into what was formerly known as Eastphalia. His unquench足 able zeal prompted him to go still further north, to preach to the N orthmen of Denmark and Scandinavia, but Charlemagne refused his consent, realizing no doubt that the saint was growing old and that there were limits even to his powers. Years before, at Utrecht, St Ludger had beheld in a vision his lately deceased master Abbot Gregory, who from a height appeared to be dropping scrolls and fragments which he bade him collect. Automatically he obeyed and gathered them

68 7


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 26]

into three piles. The dream had been interpreted by one of the monks to mean that Ludger would become the spiritual guide of three peoples; but the saint had then ruefully exclaimed, " Would that God would rather grant me fruit in the place over which I now have charge!" Legend has attributed to Ludger many monastic foundations, hut with some of these, notably that at Helmstadt, which was after足 wards called by his name, he had certainly nothing to do. Werden, however, undoubtedly o\ved its existence to his exertions. It was ruled by his relations until 877, and became one of the most important abbeys in Germany. In spite of all his external activity, the holy man allowed nothing to interfere with his devotions, public or private. He was so particular about attention at offices, even whilst he was travelling, that when one of his clergy stooped to mend the fire during Matins, to prevent the smoke from blowing into the bishop's face, he was rebuked at the close of the service. 8t Ludger \\"a8 once accused to Charle足 magne of wasting his income in indiscriminate almsgiving and neglecting the embellishment of the churches in his care. The prince, who loved to see churches magnificent, considered this a serious charge, and ordered him to appear before him to reply to it. On the ,morning after his arrival, a chamberlain came to summon him, but found him at prayer. The saint sent back word that he would follow when he had finished his devotions. A second messenger was despatched and yet a third before he was ready, and Charlemagne indignantly asked him why he had not immediately obeyed his summons. "Because I believed that the service of God was to be preferred to yours or to that of any man," replied the accused calmly. "Such indeed was your wiJI when you invested me with the office of a bishop, and therefore I deemed it unseemly to interrupt the service of God, even at the command of your majesty." St Ludger suffered great pain towards the end of his life, but he continued his labours until the last day-which was Passion Sunday, 809. That morning he preached at Coesfeld and then hurried to Biller足 beck, where he preached again and said Mass. In the evening he peacefully died, surrounded by his disciples and in the presence of his sister, the Abbess Gerburgis. Munster and Werden disputed for the possession of his body, but he had expressed a wish to be buried at Werden. The greater part of his relics remain there to this day. Our sources of information regarding the life of St Ludger are abundant and, on the whole, reliable. The biography by his admirer Altfrid, who was bishop of Munster from 839 to 849, was compiled from the statements of those who had lived with the saint. The other lives are not so trustworthy. All these documents will be found critically edited by W. Diekamp in his Geschichtsquellen des Bisthums Munster, vol. iv; most of them had pre足 viously been printed by the Bollandists and MabiIlon. There are modern biographies in German by Hiising, by Pingsmann and by Krimphove. and for English readers there is an excellent account by Stubbs in DeB., vol. iii, pp. 72fT73 I. See also Hauck, Kirchengeschichte Deutschlands, yol. ii, pp. 349, 354 and 4 06.

ST BASIL THE YOUNGER

(A.D. 952)

THE story of the hermit 8t Basil the Younger, originally written by his disciple Gregory, has come down to us through Greek channels in which fable has obviously become intermingled with history. According to this tradition, he had a cell not far from Constantinople, but was arrested on suspicion of being a spy, under the rule of Leo VI and Alexander, and was conducted to Constantinople. Under cross-exan1ination, as he refused to reply to the charges brought against him, he

688


ST JOHN D.A1\JIASCENE

[.l\Jarch 27

was beaten ,vith sticks and suspended by the feet. He was afterwards exposed to the lions, but since they did him no injury, he was then cast into the sea, but was brought safely back to land by dolphins--a very favourite form of rescue in Greek folk-lore, both pagan and Christian. Early the following morning he made his way into the city, where he cured of fever a bedridden man who received him into his house. I-lis miracles and sanctity soon made him famous, but he was several times severely mishandled on account of his stern denunciation of wickedness in high places. When Constantine Porphyrogenitus was attempting to obtain a share in the empire, the holy man foretold his failure and uttered many other remarkable prophecies; and Basil never scrupled to admonish the princesses Anastasia and Irene when he deemed that reproof was necessary. He died at the age of 100, and was buried in the church of a nunnery in Constantinople. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, where the Greek text is printed.

27 : ST

JOHN DAMASCENE,

DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

(c. A.D. 749)

TJOHN OF DAMASCUS, the last of the Greek fathers and the first of the long line of Christian Aristotelians, was also one of the two greatest poets of the Eastern church, the other being St Romanus the Melodist. The whole of the life of St John was spent under the government of a Mohammedan khalif, and it exhibits the strange spectacle of.a Christian father of the Church protected fronl a Christian emperor, whose heresy he was able to attack with impunity because he lived under Moslem rule. He and St Theodore Studites were the principal and the ablest defenders of the cultus of sacred images in the bitterest period of the Iconoclastic controversy. As a theological and philosophical writer he made no attempt at originality, for his work was rather to compile and arrange what his predecessors had written. Still, in theological questions he remains the ultimate court of appeal among the Greeks, and his treatise Of the Orthodox Faith is still to the Eastern schools what the Su"zma of St Thomas Aquinas became to the West. The Moslem rulers of Damascus, where St John was born, were not unjust to their Christian subjects, although they required them to pay a poll tax and to submit to other humiliating conditions. They allowed both Christians and Jews to occupy important posts, and in many cases to acquire great fortunes. The khalif's doctor was nearly ahvays a Jew, whilst Christians were employed as scribes, administrators and architects. Amongst the officials at his court in 675 was a Christian called John, who held the post of chief of the revenue department-an office which seems to have become hereditary in his family. He was the father of our saint, and the surname of aI-Mansur which the Arabs gave him was afterwards transferred to the son. The younger John was born about the year 690 and was baptized in infancy. With regard to his early education, if we may credit his biographer, " His father took care to teach him, not how to ride a horse, not how to wield a spear, not to hunt wild beasts and change his natural kindness into brutal cruelty, as happens to many. John, his father, a second Chiron, did not teach him all this, but he sought a tutor learned in all science, skilful in every form of knowledge, who would produce good words from his heart; and he handed over his son to him to be nourished with this kind of food". Afterwards he was able to provide another teacher, a monk called Cosmas, " beautiful in appearance and still more beautiful in soul" J

S

68 9


THE LI\TES OF THE SAINTS

March 27]

whom the Arabs had brought back from Sicily amongst other captives. John the elder had to pay a great price for him, and well he nlight for, if we are to believe our chronicler, "he kne,v grammar and logic, as much arithmetic as Pythagoras and as much geometry as Euclid". He taught all the sciences, but especially theology, to the younger John and also to a boy whom the elder John seems to have adopted, who also was called Cosmas, and who became a poet and a singer, sub足 sequently accompanying his adopted brother to the monastery in which they both became monks. In spite of his theological training St John does not seem at first to have con足 templated any career except that of his father, to whose office he succeeded. Even at court he was able freely to live a Christian life, and he became remarkable there for his virtues and especially for his humility. Nevertheless, after filling his responsible post for some years, St John resigned office, and went to be a monk in the laura of St Sabas (Mar Saba) near Jerusalem. It is still a moot point whether his earlier works against the iconoclasts were written while he was still at Damascus, but the best authorities since the days of the Dominican Le Quien, who edited his works in 1712, incline to the opiilion that he had become a monk before the outbreak of the persecution, and that all three treatises were composed at St Sabas. In any case John and Cosmas settled down amongst the brethren and occupied their spare time in writing books and composing hymns. It might have been thought that the other monks would appreciate the presence amongst them of so doughty a champion of the faith as John, but this was far from being the case. They said the new-comers were introducing disturbing elements. It was bad enough to write books, but it was even worse to compose and sing hymns, and the brethren were scandalized. The climax came when, at the request of a monk whose brother had died, John wrote a hymn on death and sang it to a sweet tune of his own composition. His master, an old monk whose cell he shared, rounded upon him in fury and ejected him from the cell. "Is this the way you forget your vo\vs ? " he exclaimed. "In足 stead of mourning and weeping, you sit in joy and delight yourself by singing." He would only permit him to return at the end of several days, on condition that he should go round the laura and clear up all the filth with his own hands. St John obeyed unquestioningly, but in the visions of the night our Lady appeared to the old monk and told him to allow his disciple to write as many books and as much poetry as he liked. From that time onwards St John was able to devote his time to study and to his literary work. The legend adds that he was sometimes sent, perhaps for the good of his soul, to sell baskets in the streets of Damascus where he had once occupied so high a post. It must, however, be confessed that these details, written by his biographer more than a century after the saint's death, are of very questionable authority. If the monks at St Sabas did not value the two friends, there were others outside who did. The patriarch of Jerusalem, John V, knew them well by reputation and wished to have them amongst his clergy. First he took Cosmas and made him bishop of lVlajuma, and afterwards he ordained John priest and brought him to Jerusalem. St Cosmas, we are told, ruled his flock admirably until his death, but St John soon returned to his monastery. He revised his writings carefully, " and wherever they flourished with blossoms of rhetoric, or seemed superfluous in style, he prudently reduced them to a sterner gravity, lest they should have any display of levity or want of dignity". His works in defence of eikons had become known and read everywhere, and had earned him the hatred of the persecuting emperors.

690


51' JOlIN OF EGYP1'

[March 27

If his enemies never succeeded in injuring him, it was only because he never crossed the frontier into the Roman empire. The rest of his life was spent in writing theology and poetry at St Sabas, where he died at an advanced age. He was proclaimed doctor of the Church in 1890. The gospel of the man with the withered hand, which is appointed in the Roman l\1issal for the Mass of St John Damascene, refers to a story once \videly credited hut now regarded as apocryphal. When the saint was still revenue officer at I)amascus, the Emperor Leo III, who hated him but could not take him openly, sought to destroy him by guile. He therefore forged a letter purporting to have been written to him by John to inform him that Damascus was poorly defended and to offer his aid in case he should attack it. This forgery Leo sent to the khalif with a note to the effect that he hated treachery and wished his friend to know how his official was behaving. The infuriated khalif had John's right hand cut off, but sent him the severed member at his request. The saint bore it into his private chapel and prayed in hexameter verse before an image of the Mother of God. By our I-Jady's intercession it was joined again to his body and was immediately employed to write a thanksgiving. The formal biography of the saint written in Creek by John of ] erusalem about a century and a half after his death is pretentious in style and untrustworthy in the data it supplies. I t is possibly no nlore than a translation of an Arabic original (see the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxiii, 1914, pp. 78-81). It was edited by Le Quien and is reprinted in IVligne (PC., vol. xciv, cc. 429-490) with Le Quien's valuable comments. The brief notice of John Damascene in the Synax. Constant. (ed. Delehaye, cc. 279-280) is probably more reliable. There is an excellent account of 5t John by J. 1-1. Lupton in DCB., vol. iii, pp. 4째9-423, and by Dr A. Fortescue in his book, The Greek Fathfrs, pp. 202-248. A still fuller and more up-tc-date estimate of the 'work of this great doctor of the Church is that of M. Jugie in DTC., vol. viii, ce. 693-751, where his writings and theological teaching are discussed in detail. See also J. Nasrallah, S. Jean de Damas (1950).

ST JOHN OF EGYPT

(A.D. 394)

EXCEPTING St Antony, no desert hermit acquired such widespread fame as St John of Egypt, who was consulted by emperors and whose praises were sung by St Jerome, Palladius, Cassian, St Augustine and many others. He was born in the Lo\ver Thebaid at Lycopolis, the site of the present city of Asyut, and was brought up to the trade of a carpenter. At the age of twenty-five, he abandoned the world and placed himself under the direction of an aged anchoret, who for ten or twelve years trained him in obedience and self-surrender. John obeyed unquestioningly, however unreasonable the task imposed: for a whole year, at the command of his spiritual father, he daily \vatered a dry stick as though it had been a live plant and carried out other equally ridiculous orders. He continued thus until the old man's death, and it is to his humility and ready obedience that Cassian attributes the extraordinary gifts \vhich he afterwards received from God. .J\nother four or five years seem to have been spent in visiting various monasteries. Finally he retired to the top of a steep hill near Lycopolis and made in the rock a succession of three little cells---one as a bedroom, another as a workroom and living-room, and the third as an oratory. He then walled himself up, leaving only a little window through which he received the necessaries of life and spoke to those who visited him. During five days of the week he conversed only with God, but on Saturdays and Sundays men-but not women-had free access to him for his instructions and

69 1


J.farch 27]

THE LIVES OF TilE SAINTS

spiritual advice. He never ate until sunset, and his fare was dried fruit and veget足 ables. At first and until he became inured, he suffered severely because he would not eat bread or anything that had been cooked by fire, but he continued this diet from his fortieth year until he was ninety. He founded no community, but was regarded as a father by all the ascetics of the neighbourhood, and when his visitors became so numerous that it seemed necessary to build a hospice for their reception, the establishment was managed by his disciples. St John was especially famous for his prophecies, his miracles and his power of reading the thoughts and of discovering the secret sins of those who visited him. Wonderful cures were effected by the application to the sick and blind of oil which the man of God had blessed. Of his many prophecies the most celebrated were those made to the Emperor Theodosius I. John told him that he would be victorious against Maximus, and Theodosius thereupon confidently took the offensive and defeated him. So again in 392, four years later, when Eugenius seized the empire of the West, Theodosius once more had recourse to the recluse. He sent the eunuch Eutropius into Egypt with instructions to bring back St John if possible, but in any case to find out from him whether he should march against Eugenius or await his attack. The saint refused to leave his cell, but sent word that Theodosius would be victorious, though at the price of much blood, and that he would not long survive his triumph. The prediction ,vas fulfilled: Eugenius ,vas defeated on the plains of Aquileia and Theodosius died less than six months later. Shortly before St John's death he was visited hv Palladius, who gives a most interesting account of his journey and reception. The venerable hermit told him that he was destined one day to be consecrated bishop, and made other disclosures of things of which he could not normally have knowledge. Similarly, when some monks came from Jerusalem, John recognized at once that one of them was a deacon, though the fact had been suppressed. The recluse was then ninety years of age and died shortly afterwards. Divinely warned of his approaching end, he had shut his window and commanded that no one should come near him for three days. He died peacefully at the end of that period, when on his knees at prayer. In 1901 the cell he had occupied was discovered near Asyut. The Bollandists in the Acta Sanctarum (March, vol. iii) have extracted the principal references made to St John of Egypt in Palladius's Lausiac History, in the Historia Mona足 chorum, and elsewhere. For the text of Palladius we have to consult C. Butler, or Lucot ; for the Historia Monachorum, see Preuschen, Palladius und Rufinus.

BD WILLIAM TEMPlER,

BISHOP OF POITIERS

Bn WILLIAM TEMPlER, the forty-sixth bishop of Poitiers and the third to bear the name of William, was born at Poitiers. At a very early age he entered the monas足 tery of St Hilaire-de-Ia-Celle in his native city and became one of the canons regular. He was remarkable for his piety and austerity and rose to be superior. In 1184 he was chosen to succeed Bishop John in the episcopal chair of Poitiers. A strenuous opponent of simony and of any secular control of ecclesiastical affairs, he had to endure persecution and calumny in defence of the rights of the Church. Dying in 1197, he ,vas buried behind the high altar of the church of St Cyprian in Poitiers, and his tomb became a place of pilgrimage, because of the nliracles of healing reported to have been wrought there. See the Acta Sanetorum, March, vol. iii.


ST JOlIN OF CAPISTRANO

28 : ST

[.i\farch 28

JOHN OF CAPISTRANO

API5TRANO is a little town in the Abruzzi, ,,,hich of old formed part of the kingdom of Naples. Here in the fourteenth century a certain free-lance -\\'hether he was of French or of German origin is disputed-had settled dovv~n after military service under Louis I and had married an Italian wife. A son, named John, was born to him in 1~86 who was destined to become famous as one of the great lights of the Franciscan Order. From early youth the boy's talents made him conspicuous. He studied law at Perugia with such success that in 1412 he was appointed governor of that city and rnarried the daughter of l>np of the principal inhabitants. During hostilities between Perugia and the Malatestas he was imprisoned, and this was the occasion of his resolution to change his way of life and become a religious. How he got over the difficulty of his marriage is not altogether clear. But it is said that he rode through Perugia on a donkey with his face to the tail and with a huge paper hat on his head upon which all his \vorst sins were plainly written. He was pelted by the children and covered with filth, and in this guise presented himself to ask admission into the noviceship of the Friars l\tlinor. At that date, 1416, he was thirty years old, and his novice-master seems to have thought that for a man of such strength of will ,vho had been accustomed to have his own \\Tay, a very severe training was necessary to test the genuineness of his vocation. (He had not yet even made his first communion.) The trials to which he was subjected were most humiliating and \\Tcre apparently sometimes attended with supernatural manifestations. But Brother John persevered, and in after years often expressed his gratitude to the relentless instructor who had made it clear to him that self-conquest was the only sure roao to perfection. In 1420 John was raised to the priesthood. Mean,vhile he made extraordinary progress in his theological studies, leading at the sarne time a life of extreme aus足 terity, in which he tramped the roads barefoot without sandals, gave only three or four hours to sleep and wore a hair-shirt continually. In his studies he had St James of the Marches as a fellow learner, and for a master 5t Bernardino of Siena, for whom he conceived the deepest veneration and affection. Very soon John's exceptional gifts of oratory made themselves perceptible. The whole of Italy at that period was passing through a terrible crisis of political unrest and relaxation of morals, troubles which were largely caused, and in any case accentuated, by the fact that there were three rival claimants for the papacy and that the bitter anta足 gonisms between Guelfs and G hibellines had not yet been healed. Still, in preaching. t.hroughout the length and breadth of the peninsula St John met with wonderful response. There is undoubtedly a note of exaggeration in the terms in which Fathers Christopher of Varese and Nicholas of Fara describe the effect produced by his discourses. They speak of a hundred thousand or even a hundred apd fifty thousand auditors being present at a single sermon. That was certainly not possible in a country depopulated by wars, pestilence and famine, and in view of the limited means of locomotion then available. But there ,"as good evidence to justify the enthusiasm of the latter writer when he tells us: "No one was more anxious than John Capistran for the conversion of heretics, schismatics and Jews. No one was more anxious that religion should flourish, or had more power in working wonders; no one was so ardently desirous of martyrdom, no one was more famous for his holiness. And so he was welcomed with honour in all

C


March 28]

TI-fE LIVES OF THE SAIN'fS

the provinces of Italy. The throng of people at his sermons was so great that it might be thought that the apostolic times were revived. On his arrival in a pro足 vince, the towns and villages were in commotion and flocked in cro\vds to hear him. The to\vns invited him to visit them, either by pressing letters, or by deputations, or by an appeal to the Sovereign Pontiff through the medium of influential persons." But the work of preaching and the conversion of souls by no means absorbed all the saint's attention. There is no occasion to make reference here in any detail to the domestic embarrassments which had beset the Order of St :f--rancis since the death of their Seraphic Founder. It is sufficient to say that the party known as the" Spirituals" held by no means the same views of religious observance as were entertained by those whom they termed the " Relaxed". The Observant reform which had been initiated in the middle of the fourteenth century still found itself hampered in many ways by the administration of superiors general who held a different standard of perfection, and on the other hand there had also been exag足 gerations in the direction of much greater austerity culminating eventually in the heretical teachings of the Fraticelli. All these difficulties required adjustment, and Capistran, working in harmony with St Bernardino of Siena, was called upon to bear a large share in this burden. After the general chapter held at Assisi in 1430, St John was appointed to draft the conclusions at which the assembly arrived, and these" Martinian statutes", as they were called, in virtue of their confirmation by Pope Martin V, are among the most important in the history of the order. So again John was on several occasions entrusted with inquisitorial powers by the Holy See, as for example to take proceedings against the Fraticelli and to inquire into the grave allegations which had been made against the Order of Gesuats founded by Bd John Colombini. Further, he was keenly interested in that reform of the Franciscan nuns which owed its chief inspiration to St Colette, and in the tertiaries of the order. In the Council of Ferrara, later removed to Florence, he was heard with attention, but between the early and the final sessions he had been compelled to visit Jerusalem as apostolic commissary, and incidentally had done much to help on the inclusion of the Armenians with the Greeks in the accommodation, unfor足 tunately only short-lived, which was arrived at at Florence. When the Emperor Frederick III, finding that the religious faith of the countries under his suzerainty was suffering grievously from the activities of the Hussites and other heretical sectaries, appealed to Pope Nicholas V for help, St John Capistran was sent as commissary and inquisitor general, and he set out for Vienna in 145 I with twelve of his Franciscan brethren to assist him. It is beyond doubt trat his coming produced a great sensation. Aeneas Sylvius (the future Pope Pius II) tells us how, when he entered . J. \ustrian territory, " priests and people came out to meet him, carrying the sacred relics. They received him as a legate of the Apostolic See, as a preacher of truth, as some great prophet sent by God. They came down from the mountains to greet John, as though Peter or Paul or one of the other apostles were journeying there. They eagerly kissed the hem of his garment, brought their sick and afflicted to his feet, and it is reported that very many were cured. . . . The elders of the city met him and conducted him to Vienna. No square in the city could contain the crowds. They looked on him as an angel of God." John's work as inquisitor and his dealings \vith the Hussites and other Bohemian heretics have been severely criticized, but this is not the place to attempt any justification. His zeal was of the kind that sears and consumes, though he was merciful to the submissive and repentant, and he was before his time in his attitude

694


ST GUNTRAMNUS

[March 28

to witchcraft and the use of torture. The miracles which attended his progress wherever he went, and which he attributed to the relics of St Bernardino of Siena, were sedulously recorded by his companions, and a certain prejudice was afterwards created against the saint by the accounts which were published of these marvels. He went from place to place, preaching in Bavaria, Saxony and Poland, and his efforts were everywhere accompanied by a great revival of faith and devotion. Cochlaeus of Nuremberg tells us how" those who saw him there describe him as a man small of body, withered, em~ciated, nothing but skin and bone, but cheerful, strong and strenuous in labour. . . . He slept in his habit, rose before dawn, recited his office and then celebrated Mass. After that he preached, in Latin, He also made which was afterwards explained to the people by an interpreter." a round of the sick who- awaited his coming, laying his hands upon each, praying, and touching them with one of the relics of St Bernardino. It was the capture of Constantinople by the Turks which brought this spiritual campaign to an end. Capistran was called upon to rally the defenders of the West and to preach a crusade against the infidel. His earlier efforts in Bavaria, and even in Austria, met with little response, and early in 1456 the situation became desperate. The Turks were advancing to lay siege to Belgrade, and the saint, who by this time had made his way into Hungary, taking counsel with the great general Hunyady, saw clearly that they would have to depend in the main upon local effort. St John wore himself out in preaching and exhorting the Hungarian people in order to raise an army which could meet the threatened danger, and himself led to Belgrade the troops he llad been able to recruit. Very soon the Turks were in position and the siege began. Animated by the prayers and the heroic example in the field of Capistran, and wisely guided by the nlilitary experience of Hunyady, the g~rrison in the end gained an overwhelming victory. The siege was abandoned, and western Europe for the time was saved. But the infection bred by thousands of corpses which lay unburied round the city cost the life first of all of Hunyady, and then a month or two later of Capistran himself, worn out by years of toil and of austerities and by the strain of the siege. He died most peacefully at Villach on October 23, 1456, and was canonized in 1724. His feast was in 1890 made general for all the W e~tern church. and \vas then transferred to March 28. The more important biographical materials for the history of St John of Capistrano are printed in the Acta Sanctorum, October, vol. x. See BHL., nne 4360-4368. But in addition to these there is a considerable amount of new information concerning St John's writings, letters, reforms and other activities which has been printed during the present century in the Archivum Franciscanum Historicum edited at Quaracchi; attention may be called in particular to the papers on St John and the Hussites in vols. xv and xvi of the same periodical. This and other material has been used by J. Hofer in his St John Capistran, Reformer (1943), a work of much erudition and value. English readers may also be referred to a short life by Fe V. Fitzgerald, and to Leon, Aureole Seraphique (Eng. trans.), vol. iii, pp. 388-420.

ST GUNTRAMNUS

(A.D. 592)

GUNTRAMNUS (Gontran), king of Burgundy and part of Aquitaine from 561 to 592, is said to have been very popular among his people, who certainly honoured him as a saint after his death; and his name has found its way into the Roman Martyrology. But his claims to holiness scarcely would obtain formal canonization for him today. Nearly all we know of him is derived from the pages of St Gregory of Tours. Though far from disciplined himself (he divorced one wife and executed the 695


Mar~h 29]

1~I-IE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

unsuccessful physicians of another), he encouraged the holding of three synods to improve the discipline of the clergy, endowed churches and monasteries, and dp.alt iustly with his subjects. The relevant chapters of Gregory of Tours are reprinted in the Acta Sanctorum, vol. iii. There is an excellent summary in DeB., vol. ii, pp. 820-822.

ST TUTILO

(c.

A.D.

M~rch,

915)

ST TUTILO was educated by Iso and Marcellus in the celebrated Benedictine monastery of Saint-Gall, where he had as schoolfello\vs Bd Notker Balbulus and Ratpert. They all three became monks in the abbey, Tutilo being appointed head of the cloister school and Notker librarian. Handsome, eloquent and quick-witted, St Tutilo appears to have been a universal genius, for he is described as a poet, an orator, an architect, a painter, a sculptor, a metal worker and a mechanic. Music, however, was his passion, and he could play all the various instruments taught to the monaster"y scholars. Although he did not invent liturgical tropes, he certainly cultivated them, and he was probably associated with his friend Notker in writing sequences and in fitting words to the final Alleluia in the gradual. King Charles the Fat had a great adrniration for 8t Tutilo, and remarked that it was a pity such a genius should be hidden away in a monastery. The saint himself shrank from publicity, and when obliged to go to large cities like Metz and Mainz, where his artistic talents were in great request, he strove to avoid notice and shrank from compliments. He was wont to adorn his pictures and sculptures with an epigram or motto, and there are still at Constance, Metz, Saint-Gall and lVlainz paintings attributed to him, but of his poetical and musical works only three little elegies and one hymn have been printed. He died about the year 915 and was buried in the chapel of St Catherine, which was renamed St Tutilo's in his honour. See Histoire litteraire de la France, vol. v, pp. 671-673; Wagner, EinJiihrung in die Gregor. lYelod., vol. i, p. 282; L. Gauthier, Hist. Poes. Liturg., vol. i (Tropes), pp. 35-36.

29 : SS.

JONAS

AND

BARACHISIUS,

W

MARTYRS

E are able to quote here from what purport to be the genuine acts of the martyrs SSe Jonas and Barachisius, compiled by an eye-witness called Isaias, an Armenian in the service of King Sapor II. The Greek versions contain certain additions and interpolations, but the original Syriac text has been published by Stephen Assemani and by Bedjan. In the eighteenth year of his reign, Sapor or Shapur, King of Persia, began a bitter persecution of Christians. Jonas and Barachisius, two monks of Beth-Iasa, hearing that several Christians lay under sentence of death at Hubaham, went thither to encourage and serve them. Nine of the number received the crown of martyrdom. After their execution, Jonas and Barachisius were apprehended for having exhorted them to persevere and to die. The president began by appealing to the two brothers, urging them to obey the King of Kings, i.e. the Persian monarch, and to worship the sun. Their answer was that it was more reasonable to obey the immortal King of Heaven and earth than a mortal prince. Barachisius was then cast into a narrow dungeon, whilst Jonas was detained and commanded to

69 6


[March 29

SSe MARK OF ,ARETHUSA AND CYRIL

sacrifice. He was laid flat on the ground, face downwards, with a sharp stake under the middle of his body, and beaten with rods. The martyr continued all the time in prayer, so the judge ordered him to be placed in a frozen pond; but this also was without effect. Later on the same day Barachisius was summoned and told that his brother had sacrificed. The martyr replied that he could not possibly have paid divine honours to fire, a creature, and spoke so eloquently of the power and infinity of God that the Magians in astonishment said to one another that if he were permItted to speak in public he would draw many to Christianity. They therefore decided for the future to conduct their examinations by night. In the meantime they tortured him too. In the morning Jonas was brought from his pool and asked whether he had not spent a very uncomfortable night. "No", he replied. "From the day I came into the world I never remember a more peaceful night, for I was wonderfully refreshed by the memory of the sufferings of Christ." The Magians said, ' , Your companion has renounced! " but the martyr, interrupting them, exclaimed, " I know that he long ago renounced the Devil and his angels ". The judges warned him to beware lest he perish abandoned by God and man, but Jonas retorted, " If you possess your vaunted wisdom judge whether it is not wiser to sow corn rather than to hoard it. Our life is seed, sown to rise again in the world to come, where it will be renewed by Christ in immortal life. " He continued to defy his tormentors, and after further tortures he ,vas squeezed in a wooden press till his veins burst, and finally his body was divided piecelTleal with a saw and the mangled segments thrown into a cistern. Guards were appointed to watch the relics lest the Christians should steal them away. Jonas having been thus disposed of, Barachisius was once more advised to save his own body. His reply was: "This body I did not frame, neither will I destroy it. God who made it will restore it, and will judge you and your king." So he was again subjected to torments, and was finally killed by having hot pitch and Upon receiving news of their death, an old brimstone poured into his mouth. friend bought the martyrs' bodies for five hundred drachmas and three silk garments, promising never to divulge the sale. The Syriac text may be found in S. E. Assemani, Acta Sanctorum Martyrum Orientalium, vol. i, with a Latin translation. Bedjan in the last century re-edited the text, without a translation, in his Acta Martyru111 et Sanctorum, vol. ii. The Greek version was first printed by Delehaye in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxii (1903), pp. 395-407, and subsequently with a Latin translation in vol. ii of the Patrologia Orientalis, pp. 421-439. The account given in the synaxaries is also of some value: see Delehaye's edition of the Synax. Constant., cc. 567-57째.

SSe

MARK, A.D. 365)

BISHOP

OF

ARETHUSA,

AND

CYRIL,

MARTYR

(c.

THE Eastern churches commemorate on this day St l\1ark, Bishop of Arethusa on Mount Lebanon. Baronius in the Roman Martyrology substituted St Cyril of lIeliopolis, excluding Mark as a teacher of doubtful orthodoxy. St Mark's Confession of Faith in itself is unexceptionable, but amongst the anathemas \vhich follow it is a strange and ambiguous passage which might easily be understood in an heretical sense. It may well he that it has been incorrectly reported, and the Bollandists have vindicated the bishop's orthodoxy. In any case the encomiums passed upon him by St Gregory Naziallzen, Theodoret and Sozomen when they

697


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 29]

relate his sufferings would lead us to conclude that, even if tainted at one time with Semi-Arianism, he had subsequently joined the strictly orthodox party and had fully expiated any previous vacillation. During the reign of the Emperor Constantius, Mark of Arethusa had demolished a heathen temple, and had built a church and made many converts to the Christian faith. He had by so doing incurred the resentment of the pagan population who, however, could take no revenge whilst the emperor was a Christian. Their opportunity came when Julian the Apostate succeeded to the throne and enacted that those who had destroyed heathen temples must either rebuild them or pay a heavy fine. Mark, who was both unable and un\villing to obey, fled from the fury of his enemies, but upon learning that some of his flock had been appre足 hended he returned and gave himself up. The old man was dragged by the hair through the streets, stripped, scourged, thrown into the city sewer, and then handed over to the tender mercies of schoolboys to be pierced and torn by their pointed iron styles or pens. They bound his legs with cords so tight as to cut his flesh to the bone and screwed off his ears with small cord. Finally they smeared him over with honey and, shutting him in a kind of cage, hung him up at midday in the heat of sunlmer to be the prey of wasps and gnats. He was so calm in the midst of his sufferings that he derided his tormentors for having raised him nearer heaven whilst they themselves were grovelling upon earth. At length the fury of the people was turned to admiration and they set him free, whilst the governor appealed to Julian for his pardon. The emperor eventually consented, saying that it was not his wish to give the Christians any martyrs. Even the pagan rhetorician Libanius seems to have realized that the cruelty which evoked such heroism only lent strength to the Christian cause, and he implored the per足 secutors to desist. Then we are told by the historian Socrates that the people of Arethusa were so much impressed by the bishop's fortitude that they asked to be instructed in a religion which was capable of inspiring such resolution, and that many of them embraced Christianity. Thus Mark was left in peace to the end of his life and died during the reign of Jovian or of Valens. St Cyril was a deacon of Heliopolis, a city near the Lebanon. In the reign of Constantius, by destroying many idols, he too had earned the hatred of the pagan population. Upon the accession of Julian, they set upon him and killed him, ripping open his stomach and, it is stated, eating his liver. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; and Delehaye, Synax. Constant., pp. 565-568.

SSe ARMOGASTES, ARCHINIMUS AND SATURUS, MARTYRS (c. A.D. 455) GENSERIC, King of the Vandals, after he had renounced the orthodox faith, became a fierce persecutor of his Catholic subjects, and enacted that no Catholic should hold any post in his household. Armogastes, who had been in the service of Genseric's son Theodoric, was accordingly deprived of his honours and dignities in the court and most cruelly tortured. Cords were bound tightly round his head and legs, but as he lifted up his eyes to heaven and made the sign of the cross, they broke of themselves. This happened several times, although stronger and yet stronger cords were employed. He was then suspended by one foot, with his head hanging down, but he still refused to conform. Theodoric would have beheaded him, but the Arian priests deterred him, saying that it would only cause Armogastes

69 8


[March 29

SSe GUNDLEUS AND GWLADYS

to be honoured by the people as a martyr. Theodoric therefore banished him to Byzacena to work in the mines, but afterwards, in order publicly to disgrace him, ordered him to be transferred to Carthage and there set to mind cattle. This brave man, ho\vever, regarded it as a glorious thing to be dishonoured before men in the cause of God. Not long afterwards he was divinely ,varned that his end was drawing near. He accordingly gave instructions as to his place of burial to a devout Christian called Felix and died at the time he had foretold. Archinimus is supposed to have been a native of Mascula who, refusing to abjure the eternal Godhead of Christ, was threatened with death, but reprieved at the last moment. Saturus, the third of the martyrs, was master of the house­ hold to Huneric, who, on the score of his faith, threatened to deprive him of his estate. His wife besought him to purchase his pardon at the expense of his con­ science~ but he refused, saying to her in the words of Job, "You have spoken like one of the foolish women". He was deprived of everything and reduced to beggary, but, says Victor of Vita, "of his baptismal robe they could not rob · "• h1m Victor of Vita is our only authority for these martyrdoms. The text is quoted by the Bollandists in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii. Some difficulty is caused by the word Archinimus, which in the Roman Martyrology appears as archimimus, so that the second martyr figures as " Mascula, the chief-actor," \\'hereas the true reading probably is" Archi­ nimus, a native of Mascula "J Archinimus being a proper name; but there are other possi­ bilities.

SSe GUNDLEUS

AND

GWLADYS

(SIXTH CENTURY)

GUNDLEUS, the Latin form of Gwynlly\v (now corrupted to Woolo), was the name of a chieftain of south-east Wales, whose wife Gwladys was, we are told, one of the many children of Brychan of Brecknock. According to one account Gundleus asked Brychan for his daughter's hand and was refused; whereupon he came to Talgarth with a force of three hundred men and carried the lady off. An em­ broidery of this story is that Brychan, following in pursuit, was beaten off by King Arthur, though not before his" knights" Cai and Bedwyr had persuaded him not to try to get Gwladys for himself. Certainly such a kidnapping would have been an appropriate beginning to the marriage, for though their first-born was the great St Cadoc, much of the life of Gwladys and her husband was given over to violence and brigandage. At length Cadoc set himself to reform his parents, and was successful. They retired from the world and lived close to one another on what is now Stow Hill at Newport in Monmouthshire, where the ancient St Woolo's church stands. The place was pointed out to them in a dream: "On rising ground above the river there stands a white steer: there shall be your dwelling­ place." Here they lived austerely on the fruits of their labour, " washing themselves as often in the cold winter as in the hot summer", going down the hill at night to the river Usk for the purpose-the account can be interpreted as meaning that they went to and from their bath naked, a distance of about half a mile each way. How­ ever, Cadoc insisted that his parents should separate altogether; so Gwladys removed first to the bank of the river Ebbw and then to Pencarnau in Bassaleg (\\'here the Catholic church is now dedicated in her honour). Both passed the remainder of their days in devout retirement, and the memory of G\vynlly\v

699


TI-IE LI\'ES OF TI-IE SAIN1'S

l'.vfareh 29]

and Gwladys is preserved in several place-names and church-dedications in tile district. The text and translation of a Latin life of 5t Gundleus, compiled about 1130, is printed in A. W. Wade-Evan~, Vitae Sanctorurn Britanniae (H)44). Capgrave's abridgement of this is given in the .Acta Sanetorum, l\1.arch, vol. iii. Cf. the note to St Cadoc on Sep足 tember 25; rr. D. Hardy, Deseripti'L'e Catalogue of A/aterials (Rolls Serie~), yol. i, pt I, pp. 87-8<) ; and see LBS., vol. iii, pp. 202-204 and 234 seq., for useful summaries of the material.

ST RUPERT,

BISHOP OF SALZBURG

(c.

A.D.

710)

THE early history of St Rupert was formerly very obscure, and there has been considerable difference of opinion as to the date cit which he actually flourished. According to the most reliable sources he \vas a Frank, though Colgan claims him as an Irishman \\ hose Gaelic name \vas Robertach. It may nO\\7 be affirmed 'Nith certain ty that before his missionary undertakilJgs began he was already bishop at \Vorms, and in that case there is no great likelihood that he paid a visit to Rome, fOf, as bishop, he \vould not require any special authorization for such all enterprise. I t \v~S prohably about the year 697 that he arrived \vith several companions at Regensburg and presented hinlsclf before Duke Theodo, \vithout whose permission nothing Il1uch could be done. He may have brought credentials from the French King Childehert III, \vho was ahvays anxious for the conversion of recently sub足 jugated provinces. The duke, it seems, was still a pagan, but his sister is said to have been a Christian, and there is no room for doubt that many in Bavaria had received the message of the gospel before this date. Theodo not only gave the ne'N-comers a \velcome, but consented to listen to their preaching and to receive instruction. J-lis conversion and baptism were followed by that of many of the nobles, and no serious opposition was offered to the work of the missionaries. The people \vere \vell disposed, and St Rupert and his follo\vers met with conspicuous success. One heathen temple at Regensburg and another at Altotting were almost immediately adapted for Christian worship. Other churches were built and nearly the whole population was re-established in the Christian faith. 1'he Inissionaries pushed their \vay also along the Danube, and at I..,orch St Rupert made many converts and performed several miracles of healing. It \vas, ho\\rever, neither Regensburg nor Lorch which the saint made his headquarters, but the old ruined town of Juvavum, \vhich the duke gave him and \vhich was rebuilt and called Salzburg. Theodo's generosity enabled Rupert to erect there a church and a monastery with a school which were dedicated to St Peter, besides other sacred edifices. The neighbouring valley \vith its salt springs formed part of the duke's donation. St Rupert had been ably seconded by his companions, three of whom, \iitalis, Chuniald and Gislar, were after\vards reckoned as saints, but before long it became imperative to obtain more help. He therefore returned to his native land to enlist recruits, and succeeded in obtaining twelve more \vorkers. He also induced his sister or niece St Erentrudis to enter a nunnery v~ hich he built at Nonn berg and of which she became the first abbess. A con足 siderahle number of churches and places bear St Rupert's name and are tradition足 ally connected with him, but many of them were no doubt dedicated to him in after times. Besides the great work of evangelization the saint did much to civilize his converts and promoted the development of the salt mines. It was he \vho gave to Juvavum its modern name of Salzburg, and it \vas there he died,

700


ST BERTI-IOLD

[J1arch 29

probably about the year 71o. Austria and Bavaria.

St Rupert's feast is kept in Ireland as \vell. as In

The most reliable source is a document known as the Gesta S. Hrodberti 'written in the first half of the ninth century. It has been edited by \V. Leyison in :\I(]H., Scriptorfs AJero'Z'., YO!. vi. ()ther texts are cited in BHL., nn. 7391--7403, but they are much less reliahle. See also Hauck, Kirchengeschielzte Deutschlands, yo!. i, pp. 372 st'q. .. \V. Levison in the .,\~eut's .Ar{lzi'Z', yo!. xxviii, pp. 283 seq.,. and L. Gougaud, Les saints £yfandois hoI's d'lrlande (1936). T'he saint's name appears in many forms.

BD DIEMODA,

OR

DIEMUT,

VIRGIN

(c.

A.D.

1130)

DIE:\10DA, or Diemut, \vas a Bavarian and a friend of the celebrated recluse Bd Herluka of Epfach, \vho no doubt greatly influenced her. Dienlut had joined the nunnery of \Vessobrunn, but she could not feel content in community life and aspired to seclusion as a solitary. She opened her heart to the abbot of the neigh­ bouring monastery and he, after testing her, sanctioned the call and \"aIled her into a tiny cell adjoining the church. Here she gave herself to prayer and penance, and to copying books for the service of the church and of the abbey. In the monastery library of \Vessobrul1!1 before its secularization there were at least fifty volunles, patristic and liturgical, in the beautiful hand\vriting of Bd Diemut. ~\t ber death her body \vas laid in the old minster, but the relics \vere tr1Ilsferred in 1709 to the abhey church of \Vessobrunn.

See Hefner in the Oberba.'\'erischen Arch£v, yol. i, pp. 355-373; I-Iardy, Descripti'L'e Catalogue (Rolls Series), vol. iii, pp. xxx-xxxii, ""here a list is given of the books she copied; Kirchf.'nlexikon, \'01. iii, cc. 172 1-1722. There seems to have been no public cUl:us.

ST BERTHOLD

(c.

A.D.

1195)

ACCORDING to certain late and untrustworthy authorities 8t Berthold \vas born at Limoges an d studied theology in Paris, \v here he was raised to the .priesthood. "'lith his kinsrnan Aymeric, \vho after\vards became L.atin Patriarch of Antioch, he accompanied the Crusaders to the East and found himself in .Antioch at the time when it \vas being besieged by the Saracens. \Ve are told it \vas divinely revealed to him that the investnlent of the to\vn was a punishment for the SIns and es~ecially for the licentiousness of the Christiall soldiers. Berthold offered hinlself up as a sacrifice, and vowed that if the Christians ,vere delivered from their great peril he would devote the rest of his life to the service of the Blessed Virgin. In a vision he saw our Lord, accompanied by our Lady and 8t Peter, and above their heads a great cross of light. The Saviour addressed Berthold and spoke of the ingratitude of the Christians in view of all the blessings He had showered upon them. In con­ sequence of the appeals and warnings of the holy rnan, the soldiers and the citizens \vere brought to repentance. .L~lthough they were \veak with fasting and privations, \vhen the next assault took place they were completely v'ictorious and the city and the army \\lere delivered. All this, however, is legend. What is more certain is that through the efforts of one Berthold, a relati ve of the Patriarch Aymeric, a congregation of priests vvas forlned on lVlount C~arn1el, Berthold appearing to have dra\\'n into his comrnunity many of the scattered I~atin hermits who had previously inhabited the district. Moreover, through his detach­ ment and sanctity, he was an inspiration to the whole Order of Carmelites~ of which he is often called the founder. It seems that he may have been its first superior,

7°1


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 30]

receIvIng some encouragement from Aymeric, who was, however, never, as has been asserted, legate of the Holy See. Berthold's life was to a great degree a hidden one, and there is little more to record, except that he undertook the erection or the re-erection of the monastic buildings, and that he dedicated the church in honour of the prophet Elias-as Peter Emilianus afterwards informed King Edward I of England in a letter dated 1282. St Berthold ruled the community for forty-five years, and seems to have remained with them down to the time of his death, which occurred about the year 1195. Father Papebroch, the Bollandist, writing in the Acta Sanetorum, l\1arch, vol. iii, maintained that St Berthold was the first superior of the Carmelite Order, and that the hermits whom he gathered round him had no more connection \vith Elias than the fact that they lived near Mount Carmel and venerated his memory. This contention led to a deplorably acrimonious controversy, no\v more than two centuries old, but all scholars have long been agreed that the Bollandist view was fully justified. Historical evidence is lacking which could establish any sort of continuity between St Berthold's group of Carmelite hermits and the" Sons of the Prophets ". See B. Zimmerman, Monumenta Historica Carnzelitana, pp. 269-276, in the Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. iii, pp. 354-356, and in DTC., vol. ii, cc. 1776-1792; the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; Analecta Ord. Carmel., vol. iii, pp. 267, 368 seq.,. C. Kopp, Elias und Christentum auf dem Karmel (1929) ; and Fr Fran~ois, Les plus vieux textes du Carmel (1945).

ST LUDOLF, BISHOP OF RATZEBURG ALTHOUGH he did not actually die for the faith, St Ludolf is often honoured as a martyr because he patiently bore persecution, disgrace and banishment for the extension and freedom of the Church. He was a canon regular of the Premon­ stratensian Order, but was elected bishop of Ratzeburg in 1236. He still continued to live the life of a monk, and gave the rule of St Norbert to the chapter of his cathedral; he built and endowed the Benedictine nunnery of Rehna, which long preserved and venerated his memory. He came several times into conflict with Duke Albert of Sachsen-Lauenberg, \vho imprisoned, ill-treated and finally banished him. i\t Wismar, hO\\Tever, he was hospitably received and entertained by Duke John the theologian. He died in 1250 as the result of the ill-treatment he had previously received. 5t Ludolf was canonized in the fourteenth century and is venerated at Wismar in Mecklenburg. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and the Kirchenlexikon, s.v. Ratzeburg.

30 : ST

REGULUS,

OR

RIEUL,

BISHOP OF SENLIS

(c.

A.D.

250?)

T RIElJL is the patron of the city and diocese of Senlis, of which he is said to have been the first bishop. He probably lived in the third century, as he is spoken of as having been the contemporary of other saints who are known to have flourished at that period. The cathedral of Senlis was burnt, and with it perished all its archives, including the ancient records of the early bishops. According to his quite apocryphal acts, St Rieul was converted by 5t John the Evangelist and accompanied St Dionysius the Areopagite (Denis) to France, where,

S

7°2


ST JOHN CLIMACUS

[March 30

as bishop of ArIes, he shepherded the Christian colony founded by 8t Trophimus. He subsequently went to Paris in search of the relics of the martyrs 8t Denis, 5t Rusticus and 8t Eleutherius, and then undertook the conversion of the people of Senlis. Possibly there ,vere two bishops of the name of Rieul---one of ArIes and the other of Senlis-and their history has been confused; but in any case the connection \vith St John the Evangelist is certainly a fiction. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii; BI--IL., nn. 7106-7109; Duchesne, Fastes Episcopaux, vol. iii, pp. 117 and 147.

ST JOHN CLIMACUS,

ABBOT

THE IJadder (Klinlax) to ParadIse \\'as a book which ,vas immensely popular in the middle ages and won for its author, John the Scholastic, the name" Climacus " by ,vhich he is generally known. The saint's origin is hidden in obscurity, but he was possibly a native of Palestine and is said to have been a disciple of St Gregory Nazianzen. At the age of sixteen he joined the monks settled on Mount Sinai. After four years spent in testing his virtue, the young novice was professed, and was placed under the direction of a holy man called Martyrius. Under the guidance of his spiritual father, he left the monastery and took up his residence in a hermitage nearby-apparently to enable him to check a tendency to waste tirTle in idle con足 versation. He tells us himself that, under the direction of a prudent guide, he succeeded in shunning rocks which he could not have escaped if he had presumed to steer alone. So perfect was his submission that he made it a rule never to con足 tradict anyone, or to contest any statement made by those ,vho visited him in his solitude. After the death of Martyrius, when St John was thirty-five years of age, he embraced the completely eremitical life at Thole-a lonely spot, but sufficiently near to a church to enable him, with the other hermits and monks of the region, to assist on Saturdays and Sundays at the divine office and the celebration of the holy mysteries. In this retirement the holy man spent forty years, advancing ever more and more in the way of perfection. He read the Bible assiduously, as well as the fathers, and was one of the most learned of the desert saints, but his whole aim was to conceal his talents and to hide the extraordinary graces with which the Holy Ghost had enriched his soul. In his determination to avoid singularity he partook of all that was allowed to the monks of Egypt, but he ate so sparingly that it was a case of tasting rather than of eating. His biographer records with admiration that so intense was his compunction that his eyes seemed like two fountains which never ceased to flow, and that in the cavern to which he was wont to retire for prayer the rocks used to resound with his moans and lamentations. As a spiritual director he was in great request. At one time indeed some of his fellow-monks, either through jealousy or perhaps justifiably, criticized him for wasting time in unprofitable discourse. John accepted the accusation as a charit足 able adrnonition and imposed upon himself a rigorous silence in which he persevered for nearly a twelvemonth. The whole community then besought him to resume advising others, and not to bury the talents which he had received; so he resumed his instructions, and came to be regarded as another Moses in that holy place, " for he went up into the mountain of contemplation, talked to God face to face, and then came do,vn to his fellows bearing the tables of God's law, his Ladder of Perfec足 tion ". This \vork, which he wrote at the request of John, abbot of Raithu, consists of thirty chapters illustrating the thirty degrees for attaining to religious perfection


THE LI\?ES OF THE SAINTS

J.lfarch 30]

from the first step of renunciation which rests on the three pillars of innocence, mortification and temperance, to the thirtieth and final step upon which are seated the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity. It treats first of the vices and then of the virtues, and it is written in the form of aphorisms or sentences illustrated by many curious anecdotes of monastic life. \Ve are told that God bestowed upon 5t John an extraordinary grace of healing the spiritual disorders of souls. Amongst others to \vhom he ministered was a IDonk called Isaac ,,-ho was brought almost to the brink of despair by temptations of the flesh. John recognized the struggle he "oas making, and after commend ing his faith said, " 1\1y son, let us have recourse to prayer". They prostrated them­ selves in humble supplication and from that moment Isaac was released from those temptation~. Another di3ciple, a certain l\JIoses, who appears to have at one time liYcd near or with the saint, after carrying loads of earth for planting vegetables, v;as overcome with fatigue and fell asleep in the heat of the day under a great rock. Suddenly he was a\vakened by his master's voice and rushed for\vard, just in time to avoid being crushed by the fall of an overhanging crag. St John in his solitude had been aware of the impending danger and had been praying to God for his safety. The good man ,,'as now seventy years old, but upon the death of the abbot of l\lount Sinai he ,,'as unanimously chosen to succeed him. Soon after, the people in the time of a great drought applied to him as to another Elias, begging him to intercede \vith God on their behalf. The saint recommended their distress to the Father of mercies, and his prayer was ans\\-ered by an abundance of rain. Such \vas his reputation that 8t Gregory the Great, who then sat in St Peter's chair, \vrote to the holy abbot, asking for his prayers and sending hirIl beds and money for the use of pilgrims to Sinai, who \vere numerous. For four years St John governed the monks wisely and well. Itwas, ho\vever, with reluctance that he had accepted the charge, and he found means to lay it down short!y before his death. He had attained the age of fourscore years ",hen he passed away in the hermitage which had been so dear to him. His spiritual son George, who had succeeded him as abbot, entreated the dying saint that they might not be separated. John assured him that their prayers were heard, and the disciple followed his master within a fe\v days. Be~ides the Climax, we have another work of 8t John's-a letter written to the abbot of Raithu, in "'hich he describes the duties of a true shepherd of souls. In art, John is always represented "'ith a ladder. Although there is 'what professes to be an ancient Life of St John Climacus, \vritten by Daniel, a monk of Raithu, this contains no more in the \vay of fact than is to be found in the Synax. Constant. The whole history is very obscure, and the note of F. Nau in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift, vol. xi (1902), pp. 35-37, must be accepted. with great reserve in view of the criticism of L. Petit in DTC., vol. viii, cc. 690-692. This last article makes it probable that John was married in early life and that he only became a monk after the death of his wife. The accounts given in such works as DeB., and the Kirchenlexikon for the most do little more than expand the jejune data furnished by Daniel. See also Echos d'Orient, 19 2 3, pp. 44°-45°·

ST ZOSIMUS,

BISHOP OF SYRACUSE

(c.

A.D.

660)

'fHE parents of St Zosimus were Sicilian landowners, who dedicated their little boy to the service of St I~ucy and placed him, when he was seven years old, in the monastery that bore her name near Syracuse, not far from their home. There his main occupation seems to have been to watch near the relics of the saint. The duty

7°4


ST OSBURGA

[March 30

was not altogether congenial to the little lad, accustomed as he was to a free open-air life on a farm, and once, when the abbot Faustus had set him a particularly distaste足 ful task, he ran away and went home. He was brought back in disgrace, and the enormity of his offence impressed upon him. That night, in his dreams, he saw St Lucy rise from her shrine and stand over him with a menacing countenance. As he lay in terror, there appe"ared beside her the gracious figure of our Lady interceding for him, and promising in his nanle that he would never do such a thing again. As time went by, Zosimus became more reconciled to the life of the cloister, his visits home became fewer and shorter, and he settled down to the regular round of prayer, praise and contemplation with the other monks. For thirty years he lived almost forgotten. Then the abbot of Santa Lucia died, and there was great uncertainty and discussion over the choice of a successor. Finally the monks went in a body to the bishop of Syracuse and begged him to make the appointment for them. The prelate, after scrutinizing them all, asked if there was no other monk belonging to the convent. Thereupon they remembered Brother Zosimus, whom they had left to mind the shrine and to answer the door. He was sent for, and no sooner had the bishop set eyes upon him than he exclaimed, " Behold him whonl the Lord hath chosen". So Zosimus was appointed abbot, and a few days later the bishop ordained him a priest. His biographer says that he ruled the monastery of Santa Lucia with such wisdom, love and prudence that he surpassed all his predecessors and all his successors. \Vhen the see of Syracuse fell vacant in 649, the people elected Zosimus, \vho, however, did not wish to be raised to the dignity, whilst the clergy chose a priest called Vanerius, a vain and ambitious man. Appeal was made to Pope Theodore, who decided for Zosimus and consecrated him. In his episcopate the holy man was remarkable for his zeal in teaching the people and for his liberality to the poor; but it is difficult to judge of the historical value of the anecdotes which purport to have been recorded by a contemporary biographer. At the age of nearly ninety St Zosimus died, about the year 660. There is a short and fragmentary Latin life printed in the ~4cta SanctoTum, lVlarch, vol. iii. See also Cajetan, Vitae SanctoTum Sicul., vol. i, PP. 226-231, and animad. 181-183. Gams describes him as a Benedictine, but he is not noticed by lVlabillon; he was perhaps a (( Basilian ".

ST OSBURGA, ABBESS OF COVENTRY, VIRGIN

(c.

A.D. 1016)

NOTHING is known of the life of St Osburga, except that she is supposed to have been the first abbess of the nunnery founded by King Canute at Coventry and that her death occurred about 1016. On the other hand it is possible that she flourished at a much earlier period. We first hear of her in 1410, when her shrine was already the object of popular cultus and the scene of so many miracles that the clergy and people of Coventry petitioned for the observance of her festival. A synod was therefore called, which issued a decree commanding that, in the archdeaconry of Coventry, the feast of St Osburga should be kept \vith the solemnity due to a patron saint. It does not seem certain what day was chosen. Devotion to St Osburga lingered on at Coventry until after the Reformation, and her feast is still kept in the archdiocese of Birmingham on this day. See Stanton, Menology, p. 137; c/. Leland's Collecfanea, vol. i, p. 50, and Dugdale, Monasticon, vol. iii, pp. 175 and 182.


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 30]

BD DODO

(A.D. 1231)

IN spite of his evident vocation to the religious life, Bd Dodo was constrained by his parents to marry. At his father's death, however, he was able to fulfil his aspirations, for his wife and his mother retired into a convent and he was free to join the Premonstratensians. With the abbot's pernlission, he aftervlards betook himself to a lonely spot where he lived in complete solitude for four years, his only visitors being the evil spirits who strove to tempt him. He moved to another place in Friesland, called Asch or Hasch, and there he redoubled his austerities. As he lay prostrate before the crucifix one day, the figure spoke to him and told him that he would have to remain long upon the cross. He possessed the gift of healing, and many sick persons recovered health at his hands. In extreme old age he was killed by a falling wall, and after his death, marks of our Lord's wounds are said to have been found upon his body. This early case of alleged stigmatization is interesting because it may possibly be of older date than that of St Francis; but it seems likely that the wounds were caused by the falling masonry. The story that Dodo induced the Frisians to relinquish a number of their savage pagan customs may belong to someone else of the same name. As a solitary he would hardly have had occasion to intervene, as the legend says he did, to stop the practice of keeping the victims of assassination unburied until vengeance had been taken on the murderers, or on some members of their family. See the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii. The Month, July 19 19, pp. 39-50.

As to the alleged stigmata, cf. Fr Thurston in

BD AMADEUS IX OF SAVOY AMADEUS IX, who, like his ancestor Humbert III, afterwards attained to beatifica足 tion, \vas the son of Duke Louis I of Savoy and Anne of Cyprus, and grandson of the antipope Felix V". Amadeus was born at Thonon in 1435 and was betrothed in the cradle to Yolande, daughter of Charles VII of France, thereby cementing peace between the t\VO countries. He is described as handsome, accomplished and endowed with exceptional spiritual graces; unfortunately he was subject all his life to severe attacks of epilepsy, which at times completely prostrated and incapacitated him. His marriage, which took place in 145 I, was a happy one, but of his four sons and two daughters, the majority died very young. In the province of Brescia, which was given to him as his portion, the young prince lived a congenial and secluded life, away from the cares and tumults of the court, but upon his father's death he was called to take up the government of Savoy and Piedmont. He \vas a clement ruler, but inflexible in suppressing bribery and in preventing the oppression of the poor by the rich. Indeed, in cases which came before him personally, he was so much disposed to espouse the cause of the \veak that Duke Galeazzo of Milan once jestingly remarked that whereas in the rest of the world it was better to be rich than poor, in the duchy rif Savoy it was the beggars who were favoured and the wealthy who were harshly dealt with. Amadeus could not bring himself to refuse alms to anyone, and after he had exhausted the contents of his purse, he would give away his own clothing and anything he had about him. He is even said on one occasion to have broken up the jewelled collar he wore and to have distributed the fragnlents. When an ambassador had been loudly boasting of the numerous packs of hounds and the U

706


ST BALBINA

[March 31

many different breeds of dogs kept by his master, the duke led him to a terrace outside the palace which was furnished with tables round which the poor of the city were being fed. "These are my packs and my hunting-dogs", he remarked. " It is with the help of these poor people that I chase after virtue and hunt for the kingdom of Heaven." The ambassador objected that some amongst them \vere vicious and undeserving, mere idlers and hypocrites. "I would not judge them too severely", replied Amadeus gently, " lest God should judge me likewise and withhold His blessing." He had the greatest horror of blasphemy and would not retain in his service anyone who used profane language. He was very liberal in all his benefactions, yet the finances of the state were not impoverished. On the contrary, through his wise administration, debts incurred by his predecessors \vere paid off, his exchequer \vhich he .had found empty was replenished, and he was able to provide marriage portions for three of his sisters without incurring any debts or imposing any fresh taxes. In his private life he was extremely austere, and far from allowing himself any relaxations on the score of ill-health, he gave it out that he \vas obliged to fast on account of it. Beginning every day by private meditation and by hearing Mass, it is also stated that he frequented the sacraments more constantly than was usual at that period. Ijke all truly magnanimous men, he bore no malice tovvards those who treated him ill. He had received much provocation from the Sforzas of Milan, but when, upon the death of Duke Francis, his son Galeazzo, in his haste to reach Milan quickly from the Dauphiny, tried to pass incognito through Savoy and was arrested, Amadeus treated him with honour and provided an escort to conduct him to 1\1ilan. Afterwards Galeazzo was ungrateful enough to attack him, but Amadeus brought the war to an end and gained his friendship by giving him his sister Bona in marriage. It must be confessed that some historians judge his policy less favourably, and declare that his conciliatory attitude resulted in Savoy becoming a centre of continual strife. His brothers rebelled against him several times, but he always forgave them and made excuses for them. Because of his malady, Amadeus resigned the government into the hands of his wife, but his subjects rose in revolt and he himself was imprisoned until his brother-in-law, King Louis XI, came and set him at liberty. Though then only in his thirty­ seventh year, his disease had sapped his strength, and he recognized that his end was approaching. Having exhorted his sons and nobles in words which are often inscribed on representations of the holy man, " Be just: love the poor and the Lord will give peace to your lands ", Bd Amadeus rendered up his soul to God on l\1arch 30, 1472. He was beatified in 1677­ See the Acta Sane/orum, l\Jlarch, vol. iii;

J.

F. Gonthier, (Euvres historiques, vol. iii, pp.

95-121; E. Fedelini, Les Bienheureux de fa Maison de Savoie (1925).

31 : ST

BALBINA,

VIRGIN

(DATE UNKNOWN)

N the Roman Martyrology today we read the following notice: "At Rome, of St Balbina, Virgin, daughter of blessed Quirinus, Martyr, who was baptized by Pope Alexander and chose Christ as her spouse in holy virginity; after completing the course of this world she was buried on the Appian Way near her father." This account was unfortunately dependent upon a wholly gratuitous

I

7°7


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

ltJarch 31]

insertion of the martyrologist Ado, \\"ho borrowed certain details from the Acts of Pope Alexander \\!hich Bede had prudently ignored, and used the names Quirinus, Theodora and Balbina to fill three successive blank days in the month of March. The so-caned Acts of Balbina are merely a late plagiarism from the Acts of Alex­ ander. All that is known to us is that Inidway between the \7"ia Appia and the Via Ardeatina there was a cemetery of Balbina, probably so called because it was constructed on the estate of a Christian lady named Balbina. On the other hand there seems to have been a Balbina, called daughter of Quirinus, but she cannot have been identical with the first-named Balbina hecause she lived at a much earlier date, and was buried in the catacomb of Praetextatus. Balbina was honoured in a little fourth-century church on the Aventine which bore her name, but it is difficult to decide ",-hich Balbina was intended. The fabulous story 0f St Balbina is printed in the Acta SallctoTum, ::\1arch, vol. iii, but it is all extracted frorn the Acts of Alexander, in one version of which Balbina is represented as a martyr. See also [)om Quentin, Les mart)'Tologes hisloTiques, especially pp. I 13 and 490 ; Leclercq in I)AC., vol. ii, pp. 137-157; and J. P. Kirsch, Die R6mischen TilelkiTchen t·m Alterlum, pp. 94-96.

ST ACACIUS, OR ACHATIUS, BISHOP

(THIRD CENTURY)

THIS Acacius has been claimed as a bishop of Antioch in Pisidia by some and of 1\lelitene in Armenia Minor by others; a third view is that he was not a bishop at all. But a report of his trial has been preserved, in a document of which the Greek original is lost. According to this, Acacius was the great support of the Christians of _~ntioch, and as such was haled before the consular agent IVlartian. He declared that Christians ,,-ere loyal su bjects of the emperor, ,vho prayed for him regularly, but ",hen invited to an act of worship of the same elnperor he refused. Thereupon ensued a discussion between lVlartian and Acacius which ranged over the seraphim, Greco-Roman mythology, the Incarnation, Dalmatian morals, the nature of God and the religion of the Kataphrygians. When ordered to accom­ pany the officer to sacrifice in the temple of Jupiter and Juno, Acacius replied, " I cannot sacrifice to someone who is buried in the isle of Crete. Or has he come Then lVlartian made an accusation of magic and wanted to know to life again?" where were the magicians ,vho helped him; and to Acacius's rejoinder that all came from God and that magic was hateful to Christians he objected that they must be magicians, because they had invented a religion. "You make your own gods and are afraid of them; ,ve destroy them", responded Acacius. " When there are no masons, or the masons have no stone, then you have no gods. We stand in awe of our God-but we did not make Him; He made us; for lIe is lVIaster. And He loves us, for He is Father; and in His goodness He has snatched us from e"'erlasting death." Finally Acacius was required to disclose the names of other (~hristians, on pain of death, and he would not. "I am on trial and you ask for names. If you cannot oycrcome me alone, do you suppose you ,vould be successful with the others? \"'ou want names-all right: I am called Acacius, and I have heen surnamed Agathangelus [' good angel 'J. Do what you like." Acacius ",'as then returned to prison and the proceedings of the examination forwarded to the emperor, Decius, who, we are told, could not forhear to smile "Then reading them. The upshot was that Martian was promoted to the legation of Pamphylia and Acacius received the imperial pardon, an interesting and unusual circumstance.

708


[March 31

ST GUY OF POl\1POSA

8t Acacius is called a martyr hut there is no evidence that he was eventually put to death for the faith, which may account for his never having received any cultus in the "Vest; but his name figures in Eastern calendars on M'arch 3 I and other dates. 1"he acta disputationis (appropriately so called) are in ,Acta Sanctorum for l\;larch, vol. iii, and in Ruinart. Father Delehaye assigns thern to his third category of such documents, 'viz. an embroidery of an otherwise reliable document: see his Les Passions des ]\.fartyrs. See also Allard, Histoire des Persecutions, vol. ii; and J. Weber, ,De actis S . .A chatii (1913) ; but cf. the unfavourable judgement passed on vVeber's dissertation by De1eha) e in Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxiii (19 14), pp. 346-347.

ST BENJAMIN,

MARTYR

(c.

A.D.

421)

KING YEZDIGERD, the son of Sapor II, put an end to the cruel persecution of Christians which had raged in Persia under his father, and the Church had been in the enjoyment of peace for twelve years when a bishop named Abdas, \vith mis­ directed zeal, burnt down the Pyraeum, or rfemple of Fire, the chief ohject of worship of the Persians. "fhe king threatened to destroy all the churches of Christians unless Abdas \vould rebuild the ternple. 1"his he refused to do, and Yezdigerd put him to death and initiated a general persecution which \\Tas intensified under his son Varanes and lasted for forty years. Theodoret, who was living in the neighbourhood at the time, gives an appalling account of the cruelties practised. One of the foremost of the martyrs was a deacon called Benjamin. After he had been beaten and then imprisoned for a year, an ambassador from the emperor at Constantinople obtained his release, promising on his behalf that he would refrain from speaking about his religion. Benjamin, however, declared that he could not observe such a condition, and in fact he lost no opportunity of preaching the gospel. He \vas again apprehended and brought before the king. At the trial his only reply to the indictment was to ask the monarch what he would think of a subject who would renounce his allegiance and join in war against him. The tyrant ordered that reeds should be thrust in between his nails and his flesh and into all the tenderest parts of his body and then withdra\vn. After this torture had been repeated several times, a knotted stake was inserted into his bowels to rend and tear him. 1"he martyr expired in the most terrible agony.

Besides Theodoret (Eccles. Hist., bk v, ch. 38), which source is reproduced in the Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, an account of these martyrs has been preserved both in Syriac and Armenian. See Peeters in the Ana/ecta Boliandiana, vol. xxviii (1909), pp. 399-415, who throws great light upon certain inconsistencies in the narrative, and shows that Theodoret has probably used a Syriac original. Cf. also the Historisches Jahrbuch, vol. xxxiv (1913), pp. 94 seq. ,. and Labourt, Le Christianisme dans I'Empire perse, pp. 1°5-112.

ST GUY OF POMPOSA,

ABBOT

(A.D.

1046)

8T GUY, or Guido, who is also called Guion, Wido, \Viten and Wit, was born near Ravenna, and his father and mother took great pride in him; and, mainly to please them, he was very careful of his appearance and dress. One day, ho\v­ ever, he was smitten with compunction for this form of vanity. He went to Ravenna, where the patronal feast of 8t Apollinaris was being celebrated, and stripping off his fine clothes he gave them to the poor and donned the shabbiest garments he could find. 1'0 his parents' mortification, he started off in that garb

70 9


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

;.March 31]

for Rome, and whilst he was there he received the tonsure. A divine inspiration led him to place himself under the guidance of a hermit called Martin, ,vho lived on a little island in the river Po. For three years they remained together, and then the recluse sent him to the abbey of Pomposa, near Ferrara, to learn monastic life in a large community. That monastery and that of St Severus at Ravenna were actually under the ultimate direction of the hermit, who decided the appoint­ ment of the superiors. St Guy's outstanding merits were such that he rose to high office, becoming abbot first of 8t Severus and then of Pomposa upon the nomination of Martin, cOllfirmed by the vote of the monks. His reputation drew so many (including his father and his brother) to join the community, that the number of monks was doubled, and it became necessary for St Guy to huild another monastery to accom­ modate all. After a time he delegated to others the secular part of his office, and concentrated on the more purely spiritual side, especially on the direction of souls. .At certain seasons of the year he \vas accustomed to \vithdra\v to a cell ahout three miles from the abbey, ",·here he lived in such unhroken abstinence and devotion that he seemed to be sustained by fasting and prayer. During Lent especially, he treated his body with a severity which tortures could hardly have surpassed, and yet he was extraordinarily tender to his monks and they were devoted to him. St Peter Damian, ,vho at his request delivered lectures on the Sacred Scriptures in the abhey of Pomposa for t\VO years, dedicated to St Guy his book De perfectione lnonachorum. Holy as he ,vas, 8t Guy did not escape persecution. For some reason, I-Ieribert, Archbishop of Ravenna, conceived a bitter hatred against him and actually deter­ mined to destroy his monastery. ';Yarned of the approaching attack, the abbot's only measure of defence was a three days' fast, which the whole community observed. vVhen the archbishop and his soldiers arrived at the gates, Guy ,vent out to meet them, and with the utmost deference and humility led him into the church. Heribert's heart was touched: he begged the abbot's pardon, and pro­ mised him his protection for the future. Towards the close of his life, St Guy retired into solitude, but he was summoned to Piacenza by the Emperor Henry III, \\rho had come to Italy and \\'ished to consult the abbot, of whose sanctity and wisdom he had heard much. The aged man obeyed very unwillingly, and took a tender farewell of his brethren, telling them that he should see their faces no more. He had arrived at Borgo San Donnino near Parma, ,vhen he was attacked by a sudden illness, from which he died on the third day. i\ contest took place for the custody of his body between Pomposa and Parma; the emperor settled the matter by having the relics taken to the church of St John the Evangelist at Speyer, which was afterwards renamed St Guido-Stift. There is a short Latin life which has been printed both by the Bollandists, Acta Sanctorum, March, vol. iii, and by Mabillon.

BD JOAN OF TOULOUSE, VIRGIN

(FOURTEENTH CENTURY)

As early as the year 1240 the Carmelite brothers from Palestine made a settlement at Toulouse. T\venty-five years later, when 8t Simon Stock was passing through Toulouse on his ,vay to Bordeaux, he was approached by a woman called Joan, ,vho begged him to affiliate her to his order, although she was living in her own home. The prior general consented, clothed her with the Carmelite habit, and allowed her

710


BD BONAVENTURE OF FORLI

[l'.1arch 31

to take a vow of perpetual chastity. As far as it was possible Joan followed strictly the rule of St ..L\lbert of Jerusalem, and she was venerated not only as the first Carmelite tertiary, but as the founder of the Carmelite tertiary order. She daily frequented the fathers' church, and combined penance with love, depriving herself almost of the necessaries of life to relieve the sick and poor. She used also to train young boys in the practices of holiness, with a view to preparing them to enter the Carmelite Order. It was her custom to carry about wjth her a picture of the crucified Redeemer, which she studied as though it had been a book. Bd Joan was buried in the Carmelite church of Toulouse and her tomb was thronged by those who sought her aid. For 600 years she was honoured, and her body was re-enshrined several times-notably in 18째5, when a little book of manuscript prayers was found beside her. The above is a summary of the story of Bd Joan (whose cultus ,vas confirmed in 1895) as it is related in the lessons for her feast in the Carmelite supplement to the Breviary, but there has apparently been considerable confusion. It seems clear that she in fact lived at Toulouse towards the end of the fourteenth, not the thirteenth, century, and that she was not a tertiary but a recluse. See the Breviary lessons referred to above, and Fr Bonifatius, Die sel. Johanna von Toulouse (1897); and Fr B. Zimmerman's Monumenta historica Carmelitana, p. 369, and Les saints deserts des Carmes dechausses (1927), pp. 17-18, where the problem is examined.

BD BONAVENTlTRE OF FORLI

(A.D. 1491)

BD BONAVENTURE TORNIELLI was born at ForB and was a man of good fanlily. He does not seem to have entered the Order of Servites until 1448, when he was thirty-seven years old, but his fervour and austerity of life rapidly enabled him to make up for lost time. After his ordination he prepared himself for apostolic work by a year of retirement, and then began to preach with wonderful eloquence and success. He was especially commissioned by Pope Sixtus IV to undertake this apostolic mission, and throughout the papal states, Tuscany and the Venetian province his sermons were productive of a notable reformation of life. Towards the close of 1488 he was elected vicar general of his order, an office in which he gave proof of great administrative ability and charity. But he still continued his missionary work, and he had just finished preaching the Lent at Udine when on Maundy Thursday 1491 God called him to Himself, worn out by age and the hardships of the life he had been leading. His relics were ultimately conveyed to Venice, where a cultus grew up marked by many miraculous cures. This cultus was confirmed in 191 I. See the decree of confirmation printed in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis, vol. iii (191 I), pp. 659-660; and F. Cornelius, Ecclesiae Venetae, vol. ii, pp. 34-51.

THE spirit and example of the world imperceptibly instil the error into the minds of many that there is a kind of middle way of going to Heaven; and so, because the world does not live up to the gospel, they bring the gospel down to the level of the world. It is not by this example that we are to measure the Christian rule, but by the words and life of Christ. All His followers are commanded to labour to become perfect even as our heavenly Father is perfect, and to bear His image in

711


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

March 31]

our hearts that we may be His children. We are obliged by the gospel to die to ourselves by fighting self-love in our hearts, by the mastery of our passions, by taking on the spirit of our Lord. These are the conditions under which Christ Inakes His promises and numbers us among His children, as is manifest from His words which the apostles have left us in their inspired writings. Here is no distinction made or foreseen between the apostles or clergy or religious and secular persons. The former, indeed, take upon themselves certain stricter obligations, as a means of accomplishing these ends more perfectly; but the law of holiness and of disengagement of the heart from the world is general and binds all the followers of Christ.

THE END OF VOLUME I

7 12


INDEX SEE VOLUME IV FOR GENERAL INDEX

Individual members of groups, e.g. of martyrs, are not entered in this index 'f they have only a bare mention in the text. A general date-index of names, covering the whole work, will be found at the end of Volume IV. A Abachum, St (with Marius), 117

Abraham Kidunaia, St, 605

Abraham of Carrhae, St, 334

Acacius, St (bp.), 707

Achatius, St, 707

Adalbald, St, 236

Adalhard, St, 22

Adamnan of Coldingham, St, 2 IS

Adaucus, St, 268

Adelaide of Bellich, St, 258

Adelard, St, 22

Adelelmus, St, 205

Adolf of Osnabrtick, St, 338

Adrian, St (mart.), 480

Adrian, St (with Eubulus), 484

Adrian of Canterbury, St, 58

Aelred, St, 473

Aengus, St, 559

Agape, St, 341

Agatha, St, 255

Agathangelus, St (with Clement), 153

Agatho, St, 64

Agnello of Pisa, Bd, 589

Agnes, St, 133

Agnes of Bohemia, Bd, 462

Agrecius, St, 74

Agricola, St, 619

Aidan of Ferns, St, 214

Ailred, St, 473

Alban Roe, Bd, 140

Alberic, St, 173

Albert of CasheI, St, 1 19

Albertoni, Louisa, Bd, 447

Albinus of Angers, St, 452

Alcmund, St (mart.), 635

Aldegundis, St, 2°5

Aldemar, St, 669

Aldric, St, 48

Aleaume, St, 205

Alexander Akimetes, St, 402

Alexander of Alexandria, St, 423

Alexander of Jerusalem, St, 626

Alfwold, St, 678

Alix Le Clercq, Bd, 59

Almachius, St, 3

Alnoth, St, 434

Alphege of Winchester, St, 577

Alto, St, 290

Alvarez of Cordova, Bd, 378

Amadeus of Lausanne, St, 189

Amadeus IX of Savoy, Bd, 706

Amand, St, 263

Ambrose of Siena, Bd, 644

Amias, John, Bd, 612

Anastasia Patricia, St, 546

Anastasius the Persian, St, 144

Andrew Corsini, St, 246

Andrew of Anagni, Bd, 360

Andrew of Peschiera, Bd, 123

Andrew of Siena, Bd, 635

Andrew of Strumi, Bd, 549

Angela of Foligno, Bd, 440

Angelo of Borgo, Bd, 345

Angelo of Furcio, Bd, 266

Angelo of Gualdo, Bd, 339

Angilbert, St, 371

Anne Line, Bd, 436

Ansbert, St, 290

Anselm of Lucca, St, 628

Anselm of Nonantola, St, 470

Anskar, St, 242

Ansovinus, St, 586

Antherus, St, 26

Antonia of Florence, Bd, 446

Antoninus of Sorrento, St, 337

Antony, St (ab.), 104­ Antony Kauleas, St, 317

Antony Pucci, St 90

Antony of Amandola, Bd, 191

Antony of Stroncone, Bd, 272

Antony the Pilgrim, Bd, 230

Aparicio, Sebastian, Bd, 420

Apollinaris, St (virg.), 33

Apollinaris the Apologist, St, 50

Apollo, St, 165

Apollonia, St, 286

Apollonius, St (with Philemon), 521

Aquinas, Thomas, St, 509

Arcadius, St (mart.), 70

Archangela Girlani, Bd, 327

Archinimus, St (with Armogastes), 698

Ardo, St,- 516

Aregle, St, 619

Arialdo, Bd, 549

Armogastes, St (with Archinimus), 698

Artemas, St, 164

Arthelais, St, 467

Asclas, St, 152

Astyrius, St (with l\tlarinus), 466

Attalas, St, 547

Aubin of Angers, St, 452

Audifax, St (with Marius), 117

Augustus Chapdelaine, Bd, 364

Aurea, St, 563


January, February, lVIarch] Austreberta, St, 294

Auxentius, St, 335

Avertanus, Bd (with Romaeus), 419

Avitus of Vienne, St, 256

Ayrald, Bd, 23

B Babylas, St, 160

Balbina, St, 707

Baldomerus, St, 433

Bales, Christopher, Bd, 482

Balred, St, 502

Baptist of Mantua, Bd, 649

Barachisius, St (with Jonas), 696

Baradates, St, 395

Barbasymas, St, 82

Barbatus, St, 375

Barkworth, Mark, Bd, 435

Barnard, St, 156

Barontius, St, 677

Barsimaeus, St, 203

Bartholomew Roe, Bd, 140

Basil of Ancyra, St, 658

Basil the Younger, St, 688

Basilissa, St (with Julian), 56

Bathildis, St, 204

Beatrice of Ferrara, Bd, I 16

Beatrice of Ornacieu, Bd, 323

Beatus of Liebana, St, 376

Bellesini, Stephen, Bd, 245

Belludi, Luke, Bd, 359

Benedict, St, 650

Benedict Biscop, St, 72

Benedict of Aniane, St, 309

Benedict of Coltiboni, Bd, 132

Benedict of Milan, St, 559

Benedict the Hermit, St, 664

Benjamin, St, 709

Benvenuto of Osimo, St, 659

Berard, St (with others), 103

Berhtwald of Canterbury, St, 59

Berhtwald of Ramsbury, St, 147

Berka, Zdislava, Bd, 14

Bernard Scammacca, Bd, 354

Bernard of Capua, St, 577

Bernard of Corleone, Bd, 124

Bernard of Vienne, St, 156

Berno, St, 75

Berthold, St, 70 I

Bertilia of Mareuil, St,. 30

Bertoul, St, 257

Bertulf, St, 257

Besas, St (with Julian), 43 I

Bianchi, Francis X., St, 217

Bilfrid, St, 502

Bird, James, Bd, 682

Biscop, Benet, St, 72

Biscossi, Sibyllina, Bd, 665

Blaise, St, 239

Blesilla, St, 144

Boisil, St, 404

Bonaventure of ForB, Bd, 71 I

Bonavita, Bd, 456 ..

Boner, Isaiah, Bd, 282

Bonet, St, 97

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS Boniface of Lausanne, St, 376

Bonitus, St, 97

Bosa, St, 536

Bosco, John, St, 208

Boswell, St, 404

Botti, ViIJana de', Bd, 444

Bourgeoys, Margaret, Bd, 125

Braulio, St, 685

Bride, St, 225

Brigid, St, 225

Britto, John de, St, 254

Bufalo, Caspar del, St, 25

C Cacciafronte, John, Bd, 6 I C

Cadroe, St, 502

Caedrrlon, St, 305

Caesaria, St, 72

Caesarius of Nazianzus, St, 413

Calocerus, St, 340

Candlemas, 232

Canute, St, 121

Canute Lavard, St, 49

Capillas, Francis de, Bd, <)3

Capocci, James, Bd, 594

Casimir, St, 478

Caspar del Bufalo, St, 25

Castulus, St, 684

Catherine dei Ricci, St, 328

Catherine of Bologna, St, 536

Catherine of Vadstena, St, 66<)

Ceadda, St, 457

Ceolwulf, St, 98

Cerneuf, St, 40 I

Chad, St, 457

Chapdelaine, Augustus, Bd, 364

Charlemagne, Bd, 188

Charles of Sezze, St, 125

Charles the Good, Bd, 460

Chelidonius, St (with Emeterius), 467

Christian, Bd, 630

Christina of Aquila, Bd, 117

Christina of Spoleto, Bd, 324

Christopher Bales, Bd, 482

Christopher Macassoli, Bd, 563

Christopher of Milan, Bd, 456

Chrodegang, St, 501

Chrysostom, John, St, 178

Ciaran of Ossory, St, 48?

Ciaran of Saighir, St, 487

Ciccarelli, Christina, Bd, I 17

Clare of Rimini, Bd, 297

Clarus, St (ab.), 10

Claud La Colombiere, Bd, 346

Clement, St (with Agathangelus), 153

Clement Hofbauer, St, 601

Clet, Francis R., Bd, 362

Clitherow, Margaret, Bd, 679

Codratus, St, 544

Colette, St, 506

Colman of Lindisfarne, St, 369

Colombiere, Claud La, Bd, 346

Conan, St, 172

Concordius, St, 3


INDEX

[January, February, March

Conrad of Bavaria, Bd, 337

Conrad of Piacenza, St, 377

Conran, St, 336

Constantine, St (mart.), 556

Constantius of Fabriano, Bd, 420

Conti, Andrew, Bd, 360

Convoyon, St, 37

Corsini, Andrew, St, 246

Crispus, Benedict, St, 559

Cronion, St (with Julian), 431

Csaky, Maurice, Bd, 647

Cunegund, St (wid.), 470

Cuthbert, St, 637

Cuthman, St, 280

Cyneburga, St, 500

Cyneswide, St. 500

Cyril of Alexandria, St, 283

Cyril of Constantinople, St, 504

Cyril of Heliopolis, St, 697

Cyril of J enisalem, St, 623

Cyrus, St (with John), 212

D Dalby, Robert, Bd, 612

Damian, Peter, St, 399

Datius, St, 83

Dativus, St (with Saturninus), 303

David, St, 449

Deicolus, St, 116

Deogratias, St, 658

Desiderius of Therouanne, Bd, 133

Desle, St, 116

D'Este, Beatrice, Bd, 116

Dewi, St, 449

Didacus of Cadiz, Bd, 672

Didier of Therouanne, Bd, 133

Diego of Cadiz, Bd, 672

Diemoda, Bd, 701

Diemut, Bd, 701

Dismas, St, 676

Dodo, Bd, 706

Dominic Savio, St, 539

Dominic of Sora, St, 147

Dominica, St (with Indractus), 258

Dorotheus, St (with Peter), 573

Dorotheus the Younger, St, 38

Dorothy, St, 261

Dositheus, St, 403

Drausin, St, 515

Drausius, St, 515

Droctoveus, St, 547

Drotte, St, 547

Dufresse, Louis, Bd, 362

Duthac, St, 526

E Edward, St (mart.), 627

Edward Stransham, Bd, 140

Edward Waterson, Bd, 49

Eleusippus, St (with Speusippus), 109

Eleutherius of Tournai, St, 381

Elfleda, St, 278

Elias, St (mart.), 350

Elizabeth of Mantua, Bd, 383

Emerentiana, St, 152

Emeterius, St (with Chelidonius), 467

En da, St, 656

Epiphanius of Pavia, St, 139

Epiphany of Our Lord, The, 39

Erhard, St, 53

Ermengild, St, 323

Ermenilda, St, 323

Erminold, St, 42

Esterwine, St, 515

Ethelbert of Kent, St, 414

Ethelwald, St (bp), 317

Ethelwald the Hermit, St, 664

Eubulus, St (with Adrian), 484

Eucherius of Orleans, St, 381

Eugendus, St, 5

Eulogius of Cordova, St, 561

Euphrasia, St, 581

Euphrosyne, St, 4

Eupraxia, St, 581

Eusebia, St, 607

Eusebius, St (mart.), 215

Eusebius of Cremona, St, 485

Eustathius, St (mart.), 591

Eustochium of Messina, Bd, 354

Eustochium of Padua, Bd, 325

Euthymius the Great, St, 130

Eutropius, St (with Tigrius), 71

Eutychius, St (mart.), 591

Evangelist, Bd (with Peregrine), 644

Evermod, St, 358

Eystein, St, 174

F Fabian, St, 128

Fanchea, St, 656

Faustinus, St (with Jovita), 340

Fechin, St, 132

Felician, St, 16o

Felicity, St (with Perpetua), 493

Felix II (III), St, 451

Felix of Bourges, St, 9

Felix of Dunwich, St, 524

Felix of Nola, St, 80

Felix of Trier, St, 684

Fenn, James, Bd, 319

Ferreolus, Bd, 102

Fidati, Simon, Bd, 244

Filippini, Lucy, St, 683

Fillan, St, 120

Fina, St, 577

Finan of Lindisfarne, St, 357

Finnian Lobhar, St, 606

Fintan of Cloneenagh, St, 356

Flavian of Constantinople, St, 367

Flue, Nicholas von, St, 660

F oelan, St, 120

Fort, Roger Ie, Bd, 455

Founders of the Servites, The VII, 311

Frances of Rome, St, 529

Francis Bianchi, St, 217

Francis de Capillas, Bd, 98

Francis Clet, Bd, 362

Francis de Sales, St, 195


January, February, March] Frediano, St, 626

Fridolin, St, 499

Frigidian, St, 626

Fructuosus of r-rarragona, St, 137

Fulco of Neuilly, Bd, 461

Fulgentius, St, 6

Fursey, St, 101

G (-;'abriel Possenti, St, 429

Gabriel the Archangel, St, 667

Galantini, Hippolytus, Ed, 650

Gallerani, Andrew de', Bd, 635

Galnlier, St, 433

Gambara-Costa, Paula, Bd, 216

Garcia, Gonsalo, St, 259

Gardiner, Jennyn, Bd, 564

Genevieve, St, 28

Genou, St, rIO

Geno'vefa, St, 28

Genulf, St, 110

George of Amastris, St, 386

Gerald of Mayo, St, 5~4

Gerasimus, St, 486

Geremia, Peter, Bd, 550

Gerlac, St, 38

Gerland, St, 418

Germanicus, St, 118

Germanus of C;ranfel, St, 385

Gertrude of Delft, Bd, 43

Gertrude of NivelJes, St, 620

Gervinus, St, 472

Gilbert of Sempringham, St, 35 I

Gildas, St, 20 I

Giles l\lary, Bd, 275

Giles of Lorenzana, Ed, 89

Girlani, Archangela, Bd, 327

Godfrey of Kappenberg, Bd, 75

Gonsalo Garcia, St, 259

Gonsalo of Amarante, Bd, 103

Good 1"hief, The, 676

Gorgonius, St (\vith Peter), 573

Gregory I, St, 566

Glegory II, St, 308

Gregory X, Bd, 66

Gregory Makar, St, 608

Gregory of Langres, St, 30

Gregory of Nyssa, St, 533

Guarinus of Palestrina, St, 264

Guarinus of Sion, St, 42

Gudula, St, 54

Guenole, St, 469

Guerin, St, 42

GundJeus, St, 699

Guntramnus, St, 695

Guy of Pomposa, St, 709

G\\tladys, St, 699

H Harrington, William, Bd, 373

Hart, William, Bd, 597

Hed\vig of Poland, Bd, 445

Heldrad, St, 587

TIlE LIVES OF THE SAINTS Helladius, St, 369

I-Ienry lVlorse, Bd, 23 I

I-Ienry Suso, Bd, 464

Ilenry of Cocket, St, 103

IIenry of lJ ppsala, St, 123

IIemerford, l'homas, Bd, 318

II~rbert, St, 642

Herihert, St~ 608

Hernlenland, St, 677

lIilarus, St, 439

llilary of Poitiers , St, 77

I~ildegundJ St (\vid.), 265

I-lirnelin, St, 548

I-lippolytus Galantini, Bd, 650

I-Iofbauer, Clement, St, 601

floly Name of ] esus, T'he, 18

I-Ionoratus of ArIes, St, 100

I-Iugh of Fosses, Bd, 296

Hugolino of Cortona, Bd, 660

Hugolino of C~ualdo, Bd, 14

Humbert III of Savoy, Bd, 482

Humphrey, St (bp), 525

Hunfrid, St, 525

Hyacintha l\lariscotti, St, 206

Hyginus, St, 67

la, St, 240

Ignatius of Antioch, St, 2 I Q

Ifdephonsus, St, 155

Indractus, St (with Dominica), 258

Ines of Beniganim, Bd. 142

Ireland, John, Bd, 564

Irenaeus of Sirmium, St, 668

Isabel of France, Bd, 427

Isaiah Boner, Bd, 282

Isidore of Alexandria, St, 95

Isidore of Pelusiunl, St, 249

Isnardo of Chiampo, Bd, 659

Ita. St, 96

J .T acopino of Canepaci, Bd, 476

James Bird, Bd, 682

James Fcnn, Bd, 319

James Sales, Bd, 274

James of Naples, Bd, 594

Jan1es the Ahnsgiver, Bd, 190

Jermyn Gardiner, Bd, 564

Joan de Lestonnac, St, 237

] oan of France, St, 252

Joan of Toulouse, Bd, 710

Joan of Valois, St, 252

John, St (with Cyrus), 212

John An1ias, Bd, 612

John Bosco, St, 208

John de Britto, St, 254

John Calybites, St, 95

John Chrysostom, St, 178

John Climacus, St, i03

John Damascene, St, 689

] ohn Ireland, Bd, 564

John Joseph, St, 490

716


[January, February, March

INDEX John Lantrua, Bd, 363

John Larke, Bd, 564

John Munden, Bd, 319

John Nelson, Bd, 245

John Nutter, Bd, 319

John Ogilvie, Bd, 552

John Pibush, Bd, 373

John de Ribera, St, 43

John Sarkander, Bd, 622

John Baptist of Almodovar, Bd, 339

John of Capistrano, St, 693

John of Egypt, St, 69 I

John Baptist of Fabriano, Bd, 564

John of God, St, 517

John of Gorze, St, 434

John (( of the Grating", St, 229

John of Matha, St, 276

John of Panaca, St, 633

John of Parma, Bd, 646

John of Reomay, St, 187

John of Triora, Bd, 363

John of Vallombrosa, Bd, 550

John of Vicenza, Bd, 6 I John of Warneton, Bd, 184

John the Almsgiver, St, 153

John the Good, St (bp), 63

Jonas, St (with Barachisius), 696

Jordan of Pisa, Bd, 505

Jordan of Saxony, Bd, 343

Joseph, St, 63 I

Joseph OrioI, St, 666

Joseph Tommasi, Bd, IS

Joseph of Arimathea, St, 617

Joseph of Leonessa, St, 253

Josepha of Beniganiln, Bd, 142

Jovita, St (with Faustinus), 340

Julia of Certaldo, Bd, 345

Julian, St (with Basilissa), 56

Julian, St (with Cronion), 431

Julian, St (with Theodulus), 355

Julian Maunoir, Bd, 193

Julian Sabas, St, 110

Julian of Antioch, St, 604

Julian of Le Mans, St, 183

Julian of Toledo, St, 524

Julian the Hospitatler, St, 314

Juliana, St, 349

Justina of Arezzo, Bd, 578

Jutta of Huy, Bd, 76

]uventinus, St (with IVlaximinus), 164

K Kadlubek, Vincent, Bd, 528

Kauleas, Antony, St, 317

Kennoch, St, 583

Kentigern, St, 83

Kentigerna, St, 120

Kessog, St, 546

Ki~ran of Ossory, St, 487

Kieran of Saighir, St, 487

L

Landoald, St, 634

Lantrua, John, Bd, 363

Larke, John, Bd, 564

Laurence of Canterbury, St, 241

Laurence of Spoleto, St, 240

Lavard, Canute, St, 49

Lazarus of Milan, St, 304

Leander, St, 432

Le Clercq, Alix, Bd, 59

Leo, St (with Paregorius), 366

Leo of St Bertin, Bd, 427

Leobinus, St, 591

Leocritia, St, 597

Lesin, St, 322

Lesmes, St, 205

Lestonnac, Joan de, St, 237

Licinius, St, 322

Limnaeus, St (with Thalassius), 395

Line, Anne, Bd, 436

Loman, St, 356

Longinus, St, 594

Louis Dufresse, Bd, 362

Louisa Albertoni, Bd, 447

Louisa de Marillac, St, 598

Lourdes, Our Lady of, 298

Lubin, St, 591

Lucian of Antioch, St, 46

Lucian of Beauvais, St, 51

Lucius I, St, 479

Lucius, St (with l\iontanus), 408

Lucius of Adrianople, St, 304

Lucretia, St, 597

Lucy Filippini, St, 683

Ludan, St, 318

Ludger, St, 686

Ludolf, St, 702

Lufthildis, St, 157

Luke Belludi, Bd, 359

Luke the Younger, St, 271

Lupicinus, St, 438

IVI

Macarius of Alexandria, St, 19

Macarius of Jerusalern, St, 544

Macarius the Elder, St, 93

Macartan, St, 684

Macassoli, Christopher, Bd, 563

Macedonius, St, 161

l\iacrina the Elder, St, 82

Maedoc, St, 214

Maimbod, St, 157

Makar, Gregory, St, 608

Mamilian, St, 571

Mancini, Mary, Bd, 192

Manzi, Antony, Bd, 230

Marcella, St, 213

Marcellus I, St, 100

Marcian, St, 63

l\iarciana, St, 56

l\iarcolino of ForB, Bd, 161

Mareri, Philippa, Bd, 352

Margaret Bourgeoys, Bd, 125

Margaret Clitherow, Bd, 679

Margaret of Cortona, St, 396

Margaret ce of England ", St, 243

Margaret of Hungary, St, 176

Margaret of Ravenna, Bd, 157


January, Februar)', March] Marianus Scotus, Bd, 290

Marillac, Louisa de, St, 598

Marina, St, 313

Marinus, St (with Astyrius), 466

Mariscotti, Hyacintha, St, 206

Marius, St (ab.), 183

Marius, St (with Martha), 117

Mark Barkworth, Bd, 435

Mark of Arethusa, St, 697

Mark of Montegallo, Bd, 648

Maro, St, 334

Martha, St (with Marius), 117

Martin of Braga, St, 636

Martina, St, 203

Martinian the Hermit, St, 320

Martyrs of China, I, 361

Martys of Ebsdorf, 237

Martyrs of Japan, I, 259

Martyrs under the Lombards, 457

Martyrs of Mar Saba, 643

Martyrs of the Plague, 436

Martyrs of Sebastea, The XL, 541

Martyrs of the Serapeum, 619

Martyrs of Sinai, 83

Mary, B.V., Annunciation of, 673

Mary, B.V., Appearing of, 298

Mary, B.V., Purification of, 232

Mary of Pisa, Bd, 192

Matilda, St (wid.), 592

Matrona, St, 595

Matthias, St, 407

Maunoir, Julian, Bd, 193

Maurice of Hungary, Bd, 647

Maurus, St. 97

Maurus, Rabanus, Bd, 249

Maximilian, St, 571

Maximinus, St (with Juventinus), 164

May, St, 183

Meingold, St, 279

Meinrad, St, 139

Mel, St, 262

Melchu, St, 262

Meletius, St, 316

Meleusippus, St (with Speusippus), 109

Mesrop, St, 374

Messalina, St, 161

Miki, Paul, St, 259

Milburga, St, 405

Mildgytha, St, 406

Mochoemoc, St, 583

Modan, St, 249

Modomnoc, St, 322

Montanus, St (with Lucius), 408

Morse, Henry, Bd, 231

Moses, St (bp.), 270

Munchin, St, 21

Munden, John, Bd, 319

Mungo, St, 83

N

Nathalan, St, 118

Nelson, John, Bd, 245

Nestor, St, 422

Nicephorus, St (bp.), 584

Nicephorus, St (mart.), 286

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS Nicetas of Novgorod, St, 216

Nicetius, of Besan~on, St, 278

Nicholas von Flue, St, 660

Nicholas Owen, Bd, 579

Nicholas Paglia, Bd, 338

Nicholas Studites, St, 251

Nizier of Besan~on, St, 278

Noel Pinot, Bet, 391

Nolasco, Peter, St, 185

Non, St, 468

Nonnita, St, 468

Nutter, John, Bd, 319

o Octave of Christmas, I

Odilo, St, 12

Odo of Novara, Bd, 85

Odoric of Pordenone, Bd, 88

Oengus, St, 559

Ogilvie, John, Bd, 552

Oldegar, St, 503

Ollegarius, St, 503

Onesimus, St, 349

Oosten, Gertrude van, Bd, 43

Oringa, Bd, 32

Oriol, Joseph, St, 666

Orseolo, Peter, St, 64

Osburga, St, 705

Oswald of Worcester, St, 439

Oudoceus, St, 289

Owen, Nicholas, Bd, 579

Oyend, St, 5

P Pacian, St, 533

Paglia, Nicholas, Bd. 338

Pallotti, Vincent, St, 148

Paregorius, St (with Leo), 366

Paschal I, St, 3 I I

Patenson, William, Bd, 147

Patrick, St, 612

Patroclus, St, 138

Paul, St, Conversion of, 162

Paul Aurelian, St, 574

Paul Miki, St, 259

Paul of Cyprus, St, 621

Paul of Leon, St, 574

Paul of Narbonne, St, 657

Paul the Hermit, St, 1)1

Paul the Simple, St, 513

Paula, St, 171

Paula Gambara-Costa, Bd, 216

Paulinus of Aquileia, St, 188

Pega, St, 54

Pepin of Landen, Bd, 384

Peregrine, Bd (with Evangelist), 644

Perpetua, St (with Felicity), 493

Peter, St (with Gorgonius), 573

Peter, St, his Chair, 392

Peter, St, his Chair at Rome, 1 13

Peter Balsam, St, 26

Peter Baptist, St, 259

Peter Damian, St, 399

Peter Geremia, Bd, 550


INDEX

[January, February, March

Peter Igneus, Bd, 281

Peter Nolasco, St, 185

Peter Orseolo, St, 64

Peter Roque, Bd, 457

Peter Thomas, St, 191

Peter of Atroa, St, 10

Peter of Castelnau, Bd, 98

Peter of Cava, St, 481

Peter of Gubbio, Bd, 665

Peter of Sebastea, St, 57

Peter of Treia, Bd, 360

Pharaildis, St, 31

Phileas, St, 248

Philemon, St (with Apollonius), 521

Philippa Mareri, Bd, 352 â&#x20AC;˘

Phocas of Antioch, St, 485

Photina, St, 636

Pibush, John, Bd, 373

Picenardi, Elizabeth, Bd, 383

Pinot, Noel, Bd, 391

Pionius, St, 224

Piran, St, 489

Placida Viel, Bd, 483

Plumtree, Thomas, Bd, 253

Polycarp, St, 167

Polyeuctes, St, 320

Pontius, St, 520

Poppo, St, 166

Porphyry, St, 423

Porras, Raphaela, Bd, 44

Possenti, Gabriel, St, 429

Praejectus, St, 166

Praetextatus, St, 41 J

Prisca, St, I 15

Priscilla, St, 100

Prix, St, 166

Prix of Rouen, St, 41 1

Proterius, St, 437

Publius, St, 165

Pucci, Antony, St, 90

Q

Quinzani, Stephana, Bd, 24

R Rabanus Maurus, Bd, 249

Raphaela Mary, Bd, 44

Raymund of Fitero, Bd, 265

Raymund of Peiiafort, St, 149

Redi, Teresa M., St, 565

Reginald of Orleans, Bd, 359

Regulus, St, 702

Reinold, St, 48

Rembert, St, 25 I

Reynolds, Thomas, Bd, 140

Ribera, John de, Bd, 43

Ricasoli, Benedict, Bd, 132

Ricci, Catherine dei, St, 328

Richard, St (" King "), 270

Richardson, William, Bd, 361

Richimir, St, 112

Rieul, St, 702

Righi, John B., Bd, 564

Rigobert, St, 32

Rizzerio, Bd, 272

Robert Dalby, Bd, 612

Robert Southwell, Bd, 386

Robert of Arbrissel, Bd, 418

Roderic, St (with Solomon), 588

Roe, Alban, Bd, 140

Roger Ie Fort, Bd, 455

Roger of Ellant, Bd, 32

Roger of Todi, Bd, 88

Romaeus, Bd (with Avertanus), 419

Romanus, St (with Lupicinus), 438

Romuald, St, 266

Roque, Peter, Bd, 457

Roseline, Bd, 112

Rosendo, St, 454

Rudesind, St, 454

Rupert of Salzburg, St, 700

S

Sabinian, St, 201

Sabinus of Canosa, St, 288

Sabinus of Piacenza, St, 1 I 1

Sadoth, St, 380

Sales, Francis de, St, 195

Sales, James, Bd, 274

Salvator of Horta, St, 630

Salvius of Amiens, St, 70

Sansedoni, Ambrose, Bd, 644

Santuccia, Bd, 657

Sarkander, John, Bd, 622

Saturninus, St (with Dativus), 303

Saturus, St (with Armogastes), 698

Saultemouche, William, Bd, 274

Sauve of Amiens, St, 70

Sava, St, 86

Savio, Dominic, St, 539

Scammacca, Bernard, Bd, 354

Scholastica, St, 292

Scotivoli, Benvenuto, St, 659

Sebastian, St, 128

Sebastian Aparicio, Bd, 420

Sebastian Valfre, Bd, 207

Senan, St, 522

Seraphina, St, 577

Serapion of Thmuis, St, 655

Serenus'the Gardener, St, 401

Serlo, Bd, 473

Severian, St, 384

Severinus, St (ab.), 305

Severinus of Noricum, St, 52

Severinus of Septempeda, St, 53

Sherwood, Thomas, Bd, 273

Sibyllina of Pavia, Bd, 665

Sigebert III, St, 229

Sigfrid, St, 342

Silvin, St, 358

Simeon of Jerusalem, St, 365

Simeon the Stylite, St, 34

Simon of Cascia, Bd, 244

Simon of Trent, St, 67 I

Simplicius, St (pope), 545

Solomon, St (with Roderic), 588

Sophronius, St, 557

Sordi, John, Bd, 610


January, Februar}', March] Soteris, St, 293

Southwell, Robert, Bd, 386

Spagnuolo, Baptis~, Bd, 64<?

Speusippus, St (wIth EleuslppuS), 109

Stephana Quinzani, Bd, 24

Stephen Bellesini, Bd, 245

Stephen of Muret, St, 282

Stephen of Obazine, St, 527

Stephen of Rieti, St, 321

Stransham, Edward, Bd, 140

Sulpice, St, I I I

Sulpicius II, St, I I I

Sulpicius cc Severus ", St, 202

Suso, Henry, Bd, 464

Swithbert, St, 452

Syncletica, St, 33

T Tanco, St, 342

Tarasius, St, 416

Tatto, St, 342

Teilo, St, 288

Telemachus, St, 3

Telesphorus, St, 33

Tempier, William, Bd, 692

Teresa Redi, St, 565

Teresa Verzeri, Bd, 476

Terrebotti, Santuccia, Bd, 657

Thalassius, St (with Limnaeus), 395

1'halelaeus, St, 431

Theodore of Heraclea, St, 269

Theodosius the Cenobiarch, St, 68

Theodulus, St (with Julian), 355

Theophanes the Chronicler, St, 576

Theophilus the Penitent, St, 247

Theophylact, St, 516

Theotonius, St, 372

Thomas Aquinas, St, 509

Thomas Hemerford, Bd, 318

Thomas Plumtree, Bd, 253

Thomas Reynolds, Bd, 140

Thomas Sherwood, Bd, 273

Thomas of Cori" Bd, 127

Thomasius, Bd, 679

Thorfinn, St, 55

Tibba, S~ 500 .

Tigrius, St (with Eutroplus), 71

Tillo, St, 47

Timothy, St, 158

Titus, St, 260

Tommasi, Joseph, Bd, 15

Torello, Bd, 61 I

Tornielli, Bonaventure, Bd, 7 I I

Trumwin, St, 293

Tutilo, St, 696

Tyrannio, St (with Zenobius), 379

U Ulphia, St,

2 15

v

Vaast, St, 262

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS Valentine, St (bp), 47

Valentine, St (mart.), 332

Valerius of Saragossa, St, 142

\'alfre, Sebastian, Bd, 207

Vaneng, St 58

Vedast, St, 262

Verdiana, Bd, 353

Veremund, St, 526

\ieronica of Binasco, Bd, 76

'Verzeri, 1'eresa, Bd, 476

'Victor the Hermit, St, 426

Victoria, St, 303

Victorian, St (ab.), 72

v""ictorian, St (mart.), 663

v""ictorinus, St (mart.), 412

Vicl, Placida, Bd, 483

Villana of Florence, Bd, 4#

Vincent Pallotti, St, 148

Vincent of Cracow, Dd, 528

Vincent of Saragossa, St, 142

Vincentian, St, 22

'Vindician, St, 558

Virgil of Aries, St, 489

Vitalian, St, 184

Vittre, St, 426

Vodalus, St, 258

Voel, St, 258

Volusian, St, 116

J

W Walburga, St, 415

Walfrid, St, 341

Waningus, St, 58

\\Taterson, Edward, Bd, 49

Werburga, St, 241

William Harrington, Bd, 373

William Hart, Bd, 597

William Patenson, Bd, 147

William Richardson, Bd, 361

William Saultemouche, Bd, 274

William Tempier, Bd, 692

William of St Benignus, St, 12

William of Bourges, St, 65

William of IVlaleval, St, 295

William of Norwich, St, 671

Willigis, St, 406

Wiltrudis, St, 42

Winwaloe, St, 469

Wulfram, St, 642

Wulfric, St, 382

Wulfstan, St, 121

Wulsin, St, 55

Wulstan, St, 121

Z Zachary, St, 596

Zdislava, Bd, 14

Zenobius, St (with Tyrannio), 379

Zosimus, St, 704


BUTLER'S

LIVES OF THE SAINTS

COMPLETE EDITION

E D I TED,

REV I SED

A

~

D S L1 P P L E ]\1 E

~

TED

HERBERT]. THURSTON, S.].

AND

DONALD ATTWATER

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

Archbishop of Westminster

v() 1~ U Ai E

I I

APRIL路 MAY路 JUNE

C; t' n e ral 111 de x i 11

~/0

III rn t' 1 T'

CHRISTIAN CLASSICS Westminster, Maryland

1990

BY


NIHIL OBSTAT: PATRICIVS MORRIS, S.T.D., L.S.S.

CENSOR DEPVTATVS

IMPRIMATVR: E. MORROGH BERNARD

VICARIVS GENERALIS

WESTMONASTERII: DIE XXIII FEBRVARII MCMLIII

Christian Classics, Inc. PC). BC)X

~H)

WES'T~fINS'TER,MD.

21157

All rights reserved. No part of this

publication may be reproduced in any

form or by any means without

previous written permission.

Lives of the Saints originally published 1756-9.

Revised edition by Herbert J. Thurston, S. J.,

published 1926-38. Copyright by Burns & Oates.

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

Donald Attwater, published 1956.

Copyright © Burns & Oates 1956.

Reprinted 1981

Foreword copyright © Burns & Oates 1981

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER: 56-5383 ISBN: Cloth 0 87061 0457, Paperback 0 87061 1372

P R I NT ED I NTH E LT NIT E D STAT E S () F A \1 E RIC A


CONTENTS OF VOLUME II

APRIL PAGE

1. St Melito, bishop St Walaricus, or Valery, abbot St Macarius the Wonder-worker St Hugh of Grenoble, bishop St Hugh of Bonnevaux, abbot St Gilbert of Caithness, bishop St Catherine of Palma, virgin Bd Ludovic Pavoni

I

2 3 5 5 6 7

2. St Francis of Paola SSe Apphian and Theodosia, martyrs St Mary of Egypt St Nicetius, or Nizier, bishop Bd John Payne, martyr Bd Leopold of Gaiche

3. St Pancras of Taormina, bishop and martyr St Sixtus, or Xystus, I, pope and m&.rtyr SSe Agape, Chionia and Irene, virgins and martyrs St Burgundofara, or Fare, virgin St N icetas, abbot St Richard of Chichester, bishop Bd Gandulf of Binasco Bd John of Penna

4. St Isidore of Seville, bishop and doctor SSe Agathopus and Theodulus, martyrs St Tigernach, bishop St Plato, abbot Bd Peter of Poitiers, bishop St Benedict the Black

5. St Vincent Ferrer St Derfel Gadarn St Ethelburga of Lyminge, matron St Gerald of Sauve-Majeure, abbot St Albert of Montecorvino, bishop Bd Juliana of Mount Cornillon, virgin Bd Crescentia of Kaufbeuren, virgin

6. C:XX Martyrs in Persia

10 13 14足 16 1-6 17 18 18 19 21 21 22

2S 2S 26 27

28 28 29 30 31 34足

3S 35 36 37 38 39

v


THE LIVES OF 'THE SAINTS

A.pril]

PAGE

St Marcellinus, martyr

St Celestine I, pope

St Eutychius, bishop

St Prudentius, bishop

Bd Notker Balbulus

St William of Eskill, abbot

Bd Catherine of Pallanza, virgin

40

40

4 1

42

42

43

44足

7. St Hegesippus St Aphraates St George the Younger of Mitylene, bishop St Celsus, or Ceallach, archbishop St Aybert Bd Hennan Joseph Bd Ursulina, virgin Bd William of Scicli BB. Alexander Rawlins and Henry Walpole, martyrs BB. Edward Oldcorne and Ralph AshleYJ martyrs

4S

4S

46

47

47

48

49

50

50

51

Ed Mary Assunta Pallotta (See Appendix III)

8. St Dionysius of Corinth, bishop

St Perpetuus, bishop

St Walter of Pontoise, abbot

Bd Clement of Osimo

Bd Julian of St Augustine

Bd Julia Billiart, virgin

S2

53

53

54

5S

56

9. St Mary of Cleophas, matron

St Waldetrudis, or Waudru, wido\v

St Hugh of Rouen, bishop

St Gaucherius, abbot

Bd Ubald of Florence

Bd Thomas of Tolentino, martyr

Bd Antony Pavoni, martyr

58

58

59

59

60

60

61

61

10. St Bademus, abbot The Martyrs under the Danes St Macarius, or Macaire, of Ghent St Fulbert of Chartres, bishop St Patemus of Abdinghof Bd Antony Neyrot, martyr Bd Mark Fantucci St Michael de Sanctis

62

62

63

64

64

65

66

67

11. St Leo the Great, pope and doctor St Barsanuphius St Isaac of Spoleto St Godeberta, virgin St Guthlac Bd Waltman, abbot Bd Rainerius Inclusus Bd George Gervase, martyr St Gemma Galgani, virgin

70

71

71

72

73

74

74

7S

Bd Helen Guerra (See Appendix II I)

vi


CONTENTS

[AP1il PAGE

12. St Julius I, pope St Zeno of Verona, bishop St Sabas the Goth, martyr SSe Alferius and other abbots of L,a Cava Bd Andrew of Montereale Bd Angelo of Chivasso

13. St Hermenegild, martyr

76 77

78 80 80 81

82

SSe Carpus, Papylus and Agathonice, martyrs St Martius, or Mars, abbot Bd Ida of Boulogne, widow Bd James of Certaldo, abbot Bd Ida of Louvain, virgin Bd Margaret of Citta-di-Castello, virgin BB. John Lockwood and Edmund Catherick, martyrs

14. St Justin Martyr SSe Tiburtius, Valerius and Maximus, martyrs St Ardalion, martyr St Lanlbert of Lyons, archbishop St Bernard of Tiron, abbot Bd Lanvinus St Caradoc St Benezet Bd Peter Gonzalez SSe John, Antony and Eustace, martyrs Bd Lydwina of Schiedam, virgin

83 84 85 85

86 87

87 88 91 91 91

92 92 93 93

94 95 9S

15. SSe Basilissa and Anastasia, martyrs St Padarn, or Patem, bishop St Ruadan of Lothra, abbot St Hunna, matron

16. SSe Optatus and his Companions, and St Encratis, virgin martyrs 5t Turibius of Ast~rga, bishop St Patemus, or Pair, bishop St Fructuosus of Braga, archbishop St Magnus of Orkney, martyr St Drogo, or Druon St Contardo Bd Joachim of Siena Bd William of Polizzi Bd Archangelo of Bologna St Benedict Joseph Labre St Bernadette, virgin

100 101 101 102 103 104 104 105 106 106 106

108

17. St Anicetus, pope and martyr SSe Mappalicus and his Companions, martyrs St Innocent, bishop SSe Donnan and his Companions, martyrs St Robert of Chaise-Dieu, abbot St Stephen Harding, abbot Bd Eberhard of Marchthal, abbot

vii

112 112 113 113

113 114 116


April]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS PAGE

Bd James of Cerqueto Bd Clare of Pisa, widow

117 117

18. St Apollonius the Apologist, martyr SSe Eleutherius and his Companions, martyrs St Laserian, Laisren, or Molaisse, bishop St Idesbald, abbot St Galdinus, archbishop Bd James of Lodi Bd Andrew Hibernon Bd Mary of the Incarnation, widow

19. St Leo IX, pope

119 120 121 122 122 12 3 124 124 126 128 129 129 129 131 132 132

St Expeditus St Ursmar, abbot and bishop St Geroldus St Alphege, archbishop and martyr Bd Bernard the Penitent Bd Conrad of Ascoli Bd James Duckett, martyr

20. St Marcellinus of Embrun, bishop St Marcian, or Marian St Caedwalla Bd Hugh of Anzy St Hildegund, virgin St Agnes of Montepulciano, virgin Bd Simon of Todi BB. James Bell and John Finch, martyrs BB. Robert Watkinson and Francis Page, martyrs

21. St Anselm, archbishop and doctor SSe Simeon Barsabae, bishop, and his Companions, martyrs St Anastasius I of Antioch, bishop St Beuno, abbot St Malrubius, or Maelrubha, abbot St. Conrad of Parzham

22. SSe Soter and eaius, popes and martyrs SSe Epipodius and Alexander, martyrs St Leonides, martyr St Agapitus I, pope St Theodore of Sykeon, bishop St Opportuna, virgin and abbess Bd Wolfhelm, abbot Bd Francis of Fabriano Bd Bartholomew of Cervere, martyr

23. St George, martyr SSe Felix, Fortunatus and Achilleus, martyrs St Ibar, bishop St Gerard of Toul, bishop St Adalbert of Prague, bishop and martyr

viii

133 134 134 134 135 135 137 137 137 13 8 14 1 142 142 143 143 144 144 145 145 146 147 147 147 148 148 15째 lSI lSI

152


CONTENTS

[Ap,.il PAGE

Bd Giles of Assisi Bd Helen of Udine, widow

154 155

24. St Fidelis of Sigmaringen, martyr St St St St St

15 6 157 157 15 8 15 8 159

Mellitus, archbishop Ivo, bishop Egbert, bishop William Finnatus Mary Euphrasia Pelletier, virgin

25. St Mark, evangelist St Anianus, bishop St Heribald, bishop BB. Robert Anderton and William Marsden, martyrs

26. SS. Cletus and Marcellinus, popes and martyrs St Peter of Braga, bishop St Richarius, or Riquier, abbot St Paschasius Radbertus, abbot Bd John I of Valence, bishop St Franca of Piacenza, virgin and abbess BB. Dominic and Gregory Bd AIda, or Aldobrandesca, wido\v St Stephen of Penn, bishop

27. St Peter Canisius, doctor

16 3 164 164 164 165 166 166 166 16 7 168 17 1 171 172 172 173 173 J74 175 175 17 6 17 6

St Anthimus, bishop St Asicus, or Tassach, bishop St Maughold, or Maccul, bishop St Floribert, bishop St Stephen Pechersky, bishop St Zita, virgin Bd Peter Annengol Bd Antony of Siena Bd J ame~ of Bitetto Bd Osanna of Cattaro, virgin St Turibius of Lima, archbishop

28. St Paul of the Cross SS. Vitalis and Valeria, martyrs St Pollio, martyr SS. Theodora and Didymus, martyrs St Cronan of Roscrea, abbot St Pamphilus of Sulmona, bishop St Cyril of Turov, bishop Bd Luchesio St Louis Mary of Montfort St Peter Mary Chanel, martyr

29. St Peter of Verona, martyr St St St St

160 162 162 16 3

17 8 181 181 181 182 182 182 18 3 184 186 186 187 188 18 9 191

Wilfrid the Younger, bishop Hugh of Cluny, abbot Robert of Molesmes, abbot Joseph Cottolengo

ix


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

May]

PAGE

30. St Catherine of Siena, virgin St Maximus, martyr SSe Marian and James, martyrs St Eutropius, bishop and martyr Bd Hildegard, matron St Forannan, abbot St Gualfardus, or W olfhard BB. Francis Dickenson and Miles Gerard, martyrs Bd Benedict of Urbino

192

198

198

199

199

200

200

201

201

MAY 1. St Joseph the Workman

St Amator, or Amatre, bishop

St Brieuc, or Briocus, abbot

St Sigismund of Burgundy

St Marculf, or Marcoul, abbot

St Theodard of Narbonne, archbishop

St Peregrine Laziosi

2. St Athanasius, archbishop and doctor

SSe Exsuperius and Zoe, martyrs

St Waldebert, abbot

St U"ltan, abbot

St Wiborada, virgin and martyr

Bd Conrad of Seldenbiiren

St Mafalda

2 0 3

207

208

20 9

210

210

211

212

2 1 7

2 1 7

218

218

2 1 9

2 1 9

3. The Finding of the Holy Cross

SSe Alexander, Eventius and Theodulus, martyrs

SSe Timothy and Maura, martyrs

St Juvenal, bishop

St Philip of Zell

4. The Martyrs of England and Wales

St Monica, widow

St Cyriacus, or Judas Quiriacus, bishop

St Pelagia of Tarsus, virgin and martyr

St Florian, martyr

St Venerius, bishop

St Godehard, or Gothard, bishop

Bd Catherine of Parc-aux-Dames, virgin

Bd Gregory of Verucchio

Bd Michael Giedroyc

Bd John Moye (See Appendix III)

5. St Pius V, pope

St Hilary of ArIes, bishop

St Maunmtius, abbot

St Avertinus

220

223

223

224

224

225

226

229

23째

23째

23 1

231

232

232

233

234

236

23 8

239

x


CONTENTS

[May PAGE

St Angelo, martyr St Jutta, widow

239 239

6. St John before the Latin Gate St Evodius, bishop St Edbert, bishop St Petronax, abbot Bd Prudence, virgin BB. Edward Jones and Antony Middleton, martyrs

7. St Stanislaus, bishop and martyr St Domitian, bishop St I~iudhard, bishop SSe Serenicus and Serenus St John of Beverley, bishop Bd Rose Venerini, virgin

8. The Appearing of St Michael

249

St Victor Maurus, martyr St Acacius, or Agathus, martyr St Gibrian St Desideratus, bishop St Boniface IV, pope St Benedict II, pope SSe Wiro, Plechelm and Otger St Peter of Tarentaise, archbishop

25째 25째 25 1 25 1 252

252 253 253

9. St Gregory Nazianzen, bishop and doctor St Beatus St Pachomius, abbot St Gerontius, bishop Bd Nicholas Albergati, bishop

255 259

259 262

262

10. St Antoninus of Florence, archbishop St Calepodius, martyr SSe Gordian and Epimachus, martyrs SSe Alphius and his Companions, martyrs SSe Catald and Conleth, bishops St Solangia, virgin and martyr Bd Beatrice of Este, virgin Bd John of Avila

11. SS. Philip and Jal11es St Mamertus, bishop St Comgall, abbot St Asaph, bishop St Gengulf, or Gengoul St Majolus, or Mayeul, abbot St Ansfrid, bishop St Walter of L'Esterp, abbot Bd Albert of Bergamo Bd Vivaldo Bd Benincasa Bd Aloysius Rabata

xi


May]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS PAGE

Bd Ladislaus of Gielniow The English Carthusian Martyrs, and others St Francis di Girolamo St Ignatius of Laconi

12. SSe Nereus, Achilleus and Domitilla, martyrs St Pancras, martyr St Epiphanius of Salamis, bishop St Modoaldus, bishop St Rictrudis, widow St Germanus of Constantinople, bishop St Dominic of the Causeway Bd Francis Patrizzi Bd Gemma of Solmona, virgin Bd Jane of Portugal, virgin Bd John Stone, martyr

13. St Robert Bellarmine, archbishop and doctor St G lyceria, virgin and martyr St Mucius, martyr St Servatius, or Servais, bishop St John the Silent St Erconwald, bishop St Euthymius the Enlightener, abbot Bd Imelda, virgin Bd Julian of Norwich, virgin St Peter Regalatus St Andrew Hubert Fournet

14. St Pontius, martyr St Boniface of Tarsus, martyr St Carthage, Carthach, or Mochuda, abbot St Erembert, bishop Bd Giles of Portugal Bd Petronilla of Moncel, virgin Bd Magdalen di Canossa, virgin St Michael Garicoits St Mary Mazzarello, virgin

15. St John Baptist de la Salle SSe Torquatus and his Companions, martyrs St Isidore of Chios, martyr SSe Peter of Lampsacus and his Companions, martyrs St Hilary of Galeata, abbot SSe Dympna and Gerebernus, martyrs SSe Bertha and Rupert St Hallvard, martyr St Isaias of Rostov, bishop St Isidore the Husbandman Bd Magdalen Albrizzi, virgin

16. St Ubald of Gubbio, bishop St Peregrine of Auxerre, bishop and martyr

xii

276 277 280 281 28 4 28 5 285 287 288 288 28 9 29° 29 1 291 292 292 296 296 297 29 8 299 3°0 3°1 301 3°3 3°3 3°5 3°5 306 307 308 3°9 3°9 3 12 3 13 315 3 19 319 3 19 320 320 322 322 323 323 3 24 325 3 26


CONTENTS

[May PAGE

St St St St St St St St

Possidius, bishop

Germerius, bishop

Brendan, abbot

Domnolus, bishop

Carantoc, or Carannog, abbot

Honoratus of Amiens, bishop

Simon Stock

John Nepomucen, martyr

3 2 7

3 2 7

3 28

3 2 9

3 2 9

33째

33째

332

17. St Paschal Baylon St Madron, or Madem Bd Ratho of Andechs St Bruno of Wiirzburg, bishop Bd Andrew Abellon

333

337

339

339

34째

18. St Venantius, martyr SSe Theodorus, Thecusa and their Companions, martyrs St Potamon, bishop and martyr St Eric of Sweden, martyr Bd William of Toulouse St Felix of Cantalice

340

34 1

19. St Celestine V, pope SSe Pudentiana and Pudens, martyrs SSe Calocerus and Parthenius, martyrs Bd Alcuin, abbot St Dunstan, archbishop St I vo of Kennartin Bd Augustine Novello Bd Peter Wright, martyr

345

347

348

20. St Bernardino of Siena St Thalelaeus, martyr St BasilIa, or Basilissa, virgin and martyr St Baudelius, martyr St Austregisilus, or Outril, bishop St Ethelbert, martyr Bd Columba of Rieti, virgin

21. St Godric Bd Benvenuto of Recanati St Andrew Bobola, martyr St Theophilus of Corte Bd Crispin of Viterbo

22. SSe Castus and Aemilius, martyrs St Quiteria, virgin and martyr St Romanus St Julia, martyr St Aigulf, or Ayoul, bishop St Humility, widow St Rita of Cascia, widow

xiii

342

342

343

344

348

349

35 1

353

353

354

357

357

357

35 8

35 8

359


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Mayl

PAGE

Bd John Forest, martyr St Joachima de Mas y de Vedruna, widow

23. St Desiderius, or Didier, bishop and martyr

St Guibert

St Leontius of Rostov, bishop and martyr

St Ivo of Chartres, bishop

St Euphrosyne of Polotsk, virgin

St William of Rochester, martyr

Bd Gerard of Villamagna

Bd Bartholomew of Montepulciano

St John Baptist Rossi

37째 37 1 374 375 376 376 377 378 378 379 379

24. SSe Donatian and Rogatian, martyrs

St Vincent of Lerins

Bd Lanfranc of Canterbury, archbishop

St David I of Scotland

St N icetas of Pereaslav, martyr

Bd John of Prado, martyr

25. St Gregory VII, pope

St Urban I, pope and martyr

St Dionysius of Milan, bishop

St Zenobius, bishop

St Leo, or Lye, abbot

St Aldhelm, bishop

St Gennadius, bishop

Bd Claritus

St Madeleine Sophie Barat, virgin

26. St Philip Neri St Quadratus, bishop SSe Priscus, or Prix, and his Companions, martyrs St Lambert of Vence, bishop Bd Eva of Liege, virgin St Mariana of Quito, virgin BB. Peter Sanz, bishop, and his Companions, martyrs

27. St Bede the Venerable, doctor St Restituta of Sora, virgin and martyr SSe Julius and his Companions, martyrs St Eutropius of Orange, bishop St John I, pope and martyr St Melangell, or Monacella, virgin

28. St Augustine, or Austin, of Canterbury, archbishop St Senator, bishop St Justus of U rgel, bishop St Gennanus of Paris, bishop St William of Gellone St Bernard of Montjoux St Ignatius of Rostov, bishop Bd Margaret Pole, widow and martyr

xiv

395 399

400 400

4째0 4째1

4째2


CONTENTS

(June PAGE

Bd Mary Bartholomea of Florence, virgin The London Martyrs of 1582

29. St Mary Magdalen dei Pazzi, virgin St Cyril of Caesarea, martyr St Maximinus of Trier, bishop SSe Sisinnius, Martyrius and Alexander, martyrs St Theodosia, virgin and martyr SSe William, Stephen, Raymund and their Companions, martyrs Bd Peter Petroni Bd Richard Thirkeld, martyr

30. St Felix I, pope St Eleutherius, pope St Isaac of Constantinople, abbot St Exsuperantius, bishop St Madelgisilus, or Mauguille St Walstan St Ferdinand of Castile Bd Andrew of Pistoia, bishop St Joan of Are, virgin Bd James Bertoni BB. William Scott and Richard Newport, martyrs

31. St lvlary the Queen

414 4 15 4 16 4 19 419

420 420 421 421 422 422 423 423 424足 424足

424 426 4 26 427

43 1 43 1 432

St Petronilla, virgin and martyr SSe Cantius, Cantianus and Cantianella, martyrs St Mechtildis of Edelstetten, virgin Bd James the Venetian

434 434 435 43 6

JUNE 1. St Angela Merici, virgin St Pamphilus and his Companions, martyrs St Wite, or Candida St Proculus, " the Soldier", and St. Proculus, bishop St Caprasius, or Caprais St Wistan St Simeon of Syracuse St Eneco, or Inigo, abbot St Theobald of Alba Bd John Pelingotto Bd Herculanus of Piegaro Bd John Storey, martyr The Martyrs of Japan, II Bd Felix of Nicosia 2. SSe Marcellinus and Peter, martyrs St Erasmus, bishop and martyr SSe Pothinus and his Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne St Eugenius I, pope St Stephen of Sweden, bishop and martyr XV

432 437

438 439 440 440 441 442 443 443 444 444 445 452 452

453 454 458 458


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS PAGE

St Nicholas the Pilgrim BB. Sadoc and his Companions, martyrs

3. St Cecilius SSe Pergentinus and Laurentinus, martyrs SSe Lucillian and his Companions, martyrs St Clotilda, widow SSe Liphardus and Urbicius, abbots St Kevin, or Coemgenj abbot St Genesius of Clermont, bishop St Isaac of Cordova, martyr St Morand Bd Andrew of Spello Bd John cc the Sinner U SSe Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa and their Companions, the Martyrs of Uganda

4. St Francis Caracciolo

459 459 460 460 461 462 463 463 465 465 466 466 467 468 470 472 473 474 475 476

St Quirinus, bishop and martyr St Metrophanes, bishop St Optatus of Milevis, bishop St Petroc, abbot St Vincentia Gerosa, virgin

5. St Boniface, archbishop and martyr St Dorotheus of Tyre, martyr St Sanctius, or Sancho, martyr Bd Meinwerk, bishop Bd Ferdinand of Portugal

6. St Norbert, archbishop

477 481 482 482 483 484 487 488 488 489 489 490 491 491

St Philip the Deacon St Ceratius, or C~rase, bishop St Eustorgius I I of Milan, bishop St Jarlath, bishop St Gudwal, or Gurval St Claud of Besan~on, bishop Bd Gerard of Monza Bd Laurence of Villamagna Bd 11arcellinus Champagnat (See Appendix III)

7. St Paul I of Constantinople, bishop

49 2 493 493 494 494足 49 6 49 6 497 499 500

St Meriadoc, bishop St Colman of Dromore, bishop St Vulftagius, or Wulphy St Willibald, bishop St Gottschalk, martyr St Robert of Newminster, abbot Bd Baptista Varani, virgin Bd Anne of St Bartholomew, virgin St Antony Gianelli, bishop

8. St Maximinus of Aix

501

St Medard, bishop

502

xvi


CONTENTS

[Jun, PAGE

St Clodulf, or Cloud, bishop St William of York, archbishop Bd John Rainuzzi Bd Pacifico of Cerano

5°3 5°3 5°5 506

9. St Columba, or Colmcille, abbot SSe Primus and Felician, martyrs St Vincent of Agen, martyr St Pelagia of Antioch, virgin and martyr St Richard of Andria, bishop DB. Diana, Cecilia and Amata, virgins Bd Silvester of Valdiseve Bd I-Ienry the Shoemaker Bd Anne Mary Taigi, matron

506 5°9 510 510 51!

5I

I

5 12 5 13

513

10. St Margaret of Scotland, matron SSe Getulius and his Companions, martyrs St Ithamar, bishop St Landericus, or Landry, bishop Bd Olive of Palermo, virgin and martyr St Bogumilus, archbishop Bd Henry of Treviso Bd Bonaventure of Peraga Bd John Dominici, archbishop

11. St Barnabas, apostle

522 524 525 525

SSe Felix and Fortunatus, martyrs St Parisio Bd Paula Frassinetti, virgin

12. St John of Sahagun SSe Basilides and his Companions, martyrs St Antonina, martyr St Onuphrius St Ternan, bishop St Peter of Mount Athos St Leo III, pope St Odulf St Eskil, bishop and martyr Bd Stephen Bandelli

13. St Antony of Padua, doctor

526 527 528 528 529 53° 53 1 532 533 534

534 537 53 8 53 8 53 8

St Felicula, martyr St Aquilina, martyr St Triphyllius, bishop Bd Gerard of Clairvaux

14. St Basil the Great, archbishop and doctor SSe Valerius and Rufinus, martyrs St Dogmael St Methodius I of Constantinople, bishop Bd Castora Gabrielli, widow

xvii

539 542 542 543 544


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS PAGE

15. SSe Vitus, Modestus and Crescentia, martyrs St Hesychius, martyr St Tatian Dulas, martyr St Orsiesius, abbot St Landelinus, abbot St Edburga of Winchester, virgin St Bardo, archbishop St Aleydis, or Alice, virgin Bd Jolenta of Hungary, widow St Germaine of Pibrac, virgin

545 546 546 547 547 548 549 549

55 0 55 0

Bd Aloysius Palazzolo (See Appendix III)

16. SSe Ferreolus and Ferrutio, martyrs SS. Cyricus and Julitta, martyrs St Tychon of Amathus, bishop St Aurelian, bishop St Benno, bishop Bd Guy of Cortona St Lutgardis, virgin St John Francis Regis

17. St Gregory Barbarigo, bishop SSe Nicander and Marcian, martyrs St Bessarion St Hypatius, abbot St Avitus, abbot St Nectan St Herve, or Harvey, abbot St Botulf, or Botolph, abbot, and St Adulf St Moling, bishop St Rainerius of Pisa SSe Teresa and Sanchia of Portugal Bd Peter of Pisa St Emily de Vialar, virgin

18. St Ephraem, doctor SSe Mark and Marcellian, martyrs St Amandus of Bordeaux, bishop St Elizabeth of SchlSnau, virgin

19. St Juliana Falconieri, virgin SSe Gervase and Protase, martyrs St Deodatus, or Die, bishop St Bruno, or Boniface, of Querfurt, bishop and martyr Bd Odo of Cambrai, bishop Bd Thomas Woodhouse, martyr

20. St Silverius, pope and martyr St Goban, or Gobain, martyr St Bagnus, or Bain, bishop St Adalbert of Magdeburg, archbishop St John of Matera, abbot Bd Michelina of Pesaro, widow

552 552 554

554 555 55 6 557 5S 8 561 562 56 4 5 64 565 5 66

56 7 568

5 69 5 69

570 57 1 572 574 578 579 579


CONTENTS

[June PAGB

Ed Osanna of Mantua, virgin The English Martyrs of the Oates Plot

59 2 596

21. St Aloysius

St Eusebius of Samosata, bishop

St Alban, or Albinus, of Mainz, martyr

St Meen, or Mewan, abbot

St Engelmund

St Leutfridus, or Leufroy, abbot

St Ralph, or Raoul, archbishop

Bd John Rigby, martyr

22. St Alban, martyr St Nicetas of Remesiana, bishop St Paulinus of Nola, bishop St Eberhard of Salzburg, archbishop Bd Innocent V, pope

612 61.4 61 5 617 618

23. St Agrippina, virgin and martyr St Etheldreda, or Audrey, widow St Lietbertus, or Libert, bishop Bd Peter of Jully Bd Lanfranc of Pavia, bishop Bd Mary of Oignies, virgin Bd Thomas Corsini Bd Thomas Gamet, martyr St Joseph Cafasso

24. The Birthday of St John the Baptist The Martyrs under Nero St Simplicius, bishop St Bartholomew of Farne

25. St William of Vercelli, abbot St Febronia, virgin and martyr St Gallicanus St Prosper of Aquitaine St Prosper of Reggio, bishop St Maximus of Turin, bishop St Moloc, or Luau, bishop St Adalbert of Egmond St Eurosia, virgin and martyr SSe Gohard, bishop, and his Companions, martyrs Bd Henry of Zdik Olomuc, bishop Bd John the Spaniard Bd Guy Maramaldi

26. SSe John and Paul, martyrs St Vigilius, bishop and martyr St Maxentius, abbot SSe Salvius, or Sauve, and Superius St John of the Goths, bishop St Pelagius, martyr St Anthelm, bishop

63 1 633 634 634 635 637 638 639 639 640 64 1 64 1 642 643 643 6+1足

645

645

646 647 64 8 648 649 65 0


Jun~]

THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS PAGE

27. SSe Zoilus and his Companions, martyrs St Samson of Constantinople St John of Chinon St George Mtasmindeli, abbot St Ladislaus of Hungary Bd Benvenuto of Gubbio BB. Madeleine Fontaine and her Companions, virgins and martyrs 28. St Irenaeus, bishop (transferred to July 3.) SSe Plutarch, Potamiaena and their Companions, martyrs St Paul I, pope St Heimrad SSe Sergius and Germanus, abbots Bd John Southworth, martyr

29. St Peter, apostle St Paul, apostle St Cassius, bishop SSe Salome and Judith St Emma, widow

30. The Commemoration of St Paul St Martial, bishop St Bertrand of Le Mans, bishop St Erentrude, virgin St Theobald, or Thibaud, of Provins Bd Arnulf of Villers Bd Philip Powell, martyr

Index

652 652 653 653 654 655 655 65 6 65 8 659 660 662 662


BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS

Acta Sanctorum. - This without qualification refers to the Acta Sanctorum of the Bollandists. BHG. - The Bibliotheca hagiographica graeca of the Bollandists. BHL. - The Bibliotheca hagiographica latina of the Bollandists. BHO. - The Bibliotheca hagiographica orientalis of the Bollandists. Burton and Pollen, LEM. - Lives of the English Martyrs, second series, ed. E. H. Burton and J. H. Pollen. Camm, LEM. - Lives of the English Martyrs, first series, ed. Bede Camm. CMH. - H. Delehaye's Commentary on the Hieronymian Martyrology, in the Acta Sanctorum, November, volume ii, part 2. DAC. - Dictionnaire d'Archeologie chretienne et de Liturgie, ed. F. Cabrol and H. Leclercq. DCB. - A Dictionary of Christian Biography, ed. William Smith and Henry Wace. DHG. - Dictionnaire d'Histoire et de Geographie ecclesiastiques, ed. A. Baudrillart et ale DNB. - The Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Leslie Stephen et ale DTC. - Dictionnaire de Theologie catholique, ed. A. Vacant et ale KSS. - Kalendars of Scottish Saints, ed. A. P. Forbes. LBS. - Lives of the British Saints, by S. Baring-Gould and John Fisher. LIS. - Lives of the Irish Saints, by John O'Hanlon. Mabillon. - Acta Sanctorum Ordinis Sancti Benedicti, ed. J. Mabillon. MGH. - Monumenta Germaniae Historica, ed. G. H. Pertz et ale MMP. - Memoirs of Missionary Priests, by Richard Challoner, referred to in the edition of 1924, ed. J. H. Pollen. PG. - Patrologia graeca, ed. ]. P. Migne. PL. -Patrologia latina, ed. J. P. Migne. REPSJ. - Records of the English Province of the Society of Jesus, ed. Henry Foley. Ruinart. - Acta primorum martyrum sincera et selecta, ed. T. Ruinart. Stanton's Menology. - A Menology of England and Wales, by Richard Stanton. VSH. - Vitae Sanctorum Hiberniae, ed. Charles Plummer. Father H. Delehaye's Les origines du culte des martyrs is referred to in the " deuxieme edition revue" of 1933. There is an English translation by Mrs V. M. Crawford of Father Delehaye's Les legendes hagiographiques (" The Legends of the Saints "), made from the first edition. The third French edition (1927) is revised and is therefore sometimes referred to. The English title of the work herein referred to as "Leon, L'Aureole leraphique (Eng. trans.) " is Lives of the Saints and Blessed of the Three Orders of St Francis,

xxi


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

ABBREVIATIONS

by Father Leon (Vieu) de Clary. A corrected and enlarged edition of this work in I talian, by Father G. C. Guzzo, began publication in 195 I : Aureola serafica. By 1954 four volumes had appeared, covering January-August. I t has not been deemed necessary to give every reference to such standard works as the Dictionary of Christian Biography, the Dictionnaires published by Letouzey, and A. Fliche and V. Martin's Histoire de I'Eglise, though these are often referred to in the bibliographical notes. The first two volumes of Fliche and Martin, by J. Lebreton and J. Zeiller, have been translated into English by Dr E. C. Messenger (The History of the Primitive Church, 4 vols.), and the first two English volumes of the continuation, The Church in the Christian Roman Empire, are also published. The reader may here be reminded once for all that for all modern saints and beati the surest source of information on the more strictly spiritual side is the sum足 manum de virtutibus with the criticisms of the Promotor fidei which are printed in the process of beatification. Copies of these are occasionally to be met with in national or private libraries, though they are not published or offered for sale to the general public. For all saints named in the Roman Martyrology the standard short reference is in the Acta Sanctorum, Decembris Propylaeum: Martyrologium Romanum ad formam editionis typicae scholiis historicis instTuctum (1940). This great work provides a running commentary on the entries in the Roman Martyrology, correcting where necessary conclusions expressed in the sixty-odd volumes of the Acta Sanctorum, and anticipating much that will be said at greater length in those volumes that have yet to appear; and there are summary bibliographies throughout. I t is indispensable for all serious study and reference.

xxii


BUTLER'S

LIVES OF THE SAINTS


APRIL 1:

ST MELITO, BISHOP OF SARDIS

(c. A.D.

I80?)

E

USEBIUS and other ecclesiastical writers greatly commend the writings of St Melito, Bishop of Sardis in Lydia, who during the second century wrote an Apology for Christianity addressed to the Emperor Marcus Aurelius and many other works, theological and ethical. Eusebius and St Jerome give the titles or the subjects of a number of these writings, but of the books themselves little has survived but a few fragments. According to Tertullian, who was rather disdainful of his oratorical di~tion and style, St Melito was regarded as a prophet by many people. His name occurs in some of the old martyrologia, but beyond the fact that he was unmarried and was said to have ruled his conduct by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, nothing whatever is known of his life or death. Owing to the similarity between the names of Sardis and Sardinia, St Melito has often been confused with a fictitious namesake reputed to have been a pupil of St Boniface, the first bishop of Cagliari, and to have suffered martyrdom in Sardinia under Domitian. There is a very full article on Melito, concerned of course principally with the writings attributed to him, in DTC., vol. x, CC. 540-547, to which the writer, E. Amann, appends a full bibliography. See also G. Salmon in DCB., vol. iii, pp. 894~OO, and Bardenhewer, Altkirchliche Literatur, vol. i, pp. 546-557.

ST WALARICUS, or VALERY,

ABBOT

(c. A.D. 620)

ST WALARICUS or Valery, whose body William the Conqueror caused to be publicly exposed that the saint might obtain a favourable wind for his English expedition, was born in a humble home in the Auvergne. Somehow he learned to read, and he is said to have procured a psalter, the contents of which he committed to memory while tending sheep. His uncle one day took him to visit the monastery of Autumo, but when the time came for returning, the boy insisted upon staying behind; so there he was allowed to remain and to continue his education, though it is doubtful whether he ever took the habit there. Some years later he left to enter the abbey of 8t Germanus near Auxerre, but his sojourn does not seem to have been a pro足 tracted one. It was not unusual in those days for monks voluntarily to go from one monastery to another; some indeed were vagrants by nature who could never settle anywhere, but many of them were men striving after perfection, who were only eager to find a director capable of assisting them to attain their goal. Of this number was Walaricus. The renown of 8t Columban and of the life led by his followers at Luxeuil determined him to seek out the great Irishman and to place himself under his rule. With him went his friend Bobo, a nobleman who had been converted by him and who had abandoned his possessions to join him. At Luxeuil,


THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

April I]

where they found the leader and the spiritual life they sought, they settled down happily. 1'0 Walaricus fell the duty of cultivating part of the garden. The flourishing condition of his allotment, when the rest of the estate was being de­ voured by insects, was regarded as miraculous, and is said to have induced St Columban, who already had a high opinion of him, to profess him after an unusually short novitiate. When King Theodoric expelled the abbot from his monastery, allowing only the Irish and the Bretons to accompany him, Walaricus, not wishing to remain on at Luxeuil without 8t Columban, obtained leave to join a monk called \Valdolanus, who was about to start on a mission of evangelization. Receiving permission to settle in Neustria, they preached freely to the people, and Walaricus's eloquence and miracles gained many converts. It was not long, however, before he began to feel again the call to retire from the world, but this time he thought it his vocation to be a hermit. By the advice of Bishop Berchundus he chose a solitary spot near the sea, at the mouth of the river 80mme, where he proposed to live in solitude; but he could not rernain hidden. Disciples discovered him and cells sprang up around, which developed into the celebrated abbey of Leuc0naus. St \Valaricus would occasionally issue forth to preach missions in the countryside, and so success­ ful were his efforts that he is said to have evangelized not only what is now known as the Pas-de-Calais, but the whole eastern shore of the English Channel. Tall and ascetic-looking, the holy man was noted for his singular gentleness which tempered the stern Rule of 8t Columban with excellent results. Animals were attracted to him: birds perched on his shoulders and ate from his hand, and often the good abbot would gently warn off an intruding visitor with the words, " Do let these innocent creatures eat their n1eal in peace". After ruling his monastery for six years or more, 8t Walaricus passed to his rest about the year 620. Numerous miracles reported after his death quickly spread his cultus, at least two French towns, St-Valery-sur-Somme and St-Valery -en-Caux, being named after him. King Richard Creur-de-Lion transferred his relics to the latter town, which is in Normandy, but they were afterwards restored to St-Valt~ry­ sur-80mme, on the site of the abbey of Leuconaus. We are told that a life of St Walaricus was written by Raginbertus, \vho became abbot of Leuconaus not long after the death of the saint. It was forn1erly believed that this docu­ ment was preserved in substance by a later writer, who re-edited it in a new setting and in a more correct style. Bruno Krusch, however, seems to have proved that this later life dates only from the eleventh century and is a fabrication which borrows freely from other hagio­ graphical materials which have nothing to do with St \Valaricus. See MGI-l., Scriptores Merov., vol. iv, pp. 157-175; where a more critical text than that of the Bollandists and l\1abillon may also be found. For some criticisms of B. Krusch's edition see Wattenbach­ Levison, Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen im Mittelalter Vorzeit und Karolingt!r, vol. i (1952), p. 137·

ST MACARIUS THE WONDER-WORKER

(c.

A.D.

830)

lVIACARIUS the Wonder-worker \vas a native of Constantinople. He received an excellent education, showing special aptitude for the study of the Holy Scriptures, " the whole of which", we read, " he ran through in a short time". Afterwards, leaving the city, he betook himself to the monastery of Pelekete where he drorped his baptismal name of Christopher to assume that of Macarius. A model monk, he was chosen abbot and soon became celebrated for his miracles of healing. Cro\vds flocked to Pelekete to be cured of diseases both of body and of mind. The

2


ST HUGH OF

GRENOBl~E

[April 1

patriarch of Constantinople, 8t Tarasius, who had received many reports of his sanctity and miracles, greatly desiring to see him, dispatched to be his escort the patrician Paul, who had once been cured by the abbot and whose wife had recently been restored to health by him after she had been given over by the physicians. When the two saints met, Tarasius gave Macarius his blessing and, before allo\ving him to return, ordained him priest. He was not destined to remain long at peace in his cloisrer. The Emperor Leo the Armenian attacked in turn all the prominent supporters of the cultus of holy images, and Macarius was tortured in various ways and kept in prison until the emperor's death. His successor, Michael the Stam­ merer, released the saint and tried by promises and threats to win him over. Finding, however, that he remained inflexible, the emperor banished him to the island of Aphusia off the shore of Bithynia, where on August 18 he died in exile; the precise year is unknown. A Greek life of St Macarius by the monk Sabas was edited in the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xvi (1897), pp. 140-163. Its historical character is confirmed by certain letters of Theodore Studites. See the Analecta Bollandiana, vol. xxxii (1913), pp. 270-273; and cf. Echos d'Orient, i (1898), pp. 274-280. April 1 seems to have been the day of his trans­ lation.

ST HUGH,

BISHOP OF GRENOBLE

(A.D. 1132)

8T HUGH was born at Chftteauneuf, near Valence in the Dauphine, in the year 1052. His father, Odilo, after being twice married, became a Carthusian, and died at the age of 100, receiving viaticum from his son in whose arms he passed away. After an education begun in Valence and completed with distinction in foreign centres of learning, Hugh was presented to a canonry in the cathedral of Valence though still a layman-such benefices at that period being often conferred on young students without orders. Very young, good-looking, and extremely bashful, he soon won all hearts by his courtesy and by the modesty which led him to conceal and under­ rate his talents and learning. The bishop of Die, another Hugh, was so charmed by his namesake when he came to Valence that he insisted upon attaching him to his household. The prelate soon proved the young canon's worth by entrusting him with some difficult negotiations in the campaign then directed against simony; and in 1080 he took him to a synod at Avignon, called to consider, amongst other matters, the disorders which had crept into the vacant see of Grenoble. The council and the delegates from Grenoble severally and collectively appear to have looked on Canon Hugh as the one man who was capable of dealing with the dis­ orders complained of; but though unanimously elected it was with the greatest reluctance that he consented to accept the office. The legate himself conferred on him holy orders up to the priesthood, and took him to Rome that he might receive consecration from the pope. The kindness of the reception he met emboldened the young bishop elect to consult 8t Gregory VII about temptations to blasphemy which sometimes beset him, causing him great distress and, as he considered, rendering him unfit for the high office to which he was called. The pontiff reassured him, explaining that God permitted these trials to purify him and render him a more fitting instrument for the divine purposes. These particular tempta­ tions continued to assault him until his last illness, but he never yielded to them in any way. The Countess Matilda gave the twenty-eight-year-old bishop his crozier and some books, including the De officiis ministrorum of 8t Ambrose and a psalter to

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THE LIVES OF THE SAINTS

April J]

which were appended the commentaries of St Augustine. Immediately after his consecration, St Hugh hurried off to his diocese, but he was appalled by the state of his flock. rrhe gravest sins were committed without shame; simony and usury were rampant; the clergy openly flouted the obligation to celibacy; the people \vere uninstructed; laymen had seized church property and the see was almost penniless. It was indeed a herculean task that lay before the saint. For two years he laboured unremittingly to redress abuses by preaching, by denunciations, by rigorous fasts and by constant prayer. The excellent results he was obtaining were patent to all but to himself: he only saw his failures and blamed his own incom足 petence. Discouraged, he quietly withdrew to the Cluniac abbey of Chaise-Dieu, where he received the Benedictine habit. He did not remain there long, for Pope Gregory commanded him to resume his pastoral charge and return to Grenoble. Coming out of his solitude, like another Moses from the mountain, he seemed-so men declared-to preach with greater fervour and success than before. It was to St Hugh of Grenoble that St Bruno and his companions addressed themselves when they decided to forsake the world, and it was he who granted to them the desert called the Chartreuse which gave its name to their order. The bishop became greatly attached to the monks: it was his delight to visit them in their solitude, joining in their exercises and performing the most menial offices. Sometimes he would linger so long in these congenial surroundings that St Bruno was constrained to remind him of his flock and of his episcopal duties. These periods of retreat were the bright oases in a hard and anxious life. With the clergy and the common people St Hugh was most successful, but the nobles continued to withstand him to the end. Moreover, for the last forty years of his life he suffered almost unremittingly from headaches complicated by gastric trouble, and was tormented by severe temptations. Nevertheless occasionally he was granted sensible spiritual consolations which filled his heart with joy. During his sermons it was not unusual to see the whole congregation in tears, whilst individuals would be moved to rnake public confession on the spot. Of sin he had the utmost horror, and his loathing of detraction was so great that he disliked the duty of listening to official reports and closed his ears to the news of the day. Temporal things always seemed to him dull and irksome as compared with the heavenly things on which his heart was set. He besought pope after pope to release him from office. One and all refused point-blank. Honorius II, to whom he pleaded his age and infirmities, replied that he preferred to retain him as bishop of Grenoble-old and i11- rather than have any younger or stronger man in his place. A generous almsgiver, St Hugh in a time of famine sold a gold chalice as well as rings and precious stones from his church treasury; and rich men were stirred by his example to give liberally to feed the hungry and supply the needs of the diocese. Although at the end of life his soul \vas further purified by a lingering illness of a very painful character, Hugh never uttered a word of complaint, no